Impressions Thread about obscure BUDGET Chinese DAC-AMP (Best finds Reference List)
post-13898808
Post #76 of 204

Slater

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Jun 5, 2015
Messages
11,056
Reaction score
17,952
Location
Cincinnati, Ohio USA
Joined
Jun 5, 2015
Location
Cincinnati, Ohio USA
Posts
11,056
Likes
17,952
Interesting. I can compare the kit picture to the finished model picture. I see the basic board. I see the rectified power supply. I see the added power input and switch. But what's the big, round, blue thing behind the input selector in the finished model they offer? I'm trying to figure out what makes it go from $50 for basic board and power supply to $180 besides a nice box and assembly.
The blue thing is a power transformer. You often see those "big blue" transformers in amplifiers that use LPS.
 
     Share This Post       
  • Like
Reactions: bsoplinger
post-13903730
Post #77 of 204

young59

Head-Fier
Joined
Oct 11, 2014
Messages
86
Reaction score
54
Joined
Oct 11, 2014
Posts
86
Likes
54
@Nymphonomaniac Why not give the Zishan Z2 a try it has the ak4490 chip its a dap that can iirc also function as a DAC+AMP when connected with usb and it's under 50$.
And if you have already tried it do give some impressions.
 
     Share This Post       
post-13903911
Post #78 of 204

NymPHONOmaniac

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Jan 21, 2013
Messages
2,103
Reaction score
2,806
Location
French Quebec, Canada
Joined
Jan 21, 2013
Location
French Quebec, Canada
Posts
2,103
Likes
2,806
Age
36
Website
nobsaudiophile.wordpress.com
@Nymphonomaniac Why not give the Zishan Z2 a try it has the ak4490 chip its a dap that can iirc also function as a DAC+AMP when connected with usb and it's under 50$.
And if you have already tried it do give some impressions.
Cause I make the mistake buying a DAC-AMP with AK4490.....should have go for the Zishan Z2 ....a Walnut V2S will arrive soon tough, cause of amp section....did the Z2 can be a stand alone AMP as well? And can we change folder with it cause I already have a Xduoo X1 than can't and don't like this aspect of the player.
 
     Share This Post       
post-13905681
Post #79 of 204

young59

Head-Fier
Joined
Oct 11, 2014
Messages
86
Reaction score
54
Joined
Oct 11, 2014
Posts
86
Likes
54
Cause I make the mistake buying a DAC-AMP with AK4490.....should have go for the Zishan Z2 ....a Walnut V2S will arrive soon tough, cause of amp section....did the Z2 can be a stand alone AMP as well? And can we change folder with it cause I already have a Xduoo X1 than can't and don't like this aspect of the player.
No the Z2 cannot function as a amp only but I think the previous iteration Zishan Z1 could but it had lower hardware you can take a look if you want but I think the walnut V2S would perform much better and it has a balanced out.
I don't remember but either on the Zishan Z2 or the walnut V2 thread people were pairing those together.
 
     Share This Post       
  • Like
Reactions: NymPHONOmaniac
post-13905703
Post #80 of 204

NymPHONOmaniac

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Jan 21, 2013
Messages
2,103
Reaction score
2,806
Location
French Quebec, Canada
Joined
Jan 21, 2013
Location
French Quebec, Canada
Posts
2,103
Likes
2,806
Age
36
Website
nobsaudiophile.wordpress.com
No the Z2 cannot function as a amp only but I think the previous iteration Zishan Z1 could but it had lower hardware you can take a look if you want but I think the walnut V2S would perform much better and it has a balanced out.
I don't remember but either on the Zishan Z2 or the walnut V2 thread people were pairing those together.
Yeah, Walnut V2S look very interesting and I like the fact it have more buttons to press hehe, and the changing OPamp is what interest me mustly, but its a player too....I don,t think there a balanced output, just normal 3.5 lineout, the Walnut F1 is a amp with both 3.5 and balanced output.
Zishan Z2 is near double the price of walnut V2s (25-35 vs 50-60), but the sound of AK4490 is quite fabulous and worth investment, and it look likeyou can change folder too with Z2 so it give a welcome searching freedom. Z2 can be use as external DAC trough USB, this is why I feel stoooooopid that I have bought the Xmos AK4490 DAC-AMP wich is a pain in they ass to make working properly, and that I cannot suggest to buy for anyone but electrician that want to upgrade it. Well, lesson learned, you can pay 18$ for a dac-amp that work perfectly and do not need driver or external power and can give little amping too, and you can pay 35$ for something that is just real DIY crap that cannot be use by average consumer and isnt explaining properly this fact (be aware that HIFI College Aliexpress shop aren't very collaborative with confuse buyers).
EDIT: Finally HIFI College take my complaint more seriously and answer me this:
''HI
The company looked at your purchase history.
Already agree with your plan.
ALI will refund your money in 1-15 days''
I think they will refund me 15$ because I was just trying to have something back....well, its better than nothing. Its 20$ throw in garbage, but if my electrician skill became more serious, I will go back for a project cause YES some compenent are very interesting in this.
 
Last edited:
     Share This Post       
post-13905713
Post #81 of 204

NymPHONOmaniac

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Jan 21, 2013
Messages
2,103
Reaction score
2,806
Location
French Quebec, Canada
Joined
Jan 21, 2013
Location
French Quebec, Canada
Posts
2,103
Likes
2,806
Age
36
Website
nobsaudiophile.wordpress.com
Thanks! It's hard to pick a favourite and, honestly, most of the time I'm listening to an Aune X1S which is a great little common desktop unit, nothing special I guess. But I'm using it mostly because it's pretty good sound, looks good under my monitor and is quite neutral, so it's been good for getting into my new headphones.

Of what IO have tried there's a G&W T2.2A amplifier that I really love (mostly because it's huge, industrial, looks like someone bolted half a tree onto the front of it and when you turn it on it hums like a nuclear reactor). I have only listened to it a few times (bare in mind I've only been collecting for 3-4 months!) but it's nice and warm.
https://www.hifi-amplifiers.com/en/gw-tsinghua-t22a-singleend-class-a-tube-headphone-amplifier-p-891.html

I also have this amp which I don't think has an English name but uses 6N2 and fu32 tubes, it's also huge, weighs about 8kg, I don't think the link below is the exact version - mine is similar but has slightly different units on the back. Anyway it's ... different. Really clear though. I think I need some higher impedance cans for this one though.
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/Black-6N2fu32-4w-4w-vacuum-tube-amps-fever-tube-headset-amplifier-86-50-power-supply/32688253172.html

I've also got a Litehifi h1 (apparently, I just had to look it up). It's a 'portable' balanced headphone amp which looks like a roughly machines star trek prop. Planning on having a listen to it tonight.Then there's a TCG T1 which came in export style boxing (with english words and everything) which was fun. And there's literally another 6 smaller tube amps in a variety of weird shapes and sizes that I haven't got to playing with yet.

From the DAC/Amp side of things I've made quite a lot of use of an FX-Audio dac-x6 - it's great but, like the Aune, kind of common. Plus a small SMSL unit which does DSD too (forget the name, it's packed right now). Both are great value for money I think, although I'm hardly an expert. I'm doing a lot of listening to try to understand the differences in sound so let me have some more time and I can comment on them.

I've also got a few DAC/Amp combos I haven't used yet: a Rhyme Voice 6J1 (which is gold coloured so must be awesome), a HIFI7011 tube dac/amp (I think it's from ZhiLai?) and ... some others? I think there's 2-3 more but they're packed right now.

I'm going on holiday for 3 weeks, then I come back and in mid-Jan move to a new house where I have my own study. Going to set everything up, take some photos and get listening heavily!
Okay, please came back here and share pictures. Fellow headfier suggest very interesting DAC-AMP that use TOTL sabre chip ESS9038.....can be mustly found in 1000-1500$ audio gear....the 9018 is still considered quite phenomelnal (by me and others) so I can't imagine how good it can sound if well implemented!
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/ES9038-ES9038Q2M-DAC-DSD-Decoder-Support-IIS-DSD-384KHz-Coaxial-Optical-DOP-For-hifi-amplifier-with/32841872812.html?spm=2114.search0104.3.2.esF7Yv&ws_ab_test=searchweb0_0,searchweb201602_1_5130011_10152_10151_10065_10344_10068_10345_10342_10343_10340_10341_5000011_10541_10084_10083_10307_5080011_10539_10312_10059_10313_10314_10534_100031_10604_10603_10103_10605_10594_10596_5060011_10142_10107,searchweb201603_12,ppcSwitch_5&algo_expid=c1ccdccd-29f8-4265-af75-30ea66dc6a48-0&algo_pvid=c1ccdccd-29f8-4265-af75-30ea66dc6a48&rmStoreLevelAB=2
 
     Share This Post       
post-13905721
Post #82 of 204

NymPHONOmaniac

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Jan 21, 2013
Messages
2,103
Reaction score
2,806
Location
French Quebec, Canada
Joined
Jan 21, 2013
Location
French Quebec, Canada
Posts
2,103
Likes
2,806
Age
36
Website
nobsaudiophile.wordpress.com
The newly updated Topping NX4 intrigues me though. With the ES9038Q2M chip.

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/Topping-NX4-DSD-XMOS-XU208-Chip-DAC-ES9038Q2M-Chip-Updated-Portable-USB-DAC-DSD-Decoder-Amplifier/32842765804.html?spm=2114.search0104.3.45.i8fAzz&ws_ab_test=searchweb0_0,searchweb201602_1_5130011_10152_10151_10065_10344_10068_10345_10342_10343_10340_10341_5000011_10541_10084_10083_10307_5080011_10539_10312_10059_10313_10314_10534_100031_10604_10603_10103_10605_10594_10596_5060011_10142_10107,searchweb201603_12,ppcSwitch_5&algo_expid=aaf5bad8-6a24-4ea0-814e-07621bba43b8-6&algo_pvid=aaf5bad8-6a24-4ea0-814e-07621bba43b8&rmStoreLevelAB=2

But this particular one is most interesting in my opinion as it actually allows access to the sound filters built into the DAC chip via jumpers.

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/ES9038-ES9038Q2M-DAC-DSD-Decoder-Support-IIS-DSD-384KHz-Coaxial-Optical-DOP-For-hifi-amplifier-with/32841872812.html?spm=2114.search0104.3.2.esF7Yv&ws_ab_test=searchweb0_0,searchweb201602_1_5130011_10152_10151_10065_10344_10068_10345_10342_10343_10340_10341_5000011_10541_10084_10083_10307_5080011_10539_10312_10059_10313_10314_10534_100031_10604_10603_10103_10605_10594_10596_5060011_10142_10107,searchweb201603_12,ppcSwitch_5&algo_expid=c1ccdccd-29f8-4265-af75-30ea66dc6a48-0&algo_pvid=c1ccdccd-29f8-4265-af75-30ea66dc6a48&rmStoreLevelAB=2

Or if you're on a budget and willing to DIY, this:

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/NEW-ES9038-Q2M-DAC-DSD-Decoder-board-Support-IIS-DSD-384KHz-Coaxial-Optical-DOP-For-hifi/32839193751.html?spm=2114.10010108.1000013.2.488b65bayG2Ryp&traffic_analysisId=recommend_2088_1_90158_iswistore&scm=1007.13339.90158.0&pvid=5bebb37c-a24b-4234-8fee-85880ba83efb&tpp=1
About NX4, I think the seller isnt telling the truth. Its the only one saying there a ES9038 DAC inside....all other tell decoding chip is SA9226.
Perhaps this guy is FOS.
 
     Share This Post       
post-13905791
Post #83 of 204

xenithon

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Oct 17, 2005
Messages
3,033
Reaction score
177
Joined
Oct 17, 2005
Posts
3,033
Likes
177
Has anyone perhaps had experience with the (relatively new) Xduoo TA-20 balanced headphone amp? Looks like a balanced hybrid / transformer coupled design, with 12AU7's as preamp/driver tubes. The TA-10 seemed quite decent as a DAC/amp whereas this is a pure balanced amp delivering up to 2W (32 ohms).




 
post-13906082
Post #84 of 204

groucho69

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Jul 28, 2016
Messages
3,404
Reaction score
4,779
Location
7th circle of wife hell
Joined
Jul 28, 2016
Location
7th circle of wife hell
Posts
3,404
Likes
4,779
Has anyone perhaps had experience with the (relatively new) Xduoo TA-20 balanced headphone amp? Looks like a balanced hybrid / transformer coupled design, with 12AU7's as preamp/driver tubes. The TA-10 seemed quite decent as a DAC/amp whereas this is a pure balanced amp delivering up to 2W (32 ohms).




Beautiful isn't it?
 
     Share This Post       
post-13906490
Post #85 of 204

maxxevv

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jul 15, 2017
Messages
648
Reaction score
702
Location
1 Degree North
Joined
Jul 15, 2017
Location
1 Degree North
Posts
648
Likes
702
About NX4, I think the seller isnt telling the truth. Its the only one saying there a ES9038 DAC inside....all other tell decoding chip is SA9226.
Perhaps this guy is FOS.
You're perhaps too quick to jump to conclusions there.

If you do a quick search on Aliexpress, you'll see at least 5 listings on the updated NX4. All from known sellers, not new 'pop-up' stores. (just look for the ones with the updated US$159.9 prices. )

https://www.aliexpress.com/w/wholesale-topping-nx4.html?spm=2114.search0104.0.0.jSO5LV&site=glo&SearchText=topping+nx4&SortType=price_desc&g=y&groupsort=1&initiative_id=SB_20171210174350&needQuery=n
 
Last edited:
     Share This Post       
  • Like
Reactions: NymPHONOmaniac
post-13906713
Post #86 of 204

NymPHONOmaniac

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Jan 21, 2013
Messages
2,103
Reaction score
2,806
Location
French Quebec, Canada
Joined
Jan 21, 2013
Location
French Quebec, Canada
Posts
2,103
Likes
2,806
Age
36
Website
nobsaudiophile.wordpress.com
Has anyone perhaps had experience with the (relatively new) Xduoo TA-20 balanced headphone amp? Looks like a balanced hybrid / transformer coupled design, with 12AU7's as preamp/driver tubes. The TA-10 seemed quite decent as a DAC/amp whereas this is a pure balanced amp delivering up to 2W (32 ohms).




I adore Xduoo company, and did heard lot of good stuffs about their amp or dac-amp....not tested any unfortunately. This look quite promising I must admit!
 
     Share This Post       
post-13906714
Post #87 of 204

NymPHONOmaniac

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Jan 21, 2013
Messages
2,103
Reaction score
2,806
Location
French Quebec, Canada
Joined
Jan 21, 2013
Location
French Quebec, Canada
Posts
2,103
Likes
2,806
Age
36
Website
nobsaudiophile.wordpress.com
You're perhaps too quick to jump to conclusions there.

If you do a quick search on Aliexpress, you'll see at least 5 listings on the updated NX4. All from known sellers, not new 'pop-up' stores. (just look for the ones with the updated US$159.9 prices. )

https://www.aliexpress.com/w/wholesale-topping-nx4.html?spm=2114.search0104.0.0.jSO5LV&site=glo&SearchText=topping+nx4&SortType=price_desc&g=y&groupsort=1&initiative_id=SB_20171210174350&needQuery=n
Kind of true....but they should at least have something to help consumer don't make wrong decision, like, NX4S or V or I don't know what, cause...tis quite a BIG upgrade here!!! So, okay, i'm....very curious about this. I nearly buy NX products like....5 times. Now, they get serious for real!
 
     Share This Post       
post-13907092
Post #88 of 204

young59

Head-Fier
Joined
Oct 11, 2014
Messages
86
Reaction score
54
Joined
Oct 11, 2014
Posts
86
Likes
54
Yeah, Walnut V2S look very interesting and I like the fact it have more buttons to press hehe, and the changing OPamp is what interest me mustly, but its a player too....I don,t think there a balanced output, just normal 3.5 lineout, the Walnut F1 is a amp with both 3.5 and balanced output.
Zishan Z2 is near double the price of walnut V2s (25-35 vs 50-60), but the sound of AK4490 is quite fabulous and worth investment, and it look likeyou can change folder too with Z2 so it give a welcome searching freedom. Z2 can be use as external DAC trough USB, this is why I feel stoooooopid that I have bought the Xmos AK4490 DAC-AMP wich is a pain in they ass to make working properly, and that I cannot suggest to buy for anyone but electrician that want to upgrade it. Well, lesson learned, you can pay 18$ for a dac-amp that work perfectly and do not need driver or external power and can give little amping too, and you can pay 35$ for something that is just real DIY crap that cannot be use by average consumer and isnt explaining properly this fact (be aware that HIFI College Aliexpress shop aren't very collaborative with confuse buyers).
EDIT: Finally HIFI College take my complaint more seriously and answer me this:
''HI
The company looked at your purchase history.
Already agree with your plan.
ALI will refund your money in 1-15 days''
I think they will refund me 15$ because I was just trying to have something back....well, its better than nothing. Its 20$ throw in garbage, but if my electrician skill became more serious, I will go back for a project cause YES some compenent are very interesting in this.
Yeah sorry about that I mixed the Walnut V2S with the Walnut F1.
 
     Share This Post       
post-13915291
Post #89 of 204

Ted Presley

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jan 14, 2016
Messages
109
Reaction score
79
Location
HCMC
Joined
Jan 14, 2016
Location
HCMC
Posts
109
Likes
79
Age
33
Kind of true....but they should at least have something to help consumer don't make wrong decision, like, NX4S or V or I don't know what, cause...tis quite a BIG upgrade here!!! So, okay, i'm....very curious about this. I nearly buy NX products like....5 times. Now, they get serious for real!
Actually, it's called NX4 DSD, the upgraded version of original NX4. The newer one uses ES9038Q2M chip.
 
     Share This Post       
post-13921744
Post #90 of 204

groucho69

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Jul 28, 2016
Messages
3,404
Reaction score
4,779
Location
7th circle of wife hell
Joined
Jul 28, 2016
Location
7th circle of wife hell
Posts
3,404
Likes
4,779
I got this in an email:

Dear friends,

We’ve previously received a lot of enquiries regarding the absence of balanced output in AP200, thereby, we decided to make a truly balanced amplifier to fit your needs.

Hidizs DH-1000, a dual balance native DSD DAC/Amplifier is not only able to assist your AP200 in balancing the output, but also turn any of your devices into a HiFi music player. For details, please refer to our product landing page.
 
     Share This Post       

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Users: 0, Guests: 2)

Top