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Khadas Tone Board DAC = WOW!

Discussion in 'Dedicated Source Components' started by chillihead, Apr 9, 2019.
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  1. Aibo
    Wow, they really went with the whole gamer look this time but if it sounds better than already great 1st one I'll manage somehow. I guess there will be some 3rd party cases and DIY options.
  2. Baten
    Always :)
  3. overhaze
    So would the advice right now be to wait for the new revision? I haven't see any word on it over the last month.
  4. scruffy1
    PlantsmanTX and palchiu like this.
  5. New revision seriously needs an optical input.
  6. baskingshark
    Sorry I'm quite noob with electronics/acoustics, but can I ask is there gonna be a big audible difference in sound between optical input and what is now available on the Khadas Tone Board?
  7. scruffy1
    given it's all the same data, the only plausible benefit would be if you had a clean power supply feeding the usb, that you would eliminate any ground loop from the source as it would be electrically isolated

    for practical purposes, as a user for some weeks now via the usb c from a home theatre source, using their supplied cable and without any attempt at grounding the card to my case as shown above, it sounds perfect

    upstream is a simple usb 2 out from an asrock motherboard, feeding mostly flac files at 44100hz / 16 bit, to a nad d3020 amp and onwards to a wharfedale 2.1 speaker set with 2x diamond 10.1 and a 10.gx active subwoofer

    admittedly it's not headphones, but it also did really nicely as a dac source for the analogue in of the pan am, and then on to the akg Q701's
    baskingshark likes this.
  8. baskingshark
    Yeah agreed, I feel the Khadas Tone Board is already very clean and quite free of electrical interferance, even with the naked board. (nevertheless I got a case for the KTB afterwards, more to protect the DAC).

    I'm curious about this optical input query, as some audiophile friends tell me it's snakeoil, while others swear they get a difference in their cleanliness and sound quality with optical input.
  9. bixby
    optical sucks :darthsmile:
  10. scruffy1
    well there we have it

    personally optical works when i've used it, rarely (obviously not on the tone board, which lacks the option), but usb seems to work fine, so i'm satisfied
    baskingshark likes this.
  11. yavormoskov
    Khadas tone board is great and I think I am going to put it inside a PC case. I have the Burson Fun amplifier with the Sparkos opamps which can fit in the 5.25 pc case slot and can be powered by the pc power supply. I will buy internal motherboard USB 2.0 header to female A adapter, will plug in iFi AUDIO iPurifier3 (male USB A to female USB B) to filter out any possible noise from the USB itself and will connect the Khadas tone board to it with a USB B to USB C cable. I might need a short USB cable from the motherboard socket to iFi and short male B type to male C type from the iFi to the tone board. I will ask Ghent audio to make me two because the space inside is limited and the once I already found are too long. And Ghent is really cheap The Khadas is already inside a very small aluminum case with rubber feet so internal PC vibrations should not be a problem. After that will connect RCA cables from Khadas to the Fun and RCA cable from the Fun cable to the RCA bracket at the back of the case. Wait…what That’s right, it does not exist. Will buy female to female chassis RCA connectors from here: https://www.parts-express.com/parts...oLZ-MhlXUfBdcvErsy2g9BWWVWYKm2LRoCKPwQAvD_BwE and will make two holes in a PC slot bracket to attach them. And will disable the onboard audio completely from the BIOS. Khadas will be my onboard audio If you have any comments or suggestions, please feel free to share them.
    PlantsmanTX likes this.
  12. scruffy1
    lots of work !

    maybe you should trade the fun for a burson swing and get the same dac and the wiring already professionally supplied ?

    it was certainly my alternate option (but too costly given i already had the nad d3020 to amplify my chain); also, the more links in the chain, the more your signal has opportunity to get interference, especially from the wires you will be running inside a computer - unless they are shielded i guess

    my further embellishment was these :


    the 20cm version is a tight squeeze in the rca's on the nad, but they fit perfectly in the tone board's spacing, and improve the clarity significantly - which surprised me, as i always though cables were a bit hyped as accessories

    i got a new cable for the subwoofer from the same site, and it also seems to have improved the tightness of bass response, which i already thought was excellent (replacing a "concord" 1/8" to rca pair)
  13. chillihead
  14. Baten
    I have pre-ordered one when they pre-orders opened. Apparently, SMSL has already received >1000 orders from Asia mostly. I'm not sure the 'huge waiting list' problem is going to be solved any time soon.
  15. overhaze
    Would there be any audible difference in swapping out a Topping D10 for a Tone Board?
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