Pioneer U-05 USB DAC/amp with dual ES9016

Discussion in 'Dedicated Source Components' started by seeteeyou, Jun 16, 2014.
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  1. Limu Shirin
    Hi, No because it doesn't have any RCA or XLR stereo inputs. and It's basically
    a preamp.
  2. Limu Shirin
    anybody else getting background hiss with sensetive cans or IEMs or is itjust my unit?
  3. tonehk
    Can somebody confirm that using U-05 as USB DAC with Mac OSX is working with no problems. i see from the pioneer website there is a driver for Mac OS which is quite unusual as all DACs i have used so far are driverless for Mac. Thanks
  4. Shure or bust
    So go oppo ha-1 in a heart beat ? Due to poor amp section
  5. Hikoki
    Seems like this thread is long dead. But I'll give it a go anyway. Has anyone been using the Pioneer with the Chromecast Audio and it's optical in? If yes, how does it sound?
    Thanks a bunch to anyone willing to respond,
  6. Cornan
    I now use a Brooklyn DAC, but I did try the ChromeCast Audio with optical in. It sounded much better than expected, but I did have a bunch of other stuff too to optimize SQ. Here are some of them:

    1. CCA (with Chord C-Lite toshlink)+TP-Link UE300 wireless adapter+OTG power splitter+TP-Link DSG-105. Al powered by a single floating SMPS (Gophert csp-3205II) plus LT3045 voltage regs in series via a DC terminal.
    2. BubbleDS Next and BubbleUPnP Server installed on Android tablet controlling CCA.
    3. All devices plugged into a Peaktech 2240+ATL DC Blocker trap filter+PowerWalker BlueWalker AVR 1200VA.

    Like this it sounded just great! :)

    PS. since I am not active on Head-Fi my setup here is totally wrong. My CA profile is updated though. DS.
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2017
  7. Hikoki
    Oh dear me, how on earth have you accumulated so much gear . Sounds overwhelming and overcomplicated for my needs! ☺️ I just want to keep things as simple as possible. Kind of along the lines of the simplicity of CCA. So in my scenario I basically just stream Spotify Premium and my own flac music off my tablet using CCA enabled music player into my ifi iCan which works well with my DT880 600.My only concern has been what an outboard DAC I should add in the chain to possibly improve the SQ of the analog output of the CCA. I have tried Dacs before including the the well-regarded Schiit Modi multibit. However, I did not really hear much if any increase difference in SQ compared to the CCA analogue out, which honestly gave me a bit of surprise. Hence my inquiry as to the quality of the Pioneer.
    Anyway, thank you a lot for taking the time to reply and have a great holiday. ☺️
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2017
  8. Cornan
    Yeah, it was complicated alright! Unfortunately there is very few short-cuts for a great sound. However, if you want to make the most of CCA I can recommend that you atleast buy the iFi SPDIF iPurifier. Without it you will not come close to something like Auralic Aries Mini or similar.

    A Happy New Year! :)
  9. mark44

    Please, I need help.
    I connect win 10 and pioneer, via a usb cable.
    If I turn on the PC and the amp, (setting it on the USB input) and open an audio file, I do not hear anything.
    But strangely if I leave that audio file open for half an hour or more, at some point it starts to work.

    I think it's a software problem
    Please help

    Thank you
  10. Marshal Banana
    I have the same problem since several weeks now. I have to wait about half an hour before the amp get recognized by my computer. I'm under Windows 7. It's a very strange issue like the DAC need some kind of warm up before being able to work.
  11. magicman
    Any ideas how the toslink input is implemented on this beast ? I mean is this handled by some cheap spdif receiver or maybe reclocked by some fpga fifo before it goes to the DAC ? Have you noticed the difference between usb & toslink ?

    As for the amp I am just wondering - because there can't be only tpa6120, there are also visible 4 pairs of quite big transistors on the headphone amp PCB. Maybe tpa6120 is used for SE output and discrete section for balanced or maybe tpa6120 works only as voltage gain stage and 4 pairs of transistors for current (this could be very nice and tricky solution in this application).
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2018
  12. magicman
    Any ideas what is the maximum voltage of headphone out (SE / Balanced) ? I mean Vrms to calculate max power for different impedances. Is it able to drive something like 600 ohms beyer dt880 from balanced output ? Or is it too weak, I mean the output voltage. I could easily measure it by generating 50Hz sinus wav file (@ 0db), then play it with maxed volume and measure AC voltage by using multimeter (there will be RMS value, or even if it's not real RMS multimeter, it will work because it uses proper formula then for 50Hz AC, that's why it's important to generate exactly this wav file, this is btw nice idea to measure any output that I designed some time ago to test some stuff and it works perfectly fine).

    I was just wondering what are the capabilities of this amp (from simple calculation if it's 300mW per channel for 32ohms impedance, it looks like it is about 3,1Vrms and usually it can be a bit higher for less demanding loads like 300 or 600ohms but not too much).

    Then it should be OK in the terms of power for most of the dynamic headphones (from balanced output), even 600ohm where something about 2V usually gets the job done. Of course there is also sensitivity that matters (to achieve certain sound pressure level from generated power) but it should be OK for most of them.

    I will have this unit in a couple of days so I can measure it.

    The only problem can be with classical music, with low average level of recording. Above calculations are only for 0dB recording (peak level). If it's like in the mid of max range it can be not enough to achieve satisfying level of sound pressure, especially with large dynamics, some quiet passages might be barely listenable ;/

    That's why having something like 5Vrms in for instance M-DAC is much better for high impedances headphones/classical recordings stuff.

    Edit: There will be no measurements, sorry, I auditioned pioneer u-05, aune s6 and I was like Meh ... Tried questyle 400i (unplanned, as extra bonus) that crashed them both into &^#*@ with ak4490 + current mode amplifier

    But from what I heard, pioneer was really mighty in terms of driving headphones, even on SE output that by the way I liked more with High Z headphones that I tested. Maybe for something like HE-4 could be lacking a bit of power because of extremely low sensitivity like 86,5dB/mw but for dynamic headphones it is more than you'll ever need. But overall regarding sound quality of dac and amp I heard better stuff, much better ... For classical music itself I would pick cheaper aune s6 (even though this is crap comparing to older S16, amp is very weak even on XLR output and dac seems to sound a bit pale and not engaging emotionally, I had to turn the volume up to open it up somehow, S16 was in completely different league, cost cutting etc, no FIFO, no reclock, another PCB and cheaper parts like transformer etc, very simplified design when you look at the inside)
    Last edited: May 8, 2018
  13. raoultrifan
    I don't own this DAC/headmap, but I like it, hence following this thread. My below thoughts are purely based on it's specs and no real measurements or even listening, so feel free to take this with a grain of salt.

    Balanced (XLR3/XLR4): 300 mW + 300 mW (32 ohms), based on manufacturer's specs:; also 1st post from this thread says exactly the same thing. That means around 3.1V RMS @32Ohms cans; most likely for 600Ohms cans the output voltage will increase a bit, but not much, so I will give you a rough estimation of 3.5V RMS which means about 20mW @600Ohms.

    Based on Tyll's wrote, DT880/600 needs 0.43 mW to get to 90 dB SPL, that means for 100 dB SPL we need 4.3 mW and for 110 dB SPL we need 43 mW, so I find 20 mW less than desirable for Beyerdinamic DT880- 600Ohms. Manufacturer states that 100 mW would be the max. power handled, so an amp able to get this amount of power would be recommended, that would be >7V RMS voltage @600Ohms. Don't get me wrong, I don't want anyone to get into hearing problems, but the 20 mW @600Ohms of the U-05 could probably get about 105dB on 600Ohms cans and only if 0dB sinewaves are used; with regular music the average output power will be about -10dB lower.

    Just my 2 cents: an amp will pair well with a headphone when peaks of musics will get your cans to about 110dB of loudness with very low THD; that means an average power for the entire track of about 85-95dB, depending on the compression. Not saying we need to listed very loud, but an amp should have enough power reserve when driving headphones, especially for music having a higher dynamic, but also to be sure the output stage if not struggling to handle the output power.

    Despite U-05 can drive planars and many "not-easy to drive" 32-Ohms cans, until someone with this combo can actually do some measurements or test, I honestly can't recommend you to pair U-05 with DT880 600Ohms.

    Also, some measurements here, but not on the headamp itself:

    P.S.: My Objective2 headamp has a max. output voltage of 3V RMS for low-gain and 7.3V RMS on high-gain and I always use the high-gain when listening to the music. I do the same for AKG K701, too, but all of my other can can be very well driven from the low-gain, so it's all about headphone impedance and their sensitivity too.
  14. DejanM
    I own Pioneer U-05 for couple of months now. I am really, really happy with this unit. It is connected to my PC Win10 via USB. As a player I am using JRiver. I am playing mostly PCM but I have a large collection of DSD's as well - mostly 64 but also some 128. They are all working fine. I am using Sennheiser HD800S, AKG K7XX, Focal Spirit One S with this amp and all of them are working without any problems. For my Senn I am using balanced output, for the others 6,3 mm bannana.

    I listened to many DAC/Headphone units before making a final decision (Naim, Audiolab, Oppo, Violectric, Bryston, ... ) and none of them came even close to this Pioneer. The sound is exactly what I am looking for: open, distorsion free, very analytical (detailed), neutral. If I would have to emphasize something not so good, that would be probably a small lack of texture in a middle spectrum. Probably, that is the consequence of the bass area, which is very clean, well defined, precise but it does not go as deep as some amps do. Therefore, I do believe that this Pioneer works better with headphones that are bass heavy (AKG for example) than with those that are bass shy.

    In the market area under 1000 USD/Euro/Pound I do not think you can go better than this Pioneer. As a matter of fact, I do believe that you have to open much more your wallet if you want a better sound and to go for something like EAR HP4 or Pass HPA-1. Saying that, I want to emphasize how good value this unit is.
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