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The Zishan dsd's corner

Discussion in 'Portable Source Gear' started by neog007, Nov 17, 2016.
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  1. max232
    Thanks for the reply. I bought an adapter. Oddly, my JBL headphones have a 2.5mm at the earpiece. I looked for a cable with 2.5mm on both ends but was unsuccessful. I didn't want to spend a lot of money on one because I may upgrade the phones at some point in the near future. Looking forward to trying the DSD out.
  2. max232
    Does anyone have the DSD without the volume control knob? I understand that it's digital and the volume is controlled by software and the buttons. What I'm wondering is: what type of volume indicator does it have? I haven't seen a picture of the interface that showes a volume indicator. Hopefully it's not trial and error.
  3. max232
    Does anyone knows if that will drive high-impedance ones? I'm considering these: https://penonaudio.com/ty-hi-z-320400s400se.html
  4. max232
    They don't call me thread killer for nothing. :triportsad:
    Themilkman46290 likes this.
  5. hqssui
    Mine is the volume knob-less version. It works this way - when you are in the 'now playing' screen you press the Up button which brings the volume control screen. Then, you can use the Up and Down button to adjust the volume. Once you are done, you have to press the left button after which the volume control screen disappears and you will be taken back to the 'now playing' screen.
    Let me know if you need more details.
  6. max232
    No 'turbo' mode on this one. It's plenty loud without it with my 32ohm phones and I like the sound with the stock amp. I do like to tinker but I may not keep it long enough to experiment with other amps. It's well made and the replacable battery makes it sort of future proof but I really miss having bluetooth. I'm considering trying to swap for a bluetooth player on this forum or maybe try a Chinese bluetooth dongle from eBay..
  7. Dark Helmet
    Mine will to accept a 256GB card. It locks up and shuts off.
  8. shutterbox
    On the use of this latest Zishan 4497EQ DAP"
    1) charging is through the micro USB port? is there charging LED or some ways to remind users on full charge?
    2) the standard deal is the DAP + digital cable? I also saw option for charging set but not sure if there's something proprietary or if it can be charged with mobile phone charger?
    3) the UI is in English or Mandarin?
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2018
  9. DBaldock9
    Just received my Zishan DSD (AK4497EQ) yesterday, and -
    1) Yes, it charges from the Micro USB port, and there is a charging indicator (Blue LED) in the tiny hole beside the USB port.
    2) I have charged mine with the cable connected to a standard USB charger, and with it connected to a PC USB port - while using the DSD as an external USB DAC.
    3) When I turned mine on the first time, the UI was already set to English (unlike the Zishan Z3, which keeps reverting to an Asian language).

    I've already modified mine -
    1) Since the 2.5mm TRRS Balanced Output is driven by the op-amps in the Low Pass Filters, I removed the two OP275's, and installed a pair of AD8620ARZ's.
    2) I moved my pair of OPA627AU op-amps to a custom, lower profile BrownDog 020302 DIP-8 adapter (per my request, they installed some shorter pins, without shoulders). I also moved one pair of BUF634U op-amps to a lower profile adapter. Clipping ~1mm off the pins, allows the adapters to be the same height as a standard DIP-8 op-amp. NOTE: Depending on whether the bottom chip is perfectly centered, you may have to trim a bit of plastic from the inside edges of the socket, so the adapter can seat a bit lower.
  10. Alex3221
    How is the stock sound compared with the N3, V20 and M3s?
  11. DBaldock9
    Well first off - while I've purchased two used LG V20 phones, neither of them could be rooted, so I haven't activated or used them (I'm going to send them to my sister & brother-in-law).
    I've actually just ordered a new "Open Market" (rootable) LG V30, but haven't received it yet.
    I listened to the stock unit for only about one day, before swapping out the OP275 op-amps in the LPFs.
    There's not a huge difference with the AD8620ARZ op-amps driving the Balanced Output, but it does seem like the Bass impact may be a bit better.
    If it's available, I prefer using a Balanced connection for my earbuds & earphones.
    When using a Single-Ended connection, the DSD is the only one that allows for op-amp swaps - to "customize" the sound.
    I didn't end up listening to the Single-Ended Output with the stock LM4562NA, but I did connect the SE Output to the Input of my Walnut F1 Amp, after I installed the OPA627AU op-amps.
    With the OPA627AU op-amps feeding the F1 Amp, the DSD seems like it may have a bit more Treble than the Balanced Output of the DSD, or the same tracks playing on the N3 or M3s.
    NOTE: Using Hotfi HM1 (2016) Earphones, (32Ω, 112dB/mW, 18Hz-22KHz, Plastic housing, 2x Dynamic & 2x Dual Balanced Armature (6 Drivers per side), MMCX cable).
    Alex3221 likes this.
  12. Alex3221
    Thank you for the long reply, I owned a N3 a couple of months back (and I really liked it), but now I want an upgrade (sonically and more power would be fine). I tend to like neutral or a little bit brighter sound signatures, also I don't have any problem with u-shaped signatures either (like N3).
    Do you recommend me the Zishan over the N3 or M3s?
  13. DBaldock9
    From looking the equipment list on your profile, it appears that most of your earphones & headphones use a Single-Ended connection.
    Do you use any gear with Balanced connections?
    I bought the M3s (after ordering the M2s), because it has a Balanced (2.5mm TRRS) output.
    Here's my opinion of the Pros / Cons of the Zishan DSD, Cayin N3, and Shanling M3s:

    *** Zishan DSD ***
    Pros - 1.) Cheaper than the other two $139.77, vs. $149.99, and $279.00.
    - 2.) The USB DAC function works with the default driver in Windows 10 (so no S/W installation is required).
    - 3.) Has a socket that allows swapping the op-amp for the Single-Ended output, to tweak the sound.
    - 4.) Has Balanced output, like the M3s (but the system block diagram shows the Balanced output is before the op-amp that can be swapped - so changing the op-amp won't affect the Balanced sound).
    Cons - 1.) The OS reads the folders & tracks in the order they were copied to the MicroSD card, rather than being able to sort alphabetically, numerically, or by using any embedded tags.
    - 2.) The OS doesn't recognize .m3u Playlist files.
    - 3.) It doesn't have dedicated Volume buttons.
    - 4.) It doesn't have any Wireless (i.e.- Bluetooth, for sending music to earphones, or for controlling the DAP from a phone - like HiBy Link for the N3 & M3s).

    *** Cayin N3 ***
    Pros - 1.) Has the same Single-Ended power output (130mW) as the M3s, and is $130 cheaper.
    - 2.) Has a good User Interface, based on HiBy Music Player - with track access by embedded tags, or by folder - and plays .m3u Playlists.
    - 3.) Has Bluetooth, with aptX for Transmitting music to earphones, and SBC for Receiving music from a PC or phone.
    - 4.) Has HiBy Link, which uses Bluetooth to allow a phone to control the DAP.
    Cons - 1.) Doesn't receive Bluetooth aptX (hardware limitation, there isn't a single chip Transmit / Receive solution available).
    - 2.) The capacitive touch buttons don't have the same feel & feedback as real buttons.
    - 3.) The silicone case doesn't look as nice as the leather cases for the M3s.

    *** Shanling M3s ***
    Pros - 1.) Has both Single-Ended and Balanced Outputs.
    - 2.) Has a good User Interface, based on HiBy Music Player - with track access by embedded tags, or by folder - and plays .m3u Playlists.
    - 3.) Has Bluetooth, with aptX for Transmitting music to earphones, and SBC for Receiving music from a PC or phone.
    - 4.) Has HiBy Link, which uses Bluetooth to allow a phone to control the DAP.
    - 5.) Uses a combination of buttons & a control knob.
    Cons - 1.) Doesn't receive Bluetooth aptX (hardware limitation, there isn't a single chip Transmit / Receive solution available).

    Currently, I've got the OPA1622 (Dual Op-Amp (VSON-10) on DIP-8 header) in the DSD, and have connected my earbuds to the Single-Ended output. I like this op-amp, it definitely has a warmer sound than the OPA627AU.

    If you don't need the Bluetooth, HiBy Link (for remote control of your DAP), and you're willing to use something like CopyInOrder to put your folders & tracks in the order you want to listen - then the DSD is a good deal.
    Alex3221 likes this.
  14. Alex3221
    Yes, I have 2 IEMs with balanced outputs. That I can conclude with your thoughs that the DSD have less power output than N3 and M3s. N3 is a really good DAP but it's not a big upgrade from my V20 in terms of amplification and sound quality.

    Is Swapping op-amps on DSD difficult?
    Which have better sound quality between N3 and DSD?

    Thank you so much for taking your time and give very detailed replies , you are helping me a lot to make a decision
  15. DBaldock9
    I don't know what the specific output rating of the DSD is (Single-Ended or Balanced), but I don't think it's too much less than the other DAPs. I've found that a level of 15-20, out of 31, is plenty loud for any of the earbuds or earphones that I've tried. One thing that I think is true about all of the Walnut and Zishan DAPs and Amps, is that they have an output impedance of ~100Ω - so the sound of some earphones may be affected.
    Since the DSD is two circuit boards, inside a one piece housing, with end caps - it's not as easy to open and swap op-amps, as the other Zishan DAPs.
    To swap the op-amp, you have to remove the two screws from each end, and then slide the two circuit boards & battery out of the case.
    Then you have to unplug the two boards from each other, being careful not to dislodge or damage the display.
    The op-amp socket is between the boards, so replacement op-amps can't be very much taller than a standard DIP-8 op-amp.
    You'll need a good microfiber or lens cleaning cloth, to wipe any fingerprints off the display and glass cover, before reassembling the DSD.
    Even considering the Cons listed in the post above, I do think the DSD really does sound good, as a DAP, and as a DAC. But, if your earphones are the multi-Balanced Armature type, which are more likely to be affected by an amp with a high output impedance, then for Balanced connected earphones - the M3s may be the better deal; or the N3 may be better for Single-Ended connected earphones.
    Alex3221 likes this.
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