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Walnut Hi-Fi V2 WAV (& MP3) Player by wt - :ok_hand: screenless budget killer combo DAP/Amp :ok_hand:

Discussion in 'Portable Source Gear' started by vapman, Dec 8, 2016.
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  1. groucho69
    I remember recently some yabo wanted to do something similar and shot himself while attempting to separate live ammunition. 
    edit: Ah yes, he wanted to make earrings for his gf.
  2. BloodyPenguin Contributor
    The whole thing comes apart with just a few screws.  So I just painted the metal body.  It was actually quite easy.  I used a shiny red spray paint for the red and some black nail polish for some detail.
    LaughMoreDaily likes this.
  3. bzfrank
    Long time since my last post, personal matters had taken my time but now its back to portable audio. I recently got my hand on the Burson v5i-D and gave it a ride in my (stock) Walnut V2, comparing it with the rest of the pack: AD825, OPA2107, MUSES01, MUSES02, LM49990, OPA827, stock (TI) NE5532 and lately Fairchild NE5532 and AD8397. I am a long time fan of the AD825 in the Walnut, this love was however put to the test when I plugged in the v5i, but read below....

    Comparing op amp IMHO makes only sense with the head phone in mind, for my tests I used my trustly Tk13s and Shockwave III IEMs. The later are especially demanding as lots of BAs together with the dynamic driver wants to be driven.

    First the new arrivals in my op amp collections: Fairchild NE5532 and AD8397. I always discounted the NE5532 as my test samples were made by Ti. However by comparison the Fairchild NE5532 is indeed better than the TI variant. Less harsh and a tad more clarity. If you like the stock opamp, I'd go for it and get a Fairchild version for a few cents on eBay. This is IMHO the cheapest solution to improve the Walnut, however also the one with smallest impact. It does no pair nicely with the Shockwaves however, so for more demanding IEMs/headphones I suggest to use something different. Plugging in the AD8397 (on a DIP adapter), it was immeditately clear this is another beast. The first thing I noticed is a slight background buzz, the amp is not completly stable in the Walnut. Its dynamic and driving power is without question the most explosive I experienced in the Walnut but I cannot recommend it without some taming, e.g. http://www.head-fi.org/t/240086/building-a-cmoy-around-ad8397#post_2974300 . It works but its on (or for some headphones even over) the edge.

    Now for the Burson v5i, yes - it is the most expensive, but its very good. And it is an uncomplicated replacement, stable in the Walnuts cmoy circuit (as in my other devices I tested with it), no stability issues whatsoever. Resolution and detail are extremely nice, as is treble, great mids - voices improve mightly - and also the bass matches the overall great experience. The soundstage is wide, it is a bit like opening a window to another dimension, especially with the Shockwaves which have a kind of holographic sound signature on their own and gets pushed even furher in his setup. What is particular nice is that the Walnut with the v5i now suddenly pairs very well with the Shockwave III IEMs. :)

    Basically this one walked all over the other opamps, including the AD825 I used in my Walnut for a long time and has replaced it.

    Of course its possible to argue about the cost of the opamp and headphone in relation to the costs of the Walnut. But to my ears the Walnut with the Burson v5i and Shockwave III IEMs define the best possible sound quality for this little device in its unmodified form.



    The v5i-D was provided by Burson audio for review. Thanks guys!
    D0rk!n and DBaldock9 like this.
  4. Dark Helmet

    Try the Phillips 5532, the one with Thailand stamped on it. Rediculously good.
  5. nick n
    well well.
     Be prepared people,
    Not sure what I am going to do here except have to settle on a soic-8 after trying various opamps on the previous variant.
    At least with this revision the socket is eliminated as contributing to sonic degradation of any kind !
    I like to keep it positive.
    PLUS I do like the topside space now and to be honest it allows for more aftermarket caps room
    So am alternately  happy and sad here. There's definite pros and cons to both.
    Lucky I can solder.
    Check back in again I will update my 6 units serial numbers, yes this time they actually have serial numbers.
    Serial #'s for what it's worth, and for all the neurotic types who need something to obsess over:
    1. 212363 ( a few )
    2. 212364 ( a few )
    = must be either batch #'s or variant since there are more than 1 of each number. Will check later. ( Pictured one is a 212364 )
    ==popped open the 212363 and it is indeed the same inside as the 212364
    >>>>One thing also the finish appears a bit nicer somehow on the case metal.
    + pcb is ~3mm wider
    I guess since I ordered a few at once, the ebay seller  ( linked in Vapman's first 3 posts ) went with DHL and I got the things in ~ 1 week to my door [​IMG], was not expecting that so excellent.
    China to Canada.
    Plus their communication was awesome, they kept me updated on every single tracking stage [​IMG].  Pretty good service if you ask me.
    Now for the reveal. These may become the defacto classic if they are phased out. Maybe I need MOAR of this streamlined version to save.[​IMG]
    I'd say overall this is likely to be a big win for me anyhow.
    ***** there are some slight trace differences also.
    And one other big thing I wonder if anyone will notice, pretty obvious.
    ********** one thing to note it is semi-easy to remove the top, but when totally disassembling them  the fit of the pcb is very snug, so be sure to close it carefully and properly ( orient the wedge groove side with the wedge, and vice versa on the other  seam, and be sure it lines up correctly when starting to slide the pcb in again
    you'll have to look close at the the topside picture
  6. Dark Helmet

    What is the opamp?
  7. nick n
    BB     OPA 2604AU   55KAC
    datasheet :  http://www.ti.com/lit/ds/symlink/opa2604.pdf
    some easier viewing specs :  http://ca.mouser.com/ProductDetail/Texas-Instruments/OPA2604AU/?qs=sGAEpiMZZMvtNjJQt4UgLd0UjFS%252bBnCW2U0qAGRtAg8%3d
    did you see the secret extra addition yet?[​IMG] 
    BTW too busy to check all the others, but I assume the same variants are included in the batch.
    Wonder if the simplicity of the nutter circuit will play well to the opamp's sound moreso than in other circuits.
    I'll have to compare in the next couple days. Some really like that opamp, some don't from what I gather. Personal preference again
    *********EDITED IN BATCH /Serial/variant #'s 2 posts above^
  8. Byfrost
    Seems like the official seller Taobao has also indicated the change in the positioning of the opamp chip from topside to downside.
  9. DBaldock9
    Surface mount 3.5mm jacks, which may not be as secure as through-hole jacks.
  10. heraleks
    Why is there a second microusb?
  11. bzfrank
    This effectively closes the Walnut to amp rolling for the average guy. What a totally nutty change, just to save 3.7 cents! :mad::mad:
    LaughMoreDaily likes this.
  12. groucho69
    If anyone has contact maybe they could mention this to the builder. It will likely have a negative sales effect.
  13. DBaldock9

    It may be more expensive than that, to have through-hole plated circuit boards fabricated, rather than surface mount pads.
  14. bzfrank
    I can assure you it isn't, there are several other interlayer connections on the PCB anyway so any cost reduction would be minimal. This is just a measure to shave a few cents by dropping the DIP socket and the need to put the opamp into it during manufacturing, to increase profit. And a very short sighted measure and it dramatically reduces the value of the device for DIY modding.
    LaughMoreDaily likes this.
  15. nick n
    Ahh you noticed [​IMG]
    On the endplate that new second USB port is labeled as " DATA "
    ...maybe it is a DAC direct thing
    YES the " Data " USB port allows you to access the mSD card directly without needing an external card reader.
    >Also notice anything about the picture here, there's something else different:
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