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XDuoo XD-05 Portable Dac/Amp Introduction - Impressions

Discussion in 'Portable Source Gear' started by h20fidelity, Dec 3, 2015.
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  1. nplateau
    Thank you for all of the responses and feedback.  I will give them one more week and hopefully, it will be delivered by then.  I hope it does come in, as all the things I've read so far in this forum indicate that it is really a great tweak to an already good device.  Fingers crossed.
  2. hpnut
    Indeed! Hope you'll receive it soon as delivery times can be frustrating. Looking at ordering one myself but not entirely convinced yet if I would hear any improvements (using AKG K712 and 43yo ears). Interested in your impressions.
  3. alota
    You will receive, don't worry
  4. Jojo Manahan
    how to fix this?
    i cant seem to install the driver
  5. killz4gold
    Try few options:
    Running installer as administrator
    As Above in safe mode.
    Diffrent version of driver
  6. ZGojira

    Might also want to disable driver signature enforcement....
  7. nplateau
    Hey all!  The Burson V5i finally came in, though strangely enough, instead of being put in my mailbox I received a notice to pick up a package at the post office.  I have no idea why that should be the case, but that's what happened.  
    Installation was pretty easy, The hardest part for me was just popping out the OPA1612A.  Once that was out of the way, as people have stated before, gently bend the capacitors out of the way a bit and pop it in.  
    First sound impressions:  I don't know if this falls into the realm of psycho-acoustics, but it just feels like everything is about 8-10% better.  More separation, more clarity, a touch more width and less wooliness and bloat in the bass.  I wouldn't call it a night and day difference, rather it's like everything is just a bit sweeter and better presented.  
    Listening through my Fostex T50rp Mk3s which I modified myself a bit, and my Fidelio X2s, I'm going to make an observation in sound quality that I don't know necessarily works or not but hear me out.  The Burson V5i takes the AKM 4490 dac and imbues it with about 10 percent ESS Sabre 9018.  It's still warm, but not as wooly.  It's clearer and more detailed, but not analytical.  I really liked how the OPA1612A sounded, but the V5i setup gives it a bit of polish that I really like.  

    There's all kinds of discussion about whether or not burn in on an op amp changes anything.  Some say no, others claim 50-100 hours.  I'm not sure, but over the next week or two, I'm going to give it some burn in anyway, off of my ears for the most part, to see if anything changes.
    BowWow likes this.
  8. alota
    Exactly my impressions.
    And me too, i received mail and package at the same time!!!
    Burson science or just paranormal?
    I'm scared
  9. timorinolee

    Awesome stuff! Welcome to the club mate.

    Same impressions for me as well! Although I much prefer the warm sound of the V5i as compared to the stock opamp. Still a worthy investment!
  10. nplateau
    I think this combination of V5i and Xd-05 are taking me right up to the limit of what my ears can perceive.  Maybe I can distinguish the differences on more expensive units, with higher end cans, but to get there the cost outlay would rapidly take me into the realm of diminishing returns that I could not justify.  I'm glad I got a great deal on the Xd-05, which I got shipped from gearbest at around $156 and the op amp upgrade coming in at a total of $54, brings me right up to the price of a non-discounted Xd-05dou.  Taking all that into consideration, this is a fantastic price to performance bargain.    

    For those of you with the dough to get the V5i, go for it.  I think it's the final piece of the puzzle for the Xd-05.  But I like I said in my first impressions, it just sweetens the deal, enough to be just noticeable in a good way, but it won't be transformative.  If you are listening to low-quality files, you will still get low-quality sound.  One thing to mention, though, with the extra detail found with the V5i, you will more readily hear imperfections in recordings.  It's Snot super transparent, but transparent enough to where flaws don't have much room to hide.  Sometimes these imperfections come out in a way where you say, "whoa is something wrong with my headphones/amp?"  But really it's just the recording.  

    Now let's talk about pairings, which from here on out will refer to pairings with the modified Xd-05/V5i combo.  If you are looking for a versatile solution for the Fostex T50rps, this is your little fella right here.  Clarity, speed, punch, and enough power to really drive these hard to drive cans.  
    My favorite pairing so far is with the Fidelio X2.  Just the right (to my ears) balance of clarity, warmth, space and musicality.  I don't know how much money I would have to spend to surpass what I'm hearing from this combination.  For me, that cost would probably be prohibitive.  YMMV.

    I don't have much in the way of IEMs, save for a couple of cheap KZ pieces.  I'll give them a run later this weekend and report back.

    Would love to hear what others are out there pairing with.
  11. alota
    I agree. I went from more expensive stuffs(amplifiers, headphones and sources)and this dac/amp is a surprise every day. Now i bought a jotunheim with dac(the same akm chip). I'm really curious to compare perfomance with se output. Op vs. Discrete
  12. RedTwilight
    So one fine day last September, I was approached by Charles of @SS-Audio. He asked if I would be willing to try out the Burson V5i in return for my honest review.
    At that time, I’d just received my XD-05 and was just about to pull the trigger on the V5i so I took him up on his offer. Fast forward a few weeks, the V5i arrived.
    Edited_-01778.jpg   Edited_-01780.jpg
    As everyone has observed, the capacitorss right beside the IC mount need to be bent out slightly. I just pushed the V5i down and it displaced the caps on the way down. 
    This makes future op amp rolling easier as well.
    To be perfectly frank, I had significant difficulty in quantifying the difference between the opamps. I could tell that something was different but couldn’t quite put my finger on what.
    My first impression of XD-05 (stock) was not unlike that of the Fiio X7 with AM1: extremely clean and polite sounding, but not lacking in detail. Afterwards I saw that the X7 uses the same OPA1612 opamp so that might explain it.
    Swapping to the V5i, the first thing I noticed was that the bass punch (speed?) had increased, big drums like the wadaiko (traditional Japanese drum) had a THUMP that was more felt than before. The overall sound became *slightly* more spacious just perceptibly more musical.
    I repeated this swap several times over the period of a few months, sometimes letting others listen as well. Each time, the response was the same: the V5i tweaks the sound ever so slightly towards musicality and punchiness of bass. However, it must be emphasised that this is more of a sidegrade than a significant upgrade; a subtly different flavour, if you will, than another animal entirely.
    To try to pinpoint and verify if there is indeed a difference, I enlisted the help of @earfonia (thanks Bram!) and his advanced measurement equipment. We used his QuantAsylum QA401 to directly measure of the output signal of the amp, rather than using a calibrated mic. Results are below:
    XduooXD-05OPA16121kHz50mV33ohmsSNR.png    XduooXD-05v5i1kHz50mV33ohmsSNR.png
    OPA1612 and V5i at 1kHz, 33 Ohm load, 50mV. There is some slight channel imbalance.
    XduooXD-05OPA16121kHz1V33ohmsSNR.png    XduooXD-05v5i1kHz1V33ohmsSNR.png
    OPA1612 and V5i at 1kHz, 33 Ohm load, 1V. Channel imbalance has all but disappeared.
    As it turns out, the V5i actually measures slightly worse than the stock OPA1612 in terms of SNR at lower levels (thereby demonstrating that the stock 1612 is indeed the ‘cleaner’ sounding of the two), but at higher levels they measure exactly the same. Harmonics behave slightly differently though, and may account for the perceptual differences between the two.
    Later on, I had a thought that my low-mid-fi gear may not have the level of resolution needed, so I went to Stereo Singapore (many thanks!) and borrowed their UM Miracle V2 to repeat the experiment. Finally, a substantiable difference could be perceived. Using the Yuko Suzuhana’s song Yuki Tokei (jp: 雪時計) from her Cradle of Eternity album, there is a twinkling sort of sound at the start of the song that is quite 3d, and it seems to reach the limits of the soundstage. With the V5i, the XD-05 clearly produced a significantly wider and deeper soundstage than with the stock opamp (twinkling sounded further away).

    @timorinolee, who also has the XD-05 and V5i, had a similar experience:
    “I actually find it much warmer and musical compared to the stock opamp. Definitely can hear the difference in tonality.
    Besides that, it's more balanced/natural sounding, love the mid bump it brings, soundstage has increased as well.
    Better bass, although sometimes I wish there was more (thankfully for the bass boost).“
    These are my impressions up till now, I will update if I discover anything new. 
    Many thanks to @SS-Audio again for the opportunity! 
  13. rha61
    the measures confirm that opa1612 is the best opamp for audio portable gear actually on the market
    maybe the audible difference is because the impedance output is different with the V5i, so the frequency curve would be also slightly different
    frequency curve is the main reason for audible differences
  14. HardstyleLoco96
    Hello im currently looking at purchasing the XD05 and was just windering how it would pair with the HTC 10 and Audeze Sine?
  15. RedTwilight

    Those would be interesting things to measure. I didn't get to do them for lack of time back then. Not sure if the FR curve will change significantly, we didn't measure via iem after all.

    Impedance may affect but seeing as to how, opamp aside, it's literally the same setup, I'm not sure how much difference there will be.
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