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Thread: Chinese DAC shames a few heavy hitters

  1. #1
    Member Sponsor Addicted to Best! nc42acc's Avatar
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    Chinese DAC shames a few heavy hitters

    Guys I have hesitated to post about this DAC due to the possibility of a barrage of flames. I read about the Gustard X20U on the Head Fi forums and was hearing really good feedback. I am the curious type so at only around $800.00 I was game. At the time when the X20 arrived all I had was a Line Magnetic LM-500ca and Schiit Bifrost multibit. No contest. Then I picked up an Auralic Vega and a Schiit Yggydrasil, both great in their own right. The difference with the X20 is the inner detail retrieval and soundstage. Inserting the X20 widens my soundstage by about 2 feet on each side and about 3 feet higher, in a realistic sense not exaggerated. The depth is amazing, can render front stage to back stage amazingly. Listening to the Opus 3 Showcase 2 in DSD 128 is stunning. It is so good as a vinyl diehard it has kept me planted in my seat with the Aurender iPad app not wanting me to spin vinyl. It might not float your boat but to me it has been an eye opening experience.
    Marty

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by nc42acc View Post
    Guys I have hesitated to post about this DAC due to the possibility of a barrage of flames. I read about the Gustard X20U on the Head Fi forums and was hearing really good feedback. I am the curious type so at only around $800.00 I was game. At the time when the X20 arrived all I had was a Line Magnetic LM-500ca and Schiit Bifrost multibit. No contest. Then I picked up an Auralic Vega and a Schiit Yggydrasil, both great in their own right. The difference with the X20 is the inner detail retrieval and soundstage. Inserting the X20 widens my soundstage by about 2 feet on each side and about 3 feet higher, in a realistic sense not exaggerated. The depth is amazing, can render front stage to back stage amazingly. Listening to the Opus 3 Showcase 2 in DSD 128 is stunning. It is so good as a vinyl diehard it has kept me planted in my seat with the Aurender iPad app not wanting me to spin vinyl. It might not float your boat but to me it has been an eye opening experience.

    Excellent post Marty. Having looked at this DAC closely, I'm thinking it may be the best value DAC in the industry today. It looks so well built, it could be repacked in a big brand name case and resold for 7-8X the price easily.

    The design is outstanding. For 1 it's built in a completely modular form factor. The USB interface is on a daughter card that plugs into the main digital board, and can easily be upgraded. It even has I2S over HDMI input with up to DSD 512 support!! The digital board itself is an excellent design, being modular from the Analog board. All 3 sections Power supply/Digital and Analog boards are isolated from each other with aluminum dividers. Very nice O style transformers are used for the supply. It also uses dual ESS 9018 chips with all 8 channels of each chip paralleled for the best performance possible from the chips. Exactly like the Resonessence Labs Mirus. Then to finish things off, it uses 100% discrete transistor output stage! For $759 this level of quality is unheard of! the Chinese are really thinking outside the box with this impressive product!


    Now I can only imagine coupled with Roon/HQplayer/NAA!

    https://www.shenzhenaudio.com/gustar...p-decoder.html
    Last edited by Blizzard; 01-02-2016 at 08:01 PM.

  3. #3
    VIP/Donor [VIP/Donor] amirm's Avatar
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    Love this Q/A at the end:

    Q: Hi! Does it come with remote Control? Thanks!

    A: Dear . It had remote control now.
    Amir
    Madrona Digital
    Founder, Audio Science Review Forum
    Contributing Editor, Widescreen Review Magazine

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by amirm View Post
    Love this Q/A at the end:

    Q: Hi! Does it come with remote Control? Thanks!

    A: Dear . It had remote control now.
    They must have revised the page but moved all of the comments over from the previous page. Because the link goes to the same page.

  5. #5
    Member Sponsor Addicted to Best! nc42acc's Avatar
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    I make DAC for you long time.
    Marty

  6. #6
    VIP/Donor [VIP/Donor] amirm's Avatar
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    In all seriousness, I will check them out at CES if they are there. Usually I walk right past anything that says "shenzhen."
    Amir
    Madrona Digital
    Founder, Audio Science Review Forum
    Contributing Editor, Widescreen Review Magazine

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by amirm View Post
    In all seriousness, I will check them out at CES if they are there. Usually I walk right past anything that says "shenzhen."
    I think people should take them more seriously. They sell lots of very nice products for good value. Most of all the big brand names farm out their PCB's to China anyways.

  8. #8
    VIP/Donor [VIP/Donor] amirm's Avatar
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    Design and manufacturing are two different things.
    Amir
    Madrona Digital
    Founder, Audio Science Review Forum
    Contributing Editor, Widescreen Review Magazine

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by amirm View Post
    Design and manufacturing are two different things.

    The design looks really good to me. Future proof for many years as well.

  10. #10
    Member Sponsor Addicted to Best! nc42acc's Avatar
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    Do you think any members would want one to pass around? They would be responsible for shipping to the next member. I would buy the donor to start it out.
    Marty

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