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a lot of talk about Gustard X20 DAC PRO ES9028, but...

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Posted on December 29, 2016 at 01:34:37
paco
Audiophile

Posts: 1206
Joined: April 26, 2000
as far as i can read in many forums, all about giving detail, detail, and more detail (you know... details not heard before, etc.);
yet what about smoothness, warmness, as compared with other DACs? and what about listening fatigue on long sessions?
and what about SQ of difficult instruments, like violin, gamba or clave? no hardness? no digititis? TIA!

best, paco

 

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RE: a lot of talk about Gustard X20 DAC PRO ES9028, but..., posted on December 29, 2016 at 04:26:58
fmak
Audiophile

Posts: 12590
Joined: June 1, 2002
The ESS 9018 ultimate model sounds very good and exceeds value for money. As for sonic attributes, this will be system dependent but I hear no vices when compared to $2000 US dacs.

I shall have a chance to hear the 9028 model early next year. The design approach seems very good, although there is no advance on the old model other than the availability of more filters and functions due to the dac chip..

 

Good question..., posted on December 29, 2016 at 07:07:39
Ivan303
Audiophile

Posts: 34715
Location: Cadiere d'azur FRANCE - San Francisco
Joined: February 26, 2001
Detail!, Detail!, Detail!!! is why I don't care much for Delta-Sigma DACs to begin with.

I'm a laid back vinyl, SET and horn guy to begin with so I'm not looking for 'etched' sound.

OTOH, I've been led to believe that up-sampling to ridiculous DSD rates (256 or 512) and running the results through the new ES9028/9038 PRO DAC chips with all of their associated filters can produce an 'Analog-like' audio experience.

Who knows, guess we wait and see.



 

RE: Good question..., posted on December 29, 2016 at 08:28:43
paco
Audiophile

Posts: 1206
Joined: April 26, 2000
upsampling? i never liked upsampling; now i can do PCM 16/44 to 24/384
or even to DSD128 through my Audirvana player, by using the USB input of my DAC,
and i always prefer native 16/44 by using the SPDIF input, with only previously
converting USB to SPDIF with a XMOS/TCXO converter

 

RE: a lot of talk about Gustard X20 DAC PRO ES9028, but..., posted on December 29, 2016 at 08:30:39
paco
Audiophile

Posts: 1206
Joined: April 26, 2000
>>I hear no vices when compared to $2000 US dacs.

would you please let us know which ones?

 

RE: a lot of talk about Gustard X20 DAC PRO ES9028, but..., posted on December 29, 2016 at 09:00:16
fmak
Audiophile

Posts: 12590
Joined: June 1, 2002
3 representive ones W4S DSDSe, UA 192 ClassA, dCS 952

 

RE: a lot of talk about Gustard X20 DAC PRO ES9028, but..., posted on December 29, 2016 at 14:03:48
paco
Audiophile

Posts: 1206
Joined: April 26, 2000
is your X20 DAC stock?

 

RE: a lot of talk about Gustard X20 DAC PRO ES9028, but..., posted on December 29, 2016 at 16:49:19
Ric Schultz
Manufacturer

Posts: 729
Joined: August 7, 2000
Most of that "talk" has come from me. I don't find the ESS DACs to be inherently anything but how you use them. Not saying other DAC chips don't sound "warmer" or whatever. However, I have been modding Oppos with the ESS DACs and now the Gustard and Gustard Pro and I can make them sound any way I like. They are very sensitive to everything you do.....and very revealing. So, if your clocking, output stages, power supplies, etc. are not super than that is what you will get. The Crystek "femto clock" everyone uses is a $28 part anyone can buy at Digikey or Mouser.....it is not a super duper clock.....please read posts #37 and 59 here to read what people think of the Pulsar clock compared to the Crystek:

http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/vendors-bazaar/258789-pulsar-clock-ultra-low-noise-ocxo-4.html

I am now just ordering the $400 Pulsar clock for my Pro and cannot wait to hear the result!

Do you think that bipolar op amps with tons of feedback will sound that great? No super high end DAC that I know of uses op amps (yes, I am sure someone will find an exception or two).....I still hear the op amp sound on my Pro and will be fixing it soon with either the output trannies or another possible solution.

The stock Pro is good....nothing special. However, with just level one mods it makes me cry. I can hear so much information that I can tell what brand of strings someone is using.....that is musical....it moves me. It is not warm or musical in the tube sense. It is magic in the real sense......but not stock....but not stock. Stock, it is boring, a-harmonic, compressed and closed in sounding.

I cannot wait to hear this thing with the Pulsar clock and better output stage....omg...omg...Omg...OMg.....OMG....OMG!!!!!!!

By the way, I am listening with coax input from my modded Oppo 103D. I have the usb board removed for better sound. CDs sound like 24/96 used to sound. I have not heard it with its usb board. I don't have a usb source.

 

If you can't tell the brand of rosin they're using on their bows..., posted on December 29, 2016 at 17:02:58
Ivan303
Audiophile

Posts: 34715
Location: Cadiere d'azur FRANCE - San Francisco
Joined: February 26, 2001
you're not hearing enough DETAIL!





 

RE: a lot of talk about Gustard X20 DAC PRO ES9028, but..., posted on December 29, 2016 at 22:38:08
fmak
Audiophile

Posts: 12590
Joined: June 1, 2002
Yes. Some of the web mods do nothing positive!

 

RE: a lot of talk about Gustard X20 DAC PRO ES9028, but..., posted on December 30, 2016 at 11:26:02
paco
Audiophile

Posts: 1206
Joined: April 26, 2000
>>Yes

if you are telling us that your Gustard X20 DAC, with ES9018 chip,
stock, do sound as good -or not worse- as the legendary dCS 952,
at many, many times its price, that means something!

>>Some of the web mods do nothing positive!

very likely; yet it would be very useful to know which ones...

 

RE: a lot of talk about Gustard X20 DAC PRO ES9028, but..., posted on December 30, 2016 at 11:32:45
paco
Audiophile

Posts: 1206
Joined: April 26, 2000
very interesting post indeed... yet you should understand that you'd need an independent,
unbiased reviewer -better a professional one- of those Gustard DAC mods;
in that way your work could be much more appreciated by your potential customers...

 

RE: a lot of talk about Gustard X20 DAC PRO ES9028, but..., posted on December 30, 2016 at 11:33:57
fmak
Audiophile

Posts: 12590
Joined: June 1, 2002
They sound different. The dCS is more rounded but does not have usb. The X20 is more ESS. Both do not have digititise.

But I listen only to 176.4 and 192. CD resolution just doesn't cut the ice for me. With the dCS, it is upsampling thru the 972. With the Gustard, it can be upsampled 176 32 integer via Audition.

The UA 192 actually sounds very good.

I am comparing these to other dacs that I like less, like the Mytek 192 or Teac 503.

 

Reviews of old modelagainst competitors..., posted on December 31, 2016 at 00:52:00
fmak
Audiophile

Posts: 12590
Joined: June 1, 2002
https://www.amazon.com/GUSTARD-DAC-X20-384KHz-Decoder-USB/product-reviews/B015R112XA

 

RE: Reviews of old modelagainst competitors..., posted on December 31, 2016 at 18:52:26
Ric Schultz
Manufacturer

Posts: 729
Joined: August 7, 2000
Those reviews/comments are all about how a "stock" Gustard sounds versus things. A modded one sounds way better than a stock one. And now we have the much better sounding 9028 version that also has the "apodizing" filter option. The apodizing filter is the type that Meridian and Ayre like......me like too! The old Gustard does not have this option.

I am not sure the person that did not like the old Gustard in the reviews mentioned above had a good working sample. I have never seen a Gustard or anything that did not remember what settings it had when you turn it off and on.

Happy New Year! and Happy Birthday (new years eve) to me!

 

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