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E1DA 9038D Review (portable DAC & Amp)

Rottmannash

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@RedCometZero I am successfully using https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07149JNBB. If you look at the site linked by @Atanasi you'll see that the adapter is very simple: it's just swapping the second ring and shield. Also note that "uses OMTP" is a bit of a misnomer: the E1DA-9038D is not making use of the second ring at all. They are basically expecting a TRS, but the jack's wiper for the "S" is far enough back that it contacts the "S" in a TRRS.
Isn't the 9038D SE?
 

TunaBug

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Isn't the 9038D SE?
Yes it is, and it has three contacts for Left, Right, Ground. But some of us plug in headsets that have mics on them, and those have a TRRS plug. I never expected the mic to work, but it's nice if the headphone part at least works. In other words, leave the Mic contact of the headset as no-connection. The problem is that the physical positions of the three contacts used in the 9038D happen to be inconveniently placed for headsets using the CTIA pinout: what the 9038D thinks are Left, Right, and Ground are what the headset has wired as Left, Right, and Mic.
 

k3nn3th

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I had the same issue with my jacks, it was really frustrating at first but later I got used to it. This is the biggest flaw of the DAC.
 

olivier salad

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The 9038D uses a regular 3.5mm TRS stereo jack and can therefore be plugged into any external Amp.

It will output 2.8Vrms in that configuration.
You can reduce that to 2.0Vrms (or any other value) using the free Tweak9038 Android App.
With it, you can enable a volume limiter which is stored on the 9038D. This limiter stays active regardless of what USB host you use and it will not reset between disconnects.
Seems like the option to save this value is available only in pro version. BTW, what db value corresponds to 2.0Vrms?
 

staticV3

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Seems like the option to save this value is available only in pro version. BTW, what db value corresponds to 2.0Vrms?
No. A "Save" option is only available in the pro version. That creates a preset of the current configuration and stores it on your Android device, to quickly revert back to at a later date.
When you change the maximum hardware volume, that change is instantly committed to non-volatile storage on the 9038D the moment you enter a new value. No pro version required.

To calculate the required volume reduction in dB to go from a specific output voltage to a specific output voltage, use this formula:

log10([stock Vrms]/[desired Vrms])*20= [necessary signal volume reduction in dB]

For the 9038D with its 2.82Vrms unloaded that means:
Log10(2.82/2)*20≈2.98 or pretty much Max volume=-3dB for 2.0Vrms

Edit: My Benning MM 1-3 reads 2.11Vrms with 0dBFS input and Tweak9038 set to -3.0dB and 1.990Vrms with Tweak9038 set to -3.5dB. unfortunately I don't know where this discrepancy stems from.
 
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olivier salad

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No. A "Save" option is only available in the pro version. That creates a preset and stores it on your Android device, to quickly revert back to at a later date.
When you change the maximum hardware volume, that change is instantly committed to non-volatile storage on the 9038D the moment you enter a new value. No pro version required.

To calculate the required volume reduction in dB to go from a specific output voltage to a specific output voltage, use this formula:

log10([stock Vrms]/[desired Vrms])*20= [necessary signal volume reduction in dB]

For the 9038D with its 2.82Vrms unloaded that means:
Log10(2.82/2)*20≈2.98 or pretty much Max volume=-3dB for 2.0Vrms

Edit: My Benning MM 1-3 reads 2.11Vrms with 0dBFS input and Tweak9038 set to -3.0dB and 1.990Vrms with Tweak9038 set to -3.5dB. unfortunately I don't know where this discrepancy stems from.
But when I set the volume lets say to -10db, pull out the cable from the phone & plug it again the app shows 0.0 db
 

staticV3

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But when I set the volume lets say to -10db, pull out the cable from the phone & plug it again the app shows 0.0 db
You're changing the current hardware volume in the center, not the maximum hardware volume in the top right corner. Android will always reset the current hardware volume of a UAC2-compliant DAC to 100% (of the range that you can define using Tweak9038) when you plug it into the phone/tablet.
Only the Min and Max volume values that you set in the App are committed to the 9038D's memory.
Screenshot_20211029-214903_Tweak9038.jpg
(Sorry for my cursive)
 
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olivier salad

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You're changing the current hardware volume in the center, not the maximum hardware volume in the top right corner. Android will always reset the current hardware volume of a UAC2-compliant DAC to 100% (of the range that you can define using Tweak9038) when you plug it into the phone/tablet.
Only the Min and Max volume values that you set in the App are committed to memory.
View attachment 162043
(Sorry for my cursive)
Ok, got it. Thanks a lot for the swift reply!
 

Kevbaz

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I would like to order one of the E1DA 9038D, as I'm based in the UK, is Amazon what others have used to purchase these in the UK also?
 

Jimbob54

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I would like to order one of the E1DA 9038D, as I'm based in the UK, is Amazon what others have used to purchase these in the UK also?
I used the E1DA shop on Ali express. You are rolling the dice on getting a vat /customs bill.
 

*Cihan*

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Does 9038d seems to be the best choice around 100 USD for an unbalanced amp/dac? In fact I would be pleased to have more power since I plan to use it with 600 ohm headphones too. And a desktop device is no problem but I can't stretch my budget too far.
 

Veri

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Does 9038d seems to be the best choice around 100 USD for an unbalanced amp/dac?
I would say so, yes. Or you can get the $10 apple usb-c dongle and connect it over 3.5mm to a JDS Atom amp or a Topping L30 etc. That would also be a good starter set-up.
 

*Cihan*

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I would say so, yes. Or you can get the $10 apple usb-c dongle and connect it over 3.5mm to a JDS Atom amp or a Topping L30 etc. That would also be a good starter set-up.
Thanks a lot. I feel like I'll be waiting to get something better. I think I need more power. No matter how bad the amplification quality of integrated speaker amp is, they make sextett shine. I tried 2 different ones, both 400w. And both made sound much better and both were able to drive headphones to unlistenable levels.

By the way why do I need apple dongle? What does it do?
 
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Tarso

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Good afternoon, all!

Is it possible to use this as just a DAC connected to an amplifier?

Thanks! :)
 

Jimbob54

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Good afternoon, all!

Is it possible to use this as just a DAC connected to an amplifier?

Thanks! :)
Yup. Standard 3.5mm to rca cable will do it.
 

Jimbob54

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Thanks for the responses. Headphones, I want to connect the output of the E1DA 9038D to a headphone amplifier with 3.5mm to RCA. Is it possible to set it to line mode/bypass amplification?
Not sure, but I'd run it at just under full output given Amir's results. Or just vary the volume to suit, it really wont matter much
 

staticV3

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Thanks for the responses. Headphones, I want to connect the output of the E1DA 9038D to a headphone amplifier with 3.5mm to RCA. Is it possible to set it to line mode/bypass amplification?
the OPA1622 cannot be bypassed.
 

staticV3

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For the 9038D with its 2.82Vrms unloaded that means:
Log10(2.82/2)*20≈2.98 or pretty much Max volume=-3dB for 2.0Vrms

Edit: My Benning MM 1-3 reads 2.11Vrms with 0dBFS input and Tweak9038 set to -3.0dB and 1.990Vrms with Tweak9038 set to -3.5dB. unfortunately I don't know where this discrepancy stems from.
@olivier salad
I've figured out why my calculation wasn't matching what I saw with my multimeter.
Currently, setting the volume inside Tweak9038 to -0.5dB is the same as -0.0dB, so there's no actual attenuation taking place yet.
Only at -1.0dB volume begins to drop.

E.g:
"-1.0"->-0.5
"-2.0"->-1.5
"-3.5"->-3.0

I've already told Ivan, so a fix should come in the following days.
 
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