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EverSolo Z8 DAC & Amp Review

Rate this DAC & HP Amp

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 3 0.9%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 2 0.6%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 67 20.5%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 255 78.0%

  • Total voters
    327

Java Lu

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Welcome Aboard @Java Lu . If you have one drop shipped to Amir he can test it and maybe have it back to you or returned within the 30 day return window. Contact Amir @amirm and ask him if his current workload will permit a rapid turnaround time. We rely on our members to send kit to Amir for testing. So if you really want to know for certain this is the only way. Good luck Sir!
Thanks for welcome me to the forum! Finally joined after a few years of lurking around.
I did like to contribute and support Amir's great work and without asking a turnaround time, however my location is not exactly ideal. Internation shipping from China and back maybe troublesome for everyone. Although, if Amir ever need to have anything done on the China side, please do keep my name in mind, obliged to help out.

Hi ,

I believe the Neo Alpha has exactly the same DAC chip as the Z8,
i can't imagine it'l do any worse (as a DAC) then the Z8, perhaps even better, who knows:), anyways congratulations with the Neo Alpha.

Thanks! Neo Alpha has been a good performer, and is happy with it.
Yes, you are right. They both use the same DAC (ESS 9038 Pro) and both use Texas instrument OPA1612 Amplifcation chip.

The difference I will list below, atleast the difference we can see on the spec sheet:
Audio processor: XMOS XU216 vs XMOS XU316 (Probabbly no difference),

Zidoo NEO Alpha:
Output Level(Vrms): 4.3 Vrms
THD+N: -115dB(0.000167%@1kHz)
Noise: less than 2uVrms
SNR: 127dB@1kHz
frequency response: ±0.25dB(20Hz-20kHz)
CROSSTALK: -130dB@1kHz
DNR: 127dB@1kHz

Eversolo Z8:
Output level(Vrms): 4.1Vrms@0dBFS
THD+N@A-wt: 0.000062%@1kHz(-124dB@1kHz)
THD+N@No-wt:0.000069%@1kHz(-123dB@1kHz)
Noise@No-wt: <1.2uVrms
SNR @No-wt: 133dB@1kHz
Frequency response: 20Hz-20kHz(±0.1dB)
Crosstalk: -130dB@1kHz
DNR @No-wt: 133dB@1kHz

To be honest, I probabbly wont't be able to tell the difference at listening test.
 

AdrianusG

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Hahaha, yes, indeed we are, although we need no further confirmation... :cool:
Hi Everyone,

So far great experience, everything works and sounds good.
Every once in a while i get a hick-up with USB connection though, but that was the same with my old DAC, probably has more to do with my lab-Top, its pretty old, i forgot how old, but at least 9 years now, and possibly 10.
 

AdrianusG

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Hi Everyone,

So far great experience, everything works and sounds good.
Every once in a while i get a hick-up with USB connection though, but that was the same with my old DAC, probably has more to do with my lab-Top, its pretty old, i forgot how old, but at least 9 years now, and possibly 10.
Oh, by the way,

For me no audible difference between using my CD player analogue out to my Pre-amp or when i use it as a transport (with Coax) to the new DAC, which means the old Sony was already pretty good.
didn't expect anything less tbh. It's one of the ES models.
 

FransisS

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Oct 24, 2023
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Hi Everyone,

So far great experience, everything works and sounds good.
Every once in a while i get a hick-up with USB connection though, but that was the same with my old DAC, probably has more to do with my lab-Top, its pretty old, i forgot how old, but at least 9 years now, and possibly 10.
Maybe you should try a different USB cable, or at least a different USB port...

I had the same problem with USB drops/errors, and it was driving me crazy!

Bought a new better USB 2.0 cable (about 27EUR from Amazon), problems solved.

Also, with the old cable, my PC was having difficulties recognizing my old NAD M51 DAC (sometimes needing 2-3 off-on cycles to lock on)...
With the new cable there are no problems anymore. It always recognizes the DAC.
The PC is about 14 years old (Intel Core Duo E8500), playing music from JRiver.


Back to topic, the Z8 for the office setup is on order on Amazon, should arrive tomorrow :)

Will post a little comparison with the NAD M51 after it arrives.
 
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Rillosi

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Sep 18, 2022
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Hi Rilossi,

I'm curious how happy you are with your z8 purchase?, no strange hick-ups, problems after couple months?
I'm askin because this is currently 1 of 3 i have on my wish-list.
The other 2 I'm contemplating are the Topping D70 pro (very similar to this zidoo z8, sans the headphone amp) and the simpler and cheaper Topping E70 (with ES Dac) , so it's gonna be one of those 3.
Just want to make sure/ justify for my self the price extra I'd have to pay for this z8.
Greetings

Ad
Adrian, I am crazily happy of the Z8. I am using the Eversolo A6 as a streamer and the Z8 as a Dac. And they, as a couple, are just beautiful.
 

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Rillosi

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This is a review, listening tests and detailed measurements of the Zidoo EverSolo Z8 stereo balanced DAC and headphone amplifier. It was sent to me by the company and costs US $699.
View attachment 261200
As you can tell this is not "yet another desktop DAC." A beautiful and responsive 3 inch LCD display can provide different levels of information including three types of VU meters! The menus are so rich that on first use you are prompted to choose your language. SO many things are configurable down to level of brightness of the ring around the volume control! (I set it to highest for this picture.) More useful settings include being able to set the steps from for the volume control starting from 0.5 dB going to 2 dB. Company clearly has extensive software development experience (as evidenced by their media/video players) which they have brought to bear here.

The back panel holds another bonus feature in the form of both USB-B and USB-C inputs:
View attachment 261201

You can select the independently so you can use them for two hosts. A reassuring relay click accompanies every input selection.

Nicely done!

The only wish I have is for larger volume control display. It shows such when adjusting the volume but then you are left with the small font. You can replace the VU meters with "audio info" but that doesn't include the volume level.

Zidoo EverSolo Z8 Measurements
As usual we start with our dashboard with USB In/XLR Out at full volume:
View attachment 261202
I must say, I was not ready for the unit to top the charts right out of the box. But that is what it did, finishing easily in our top 20 best DACs ever tested (out of now 400 units!!!):
View attachment 261458

RCA output drops a bit more than usual but still fully transparent to everyone's ear:
View attachment 261204

If you need less drive capability, here is the output relative to voltage level:
View attachment 261206

Dynamic range is superb as you can already predict from SINAD above:
View attachment 261205

Multitone intermodulation distortion is great as well:
View attachment 261207

Linearity and jitter are nailed:
View attachment 261208
View attachment 261209

IMD distortion shows a hint of increased intermodulation distortion which ESS DACs are known for:
View attachment 261210

You have your usual smorgasbord of filters that comes with ESS DACs:
View attachment 261211
View attachment 261212

Best to stay with the default Fast Linear and not complicate your life. That choice gives you this excellent wideband THD+N versus frequency:
View attachment 261213

Zidoo Z8 Headphone Amplifier Measurements
Company had told me that the headphone amplifier was a "bonus" feature and that it is as far as power, but not clarity/distortion:
View attachment 261214
View attachment 261459

Lack of clipping with any load means that you can use the full volume range that is there:
View attachment 261216

Noise level is good but not state of the art:

View attachment 261217
View attachment 261218

Zidoo Z8 Listening Tests
I started listening using Sennheiser HD650 headphone. I was pleasantly surprised that there was enough volume for average to somewhat above average listening levels. For kicks, I switched to my tough to drive, everyday headphone, the Dan Clark Stealth. Yet again I was surprised that in high gain, the output was usable. I am thinking burst level of power is more than the average I measure above. Clarity was superb as was absolute fidelity. I wanted to sit there and listen and keep looking at the VU meters!

Conclusions
Wish you could see my face smiling as I type this, reflecting my experience with the Z8. Not only does it have superb performance but it is a delight to see and use. Zidoo jumps into a very crowded and competitive market and easily makes room for itself with state of the art performance and delightful user interface.

The only wishes are larger volume level indicator and more headphone output. OK, one more wish: a spectrum analyzer in addition to VU meters! :)

Overall, this is a job well done indicating company has significant engineering and design experience.

I am happy to recommend the Zidoo EverSolo Z8 DAC and stereo headphone amplifier.

----
As always, questions, comments, recommendations, etc. are welcome.

Any donations are much appreciated using: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/how-to-support-audio-science-review.8150/
By the way, Amir, with the Eversolo DMP-A6, the DAC-Z8, and the headphone Verum Audio VERUM 1, you have the a high-end system for less than $ 2,000 with VUmeters and Audio Analyzer
 

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AdrianusG

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Adrian, I am crazily happy of the Z8. I am using the Eversolo A6 as a streamer and the Z8 as a Dac. And they, as a couple, are just beautiful.
Hi Rilossi,

Good to hear,

I've got mine now for about 2 weeks, and 0 issues so far, everything works as should, just (very infrequent, almost negligible really!) some hick-ups with USB connection, but to be fair i have/had the same problems with the old DAC as well, at least the problem didn't increase, probably my 10 year old Laptop to blame here though.

Mostly when it happens it's a buffering issue which sometimes occurs with JRiver.
 

jwedwards75

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Nov 2, 2023
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Hi folks,

Can someone tell me what volume I should set the Z8 for line level output to RCA? There doesn't seem to be a fixed volume output, and when I set the Z8 at 0db it is significantly louder than my other DACs, e.g., RME ADI-2, feeding my amps.

Thanks!
 

AdrianusG

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Hi folks,

Can someone tell me what volume I should set the Z8 for line level output to RCA? There doesn't seem to be a fixed volume output, and when I set the Z8 at 0db it is significantly louder than my other DACs, e.g., RME ADI-2, feeding my amps.

Thanks!
Hi ,

you can experiment a bit with it, mine is usually at -2dB, (volume steps set to 0,5dB) but the signal goes into my pre-amp anyways!, not straight into the power-amp.
 

jwedwards75

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Thanks! By experimenting, the -2 to -5 sounds best to me. I guess I’m used to the lower line out of the RME.
 

Monosauras

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Excuse my ignorance (and there is a lot of it), but when paired with a pair of Focal Utopia headphones, would this provide enough power to drive them? Or would I be better off adding an amp?

Slowly learning how to read specs…

Thanks
 

pssturges

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Just trying to get my head around the preamp implementation of DACs like this and how that might compare to others, and the implications for my situation.

So I’m looking for a dac to connect to the XLR input on my integrated amp (Yamaha A-S3000). So I’ll have no need for preamp function in my DAC. Most (all?) of the DACs in this price range achieve the preamp function or at least volume control digitally, which to my understanding is at least theoretically sub optimal. Given the A8 has no fixed line out, would I be best choosing something else like perhaps a Topping E70 that has a DAC only setting? Are there any DACs with no volume control at all? Does any of this actually matter? Are any differences inaudible anyway?

Thanks
 

Purité Audio

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You can bypass the dacs volume attenuation by just turning the Z-8s volume to ‘max’ and using your amps volume control.
Almost certainly doesn’t matter and yes almost certainly inaudible.
Any issues with the dac would be evident in its measurements which are taken at its analogue out.

Keith
 

renpar61

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Happy owner of Z8 for a few months now.
I have an iPad connected via USB to the Z8, then XLR to my tube integrated.
I read that the wired USB connection is the best way to get hi-res lossless out of Apple Music (also have Qobuz). To control the iPad from my seating position, I need at least 12' USB cable. Right now I have a USB-C 3.0 cable from Amazon.
I am also reading that a better USB 2.0 would probably be an improvement. I tried the short USB-B cable provided with the Z8 (which I assume is not super high quality) and it does sound slightly better. Is it the length? is it the cable? is the USB-B better than USB-C?
Any recommendations?
 

Nutul

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Do you really need the iPad on your lap once you have made a playlist and are actually listening to it from your couch...?
I wouldn't run USB cables for more than 3m (and you are ok with it, IMO), but nevertheless I think it is useless. Unless of course you change mood compulsively, and cannot decide on what to listen... ;-)
USB2.0 (type A => type-B, I'd leave the type-C out, but that's me) is all you need; a good thick one; possibly braided, for looks' sake. You don't need any cable-booster, as far as you remain well below 10m.
 

Krafty

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Considering this DAC AMP, would this be an upgrade or more of a side-grade from my current Schitt Asgard / Modius stack I have?
 

Nutul

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Considering this DAC AMP, would this be an upgrade or more of a side-grade from my current Schitt Asgard / Modius stack I have?
From a DAC perspective the Z8 measures sensibly better than the Modius; while its headphone amplifier is not one of the best, especially with high-impedance ones.
It could be challenging to spot audible differences, though... maybe the noise floor a bit too high so quiet passages could be messy.
Considering the Z8 is a good $400 more expensive than the Modius, and that you could need a HP amp, IMO, while it is going to be an upgrade, the price/improvement ratio won't make it particularly attractive...
 

Krafty

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From a DAC perspective the Z8 measures sensibly better than the Modius; while its headphone amplifier is not one of the best, especially with high-impedance ones.
It could be challenging to spot audible differences, though... maybe the noise floor a bit too high so quiet passages could be messy.
Considering the Z8 is a good $400 more expensive than the Modius, and that you could need a HP amp, IMO, while it is going to be an upgrade, the price/improvement ratio won't make it particularly attractive...
Thanks for the reply. I am getting some noise from the Asgard / modius stack. I think usb is flawed on schitt products. Or maybe just in combination with ASUS boards as all three of my pcs have issue with noise using usb.

I am gonna try the z8 and see how it does. I like the looks and some of the features. I think it will be more of a side-grade as you mentioned but both thr amp and the dac have better measurements
 

Nutul

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Thanks for the reply. I am getting some noise from the Asgard / modius stack. I think usb is flawed on schitt products. Or maybe just in combination with ASUS boards as all three of my pcs have issue with noise using usb.

I am gonna try the z8 and see how it does. I like the looks and some of the features. I think it will be more of a side-grade as you mentioned but both thr amp and the dac have better measurements
In terms of noise my Z8 is dead-silent; I do not use it much on headphones, and with mine on hi-gain it sounds very good, also in terms of volume. YMMV.
Since you say it measures also better than the Asgard, then IMO you'll be very well rewarded with the Z8. Enjoy!
 

AdrianusG

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Thanks for the reply. I am getting some noise from the Asgard / modius stack. I think usb is flawed on schitt products. Or maybe just in combination with ASUS boards as all three of my pcs have issue with noise using usb.

I am gonna try the z8 and see how it does. I like the looks and some of the features. I think it will be more of a side-grade as you mentioned but both thr amp and the dac have better measurements
I'm also very happy with my Z8, 0 issues, even the very few USB drop-outs which I experienced in the first two days or so, have vanished afer I changed some buffer settings. Didn't use it a lot with HP (so far) , but when i do with with my AKG 701 it's more than loud enough in High Gain, and my Ears give in way before any distortion is audible, so for me this product is perfect, 99% of the time I listen to my speakers anyway.
 
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