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Geshelli JNOG Review (Balanced DAC)

Rate this DAC:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 39 19.1%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 96 47.1%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 65 31.9%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 4 2.0%

  • Total voters
    204

Doodski

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Sure, me what I say is it's unfair to judge mom and pop by saying it can be had for cheaper by mass merchandiser. When mom and pop tries that, thinking that's how you reach success, mom and pop gets into huge debt, and mom and pop goes bankrupt.
I'm not into the politics of the operation(s). I do appreciate the product. It's decent but not my flavor of ice cream per say.
 

PeteL

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They are a vertically integrated company with their own pick and place machine (to assemble parts on PC Boards), laser cutting equipment (which they use for plastics work independent of audio), etc. This increases capital investment but gives them lower cost.
If we are still talking about the North-American market, no one can afford to do that in audio. It takes huge volume to do that. Companies like Schiit have business with local electronic assembly for their SMD needs, do much in house but not pick and place, not metal molding and bending. Final assembly yes, and if we are thinking bigger than Schiit, like NAD, maybe most of it is outsourced in Asia. Everybody else don't even try to be affordable.
 

Doodski

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If we are still talking about the North-American market, no one can afford to do that in audio. It takes huge volume to do that. Companies like Schiit have business with local electronic assembly for their SMD needs, do much in house but not pick and place, not metal molding and bending. Final assembly yes, and if we are thinking bigger than Schiit, like NAD, maybe most of it is outsourced in Asia. Everybody else don't even try to be affordable.
I was working @ a downhole tool company. I worked with 2 technologists responsible for the pick and place machine, PCB loading and unloading as well as assembly of prototype test PCBs. This was a company of ~15 engineers, 1 mathematician, 5 technologists in total, several machinists cutting Hastelloy and me a technician doing QA/QC as well as repair service. We managed to pay for a pick and place machine in ~3-4 months is what I heard and that was including operating a business profiting to the extend that there was a ~USD $7,000,000.00+ in the bank account for the rainy day fund. We barely kept the pick'n place machine busy but it was a major benefit for the operation that saved money. A used one is not that much if one looks about. A small consistent operation can afford a pick'n place machine if they are organized and efficient. It's not rocket science and they are not millions of dollars for a small operation easily stuffing several-hundreds+ of PCBs per month. It enabled the business to do things not possible without a pick'n place machine.
 

kombajn

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"I don't remember the last time I saw a balanced output that is so low. Medium level was almost 0.5 volt and low was 0.128 or so. What is the purpose of these levels?"
As far as I know it's their answer to a problem they have created themselves - amps they are selling don't have gain switch so in order to change that they.... create a DAC with gain switch. Yes seriously.
 

Mnyb

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I voted fine , it’s has oddities so not sota but good enough measurement interesting design especially with the wood chassis practically handmade and the price is not much for a boutique thing . It’s. Nice product hopefully the New version sorts out some off this.

Sad to see some mumbo jumbo on thier site , but that’s marketing, they are on the transparent side of things, so design by ear is not really possible. If they think that they are delusional and only makes the design process harder.
 

Walter

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If they're not making net profit why/ how are they in business? Altruism?
No idea why they are in business or whether they make a profit on their audio gear. The point is that a company must have SOME superior or at least competitive aspect if they want to succeed financially. Note that I was not criticizing Geshelli, but rather responding to a statement that they can't be held to the same standard of value as a larger company in a location with cheaper labor.

I've also encountered the exact same viewpoint when it came to salaries--especially when I was working in Asia. "We're a small company. We can't pay the same salaries as [Microsoft/Google/Yahoo/Xerox/IBM/Autodesk]." My response was always that if they wanted me to work for them, they needed to pay a competitive rate or provide some other compensation such as stock options. To the best of my recollection and knowledge, none of the smaller companies I had that conversation with are still in business, but I have made no effort to follow their progress so I am not certain of that.
 

PeteL

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I was working @ a downhole tool company. I worked with 2 technologists responsible for the pick and place machine, PCB loading and unloading as well as assembly of prototype test PCBs. This was a company of ~15 engineers, 1 mathematician, 5 technologists in total, several machinists cutting Hastelloy and me a technician doing QA/QC as well as repair service. We managed to pay for a pick and place machine in ~3-4 months is what I heard and that was including operating a business profiting to the extend that there was a ~USD $7,000,000.00+ in the bank account for the rainy day fund. We barely kept the pick'n place machine busy but it was a major benefit for the operation that saved money. A used one is not that much if one looks about. A small consistent operation can afford a pick'n place machine if they are organized and efficient. It's not rocket science and they are not millions of dollars for a small operation easily stuffing several-hundreds+ of PCBs per month. It enabled the business to do things not possible without a pick'n place machine.
Sure but the old ones can't do 0402 and BGA and precision work, And that's key in micro electronics. And it's only one machine, you need the oven and all. Anyway, I was talking audio, I don't know any that does that in house here in North America. Maybe I am wrong but If there are they are not the ones that offer cost optimized products, some compagnies are quite rich, but they got rich buy having big markups, not huge volume. Some high end companies are quite profitable, like McIntosh, Simaudio-Moon, Bryston, others too some may be able to afford that but my guess is that it would mainly be for Prestige, trade secrets and quality control. Not for the savings, it will always be cheaper to outsource in Asia. These things generally are worth it when they run all the time but I do not know what you where manufacturing, If it's for B2B, for medical, stuff or very specialized equipment like that the margins are not the same at all.
 
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xarkkon

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Based on measurements, this looks like an ok DAC. Maybe not a recommended one, but at least one without a strong recommendation either way. Is there perhaps a chance that their BS marketing spiel has coloured the view of the product somewhat?
 

pma

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The wood is not for me as is the plexiglass but I can see how many peeps would appreciate the wood case because it is nice.

Especially shielding effect of wood and plexiglass against disturbing electromagnetic fields is ecellent :D. Audio business is crazy.
 

Walter

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Based on measurements, this looks like an ok DAC. Maybe not a recommended one, but at least one without a strong recommendation either way. Is there perhaps a chance that their BS marketing spiel has coloured the view of the product somewhat?
I was on the fence between "poor" and "not terrible," but decided on the latter. For me, at least, their marketing was not a factor. Unlike Amir, I factor in value in my votes. I also consider appearance, but only to a very small degree as that is so subjective. However, the the plastic case is bad enough in my opinion to almost nudge me into the lowest rating. That makes it look like a cheap throw-away product to me.
 

ousi

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Based on measurements, this looks like an ok DAC. Maybe not a recommended one, but at least one without a strong recommendation either way. Is there perhaps a chance that their BS marketing spiel has coloured the view of the product somewhat?
For me at least, Geshelli's headphone amps were so superb that I was hoping their DAC will match the same level of performance
 
OP
amirm

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If we are still talking about the North-American market, no one can afford to do that in audio.
You are arguing with facts. That is what they are doing. I know this from talking to them and you can watch Jason's video with them on the same.
 

PeteL

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You are arguing with facts. That is what they are doing. I know this from talking to them and you can watch Jason's video with them on the same.
Thank you for correcting me I guess but your sentence is very vague, who is "they" what is "them". On the "same" what? You say "Jason" I assume you are talking about Schiit? Possible, thank you, I did read the ebook about their first years up to a few years back, they where talking about their relation with an Electronic assembly factory close by and chassis procurements, In lenght actually. So good for them if it changed lately, They did grow quite a lot. I believe you, may you share this video? Thanks.

Edit: then they need to update their own "about us" video on their website:
"We work with a local stamping company, only a few miles from our Los Angeles office to help create our signature metal chassis "..."Our PC boards are constructed, programed and tested with our assembly partner in nearby (inaudible city)"
 
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Krobar

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I find the ranking of DAC:s to be strange. The green category is labelled as "Very Good". "Very Good" is not great? If "Very Good" it is not great, what is it then? Bad? Is bad and very good the same? Is great the same as excellent?
Maybe the categories need adjusting for 2 channel dacs. This review does seem more negative than the results (At least to my eye).
 

Lambda

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If they're not making net profit why/ how are they in business? Altruism?
Its 2021.
Uber, Airbnb, Lyft,Pinterest, Snap, Zillo,Slack... Do they make Profit?!
Dose Tesla or Space X make Profit?
When did Facebook become Profitable?
 

KSTR

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Are they though [transparent] with that early rise in IMD and that multitone...
[insert] mine.

Yes, most certainly that little LF problem is completely inaudible. We all can try ourselves what's audible and what's not, as mentioned (use Distort or pkHarmonic).
You'd be very hard pressed to detect even a flat band -70dB (0.03%) THD @ 0dBFS with H2/H3 dominating, I promise you. And that's a much larger error, larger in magnitude and spanning the whole frequency range, cluttering the IMD/Multitone big time, visually.
 

MacCali

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This was my first dac I ever purchased, and honestly I must say I really enjoyed it. Prior to this I tried ESS dac and BB chip, which I had borrowed and I actually preferred the JNOG over both, not sure how either measured but to my dodo ears it actually sounded really good. Clarity and dynamics had greatly improved over the previous two dacs.

Second to that, I would like to add the unit itself was flawed. When I used USB without a driver installed I would get a ticking sound. Then when I install the USB driver the coax input would stop working. I contacted Gishelli and they basically told me to pick my poison, whichever I preferred to use the most, but nothing is wrong with the DAC itself. It's just a software issue, not that it rubbed me wrong, but I think that's kind of nuts. Not sure if anyone else experienced this issue. But grateful to have the JNOG over the J2 cause I didn't like the ESS tone and im sure their unit had the same ess hump or whatever it maybe that I disliked about the ESS chip.

Will not count ess out, one day I would like to try the Aune S8 or Gustard X26pro. Not sure how the Aune S8 measures.. not sure if it was ever measured.
 
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