• WANTED: Happy members who like to discuss audio and other topics related to our interest. Desire to learn and share knowledge of science required as is 20 years of participation in forums (not all true). Come here to have fun, be ready to be teased and not take online life too seriously. We now measure and review equipment for free! Click here for details.

Gustard A18

Joined
Dec 20, 2019
Messages
5
Likes
12
#41
Can either of the above owners of the A18 please help as to whether the A18 has a 'DAC Direct' mode allowing DSD to be output bypassing both volume control and filters. I ask as I am thinking of using an AK4499 based DAC with HQPlayer4. (I know the Topping D90 and SMSL M400, probably the A18's closest competitors, both have this feature). Thanks.
 

Harmonie

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
May 30, 2020
Messages
509
Likes
232
Location
France
#44
A22 is one of the worst thing you can buy. Many better other options are much cheaper. For example, A18 seems to be better than A22, LoL!
Not really sure that the A18 sounds or even measures better than the Gustard A22. (Not speaking of lended prototypes here).
I feel that the A22 was the "Audiophile/flagship" version of the AK4499 slightly like the Audio-GD spirit.
The A18 came out as the commercial answer to the Topping D90, SMSL M400 and even tries to nails the Soncoz SGD1 by aggressive price.
Gustard is taking the commercial path, maybe regretfully.
It's a pity now that serious competition like the Musician Audio Pegasus at a similar price came out.
 

DeepSpace57

Active Member
Joined
Jun 6, 2019
Messages
131
Likes
60
#45
I feel that the A22 was the "Audiophile/flagship" version of the AK4499 slightly like the Audio-GD spirit.
if you feel something, please share it on another forum. ASR has been underlined many times to be only on scientific facts.

Audio-GD ??? I am speechless. Please look at their measurements. All are crap.
 

Veri

Major Contributor
Joined
Feb 6, 2018
Messages
5,552
Likes
6,356
#46
Audio-GD spirit. pulled-out-of-ass shady measurements that don't match the product you received? chock full of capacitors that may die or leak within the year? I sure hope they didn't really follow any Audio-GD "spirit".
 

JohnYang1997

Major Contributor
Technical Expert
Manufacturer
Joined
Dec 28, 2018
Messages
4,667
Likes
7,201
Location
China
#47
To my understanding, A22 was a fail. It didn't sell well, didn't measure well(enough). A18 is a response to D90 yes, but they ditched the discrete stage, went all out for best measurements and lowest pricing. To exaggerate a bit, we might not see Gustard in the future if the market don't respond well to A18. This is probably my imagination. But it feels like that.
 

Harmonie

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
May 30, 2020
Messages
509
Likes
232
Location
France
#48
if you feel something, please share it on another forum. ASR has been underlined many times to be only on scientific facts.

Audio-GD ??? I am speechless. Please look at their measurements. All are crap.
That's exactly my point. Audio-GD puts a lot of Audiophile spirit and measures bad as you say. Gustard's A22 followed the same path and measures not as well as one could expect. The market seems to ask for a SINAD/$ value. That's how I feel.
 

Harmonie

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
May 30, 2020
Messages
509
Likes
232
Location
France
#49
To my understanding, A22 was a fail. It didn't sell well, didn't measure well(enough). A18 is a response to D90 yes, but they ditched the discrete stage, went all out for best measurements and lowest pricing. To exaggerate a bit, we might not see Gustard in the future if the market don't respond well to A18. This is probably my imagination. But it feels like that.
Appreciate your constructive approach and "well enough" is exactly it.
 

JohnYang1997

Major Contributor
Technical Expert
Manufacturer
Joined
Dec 28, 2018
Messages
4,667
Likes
7,201
Location
China
#50
That's exactly my point. Audio-GD puts a lot of Audiophile spirit and measures bad as you say. Gustard's A22 followed the same path and measures not as well as one could expect. The market seems to ask for a SINAD/$ value. That's how I feel.
A22's performance can be considered SOTA just a year ago. It's still better than benchmark DAC3. There's complete difference between Gustard and Audio-GD.
 

Harmonie

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
May 30, 2020
Messages
509
Likes
232
Location
France
#51
Audio-GD spirit. pulled-out-of-ass shady measurements that don't match the product you received? chock full of capacitors that may die or leak within the year? I sure hope they didn't really follow any Audio-GD "spirit".
My apologies, I probaly vastly exagerated the analogy with GD-Audio.
 

Veri

Major Contributor
Joined
Feb 6, 2018
Messages
5,552
Likes
6,356
#52

Harmonie

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
May 30, 2020
Messages
509
Likes
232
Location
France
#54
No worries. I just don't like this brand at all: inferior products, lies on product descriptions and to boot they're not THAT cheap to have an excuse for their faults. I always think of this reddit thread when I think of audio-gd...
https://www.reddit.com/r/headphones/comments/etwzfa
Nov relation to this thread, but >>> ???
Audio-GD NFB 15 no primary side fusing AT ALL on this device. Just AC straight into a transformer. ???
 
Joined
Mar 20, 2020
Messages
6
Likes
6
#56
Gustard A-18 owner reporting. Fantastic sound, excellent build quality, only niggle is the tiny fonts on the OLED display. Luckily, once set up, the display should be kept off anyways. Which filter are other people using and are you able to hear the difference at all?

FYI I've tried Topping D70, Dx7 Pro and D90 as well as Chord Qutest DACs. Currently listening to Oppo 105D, Pioneer N-50AE, Cambridge Audio CXN V2 and the A-18.

If you're in the market for a DAC - put Gustard A-18 on your shortlist.
 

Harmonie

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
May 30, 2020
Messages
509
Likes
232
Location
France
#57
I am.
Interesting.
So you keep the A18 then ? Since when did you test it ?
So you mean that you had listened the D90 in the past (how long) and still give preference to the A18 ?
Can you develop please ?
 
Joined
Aug 4, 2019
Messages
32
Likes
19
#58
Which filter are other people using and are you able to hear the difference at all?
There is really not much difference, but I settled on the default Short Sharp as the most accurate in the lower range.

Can you develop please ?
I also had D90. In short, after week of listening and testing, D90 seemed tiresome to me, so I stayed with D70. Now I have been listening to music with the A18 for a while, and with the similar advantages of the D90 it does not tire me, it's dynamic, but without overabundance, and vocals sound nice and expressive. Now I use the D70 with headphones and the A18 with inexpensive speakers. I quite like the sound over bluetooth and it's very convenient.
 
Joined
Mar 20, 2020
Messages
6
Likes
6
#59
Bluetooth 5 with LDAC is 24bit 96kHz, perfect streaming quality. A-18 is really nice! I've had the D70 before. It sound as you described it. It's soft and a little laid back, very different to the Sabre presentation (to which 4499 is more similar).
 
Top Bottom