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Gustard X16 Balanced MQA DAC Review

DACs_Lover

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Jul 4, 2021
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I read somewhere on the forum. A SINAD of 120 dB is the absolute limit of our hearing. Anything >120 dB SINAD is good but we can't hear difference. Gustard x16 passes the test. And I am using it. :)

Does it mean it's the end of the road? No more upgrade / purchase for a new DAC? I have Benchmark Preamp LA4 and AHB2.

Thank you all.
 

Reynaldo

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Mar 17, 2021
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Brazil, Blumenau SC
I bought the X16 so I don't have to use the Oppo 205 every day.
I found the quality of X16 better than Oppo.
I was curious to test the Topping D90 SE, but gave up. The X16's sound quality is very good.
 

archerious

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Aug 10, 2020
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Yesterday the following happened, after connecting the smart socket and configuring the wi-fi, I connected with the X16 and disconnected to test.
Later I went to listen to music, I turned on the DAC, the MAC and the integrated, and the X16 display was UNLOCK.
I turned off the X16, turned it on again and it worked normally again. I don't know why UNLOCK appeared if the MAC was connected by USB.
Same issue....
 
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ES9068AS with the LQFP-64 package like ES9038 Pro, support MQA, Quad DAC, integrated ADC. I think it is an expensive chip, but on Ess Online Store, 1 unit ES9068AS only costs 12.20£, only above ES9038Q2M 0.72 £. Meanwhile 1 unit ES9038 Pro is 54.55 £. :D
 

1lifeliveit

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ES9068AS with the LQFP-64 package like ES9038 Pro, support MQA, Quad DAC, integrated ADC. I think it is an expensive chip, but on Ess Online Store, 1 unit ES9068AS only costs 12.20£, only above ES9038Q2M 0.72 £. Meanwhile 1 unit ES9038 Pro is 54.55 £. :D

ES9038 Pro is 8 channel, while ES9068AS is only 2 channel. Hence the price difference?
 
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ES9038 Pro is 8 channel, while ES9068AS is only 2 channel. Hence the price difference?
But I don't think it gaps so much. Moreover, I think the number of channels did not speak many things. Try comparing with AK4497EQ model from AKM with almost similar parameters like ES9068AS, even THD of AK4497 is worse than ES9068. And AK4497EQ costs 56.92$ on DigiKey. AK4499EQ with only 4 channels and costs 96.26$.
 

1lifeliveit

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AKM chips have always been priced higher than Sabre ones. Don't know why. Maybe its their marketing strategy to promote it as the "premium" option.
 

anphex

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Is there a serial number or indicator for this? I noticed for example that my bluetooth antenna is longer than the one on some of the shop site images.
 

gustard

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Products shipped after June 18 will be updated with the latest firmware. Or you can ask the dealer whether the product sold by the dealer has the latest firmware.
 

archerious

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Products shipped after June 18 will be updated with the latest firmware. Or you can ask the dealer whether the product sold by the dealer has the latest firmware.
What is the update process? I’ve noticed some weird static noise if I try to play DSD so I usually just convert it to pcm.
 

gustard

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Two solutions:
1. Increase the preamplifier to control the volume, do not control the volume on the X16 or the front end (use analog volume, do not use digital volume);
2. X16 upgrade firmware.
 
Joined
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Products shipped after June 18 will be updated with the latest firmware. Or you can ask the dealer whether the product sold by the dealer has the latest firmware.
Is there a way to check the current software version? Which number is the latest?
Why not design products can be updated via USB? The update method in #2766 is too difficult for the majority of users :facepalm:
I hope in Gustard's next products, it can be updated firmware via USB. Don't be too confident in something that never happened a mistake.
 

gustard

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Hold the middle button (as shown in the figure) and turn on the power to restore the default settings. The version information will appear after a few seconds. The version should be newer than 20210617.

Not all batches have the issue. You can try to play DSD files. If the sound fades out without noise, there is no need to upgrade the firmware.

We didn't use USB to upgrade the firmware for many technical reasons. Thanks for your advice.
 

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