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Gustard X16 Balanced MQA DAC Review

Laserjock

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Bits are definitely not bits. There are Ears and Ears - my ears can hear a significant difference between optical and coax, and not only that but there's coax and coax. Sorry for my poor attempt at humour, but after first getting clear improvement after changing from optical to "ordinary" electronic-shop coax I then bought an Audio quality coax and the improvement was staggering. I've been a professional classical musician all my life, see my member name here, sat in the middle of professional symphony orchestras on a daily basis for decades, recon I can hear these differences. Check out my ears here: www.michaelscottflute.com
Is USB the best sounding ?
 

Fluty

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I don't think usb necessarily sounds better, except its direct connection seems to be the only way (without an actual streamer) to get mqa recordings to the X16 from my phone. I'm at the moment wondering if I actually need a streamer!
 

gustard

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@gustard - It says mqa on the screen, but does the X16 do the complete mqa unfold if connected by usb from mobile phone? ie do I really need to use a separate streamer?
MQA is displayed on the screen, which means it is correct. Connecting the X16 through the USB of the mobile phone will open the complete MQA, but it is relatively difficult. The mobile phone needs to output the original code signal. This is related to the playback software (APP). A HiBy APP in China can support MQA, but many APPs do not support it. .
 

Fluty

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Thank you for your reply gustard. My phone does seem capable of the correct output as I see mqa in the X16 window. Question is then, why would I need a streamer if the phone can do this?
 

gustard

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To confirm whether the MQA is fully decoded, just check the X16 window to display the MQA.
The sound of the mobile phone is not as good as the sound of the computer or network player.
 

gustard

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MQA 44.1K, that is, the original sampling rate is 44.1K. In other words, the sampling rate of the file before it is compressed into MQA is PCM 44.1K. MQA has multiple sampling rates, which are determined by the sampling rate of the file before compression.
 

HARMAN

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trying to use the dac as preamp. connected to power amp direct (integrated ) the sound become lifeless and its big surprise for me.
can someone explain whay dac as preamp sound lifeless ?
 

sthaus

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I dont know how to turn x16 to pre-amp mode, as I turned volume to 0db !! I'm not sure it is the way to turn x16 to pre-amp mode...
I also connected to power speaker (too loud_) even i turned off the volume on speaker therefore i have to adjust volume in Roon.
 

gustard

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X16 is a digital volume, which is a lossy control method. It is best to add a preamplifier to control the volume, which is lossless.
The X16 has no preamplifier, and the sound is faint. The preamplifier is very important and cannot be missing. It is wrong to think that the volume can be adjusted without a preamplifier.
Roon adjusting the volume will make the sound quality worse, because adjusting the digital volume is harmful. The best way is to adjust the volume on the equipment behind the decoder, such as preamplifiers and combo amplifiers. If there is no preamplifier or combo amplifier, please control the volume in the decoder. This method is also better than controlling the volume in Roon.
 

sthaus

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X16 is a digital volume, which is a lossy control method. It is best to add a preamplifier to control the volume, which is lossless.
The X16 has no preamplifier, and the sound is faint. The preamplifier is very important and cannot be missing. It is wrong to think that the volume can be adjusted without a preamplifier.
Roon adjusting the volume will make the sound quality worse, because adjusting the digital volume is harmful. The best way is to adjust the volume on the equipment behind the decoder, such as preamplifiers and combo amplifiers. If there is no preamplifier or combo amplifier, please control the volume in the decoder. This method is also better than controlling the volume in Roon.

thanks to let’s me know that x16 cannot be used as preamp or dac mode only .. in contrast Su-9 can turn into dac mode only which set volume at 99. Do you have any recommendation of any preamp for x16
 

gustard

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H16 can be used as a preamplifier with remote control.
 

Pdxwayne

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X16 is a digital volume, which is a lossy control method. It is best to add a preamplifier to control the volume, which is lossless.
The X16 has no preamplifier, and the sound is faint. The preamplifier is very important and cannot be missing. It is wrong to think that the volume can be adjusted without a preamplifier.
Roon adjusting the volume will make the sound quality worse, because adjusting the digital volume is harmful. The best way is to adjust the volume on the equipment behind the decoder, such as preamplifiers and combo amplifiers. If there is no preamplifier or combo amplifier, please control the volume in the decoder. This method is also better than controlling the volume in Roon.
May I know if you have tried controlling volume using Node2i? If not using a separate preamp and just DAC direct to amp, would you suggest volume control via Node2i or via X16? Thanks!

Also, would using H16 as preamp a better choice than using Node2i or X16?
 

Pdxwayne

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node 2 have the same problem
You meant Node2i volume control is a lossy control method? It is best to add a preamplifier to control the volume, which is lossless? For example, use H16?

Thanks!
 

gustard

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If you can only choose between Node2i and X16, X16 is recommended. Control the volume, the back end is better than the front end. X16 is behind Node2i, so X16 is selected.

Also, is it better to use H16 as a preamplifier than Node2i or X16? - Yes
 

Pdxwayne

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If you can only choose between Node2i and X16, X16 is recommended. Control the volume, the back end is better than the front end. X16 is behind Node2i, so X16 is selected.

Also, is it better to use H16 as a preamplifier than Node2i or X16? - Yes
Thanks! May I know if H16 has DC ouput issue via RCA and XLR, like X16, when power off using the power switch at the back?
 
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MiLi

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Thanks! May I know if H16 has DC ouput issue via RCA and XLR, like X16, when power off using the power switch at the back?
1630652128271.png
 

Pdxwayne

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??? This does not answer my question.

X16, when using the power switch to switch off, would cause loud noise to connected power amp, in my case, especially when connected via RCA out to either subwoofer or stereo amp.

I was asking if H16 has same kind of issue when power off using the power switch.
 
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