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Gustard X16 Balanced MQA DAC Review

Anton De

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Transparency is just meaning it has no "color" and probably 80-90% of dacs are transparent. Regarding the different sound quality (details, dynamic, soundstage etc) of a particular dac if you compare dacs it means you acknowledge there are some.
Paul from PS Audio explains in details what component contributes to what (youtube)
Unfortunately what you hear with your brain is not even measurable. Don't be so "engineer".
From what you say it seems that you train your brain not to hear differences but to not to hear the differences. Its transparent lol
 

oorensan

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Transparency is just meaning it has no "color" and probably 80-90% of dacs are transparent. Regarding the different sound quality (details, dynamic, soundstage etc) of a particular dac if you compare dacs it means you acknowledge there are some.
Paul from PS Audio explains in details what component contributes to what (youtube)
Unfortunately what you hear with your brain is not even measurable. Don't be so "engineer".
From what you say it seems that you train your brain not to hear differences but to not to hear the differences. Its transparent lol
I've been inside this hi-fi hobby for 3-4 months already, almost 15 hours everyday reading, watching videos, buying and trying stuff and my conclusion is that: Whatever you have just try to enjoy the music and forget about everything else, differences between equiptment ain't never a bad thing, if it sounds good to YOU stick to it.

If you want more because you think you can achieve or attain better results, go for it but don't go crazy, I learnt this in a very short time and I know what I want now, just sit, relax and have fun with my music.

By the way, we are so amazingly lucky to have this forum, people doesn't even know.... but Amir is not a random person with an audio forum, he's got a background and a career that is beyond spectacular...

Cheers
 

Anton De

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I've been inside this hi-fi hobby for 3-4 months already, almost 15 hours everyday reading, watching videos, buying and trying stuff and my conclusion is that: Whatever you have just try to enjoy the music and forget about everything else, differences between equiptment ain't never a bad thing, if it sounds good to YOU stick to it.

If you want more because you think you can achieve or attain better results, go for it but don't go crazy, I learnt this in a very short time and I know what I want now, just sit, relax and have fun with my music.

By the way, we are so amazingly lucky to have this forum, people doesn't even know.... but Amir is not a random person with an audio forum, he's got a background and a career that is beyond spectacular...

Cheers
I can only wish you wonderful emotions during your listening! Better system can ( not must) contribute to it, that is my finding) Thanks for your efforts!
 

Veri

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Unfortunately what you hear with your brain is not even measurable. Don't be so "engineer".
well. there's a bunch of engineers active here on this forum so easier said than done.
 

jsm

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It seems, to me, that this place is, by first core concept, an "engineer" place, maybe too engineer-limited for some (more and more I found) but finally I suppose that your comment is finally the best one you can make ^^, of course it's too engineer ;). We all have emotions with music, but the Hifi, as an electronic hardware, need for years the best neutral comparaisons that only good repetable measurements can do, for the rest, we have still to go ourselves listening by our ears to found the one that match our taste.
 

Anton De

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There are engineers and engineers. The problem is that input signal and output signal in any chain are equal within certain margins. Here the numbers help. But you will always have differences. Then the output signal is perceived by the brain and it values it extremely subjectively. It forces you to somehow correlate a particular design with the "human receiver". This has approximative and statistical nature so the discussion and exchanging the information (like forums, all sorts of tests) helps here. I guess an engineer should be interested how and in what manner his particular design is perceived by a human being. You can always plug the dac output back to the computer sound card and enjoy the numbers on screen.
 

lizhuoyin

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Transparency is just meaning it has no "color" and probably 80-90% of dacs are transparent. Regarding the different sound quality (details, dynamic, soundstage etc) of a particular dac if you compare dacs it means you acknowledge there are some.
Paul from PS Audio explains in details what component contributes to what (youtube)
Unfortunately what you hear with your brain is not even measurable. Don't be so "engineer".
From what you say it seems that you train your brain not to hear differences but to not to hear the differences. Its transparent lol
I used to follow [email protected] in youtube and not anymore since watched some his videos about SQ improvements from power cord and speaker cables upgrades. I understand perfectly about psychoacoustics but he went way overboard to interpret the effects as an engineer. (I understand he's a business man too)
 

Anton De

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Well I would say he remains to be a good engineer but has to deal with our subjectivity (as a businessman also). If someone (very gifted) can hear the differences between power chords and proves it with blinded eyes than you can compete on this fact with others. Our nature will fool many people that they also can. Or they simply prefer "superior" product because we always need the better one. In fact our brain has to judge everything better or worse and anyone falls into this trap. We get into philosophy that probably is not this thread about.
 

Pdxwayne

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I was struggling between them for few days. I found little differences. Keeping it short: X16 seen to do better when music gets busy it`s easier to follow each instrument. Also bass is different: for X16 it`s shorter, more precise; D90 has more impact but comparing to X16, sometimes it feels like mud.
I my opinion for some reason D90 has a little more pleasant presentation.
After week of struggle I`ve sold D90.
It`s all subjective, but I thought I need to share my observations in question for real life differences.

To make this "test" less my own subjective reaction I`ve invited another person, not informed if anything should happen. I`ve just ask to listen for a while, switching between sources (signals of both dacs went into A90, level matched, I did not say what is what. A90`s input switch for this person was just up or down position) and choose which position was preferred. Similar observation had been made to mine.
Interesting that you mentioned x16 bass is shorter. When I first put my x16 in my stereo setup, listening via optical in, my impression was x16 notes seem to stop a bit early as compared to E30. I actually didn't like that. The x16 was brand new and was used in my headphones setup for less than an hour before that.

Not sure how to check bass notes stop shorter or longer using measurements via app like Audacity. Anyone have idea what to check for? I already used ADC to capture a few songs from RCA out of each DAC.
 

curiouspeter

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I used to follow [email protected] in youtube and not anymore since watched some his videos about SQ improvements from power cord and speaker cables upgrades. I understand perfectly about psychoacoustics but he went way overboard to interpret the effects as an engineer. (I understand he's a business man too)
Audiophilia is a high form of consumerism. In the end, we are just spending money to make ourselves feel better, whether we are objectivists buying the best measuring equipment, the best-valued transparent equipment, or subjectivists paying for the most expensive snake oils.

All are valid.
 

cyberthingy

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I've ordered a stack of X16 and H16 today and i am really excited how it would sound :-D
I think you will be pleased. I've had the h16 for about 45 days and the x16 for about 3 weeks and they both perform very well. I love them.
 

jsm

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Interesting that you mentioned x16 bass is shorter. When I first put my x16 in my stereo setup, listening via optical in, my impression was x16 notes seem to stop a bit early as compared to E30. I actually didn't like that. The x16 was brand new and was used in my headphones setup for less than an hour before that.

Not sure how to check bass notes stop shorter or longer using measurements via app like Audacity. Anyone have idea what to check for? I already used ADC to capture a few songs from RCA out of each DAC.

https://manual.audacityteam.org/man/spectrogram_view.html ?
 

oorensan

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Still can't find any difference between the D90 and X16 with some tools that I don't know if they are of any relevance for the "purpose"...
 

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