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Gustard X16 Owners feedback...

EastConcept

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I have read that typically you want NOS off, unless you are listening to certain very high res format.

Anyway, sorry to hear about your issue. Mine got channel imbalance issue and it caused slightly less highs impression as compared to my other dac.

Are you able to use REW to check your DAC channels?

Hi, do I need a special MIC for REW?

The channels look equal on the VU metres on my AMP but could it be more subtle than that?
 

Pdxwayne

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Hi, do I need a special MIC for REW?

The channels look equal on the VU metres on my AMP but could it be more subtle than that?
You should use a low cost ADC to do loopback capture. Using mic won't be accurate enough. Maybe something like Focusrite Scarlett Solo.

VU meter definitely won't be accurate enough.

Here is a chart of my captures that show difference between channels:

Yes, 0.2db is not large, but already enough for "me" to sense a difference in my stereo setup. And yes, I did blind tests and abx tests already. For most people that small imbalance is of no consequence, but maybe you are sensitive like me....

And if you look at my linked post and posts below it, filter 2 (L fast) will be the best to give you the highs.
 
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shwnwllms

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Hi all, I've just got an x16 and struggling with the sound. To me, the treble sounds restrained and the midrange forward and a bit thick. Has anyone else experienced this before? I mean, the detail is all there, and it's an engaging enough listen, but something just seems off.

I have tested going back to my old Chrod 2Qute and suddenly everything sounds in place, a bit brighter with an open soundstage.

I got the X16 second hand so can't really send it back. I'm hoping it's not faulty. I'm hoping either there's something I can do to change it or maybe my ears need to adjust.
Unless you are upsampling to 768 kHz PCM or DSD you will lose the upper frequencies with NOS mode on (try listening to redbook with NOS on and listen for the cymbal crashes, they aren’t there). This is most likely what you are hearing when you say it’s restrained. Turn off the NOS mode and give it a go using L-Fast.

(FWIW I upsample to DSD 256 using HQPlayer so mine is set to NOS mode on but if you don’t plan on upsampling via Roon or HQPlayer etc then leave it off)
 

EastConcept

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Unless you are upsampling to 768 kHz PCM or DSD you will lose the upper frequencies with NOS mode on (try listening to redbook with NOS on and listen for the cymbal crashes, they aren’t there). This is most likely what you are hearing when you say it’s restrained. Turn off the NOS mode and give it a go using L-Fast.

(FWIW I upsample to DSD 256 using HQPlayer so mine is set to NOS mode on but if you don’t plan on upsampling via Roon or HQPlayer etc then leave it off)

Thanks, that's useful to know. Turning the NOS on was a last resort as nothing else was helping and it sure didn't help. I've turned it off now and have L-Fast on. Still having the issues.
 

EastConcept

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You should use a low cost ADC to do loopback capture. Using mic won't be accurate enough. Maybe something like Focusrite Scarlett Solo.

VU meter definitely won't be accurate enough.

Here is a chart of my captures that show difference between channels:

Yes, 0.2db is not large, but already enough for "me" to sense a difference in my stereo setup. And yes, I did blind tests and abx tests already. For most people that small imbalance is of no consequence, but maybe you are sensitive like me....

And if you look at my linked post and posts below it, filter 2 (L fast) will be the best to give you the highs.

Thanks Wayne. I tend to listen with one channel slightly higher than the other anyway as I wear a hearing aid, so not sure if this will help? But I'll look into testing the DAC woth a low cost ADC.

Either this X16 DAC just sounds different to the other DAC's I have, or I wonder if I've got a turkey. I've just tested it against a Schiit Modius and sure enough the Modius has more present treble with a more open soundstage like the Chord 2Qute I own.
 

Pdxwayne

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Thanks Wayne. I tend to listen with one channel slightly higher than the other anyway as I wear a hearing aid, so not sure if this will help? But I'll look into testing the DAC woth a low cost ADC.

Either this X16 DAC just sounds different to the other DAC's I have, or I wonder if I've got a turkey. I've just tested it against a Schiit Modius and sure enough the Modius has more present treble with a more open soundstage like the Chord 2Qute I own.
Yeah, maybe you got a turkey. May I know how you compare DAC? Your x16 may have less voltage output as compared to your other DAC, when being fed same signals. So if your comparisons were simply switch from one dac to another, without voltage matching, that could also cause differences in sound stage impressions.

As you can see in my link at

when being fed same signal, E30 RCA out is louder than X16 RCA out.
 

EastConcept

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Yeah, maybe you got a turkey. May I know how you compare DAC? Your x16 may have less voltage output as compared to your other DAC, when being fed same signals. So if your comparisons were simply switch from one dac to another, without voltage matching, that could also cause such different in sound stage impressions.

I see. Yes I'm just A/B'ing from one to another. Not ideal I know.
 

dsnyder0cnn

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I have. I'm currently trying it on M-Slow with NOS option on. Not sure if it's an improvement, my ears probably need a rest.
NOS on is your issue. Don't enable that unless you are using the X16 with HQPlayer or other software that massively upsamples everything you send to the DAC. Otherwise, highs will be rolled off.
 

Pdxwayne

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I see. Yes I'm just A/B'ing from one to another. Not ideal I know.
I am going to bet your other DAC are louder when being fed same signals. Louder one typically would sound better.

You can find this out using REW loopback with an ADC.
 

EastConcept

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I am going to bet your other DAC are louder when being fed same signals. Louder one typically would sound better.

You can find this out using REW loopback with an ADC.

Yes, I do have to adjust the volumes. Cant remember which is louder now, the 2Qute had the most difference in volume anyway. The Modius and X16 are very similar volume. Regardless of A/B testing and listening to the x16 for long periods, it does sound a bit closed in. Not going to give in though!
 

EastConcept

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NOS on is your issue. Don't enable that unless you are using the X16 with HQPlayer or other software that massively upsamples everything you send to the DAC. Otherwise, highs will be rolled off.
Still having the issues with NOS off unfortunately.
 

dsnyder0cnn

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Still having the issues with NOS off unfortunately.
What's downstream from the X16? The output impedance is relatively high at 300Ω (balanced), so perhaps there's a mismatch. I did a very careful A/B test between the X16 and the Topping D90SE, and they sounded and measured virtually identically.
 

HARMAN

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What's downstream from the X16? The output impedance is relatively high at 300Ω (balanced), so perhaps there's a mismatch. I did a very careful A/B test between the X16 and the Topping D90SE, and they sounded and measured virtually identically.
how do you compare this 2 dacs ?
 
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