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Gustard X18 Review (Stereo DAC)

Rate this DAC:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 7 2.9%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 2 0.8%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 21 8.7%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 211 87.6%

  • Total voters
    241

Roland68

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I see here an interesting capacitor population in the i/v section foil and ceramics. Any ideas?
The red foils will probably be Wima MKP, the yellow ones are tantalum. Otherwise I see SMD multilayer inductors and multilayer capacitors.

Are there any pictures of the circuit board yet?
 

Reynaldo

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"The problem is that the D90se has been having several problems" ? really ? I was not aware.
yes I saw that on the gustard website I also saw that if you go to drivers/firmware there is NO firmware for X16 or for X26 both files can be found only here on this forum, so if you are not familiar with the forum you would miss the firmware? how is that possible good?

I was like 95% sure to get the Gustard x18 but.. now that % is really decreasing...
The biggest problem is that not even the X18 appears on their website.
 

Atanasi

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"The problem is that the D90se has been having several problems" ? really ? I was not aware.
I suppose all recent Topping DACs have problems with S/PDIF input interoperability. Older products with AK4118 receivers are not affected.
 

kiyu

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I suppose all recent Topping DACs have problems with S/PDIF input interoperability. Older products with AK4118 receivers are not affected.
I checked the topping D90SE review post, and found that not one, but a couple of users also have problems with the usb dropuots.
also it seems that D90se no longer has toroidal transfo and Nikichon capacitor, not sure if that's good.

At least x18 has both. a bit strange that no owners yet, like no picture posted or anything I guess people are still waiting a bit, (like me?)
 

Snoopy

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I checked the topping D90SE review post, and found that not one, but a couple of users also have problems with the usb dropuots.
also it seems that D90se no longer has toroidal transfo and Nikichon capacitor, not sure if that's good.

At least x18 has both. a bit strange that no owners yet, like no picture posted or anything I guess people are still waiting a bit, (like me?)


What is the D90SE using now? That's really a issue I have with chifi products. You never know when the hardware changes and you get basically another product.
 

Greg P

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"The problem is that the D90se has been having several problems" ? really ? I was not aware.
........

From one owner, who otherwise really liked it:

"EDIT: If you need optical or coax from a TV or PC then bad news. It will constantly die every 4-5 seconds with LG TVs and my PC using Asus motherboard. Topping has confirmed on ASR it's due to incompatibility between the source and DAC, I tried different interconnects as well to rule that out. If you only need USB then this DAC is perfect, but otherwise it may not work out."

I had the dropout problem with the D30 Pro and a CD player. After looking around, particularly at the D30 Pro "review" thread here on ASR, I found the following in an Amazon listing for the unit:

"Note: Topping factory does not recommend connecting the D30pro/E30 to the CD player, because it has high requirements on the input of the CD player. And most CD devices will cause music to stutter/ skip."
 

Reynaldo

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Many of these companies that are selling DACs and other electronics should understand that what they have most important is not their products, but their customers, especially those who live in other countries.
They are launching a new product every six months. Many with problems that will only appear after we start using.
Manufacturers just don't care, they've already sold.
These companies either understand this, or in the same way that they went up, they will go down.
 

Roland68

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I checked the topping D90SE review post, and found that not one, but a couple of users also have problems with the usb dropuots.
also it seems that D90se no longer has toroidal transfo and Nikichon capacitor, not sure if that's good.
When did Topping have the Nichicon (any audio grade?) Capacitors in the D90SE?
Then I am glad that Topping take something better now.

The D90SE has a switched-mode power supply and is constructed very differently from other devices. An SMPS also requires a completely different approach to the power supply, as you can see from all the detailed solutions on the D90SE.
It would also be desirable to treat the manufacturers more fairly and not just put them on the wall, because the high-quality Panasonic FC capacitors used here have also proven themselves in devices that are many times more expensive for many years.
 

dsnyder0cnn

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Dec 14, 2019
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Many of these companies that are selling DACs and other electronics should understand that what they have most important is not their products, but their customers, especially those who live in other countries.
They are launching a new product every six months. Many with problems that will only appear after we start using.
Manufacturers just don't care, they've already sold.
These companies either understand this, or in the same way that they went up, they will go down.
If these were multi-thousand dollar products, I'd be concerned. For a few hundred dollars, you take a chance, and if it does not work out, you return or sell it and buy something else. You Can't expect Lexus service at Toyota prices. :)

That said, it would be nice to see an English version of the Gustard website with current product and support information, including manuals and the latest firmware and drivers. I'm sure the margins are slim, but if there's not enough to cover this cost, Gustard should raise their prices a bit to provide this service to current and future customers.
 

Reynaldo

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If these were multi-thousand dollar products, I'd be concerned. For a few hundred dollars, you take a chance, and if it does not work out, you return or sell it and buy something else. You Can't expect Lexus service at Toyota prices. :)

That said, it would be nice to see an English version of the Gustard website with current product and support information, including manuals and the latest firmware and drivers. I'm sure the margins are slim, but if there's not enough to cover this cost, Gustard should raise their prices a bit to provide this service to current and future customers.
I understand your point of view, however regardless of how much it costs, I want to be treated as a customer and not a beta tester.

I take this message to wish everyone a Happy New Year, especially with a lot of health.
 

Roland68

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I understand your point of view, however regardless of how much it costs, I want to be treated as a customer and not a beta tester.

I take this message to wish everyone a Happy New Year, especially with a lot of health.
Why not, Microsoft has done it successfully for over 30 years ;). Just a little joke, even if it has a lot of truth.

With my Gustard A18 (MQA), I don't feel like a beta tester, but have (felt) a very mature and reliable device in front of me.
But I am still a beta tester with my Gustard U16 because the device does not work properly even with the latest software version. My device is not an isolated case either. In response to several inquiries, I only received the information that the firmware would not be further developed.

I would also like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a Happy New Year, good health and a better 2022.
 

Roland68

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What problems did you have with the U16?
I was offered a used one.
You can read about the problems with the device and the different firmware versions in the thread on Head-Fi.
The fact that the device hangs up after a certain time has not occurred to me after the two F 1.16 versions or only very rarely.
The device is sensitive when changing the sampling rate or resolution, changing the source by changing the USB cable and when changing the cable on the i2s connection. Then only switching it off and on helps.
It is just as sensitive to the quality of the electricity network, which can also be related to the above problem.

If you just use the device without constantly plugging something in, you shouldn't have any problems.

I will possibly change the power supply a little, increase the filter capacity and add a CRCRC filter.
 

sojer2005

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May 16, 2019
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I'm curious about some subjective comparisons to the X16 I own.
Probably an upgrade to X18 won't do much...
 
Last edited:

Reynaldo

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Gustard wants to sell the duo X18 with the U18.
Why didn't they put the I2S tweak on the X18?
They just left it on the U18 to force anyone who wants to use the I2S to buy both.
There are other DACs that have more features for a cheaper price.
 

Roland68

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Gustard wants to sell the duo X18 with the U18.
Why didn't they put the I2S tweak on the X18?
They just left it on the U18 to force anyone who wants to use the I2S to buy both.
There are other DACs that have more features for a cheaper price.
The U18 has nothing to do with the X18 or A18.
It is simply the continuation of the names U10, U12 and U16. The U16 came onto the market over 2 years before the X16.

It is also questionable how much sense a U18 makes on an X18. The internal equipment is similar or identical.
The i2S (LVDS) interface over HDMI is only a separation of the device in front of the DAC chip, i.e. an interface that is already present.
Both have the same XMOS XU216 chip, the U18 has a (theoretically) better clock and a galvanic separation of the USB interface.
The latter could also be achieved with an Intona USB isolator.
 

Reynaldo

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The U18 has nothing to do with the X18 or A18.
It is simply the continuation of the names U10, U12 and U16. The U16 came onto the market over 2 years before the X16.

It is also questionable how much sense a U18 makes on an X18. The internal equipment is similar or identical.
The i2S (LVDS) interface over HDMI is only a separation of the device in front of the DAC chip, i.e. an interface that is already present.
Both have the same XMOS XU216 chip, the U18 has a (theoretically) better clock and a galvanic separation of the USB interface.
The latter could also be achieved with an Intona USB isolator.
 

Reynaldo

Active Member
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Location
Brazil, Blumenau SC
The U18 has nothing to do with the X18 or A18.
It is simply the continuation of the names U10, U12 and U16. The U16 came onto the market over 2 years before the X16.

It is also questionable how much sense a U18 makes on an X18. The internal equipment is similar or identical.
The i2S (LVDS) interface over HDMI is only a separation of the device in front of the DAC chip, i.e. an interface that is already present.
Both have the same XMOS XU216 chip, the U18 has a (theoretically) better clock and a galvanic separation of the USB interface.
The latter could also be achieved with an Intona USB isolator.
I don't think you understand.
They put the I2S tuning on the U18 and they didn't put it on the X18.
Today practically all DACs already come with this adjustment in the setup.
 
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