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Gustard X26Pro Review (Balanced High-end DAC)

srkbear

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The Gustard X26Pro has a specfied power consumption as "< 60W" with no ventilation holes so "burn in" would be of real concern to me if I owned the unit. I'm still perplexed as to why maxmum power usage is so very high or if that is just a typo in the manual I linked to recently in this thread. Perhaps someone with a electricity usage monitor could verify this.
The twerps at Hifigo who shipped it to me also neglected to change the transformer switches to 110V and of course I rushed to plug it in and fire it up without checking—and now I’m wondering whether the DAC sounds wonky because I perturbed those two toroidal power supplies.
 

srkbear

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Can anyone please elaborate on the “benefits” of the upscaling capabilities the Gustard offers via its NOS mode and is this functionality common to other high end DACs? Gustard allows you to turn if off—is it an operation that is on by default in DACs such as the Topping D90se?
 

Trell

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The twerps at Hifigo who shipped it to me also neglected to change the transformer switches to 110V and of course I rushed to plug it in and fire it up without checking—and now I’m wondering whether the DAC sounds wonky because I perturbed those two toroidal power supplies.

That's an unfortunate accident, but perhaps the manufacturer can answer if it would damage the unit to have the power voltage switch at the wrong position if it was for a short time.

Is the DAC very hot when turned on for a few hours? My RME Fireface UCX II that uses 13W when on gets quite warm after a while but a device drawing 60W that is small and passively cooled must be getting scorching hot to the touch after a few hours.
 

srkbear

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That's an unfortunate accident, but perhaps the manufacturer can answer if it would damage the unit to have the power voltage switch at the wrong position if it was for a short time.

Is the DAC very hot when turned on for a few hours? My RME Fireface UCX II that uses 13W when on gets quite warm after a while but a device drawing 60W that is small and passively cooled must be getting scorching hot to the touch after a few hours.
Hot? I could poach eggs on it!
 

srkbear

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1139DA40-1920-4D0D-8DED-CD4022F7163B.jpeg
I’ve given in. As amazing as the Gustard sounds and looks inside, I can’t argue with the Topping D90se’s performance and with how nicely it sits on my iFi Pro iCAN Signature. Thanks to all for the sage and patient advice…
 

PointyFox

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The twerps at Hifigo who shipped it to me also neglected to change the transformer switches to 110V and of course I rushed to plug it in and fire it up without checking—and now I’m wondering whether the DAC sounds wonky because I perturbed those two toroidal power supplies.

I just got my order from Hifigo.
I ordered a black one and they sent me a silver.
Mine was also set to 220V but I noticed and changed it before I plugged it in.

I've had mine on a few hours and the case is 100-102 F.

Does anyone else get a ton of EMI around the DAC? I have a tube amp, and even with just headphones plugged in and no other connections, even power, I get audible hum if it is anywhere within about 6 inches of the X26. It's the worst right around where the transformers are.
 

raif71

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It’s a bit difficult because Gustard monkey wrenched with the Sabre filters and came up with their own. I’ve been using Vivid and gentle but both seem a bit glassy and hot compared to the Topping. I’m beginning to think it has to do with the voltage output—the Topping is definitely putting out a bit more gain compared to the Gustard. All else being equal I have to kick up the volume on my amp from about 9 o’clock to 11 to achieve the same level of gain when I switch from Topping to Gustard.
The D90SE also has the 5V option so yes, they can output more voltage than the X26Pro
 

srkbear

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I just got my order from Hifigo.
I ordered a black one and they sent me a silver.
Mine was also set to 220V but I noticed and changed it before I plugged it in.

I've had mine on a few hours and the case is 100-102 F.

Does anyone else get a ton of EMI around the DAC? I have a tube amp, and even with just headphones plugged in and no other connections, even power, I get audible hum if it is anywhere within about 6 inches of the X26. It's the worst right around where the transformers are.
I had an iFi Pro iCAN Signature tube amp under mine but didn’t notice that. That being said I have a ton of power conditioners going—the ifi’s iPower Elite is powering the amp, plus I have an iFi AC iPurifier plugged into my power strip. Not sure if they’re having an effect but my system is dead quiet.

Hifigo was not a good experience for me.
 

godmax

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The D90SE also has the 5V option so yes, they can output more voltage than the X26Pro
The XLR output of the X26 Pro is 5.1V at 0 dBFS (according to specs and confirmed by Amir’s measurements on first page), doubt the 5V mode of the D90se goes beyond that.
 

raif71

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The XLR output of the X26 Pro is 5.1V at 0 dBFS (according to specs and confirmed by Amir’s measurements on first page), doubt the 5V mode of the D90se goes beyond that.
I see, so both of them can output around 5 V max. :)
 

srkbear

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How so? Never had issues.
Delivery was promised within 10 days, took three weeks. Didn’t leave their warehouse after order for 7 days, despite being in stock. They wouldn’t assist me with DHL when the device got held in Miami for 5 days; they emailed me asking ME to contact DHL to see if taxes or duty was due.

Item arrived too late for me to return the Topping D90se I was hoping to A-B it with. I am attempting to return it but they’re cross examining me, asking me to send photos of the product and box because they will only accept returns within 7 days that have not been removed from the shipping box—which basically means they have no return policy at all, not even a restocking fee.

None of these are apparent issues with ShenzhenAudio, which is who I should have went with to begin with—but Hifigo was offering more expedited shipping turnaround promises. :/
 

Highfive99

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Delivery was promised within 10 days, took three weeks. Didn’t leave their warehouse after order for 7 days, despite being in stock. They wouldn’t assist me with DHL when the device got held in Miami for 5 days; they emailed me asking ME to contact DHL to see if taxes or duty was due.

Item arrived too late for me to return the Topping D90se I was hoping to A-B it with. I am attempting to return it but they’re cross examining me, asking me to send photos of the product and box because they will only accept returns within 7 days that have not been removed from the shipping box—which basically means they have no return policy at all, not even a restocking fee.

None of these are apparent issues with ShenzhenAudio, which is who I should have went with to begin with—but Hifigo was offering more expedited shipping turnaround promises. :/
Using Aoshida-HiFi-US through Amazon I ordered mine on a Sunday evening and got it 4 days later. In dealing with an Amazon seller, if I need to return it for warranty repair I won't have to deal with shipping it back to China. And Aoshida has great customer service with follow up emails to make sure their customers are happy. I replied there was no user manual and they emailed me the PDF for it the same day.
 

thejck

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Using Aoshida-HiFi-US through Amazon I ordered mine on a Sunday evening and got it 4 days later. In dealing with an Amazon seller, if I need to return it for warranty repair I won't have to deal with shipping it back to China. And Aoshida has great customer service with follow up emails to make sure their customers are happy. I replied there was no user manual and they emailed me the PDF for it the same day.
when i contacted them on amazon. after the 30 day return period. they said the return shipping is to china for warranty purposes and the customers responsibility. Amazon also states to contact seller for warranty. so I am not sure if you can return it to amazon after the free return window is passed. They did tell me its stores in a local warehouse which made the shipping to you quick.
 

srkbear

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Using Aoshida-HiFi-US through Amazon I ordered mine on a Sunday evening and got it 4 days later. In dealing with an Amazon seller, if I need to return it for warranty repair I won't have to deal with shipping it back to China. And Aoshida has great customer service with follow up emails to make sure their customers are happy. I replied there was no user manual and they emailed me the PDF for it the same day.
Now ya tell me!
 

srkbear

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How so? Never had issues.
Update: they are making me pay full shipping back to HK plus all taxes and duty costs. And they told me if there was any evidence that the product had been removed from the box, I would be subject to a 20% restocking fee—which amounts to a hefty $300. They are the most outrageously unreasonable shop I have EVER worked with, especially when you consider the generous return policies at Headphones.com, PS Audio and even Amazon.

Never. Again.
 

Trell

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Update: they are making me pay full shipping back to HK plus all taxes and duty costs. And they told me if there was any evidence that the product had been removed from the box, I would be subject to a 20% restocking fee—which amounts to a hefty $300. They are the most outrageously unreasonable shop I have EVER worked with, especially when you consider the generous return policies at Headphones.com, PS Audio and even Amazon.

Never. Again.

I’m sorry to read that and is an added data point for me that some purchases are cheap as long as nothing goes wrong.
 

srkbear

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Further update on my experience with Hifigo—I felt that I had to bring my ordeal to the attention of anyone looking to buy the Gustard from this shop, or any other gear for that matter.

TL/DR: Consider any option over Hifigo if at all possible.

I chose to buy the Gustard x26 Pro from Hifigo entirely due to their promised shipping dates, which at 7-10 days was considerably more competitive than Szenzhen Audio’s or Amazon’s. I had the Topping D90se I wanted to compare it to and the return date on the Topping was ticking down.

I made Hifigo aware of this. The item was confirmed in stock and they promised they’d get it out ASAP. Then the item sat in their shipping department for over five days before being picked up by DHL; again they offered reassurance.

Despite their promises, they apparently shipping the Gustard via the cheapest, slowest option available, because the package didn’t arrive at Miami customs until over two weeks later. Then it got a delivery exception and held at Miami for days; I contacted Hifigo to investigate, but they responded by asking ME to contact DHL about any outstanding duties or taxes that may be left unpaid—as the recipient of the package DHL told me to contact the shipper about this.

By the time the DAC arrived, almost a month had transpired and the return date on the Topping had passed. I contacted Hifigo about returning the item, and they insisted that I send photos of the box because their “return policy” is as follows—only “unopened” packages are allowed and you have seven days to return it, all shipping costs, fees, insurance, and duties paid by the buyer. So in other words they have NO return policy.

Now I should mention that my item arrived in the original manufacturer’s box, which showed evidence of having been opened previously and was in beat-up shape. The plastic protective cover over the screen was wrinkled and placed in an irregular fashion, and it was fairly obvious that they had sent me a restocked item.

Nevertheless, Hifigo told me that once the item is received by them, they will assess whether the item has been opened and will charge up to a 20% restocking fee at their discretion—and they will also assess all VAT fees and other duties and bill me for those once it is received.

They insist that you provide a tracking number once it is shipped, so USPS is not an option as once the item leaves the US, no further tracking is available. So the cheapest shipping option I could find was DHL at $439–yes, you read that correctly.

I bought the unit for $1,499. By the time I paid the $439 shipping and whatever taxes and restocking fees they levy, I was looking at a loss of over half the cost of the DAC to return an item I never opened. I chose to keep it and it’s currently listed on eBay for anyone who might be interested in it (my eBay handle is thecosmicpeanut).

I’m hoping that the experience I shared above will give pause to anyone considering using Hifigo in the future. If you do buy from them, you better be certain you want to keep what you’re buying. Given the extremely customer-friendly return policies at Headphones.com, PS Audio and Amazon, Hifigo’s offerings are downright insulting. Never again!
 

godmax

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Sorry, I don’t see anything wrong with the reaction of Hifigo, since everything is written in their Warranty & Refund Policy section on the homepage and you should have checked upfront BEFORE you placed an order from a shop overseas.
For a Chinese shop, Hifigo still has the most responsive support I experienced so far and they even understand what you want from them.
I don’t say they are perfect (I had a warranty exchange myself that took almost 3 month, but it worked out after all).
Restocking fees are not uncommon especially in the US ( e.g. ZMF, HeadAmp, etc.).
 
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