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Khadas Tone Board -Thank you ASR!!!

wje

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#2
Excellent. So, this board will also take a digital input via the RCA/Coax port, correct? Looks very interesting and to hear that it's on par with a $1,500 DAC? Sweet!
 
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Lavawood

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Thread Starter #3
I think that port works, I can’t test it. I’m feeding it with a SoTM TX USBEXP in my PC, USB out only

right out of the box, just as fun and juicy as the Qutest
 

amirm

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#4
Excellent. So, this board will also take a digital input via the RCA/Coax port, correct? Looks very interesting and to hear that it's on par with a $1,500 DAC? Sweet!
Yes. From what I recall though, you need to power it then with a USB power supply (not a computer as that would make it give priority to USB input).
 

wje

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#5
Yes. From what I recall though, you need to power it then with a USB power supply (not a computer as that would make it give priority to USB input).
Thanks for the quick response. I just pulled the trigger on a $150 Schiit Modi Multibit last night. Now, this ESS chip-based DAC has me interested.
 

wje

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#6
I pulled the trigger and ordered a Khadas board from Amazon. It arrived today, but sadly, it appears DOA. No power light, etc. I've reordered a replacement that should arrive on Thursday. I had it all assembled too before realizing it was dead.


Khadas DAC.JPG
 
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#9
maybe....maybe not. There are dead products every now and then,

The worst about this thing is the LED....it´s bright as hell.
This LED is intended for status info not illuminating the room for gods sake
 
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Lavawood

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Thread Starter #10
I put a small blob of wall tack on my LEDs, or a tiny dot of electric tape when They’re recessed.

this one I let shine, like a beacon of hope. Hope, that engineers around the world are working frantically to improve their designs, even if no one is watching. If they are, I hope they’re learning and making those results available to us enthusiasts. The Heresy is a result of that, right?
 
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wje

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#12
There were reports of bad USB cables that came with the board.
Yes, I read that too. When I made my purchase from Amazon, I also bought a new USB-C cable and tried that with the amp too, but it was just a dead amp board. The new board arrived late yesterday from Amazon. I'll install it into my case today and try it out.
 

wje

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#13
Wow. The new, replacement board has been installed in the case and it's working well with the vendor provided cloth covered USB cable. In the past week, I had gone through 3 DACs. Using the internal one in my Pioneer Elite SC.81 receiver - which was the ESS ES9006S DAC from 2014 to the Schiit Modi Multibit. I could tell a difference in going to the Modi Multibit - subtle, yet I could hear more details in the music with better instrument separation, etc. Now, going from the Modi Multibit to this Khadas basic tone board came on strong - like my system received a steroid injection. The details are much, much greater - instrument separation, treble and low end energy are much better defined with this little $120 gem (Tone Board + simple acrylic case). I'm using the SP/DIF input on the tone board as it's being fed a signal from my Bluesound Node 2i network music player.

As far as the Khadas tone board and how it ships, it does come in a nice black cardboard box. But, the Tone Board itself is just in a bubble-wrap package inside the box - no anti-static protection of any sorts. Those small nit-picks aside, I'm impressed. Even after a I swapped from the Modi Multibit to the Khadas Tone Board, I had been playing some Bossa Nova jazz on Amazon HD. Even my girlfriend looked up from working in kitchen when the sound came alive. Amazing piece!
 

BDWoody

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#15
Even my girlfriend looked up from working in kitchen when the sound came alive.
Thats when you really know...
;)

Glad the new one works properly, and that you (and your girlfriend in the kitchen) are enjoying it!
 

LTig

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#16
I could tell a difference in going to the Modi Multibit - subtle, yet I could hear more details in the music with better instrument separation, etc. Now, going from the Modi Multibit to this Khadas basic tone board came on strong - like my system received a steroid injection. The details are much, much greater - instrument separation, treble and low end energy are much better defined with this little $120 gem (Tone Board + simple acrylic case). [..] Even my girlfriend looked up from working in kitchen when the sound came alive. Amazing piece!
Is this a joke? :oops:
 

wje

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#17
Is this a joke? :oops:
Nope. No joke. I pinched myself to prove it wasn't a joke and that I wasn't dreaming. o_O

Though, I did realize that the dynamics of the tone board were much greater than the previous DACs, I feel it actually might be a bit overwhelming for my Elac Debut B6.2 speakers, which already have a lot of higher end energy. I also have to put my JBL 530s back on the stands and see how they pair in the setup with the Tone Board. Last week, I put in a pair of Paradigm 200B speakers into use. But, with the energy and dynamics of Tone Board, I put the Paradigm 200B speakers back on the stands and the pairing seems to be pretty good actually. When using the Paradigms before, I felt that they were just a bit too neutral for what I was looking for and was looking to move from them to the Elac Debut Reference or the Elac Uni-Fi. Though, now I'm glad to have the 200Bs at my disposal.

Back to more listening...
 

LTig

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#18
Nope. No joke. I pinched myself to prove it wasn't a joke and that I wasn't dreaming. o_O

Though, I did realize that the dynamics of the tone board were much greater than the previous DACs, I feel it actually might be a bit overwhelming for my Elac Debut B6.2 speakers, which already have a lot of higher end energy. I also have to put my JBL 530s back on the stands and see how they pair in the setup with the Tone Board. Last week, I put in a pair of Paradigm 200B speakers into use. But, with the energy and dynamics of Tone Board, I put the Paradigm 200B speakers back on the stands and the pairing seems to be pretty good actually. When using the Paradigms before, I felt that they were just a bit too neutral for what I was looking for and was looking to move from them to the Elac Debut Reference or the Elac Uni-Fi. Though, now I'm glad to have the 200Bs at my disposal.

Back to more listening...
... in uncontrolled conditions (sighted, not level matched to 0.1 dB), I assume? In this case you cannot trust your listening results.
 

wje

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#19
... in uncontrolled conditions (sighted, not level matched to 0.1 dB), I assume? In this case you cannot trust your listening results.
Yes, I understand your details regarding uncontrolled vs. controlled listening. But, I do also rely on my ears after 40+ years of listening too. The details provided from the use of the Tone Board are pretty impressive. The sound is just much more dynamic - to the point that using my Elac Debut B6.2 speakers might no longer be an option for me and something along the lines of the Paradigm 200B is a much better pairing for me. Another member experienced an issue with the tone board where they indicated the upper frequencies were nearly non-existent and their board exhibited some burning on the corner of their board. However, I can attest that a normal, functioning tone board should provide plenty of detail when processing the DAC activities. Regardless of the testing methodology, it is a very dynamic DAC at an impressive price!
 
D

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#20
Yes, I understand your details regarding uncontrolled vs. controlled listening. But, I do also rely on my ears after 40+ years of listening too. The details provided from the use of the Tone Board are pretty impressive. The sound is just much more dynamic - to the point that using my Elac Debut B6.2 speakers might no longer be an option for me and something along the lines of the Paradigm 200B is a much better pairing for me. Another member experienced an issue with the tone board where they indicated the upper frequencies were nearly non-existent and their board exhibited some burning on the corner of their board. However, I can attest that a normal, functioning tone board should provide plenty of detail when processing the DAC activities. Regardless of the testing methodology, it is a very dynamic DAC at an impressive price!
Your mind may have been fooling you for 40 years. It’s one of those things that until you experience it yourself and are shown that the differences you were certain were there were not, it’s hard to believe.

Glad you’re enjoying it, after all that’s the main thing.
 
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