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Khadas Tone2 Pro Review (DAC & Amp)

noel_fs

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Dec 12, 2018
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I don't know…the price seems fair to me. I purchased both lengths with no regrets. I'd rather have a decent quality option than have throwaway low-quality cables included "for free."

I'd love to see balanced XLR catch on and be picked up by companies like Straight Wire, Audioquest, and even component manufacturers. Home theater processors seem like an obvious application since 16 to 28 XLR outputs take up a lot of space compared to balanced RCA. :)
im postive the balanced rca will become an standard, they are offering the design for free and its foolproof so i think its perfect for companies. Makes life easier for everyone
 

Veri

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im postive the balanced rca will become an standard, they are offering the design for free
Erm, I'm pretty sure the design is not free at all, John Yang mentioned it's "freaking expensive".
 

somebodyelse

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Erm, I'm pretty sure the design is not free at all, John Yang mentioned it's "freaking expensive".
You're talking about different costs I think. The Compliance section suggests there's zero licensing cost to the patent, but at present there's only one connector manufacturer making small volumes, so the connector cost is currently "freaking expensive." If more manufacturers get on board and volume rises then the cost of connectors should fall as it has with the 4.4mm connectors. If they don't get on board it'll remain an expensive proprietary connector that will probably go out of production.
 

Grooved

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I would say the connector by itself may cost less if in the end if it's used more and more, but I don't expect the cable to be seriously cheaper since it takes way more time to build it than with a XLR connector. It took me at least three times more to solder these RCA connectors than the XLR ones.
 

tsoltan

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Feb 28, 2021
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Got audio pops(clicks) on mqa tracks. When I'm pausing mqa track the tone 2 goes back to pcm - and when I click play it start playing it in pc mode and after a second delay it switches to mqa - which is causing sound pop. It is very annoying.

Video proofs are below.

OSX test-
Androind test-

Does anyone have the same experience?
 

tsoltan

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One more issue

When I plug not plugged to the power USB cable to the i2s port - the power led turns to white. But how it is possible if there is no additional power? I believe it is something wrong and external power might not work properly.

Video proof
https://youtube.com/shorts/0HRkUdTDOnk
 

noel_fs

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just dont use mqa, all mqa masterings are extremely compressed there is no point on having super high bitrates for -5 lufs
 

dsnyder0cnn

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Dec 14, 2019
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Got audio pops(clicks) on mqa tracks. When I'm pausing mqa track the tone 2 goes back to pcm - and when I click play it start playing it in pc mode and after a second delay it switches to mqa - which is causing sound pop. It is very annoying.

Does anyone have the same experience?
This is fairly common for DACs that implement MQA decoding in XMOS firmware. The new Gustard X16 implements MQA inside the ESS DAC chip. I didn't notice the faint play/pause/play pop on the Khadas Tone2 Pro and other MQA DACs until I got used to its absence on the Gustard X16. This seems to be less of an issue with MQA Rendering DACs. Not sure why.
 

Massimo

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The firmware update process for the KTB2 is proving to be a nightmare using the ST-LINK. The instructions are so confusing and they are different on the website vs the video. The OS X routine is lengthy and carries out hundreds of commands via a Terminal batch routine. You are prompted multiple times to hit and key and after a couple of minutes of no response, the routine starts again. It finally ends with an error that requires you email Khadas. The Windows process requires that you download files from Khadas site which is slow and mostly unreachable. The DFU update app, once downloaded, just returns an error "The driver DLL required to access the device is missing". I'm 2 hours in and can't believe the guff you need to go through for a simple firmware update.
 

dsnyder0cnn

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The firmware update process for the KTB2 is proving to be a nightmare using the ST-LINK. The instructions are so confusing and they are different on the website vs the video. The OS X routine is lengthy and carries out hundreds of commands via a Terminal batch routine. You are prompted multiple times to hit and key and after a couple of minutes of no response, the routine starts again. It finally ends with an error that requires you email Khadas. The Windows process requires that you download files from Khadas site which is slow and mostly unreachable. The DFU update app, once downloaded, just returns an error "The driver DLL required to access the device is missing". I'm 2 hours in and can't believe the guff you need to go through for a simple firmware update.

Sorry to hear that you've been having problems. I probably still have the files that I downloaded to do my updates. Send me a PM if you want me to send them to you. Hardest part for me was scraping back the glue covering the holes so that I could get the pins from the ST-Link in properly. A little lateral force is all that was required to make a good connection.

I did not try the Linux or macOS approaches since I had my Tone2 Pro updated already by the time they came out. Hang in there; you'll get it.
 

Massimo

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Sorry to hear that you've been having problems. I probably still have the files that I downloaded to do my updates. Send me a PM if you want me to send them to you. Hardest part for me was scraping back the glue covering the holes so that I could get the pins from the ST-Link in properly. A little lateral force is all that was required to make a good connection.

I did not try the Linux or macOS approaches since I had my Tone2 Pro updated already by the time they came out. Hang in there; you'll get it.

Thanks. I appreciate your offer. I emailed Khadas twice requesting assistance and they did not respond. Poor customer service. I hung in there and several hours later managed to upgrade the firmware using the OS X batch routines. I also had trouble peeling back the rubber pad. It left glue residue over the pin holes which had to be scraped back.
 

dsnyder0cnn

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Thanks. I appreciate your offer. I emailed Khadas twice requesting assistance and they did not respond. Poor customer service. I hung in there and several hours later managed to upgrade the firmware using the OS X batch routines. I also had trouble peeling back the rubber pad. It left glue residue over the pin holes which had to be scraped back.

Glad to hear that you finally got back going. You'll have better luck with questions by joining the Khadas Community and posting there: https://forum.khadas.com/

I imagine that they are UTC+08:00. They may be asleep when you post, so allow ~24 hours for a response.
 

DarrylG

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Yep, we will release new firmware recently and will with information of the issues that fixed, you can check our updates for further details then.

And as the statments I posted here, feel free to contact our sales for after sale service anytime :)

Have fun!

When will the Tone2 non-pro be available to purchase, and how much will it cost?
 

Grooved

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Got audio pops(clicks) on mqa tracks. When I'm pausing mqa track the tone 2 goes back to pcm - and when I click play it start playing it in pc mode and after a second delay it switches to mqa - which is causing sound pop. It is very annoying.
...
Does anyone have the same experience?
Hi, I will try on mine, but did you test it with both MQA Core decoder settings in the Tidal app (passthrough enabled or not) to see if it changes something ?

EDIT : tested it and it get the same, with both settings on Core decoder. Meanwhile, I tested it from Foobar playing a FLAC file and a MQA file, and I don't get any pop going from FLAC to MQA, but an small one (lower than on Tidal app) from MQA to FLAC, exactly when the yellow LED lights up showing PCM signal

just dont use mqa, all mqa masterings are extremely compressed there is no point on having super high bitrates for -5 lufs
Even if it's a middle of a controversy, we can't say that all MQA are extremely compressed, it would be incorrect, even if a lot of recent pop hits are often in MQA on Tidal (and there are now sadly reasons to compress it more if they want to be a hit...)

When will the Tone2 non-pro be available to purchase, and how much will it cost?
Don't know when, but they said it will be without headphones output and without MQA, and certainly without enclosure, and should be in the same price range than the actual Tone 1, maybe a bit more.
 
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noel_fs

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Hi, I will try on mine, but did you test it with both MQA Core decoder settings in the Tidal app (passthrough enabled or not) to see if it changes something ?


Even if it's a middle of a controversy, we can't say that all MQA are extremely compressed, it would be incorrect, even if a lot of recent pop hits are often in MQA on Tidal (and there are now sadly reasons to compress it more if they want to be a hit...)


Don't know when, but they said it will be without headphones output and without MQA, and certainly without enclosure, and should be in the same price range than the actual Tone 1, maybe a bit more.
give me 1 example you think isnt compressed and ill change your mind simply giving you other version.

classical albums dont count here.
 

Grooved

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give me 1 example you think isnt compressed and ill change your mind simply giving you other version.

classical albums dont count here.

I had the Thomas Strønen - Bayou track in mind but it may not be a good example. Also Virgin Jungle - Duke Ellington
Anyway, I'm not sure if I understood correctly what you said : did you say that all the tracks available as MQA (with or without a FLAC version too) are the ones that are compressed, or that the tracks available in both FLAC and MQA are more compressed on MQA than on FLAC ?
I made a lot of tests on MQA recently so I know the problem with it, but I don't get if you're talking about MQA itself, or about the fact that most tracks available on MQA are the compessed tracks (even compressed on their FLAC versions).
 
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noel_fs

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I had the Thomas Strønen - Bayou track in mind but it may not be a good example. Also Virgin Jungle - Duke Ellington
Anyway, I'm not sure if I understood correctly what you said : did you say that all the tracks available as MQA (with or without a FLAC version too) are the ones that are compressed, or that the tracks available in both FLAC and MQA are more compressed on MQA than on FLAC ?
I made a lot of tests on MQA recently so I know the problem with it, but I don't get if you're talking about MQA itself, or about the fact that most tracks available on MQA are the compessed tracks (even compressed on their FLAC versions).
talking about the the fact that 99% tracks avaliable in mqa are compressed (remastered), yes same for the flac versions.
 

godmax

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Jul 31, 2020
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... the most compact balanced setup I got!

Khadas.Erish.jpg


The Tone2 Pro is so small, unbelievable!
 
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