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Khadas Tone2 Pro Review (DAC & Amp)

noel_fs

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Im i the only one who likes the interface and think its easy? Heard several people say that its a hassle. I think its VERY easy. Thats me though
it is easy, it could be way more accesible making more use of the different encoder options

it uses double click for everything...

im not changing gain constantly i think it could very well go to something like the the long push option.


Also, an auto standby option would be nice just because of the led at night. Not really a problem so far because its not actually bright.
 

noel_fs

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Sure, but no pops from skipping around on PCM or DSD tracks, correct?

If anyone has an MQA full-decoder DAC that does not do this, please share. I've yet to find one.
I do have pops sometimes (they are somewhat mild), either from doing weird samplerate changes, plugging tone2 while off (obviously i guess).... I have to say i set the buffer pretty low although i think its happened in any buffer size
 
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Hi~

I was thinking of a dac with volume control as well as balanced + unbalanced out to be used as preamp for my speakers as well as a dac to my atom amp. I've only had dongles so far.

This tone2pro has balanced output that I could link to xlr input in my powered speakers (JBL 305P), unbalanced out of 3.5mm, selection of filters, good measurements, yet it's so small and light compared to all the brick-like dacs. Like what's the catch? Am I missing something if I were to get the tone 2 pro over say D30pro?

Thanks in advance
 
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dpippel

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The D30 Pro is arguably easier to use and configure. It has a nice informative display, has XLR balanced outputs that don't require a special breakout cable, and a remote. Of course, it's $400 as opposed to $200, so twice as expensive, and the Tone2Pro does MQA + DSD512 vs. the Topping's DSD256. I guess, as in most things, it boils down to which features are most important to you and how much cost is factor.
 
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The D30 Pro is arguably easier to use and configure. It has a nice informative display, has XLR balanced outputs that don't require a special breakout cable, and a remote. Of course, it's $400 as opposed to $200, so twice as expensive, and the Tone2Pro does MQA + DSD512 vs. the Topping's DSD256. I guess, as in most things, it boils down to which features are most important to you and how much cost is factor.
Thanks! I'm glad to know the differences are not sound related so I can just focus on usability. Tone2Pro is attractive because of its small size and choice of using its 4.4mm/3.5mm output for iems, while D30pro is attractive because of screen and ability to switch between DAC and preamp mode (which I think T2P doesn't have?), so I can have essentially 2 separate volume settings for speakers (preamp volume) and for iems/headphones (atom amp volume).
 
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Grooved

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Thanks! I'm glad to know the differences are not sound related so I can just focus on usability. Tone2Pro is attractive because of its small size and choice of using its 4.4mm/3.5mm output for iems, while D30pro is attractive because of screen and ability to switch between DAC and preamp mode (which I think T2P doesn't have?), so I can have essentially 2 separate volume settings for speakers (preamp volume) and for iems/headphones (atom amp volume).
On the Tone2 Pro, you can control the volume of headphones output, but not for RCA balanced/unbalanced outputs.
When I tested it with my active speakers, I linked the RCA-XLR of the Tone2 Pro to the XLR inputs of a monitoring controller, then its XLR outputs to the XLR inputs of the speakers, to get volume control on speakers (and actually also on headphones as it has a headphones outputs with it's own volume control too).
 
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On the Tone2 Pro, you can control the volume of headphones output, but not for RCA balanced/unbalanced outputs.
When I tested it with my active speakers, I linked the RCA-XLR of the Tone2 Pro to the XLR inputs of a monitoring controller, then its XLR outputs to the XLR inputs of the speakers, to get volume control on speakers (and actually also on headphones as it has a headphones outputs with it's own volume control too).
Thanks! This was helpful! what is this monitoring controller you talk about? Is it a passive preamp? Thanks
 
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dtaylo1066

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Yeah, I wish they would enable volume control for the RCA outputs. Loxjie D30 has it and a remote, but no balanced out.
 

Grooved

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Thanks! This was helpful! what is this monitoring controller you talk about? Is it a passive preamp? Thanks
I don't use the Tone2 Pro in this setup, it was only to test on the active monitors. I used a SM Pro M-Patch 2 that was sleeping for years because I didn't need it in the setup (it's discontinued but JBL has keep it : https://www.harmanaudio.com/studio-monitors/MPATCH2-.html , not sure if it's exacly the same inside)
I've modded it but at least, signals stays balanced from input to output (some other controller don't keep it balanced inside, so it has to be checked if you need it).
It's passive, but you can add a power supply that powers the headphones output (not good without mod, need to change at least a capacitor, don't know if JBL has fixed it). Without power supply, you loose the headphone output but you get a passive/balanced volume control.

Hmm if I use this with T2P, does that mean I have to use khadas' own balanced rca to xlr male cable, followed by an xlr female to balanced TRS adapter?
https://www.khadas.com/product-page/balanced-rca-to-xlr-3-converters
https://www.amazon.sg/NewFantasia-6...cphy=9062515&hvtargid=pla-1190385327497&psc=1
If you get one with TRS instead of XLR, I would suggest you to not buy the pre-made cables but the special RCA plugs alone and build your own cables with TRS on the other end, you would get one cable only instead of using adapters.
If you don't want to build it, and buy the pre-made ones, pay attention to the adapter you choose, the one you linked are not the correct one (4-pin), you need two like this one : https://www.amazon.sg/Devinal-Interconnect-Braided-Microphone-Balanced/dp/B08GCPPH6Y

Maybe check this thread : https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...balanced-monitor-amp-controller-preamp.11891/
This one looks like a good idea : https://www.aliexpress.com/item/32905140596.html?spm=a2g0s.9042311.0.0.27424c4dRmOq2j
or the Nobsound at less than 50$, don't know if it's good but they made a good XLR selector : https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...und-3-in-1-out-xlr-audio-switch-review.11062/

In the thread linked above, there schematics showing it's not balanced.
 
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Grooved

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Just kind of a drag to need more cables and boxes and not have the capabilities it in the DAC.
Right, but note that it's only for active speaker without own volume control (or manually at the back of it).
For any classic amp/speakers combo, there's no problem.

The only solution would be to add it in the menu, with one click -> headphones volume control and another click -> RCA volume control, but if I'm not wrong, the hardware was not designed to make this possible.
 

dsnyder0cnn

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Just kind of a drag to need more cables and boxes and not have the capabilities it in the DAC.
Yeah, what @Grooved said…from what I gather, the Tone2 Pro lacks hardware support for device volume on the RCA outputs. Adding this functionality through firmware instead of hardware changes would compromise performance. If you really need this functionality, the Tone2 Pro is not the best choice. I'd go with the S.M.S.L. Sanskrit 10th V2, Topping E30, or any number of other DACs in this price range that offer variable output.
 
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Yeah, what @Grooved said…from what I gather, the Tone2 Pro lacks hardware support for device volume on the RCA outputs. Adding this functionality through firmware instead of hardware changes would compromise performance. If you really need this functionality, the Tone2 Pro is not the best choice. I'd go with the S.M.S.L. Sanskrit 10th V2, Topping E30, or any number of other DACs in this price range that offer variable output.
What's the difference between Windows volume control and hardware? How big is the drop in sound quality?
 
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