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Review and Measurements of Sabaj D5 DAC & Amp

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I apologize in advance and don't mean to offend, but the last 2+ pages of posts in this thread don't seem to have any relevance to the topic of this thread...can't we just get back to enjoying the music and the magic boxes that feed our hunger? I'm new to the forum and to the Sabaj D5, so I came here to learn and to share.
Thanks and don't mean any disrespect,
M
 
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I apologize in advance and don't mean to offend, but the last 2+ pages of posts in this thread don't seem to have any relevance to the topic of this thread...can't we just get back to enjoying the music and the magic boxes that feed our hunger? I'm new to the forum and to the Sabaj D5, so I came here to learn and to share.
Thanks and don't mean any disrespect,
M
Second this.

I am usually a lurker. I am watching this thread as my Sabaj D5 is on the way and wanted to learn about user experience.
 
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I bet the astrologers to the stars have impressive referrals as well.

Why would he be reluctant to take a blind test, or follow accepted methods of comparison? What would he have to lose?
I have no idea if he is reluctant, but I'm not sure a blind test would work? When you are mixing music, it's different to simply listening. For instance, let's say you are trying to EQ and compress a snare at the same time so that it has the right amount of punch etc, you are soloing the snare, then listening to it with the rest of the kit, then listening with reverb and without, then in the full mix, all within a minute. How could you compare two DAC's say in a blind ABX test? The only way you can build up a picture is the results of mixing with the DAC and then listening back to your mixes on systems you do that on and then think "hmmm, I really didn't get that snare right", you then go back and try again and get the same result. You then think "I am using a different DAC, I'll switch back to my old one". You then remix that snare and find you get a better result on the systems you check back your mix on and conclude "this DAC is not revealing what I need it to in that area of a mix".
 

Veri

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You then think "I am using a different DAC, I'll switch back to my old one". You then remix that snare and think you get a better result on the systems you check back your mix on and think "this DAC is not revealing what I need it to in that area of a mix".
Do you see the problem? One big world of bias and assumptions while it is so so very possible your brain is just playing tricks on you.
The market of insane expensive audio gear wouldn't exist if people weren't so easily tricked/deluded, audio mixing engineer or not.
 
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Do you see the problem? One big world of bias and assumptions while it is so so very possible your brain is just playing tricks on you.
The market of insane expensive audio gear wouldn't exist if people weren't so easily tricked/deluded, audio mixing engineer or not.
I agree the brain does play tricks on you and that is why these evaluations need to happen over months. If you have the same impressions months later, you can start to trust yourself.
 

SIY

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I agree the brain does play tricks on you and that is why these evaluations need to happen over months. If you have the same impressions months later, you can start to trust yourself.
It works in exactly the opposite way (we're talking about detection of differences, not preference once the audibility of differences is determined). Human senses are funny things.

If you want to try some experiments to prove this to yourself, I can suggest a few easy ones.
 
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Received the Sabaj D5 last week and had a look at how it works over the weekend.

I seem to be facing really low volume issues when connected through XLR. The DAC was fed through coaxial from my Yamaha WXC-50. At max 40 set in the DAC, it is not loud enough with the amp at 80%. I could hear clipping too, which is weird. Don't know if anyone else is facing this. The clipping was really bad that I was worried it was going to damage the speakers.

In comparison, the Topping D70 is louder than this at 45 (Topping volume levels go the other way, a lower number for high volume -99dB to 0dB, so around 55%). After crosschecking all connections, doubting myself I pulled the SMSL-SU8 and connected instead of the D5. At 30 it was really loud, so I am pretty sure the problem lies within the D5 XLR preamp module.

Did not check outputs from RCA as I could not find the spare set of RCA cables, so will check that today evening and update back. I will also try to feed it through optical / USB and see if it makes a difference.

One of my mates has a D5 that is being used with headphones. He has agreed that I can borrow it today to check if I have got a faulty one or the whole XLR balanced output module in D5 is not fit for use.

Note: My AS-2100 has given up and has to go for service. So this is the temp amp CXA80 set is set to 80% of its amp power for HT and DAC usage. The XLR input is connected to DAC and RCA to Receiver. This is to keep volume controls through DAC and Receiver.

Update : This was fixed by changing the output in dac to "Line out"
 
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Received the Sabaj D5 last week and had a look at how it works over the weekend.

I seem to be facing really low volume issues when connected through XLR. The DAC was fed through coaxial from my Yamaha WXC-50. At max 40 set in the DAC, it is not loud enough with the amp at 80%. I could hear clipping too, which is weird. Don't know if anyone else is facing this. The clipping was really bad that I was worried it was going to damage the speakers.
Hope you get it sorted out.
 
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Received the Sabaj D5 last week and had a look at how it works over the weekend.

I seem to be facing really low volume issues when connected through XLR. The DAC was fed through coaxial from my Yamaha WXC-50. At max 40 set in the DAC, it is not loud enough with the amp at 80%. I could hear clipping too, which is weird. Don't know if anyone else is facing this. The clipping was really bad that I was worried it was going to damage the speakers.

In comparison, the Topping D70 is louder than this at 45 (Topping volume levels go the other way, a lower number for high volume -99dB to 0dB, so around 55%). After crosschecking all connections, doubting myself I pulled the SMSL-SU8 and connected instead of the D5. At 30 it was really loud, so I am pretty sure the problem lies within the D5 XLR preamp module.

Did not check outputs from RCA as I could not find the spare set of RCA cables, so will check that today evening and update back. I will also try to feed it through optical / USB and see if it makes a difference.

One of my mates has a D5 that is being used with headphones. He has agreed that I can borrow it today to check if I have got a faulty one or the whole XLR balanced output module in D5 is not fit for use.

Note: My AS-2100 has given up and has to go for service. So this is the temp amp CXA80 set is set to 80% of its amp power for HT and DAC usage. The XLR input is connected to DAC and RCA to Receiver. This is to keep volume controls through DAC and Receiver.
F.Y.I., the XLR lineout on my D5 is very loud at 40.
 
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I used both optical through my DAP and coaxial from my Blu-ray player. They all worked fine.
Thanks. I will check optical and USB today and see if they are ok.

Editing as mine was the last reply and did not want to double post.

Update : The issue was fixed by changing the output to Line out. The output has Line out, headphone unbalanced and headphone balanced. Default is set as Headphone unbalanced.

So it was me who has not fiddled with the settings properly that raised false alarm.

I will compare the dac with topping d70 using real blind test (wife) and post back.
 
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I will compare the dac with topping d70 using real blind test (wife) and post back.
Look forward to your test. How will you level match them? You can use a free SPL meter on your phone. These are very accurate that studio's use them to set up their monitoring. Play some pink/white noise through your speakers and set the levels. Keep the phone in exactly the same spot (at listening position).

How will you switch DAC's? Do you have a source with two identical outputs? Testing is tricky to get right.
 

David0530

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I'm using gustard x26 but on sinad sabaj seems to have better performance. Should i switch to sabaj d5? If gustard x26 has better performance can you tell me on which part does it have better performance?
 

maxxevv

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I'm using gustard x26 but on sinad sabaj seems to have better performance. Should i switch to sabaj d5? If gustard x26 has better performance can you tell me on which part does it have better performance?
The differences are too minor to make a difference.

Spend the money on transducers such as headphones and speakers instead. They will make a far bigger difference.
 
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Look forward to your test. How will you level match them? You can use a free SPL meter on your phone. These are very accurate that studio's use them to set up their monitoring. Play some pink/white noise through your speakers and set the levels. Keep the phone in exactly the same spot (at listening position).

How will you switch DAC's? Do you have a source with two identical outputs? Testing is tricky to get right.
I have a miniDSP UMIK-1 that I use to set up the system when I change components. Was planning to use that. I did not know that SPL meters on phones were that accurate. That is easier than using a separate mic.

My WXC-50 outputs optical and coaxial simultaneously, so planning to feed the D70 with optical and D5 with coaxial. Then take RCA out from both and feed different amp inputs. This would help switch amp inputs on the fly. I will be using something at 44hz, so optical and coaxial should not make any difference. Still, around halfway through the test, I will switch coaxial to D70 and optical to D5 to see if it makes any difference, which I believe it should not.
 
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The differences are too minor to make a difference.

Spend the money on transducers such as headphones and speakers instead. They will make a far bigger difference.
Or, X26 can be sold for 2 times higher than D5`s retail price to spare money for other HiFi components. I, as one who enjoyed RME adi-DAC for two weeks before, can say that It is really craziness to buy another DAC rather than D5. All I might express is that SINAD really works. Simply higher is better.
 

maty

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Or, X26 can be sold for 2 times higher than D5`s retail price to spare money for other HiFi components. I, as one who enjoyed RME adi-DAC for two weeks before, can say that It is really craziness to buy another DAC rather than D5. All I might express is that SINAD really works. Simply higher is better.
Better than the RME ADI-2 DAC in what? DAC, preamp or headphones amp.
 
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I have a miniDSP UMIK-1 that I use to set up the system when I change components. Was planning to use that. I did not know that SPL meters on phones were that accurate. That is easier than using a separate mic.

My WXC-50 outputs optical and coaxial simultaneously, so planning to feed the D70 with optical and D5 with coaxial. Then take RCA out from both and feed different amp inputs. This would help switch amp inputs on the fly. I will be using something at 44hz, so optical and coaxial should not make any difference. Still, around halfway through the test, I will switch coaxial to D70 and optical to D5 to see if it makes any difference, which I believe it should not.
My friend works at Pinewood Studios and Dolby now use an app (probably their own) on an iPhone to set up the levels! So, the hardware is accurate enough and I'd expect the SPL meter apps you can get free or cheap will suffice.
 

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