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Review and Measurements of Weiliang Volume Control

amirm

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#1
This is a brief review and measurements of the Weilang Volume Control and remote control input switcher. It also has a Bluetooth interface built-in. It is available on Aliexpress for under US $40. A member of our local audiophile society brought it to our meeting today for testing.

The case is budget category but still metal with built-in mains power supply:

Weiliang Audio Remote Controlled Volume Audio Review.jpg


Seems like a lot of companies brand this product. Here is a picture of its guts from the Aliexpress seller:


It is impossible to fathom how such a device can be built and sold for so little money.

There is a remote control which I did not see or play with.

The heart of the unit is the TI PGA2310 volume control IC. It has very good specs:

1565506224011.png


That is SINAD of 107 dB. Let's see if it gets there.

Audio Measurements
I tested the unit with 2 volt at max volume:

Weiliang Audio Remote Controlled Volume Audio Measurement.psd.png


Sorry I did not reset the reference level in FFT to 0 dB. :)

At max volume there is actually 3 dB of amplification. The output is polluted by fair bit of mains and power supply noise. We also have a lot of harmonic distortion, degrading my Audio Precision APx555's loopback SINAD of 122 dB down to 89 dB. So clearly this box is not transparent and under-performs majority of the DACs we test here.

Reducing the volume to "97" gets us this:
Weiliang Audio Remote Controlled Volume 97 Audio Measurement.psd.png


Now we get unity gain (no amplification) but performance does not improve.

TI's measurements show that the best performance is at much higher output voltage (about 5 volt):

1565506564876.png


We are still far short of that graph though at 2 volt output.

Conclusions
While likely not an audible concern for most listeners, the performance of Weiliang Input switcher and volume control is not that great. It would degrade the performance of even our entry level DACs in most cases. The Passive Talema unit I tested recently has much better performance but costs more.

For secondary use the Weiliang should be fine.

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As always, questions, comments, recommendations, etc. are welcome.

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JohnYang1997

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#2
Like I said before, weiliang sucks. It's an ok source for electronic components. But he can't design nor understand measurements. His designs are either copy of famous circuits or just put components together.
 
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#3
It is very easy to copy und build good circuits. Unfortunately, the quality of these Chinese copies is extremely poor because the copyists do not understand the theories and have no expertise in electronics and audio.
 

JohnYang1997

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#4
It is very easy to copy und build good circuits. Unfortunately, the quality of these Chinese copies is extremely poor because the copyists do not understand the theories and have no expertise in electronics and audio.
Could you please not say "these Chinese". We should be specific to the product. Also you don't know if this is designed by someone else in China or simply referenced the datasheet. It's just a volume control using an IC, we don't see many designs to copy from. May just be an poorly designed product.
 

Dialectic

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#5
It is very easy to copy und build good circuits. Unfortunately, the quality of these Chinese copies is extremely poor because the copyists do not understand the theories and have no expertise in electronics and audio.
That's a pretty uninformed thing to say in light of the excellence of many Chinese products that Amir has tested.
 

Xulonn

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#7
I looked at getting a basic DAC plus a outboard volume control and a remote, but the good ones were quite expensive. Another reason that I purchased a Topping DX7s was that a good mini DAC plus a good volume control in a mini box would add another link in my chain of components with another pair of interconnects

So I ended up choosing the DX7s, a DAC with a volume control, remote, balanced outputs - and I paired it with a mint condition 25 y/o class AB amplifier. I decided that I did not want another modern DAC/Speaker-Amp unit like the Teac AH01 that died on me after six years in my system and was basically unrepairable - unless I wanted to replace the main board. I emailed Teac support, and unlike Topping, they never replied.
 

Jimster480

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#8
Seems like a pretty terrible unit... if you are going to reduce the performance of every device to under entry-level performance.... what is the point?>
 

SEKLEM

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#9
Any pictures of the back? I'm trying to understand the functions of this unit. It has bluetooth, yet I don't see a switch for inputs. Is this just a level controlled bluetooth receiver, no other features?
 
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#10
Seems like a pretty terrible unit... if you are going to reduce the performance of every device to under entry-level performance.... what is the point?>
I can’t speak for the community at large, but there is a use case I have for a device like this. I play grey noise in my room at night. I use an old 120GB iPod as the source, since it is one of the few MP3 players that will play a 10hour loop reliably, and I already have it. For speakers, I have repurposed some m-audio bx5’s.

Having volume control from my bed would be very nice, but I don’t want to deal with purchasing small passives and an amplifier. It would also be nice if I could use the speakers for my bedroom, TV. The passive unit Amir tested is much larger, and space is a concern, but sound quality isn’t. So for that use, this would seem like a good fit.
 

amirm

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#13
Any pictures of the back? I'm trying to understand the functions of this unit. It has bluetooth, yet I don't see a switch for inputs. Is this just a level controlled bluetooth receiver, no other features?
I mailed it back already. Should be some in Ebay listings. The remote let's you change inputs.
 

sajunky

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#16
Main problem is with PSU leaking. On Ali there are designs (or copies) with external PSU, those should perform better.
 
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