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Review and Measurements of WesionTEK Khadas Tone Board DAC

jackenhack

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jackenhack,
If you using new driver, did you notice that control applet for Tone Board is missing adjustment for Asio Buffer Size.
I only installed the driver for upgrading the firmware; I'm a Mac/Linux guy at heart. I can test it on Monday when (hopefully) a fixed firmware is uploaded.
 
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I only installed the driver for upgrading the firmware; I'm a Mac/Linux guy at heart. I can test it on Monday when (hopefully) a fixed firmware is uploaded.
Glad to hear you are linux person. I just start experimenting with linux and hackintosh. Is there a way to have the same options (sample rate settings, buffer size setting) Like in windows or Mac. Also is there a way to extract firmware from working Tone Board. If it is I may help you, my board is untouched.
 
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jackenhack

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Glad to hear you are linux person. I just start experimenting with Linux and hackintosh. Is there a way to have the same options (sample rate settings, buffer size setting) Like in windows or Mac.
You can set bitrate and sample rate in /Applications/Utilities/Midi Audio settings. But you can't set the buffer size (but you should not need to.) But if you're using Audirvana or Roon, you can set buffer size in those programs.
 
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Hi guys,we are still doing more tests, and we will release the official version a little later.
If you are in a hurry and want to use the version we are testing, you can send me a private message separately. I will send it to you separately, please.
 

jackenhack

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Hi guys,we are still doing more tests, and we will release the official version a little later.
If you are in a hurry and want to use the version we are testing, you can send me a private message separately. I will send it to you separately, please.
Thanks again, the problem with static at startup is gone, and every sample rate and DSD works perfectly on my Mac with Roon. I love this DAC!
 
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Hi, I would like to contribute with my two cents on the topic of the mysterious "Sabre hump" in the THD+N vs. output level (and IMD vs. output level) measurements. I came across this issue in 2014 when I was developing a DAC module for my master's thesis and had an opportunity to spend a lot of time in my university's lab with an audio analyzer. There was no Sabre PRO series at the time and the flagship of ESS DAC lineup was the ES9018S, so that is the chip I'm referring to, but I believe the same applies to other Sabre DAC chips exhibiting this phenomenon.

The hump starts occurring when DAC output surpasses a level of around -36dB full scale. It isn't clear from the THD+N vs. output level measurement what exactly happens, for that the spectrum of a tone with peak level slightly above that needs to be measured. So I did and found very interesting modulated noise patterns changing both frequency and amplitude with the output tone level.

I discussed that on DIYaudio.com back then and some people with a lot of experience in sigma-delta technology pointed out that the culprit is probably mismatch in the physical elements of the DAC output, while -36dBFS is a region, when the modulator transitions from single-bit operation to a multi-bit (-36dB corresponds to 6 bits). The difference between the channels is then caused by a different amount of mismatch. Note that I only measured channels 1 and 2 (best and worst in my case) while channels 3 to 8 stayed unused.

So it is actually a noise component of THD+N, not a distortion, what creates a hump. I believe that IMD vs. frequency measurements were affected just because the audio analyzer isn't able to recognize the noise from the intermodulation products.

The good news is that with ES9028PRO, I didn't find any evidence of the hump happening when I tried to recreate this. I suppose the same applies to ES9038PRO and I'm really glad ESS Technology addressed this issue in the PRO series chips.

Kind regards,
Pavel Krasensky, www.oktoresearch.com

thdn_ratio.png thdn_abs.png -25db.jpg -30db.jpg -35db.jpg -40db.jpg
 

LarsS

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The good news is that with ES9028PRO, I didn't find any evidence of the hump happening when I tried to recreate this. I suppose the same applies to ES9038PRO and I'm really glad ESS Technology addressed this issue in the PRO series chips.
The hump is not in Benchmark DAC3 (9028Pro) but is in SMSL VMV D1 (9038Pro) and also other DAC's using the 9038 mobile version.
 

graz_lag

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@Ben1987 @jackenhack @amirm

Hi there :

I am decided to order this Khadas Tone Board after @amirm 's super-review but unsure abt. what of the two editions will best fit my "AUDIO only" requirement's ...
I went thru all the posts here and then thru the specs here : https://www.khadas.com/tone-specs
But I am still confused ... :rolleyes:

My questions are : (the very basic ones IWLTS ...)

#1 - Which edition can be powered from either a dedicated 5V power supply or from the USB cable ?
#2 - So, by consequence, which edition can be powered only by the USB cable ? (Yes, it's an "easy" deduction, but pls. confirm IYDNM ...) ... i.e. it is stated in the specs for the VIMs edition : "USB-C Port = NC" but @amirm tested this edition as powered via the USB ... Sorry but the acronym NC has some 150 definitions out there ...
#3 - Which edition is "fully" compatible (based on today' driver status) with most of the audio Linux' distributions that are available out there, not only Volumio ... I am using Daphile and Audiophile Linux (AP), for example
#4 - Which edition offers the SPDIF IN ? (It looks both but pls. confirm IYDNM ...)
#5 - Which edition offers the SPDIF OUT ? (It looks only the VIMs but pls. confirm IYDNM ...)
#6 - Is there one of the two editions that offers both SPDIF IN/OUT ? (Obviously depending the type of upstream or downstream electronic)
#7 - Is the signal available in parallel from both the RCAs and SPDIF outlets ? If YES, which one of the two editions offers that ?
#8 - For both editions, it is stated for the XMOS chip : "Core Share up to 500 MIPS", whilst on other implementations (i.e. from Singxer ...) it is stated "up to 1,000 MIPS" ... Am I missing something here ?

It looks like a long list of questions, although merely limited to my "AUDIO only" requirement's, but I am sure your feedback will be of great help to other potential buyers in this forum.

Merci beaucoup ! :cool:
 
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graz_lag

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I already received my tone board for two days now, but wow the sound quality is unreal. It beats both my Chord Mojo and Audio-gd R2R-11 which I find it very hard to believe especially at this price. Just wow.
Can you pls. check out my above list of questions hoping you might have some answer for me ?
I have cramps on my index finger waiting to push the Enter key for my order confirmation since this morning ... Please !!! o_O
 
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