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Review and Measurements of WesionTEK Khadas Tone Board DAC

jackenhack

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Note: I would wait to upgrade, there is a bug in the released version making the volume too low. I know they have a working version, because I got it for testing before this one, and it doesn't have that bug. So stick to the original firmware until fixed.

Here's how I upgraded. I needed to install both the Windows "For playback only" driver AND the XMOS update drivers. Use the XMOS update dfu utility from the Start menu. If the board doesn't show up, unplug and replug the USB, and the board should connect.
Select the .bin file and press start. Sometimes it just hangs when it tries to open the device. Going against everything that is holy in computer science, I pressed cancel. It's very easy to "brick" equipment by stopping a firmware upgrade, but I've done it several times when testing different firmware for the Khadas DAC, and I've been lucky.
 
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The board is great, it was detected by win10 instantly via 2.0 driver, I can select all the possible bit-hz modes. But should I install a new driver or stay with the win10 native one?

update: Actually, no, I can't select all the formats, I'm limited to 32-384khz. Hmm.
 
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jackenhack

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What sw player do you use? If I'm using players other than Volumio (e.g. squeezelite), can I still control the hardware volume?
I have the DAC's connected to two Macs running Roon. But when using the DAC through the Mac OS, I can now control the volume, something that didn't work in the original firmware. So my guess it will work on Linux as well.
 
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I have the DAC's connected to two Macs running Roon. But when using the DAC through the Mac OS, I can now control the volume, something that didn't work in the original firmware. So my guess it will work on Linux as well.
Thanks for replying! So it doesn't apply to just Volumio as stated in the Khadas_Tone_Board_dfu_1206_Upgrade_Notes?
 
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Note: I would wait to upgrade, there is a bug in the released version making the volume too low. I know they have a working version, because I got it for testing before this one, and it doesn't have that bug. So stick to the original firmware until fixed.
1544174560384.png

Add the default maximum volume output firmware.
https://dl.khadas.com/Firmware/ToneBoard/
 

gvl

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After a long wait my board is in. Had a weird issue and thought the board was a dud. I powered it from a Schiit Wyrd and tried to use the SPDIF input and the sound was badly distorted. After some experimentation I figured that this only happens when I use Wyrd's power switch to turn the power on with the Khadas board already connected, if I connect the board to the Wyrd after it has already been powered on then no issues. Sounds like an initial voltage transition throws the board off. I have used other USB powered devices with the Wyrd in the past w/no such issues. USB works fine.
 

graz_lag

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A very experienced blogger here : http://forums.melaudia.net/showthread.php?tid=7953&page=4
is testing the Khadas TB with volume control by means of an Alps RK40 "Black Beauty" and PSU by means of a 7805 module or alternatively, a 7812 one ...

He's highlighting his subjective - however trust-able comments, that a good linear PSU plus a good volume control put this DAC to an extremely high level of performance ...

1544219485135.png
 
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A very experienced blogger here : http://forums.melaudia.net/showthread.php?tid=7953&page=4
is testing the Khadas TB with volume control by means of an Alps RK40 "Black Beauty" and PSU by means of a 7805 module or alternatively, a 7812 one ...

He's highlighting his subjective - however trust-able comments, that a good linear PSU plus a good volume control put this DAC to an extremely high level of performance ...

View attachment 18528
Wow, that is something.... I like it.
 
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jackenhack,
there are 3 files in firmware folder,
1. 2018-0414-Original-Factory-Firmware
2. 2018-1206-Upgrade-Firmware
3. 1207-Default maximum volume
Can you shine some light on to which file to use to properly upgrade firmware?
Also if you will be so kind, please explain in grater detail whole process of upgrading firmware.

Thanks,
juzio
 

jackenhack

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If you need to be able to control the volume from the computer, you should use 3. 1207-Default maximum volume.

Download the Windows playback driver Thesycon-Stereo-USB-Audio-Driver-V224.rar and
[Only for some OS Upgrade XMOS]-XMOS-TUSBAudio-EVAL-V4.11.0-Setup.zip

Install first the file "Thesyscon-Stereo-USB-Audio-Driver-V224"
Then install the "Only for some OS Upgrade XMOS" driver.

Start the XMOS dfu updater that should be in your Start-menu after installing the above.
If the board doesn't show up, unplug the USB and reconnect.
When the boards show up, select the 1207-Default maximum volume .bin file and press update
It should take no longer than half a minute.
Exit the program and unplug and replug the DAC.

Done.

Hope that helps
 
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If you need to be able to control the volume from the computer, you should use 3. 1207-Default maximum volume.

Download the Windows playback driver Thesycon-Stereo-USB-Audio-Driver-V224.rar and
[Only for some OS Upgrade XMOS]-XMOS-TUSBAudio-EVAL-V4.11.0-Setup.zip

Install first the file "Thesyscon-Stereo-USB-Audio-Driver-V224"
Then install the "Only for some OS Upgrade XMOS" driver.

Start the XMOS dfu updater that should be in your Start-menu after installing the above.
If the board doesn't show up, unplug the USB and reconnect.
When the boards show up, select the 1207-Default maximum volume .bin file and press update
It should take no longer than half a minute.
Exit the program and unplug and replug the DAC.

Done.

Hope that helps
Thanks jackenhack
I forgot to mention I did not try to upgrade firmware yet. My Tone Board is, if I can say, "Virgin" So if I understand correctly I have to use Only the 1207-Default maximum volume .bin file.
What are the other files for?

Thanks,
Wieslaw
 
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thanks jackenhack
i have som more questions, but I have doctor appointment in half hour. So maybe later today I will gave you a buzz. If not tomorrow. I am in New York, USA
 

bunkbail

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I've spent a few hours today critically listening to the difference of sound quality of the tone board using a direct USB connection vs a linear PSU and a powerbank, I can't hear any difference at all, sighted or blinded. All three connections sounded the same to me.
 
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