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Review and Measurements of WesionTEK Khadas Tone Board DAC

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hi guys. i read the reviews of khadas tone board. this seems to be a real contester to the topping d50 i am considering, at half the price. id like to ask some questions if that is alright.
first of all, this doesnt need any external power adapter? it is powered just by usb? wouldnt think this is possible.... or am i wrong?
would you describe tyhe sound as neutral? anyone compared it to topping d50?
i didnt understand what a vim is. could someone explain? i need to connect my pc to the dac and the dac to my amplifier. that is all.
i see some diy cases have also a fan. does khadas run hot?
would khadas be considered a portable dac? could i buy a usb type c to type c cable and hook this up to my phone for example? (not that i need that, but i got curious)
i see that it supports up to dsd 256 (topping supports dsd512). is that something that i will miss (dsd 512). i suppose not but i thought id ask.

from all the above questions, obviously most important is if this is great sounding and also neutral .thank you
 

Nango

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hi guys. i read the reviews of khadas tone board. this seems to be a real contester to the topping d50 i am considering, at half the price. id like to ask some questions if that is alright.
first of all, this doesnt need any external power adapter? it is powered just by usb? wouldnt think this is possible.... or am i wrong?
would you describe tyhe sound as neutral? anyone compared it to topping d50?
i didnt understand what a vim is. could someone explain? i need to connect my pc to the dac and the dac to my amplifier. that is all.
i see some diy cases have also a fan. does khadas run hot?
would khadas be considered a portable dac? could i buy a usb type c to type c cable and hook this up to my phone for example? (not that i need that, but i got curious)
i see that it supports up to dsd 256 (topping supports dsd512). is that something that i will miss (dsd 512). i suppose not but i thought id ask.

from all the above questions, obviously most important is if this is great sounding and also neutral .thank you
It is powered by USB when USB outputs, it needs a PSU when Coax output. It is correct PC -> KTB -> Cinch output. KTB doesnt run hot, the cases you mention are probably for VIM. You dont need the VIM board to operate the KTB for music. VIM is similar to a Raspberry. Phone -otg -> KTB -> Amp works perfect.
 
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that is great to know my friend. i will use it with usb. so, no need for external power. using the pc's usb, doesnt diminish its performance right? in comparison to being powered by a hub for instance. but i just plan to power it from desktop pc's usb. hope it is fine.
some more questions. can someone tell me how long the provided usb cable is? because i may need to buy a usb cable if it is not long enough...
apart from the aliexpress case that i dislike, and the khadas official case which is nice but not astonishing imo, what other case options do i have? cheap ones? thank you guys so much

ps. any problems with windows 7 64 bit? because that is the os i am running
 

g29

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...
apart from the aliexpress case that i dislike, and the khadas official case which is nice but not astonishing imo, what other case options do i have? cheap ones? thank you guys so much

ps. any problems with windows 7 64 bit? because that is the os i am running
Khadas Case Options

I am using Win7-64 with the Khadas Tone Board DAC and it is running fine on USB2 ports.

Update:

A DIY case like this with a thicker faceplate and recessed mounting screws may work as well:



FleaBay Case
 
Last edited:

somebodyelse

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@willow I wonder if you could implement kind of an "ALLO USBridge" to improve the USB-Output in the next Khadas TB so it has an "added value" feature over the current TB.
We may have different definitions of "added value" given the lack of performance improvement offered by reclockers when used with a well implemented USB interface like the one on the current Tone Board. It's likely to be added expense for zero improvement.
 
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Thanks for the clarification. I was under the impression it required the VIM to be used as an output.
I still can't get spdif out of a VIM model KTB. I have confirmed that spdif in works. If I go PC -onboard spdif-> onkyo there are no probs. PC-usb->KTB-spdif->onkyo -no go. I tried messing with the driver, updated the firmware, .... nothing. Analog out of the KTB is fine.

Maybe someone else that has a VIM model tone board can try? Maybe it is the onkyo (even though the pc works)?
 
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I still can't get spdif out of a VIM model KTB. I have confirmed that spdif in works. If I go PC -onboard spdif-> onkyo there are no probs. PC-usb->KTB-spdif->onkyo -no go. I tried messing with the driver, updated the firmware, .... nothing. Analog out of the KTB is fine.

Maybe someone else that has a VIM model tone board can try? Maybe it is the onkyo (even though the pc works)?
As I understand you have the VIM version of the KTB. But do you have a Khadas VIM? It's kinda like a Raspberry PI. Where the cards are stacked on top of each other using the pin connectors. You need that for spidf out. As it the sends the VIMs audio signals out via SPIDF
 

somebodyelse

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As I understand you have the VIM version of the KTB. But do you have a Khadas VIM? It's kinda like a Raspberry PI. Where the cards are stacked on top of each other using the pin connectors. You need that for spidf out. As it the sends the VIMs audio signals out via SPIDF
The only difference between the VIM and non-VIM versions is that the VIM version has the headers for connection to the VIM soldered in, while the non-VIM one doesn't. If you look at the schematic on the last page in the top right corner you'll find the switching arrangement for the SPDIF connector. Connections VIM_SPDIF, SPDIF_MODE and SPDIF_IN_MODE go to the VIM connection header, while DAC_SPDIF_IN goes to the ES9038 DAC chip. There is no connection to the XMOS chip, which would be needed for USB->SPDIF conversion.
 

Badger

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Audiophonics case looks pretty nice, but$20 or so to ship to US and I think I waited 2 or 3 weeks. Also, the supplied USB cable is very short, I think about a foot long


IMG_20190606_212501 (1).jpg
 
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Audiophonics case looks pretty nice, but$20 or so to ship to US and I think I waited 2 or 3 weeks. Also, the supplied USB cable is very short, I think about a foot long


View attachment 27297
I'll be getting a much better USB cable than that. The KTB will be paired with a THX AAA 789 which I was finally able to order last week. I believe it will arrive in September at the earliest, but at least I finally got in and got one.
 

g29

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When we have a new version of audio board, we would love to ship to Amirm for testing, it will be our great honor. Thanks to the review of Khadas Tone Board on Audiosciencereview.com, people began to know it and have to accpet it as a single board without casing. That is really appreciated. As in the past 3 months we dont have any good selling score until the review comes out. @amirm Appreciated.
@willow ,

Any ETA on the balanced XLR version of your DAC ???

TIA
 
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The only difference between the VIM and non-VIM versions is that the VIM version has the headers for connection to the VIM soldered in, while the non-VIM one doesn't. If you look at the schematic on the last page in the top right corner you'll find the switching arrangement for the SPDIF connector. Connections VIM_SPDIF, SPDIF_MODE and SPDIF_IN_MODE go to the VIM connection header, while DAC_SPDIF_IN goes to the ES9038 DAC chip. There is no connection to the XMOS chip, which would be needed for USB->SPDIF conversion.
Thanks!

I also got word from Khadas on facebook. They confirmed you need a VIM + VIM KTB for spdif out.

"Yes SPDIF IN only works when the tone board is used by itself. SPDIF OUT works when it is connected to a VIM"
 

frogmeat69

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Just got around to hooking up my tone board, grabbed one when amazon got them back in stock, and this little thing works great! Plays Quad DSD files without a hitch, and not a single sound when switching different file types, except beautiful music, of course!
Can't believe the sound quality you can get with this and the Atom, all for $200, amazing! :D
 
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