• WANTED: Happy members who like to discuss audio and other topics related to our interest. Desire to learn and share knowledge of science required as is 20 years of participation in forums (not all true). There are daily reviews of audio hardware and expert members to help answer your questions. Click here to have your audio equipment measured for free!

Sabaj A10d 2022 Version Review (DAC & Amp)

Rate this DAC & HP Amp

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 3 1.5%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 2 1.0%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther

    Votes: 24 11.8%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 175 85.8%

  • Total voters
    204

BHazard

Member
Joined
Feb 7, 2021
Messages
49
Likes
53
The A20d 2020 might be the crème de la crème of what a ES9038Pro can do paired with a good headphone amplifier, and at 377$ on 10% sales it's a bargain.
The competition is getting tighter, attention to detail is what will put one company over the other, things like more DAC features controllable in the UI, nice looking and user friendly UI, accurate Manual, firmware updates, longevity of support.
We shall see.
I love mine. Replaced my Gustard X16 with it.
Works as well or better for a much lower price, with an amp included.
 

peterwen

Active Member
Manufacturer
Joined
Jun 5, 2019
Messages
139
Likes
269
Location
Dongguan, Guangdong, China
Summer sale begin now
Nothing lasts forever—shop our sale before it’s over.
 

Disco

Member
Joined
Oct 2, 2021
Messages
7
Likes
10
The A20d 2020 might be the crème de la crème of what a ES9038Pro can do paired with a good headphone amplifier, and at 377$ on 10% sales it's a bargain.
The competition is getting tighter, attention to detail is what will put one company over the other, things like more DAC features controllable in the UI, nice looking and user friendly UI, accurate Manual, firmware updates, longevity of support.
We shall see.
What headphone amp would you pair with the A20d 2022?
 

BHazard

Member
Joined
Feb 7, 2021
Messages
49
Likes
53
What headphone amp would you pair with the A20d 2022?
The built in Amp will work perfectly fine for most headphones. No need for an external amp unless you have power hungry headphones, separate hardware EQ, or want to squeeze every bit of SNR advantage out of the XLR Out.
 

Gio

Member
Joined
Jan 9, 2022
Messages
38
Likes
46
Location
Italy
What headphone amp would you pair with the A20d 2022?
I just got one of these DAC and I'm using a VIOLECTRIC amplifier but just because I already have it. This brand provide outstanding headphones amplifiers. Amir already tested at least one of these models. Looking for this test if you are interested.
 

delta76

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 27, 2021
Messages
440
Likes
441
Like the iPhone? You should better reflect your overcome prejudices.
I think he meant the products that are designed (and inevitably made) in China. The focus is specs, which they usually deliver. they obviously spend much less time/resources on UX and reliability design.
 

Garrincha

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 11, 2022
Messages
404
Likes
467
I think he meant the products that are designed (and inevitably made) in China. The focus is specs, which they usually deliver. they obviously spend much less time/resources on UX and reliability design.
There a more luxurious chinese brands as well, for example Matrix.
 

yavormoskov

Active Member
Joined
Apr 9, 2019
Messages
105
Likes
94
Location
Atlanta, USA
Any chance on a review of the Sabaj A20d 2022? (The step up to this model with the ES9038Pro and MQA)
I own the A20d 2022 and I love it. If the A10d measures this well, I believe the A20d is going to get very close to Topping's best at a much lower price.
Do you think A20d 2022 works with demanding headphones? I am talking about the amplifier portion of it.
 

Gio

Member
Joined
Jan 9, 2022
Messages
38
Likes
46
Location
Italy
Do you think A20d 2022 works with demanding headphones? I am talking about the amplifier portion of it.
I'm using it with a Beyerdynamic DT 880 at 600 Ohm. A good level is reached at 90/95% of the volume knob. In my opinion it's not an ideal solution.
 

staticV3

Major Contributor
Joined
Aug 29, 2019
Messages
1,658
Likes
2,333
This looks like a very compelling buy. How would it compare to a Topping DX5?
The DX5 is roughly 14% louder from ca. 100Ω upwards.
At 32Ω, the A10d 2022 is roughly 16% louder than the DX5.

The DX5 is significantly more expensive at $450 vs $300 for the A10d.

Both have built-in power supplies, both support Bluetooth AAC and LDAC input, but only the DX5 can unfold MQA, which explains the price difference (licensing).

I'd choose the A10d.
 

pongpaktech

Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2021
Messages
20
Likes
8
The DX5 is roughly 14% louder from ca. 100Ω upwards.
At 32Ω, the A10d 2022 is roughly 16% louder than the DX5.

The DX5 is significantly more expensive at $450 vs $300 for the A10d.

Both have built-in power supplies, both support Bluetooth AAC and LDAC input, but only the DX5 can unfold MQA, which explains the price difference (licensing).

I'd choose the A10d.
Thanks!
I'm also thinking of getting a Hifiman Sundara later this year. It seems like the A10d will have no issues with it but wanted to be sure
 

AudioSceptic

Major Contributor
Joined
Jul 31, 2019
Messages
2,010
Likes
1,862
Location
Northampton, UK
Do they really? Have you ever owned a Chord or dCS product or are you just assuming this? The Chord build quality looks nothing special to me and the design is just outrageously ugly. I have heard not great things about costumer service as well.
Sorry about the late reply, but I've just noticed that the dCS Bartok weighs 16.7 kg (36.8 lb) <https://dcsaudio.com/product/bartok>. This is heavier than a lot of old-style (the ones with hefty mains transformers) power amps.

Edit: and it uses 30 W typical. What sort of gross inefficiency is this?
 
Last edited:

Robocop

Member
Joined
Mar 30, 2021
Messages
9
Likes
2
Location
Tauranga, New Zealand
I'm using it with a Beyerdynamic DT 880 at 600 Ohm. A good level is reached at 90/95% of the volume knob. In my opinion it's not an ideal solution.
Interesting I run my Oppo 205 volume at 100% and control volume output digitally from my PC Audio software. This is better sonically. I suggest you try this for yourself.
 

Jimster480

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Jan 26, 2018
Messages
2,010
Likes
1,304
Location
Tampa Bay
The DX5 is roughly 14% louder from ca. 100Ω upwards.
At 32Ω, the A10d 2022 is roughly 16% louder than the DX5.

The DX5 is significantly more expensive at $450 vs $300 for the A10d.

Both have built-in power supplies, both support Bluetooth AAC and LDAC input, but only the DX5 can unfold MQA, which explains the price difference (licensing).

I'd choose the A10d.
There are just so many products in such a close price range it makes it hard to choose anything. Whether 1 device or 2 devices or what...
The DX3 for example has a few worse DB performance but it is also cheaper again by $100.... and now the new topping Stack has better performance than this for the same price.

So its hard to know what to buy if you are a consumer coming from the outside. You want to buy a device that works for you, it is just that simple.
 
Top Bottom