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Sabaj A10h Review (Headphone Amplifier)

roog

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Hi @Marcel I have not tried the controls on the JDS, but I can offer my opinion on the volume control knob on the A10h. It feels flimsy, the knob has a shiny spun finish which look cheap although the detent notches feel OK to me.

I would say, sure, buy it for its performance but you have to be able to overlook its low end user feel. That said the case is nice enough given the modest cost. I still find the Sabaj ‘trade mark’ blue display a bit grim, not least because I find it hard to read compared to amber, red or green.
 

Lilith

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119 mw at 300ohms, so should be more than enough to handle that one :).

It arrived today. Volume is ok, but I thought it gets much louder. I can turn it fully up at the +9dB setting and it still doesn't hurt. Thought I can easily break the headphones with this at maximum volume. Is this normal? Volume is loud enough for normal listening, I just expected much more.
 

Lilith

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With my DT880 250 Ohm I have the Sabaj set to -5 dB. Does this work for you too?
 

Lilith

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That’s interesting, my RME goes beyond 0dB, but my Sabaj wouldn’t go above 0dB, perhaps it depends on which gain setting it is set to?

Yes, I mean the gain setting. The highest gain is +9dB and there I use the 0dB volume of course.
 

Lilith

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Is it normal that when turning the encoder pot sometimes some values are skipped? That happens also when turning the knob slowly.
 
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Pdxwayne

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@amirm, I notice that the a10h increases the hum noise from my speakers.

With everything connected, if a10h is powered off, only very little hum from speakers (known hum from my amp). Once a10h is turned on, the hum gets much louder and I can hear the hum from speakers from 12 ft away.

In your original post, you said this:
......
As soon as I connected the AP ground to the RCA shield, it substantially reduces mains interference resulting in the above measurement.
......

I would like to do the same for my setup to see if that helps.

My source is Node2i to Gustard x16. Amp is Parasound a21. Do I connect ground from X16 to RCA shield to a10h and also ground of my amp to RCA shield to a10h?

Thanks!
 

Lilith

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Is it normal that when turning the encoder pot sometimes some values are skipped? That happens also when turning the knob slowly.

Actually it's not skipping, but sometimes not reacting. I think this could be on purpose or is due to the technical design as the volume goes up/down faster when the knob is turned faster.
 

roog

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Actually it's not skipping, but sometimes not reacting. I think this could be on purpose or is due to the technical design as the volume goes up/down faster when the knob is turned faster.
I haven't experienced this with the Sabaj, I have found the response to controls very good and the 'noisy' relays act as 'encouraging' haptic feedback that it is responding to changes to the controls. Perhaps spinning it makes it skip? On the other hand, I have heard of issues with the RME volume control though and it often seems to need a return to the manufacturer for a replacement encoder.
 
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Lilith

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I haven't experienced this with the Sabaj, I have found the response to controls very good and the 'noisy' relays act as 'encouraging' haptic feedback that it is responding to changes to the controls. Perhaps spinning it makes it skip? On the other hand, I have heard of issues with the RME volume control though and it often seems to need a return to the manufacturer for a replacement encoder.

strange, can you check it once more please? Is there a support email from Sabaj?
 

roog

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strange, can you check it once more please? Is there a support email from Sabaj?
Will do, the Sabaj is out of my system at the moment as I have a THX One AAA moving into its position at the moment. I will have a play this evening. Edit: unless I get bored with work in which case it may be sooner!
 
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amirm

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I would like to do the same for my setup to see if that helps.
You can't do what I did. Audio Precision RCA ports are floating (kind of like balanced). That gives me the then the option of where to earth them. Your audio gear has already made that decision for you which unfortunately then leads to ground loops in some cases. Resolving these problems can be a nightmare and a matter of luck. This is why I always recommend balanced connections if you can get them.
 

Lilith

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Actually it's not skipping, but sometimes not reacting. I think this could be on purpose or is due to the technical design as the volume goes up/down faster when the knob is turned faster.

Found this which is related to the encoder issue

 

roog

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Will do, the Sabaj is out of my system at the moment as I have a THX One AAA moving into its position at the moment. I will have a play this evening. Edit: unless I get bored with work in which case it may be sooner!
Hi @Lilith i had a play with my Sabaj A10h volume control, it wasn’t very scientific but I found that a quick spin of about half a turn resulted in the same change in dB as turning it back slowly about the same amount, so I have no sense of it skipping. Even quite drastic spins consistently gave the expected greater change.
 

Lilith

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Hi @Lilith i had a play with my Sabaj A10h volume control, it wasn’t very scientific but I found that a quick spin of about half a turn resulted in the same change in dB as turning it back slowly about the same amount, so I have no sense of it skipping. Even quite drastic spins consistently gave the expected greater change.

Thanks for testing. I also asked at Amazon and another person experiences the same.


You really have to go slowly digit by digit from - 50 or so to 0. It's missing on average maybe 1 out of 10-20 turns. But it can also be fine for more than 20 turns.
 

roog

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trotos

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Hi there, I owned a topping L30 (I was readind something about a serial code, I do not know where to find it, the sticker says 2009622702). I liked it, no noise no issues. Till yesterday, I touched it and a electric discharged occurred. After that there is a constant hissing noise/sound.
I called amazon and they offered a refund that I accepted it.
I have an option to get again the L30 (+10EUROS from the original price, red color) or the sabajA10h.
A. I own a topping D50s, that I use as DAC for the headphone amplifier.
B. I am not familiar with any technicalities, so I can not figure out if buying the sabaj is recommended.
C. I own a beyerdynamic dt1990. I wsa satisfied with the power output from the topping D50s/L30 combination.
So, I was reading this and the review of the sabajA10h from amirm. and I still have no idea if anything is recommended what is this with the serial and will it affect something and will any of those put my headphones in danger?
Thank you in advance.

Sorry for this long post and the highjack. If I need to create a separate threat let me know!
 

Noodles

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L30 measures quite well as all the other toppings for their latest iterations. If 1990 is what you are sticking with and you have no desire to upgrade - sure L30 is still good.
If you live in the states you can get one of Schiit offerings as well for cheap, check the reviews here - magni is probably what you will be looking for.
If you want to upgrade to something different - you will need to be a bit more specific.
 

Walter

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I have an option to get again the L30 (+10EUROS from the original price, red color) or the sabajA10h.
A. I own a topping D50s, that I use as DAC for the headphone amplifier.
B. I am not familiar with any technicalities, so I can not figure out if buying the sabaj is recommended.
Both measured extremely well for the price, and quite similarly to each other. Pick the one whose features or looks you prefer.
 
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