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Sabaj A20d 2022 Version Owners Feedback

ces04848

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Joined
May 21, 2021
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So sorry about this, the package has send out on 14th and forget to update it to your order. :facepalm: Mandy have send you the tracking number via email.
Thank you @peterwen , follow up is greatly appreciated.

My comments on purchase experience still stand but I will certainly give the DAC another chance once received.
 

audiofun

Active Member
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Jul 4, 2021
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So this is a typical grounding issue that cause psn leaking to the hp amp.
l7's sabaj a10h measurement has the same issue while amir's is fine:


Reviewers have different setups, so the results are different.
It's important to always have that in mind when reading reviews from different reviewers.


The PSN only happens when you measure it with a circuit that has a different ground.
I can easily reproduce such issue with any headphone amplifier by intentionally introducing a ground loop.
The noise will not be there when you listen through headphone, as you do not ground your headphone while listening.
[email protected]'s measurement once again proofs that @WolfX-700 has a grounding problem.
In this case, L7's result does not reflect real usage scenario --- headphone listening
 

djgras

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Jun 9, 2022
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Are the Topping DX7 Pro or DX5 still more musical than this new Sabaj a20d 2022 ?
Also are their USB input and analog XLR output better quality?
 
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djgras

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Jun 9, 2022
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Are the Topping DX7 Pro or DX5 still more musical than this new Sabaj a20d 2022 ?
Also are their USB input and analog XLR output better quality?
Compared to the Topping D90LE or D90SE as a DAC ?
 

ces04848

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May 21, 2021
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To update, after a week or so of listening I have no doubt this is an excellent performing device and thus far my replacement unit has not had any glitches, drops, or faults :cool: However, I do much prefer the sound of a couple other DACs I have in rotation - Benchmark DAC1 USB and m2Tech Young DSD. These are very informal findings and specific to my ears, room, and associated equipment but I did at least level match with my phone for comparisons.

The Sabaj does seem to offer up more ultimate resolution as some very fine/low level details jump out more than I have heard previously but despite good definition and instrument separation the soundstage is quite shallow and narrow in comparison - flat was the first thing that came to mind on initial listen. I find myself tapping my toes and more engaged when listening to the Benchmark while getting the same or very nearly the same detail retrieval as the Sabaj - the Benchmark has great tone while still managing to be a good tool for production IMO. Of these three the m2Tech presents the widest soundstage but loses out a little in detail emphasis/retrieval. When considering original MSRPs of these DACs the Sabaj is definitely the underdog but given the ages of the Benchmark and m2Tech their preowned prices are not too far off nowadays.

Will list out my associated equipment below for reference. Listening space is also a living space but speakers are 3-4' off the front wall and 8-10' from side walls with a lot of books + records providing diffraction and heavy blankets and rugs for absorption - room correction is something I plan to test out in future to improve low frequency response. Overall I can't really complain about the Sabaj but I wouldn't recommend it over either of the two DACs I've mentioned. I use a Cayin r2r dongle dac at the office for headphones and even that in my speaker system was a more enjoyable listen than the Sabaj, though is was really lacking in resolution + detail retrieval. Overall, my expectation was much higher for the Sabaj going into this comparison given the newness and specs but subjectively I prefer the older units.

Associated Equipment:
  • Speakers - Gallo Reference 3.1, Gallo Reference 1 (larger spheres), Focal micro utopia (ti tweeter), Clements Rt-7
  • Analog - Thorens TD124 mk1 (new spindle, bearing, top platter), Kuzma Stogi S12 VTA, Dynavector 20X2L
  • Preamp - Bel Canto Pre1 (ace tomato basic upgrades + phono stage)
  • Amp(s) - Ben Canto 200.2 mono blocks (max ace tomato updates + upgrades)
  • Streamer - CI Audio DMC-1 (Qobuz and SSD file sources)
  • DAC(s) - Benchmark Dac1 USB, m2Tech Young DSD + battery PSU, m2Tech Joplin ADC as phono preamp
 

RJO

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Joined
Aug 11, 2020
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It supports all BT codecs. I was able to use it for the first time in LDAC mode, however next day, I wasn’t getting any signals and is no longer working. I’ve been dealing with their customer support troubleshooting it back and forth, so they sent me another BT antenna for testing.
 

Chilli

Member
Joined
Nov 7, 2018
Messages
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Location
Hamilton, NZ
What a great dac! I just plugged it in last night and I can confirm that it works with my hdmi extractor optical out of the Apple TV. My old topping D50 would not lock onto the signal, so I was dependent upon my old avr. Was very nervous that it wouldn’t work, and then I would have to see if did by dialing the settings to lock it on etc, but worked first time.
So far, it sounds great on the optical 48k source, as well as BT from the phone. I have yet to try it with my cd transport etc.
Beautiful Machine. It looks absolutely amazing in real life. Very happy indeed.
 

Chilli

Member
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Nov 7, 2018
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Location
Hamilton, NZ
I just wanted to confirm with people that the adjustable DPLL settings worked for me tonight.
As you might know, above, I am using this after an hdmi extractor from the Apple TV. Tonight I was getting some drop out every 5 to 10 seconds which manifests as a small silent gap and a quiet click. Turning the DPLL setting to a higher number removed this immediately.
I feel that a dac could or should be tested for compatibility, and the troublesome hdmi extractor should be a stress test or flexibility test.
 

function9

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Sep 20, 2020
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Anyone using the A20d with volumio to stream Tidal? I am having dropout issues even though the same volumio instance streams 96khz from Qobuz just fine with previous dac.

Note: remote is barely usable from 10ft not sure why no one has mentioned before. Only works when your aim is very precise.
 
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glc650

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Jun 30, 2021
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Anyone using the A20d with volumio to stream Tidal? I am having dropout issues even though the same volumio instance streams 96khz from Qobuz just fine with previous dac.

Note: remote is barely usable from 10ft not sure why no one has mentioned before. Only works when your aim is very precise.
You think the Sabaj IR is bad try the Topping D90 or D90SE. The Sabaj is no where near as bad as those.
 
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Chilli

Member
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Nov 7, 2018
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Location
Hamilton, NZ
Anyone using the A20d with volumio to stream Tidal? I am having dropout issues even though the same volumio instance streams 96khz from Qobuz just fine with previous dac.

Note: remote is barely usable from 10ft not sure why no one has mentioned before. Only works when your aim is very precise.
Did you manage to fix the dropouts with any of the settings?
 

stakatchh

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Sep 12, 2020
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Is it good enough to replace my combo (topping L30 + D10s) ? My headphones - Hifiman Sundara.
 

m3nthal

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Aug 4, 2022
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I got mine more than a week ago, and I am very happy with it. I had Audient iD14 MK1 before, which is good, but a20d is head and shoulders above and beyond.
 

Dodgexander

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Jun 6, 2022
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Anyone using the A20d with volumio to stream Tidal? I am having dropout issues even though the same volumio instance streams 96khz from Qobuz just fine with previous dac.

Note: remote is barely usable from 10ft not sure why no one has mentioned before. Only works when your aim is very precise.
I'm not using volumio but I do use tidal and don't have drop outs.
When I do have drop outs however is when using the line out to my speakers. Headphones are fine. Strangely these drop outs seem to only happen in games and not with music or video.

They happen every 5-10 mins usually but they can be more often.

Directly connecting USB to my speakers there's no issue.

Confirmed the dropouts are not my speakers (Klipsch Fives) by using a different DAC.

So, the dropouts are exclusive to the line outs (RCA) and do not happen with headphones.
 
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RJO

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Aug 11, 2020
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It supports all BT codecs. I was able to use it for the first time in LDAC mode, however next day, I wasn’t getting any signals and is no longer working. I’ve been dealing with their customer support troubleshooting it back and forth, so they sent me another BT antenna for testing.
Just a quick update, I finally received my replacement after they confirmed that the BT module was defective. I put it through its paces for a week now ensuring all inputs and outputs are in good working condition. This AIO seemingly punches above its weight in price/ performance (at least compared to other brands) and I couldn’t be happier.

PS. A lesson learned because of the length of time and replacement issue that I went through, where I had to fork $$ to ship the item back to their warehouse (but eventually got refunded), I'll next time order these items directly from the jungle, instead of across the pacific. :)
 
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