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Sabaj A20d 2022 Version Owners Feedback

mexicanking

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Oct 5, 2022
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When I play "Bass I Love you by Basstronics" the audio clips out after 9-10 seconds. Each time string repeats the audio clips out. No other issues with my A20D, plays well.
I am playing it on the Tidal app on my PC, connected using USB.
Can someone try it at your end and see if this issue can be replicated?
 

Dodgexander

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When I play "Bass I Love you by Basstronics" the audio clips out after 9-10 seconds. Each time string repeats the audio clips out. No other issues with my A20D, plays well.
I am playing it on the Tidal app on my PC, connected using USB.
Can someone try it at your end and see if this issue can be replicated?
I don't have this problem. I tested the same track on Tidal, with and without exclusive mode and with or without the Xmos drivers.
I also tested my headphones and speakers to see if it was specific to one or the other.
This is while running DPLL at minimum.

I have had cut outs before which I think were down to a loose connection of the RCA inputs on the back. Make sure the cables are connected in the correct phase (L/R) and fiddle about with the cables a bit and see if it continues.

If that doesn't help try a different DPLL, a different USB port/cable and different RCA cables if you're using those.

Also, if you didn't already download and use the driver from their site, not the built in Windows one.
 

mexicanking

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I don't have this problem. I tested the same track on Tidal, with and without exclusive mode and with or without the Xmos drivers.
I also tested my headphones and speakers to see if it was specific to one or the other.
This is while running DPLL at minimum.

I have had cut outs before which I think were down to a loose connection of the RCA inputs on the back. Make sure the cables are connected in the correct phase (L/R) and fiddle about with the cables a bit and see if it continues.

If that doesn't help try a different DPLL, a different USB port/cable and different RCA cables if you're using those.

Also, if you didn't already download and use the driver from their site, not the built in Windows one.
Thanks for taking your time to test it for me.

I have followed your recommendations. DPLL set at minimum, checked cables, changed USB cable, moved it from usb 2 to usb 3 port. Checked RCA cables and connections. I have the XMOS driver from Sabaj, reinstalled it. But still the problem remains. Here is the link for an audio clip recording from it. There are 6 dropouts in 60sec, consistent pattern. No other source, format or track has an issue.
 

Dodgexander

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Thanks for taking your time to test it for me.

I have followed your recommendations. DPLL set at minimum, checked cables, changed USB cable, moved it from usb 2 to usb 3 port. Checked RCA cables and connections. I have the XMOS driver from Sabaj, reinstalled it. But still the problem remains. Here is the link for an audio clip recording from it. There are 6 dropouts in 60sec, consistent pattern. No other source, format or track has an issue.
You'll want to try with a higher DPLL if you have an issue. Higher DPLL is to combat issues with cut-outs, lower is for less latency if you don't have drop outs.
I guess it could be a fault with your specific sample A20d, or perhaps your RCA cable or power delivery. Could also be related to your output device (speakers/amp) or even your PC.

Can you connect to a different PC or speakers/amp to see if you still have the problem?
Can you try a different RCA cable?

Not sure what I else to suggest, but good luck finding the answer to the issue.
 

wfujay

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I'm having a really hard time deciding between this, the DX5, or JDS Labs Element III. :rolleyes:
 

wfujay

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I think Sabaj did send him one to review. Looking forward to it if they did.

As far as the SMSL MK500 MKii, that one is missing Balanced Headphone Out compared to the A20d 2022. Wasn't there a hardware or sound issue with them as well? I remember seeing something about it awhile ago, and it kept me from purchasing it.

The tradeoff on the DX5 is that the A20d has the better DAC (ES9038Pro vs ES9068), and the DX5 has a stronger amp.

No complaints here. MQA, XLR Balanced out to my 887 all working very well..
Curious why you chose the 887 over the built in Sabaj amp?
 

mexicanking

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You'll want to try with a higher DPLL if you have an issue. Higher DPLL is to combat issues with cut-outs, lower is for less latency if you don't have drop outs.
I guess it could be a fault with your specific sample A20d, or perhaps your RCA cable or power delivery. Could also be related to your output device (speakers/amp) or even your PC.

Can you connect to a different PC or speakers/amp to see if you still have the problem?
Can you try a different RCA cable?

Not sure what I else to suggest, but good luck finding the answer to the issue.
Thanks for your help. I was on a higher DPLL to start with, changing them made not difference. I connected A20D using OTG out from my phone, but the issue remained. I have swapped out RCA but don't have a another amp to try. I doubt that it that would fix as I don't have an issue using the built in DAC in the amp.

I am trying to reach out to the supplier to see if they will fix this. Thanks again.
 
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BHazard

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Curious why you chose the 887 over the built in Sabaj amp?
~8W vs ~1.2W. Price/performance ratio is very high when it goes on sale.

The XLR output of the a20d is truly balanced, while the internal HPA output is not. It also allows me to use the Lokius as a Hardware EQ.
 

wfujay

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~8W vs ~1.2W. Price/performance ratio is very high when it goes on sale.

The XLR output of the a20d is truly balanced, while the internal HPA output is not. It also allows me to use the Lokius as a Hardware EQ.
Fair enough. Then why not go with something like a Topping D10 balanced for DAC duties instead of the Sabaj?
 
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BHazard

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Fair enough. Then why not go with something like a Topping D10 balanced for DAC duties instead of the Sabaj?
The ES9038 Pro is a far better DAC and years newer than the ESS ES9018K2M in the D10.
The Sabaj also uses the newer XU216 USB interface instead of XU208 which does MQA (D10 does not).
 

deuch

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Does the Sabaj A20D 2022 provide some firmware that can be upgraded by the user ?
 

Dodgexander

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How do you check the firmware version ?

In the archimago review he’s mentioning a firmware update to fix an issue with the DSD512 : http://archimago.blogspot.com/2022/08/sabaj-a20d-2022-part3.html?m=1

How to be sure to have it ? On the Sabaj website there is no mention about new firmware.
In the review they mentioned they got in touch with Sabaj who sent the firmware. It's probably a pre release version they haven't yet put on their website. You could try contacting them yourself if you want it but beware with these things, usually if it's not on the website it's for good reason.
 

deuch

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In the review they mentioned they got in touch with Sabaj who sent the firmware. It's probably a pre release version they haven't yet put on their website. You could try contacting them yourself if you want it but beware with these things, usually if it's not on the website it's for good reason.

I've tried many time without clear answer about a way to upgrade the firmware by the user itself. It seems that SMSL indicate "firmware user upgradeable" on some new products ... It let me think that Sabaj model will never have update. Some of the models are many months or years old, and no firmware on the web site ... In fact I found no firmware at all (only A30a for eg)... Only manuals and USB Driver.
 

Dodgexander

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I've tried many time without clear answer about a way to upgrade the firmware by the user itself. It seems that SMSL indicate "firmware user upgradeable" on some new products ... It let me think that Sabaj model will never have update. Some of the models are many months or years old, and no firmware on the web site ... In fact I found no firmware at all (only A30a for eg)... Only manuals and USB Driver.
To be fair a lot of their products do have firmware updates. Plus, we're talking about a company so small it hosts it's drivers on Google drive.

Time will tell I guess. For me the device is perfect, only qualm is a audible click when switching frequencies during mqa playback.. Although this is pretty much the same on every mqa DAC I've owned. I don't use DSD so haven't noticed an issue there.
 

mexicanking

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You'll want to try with a higher DPLL if you have an issue. Higher DPLL is to combat issues with cut-outs, lower is for less latency if you don't have drop outs.
I guess it could be a fault with your specific sample A20d, or perhaps your RCA cable or power delivery. Could also be related to your output device (speakers/amp) or even your PC.

Can you connect to a different PC or speakers/amp to see if you still have the problem?
Can you try a different RCA cable?

Not sure what I else to suggest, but good luck finding the answer to the issue.
I contacted Sabaj and they were able to replicate it with volume turned up and High Gain. They asked me to change to Low HPA Gain and that resolved my problem.
 

deuch

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What email adress or contact form are you using to contact them ? I’ve used the contact mail on their website many times without any answer :(
 
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