Yeah, it was overpriced, but tolerable, at $815 when first released. Now, at $959, it's just way overpriced, especially when the Topping E70V is available for $449 to those who want the newest AKM option.Hmmm not much chatter about this DAC the past month.
Likely too pricey.
I would buy the Topping E70V immediately if it had MQA, so I'm hoping at E70V II at similar price point.Yeah, it was overpriced, but tolerable, at $815 when first released. Now, at $959, it's just way overpriced, especially when the Topping E70V is available for $449 to those who want the newest AKM option.
AES has been the standard in the professional audio and studio sector for tens of years and is more widespread than you might realize. It also has great advantages in home audio if you have to bridge several meters.The thing that bothers me with these DACs is that I wonder how many people even use the AES or custom I²S ports? It seems much more logical to have most DAC models installed with a couple more USB inputs instead, and to allow UAC adjustment on each input.
Ah, okay. I just wish these DAC manufacturers would make one model with at least three customizable USB inputs as so many sources use this connection and vary in their use of it. Or, at the very least, offer a digital hub that is loaded with USB inputs along with a couple of outputs.AES has been the standard in the professional audio and studio sector for tens of years and is more widespread than you might realize. It also has great advantages in home audio if you have to bridge several meters.
i2s is the only interface that transports data to a DAC without the data having to be converted in any way, it is already the format that the DAC chip processes. USB is also converted back to i2s in the DAC.
The external i2s over HDMI/LVDS also allows several meters to be bridged. Although the signal transmission is theoretically better than via USB, it is no longer relevant since the very good USB solution from Xing Audio and XMOS XU216/316.
There are now many inexpensive modules that allow digital audio transmitted via HDMI to be extracted and fed directly into the DAC chip via i2s (very lossless).
Further advantages of the i2s interface are the expansion of an additional USB interface (with maximum transmission bandwidth) via e.g. an SMSL PO100 PRO, Xing Audio DDC etc. There are also umpteen modules for i2s in the DIY area.
In addition, it is the only possibility to connect future interfaces or devices without restrictions up to the maximum possibility of the DAC chip.
Personally, I don't think that makes sense at all.Ah, okay. I just wish these DAC manufacturers would make one model with at least three customizable USB inputs as so many sources use this connection and vary in their use of it. Or, at the very least, offer a digital hub that is loaded with USB inputs along with a couple of outputs.
I think the market for it is much more sizable than that. More DACs are being released with two USB inputs, so that's a start. Schiit is also releasing the Urd, which doubles as a hub with USB inputs and customers are already asking for a model without the CD aspect (I personally find CD players/transports useless). Lots of devices have USB audio out as the best quality two-channel option; I had to buy multiple SMSL PO100s to work around the single USB input of my DACs. Then some devices only work in UAC 1 mode, which makes a simple USB switch a no-go.Personally, I don't think that makes sense at all.
An active connection for multiple devices would pose various problems for the designers and the device, most notably electrical pollution of the DAC from multiple devices. No one wants that and intercepting it is very time-consuming and expensive.
A simple switch would make even less sense, since there are external solutions with a protective function starting at $20, eg 4->1.
If an internal switch has a defect, the DAC might also fail. With such cheap external solutions, it doesn't make sense either.
I would also estimate that less than 1 in 100 buyers would use this feature, maybe as little as 1 in 1000.
You can also find the firmwares of most Shenzhenaudio devices on https://download.shenzhenaudio.com/#d400/1There seems to be a solution from SMSL for the IMD hump on our D400EX. I tried it and sounds great!
Firmware release notes:
1. Solve the problem of non-linear curve during 48kHz IMD testing!
2. Improve performance!
(use at own risk!)
I think it's quite entertaining for every audiophile to compare two highest level ESS and AKM chips, especially when implemented in the same DAC model: SMSL D400 ES - ES9039: https://www.l7audiolab.com/f/smsl-d400es/ SMSL D400 EX - AK4499: https://www.l7audiolab.com/f/smsl-d400ex/ Apex of...audiosciencereview.com
In another forum people complained about cheap parts used in the output stage of the Gustard. Similar like U did with the D400EX.SMSL D400EX = just garbage