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Soncoz LA-QXD1 Balanced DAC Review

mt196

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But do they sound worse? Measurements are only one metric to consider.
Since it is a "simple" DAC, measurements are very precise in characterizing its sound. But yes, maybe if someone prefer a DAC that change the original sound in a smoother one or a warmer one, than you are not looking for perfect measurements and thus they do not matter so much for that people, but I like hi fidelity, thus I like a audio chain that reproduce exactly what the artist created, leaving the coloration of sound to speakers and headphones that are waaay more controllable and swappable if you don't like their sound without having to worry about all the colorations going on due to amp and dac
 

BDWoody

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I had this dac on trial for a few days. It was OK but nothing special IMHO.
What makes a DAC special?

Are you expecting it to alter the original signal, to somehow make it sound different from another (transparent...competent) DAC?

I'd rather leave the adding or subtracting out of the DAC's job description, other than the math it needs to do to get it as close to the original as possible.
 

somebodyelse

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Is point #4 true? (pressing F to doubt)

Source=Hifi Go. This claim is absent from the official LA-QXD1 manual and product page, and the higher end SGD1 as well

This is a very important feature to me since I plan on connecting the XLR out to my Violectric V281 clone, the Accurate Audio HPA-A281 and do not want to double amp my amp. I know the Schiit Modius has a pure DAC mode, but I want the better Optical input performance since both units are the same price.


View attachment 73937
There are two firmware variations available. The default one starts with a low volume for safety when people use it connected directly to a power amp. The alternative one starts with maximum volume for those who want to use it as a pure DAC and have volume control done by preamp, integrated amp or whatever. You can load whichever firmware better fits your needs.
 

NCX

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There are two firmware variations available. The default one starts with a low volume for safety when people use it connected directly to a power amp. The alternative one starts with maximum volume for those who want to use it as a pure DAC and have volume control done by preamp, integrated amp or whatever. You can load whichever firmware better fits your needs.
Thank you for the reply. I wish the manufacturer would be more clear as opposed to having this information on forums and re-sellers websites . Also, do you know if this also applies to the SAGD1?

I'm in Canada, and the shipping price is double for the Schiit Modius versus the Soncoz which have better optical performance which is very important to me since I use consoles. I'm also considering the SMSL MK300 2 which has a pure dac mode and is sold in Canada by Amazon, but there are no optical measurements.
 

porotikos

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Ok, i am one step from ordering. Id like to ask if the disconnection of sound is solved with latest firmware. Also i have a power plug that is like in the photo i am attaching. It has 2 usb ports, will both work fine with the dac? (i know it has been answered before, but because i have poor internet connection where i am right now, it ia difficult to check the whole thread. I just need 5v 1a right? Anything more than 5v equals to danger, correct?
Lastly, id like to ask about the balanced outputs. I can connect the 2 balanced cables to my behringer xenyx mixer. Mixer is connected to my power amplifier. This should work fine, but since one cable would be left and the other would be thevright channel, should i pan each channel, one to left and one to right? What other option do i have to use the balanced outputs? Amy amplifier has no balanced inputs and obviously i dont possess active speakera. Thank you.
Cant wait to replace my khadas (and use it with my rpi)

Edit. Is balanced or rca better, soundwise? Or are rhey equivalent? If sound is the same and rca also wo t inherit noise from pc usb ports, ill stick to rca
 

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porotikos

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Couldnt resist. Just ordered. Hope someone can explain if there is difference in sound and usb noise rejection, between xlr and rca. If hooking xlr to console, right channel should be panned to right and left panned to left, to have same result as using rca? Cheers. In a month ill discuss how awesome it is, when i return home
 
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Couldntvresist. Just ordered. Hope someone can explain of there is difference in sound and usb noise rejection, between xlr and rca. If hooking xlr to console, right channel should be panned to right and left panned to left, to have same result as using rca? Cheers. In a month ill discuss how awesome it is, when i return home
Hi! Where did you order it from? An online store or directly from Anne?
 

somebodyelse

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Couldnt resist. Just ordered. Hope someone can explain if there is difference in sound and usb noise rejection, between xlr and rca. If hooking xlr to console, right channel should be panned to right and left panned to left, to have same result as using rca? Cheers. In a month ill discuss how awesome it is, when i return home
XLR should provide immunity to noise from ground loops and leakage currents so long as neither end has a Pin 1 problem. That's often the source of 'usb noise.' As for panning, you're probably correct but it'll depend on the specifics of the console.
 

porotikos

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XLR should provide immunity to noise from ground loops and leakage currents so long as neither end has a Pin 1 problem. That's often the source of 'usb noise.' As for panning, you're probably correct but it'll depend on the specifics of the console.
Thank you my friend. My console is Behringer Xenyx X2222USB. https://m.thomann.de/gr/behringer_xenyx_x2222_usb.htm
What do you mean about pin 1 problem?
I do know that xlr cancels noise. Thing is i wonder if usb noise would be cancelled out by rca as well. And if xlr and rca performance is (DISREGARDING USB NOISE) identical. Thank you so much. I think soncoz is 225 euros well spent
 

somebodyelse

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Thank you my friend. My console is Behringer Xenyx X2222USB. https://m.thomann.de/gr/behringer_xenyx_x2222_usb.htm
What do you mean about pin 1 problem?
I do know that xlr cancels noise. Thing is i wonder if usb noise would be cancelled out by rca as well. And if xlr and rca performance is (DISREGARDING USB NOISE) identical. Thank you so much. I think soncoz is 225 euros well spent
The 'pin 1 problem' is when manufacturers don't follow the recommendations in AES48 which was agreed in 2005 to avoid grounding related noise problems. It is named after the most common issue, not connecting pin 1 of the xlr connector to the metal chassis close to the connector. Equipment with the 'pin 1 problem' can have the same ground related noise issues as equipment using single ended connections like RCA, and the same troublesome process of solving them.

The measurements here only covered the XLR output. Usually RCA is similar, but with slightly lower SINAD. If you have the choice then XLR is usually the better option.

From the manual it looks like you'll need XLR to TRS connectors for the line level inputs, and that whether you need to pan depends on which inputs you're using. Channels 9 & 10 are shown as being L and R, while channels 1-8 would need to be panned left or right. RCA would be the same if you used an RCA to TS lead and the same inputs. I'm not sure exactly how the CD/Tape input RCAs are routed.
 

porotikos

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The 'pin 1 problem' is when manufacturers don't follow the recommendations in AES48 which was agreed in 2005 to avoid grounding related noise problems. It is named after the most common issue, not connecting pin 1 of the xlr connector to the metal chassis close to the connector. Equipment with the 'pin 1 problem' can have the same ground related noise issues as equipment using single ended connections like RCA, and the same troublesome process of solving them.

The measurements here only covered the XLR output. Usually RCA is similar, but with slightly lower SINAD. If you have the choice then XLR is usually the better option.

From the manual it looks like you'll need XLR to TRS connectors for the line level inputs, and that whether you need to pan depends on which inputs you're using. Channels 9 & 10 are shown as being L and R, while channels 1-8 would need to be panned left or right. RCA would be the same if you used an RCA to TS lead and the same inputs. I'm not sure exactly how the CD/Tape input RCAs are routed.
My friend thank you so much for all this useful info. I was thinking to use xlr to xlr cables and use 3,4 inputs. And obviously pan them left and right.
Your answer raised a question for me. If i use xlr to trs cables, will the signal still be balanced? I thought balanced signal is send only through an xlr to xlr cable. If xlr to trs is ondeed balanced, ill use inputs 9 and 10 and be done with it. I will just need to start the quest for cables without pin 1 problem
Thank you so much
 

somebodyelse

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My friend thank you so much for all this useful info. I was thinking to use xlr to xlr cables and use 3,4 inputs. And obviously pan them left and right.
Your answer raised a question for me. If i use xlr to trs cables, will the signal still be balanced? I thought balanced signal is send only through an xlr to xlr cable. If xlr to trs is ondeed balanced, ill use inputs 9 and 10 and be done with it. I will just need to start the quest for cables without pin 1 problem
Thank you so much
The manual I linked before shows the balanced 1/4" TRS pinout towards the end of the manual in Fig. 6.3 - this is the standard configuration for balanced XLR to TRS so any musicians' shop should be able to supply the correct one. It says the XLR is for Mic inputs.
Wpuld 2 of this cable do the trick for me? I would hook them tp the syereo 9,10 inputs of the mixer How can i know if pin 1 is correctly connected to metal chasis? Should i ask the manufacturer?
That Ghent cable has the wrong gender XLR to connect to the DAC - see https://www.ghentaudio.com/part/c04.html instead. I assume they follow the standard connection.

I think Behringer follow AES48 but the manual doesn't say. You could try asking them, or use the hummer test described in AN007 from Jensen Transformers. On the DAC end @Ben1987 should be able to confirm.
 

porotikos

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The manual I linked before shows the balanced 1/4" TRS pinout towards the end of the manual in Fig. 6.3 - this is the standard configuration for balanced XLR to TRS so any musicians' shop should be able to supply the correct one. It says the XLR is for Mic inputs.

That Ghent cable has the wrong gender XLR to connect to the DAC - see https://www.ghentaudio.com/part/c04.html instead. I assume they follow the standard connection.

I think Behringer follow AES48 but the manual doesn't say. You could try asking them, or use the hummer test described in AN007 from Jensen Transformers. On the DAC end @Ben1987 should be able to confirm.
Thank you, you are the best. Ill contact ghent about the cable and also ask behringer. I am so grateful to you. Cheers
 
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My LA-QXD1 arrived monday and I've been using it with an old fire tv stick power supply (5v 1a) and it worked well. Today I found the DAC with the PWR/Mute led blinking and it wasn't recognized on the PC.
Seeing that it was the power button that was blinking I tried some cellphone chargers, a lenovo tablet charger (5v 1a) didn't work either, but a 5v 2a sony charger did work but it gets uncomfortably hot so I plan to get a better power supply.
@Ben1987 is there an specific you would recommend for the LA-QXD1? The official power supply for the raspberry pi 4 is USB-C and made to be on all the time so I think it won't get too hot, but it's 5.1v 3a so I'm afraid of damaging the LA-QXD1.
 

porotikos

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My LA-QXD1 arrived monday and I've been using it with an old fire tv stick power supply (5v 1a) and it worked well. Today I found the DAC with the PWR/Mute led blinking and it wasn't recognized on the PC.
Seeing that it was the power button that was blinking I tried some cellphone chargers, a lenovo tablet charger (5v 1a) didn't work either, but a 5v 2a sony charger did work but it gets uncomfortably hot so I plan to get a better power supply.
@Ben1987 is there an specific you would recommend for the LA-QXD1? The official power supply for the raspberry pi 4 is USB-C and made to be on all the time so I think it won't get too hot, but it's 5.1v 3a so I'm afraid of damaging the LA-QXD1.
Soncoz will draw the current that is needed. No worries there.
I have bought this chinese adapter for my rpi4

https://www.ebay.com/itm/New-Raspbe...0?pageci=f0a2d309-7b5f-4b7f-a2ed-f3335a645e1d

Someone told me chinese adapters are not stable, so i ordered an official one for my rpi. I am wondering if i should try and use this for my dac or buy another one....
 
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