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SONCOZ SGD1 Audio DAC Review

hyperknot

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Seems that I indeed have an early unit, there is no IMD fix, not even hand-soldered one.
How do you see that there is no IMD fix by opening the unit? The production boards don't need anything fixing, they are a revised design.
I think the only way to test it is to run an actual IMD measurement.
 
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Hey. Any update on this issue? My unit is still coming out of stand-by every so often.

Btw, opened my device out of curiosity. Seems that I indeed have an early unit, there is no IMD fix, not even hand-soldered one.

There probably aren't too many of these in the wild anymore? :)
How did you realized you have an early unit ? Can you post a picture of the inside ?

Thanks,

M
 

nspp

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After consideration on a number of occasions, we decided to reduce the standby time to 40 seconds.The new firmware can be OTA upgraded.
40 seconds is great for me ! You saved the front plate of my device :thumbsup:

@Ben1987
Do you have a place with history of change for each firmware ?
If not can you gently post it here.
 
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I've got an SGD1 on order atm. Very exciting... looks like an amazing unit, and should work really well for my use case. I must say beyond the purported amazing sonic performance, the following features are real standouts for use in my situation
  • Balanced output to active speakers, no fuss
  • Discreet inputs on the remote for each source (easy to tie into harmony remote for slick integration)
  • Excellent input choices, which will be hooked into Nvidia shield (USB), a Chromecast audio (Optical), a PS4 (Optical, switched), and a possible future external streamer (2nd USB)
  • Ability to output digital streams to Coax then onto a dual link bluetooth transmitter (for my partner and I for late night loud movies without bothering the neighbours)
I have some questions for those with more experience, just to help me plan my usage moving forward
  1. I very much want to achieve the cleanest signal to my speakers, and short of buying a full network streamer, plan on audio in from either the CCA (Optical) or Nvidia shield (USB). I suspect Nvidia shield will be cleanest, however I'm unclear if I will need to install drivers for Android in some way. AFAIK this isn't possible or necessary, however because there is no bitrate display on the SGD1 I might be in the dark. What do people suggest here? Or perhaps audio in via CCA (Optical) will be superior anyway?
  2. As a next step to upgrade my sound system I plan on adding a sub to create a basic 2.1 system. Obviously I can output to this via the unbalanced RCA's, thanks to the simultaneous output to balanced and unbalanced. Will this configuration however degrade the sonic performance in any way?
  3. As a later step I plan to replace my active speakers with much higher quality passive speakers. At this point I can go into a pre-amp, or direct into a powered amp. Powered amp is my preference as I have no need for analog input and fewer steps from DAC -> speakers seems preferable. Does anyone recommend this approach, or perhaps going through a pre-amp is better for some reason?
Thanks so much!
 
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cut ---------- cut
I have some questions for those with more experience, just to help me plan my usage moving forward
  1. I very much want to achieve the cleanest signal to my speakers, and short of buying a full network streamer, plan on audio in from either the CCA (Optical) or Nvidia shield (USB). I suspect Nvidia shield will be cleanest, however I'm unclear if I will need to install drivers for Android in some way. AFAIK this isn't possible or necessary, however because there is no bitrate display on the SGD1 I might be in the dark. What do people suggest here? Or perhaps audio in via CCA (Optical) will be superior anyway?
  2. As a next step to upgrade my sound system I plan on adding a sub to create a basic 2.1 system. Obviously I can output to this via the unbalanced RCA's, thanks to the simultaneous output to balanced and unbalanced. Will this configuration however degrade the sonic performance in any way?
  3. As a later step I plan to replace my active speakers with much higher quality passive speakers. At this point I can go into a pre-amp, or direct into a powered amp. Powered amp is my preference as I have no need for analog input and fewer steps from DAC -> speakers seems preferable. Does anyone recommend this approach, or perhaps going through a pre-amp is better for some reason?
Thanks so much!
  1. Why not just getting a raspberry 4 and use USB ? you can install volumio, picore player ..... this is what i use and works really well (I also use pi2aes but is is not the simplest solution) and control from my phone or tablet !
  2. If you plan to get better speaker, you can also get an amplifier with balanced input. It works also great with single ended !
  3. If you use SGD1 Volume you do not need any preamp you can direcly plug in your amplifier or powered speaker. Unless you want to add some more inputs or use a tube pre-amp to have a sweeter tone.
 
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  1. Why not just getting a raspberry 4 and use USB ? you can install volumio, picore player ..... this is what i use and works really well (I also use pi2aes but is is not the simplest solution) and control from my phone or tablet !
  2. If you plan to get better speaker, you can also get an amplifier with balanced input. It works also great with single ended !
  3. If you use SGD1 Volume you do not need any preamp you can direcly plug in your amplifier or powered speaker. Unless you want to add some more inputs or use a tube pre-amp to have a sweeter tone.
Thanks for your help nspp :)
  1. I am looking into that very thing actually... I'm very familiar with RPi's and have no concern there technically. The only drawback is that in my household chromecast is used a lot for streaming, so consolidating this into a single input is preferable. Alternatively, I am exploring using an RPi (or maybe a NUC) for hi fi input, and then doing a bit of packet sniffing to switch inputs on the SGD1 when a chromecast stream begins. With all of that said however, I'm hoping the Shield quality over USB will be sufficient to begin with as it'll take me a while to get the gear together to set up the RPi/NUC solution
  2. Yes, this is definitely an option, though to keep cost down I'm hoping to bypass having to add an amp when introducing the subwoofer, assuming the sound quality of the SGD1 will be retained running both balanced and unbalanced simultaneously?
  3. I think you're right... bypassing the pre amp will be best. Perhaps I can get a quality non-integrated power amp that'll output to a sub as well as wired speakers? Ofc I realise there are many integrated amps that will do this, however I'd prefer a separates setup...
 
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I only use DAC for plain file player nothing else ! no online source, no streaming from phone/tv/... so cannot help with this ..;)
No sub-woofer either no need to have such with good speaker well placed.
But most powered sub-woofer have rca entry/output so you can use rca fo sub and xlr to amp or follow from sub with long interconnect cable or directly from dac with Y adapter.
Usually balanced amplifier does not have xlr/cinch pre-output.
 

Pluto

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I am slightly intrigued by…
As a later step I plan to replace my active speakers with much higher quality passive speakers
Are you assuming –
i) that the very best speakers must be passive
OR
ii) passive speakers are inherently better
OR
iii) something else?
 
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Fair question Pluto :)
The reason is iii... So far I have just found many more passive speakers that I am drawn to aesthetically, and I also like the idea of being able to swap over passive speakers without having to change the amplification system. I suspect in practice active speakers are probably inherently better from the perspective of fewer connections and devices in the mix. What are your thoughts?
 

Pluto

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The fact that a speaker appears not to rely on external power amplifiers does not in itself guarantee that things are done correctly. It is possible to build a conventional (i.e. passive) speaker that happens to contain an amplifier within its cabinet. While this may be highly convenient, it is not the same thing as an active crossover which operates at low level (i.e. prior to the power amplification) and the two or three outputs from the crossover are fed to separate power amplifiers.

It is generally held that a low level crossover (which may operate in either the digital or analogue space, depending upon the whim of the designer) can operate with far greater precision (and allow scope for user adjustment) than is possible with a conventional (high level) crossover.

The proponents of conventional, passive, speakers would disagree with this view.
 

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