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Gustard X-12


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They are talking about a new model in the ad

 

"Analog circuit is used is the discrete analog line newly developed applied to the new flagship model X20."

Hackintosh I7 16GB Ram, Roon, HQPlayer, Drobo 8 TB NAS, Raspberry Pi 3 NAA, Gustard X20 ES 9018 Xmos, Audio GD C39 Preamp, The First ONE DIY Amp, Monitor Audio GS20 Speakers, Monitor Audio RSW12 Subwoofer, PI Audio MagikBuss filter.

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Yea, missed that. Also not sure if this comes with it and what it is exactly for:

dac-x12-6.jpg

Dahlquist DQ-10 Speakers DQ-LP1 crossover 2 DW-1 Subs

Dynaco Mk III Mains - Rotel 991 Subs

Wyred W4S Pre Gustard X10 DAC

SOtM dx-USB-HD reclocked SOtMmBPS-d2s

Intel Thin-mini ITX

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Yea, missed that. Also not sure if this comes with it and what it is exactly for:

[ATTACH=CONFIG]16325[/ATTACH]

It does, that's the USB input for the X12. From what I can gather, it's basically the USB input of the U12 and it must pass I2s to the ESS9018 DAC chip of the X12. It would definitely be the shortest signal path and would also have the benefit of being designed to go perfectly with their DAC.

 

Even with those benefits I like the U12 because of all the mods I mentioned in the other thread. I've got to believe that by doing those and having its own dedicated PSU it would deliver a more desirable signal/sound that the integrated one here.

 

Funny that you started this thread, I was just scoping the X12 out and trying to figure how it might differ from your X10 that we were talking about in the U12 thread.

 

I'd also try PM/emailing Gustard, they might at least give you a loyalty discount or free shipping, or some sort of super combo purchase if you get the U12 as well?? ;-)

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I emailed an eBay seller "Vintage Audio" who were prepared to offer a small discount on an X12. The spec sounds excellent, I'd really like to find someone who has listened to it for a few days. Is the product too new for this?

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  • 2 weeks later...
was concerned the ess chip would be harsh, but seems very well behaved (due to analogue circuit ?)

 

Yes, that's my experience with X10 too. That's the result of the discrete analog stage. I could compare X10 with Yulong DA8 and Oppo HA-1, all ES9018 based. Yulong is considered to provide very "analog" sound, but X10 is yet a bit more natural and "analog" sounding.

 

Try DSD recordings as well as PCM to DSD conversion. My experience with X10 is it sounds best when it receives DSD stream from USB.

 

Do you consider U12 --I2S--> X12 to be any improvement over using directly USB input of X12?

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Yes, that's my experience with X10 too. That's the result of the discrete analog stage. I could compare X10 with Yulong DA8 and Oppo HA-1, all ES9018 based. Yulong is considered to provide very "analog" sound, but X10 is yet a bit more natural and "analog" sounding.

 

Try DSD recordings as well as PCM to DSD conversion. My experience with X10 is it sounds best when it receives DSD stream from USB.

 

Do you consider U12 --I2S--> X12 to be any improvement over using directly USB input of X12?

 

Greetings... New member here and have a question.

 

How does the X-12 stack up to the Teac UD-501 in audio quality? Were talking about a ES9018 chip vs two 32 bit burr brown chips implemented in the Teac so this could be apples and oranges here. The Teac also has two toroidal power supplies in it and the build quality seems very solid. In the Gustards favor is the price. It's about 300 bucks cheaper. I have heard that both dacs have a warm analog sound?

 

What's the better value or am I comparing two different animals here?

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Yes, that's my experience with X10 too. That's the result of the discrete analog stage. I could compare X10 with Yulong DA8 and Oppo HA-1, all ES9018 based. Yulong is considered to provide very "analog" sound, but X10 is yet a bit more natural and "analog" sounding.

 

Try DSD recordings as well as PCM to DSD conversion. My experience with X10 is it sounds best when it receives DSD stream from USB.

 

Do you consider U12 --I2S--> X12 to be any improvement over using directly USB input of X12?

 

it's taken a week for the u12 to burn in, so will be a long time before the inbuilt usb burns in (was thinking of removing the usb card). Gustard recomended the u12 over the inbuilt card, but that might be money driven.

 

in theory the inbuilt usb should be better, but maybe the u12 has more optimisations. As said before, need the u12 for dsd 64 & 128.

There is no harm in doubt and skepticism, for it is through these that new discoveries are made. Richard P Feynman

 

http://mqnplayer.blogspot.co.uk/

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Greetings... New member here and have a question.

 

How does the X-12 stack up to the Teac UD-501 in audio quality? Were talking about a ES9018 chip vs two 32 bit burr brown chips implemented in the Teac so this could be apples and oranges here. The Teac also has two toroidal power supplies in it and the build quality seems very solid. In the Gustards favor is the price. It's about 300 bucks cheaper. I have heard that both dacs have a warm analog sound?

 

What's the better value or am I comparing two different animals here?

 

I didn't have the opportunity to listen to UD-501 yet.

 

IMO X10 isn't warm sounding. I pointed to the fact that many ES9018 implementations sound brighter or more aggressively. I would describe X10 sound as very neutral and without any coloration. Well balanced between 'analytical' and 'relaxed'.

 

One thing could be easily improved on X10 - the USB power. As many other DACs, X10 uses power from the connected USB cable for it's USB receiver circuit. Feeding it by external power from better quality source (linear supply or battery) slightly improves detail level and dynamics. That's usual result for many other DACs too. I'm using such a solution. I don't know about X12 if it requires power from the USB cable.

 

UD-501 feature list contains: "Power supply to USB circuit is switchable" and the manual contains:

 

USB input circuit power

 

AUTO

 

The USB port is powered only when the input is USB. When any other input is active, the USB port is not powered.

 

ON

 

The USB port is always powered.

 

I'm not sure how to understand that, if it is about powering UD-501 USB input circuit from USB cable or about powering it from UD-501 power supply.

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I didn't have the opportunity to listen to UD-501 yet.

 

IMO X10 isn't warm sounding. I pointed to the fact that many ES9018 implementations sound brighter or more aggressively. I would describe X10 sound as very neutral and without any coloration. Well balanced between 'analytical' and 'relaxed'.

 

One thing could be easily improved on X10 - the USB power. As many other DACs, X10 uses power from the connected USB cable for it's USB receiver circuit. Feeding it by external power from better quality source (linear supply or battery) slightly improves detail level and dynamics. That's usual result for many other DACs too. I'm using such a solution. I don't know about X12 if it requires power from the USB cable.

 

UD-501 feature list contains: "Power supply to USB circuit is switchable" and the manual contains:

 

USB input circuit power

 

AUTO

 

The USB port is powered only when the input is USB. When any other input is active, the USB port is not powered.

 

ON

 

The USB port is always powered.

 

I'm not sure how to understand that, if it is about powering UD-501 USB input circuit from USB cable or about powering it from UD-501 power supply.

 

Thanks for the clarification.

 

I read that as the Teac is always receiving power from the USB bus unless you turn it off and use the S/PDIF inputs instead. Most would choose to go USB because that's the only way to decode DSD on this dac.

 

I have a Grant Fidelity Tubedac-11 in my rig for almost 3 years already. I have been pretty happy with it. Warm sound very reasonably priced dac. I like the tube output a lot. Plenty of choices now in budget DSD dacs which is a great thing. The UD-501 has got my attention right now. I'm in the value for dollar club.

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  • 4 weeks later...
x12 arrived, sounds ok out of the box, playing via usb to u12 and i2s. has 2 filters sharp and slow. was concerned the ess chip would be harsh, but seems very well behaved (due to analogue circuit ?) and hopefully will get better.

 

Hi, I posted the following in head-fi. I believe you are an owner of both X12 and U12. I am suspicious about the firmware of USB-DDC board in X12, and U12 as well. Currently, I can play only PCM with my U12.

 

----------------

 

Hi, I am a U12 owner but not X12 yet.

 

An X12 owner in Japan wrote in his blog that left and right channels were reversed in DSD with USB input. Can you check this?

 

If you happen to have the U12 or any transport that outputs DoP via S/PDIF, can you also check by connecting two machines via a coaxial cable?

 

I heard many manufacturers had had the same issue in their first batch such as Combo384, Astell & Kern AK240, etc., and they fixed this issue via firmware update.

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  • 1 month later...

Could please someone tell if that's normal or abnormal for DSD? The measurements are for DAC-X12.

 

PCM vs DSD64 vs DSD128 vs DSD256 -

o2u3ub5w5yqt.png

spqjrsdqkti5.png

 

My model is DAC-X10. The models DAC-X10 and DAC-X12 differ in the analog stage, used after the DAC output.

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Could please someone tell if that's normal or abnormal for DSD?

 

Getting some amount of the ultrasonic noise visible on a scope plot is normal. But in this case it seems a bit excessive. Do you know what kind of analog filter stage it has after the DAC chip? Most DACs will need a separate analog filter following the DAC chip in order to cut out ultrasonic noise. Sabre does only small amount of filtering for DSD input, rest is supposed to be done in later analog stage.

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Miska, thanks for your answer!

 

The only information about the analog filter stage I have are pictures. I don't know if they are helpful, but I am adding them here.

 

DAC-X10:

HLB1fEFVFVXXXXaaaXXXq6xXFXXXR.jpg

 

Some schematics appear here: http://forum.vegalab.ru/showthread.php?t=65717&p=2000521&viewfull=1#post2000521

 

DAC-X12:

 

dac-x12-12.jpg

 

I would like to make clear that DAC-X10 and DAC-X12 have differently looking analog stages, but I don't know much about the real difference. The page http://www.shenzhenaudio.com/gustard-dac-x12-es9018-xmos-balance-dac-32bit-384khz-dsd-dop-decoder.html says that the analog stage of DAC-X12 is new development against DAC-X10: "The analog line is used is applied to the new flagship models X20 discrete analog line new development."

 

My listening comparisons resulted to clear preference of DSD128 on DAC-X10. I am upsampling everything - PCM as well as DSD64 to DSD128. I have no doubts that this sounds for me the best.

 

I compared DAC-X10 to Yulong Sabre DA8, Oppo HA-1 (both with ES9018) and they were sounding similar. I made that comparisons together with 2 other persons and we ended with standing, that all are of the same class. Yulong seems to have better USB transport (Amanero based, does not take power from USB input). I slightly preferred DAC-X10 over Nano iDSD (Nano sounded little bit veiled and less dynamic in comparison) and DAC-X10 was clearly better than very very small thing LH Labs Geek Out 450, also XMOS + ES9018 based.

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  • 4 months later...
  • 8 months later...
Hi and sorry to jump in, but did you compare X10 vs. X12 and found the X10 superior ?

Thanks a lot, gino

 

 

I didn't have the opportunity to listen to X12. I compared X10 with DA8 and HA-1.

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I didn't have the opportunity to listen to X12.

I compared X10 with DA8 and HA-1

 

Thank you very much indeed for your kind and valuable reply.

Excellent brand Gustard. I have their U12 interface and i like it a lot and very well built.

Regards, gino

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  • 2 weeks later...

I am considering this converter since it offers a lot of flexibility and value. Before I pull the trigger, I wanted to see if anyone had experience with the SMSL x-USB XMOS (SMSL X-USB XMOS USB to Spdif Converter DAC DSD IIS Digital Audio Interface - Professional Audio Store - Shenzhenaudio.com). On paper it looks pretty good while being quite a bit less expensive. I would appreciate feedback since the members of this site are very knowledgeable.

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