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Gustard A20H DAC with dual AK4497EQ

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I think this company has it together. I replaced a Dac with dual Sabre 9018 with one using AK4396 and feel it is an improvement.

Heard many here say the Sabre dacs have a "sound". Always thought this is implementation. My tricked out Dac with latest Sabre Dac has the house "sound".

Might swing for one of these.


2012 Mac Mini, i5 - 2.5 GHz, 16 GB RAM. SSD,  PM/PV software, Focusrite Clarett 4Pre 4 channel interface. Daysequerra M4.0X Broadcast monitor., My_Ref Evolution rev a , Klipsch La Scala II, Blue Sky Sub 12

Clarett used as ADC for vinyl rips.

Corning Optical Thunderbolt cable used to connect computer to 4Pre. Dac fed by iFi iPower and Noise Trapper isolation transformer. 

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Some interesting times in the top-end-chip, not-so-high-end-price DAC world... Somewhere in that original forum link I think I read it may be announced next week. And then there's the Oppo Sonica DAC with the ESS ES9038PRO chip on the horizon too. Of course all is in the implementation, but they both seem promising. My main concern about the AKM chip is whether it will support USB HID volume control which I find super useful. That said many ESS-based DACs don't support it even though the chip itself does.

Mac Mini > RME ADI-2 DAC > Hypex Ncore monoblocks > ATC SCM-11 speakers & C1 subwoofer

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It will include discrete and true balanced headamp with both unbalanced and balanced headphone connectors:


MAX POWER (rms) balance

32Ω 2400mW

150Ω 530mW

300Ω 266mW

600Ω 133mW


MAX POWER (rms) Single-Ended

16Ω 1200mW

32Ω 600mW

150Ω 133mW

300Ω 67mW

600Ω 33mW

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Exciting times with the new chips about to hit the market in these new products. Thanks for sharing.



[MacBook with Audirvana+ -- WW Plat USB -- W4S DAC2 -- WW Silver IC -- C2300 NOS Telefunken blue tips -- WW Silver IC -- Mc252 -- 803S] + [dual Fathom F113 v2] + [WW Silver PC's]

Long term goals, one piece at a time

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This looks really interesting. DSD512, I2S connectivity, preamp & headphone amp. If I'm reading the translated forum page correctly, it will come in under $1000..









Synology DS1515+ >  PS Audio P10 > Innuos Zenith Mk II running Roon Core > IsoRegen/LPS-1 > Lyngdorf TDAI 2170 > Tekton Double Impact Speakers

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 4 months later...

Currently thinking between gustard A20H and Musical paradise MP-D2

+ gustard A20H

1. Can buy in the city i live, without additional taxes/custom fees

2. 2 year warranty and store cares about all possible problems

3. A little bit "better" chip Dual AK4497EQ is used (how better, no idea, just higher number)

4. Can buy it and return in 30 days without any reason.

5. DSD512 only with IIS, i will use USB with microRendu


- gustard A20H

1. No tubes and no possible tweaks (change tubes, capacitors)



+ musical paradise mp-d2

1. Tubes and possible tweaks

2. More warm sound because of the tubes


- musical paradise mp-d2

1. Direct order in China, taxes/custom fees may be a lot (its Germany babe)

2. Possible problems with repair/returns, have to pay a lot taxes again

3. Maybe used worse chip AK4490 (dont know, just lower number)

4. Impossible to listen and return it back in 30 days.

5. 1 year warranty, all possible problems on me.

6. Price may be 1300+ euro with taxes against 965 euro for gustard


Looks like the choice is obvious, but tubes and warm sound... :(

dCS Network Bridge | Audio Note DAC2 Signature | Audio Note M5 Preamp | Audio Note Empress Silver Monoblocks | Audio Note AN-E/Spe HE Speakers

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