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Which has better measurements?

Which has better usb noise isolation ?

Which has better power supply?

 

Do either do hardware upsampling or rely on player to upsample?

 

how do the 2 compare in subjective listening?

 

Anything out there in same price range that should be on the shortlist?

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1 hour ago, giordy60 said:

the a-18 is not yet on the market ...... it is difficult at the moment to make a comparison ....

 

Ok thanks..i saw it here, and just went back and looked and just noticed "presale"...

looks like a great price though for it's feature set (including balanced, linear power supply, femto clocks, and other components used).

 

https://shenzhenaudio.com/products/gustard-dac-a18-ak4499-balanced-dac-lme49860-6-decoder-with-remote-control

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oh yes ...... interesting product at a very good price
next month it should be marketed.

sistema:

Server HDPlex (i7-6700-WS2016) HQPlayer con Ramdisk + HQPDcontrol> rete via cavo> TPlink mc 110cs> monomodale ottico> TPlink mc 110cs> HDPlex NAA (celeron G1840T-WS2016) NAD con Ramdisk, Denafrips Ares2, SPLvolume2 

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  • 3 weeks later...

I just bought the gustard a18

 

It's the lowest price DAC that supports DSD with an LPS that measures "well".

Sports the new ak4499 chips

 

In all likelihood, i won't hear an appreciable difference, and will prefer streaming via my marantz (yawn)....but i need a new toy.

 

AND IT'S ON SALE !!  I love sales.  $505 

 

(bought at apos.audio and had them match shenzenaudio https://shenzhenaudio.com/products/gustard-dac-a18-ak4499-balanced-dac-lme49860-6-decoder-with-remote-control )

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9 hours ago, OldBigEars said:

Just sent my D90 back.  Fantastic measurements, DSD 256 and all..

I just wasn't loving with my music any more.

YMMV - let us know how it goes.

 

i would think so, comparing $700 topping d90 dac to your $2500 dac...that hegel looks nice...

 

i don't think my $500 gustard a18 dac will compare much to your $2500 dac either....but there is always the other side of the fence that believes all dacs that measure well will sound the same....who knows...

 

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I must add that Apos Audio have been very classy about returning the D90 - no issues whatsoever. Highly recommended if you want to give this DAC a try.

Tidal / Qobuz--> Roon--> Fios Gigabit--> Netgear Prosafe GS105 --> Supra 8-->EtherRegen --> AQCinnamon --> microRendu 1.4 / CI Audio LPS --> Curious Evolved Link --> Chord Qutest--> AQ Water --> Belles Aria Integrated--> AQ Robin Hood--> Kudos Super 20's

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7 hours ago, OldBigEars said:

I must add that Apos Audio have been very classy about returning the D90 - no issues whatsoever. Highly recommended if you want to give this DAC a try.

i got the gustard a18 from them (Apos audio).  I am surprised they let you return it after 4 weeks?  I understand the gustard a18 is heavier and feels more solid than the d90. 

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10 hours ago, beerandmusic said:

i got the gustard a18 from them (Apos audio).  I am surprised they let you return it after 4 weeks?  I understand the gustard a18 is heavier and feels more solid than the d90. 

 

The reviews will be flying in soon - hope it's good

Tidal / Qobuz--> Roon--> Fios Gigabit--> Netgear Prosafe GS105 --> Supra 8-->EtherRegen --> AQCinnamon --> microRendu 1.4 / CI Audio LPS --> Curious Evolved Link --> Chord Qutest--> AQ Water --> Belles Aria Integrated--> AQ Robin Hood--> Kudos Super 20's

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On 6/19/2020 at 10:09 AM, OldBigEars said:

 

The reviews will be flying in soon - hope it's good

do you happen to know if the remote allowed you to power off the unit with long-hold, or no way to turn off with remote?

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6 hours ago, beerandmusic said:

do you happen to know if the remote allowed you to power off the unit with long-hold, or no way to turn off with remote?

 

Hmm,  can't remember as I tend to leave my DAC's on 24/7.  It seemed to go into sleep mode when not used, I think.

Tidal / Qobuz--> Roon--> Fios Gigabit--> Netgear Prosafe GS105 --> Supra 8-->EtherRegen --> AQCinnamon --> microRendu 1.4 / CI Audio LPS --> Curious Evolved Link --> Chord Qutest--> AQ Water --> Belles Aria Integrated--> AQ Robin Hood--> Kudos Super 20's

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On 6/17/2020 at 8:41 PM, OldBigEars said:

Just sent my D90 back.  Fantastic measurements, DSD 256 and all..

I just wasn't loving with my music any more.

YMMV - let us know how it goes.

If you want to love your music more try changing the speaker not the DAC.

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6 hours ago, w1000i said:

If you want to love your music more try changing the speaker not the DAC.

I think he has made the right choice! So, Kudos to OldBigEars! ☺️

Triangle Magellan Concerto 2 < AQ Everest < Vitus Audio SS-010 Mk2 < AQ NRG-Wild < AQ WEL XLR < Chord Qutest DAC w UpTone JS-2 & AQ Dragon Source < AQ Diamond USB < SOtM tX-USBultra w Paul Hynes SR5-12 Turbo XL & AQ Dragon Source < SOtM sMS-200UltraNeo w Paul Hynes SR3-12 & AQ NRG-10 < NetGear GS105GE Switch w UpTone LPS1.2 < Supra CAT8 Ethernet < Apple MacMini w UpTone DC Conversion Kit & UpTone JS-2 < Squeezelite w Logitech Media Server < Stillpoints UltraSS, Ansuz Darkz D-TC & D2, Omicron Harmonic Stabilizer, Gold Evolution SE & Classic < Furutech FT-SWS (R) < Synergistic Research Blue Quantum Fuse < Solid Tech Hybrid < GigaWatt G-16A 2P Circuit Breaker

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46 minutes ago, johndoe21ro said:

I think he has made the right choice! So, Kudos to OldBigEars! ☺️

 

Thank you johndoe, my Kudos Super 20's have never sounded so good.  They are loving the Qutest.

Tidal / Qobuz--> Roon--> Fios Gigabit--> Netgear Prosafe GS105 --> Supra 8-->EtherRegen --> AQCinnamon --> microRendu 1.4 / CI Audio LPS --> Curious Evolved Link --> Chord Qutest--> AQ Water --> Belles Aria Integrated--> AQ Robin Hood--> Kudos Super 20's

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On 6/18/2020 at 7:30 PM, OldBigEars said:

I must add that Apos Audio have been very classy about returning the D90 - no issues whatsoever. Highly recommended if you want to give this DAC a try.

 

Similar experience here - Apos had of their own accord upgraded the shipping to DHL Express on the purchase (took only a few days to get to where I am on the East Coast even w/customs & COVID!). 

 

Then graciously accepted return of the D90 past the 30 days when I had informed them that to my ears & personal listening preferences, although it was a really great sounding DAC esp in its price class (the expansive soundstage & detail retrieval thru my D90 + Arya + Wywires cabling rivalled my HD800 which is quite a feat, but sans the sibilance & bass deficiencies) ...however didn't quite live up to my (admittedly inflated) expectations as a long term investment when matched to my present system... Apos had even paid for the return shipping :) 

 

Maintained great communications with this first time customer throughout the whole process - found their sales & support team to be always courteous, helpful & responsive without ever resorting to aggressive or pushy sales tactics.  Well done all around!

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1 hour ago, soundbloke said:

 

Similar experience here - Apos had of their own accord upgraded the shipping to DHL Express on the purchase (took only a few days to get to where I am on the East Coast even w/customs & COVID!). 

 

Then graciously accepted return of the D90 past the 30 days when I had informed them that to my ears & personal listening preferences, although it was a really great sounding DAC esp in its price class (the expansive soundstage & detail retrieval thru my D90 + Arya + Wywires cabling rivalled my HD800 which is quite a feat, but sans the sibilance & bass deficiencies) ...however didn't quite live up to my (admittedly inflated) expectations as a long term investment when matched to my present system... Apos had even paid for the return shipping :) 

 

Maintained great communications with this first time customer throughout the whole process - found their sales & support team to be always courteous, helpful & responsive without ever resorting to aggressive or pushy sales tactics.  Well done all around!


Agree 100%. Their speed of service is remarkable.  And of course they sell a variety of brands worth considering. 

Tidal / Qobuz--> Roon--> Fios Gigabit--> Netgear Prosafe GS105 --> Supra 8-->EtherRegen --> AQCinnamon --> microRendu 1.4 / CI Audio LPS --> Curious Evolved Link --> Chord Qutest--> AQ Water --> Belles Aria Integrated--> AQ Robin Hood--> Kudos Super 20's

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On 6/21/2020 at 6:49 AM, OldBigEars said:

Just to conclude my DAC experimentation process.....

 

how did the qutest compare with your hegel dac?

I thought about trying "chord magic" after Davide talks up his mojo so much, but then ran into someone else that had the mojo and said it sounds the same as any other dac he has owned, and has had pretty much same experience as me, hoping for an appreciable upgrade from a dac and never getting one.  Qutetst was going to be my last hope...curious if i will hear any real appreciable difference.

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For a long time, I've been curious about the extent to which DAC's really affect the sound quality of an audio system.  I was not expecting much of a difference between my older-tech Hegel HD25 and the relatively new Chord.  But the Hegel, in my opinion, pretty much brushed away the new Topping - even though it was less detailed.  It was just more enjoyable.

 

However the Qutest is a revelation.  After the first 30 seconds I was grinning like a cat - within 2 minutes I knew the Chord was in my system to stay.  It has even more information than the Topping BUT it unpacks and organizes the layers beautifully.  No digital hash or harsh, irritating high frequencies - at least not in my system.  

 

Enough hyperbole. you get the picture. I love what it's doing.  My Kudos Super 20's are known to be resolving speakers - they don't mix comfortably with brash sources.  With the Qutest they are singing sweetly.

 

Connections....with the Hegel I discovered that coax (via Schiit Eitr) was a nice improvement over its USB. I will explore this combination soon with the Chord but, as mentioned, even the stock USB sounds terrific.  

Tidal / Qobuz--> Roon--> Fios Gigabit--> Netgear Prosafe GS105 --> Supra 8-->EtherRegen --> AQCinnamon --> microRendu 1.4 / CI Audio LPS --> Curious Evolved Link --> Chord Qutest--> AQ Water --> Belles Aria Integrated--> AQ Robin Hood--> Kudos Super 20's

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2 hours ago, beerandmusic said:

Well I got my Gustard A18 and it sounds as good or better than any DAC I have heard, and I am pleased.

Most notably is depth and detail especially with native DSD256.

Are you using the USB input ?

 

(I had the Gustard A20H and that was much more alive and enjoyable than a Topping D70 in the same system.. so not surprised by your preliminary A18 comments.. congratulations! )

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17 hours ago, beerandmusic said:

Well I got my Gustard A18 and it sounds as good or better than any DAC I have heard, and I am pleased.

Most notably is depth and detail especially with native DSD256.


Good to hear - enjoy it !

Tidal / Qobuz--> Roon--> Fios Gigabit--> Netgear Prosafe GS105 --> Supra 8-->EtherRegen --> AQCinnamon --> microRendu 1.4 / CI Audio LPS --> Curious Evolved Link --> Chord Qutest--> AQ Water --> Belles Aria Integrated--> AQ Robin Hood--> Kudos Super 20's

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