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Singxer SDA-6


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What a good start. Did you ordered the advanced version or standard ?

 

My self got Singxer SA-1 Headphones amplifer which on paper the cleanest amp ever made but the important is how it sound and it is really shocking 🤯 epic with Focal clear pro.

This company has some good engineers and I start to trust it. Next step maybe SDA-6 Advanced.

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18 hours ago, SwissBear said:

This SDA-6 DAC is as resolutive as you could imagine, but with a kind of nuanced manner. If you have been making photography, it’s kind of like moving from a very good and sharp Nikon or Canon lens to an equally sharp but more nuanced Leica Apo-Summicron… A balance of detail and subtlety in the rendering of music that I really appreciate.

 

Very interesting, thanks for sharing.

 

Please, can you shed some light on the sound signature?

Is it more forward sounding or more laid back?

What about dynamics, slam and PRaT?

 

Thanks again

 

Matt

"I want to know why the musicians are on stage, not where". (John Farlowe)

 

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5 hours ago, w1000i said:

What a good start. Did you ordered the advanced version or standard ?

 

My self got Singxer SA-1 Headphones amplifer which on paper the cleanest amp ever made but the important is how it sound and it is really shocking 🤯 epic with Focal clear pro.

This company has some good engineers and I start to trust it. Next step maybe SDA-6 Advanced.

Hi,

 

I ordered the advanced version. And I think the upgrade is worth it. 

BTW, the SA-1 is a nice complement to this SDA-6, which output voltage in DSD is a little tiny. Using the SA-1 as a small pre-amp could be a nice opportunity for you.

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1 hour ago, SwissBear said:

 

Hi Matt,

 

I described the sound signature of the x-Sabre with the ESS chip as a little bright for me. Kind of shiny and glossy.

On the opposite, the D90 was a little matt. 

The SDA-6 is just transparent, at least in the mode I use since I received it, which is NOS.

It's very relaxed and non aggressive. You can, as I do, listen to it for hours without being tired.

Dynamics is excellent. I mentioned above that the output voltage could need some boost when playing DSD. On my AHB2 amps, if connected directly to the amps, I would put the gain adjustment switch to medium when playing electronic music to get the necessary kick to move my B&W 802D3 at an appropriate level.

 Yep with DSD your SDA-6 has this output;

PCM: RCA single-ended output is 2.25V RMS, XLR balanced output is 4.5V RMS

DSD: RCA single-ended output is 1.8V RMS, XLR balanced output is 3.6V RMS

Output impedance: 22 ohm (RCA single-ended)/45 ohm (XLR balanced)

 

 

Benchmark AHB2:

INPUT SENSITIVITY

Low-Gain = 22 dBu (9.8 Vrms), Gain = 9.2 dB

Mid-Gain = 14.2 dBu (4 Vrms), Gain = 17.0 dB

High-Gain = 8.2 dBu (2 Vrms), Gain = 23 dB

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5 hours ago, SwissBear said:

 

Hi Matt,

 

I described the sound signature of the x-Sabre with the ESS chip as a little bright for me. Kind of shiny and glossy.

On the opposite, the D90 was a little matt. 

The SDA-6 is just transparent, at least in the mode I use since I received it, which is NOS.

It's very relaxed and non aggressive. You can, as I do, listen to it for hours without being tired.

Dynamics is excellent. I mentioned above that the output voltage could need some boost when playing DSD. On my AHB2 amps, if connected directly to the amps, I would put the gain adjustment switch to medium when playing electronic music to get the necessary kick to move my B&W 802D3 at an appropriate level.

 

I am looking to try something different myself and this DAC intrigues me. Coming from an LKS MH-DA004, the Sabre chip is very revealing. My Nautilus 803's may need a different sound signature. 

 

Are you in the US? How long did shipping take? If I were to strictly use the I2s input, is it necessary to still order the upgraded version?

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On 1/26/2021 at 10:12 PM, fmzip said:

Are you in the US? How long did shipping take? If I were to strictly use the I2s input, is it necessary to still order the upgraded version?

 

I am living in Switzerland. But shipment time should not be very different. I ordered on Thursday, the DAC was shipped on Friday, and was delivered Monday the next week. Shenzhenaudio uses the services of DLH Express.

 

Using the I2S input is a good idea. This allows to go up to PCM768 and DSD1024. I would like to mention that the integration of SDA-6 and SU-2 is excellent. With other DAC like the D90, I had very loud pops when changing sampling in HQPlayer. Together with SDA-6 things are very smooth.

 

Back to your question, the upgraded version offers Crystek clocks you will not benefit from, but you will still have the Mundorf capacitors at the output stage. We are not talking about fancy silver wirings here :-)

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2 hours ago, SwissBear said:

 

I am living in Switzerland. But shipment time should not be very different. I ordered on Thursday, the DAC was shipped on Friday, and was delivered Monday the next week. Shenzhenaudio uses the services of DLH Express.

 

Using the I2S input is a good idea. This allows to go up to PCM768 and DSD1024. I would like to mention that the integration of SDA-6 and SU-2 is excellent. With other DAC like the D90, I had very loud pops when changing sampling in HQPlayer (sometime to the point of putting my AHB2 in safety mode). Together with SDA-6 things are very smooth.

 

Back to your question, the upgraded version offers Crystek clocks you will not benefit from, but you will still have the Mundorf capacitors at the output stage. We are not talking about fancy silver wirings here :-)

Also non-feedback out which measure as good.

But I don't know what is the benefit to sound quality.

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5 hours ago, SwissBear said:

This allows to go up to PCM768 and DSD1024

Thanks for the info. What type of preamp are you using?

 

NOS.....I read this but still am lost:

https://samplerateconverter.com/educational/nos-dac#:~:text=NOS DAC (non-oversampling DAC,oversampling vs non-oversampling DAC.

 

I am not using HQ Player with ROON;  is this feature still beneficial?

 

They are showing DSD512, not 1024, on their website unless I am overlooking it. I've been using a Sonore UltraDigital for I2s and it's been working flawlessly as well

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35 minutes ago, fmzip said:

Thanks for the info. What type of preamp are you using?

 

No preamp at this stage.

 

35 minutes ago, fmzip said:

NOS.....I read this but still am lost:

https://samplerateconverter.com/educational/nos-dac#:~:text=NOS DAC (non-oversampling DAC,oversampling vs non-oversampling DAC.

 

I am not using HQ Player with ROON;  is this feature still beneficial?

 

The idea of NOS is to make all the DSP tasks asynchronously outside the DAC. Therefore you have an exact control of the filter you are using, and the way your files are processed.

 

HQPlayer is a master in this art, and I warmly recommend you this software. If you have a preference to stick to Roon without HQPlayer, you can still use the NOS mode in making the upsampling inside Roon. You can also not upsample at all and use the NOS mode of the DAC to just process your files in their original format. I did not try this yet.

 

35 minutes ago, fmzip said:

They are showing DSD512, not 1024, on their website unless I am overlooking it. I've been using a Sonore UltraDigital for I2s and it's been working flawlessly as well

 

Yes, this is with the USB input. With I2S you can go up to PCM 768 and DSD 1024. DSD 1024 is not officially supported, so please don't tell anyone that I tried it, but still works :-)

 

IMG_6548.thumb.jpeg.6fce9a6169d17598a8b45a9a57e290a4.jpeg

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35 minutes ago, SwissBear said:

Hi everyone,

 

We had an interesting discussion the other day with @Miska on the subject of 10 MHz clocks. I was trying to make the point that 10 MHz clocks had an interest in music reproduction which  Jussi refuted, explaining that the conversion of 10 MHz signal to frequencies usable by DAC oscillators (multiples of 44.1 kHz and 48 kHz) added jitter and was therefore not useful.

 

At the end of the discussion, Jussi shared some measurements of his Holo Spring 2 DAC, which were in fact not comparable to the ones I had published, essentially because he was measuring multiples of 44.1 kHz to show how powerful his technology of HQPlayer was in reducing jitter, when increasing sampling frequency to PCM 1.4 MHz or DSD 256. Measurement published by Jussi and mine were not comparable because the upsampling drastically reduces jitter, at least on his DAC and also because we had no idea of the number of samples used to make the FFT in either measurements, which has a direct impact on the noise floor.

 

To come back to my point, and to the comparison of things which are comparable, here is a graph of the jitter measured at the output of the SDA-6, in connection with an interface SU-2. 

 

Please note that you cannot compare the noise floor with Jussi's measurement as we do not know how many samples were used to produce this FFT. Also, the impulse is at 12 kHz as the sampling frequency is 48 kHz. Please also note that the x-axis has been very much enlarged.

 

In red, measurement of the jitter induced by the oscillators of the SU-2 (Accusilicon AS-318B).

In blue, measurement of the jitter when the SU-2 is connected to an external 10 MHz clock which is cold.

In green, measurement of the jitter when the SU-2 is connected to an external 10 MHz clock which is hot (after 12 hours of warming).

 

20210129102254.thumb.png.d1dd7cc20f127249a8b073d0c5d50a8e.png

 

I am tempted to infer from this graph that Yes, definitely, 10 MHz clock can have a beneficial influence on the J-test measurements of jitter, made at a DAC. I am also tempted to infer that Singxer has a good knowledge on how to implement these technologies.

 

Hope this helps :-)

 

Reference: http://www.erji.net/forum.php?mod=viewthread&tid=2216213&page=1#pid33553664

 

A precision: the test is made with an R2R DAC and not the SDA-6 as this is made clear in the Chinese post :-)

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3 hours ago, w1000i said:

Aha, yah that make sense as SDA-6 by it self has better measurements.

https://www.l7audiolab.com/f/measurementreview-of-singxer-sda-6/

 

 

You can only infer that if you know exactly the measurement conditions. The noise floor is a direct function of the number of samples used to build the FFT (FFT gain). So until you know that l7audiolab and Singxer have used the same number of samples, you can not compare the measurements. At least this is what I understand...

 

This is also a reason why it was useless to compare with Jussi's measurements...

 

I corrected this in my post. Thanks to Chris :-)

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A few listening impressions from this week:

- the DAC has progressed very well since I received it early this week: it has been sounding more and more natural by the day
- the I2S input through SU-2 seems to offers slightly more galvanic isolation than USB input in my opinion. 
When connected directly to the output of a computer (NAA for HQPlayer), I have a preference for the SU-2 -> I2S -> SDA-6 solution. The piano keys of Claudio Arrau are flowing very naturally... 
When connected through another device, like SOtM tx-USB, both inputs (USB or I2S through SU-2) are on par. USB might be slightly more detailed, probably due to the clock signal being applied directly at the DAC... and highs through the I2S slightly more silky. Just a matter of taste and the possibility to adjust according to each piece of music.
- finally, I have a preference when the NAA is fed through my EtherRegen switch, which clock signal is given by my REF-10. 
This seems to further enhance the naturalness of the music flow.
I am very impressed by this new DAC :-)
 
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@SwissBear, I think you are the very first consumer in the whole Internet posting private and objective opinion on this SDA-6 DAC. Finally! Thanks!

 

I am looking at his equipment, but had not found any review or opinion so far. Just some measurements, but measurements won't tell anything about sound quality and taste. And this is what I am looking for. Unfortunately there is no reseller in Poland (the closest is in the Netherlands), so I can not borrow it to check it in my system...

 

You are comparing its sounding with Matrix X-Sabre and Topping D90 - this is quite informative. I have also checked the D90, but I agree with your observation - it sounds a bit matt and flat even when comparing to a much cheaper Chinese ESS 9038Q2M-based DAC. So I have excluded D90 from my short list.

 

The question: have you ever tried Mytek Brooklyn Bridge/DAC+? Because this is currently on the top of my private list, upper than Chord Qutest (too shiny and randy). Mytek Brooklyn uses ESS 9028Pro chip. This is why I think it might be somehow close to the Matrix box.

 

My system has a velvet but also a bit dark sound, with high resolution - signature of my Vienna Acoutstic Beethoven loudspeakers. I wonder how the SDA-6 DAC would fit.  Maybe the ESS-based DAC could be better choice?... Now I tend to exclude any of AKM-based DACs, have also listened to Cary Audio 200-ts DAC, which is fantastic piece of equipment (especially with the tube output stage), but wouldn't fit to my system (too dark sound in the end).

I would appreciate any of your thoughts...

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49 minutes ago, pavlos said:

@SwissBear, I think you are the very first consumer in the whole Internet posting private and objective opinion on this SDA-6 DAC. Finally! Thanks!

 

I am looking at his equipment, but had not found any review or opinion so far. Just some measurements, but measurements won't tell anything about sound quality and taste. And this is what I am looking for. Unfortunately there is no reseller in Poland (the closest is in the Netherlands), so I can not borrow it to check it in my system...

 

You are comparing its sounding with Matrix X-Sabre and Topping D90 - this is quite informative. I have also checked the D90, but I agree with your observation - it sounds a bit matt and flat even when comparing to a much cheaper Chinese ESS 9038Q2M-based DAC. So I have excluded D90 from my short list.

 

The question: have you ever tried Mytek Brooklyn Bridge/DAC+? Because this is currently on the top of my private list, upper than Chord Qutest (too shiny and randy). Mytek Brooklyn uses ESS 9028Pro chip. This is why I think it might be somehow close to the Matrix box.

 

My system has a velvet but also a bit dark sound, with high resolution - signature of my Vienna Acoutstic Beethoven loudspeakers. I wonder how the SDA-6 DAC would fit.  Maybe the ESS-based DAC could be better choice?... Now I tend to exclude any of AKM-based DACs, have also listened to Cary Audio 200-ts DAC, which is fantastic piece of equipment (especially with the tube output stage), but wouldn't fit to my system (too dark sound in the end).

I would appreciate any of your thoughts...

https://shenzhenaudio.com/products/singxer-sda-6-primary-direct-solution-cchd-957-femtosecond-clock-of-usb-nos-model-dsd512-ak4499-dac-decoder

Offer 30 days trail.

 

However, SDA-6 have better preamp than D90 with discreet resistors and quality Capacitors.

Other thing, it mentioned in their website that the help develop 2nd generation XMOS USB Chip if the translation is correct which give them a high credibility as a manufacturer.

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1 hour ago, w1000i said:

https://shenzhenaudio.com/products/singxer-sda-6-primary-direct-solution-cchd-957-femtosecond-clock-of-usb-nos-model-dsd512-ak4499-dac-decoder

Offer 30 days trail.

 

However, SDA-6 have better preamp than D90 with discreet resistors and quality Capacitors.

Other thing, it mentioned in their website that the help develop 2nd generation XMOS USB Chip if the translation is correct which give them a high credibility as a manufacturer.

 

Shenzenaudio sends from China, so I would have to pay customs and VAT taxes on top. Waiting ages for tax refund when sending back to China, if taxes refundable at all... Also problems with support...

 

There are also EU-based resellers, like this: https://magnahifi.com/singxer-dac-sda-6-ak4499-balanced-dac/

I'll think about asking them to send me a demo piece, if possible.

 

On the other hand Mytek Brooklyn is manufactured in Warsaw, so I have the best possible support in my country (just in case)...

And that's why I am asking SwissBear whether it is worth of additional effort to get the Singxer to check in my home setup.

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@SwissBear, thank you for your reply.

I will certainly invite Matrix X-Sabre to my home, to be able to compare it with Mytek.

I will also seriously think about getting Singxer SDA-6 to check it.

And Mytek Brooklyn DAC+ also has external clock input, by the way...

 

There is also another (less important) factor: the possibility of selling it (the unwanted unknown may bring some reasons). I think Mytek Brooklyn is the easiest to be sold off the three.

 

But, Singxer SDA-6 is half of the price of the other two, not to be forgotten...

 

Will let you all know about final results !

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5 minutes ago, pavlos said:

 

And Mytek Brooklyn DAC+ also has external clock input, by the way...

 

It seems that the clock input of the Brooklyn DAC+ is a World Clock and not a Master Clock.

The World Clock is intended at synchronising multiple instances of the DAC in order to process more than 2 channels.

You will probably have to convert the signal of any 10 MHz clock into a World Clock signal (multiple of 44.1kHz or 48kHz) in case you want the Brooklyn DAC+ to be used as slave...

That's what I understand from their user manual anyway :-)

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On 2/1/2021 at 6:30 PM, Miska said:

Now let's see same test with SDA-6 Pro version with the Crystek CCHD-957 clocks vs the Mutec (?) 10 MHz external clock you are using...

 

Hi Jussi, 

Thanks for stopping by. I would love to make those measurements and contribute to a better scientific understanding of the influence of 10 MHz clocks on the behaviour of audio systems, independently of the marketing discourse of suppliers.

Unfortunately, this will not happen at this stage as I have not been able to convince myself that this was part of my hobby to invest into costly measurement devices.

Access to gears such as APx555B is limited, and the local reseller even refuses to rent me one as I am not a potential buyer :-) And the guys from Spectral Measurement didn’t even reply to my RFQ :-)

Another reason why this will not happen is that, despite the efforts put by Singxer into the galvanic isolation of their SDA-6, the USB input is by far not at the level of the I2S one, and I very much prefer to stay with the SU-2 interface in front of it.

So I will stay with the measurements which have already been published above, which show that the input of a 10 MHz OCXO clock into the SU-2 improves the jitter in quite a substantial manner, compared to its own Accusilicon AS-318B oscillators.

 

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