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GUSTARD X26PRO DAC - I2S DAC X GIESEMANN 10M MASTER CLOCK


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INTRODUCING THE FLAGSHIP GUSTARD X26PRO DAC - I2S DAC X GIESEMANN 10M MASTER CLOCK

 

Since January, AfterDark. introduce the new Giesemann 10M Master Clock. So, we want to share how we optimised with audiophile system, with 10M Master Clock inputs. The Gustard X26PRO DAC is one of the very innovative product with I2S hdmi inputs, MQA full decoding via USB and accepting 10M Master Clock inputs from Giesemann 10M Master Clock. The BNC input is 50ohm same input specification with Esoteric gears.

 

This Gustard X26PRO Flagship DAC is very attractive in price, costing 1/10 when compared to Esoteric. It is worth to examine this Gustard X26pro DAC in details to try them with a high quality Giesemann Clock to maximise the sound quality. 

 

Order via www.adark.com

 

10M Master Reference clock Input Ready 

This X26PRO can be further optimise its sounding, where we can utilities the 10M Master Reference clock to unlock the real performance on DAC flagship chips ES9038PRO X 2 dual mono independently for 2 channels.  

 

Support MQA FULL decoding. Different equipment and different playback methods will play different sound effects of the same MQA file. The way MQA works is to "fold" the analog audio like origami, become a smaller file. Once this file is played on a decoder that can read MQA files, can reopen the folded part to release the highest resolution music. Admittedly, The playback quality will depend on your device, but at least this file has the potential to reproduce the original recording.

 

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K2 Technology ULTRA LOW NOISE CLOCK Synthesizer  : USB, I2S, AES, Optical, Coaxial inputs can improve with 10M Master Clock Input

 

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AfterDark. Giesemann Clock 10M Reference Master Clock - Audiophilestyle.com Edition

 

 

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X26PRO will have USB, Optical, Coaxial, bluetooth, AES and IIS inputs. For outputs, it'll have RCA and XLR capability. Support LVDS level differential I²S reception (using HDMI interface), it can accept the lowest jitter digital audio! Support up to 6 input modes, compatible with most audio sources! 

 

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8-channel hybrid discrete IV conversion circuit and independent adder circuit, fully meet the requirements of ES9038PRO output current, and ensure high sound quality from the source.

 

Gustard X26Pro DAC Symétrique 2x ES9038Pro XMOS Bluetooth 5.0 MQA 32Bit 768kHz DSD512 Noir

ALTERA MAX II CPLD

The logic functions of the X26Pro are enhanced with CPLD, including a clock management system, second PLL digital processing, DoP decoding and many other functions that contribute greatly to the performance of the device.

 

Gustard X26Pro DAC Symétrique 2x ES9038Pro XMOS Bluetooth 5.0 MQA 32Bit 768kHz DSD512 Noir

FILTERS & SHARC DSP

The Gustard X26Pro offers several digital filters, PCM and DSD, to adapt the sound reproduction to your listening and audio system, while reducing residual noise. In order to offer high quality filters, Gustard has chosen to develop its own filters using a DSP Analog Device SHARC chip. This solution integrates an anti-aliasing algorithm designed by Gustard, using a high-precision 64bit floating point system. Moreover, this algorithm has been optimized to work perfectly with ESS DACs and ensure the best possible sound quality.

 

DUAL ESS9038PRO x 2 DUAL MONO

Flagship chip ES9038PRO x 2 DUAL MONO, This chip is a 32bits 4-channel switch resistance DAC, which uses newly developed technology to achieve industry-leading low distortion and low noise characteristics (output noise as low as 1.5uVrms). It was the audio industry's highest sound quality and best specification. 

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Discrete 8 Channels Hybrid I/V Power Conversion Circuit for ESS9038PRO

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Gustard X26Pro DAC Symétrique 2x ES9038Pro XMOS Bluetooth 5.0 MQA 32Bit 768kHz DSD512 Noir

 

SPECIFICATIONS
Product type Balanced DAC
Inputs 1x USB-B
1x I2S via HDMI LVDS
1x Coaxial
Bluetooth 5.0
1x AES/EBU
1x Optical
1x BNC
Outputs 1x Balanced stereo XLR
1x Single-ended stereo RCA
DAC Chips 2x ESS ES9038Pro
Bluetooth chip Qualcomm CSR8675
Supported Bluetooth codecs AAC, SBC, aptX, aptX LL, aptX HD, LDAC
USB Interface XMOS XU216
Supported sampling rates USB : PCM up to 32bit 768kHz, Native DSD up to DSD512, DSD DoP up to DSD256, MQA
I2S : PCM up to 32bit 768kHz, Native DSD up to DSD512, DSD DoP up to DSD256
AES / Optical / Coaxial : PCM up to 24bit 192kHz, DSD DoP up to DSD64

 

 

GENERAL
Power supply 115-230V AC (switchable supply voltage)
Housing material Aluminum alloy
Dimensions 330 x 260 x 65mm
Weight 7.5kg
Color Black

 

image.jpeg.5211fd1af8d1d0750b2aba5a7248d354.jpeg

Amp: Goldmund 27+ EVO Preamp, Goldmund 29M Power Amp, Goldmund AC-Curator

DAC: CH Precision C1.1 Digital Convertor,  Studer D19 DAC

Digital: Mutec MC3-USB,  AfterDark. Giesemann OCXO 10M Master Clock Giesemann EVA 

Playback: Goldmund PH3 Phono Amp, Linn LP12, Studer A807 VU MKII Open Reel

Network Switch:  AFTERDARK. PROJECT CLAYX BUFFALO BS-GS2016 CASCADE X GIESEMANN OCXO BLACK MODERNIZE EDITION x Farad Super3 LPS

Dealer: SMSL, Gustard, Farad Power Supply, Cybershaft, Thixar, UpTone Audio, Waversa, DELA

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  • AfterDark. changed the title to GUSTARD X26PRO DAC - I2S DAC X GIESEMANN 10M MASTER CLOCK

Interesting to see such equipment on this site :-) Thanks for sharing.

This DAC seems to have some very interesting characteristics, ie a NOS mode, which is well suited to operate with HQPlayer, an external clock input and a seemingly nicely designed full discrete output stage.

The measurements made by 7audiolab.com (https://www.l7audiolab.com/f/measurements-of-gustard-x26-pro/) only briefly touch the subject of the external clock at the end of the test, showing a nearfield J-Test which compares two different cables when connecting the DAC to the Gustard C-18 10MHz clock.

Did you have the opportunity to make your own measurements of the impact of your Giesmann 10MHz Master Clocks when connected to such a DAC. Have you been able to show any measurable improvement, either in terms of THD+N, or in terms of J-Test ?

Thanks.

Link to comment
26 minutes ago, SwissBear said:

Interesting to see such equipment on this site :-) Thanks for sharing.

This DAC seems to have some very interesting characteristics, ie a NOS mode, which is well suited to operate with HQPlayer, an external clock input and a seemingly nicely designed full discrete output stage.

The measurements made by 7audiolab.com (https://www.l7audiolab.com/f/measurements-of-gustard-x26-pro/) only briefly touch the subject of the external clock at the end of the test, showing a nearfield J-Test which compares two different cables when connecting the DAC to the Gustard C-18 10MHz clock.

Did you have the opportunity to make your own measurements of the impact of your Giesmann 10MHz Master Clocks when connected to such a DAC. Have you been able to show any measurable improvement, either in terms of THD+N, or in terms of J-Test ?

Thanks.

 

Hi! SwissBear,

 

We are pre-ordering a demo unit of Gustard X26pro in Black to test with the Giesemann 10MHz Master Clock, will record some YouTube to show how this Gustard X26pro performs in real audiophile systems. There will be more close up photos later on. 

 

The Gustard C18 10Mhz clock has phase noise -110dBC @ 1Hz 

The Giesemann EVA 10Mhz clock has phase noise -121dBC @ 1Hz , the difference will be huge, so we expecting the Gustard X26pro DAC will be at peak performance when we perform tests later on. 

 

The NOS mode which was implemented on most R2R dac, like Denefrips Terminator R2R DAC, which is more preferable and enjoyable without apply any over-sampling, the music will be like vinyl, silk smooth. With the discrete output stage, this is a plus too. 

 

Best Regards,

Adrian

AfterDark. 

 

Amp: Goldmund 27+ EVO Preamp, Goldmund 29M Power Amp, Goldmund AC-Curator

DAC: CH Precision C1.1 Digital Convertor,  Studer D19 DAC

Digital: Mutec MC3-USB,  AfterDark. Giesemann OCXO 10M Master Clock Giesemann EVA 

Playback: Goldmund PH3 Phono Amp, Linn LP12, Studer A807 VU MKII Open Reel

Network Switch:  AFTERDARK. PROJECT CLAYX BUFFALO BS-GS2016 CASCADE X GIESEMANN OCXO BLACK MODERNIZE EDITION x Farad Super3 LPS

Dealer: SMSL, Gustard, Farad Power Supply, Cybershaft, Thixar, UpTone Audio, Waversa, DELA

Link to comment
On 2/23/2021 at 5:17 PM, SwissBear said:

Interesting to see such equipment on this site :-) Thanks for sharing.

This DAC seems to have some very interesting characteristics, ie a NOS mode, which is well suited to operate with HQPlayer, an external clock input and a seemingly nicely designed full discrete output stage.

The measurements made by 7audiolab.com (https://www.l7audiolab.com/f/measurements-of-gustard-x26-pro/) only briefly touch the subject of the external clock at the end of the test, showing a nearfield J-Test which compares two different cables when connecting the DAC to the Gustard C-18 10MHz clock.

Did you have the opportunity to make your own measurements of the impact of your Giesmann 10MHz Master Clocks when connected to such a DAC. Have you been able to show any measurable improvement, either in terms of THD+N, or in terms of J-Test ?

Thanks.

what I know ESS 9038pro can't run NOS 100% as it will go through it DSP

Link to comment
  • 1 month later...
8 hours ago, R1200CL said:

So again, as with the SU-2, how is this external 10 MHz clock working ? 
Bypass totally internal clocks and the 10 MHz signal is feed to the Altera MAX II FPGA to create necessary frequencies ?

 

This is a good question :) I don't have the answer. You can ask on the forum which "Science" in the name. A guy from Gustard is answering questions there, and can be reached with @gustard. Although you might be informed that they have a strong cultural bias against 10 MHz clocks over there...

 

I can only share my own experience: this DAC offers a good implementation of 10 MHz clock signal, in the sense that the input of such a clock signal really is audible and favorable.

 

Just my 2c and my experience, on my system, with my ears :-)

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  • 2 months later...
On 2/23/2021 at 3:36 PM, AfterDark. said:

 

Hi! SwissBear,

 

We are pre-ordering a demo unit of Gustard X26pro in Black to test with the Giesemann 10MHz Master Clock, will record some YouTube to show how this Gustard X26pro performs in real audiophile systems. There will be more close up photos later on. 

 

Best Regards,

Adrian

AfterDark. 

Any news on this DAC?

On 2/23/2021 at 3:36 PM, AfterDark. said:

 

 

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Hi! Vhond,

 

The X26pro is burned in non-stop for 2 months now. It is ready to record YouTube. We are planning to use i2S connection directly with AfterDark. Rosanna Network Bridge. The i2S signal will directly connect to the interface on Gustard X26pro together with Giesemann EVA 10M Master Clock. 

 

i2S interface is much transparent and details when compared to USB connection. 

 

The result is just amazing.

 

Best Regards,

Adrian

AfterDark. 

Amp: Goldmund 27+ EVO Preamp, Goldmund 29M Power Amp, Goldmund AC-Curator

DAC: CH Precision C1.1 Digital Convertor,  Studer D19 DAC

Digital: Mutec MC3-USB,  AfterDark. Giesemann OCXO 10M Master Clock Giesemann EVA 

Playback: Goldmund PH3 Phono Amp, Linn LP12, Studer A807 VU MKII Open Reel

Network Switch:  AFTERDARK. PROJECT CLAYX BUFFALO BS-GS2016 CASCADE X GIESEMANN OCXO BLACK MODERNIZE EDITION x Farad Super3 LPS

Dealer: SMSL, Gustard, Farad Power Supply, Cybershaft, Thixar, UpTone Audio, Waversa, DELA

Link to comment

Hi! Vhond, 

 

The AES connection is really nice too. We could try the AES output of Mutec MC-3+USB. The Giesemann OCXO 10M Master clock can provide reference signals to both Mutec and Gustard X26pro, so they can sync at the same time with reference. The result will be surprising too. 

 

Thanks and have a nice day.

 

Best Regards,

Adrian

AfterDark. 

 

 

 

Amp: Goldmund 27+ EVO Preamp, Goldmund 29M Power Amp, Goldmund AC-Curator

DAC: CH Precision C1.1 Digital Convertor,  Studer D19 DAC

Digital: Mutec MC3-USB,  AfterDark. Giesemann OCXO 10M Master Clock Giesemann EVA 

Playback: Goldmund PH3 Phono Amp, Linn LP12, Studer A807 VU MKII Open Reel

Network Switch:  AFTERDARK. PROJECT CLAYX BUFFALO BS-GS2016 CASCADE X GIESEMANN OCXO BLACK MODERNIZE EDITION x Farad Super3 LPS

Dealer: SMSL, Gustard, Farad Power Supply, Cybershaft, Thixar, UpTone Audio, Waversa, DELA

Link to comment
  • 6 months later...

Hi, 

Based on comments here and the fact that I own a Mutec Ref10 SE120 master clock, I ordered this Gustard X26 Pro dac from @AfterDark.

 

Hope to get it soon. Will comment my findings here. 

 

/Jan

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Hi, 

I got the X26 Pro dac today. I have powered it on for a burn in period. Functions are fine and plays all formats. Locks good on REF10 master clock signal. The sound needs to mature. The journey has just begun.. 

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  • 3 weeks later...

I thought I'd drop in and report on a change in configuration of my Gustard X26 Pro DAC, which is a quite superb performer. I unlocked its full potential by feeding it with my AfterDark Emperor Triple Crown clock, via a Belden 4694R cable. I also upgraded the Gustard's firmware to version F20 beta.

 

The sound took a step jump up in quality with amazing insight into the tiniest detail in a huge soundstage. Dynamics and impact are up, too. Despite the internal K-2 clock being very good, the AfterDark pulled away comfortably and truly revealed what the Gustard is capable of.

TP-Link MR6400 4G router > Uptone EtherREGEN reclocker > Sonore Signature Rendu SE streamer > Gustard U18 DDC > Gustard X26 Pro DAC > Belles SA-100 power amp > Usher Dancer Be-20 speakers. AfterDark clocks x 2. PS Audio P3 & P10 regenerators.

https://theaudiostandard.net

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 1/30/2022 at 10:45 AM, addac said:

@MartinT : Thanks for the info. I will try it out with the Beta FW.

 

Any update on this?

TP-Link MR6400 4G router > Uptone EtherREGEN reclocker > Sonore Signature Rendu SE streamer > Gustard U18 DDC > Gustard X26 Pro DAC > Belles SA-100 power amp > Usher Dancer Be-20 speakers. AfterDark clocks x 2. PS Audio P3 & P10 regenerators.

https://theaudiostandard.net

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@MartinT 

Sure. After approx 40 days (~960hrs) of continuous power on and playing music the X26 Pro now shows its guts. I use it with piCorePlayers (ver. 8.1, Linux ALSA) and the F20 beta fw. It runs flawlessly and sounds great. I started by getting the Gustard U18 USB interface in november 2021 when it was announced. I have had good experience with the earlier U16 and wanted to see what the Gustard team had done with the new hardware along with the K2 clock synthesizer. I was surprised by its sound on internal XO's but I was stunned when using the Mutec REF10 SE120 feeding the time pulse. That led me to also get the X26 Pro. I use three inputs and some times the Blue tooth. I mainly use the U18-HDMI (I2S)-X26Pro. I also use USB input direct on X26Pro and finally a Mutec MC3+USB via AES into the X26 Pro. All those USB inputs uses XMOS chips and sounds good but the U18 -HDMI-X26 Pro wins in all aspects fed bu the Mutec REF10 Master clock. So to upgrade further...add the U18 and feed by the same high quality Master clock.

I think the U18+X26 Pro is one of the best buys out there for the moment. The Gustard team has tuned these devices to be analog sounding. Very well done Gustard! 5 out of 5 on the Combo from me.

/Jan

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Agreed, my system doesn't sound 'digital', but then again it doesn't sound old-school analogue either.

 

I'm using Mutec MC-3+ USB to X26 Pro, each with an AfterDark clock (King and Emperor Triple Crown respectively). The combination is really excellent.

TP-Link MR6400 4G router > Uptone EtherREGEN reclocker > Sonore Signature Rendu SE streamer > Gustard U18 DDC > Gustard X26 Pro DAC > Belles SA-100 power amp > Usher Dancer Be-20 speakers. AfterDark clocks x 2. PS Audio P3 & P10 regenerators.

https://theaudiostandard.net

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I was able to borrow a Gustard U18 yesterday. Goodness me, by the time I added my AfterDark clock to it, added a grounding box and (most important) set it for I2S output via HDMI into my X26 Pro, it was comfortably beating the Mutec by a handsome margin.

 

Consequently, I have ordered a U18.

TP-Link MR6400 4G router > Uptone EtherREGEN reclocker > Sonore Signature Rendu SE streamer > Gustard U18 DDC > Gustard X26 Pro DAC > Belles SA-100 power amp > Usher Dancer Be-20 speakers. AfterDark clocks x 2. PS Audio P3 & P10 regenerators.

https://theaudiostandard.net

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I'm using a 75 Ohm AfterDark King with short Belden 4694R cable, but the impedance mismatch is of no concern as it is a sinewave clock.  The difference in sound quality between the U18's internal clock and the external AD was very, very obvious.

TP-Link MR6400 4G router > Uptone EtherREGEN reclocker > Sonore Signature Rendu SE streamer > Gustard U18 DDC > Gustard X26 Pro DAC > Belles SA-100 power amp > Usher Dancer Be-20 speakers. AfterDark clocks x 2. PS Audio P3 & P10 regenerators.

https://theaudiostandard.net

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Both the X26 Pro and the U18 says 50 Ohm in the spec and for X26Pro it is true with both electronics and the correct 50 Ohm BNC connector. U18 has electronics for 50 Ohm but the BNC connector is equipped with a 75 Ohm connector (!?). In my case, I spotted the impedance resistor (R6) and replaced it with an exact 75 Ohm resistor. I have the Mutec Ref10 SE120 so I have both 50 and 75 outputs. Works lika a charm. ..But the K2 synthesizer may in the U18 compensates and rebuilds a damaged shaped time pulse.. I don't know this, so I corrected it anyway

 

To not damage/ruin the time pulse's shape from a sophisticated  Master clock (Mutec, After Dark..) You need to use TRUE impedance cable + connectors and use as short cables as possible 

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