Hi-fi: CYRUS QXR-CARD (750$) with ESS-chip (but which ?) ;-)

hi there 😉 ,

i´m proud to announce 😉 , that „Cyrus“ (former „Mission Amps“, and u know i LOVE the „Mission„-sound/speaker 😉 ) also uses an ESS-Sabre Chip (+XMOS-USB-chip)) on their „new“(2019) add-on dac-board


  • 32-bit/768kHz audio resolution for digital files through asynchronous USB / Native DSD512
  • ((although I’m not sure of the exact chipset !!))

„..uses an ESS Sabre DAC chip, offering improvements over the previous Qx 24-bit Burr-Brown DAC, creating a wider soundstage, opening the layers of your music for perfect clarity..“ (as said and knowing: much, much better as Burr-Brown etc..!! ;-))

u can use it in the following „Cyrus“-devices->82DAC, 82DAC Qx, 8 DAC, 8 DAC Qx, 8 a, 6 DAC, 6a, 8 XP, 8 XPd, 8 XPd Qx, 6 XP, 6 XPd, Pre2DAC, Pre2DAC Qx, Pre DAC, Pre DAC Qx, Pre XP, Pre XPd, Pre XPd Qx

in addition to that the five year old „Cyrus“ One also used (at that time) an ES9018K2M as DAC-part..(pictures are from a brand new „Cyrus i9-XR„(3500$) + 82 DAC)

so, i´m only saying this to see/know, that i/we 😉 are on the right track since years… 😉

more to come, many greets 😉

Raspberry Pico is out !! 4$, 2xI2S, 2xSPI etc../ Twister OS for Pi4

hi there ;-),

found by chance that a new „Raspberry Pico !! “ is out/available..

Cost is about 4$, software is micro-phyton or C/C++, has USB1.1, Dualcore ARM cortex 133mhz, looks like an ESP32-alternative..

some more technical specs->

Mikrocontroller RP2040
• 2 MB QSPI Flash-Speicher,• 256 KB RAM,• 2x 20 I/O Pinleiste (30x GPIO-Pins 3,3V),• ADC 12-Bit 500ksps,• 2x UART / 2x I2C / 2x SPI / 16x PWM
• RTC / Timer mit 4 Alarmen,• Pinabstand: 2,54 mm
• Micro-USB 1.1 für Strom und Datenübertragung

u can get it for example here-> https://www.rasppishop.de/Raspberry-Pi-Pico-RP2040-ARM-Cortex-SBC

and here´s a tutorial how getting started->https://pico.raspberrypi.org/getting-started/

by that, i´ve „discovered“ „TWISTER-OS !!„->absolutely super great (for RPI-4s)..


absolutely super nice + top usable, + absolutely sleeky look, it has tons of software pre-installed (Kodi,VLC-Player,Retro Pie,Steam-client etc..) and the great advantage is still the phenomenal sound (over USB to a xmos-bridge->I2S->ES9038Q2M) because of the short electronical circuits on the board (as mentioned in the article before), absolutely great and for the first time a real good OS for the Raspberry Pi-4 !! (its based on the normal Raspberry OS)

fantastic, give it a try !! 😉

another thing is that i´ve bought now a third pair of speaker (Mission 760i (not SE)) this time and will tell u then more very interesting facts on these Mission-lines (760,780)..wanted originally make a new subsite for it (/mission-speaker) for it..

by that a very interesting site is also this: https://www.hifiengine.com/

https://www.hifishark.com/ (link also in a widget on the right) is a very good adress for „used“ hifi-gear (crawler), cause this is also a „hi-fi website“ 😉 (or is intented to be 😉 )..

more to come „in this fashion“,

greets for now !! 😉

New speaker / little experience-report / Volumio at 2.861 / some new ES9038Pro DACS / Universal USB to I2S Interface Indicator

so, 😉

as i´ve bought some „new“ speaker (Mission Cyrus 780 (one bass driver was defect, had to order some spare from GB)), i´ve had to re-adjust/re-set/re-listen to my hifi in general..

I´ve just bought some AMD Ryzen on some Asus-Board too and so i could test the nowadays „onboard-sound-solutions“ (in this case some Realtek S1220A with 120db SNR) against some „normal CD-transporter“ or some Raspberry PI 4 over USB->I2S to some ES9038Q2M..

Absolutely still no comparison !! ->we forget these onboard-sound now and go directly to the USB->XMOS-USB-Bridge->I2S->ES9038Q2M vs. Raspberry Pi -> XMOS USB-Bridge->I2S->ES9038Q2M thing..

First thought (over PC->XMOS-USB->I2S->ES9038Q2M) these ESSabre-engineers „add/or re-invented“ some really funny/sunny/airy components to the digital stream..absolutely lovely, much „more voluminous“, airier..(these advanced-bitstream-thing))

But after connected to the Raspberry Pi 4 via USB(3.0)->XMOS-USB-Bridge->I2S->ES9038Q2M its still an enermous „lap ahead“, guess its absolutely because of the short electronical circuits on the Pi (less latencies) and the less EMI-interferences on some PI-boards against the „noise“ on some normal PC-mainboards..

So its again some „normal“ CD-transporter (over spdif to some dac/ES9038xx) vs. Pi-4 (for saved media-content)..

Updated my volumio-software on the Pi-4 (now at V2.851), absolutely great, super fast „scrolling“ through the libraries (more CPU-power Pi-4)..


So conclusion for now (again):->forget the soundcard/USB-thing from the PC/MAC->its still about „normal“ CD-transporter vs Raspberry Pi ->USB-bridge->ES9038xxx..

I´ve also bought some Synology DS214Play now->absolutely great, no lags/problems now, absolutely smooth..

by that i´ve found right now by chance these „Arduino-based Universal USB to I2S Interface Indicator“ by dimdim.gr; its here->http://www.dimdim.gr/arduino/universal-usb-to-i2s-interface-indicator/ (+ there are a lot of very interesting infos about sabre+akm-boards in general on this site !!)

thats exactly for what i searched soo long !! (.ino is here->LINK)

also found some new ES9038Pro-DACS on massdrop for example->will post then more about it..

greets for now !! 😉

NAS-stuff (Part 2): Synology Diskstation DS211/J + Ünnlink 192 + XPenology + ITX-Case

so, okay, 😉

as i still plan to buy some Topping D50S, S.M.S.L Sanskrit 10th Mk.2 or Topping D10S,

(picture: SMSL Sanskrit 10th MKII, 110$, Amazon->Link )

i´ve meanwhile bought a very simple so called mini-DAC 😉 (just for converting tos/coax to chinch for my home tv) from aliexpress for only 9$ !! (incl.shipping) -> the „Ünnlink 192Khz Digital to Analog Audio Converter Decoder Spdif Toslink Coaxial to Analog Stereo 3.5mm 2RCA DAC with BT for TV“->https://www.aliexpress.com/item/4001102727604.html

its a nice little guy 😉 , absolutely no problem with it and u will be surprised how good the audio quality is ! 😉 (and we are here on a self-called „hi-fi“-site 😉 with a lot of tests for hifi-gear) …

u can buy it (him 😉 ) without a problem..

Synology-OS („DSM“) Part 2:

and as said, as i got meanwhile data-rates up to 60-70MB/s with a non „J„-version i´m absolutely blown away by this wonderful Synology-OS („DSM“) that i thought about how to get it on „normal“ PCs, linux-devices and there is a way/possibility !!

„XPenology“ !! 

Xpenology: The Definitive Guide (2020 Update)


i don´t know if this is „half-official“ or something (although its an „open source“-project) but i will give it a try in the next weeks/months and report about it..

because i like the design from the original Synology-Diskstations (the white ones) very much and because of these great OS i thought i´ve build my own little NAS (and mainly because the greater Synology-DSes are unbelievable expensive !! (in comparison to other PC-parts)) with a little cube + some ITX-boards !! for example)->

Thermaltake CA-1B8-00S6WN-01 Core V1 Mini-ITX Snow Edition PC-Case white->

(around 50$, Amazon->Link:https://www.amazon.de/gp/product/B015UDUAKG/ref=ox_sc_act_title_3?smid=A3JWKAKR8XB7XF&psc=1 )

or „Thermaltake“ direct link->https://de.thermaltake.com/core-v1-snow-edition.html )

will post/report more then about it + no worry, i´ll be coming back to the „main-theme“ here (modding ESSabre 90xxQ2M/Pro-things) in future !! 😉

but many greets for now and have a nice christmas-time !! 😉

NAS-comparison: Synology Diskstation DS211/J + Zyxel NSA-310 + new category + Ünnlink 192 / Part 1

hi there ! 😉 ,

first many greets + sorry for not soo much posting here lately..! 

so,okay, as we have our streamer (see last „projects“) with or without Raspberry Pi´s here, (as said for me „Volumio“ + Bubble UPNP is the best alternative), and we also have now mostly a lot of Android-Devices (SmartTV, Handy,Tablet etc..) we now have to „feed“ them.. 😉  (and at best, „permanent, quiet + energy-efficient“), we have to look at some „Diskstations/NAS-devices“..

I´ve just bought over the last weeks three of them to get into that business in general and to test the usability over all..

First i´ve bought some „Zyxel NSA-310„, 1-bay, e-sata support, cheap, to test..it has a very „rudimentary“/simple interface/gui and i´ve got transfer-rates about 40-50MB/s (Gigabit-network smb) ->got it easy in the network- + u can find it easily with some Android Apps like before mentioned „Bubble UPNP“ or „Mediahouse“ or similar..

but it was for me a little bit to slow/the gui is too simple..

so i´ve bought next some „Synology Diskstation DS211J“ ! ; absolutely in another league/world ! 😉

absolutely great user-interface/Synology-OS („DSM“), absolutely „massive“-options for sychronizing all your cloud-accounts (GDrive,Dropbox,Box etc.), great tools („Audio Station“,“Photo Station“,“Cloud-Sync“,“Media-Server“,“Surveillance-Station“ etc..) + the according Apps (Android/Apple) for it->“DS Audio“,“DS-Video“ etc..

BUT !! : the great downside was the really, really horrible slow hardware !! on this Diskstation(s) !! absolutely slow data-rates (about 40MB/s) + absolutely slow/laggy GUI !!

on these „DS211J“ u can do (honestly said) nothing with it->sooo absolutely slow..

I´ve found then, that are tons of different-versions from these Diskstations-> link see here ->https://www.synology-wiki.de/index.php/Welchen_Prozessortyp_besitzt_mein_System%3F, 

and so i´ve bought another one without the „J“ (junior)(there are 3 classes->“J“, normal, and „+“) and on these „normal“-version (DS211) u can use the station „fairly“..

so conclusion/hint for it/for you: NEVER buy a „J„-model, absolutely horribly slow, almost unusable.. !!

(more in „Part-2“)->(coming)

greets for now !! 😉

Raspberry Pi 400 is out !! 70$, 1.8GHZ, 4GB LPDDR4-3200

hi there !!, 😉

hooray !! , the new Raspberry Pi 400 is out !!

Will cost about 70$, u can pre-order it from pimoroni->LINK for example..

very nice, so much things/possibilities to do with !! ..(i think this time i make a real Commodore C64/Amiga emulator with it->see comparison)

Still has the 40 GPIO-Header, 1.8GHZ (a little bit more than normal), has a keyboard general power ON/OFF (Fn+F10) but no audio connector (okay, u should use a usb-soundcard anyway 😉 )..

absolutely nice !! 😉

New: Topping D10s (1 x ES9038Q2M) vs. SMSL Sanskrit 10th SK10 MKII (AK4493)

hi there, 😉

unfortunately nothing new from here building/buying around some new ESSabre (9038Q2M) chips (DIY) but 2 new, interesting DACs „came up the table“ lately:

The Topping D10S with 1xES9038Q2M in it, XMOS XU208 + OPA2134  (changeable)->

goes for only 99$ !!  (Amazon,Aliexpress,Ebay,Audiophonics,Shenzhenaudio)..

a very detailed test about it is here (as always „audioscenereview“)->https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/topping-d10s-usb-dac-and-bridge-review.14859/

and/or the SMSL Sanskrit 10th SK10 MKII for a little bit more (110$)  (Amazon) ->

audioscenereview-review is here->https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/smsl-sanskrit-10th-mk-ii-dac-review.12148/

question is which sounds better ? (i will make a new thread about it in the forum (Link) and hopefully someone will/can post his/her experiences with both of them)

as i originally wanted to buy some Topping D50S (2xES9038Q2M, 250$ Amazon) because of the 3 inputs (USB,coaxial,toslink) the Sanskrit would be the better choice..

but as i like these phenomenal, unbelievable, „airy“, „openstage“-sound from the ESSabre-chips sooo much, its the question if these AKM4493 were sounding similar..

more to come… (gather some more information about them (the two) right now) 😉

Usability / Volumio->BubbleUPnp / Volume-Potentiometer-Hardware-None

so, 😉

sorry for the lately uninteresting/not so „fresh“ news about the ES9038Q2M/ES90xx-chips/boards etc..; maybe that will come back..

today, to keep this blog going, some usability-tricks/tips using a RPI-4B and volumio..->https://volumio.org/get-started/

runs fantastic (imo), is absolutely DSD-capable (remember to use an USB-bridge (XMOS or Anamero) „in-between“ and set volumio on „DSD-direct“,“no mixer“, „no resampling“-> else u wouldn´t get the red/torquise DSD-lock-light on the ES9038Q2Ms..->

by that i´ve tried a lot of dlna-apps for volumio and best for me so far is->BubbleUPnP->LINK

there are millions of other („Mediahouse etc.,etc.,“) but imo, BubbleUPnp correspondends superb with volumio..u can see in BubbleUPnP whats playing, can change the volume via the „normal“ volume-keys and u can also play/send .mp4/.mkvs etc.  to volumio and it plays only the audio/tracks..great ! 😉

by that i´ve bought a 10kohm-poti again (wire-diagramm here->http://essabre-90xx-rpi.sfb2.com/?p=1660  ) and although we have a web-volumecontrol with a MCP4131 „here“->http://essabre-90xx-rpi.sfb2.com/?p=1306

i still thought its „usability-wise“ better to use an old-school (analogue) poti but its still the same problem as first: u have only a very short range (i guess 35 degrees) from full to nothing and u have to turn it manually ;-)(but u are nearer on it 😉 )..still doesnt know the right conclusion for me, still in testing 😉 )..

greets for now and more to come !! 😉

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