Xduoo Link arrived / okay, easy handling, not so hi-fi as ES9018K2M for example..

So, 😉

finally the Xduoo Link from Massdrop arrived (Link)..cost was 38$, absolutely easy handling, Windows 10 detected it without a problem (see pictures), was first a really little fun thing, also with a lot of bass/push at low frequencies(read that also elsewhere), but it misses the clarity in the high/-mids, not to mention the positioning or soundstage..

for 38$ its totally okay but if u are on hifi, some ES9018K2M chinese-board for 8,50$ (nowadays) is still a better choice ! (need some raspberry pi or USB-bridge of course; and not to mention the ES9028Q2M,ES9038Q2M->absolutely in another league !)

so, back to the Xduoo Link..interesting is that i had to change the channels (left/right)(plugs), its more source-depending (different recordings and so on), and its really on the edge to hifi in some areas, but in the long-term it could be annoying because of the not soo great SNR/Thd..

for 40 Bucks its still okay/maybe a bargain but don´t expect too much and as said, for hi-fi u still go better with the cheapest ES90XX here (ES9018K2M)..

but okay, its absolutely small and made for mobiles/IEMs; there are also some other there, ibasso etc..

its okay for me now, i primarily wanted to give my fabulous SkySong-XMOS-USB-Bridge a „rest“ (daily use with a PC) and for this purpose its okay for now..(didnt test the DSD256-compatibility yet, will maybe report then about it)

more to come.. 😉

For the last time: real DSD/Dop via volumio->usb-xmos-device->I2S->ES9038Q2M

so, 😉

as we had it here in discussion:“is it possible to get real (native) DSD/Dop on the ES9038Q2M to work ?“ (with the DSD-lock-light on<-thats important because foobar for example indicated „Dop“ but it is internally converted to PCM and the DSD-lock-light stays „off“)

(SkySong->full blue DSD-indication (DSD256 in this case) + DSD lock-light ES9038Q2M)

in my experience here now/to date u can get it only with Volumio (or similar) and via an usb-connection to an usb-xmos-device and from there via I2S to the ES9038Q2M/Pro etc..(its also about the native-usb-audio-driver in linux)

I didnt got DSD to work via the „normal“ I2S-connection on a Raspberry for example..(and i/we tested a lot..)

I have now here a DSD256-file, playing it in volumio with the following settings: (for newbies 😉 )->no mixer, no resampling..

greets for now !! 😉


New XMOS-XU208-device / Leaf Audio 2017/8/2 / Thesycon eval. driver 4.13

so, 😉

after i´ve decided to give my „good-old“ very good Skysong XMOS-XU208 a rest/use it only on my raspberry via volumio and usb to get finally real DSD/Dop (means DSD-lock-light is on (on the ES9038Q2M))(more later/in a later post), i´ve ordered a second device via ebay/cost around 30€, its a „Leaf Audio“ with also an external 5V-option + Coaxial-out (up to 192khz)

first impression: very light (in weight), but looks relatively „hi-fi“; first sound-tests: very „exactly/with contur“, but not so with the fine resolution as the Skysong->it depends also on the oscillators on the board (see pictures)->this is the „cheap“-version..the skysong has more high-end-ones..(but the skysong costs double of the price (around 60€)..

„Driver-wise“ it installed „Microsoft HiFi-DSD“ (never seen it before), thought it would install „xmos-usb“ or similar..

for that i couldnt got the driver from the seller, i searched for some and because i also got a „XMOS DFU“ in the device manager i´ve downloaded some driver-pack from thesycon with dfu support; its here (link) (see pictures)..

more later…

many greets for now !! 😉


Bargain of the day->Topping D50S ! (Dual ES9038Q2M +XU208 +BT + Remote) / AK4137 SRC

so folks 😉 ,
sorry thats its a little bit silent here on essabre-90xx-rpi lately, but there were a lot of other things to do 😉 , but i´ve just seen by chance this bargain on massdrop->
Topping D50S, XU208+Dual ES9038Q2M + BT + Remote for only 200$ !! ->
vs. „old“ D50->
the D50S (in opposite to the D50) a built in BT-modul (was at first sight, in aspect to the „ultimate hi-fi“, is not soo good) but also comes with a remote-control + had made some improvement „soundwise“, means they solved the „IMD ESS hum“, where at mid-levels, intermodulation distortion suddenly rises“..

very good test/article about the D50S is here->https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/review-and-measurements-of-new-topping-d50s-dac.7914/

also they made some minor sound-improvements (all in the article)..


as said for only 200$ (190$ if u first join massdrop via these essabre-links here(„Xavier“)) its maybe worth a try..
so and as lately said that the onboard spdif-conversion (on the ES9038Q2M) is not so optimal we have to look for an alternative and also somebody said at my praised diyaudio.com-forum->Link that „..upsampling to DSD is always better concerning thd/snr and so on, because of eliminating/move the noise in an unaudible range..“ and to reduce jitter i´m thinking about to buy some SRC4192..(SNR= 768khz, DR: 186dB !! ● THD+N: -150dB ) -> http://essabre-90xx-rpi.sfb2.com/?p=1833

there are some around for only 27$ on ebay->Link and the „high-end“-version with toslink and coaxial option + 1.3″ display (+ AK4118 spdif-receiver chip) for 80$->Link..

my goal at present is to raise the sq directly from a transporter via spdif and then maybe upsampled, but still more jitter-less to feed it in the ES9038Q2M..

will maybe then report more about it..

by that the raspberry 4B+ is out and so on..maybe then more,

greets for now !! 😉


New Moode V4.3 out – now as an image (.img) / ESP32S factory-reset/flash

so, 😉
a new „Moode“ V4.3 is out; now as an image (.img); u dont have to set it up/compile it for yourself anymore->Moodeaudio.org
first impressions: (all in relation to „our“ ES9038Q2M-„chinese-boards“):

choose first the „I2S-generic“-settings; runs okay, no problems..

used then the „Audiophonics ES9028Q2M“ setting->for me better, not so „harsh“, got the feel it has more room, more „exact“, think its maybe about the specialized register-adressing of the ESS-chips (but don´t know for sure if they „fine-tune“ it for the chip, guess so)…used then to cross-check the „hifiberry-dac“ settings; the same there; for me absolutely to „harsh“, too much treble (not such a „fine resolution“ as the AudiophonicsES9028-setting..)
(the „Allo Katana“-setting (at contrary to Volumio) works also NOT !! (on the ES9038Q2M (chinese)))

stayed with the ES9028Q2M-setting, then tested for DSD(DoP): works, Moode said „Encoded to DoP 352.800khz“, but the DSD-Led on the ES9038Q2M was NOT lit !!

disabled the software-mixer, resampling-options, but still no DSD-light..

i´ve mentioned it in this post/article before-> http://essabre-90xx-rpi.sfb2.com/2018/09/volumio-now-at-v2-452-did-it-dsd-lock-light-on-es9038q2m-alsamixer-archphile-xmos-usb-audio-etc/

the first time i´ve got the feel of real DSD/DoP (and the DSD-Led was lit of course) was in/with „Volumio“; foobar2000 also said ASIO-active (pcm-mode) 352.800khz and so on, but the DSD-Led was also not lit !!

conclusion for now (for „our“ lovely chinese-ES9038Q2Ms 😉 ):

true/real DSD/DoP (DSD-Led lit) only on Volumio (V2.452 and up) (and meanwhile i think thats the point: with the „Allo Katana“-settings !!so far !!

by that, in listening here Moode is very very close to Volumio (maybe a little better at present IMO) (but as said, this is an absolutely personal/subjective impression).

also my ESP32S Geekcreit (Doit.am 36 pin) was not functional anymore, couldnt run/upload a sketch, tried everything, found now a way (and mainly with the right hex-adresses for the espressif-flashtool) to made it functional again->long Tut here (at the forum/at the end of the post)->LINK

greets for now 😉

Volumio at V2.457 / Dietpi V.6.16 / mympd / upgraded ES9038Q2M decoder board I2S

so, 😉
after searching today for some new ES9038Q2M-boards/-infos, i´ve found also this „Upgraded version of ES9038Q2M decoder board I2S input OPA1612+AD8397ADRZ“ (it was also mentioned in these diyaudio.com-forum)->Link

it costs only about 42$ (incl.shipping), and interesting is (besides all the disadvantages like the 5V-9Vplug, the only-headphone 3,5mm jack and so on) that they use „OPA1612“ for the AVCC-section and some „AD8397ADRZ“ for the „output“-section..

i´ve googled immediately for „AD8397ADRZ“ and according to this post/article->https://www.head-fi.org/threads/audio-gd-discrete-op-amps-reviewed-opa-earth-opa-moon-opa-sun-v-2.397691/ its only in the „Category 2 – nice but incomplete sound“ 😉  (posted the link+excerpts also in the forum here->Link)

the author there also said, that for him (and thats interesting for me) the AD797BRZ (i have the AD797ANZ here) are the only ones in the „Category 5 – complete sound traveling in the clean air“ 
„..roughly, it’s like the AD79ANZ with all advantages of the OPA627BP added“ and as u know, i just wanted to buy lately an OPA627 (the „Bugatti Veyron“ on the OP-Amps) to „finalize“ my op-amp-experiences..
so i guess i have to check-out these AD797BRZ some time too 😉

another thing is that they are now at Volumio V2.457 (PI Kernel bump to 4.14.69 and some fixes), i´ve tested it immediately with the ES9038Q2M and the „Allo-Katana“-setting, and it was, as said in an earlier post, „massive“ (ES9038Q2M+2*AD797) again !!


this time had the chance to test it before with the ES9028Q2M-option (in Volumio) and some minutes before also with the i-sabre-k2m option in Dietpi V6.16..

last time i thought it could also be by the changed footprint/pi-kernel-bump but today i would say the „Allo Katana“-overlay is more specialized on the ES9038Q2M-core->

finally, at present, i must really say that i have the best sound (on all distros) with the newer Volumio (V2.452 and up) + „Allo Katana“-settings on an ES9038Q2M+2*AD797 !! (okay, its really tight between them but Volumio is absolutely easy to handle at present)

DietPi is now at V6.16, i just wanted to set up the new „mympd“-(fork of ympd), ran into trouble, theres a workaround now and its fixed in DietPi V6.17..(„Allo Katana“ works NOT on DietPi (with the ES9038Q2M) but with the „i-sabre-k2m“ overlay i got 32/384..)

more to come, greets for now 😉


Little (Win)-exkursus -> foobar2000-alternative – Teac Hi-res Editor / ASIO-DSD / Win 384k

so, 😉
by searching for the right settings to play real, native-DSD i came by chance about this tool->TEAC Hi-res-editor (WAV/DSD/DFF)

very interesting was, and thats why i post it here mainly, is because i couldnt play (flacs) above 192khz in VLC for example in Win8.1 (Win10) with the XMOS(Skysong)-USB-bridge and our lovely chinese-sabre-boards (ES90xx..)
i could select 24bit/384khz in sound-properties (XMOS-USB-Audio), could „generate“ a test-tone, but playing flacs in 384khz by example was not possible..
I´ve installed this „Teac-Hi-res-editor“ and surprisingly i had my 384khz (VLC) in Win8.1(Win10) !!
think it had installed some driver from which i was not aware of before..
second, the main very interesting feature of this Teac-Player/Editor that u can select the different DSD-rates (DSD64-2.8M,DSD128-5.6M and DSD256-11.2M) via the „play-frequency“-dropbox and it switches/plays through it->the Skysong(XMOS-USB)-bridge „clacks“-through and changes the LEDs accordingly to it !!

wonderful and absolutely easy !! (i had the ES9018K2M connected and have unfortunately a white noise at these rates (the PCM-rates up to 384khz are working well), but will test it with the ES9028Q2M and the ES9038Q2M)..
anyway, absolutely simple and very prolific !! 😉
(u must change the audio-driver in the audio-driver settings to „ASIO“ of course-> see pictures..but soo easy, great)(if u have no „ASIO->(XMOS USB)“-option try to install the xmos-driver V4.36 or V4.45 again (here singxer/skysong-driverpack))

greets for now !! 😉

Volumio (now at V2.452) did it->DSD/Lock light on ES9038Q2M / Alsamixer Archphile XMOS USB Audio etc..

so, 😉
after i tested „Archphile“ with the Skysong-Xmos-USB-interface and still don´t know how to limit the DSD-rate to the DAC/-combo (it uses 705600 but the ES9038Q2M doesnt support it, i got only a heavy white noise), tried everything in the /etc/mpd.conf; i used again „Volumio“ as it said in one of their forums something about their DSD-native/DoP-compatibilty..
so let it run and hooray, the DSD-Led on the ES9038Q2M + the DSD-indication on the skysong-bridge were lit !!

(hadn´t got the DSD-indication before afaik).

wonderful, true DSD/DoP-sound !! 😉

had used foobar2000 with the Asio-driver/DSD-processor, the singxer audio-panel said:“Asio active(PCM-mode)-352800khz sample-rate“, see 2 posts before, but meanwhile i think it was converted !! to PCM- (with soxr by example) >because i hadnt got the DSD-led on and it wasnt not such a great improvement to „normal“ PCM..
now with volumio it sounds absolutely fantastic, absolutely real DSD-„sound“ !! („real“ DoP)

by that i´ve think meanwhile „Archphile“ is for the really high-end USB-DACS->384khz,768KHz (and above); think its about the „Arch-linux ARM“-kernel/core..
also u got a wonderful „Alsamixer-volume and master-clock“-mixer for the XMOS-USB-audio interface (with the command „alsamixer“)->

also interesting in Volumio is that if use the „resample-option“ in the settings it affects also the „DoP-chain“->set at 384khz resample/sox/very high, got my red light (PCM) on the bridge on and no DSD-light on the ES9038Q2M..
interesting II. is that u can resample up to 768khz (in Volumio) and u can hear something (but heavy white-noised) on the ES9038Q2M although somebody posted it can only play/(is capable of) up to 384khz in „asynchron-mode“; but i heard here something..->

greets for and more to come !! 😉

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