Massdrop: SMSL SU-8 Version 2 DAC 200$ Dual ES9038Q2M + Volumio 2.565 (12-03-2019)

so folks 😉 ,
sorry that i lately post so much „massdrop“-related things, but this is first an audio (ESSabre)-site and second heavy related to the ES9038Q2M 😉
as said, DUAL ES9038Q2M on it, some additional specs:
Input: USB, optical, coaxial
Balanced !! Output: RCA, XLR 
USB sampling rate: PCM: 44.1–768 kHz; DSD: 2.28224–22.5792 MHz
200$ (instead of 250$)
Link-Massdrop-<
(PS.: and btw.: u get 10$ „start“-bonus !! if u join massdrop via these essabre-90xx-rpi.sfb2.com – link(s) (on the site + right via the „widget“) !!..
so hop, hop and join !! 😉 )
(„display-wise“ its not soo great, but for all these problems we have here on essabre-90xx-rpi „tons“ of display-tuts and possibilities (for DIY)) 😉

Driver (Shenzhen-Audio) are here (XMOS V4.47)->https://download.shenzhenaudio.com/Smsl/SU-8_v4.47.0.zip
and an review is here ->https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/smsl-su-8-version-2-balanced-dac.5433/
interesting at this review is the following „SINAD„(some distortion-/noisemeter)-diagram, with some „oppononents“ like Benchmark DAC3, Schiit Modi USB, Chord Mojo, Katana, Auralic Vega and such->

by that some new „Volumio“ is out (now at VERSION: 2.565)->LINK, some fixes, and since V2.527:->Add direct DSD Support to many USB DACs, Mpd 0.20.18 version..

essabre-90xx-rpi.sfb2.com-wise its a little bit on „hold“, just ordered (as said before) some Burson V5i-D and can then report about the Op-Amp and the „general“-massdrop-experience..

greets from here for now and stay tuned !! 😉
SFB2

…coming back to the AK4137 SRC / 22€-27$

so, 😉
in still waiting/searching for the right +-15V toroidal transformer and the right case, i was searching yesterday again at these fabulous diyaudio.com-forum->https://www.diyaudio.com/forums/digital-line-level/314935-es9038q2m-board-347.html and there is still some AK4137-modding „in the work“..
As said in this post before->http://essabre-90xx-rpi.sfb2.com/2018/09/raspi-ak4137-single-hat-for-2-3b-3b-pi-iso2dsd-v7/ the AK4137 is an digital up-sampler/sample-rate-converter (SRC) with such enormous values like: up to 768khz, DR: 186dB !! ● THD+N: -150dB –
„„..The main function of this board is to improve the quality of the Raspberry Pi I2S signal and reduce jitter..“+“And the AK4137 reconstruction clock reduces the Raspberry Pi output signal jitter enhancement.“..

so and as this raspi-hats, „standalone“ boards are meanwhile down to 22€/26$ (Link) respective 23€/27$(Link), u can give it a try..

by that, i have to say that these ES9038Q2M (stock) + some AD797s + raspberry pi (or some xmos-device) already have a superb sound/tune; as posted before i had a Cambridge-Audio-DAC-Magic (150€) here, and it was very well and clean manufactored (Wolfson-chips in it) but it was nevertheless absolutely no comparison to what ESS-chips (ES9038Q2M) are capable of->much better soundstage,3D,positioning,resolution->

Forget about dual Wolfsons, this new unit shows what the ESS Sabre chip is truly capable of..Just fantastically detailed all along the entire frequency range, wide open, huge soundstage and separation, no noticeable coloration, but slightly warm and ultimately spot on timbre. There’s more than sufficient dynamics and air. A very worthy musical experience..

so, back to the theme: i havent got understand it at first right, but with the following pictures its more clear..

 

and so you can select via the K1-K10 jumper/bridges the appropriate sample-rate/DSD-PCM-options, like with with the different filter-settings on the ES9038Q2M par example..

such a „standalone“ PCB with I2S-in and I2S-out is better for a XMOS-usb-bridge for example (or the expensive versions of these have a spdif-input too (to directly connect to a transporter CD/Blu-ray))..

would be very interesting if these AK4137 have such a great impact on the tune (less jitter and so on) also on 44,1khz/16bit (Redbook)..

another thing is that some user, also in the diyaudio-forum, means that these „upsampling“ by the AK4137 in general or in special this „PCM to DSD“ conversion have enormous advantages noise-wise..the noise will be moved in some inaudible frequencies or better completely removed (through this sigma-delta-extra extrapolation/conversion).

anyway, as we have now different possibilities to „pimp-up“ the already very good „sounding“ ES9038Q2Ms->soldering some other voltage regulators on it (keyword „AVCC“ etc.), use another,cleaner power supply (toroidal +-15V), use other OP-Amps (AD797,Muses) + upsample/reduce jitter with the AK4137, we must now see whats the best cost-performance relation..

so, back to the top, these 22€ for some AK4137 could be also a very good alternative but as i had yet not such a hat here, i unfortunately cant say anything to the benefits..

(if anybody has some experiences with the AK4137 and with a ES9038Q2M please share your experiences here in the comment-section !!)

many greets for now !! 😉 

 

New ESS chip out !! -> ES8620 audio-solution (usb-bridge) !! / Gustard U-16

so, 😉
found by chance this new ESS-Baby 😉 in searching for new driver on shenzhenaudio..
Gustard U-16 (ES8620) !!

https://www.shenzhenaudio.com/gustard-u16-es8620-support-pcm32bit-768k-dsd512-dop-and-native-dsd-digital-interface.html(284$)
->“Adopting the latest USB audio interface solution ES8620 from ESS, USA
Supports up to PCM 32bit/768KHz and DSD512, and supports both DoP and Native DSD.
ESS’s USB interface chip design is a completely optimized architecture for high-quality digital audio signal processing. It is not a general-purpose chip with USB digital audio interface code, so it has immediate impact on sound quality improvement;“
„…128MB SDRAM is used as the system buffer and digital audio processing FIFO..“
„..the machine uses up to three FPGAs to implement USB audio interface clock management and external 10M clock part of the audio clock frequency synthesizer..“



first (interesting) review i found is here->https://www.dastereo.ru/t/gustard-u16-debyutnyj-konverter-na-es8620-xmos-amanero-upali-otzhalis/28117

didnt find any real opinions/soundtests against the other ES-chips till now (Update: and i guess i won´t find any at all because it is (unfortunately) only a „usb-bridge“ (more or less)->“High performance usb digital audio interface“ 😉 )

more to come, greets !! 😉

New XMOS-USB audio driver (V4.47) / SMSL 8A V3 / Winbond W25Q64 (Qxx) Arduino/ESP32S SPIflash

so, 😉
there´s apparently a new XMOS-USB audio driver, V4.47 (Link) (08-06-2018) out; found it first by reading some reviews for the Sabaj DA3 (->https://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?PHPSESSID=ktk1k2hchrlfmloktc0k3c5og0&topic=152638.340 ) and yesterday at an Audiophonics-Ad concerning the new SMSL 8A V3->https://www.audiophonics.fr/en/dac-without-volume/smsl-m8a-v3-usb-dac-es9038q2m-32bit-768khz-dsd-xmos-xu208-p-12934.html and also directly at Theyscon->current release : V4.47..
by that there´s also a new V4.41 from Thesycon/Jlsounds->Link forum..)
also the new SMSL 8A V3 has a „2nd generation XU208“ (259€)->

by that i´ve bought some new „Winbond W25Q64“ (64Mbit/8MByte) SPI-„serial flash-memory“ (only 1,29$ par example->Aliexpress) to use it maybe on an Arduino to display some graphics on the TFT-display and because the Arduino by example has a very low ram-amount (32kB !!) i wanted to extend the memory to store some data for the bitmaps..

On an ESP32S its not soo critical (4MB); u can store the bitmaps in the SPIFFS-subsystem but anyway i didnt find a „SPI-flash“-library for the ESP32S and the Arduino in general !! searched thousand hours on google and yesterday i found per chance this SPI-flash/library/tools on „RinkyDinkElectronics“->Link, the same guy who made this beautiful UTFT-library !! and which i used before ! 😉 ->Library : SPIflash

connected and it runs fabulously 😉

and hooray !! 😉 , i´ve finally ordered an „ES9038Q2M“-„Green“ V1.07, (i have a „Blue“-one here) to check finally out if there´s a „shitty“ PCB/components-problem on the „Blue“ or if they sound the same..

by that, next OP-Amp will be the „OPA627„(AU)->“The Bugatti Veyron on the Op-Amps“ 😉

many greets and more to come !! 😉

 

 

Raspi-AK4137 single-HAT for 2/3B/3B+ Pi (30$) ; „Sonore“ ISO2DSD v7

so, 😉
thx to this phenomenal (post) in the diyaudio.com-forum->https://www.diyaudio.com/forums/digital-line-level/314935-es9038q2m-board-278.html,
we have now here our AK4137 as a single HAT for the Pi !! 😉
as said in earlier posts, we have to improve the signal-quality(lower jitter and so on) over I2S->http://essabre-90xx-rpi.sfb2.com/2018/06/srcs-ti-4192-ak4137-volumio-update-foo_dsd_asio/


it costs only 30 !! $ and u can get it here->LINK
..The main function of this board is to improve the quality of the Raspberry Pi I2S signal and reduce jitter. And make up for the Raspberry Pi I2S output without MCLK! The original I2S output of the Raspberry Pi does not have MCLK and most high-performance DACs require MCLK to work. And the AK4137 reconstruction clock reduces the Raspberry Pi output signal jitter enhancement.
This board supports Raspberry Pi 2B 3B 3B+“..
so, as also posted earlier the AK4137 has 768khz (PCM) + 12.288 MHz DSD and DR: 186dB !!THD+N: -150dB ->AsahiKasei(AKM) datasheet->Link

(u use it between the Pi and our ES9038Q2M for example..a really long explanation on the other functions of this HAT is in the ebay-description above)

by that i came by chance (and according to the previous post) about this „Sonore ISO2DSD„-converter (a GUI for the sacd-ripper) + „Sonore DSD2FLAC„->


u can download both from here:
https://www.sonore.us/iso2dsd.html
https://www.sonore.us/dsd2flac.html

many 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 !! 😉

„Archphile 0.99.73 Alpha“ + XMOS USB-Bridge (Skysong)->768 khz !!..

so, 😉
in trying to play finally some real/Native DSD on some (our „lovely“ 😉 ) chinese ES-Sabre-boards i came by chance about the „Archphile“-distro->https://archphile.org/ (knew about it , but hadnt got the time to test it till now)

it uses mainly the mpd-subsystem and i´ve read some days ago that it also could be a driver problem/xmos-usb-driver thing on linux to get DSD-native to work..!!
so and today after imaging the archphile-archive, and first i must say its really hard/difficult to „understand this archphile-distro“, because u got only a MPD-user interface with almost no settings (for the DAC for example and so on), u have absolutely to work over SSH in first place..
so but the really interesting thing is this->
first picture is the output of the „alsacap“-command (its Arch-linux)->
absolutely super fantastic !!! it says that the XMOS-USB-device (Skysong) can handle up to 768khz (via linux usb-driver)!!!

(a problem could (may) be that it didn´t show the „DSD_U32_BE“ sample-format which is normally a clear point/-„ means that this DAC supports Native DSD in Linux.)
but anyway absolutely fabulous !!
and much more fantastic is that it sends 705600 !! to the xmos-usb !!!->(with the „perfcheck“-command)

by that, „Archphile“ has a very good/clean sound; sounds better than the picoreplayer for example (IMO), really,really clear !!

but got a really „destroyed/white noise“-tune with these 705600 on the ES9018K2M(and didn´t find a way here right now to lower it down to 352000 for example); have it really hard  to work it out here at present; (the ES9018K2M has lower capabilities DSD-wise than the ES9028Q2M or the ES9038Q2M for example).

flacs (all up to 24/192) are playing very,very well..but anyway as said, really,really great news !!

more to come !! -> greets for now !! 😉

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