Massdrop: SMSL IQ Portable DAC/Amp ES9018Q2C + Sabaj DA3 (2*9018Q2C)

so, 😉
no worry about the ES9038Q2M 😉 there are new ES Sabre-audio-chips on the way/in the pipe.. 😉
and because this is an audiophile-site i present here some (mobile-)DACs from time to time..->
came by chance about this thing on Massdrop->


cost only 109$ (88€ !!) but is shipped not before March 8, 2018 !!
the specs are looking great:
Dynamic range: 125 dB
Frequency response: 10 Hz–100 kHz
THD + N: 0.0003%
SNR: 118 dB
Bit depth: 16, 24, 32, 1 bit
Sampling rate: PCM (44.1, 48, 88.2, 96, 176.4, 192, 352.8, 384, 705.6, 768 kHz); DSD64, DSD128, DSD256, DSD512

and according to this pictures/links it has 2 !! ES9018Q2C-chips onboard..

same with the Sabaj DA3->there also 2 !! ES9018Q2C..

they also said this Sabaj D3 with 2 Sabres sounds better than an Cambridge AudioDacmagic V2, what i really believe because i had an Cambridge Audio Dacmagic here and it was well manufactured but by far not such a high resolution as the ES9018K2M by example; on the first DacMagic there were Wolfson-chips in it->see review at the forum->LINK

other useful links->

Topping NX4DSD->Thesycon XMOS-USB Driver Skysong/Singxer ES9038Q2M

so, 😉
because i have here really heavy problems in playing anything above 44,1/16bit due to buffer(and/or driver)-problems (on a raspberry the ES9038Q2M works perfectly) on a Skysong (Singxer)-USB-bridge and a ES9038Q2M („Blue“) i came by chance across this Topping NX4DSD..

it has also a XMOS-XU-208 and a ES9038Q2M „onboard“; interesting is the specification:
„16/32bit 44,1-768khz + DSD512 (native)“ and (whats more interesting):
NX4 DSD use costum driver from Thesycon“..
so, and thats the thing here..the „normal“ Singxer USB-Audio Driver 4.36″ does not work here satisfying with a ES9038Q2M..
2 possibilities: we get in future an update for also playing on this ES9038Q2M without problems from Singxer or we can get some custom made Theyscon driver which matches „our“ Skysong-Bridge+the ES9038Q2M..(any help here is really appreciated !!)
i´ve anyway attached here (and in the forum) the original Topping NX4DSD driver+manuals, which were btw. very interesting in setting up JRiver for perfect bitstreaming..(u have to use completely the ASIO-driver/interface..))
the Topping NX4DSD driver/manuals is the version V4.14..->NX4 DSD Manual and Driver V4.14->

ES9038Q2M: just arrived, first impressions..

okay, 😉
today the „Blue“->LINK ES9038Q2M arrived; first impressions:
the pcb is much more light (in weight) than the ones before..

first musical impressions were:
wider soundstage..heavy „lock“-problems with the Skysong-XMOS-USB-bridge (guess its a firmware/driver issue (had to wait for an update or so); i use here right now a Samsung BluRay-player directly via coax), but absolutely more „pop“-tune, by far not so analytic, spacious, also very „flat“, cries really out for a „Muses02“ OP-Amp..
there is absolutely something missing->guess it really needs its 15V..(this one is only with the 12V-plug)(but i could feed it maybe also with 15V->have to check/ask the seller) 
have immediately changed to „Muses02“; which i normally don´t do in fresh, new hifi-gear..(1-2 days „play in“-time)..
the HW-control with a 10k pot was also not so promising as expected..
i didnt test the 7 different filter; maybe the „devil“ is there..
also it could be the pcb (and the soldered components itself); don´t know it at present->more to come..
Conclusion for now (and dont forget, this is „whining on a high level“ 😉 ):
more „pop-sound“ (originally the ES9038Q2M is/was made for handys/portables), not so analytic, spacious, needs apparently its 15V (+/-), cries out for another Op-Amp (Muses02 here), didnt test the filter right know; maybe its also the quality of the pcb/components..)(but that are only the first impressions, can change without notice 😉 )

(Update 2: so, got halfway at least a fairly accurate sound..(its not sooo bad/but for me it still sounds like plate/sheet 😉 )). This ES9038Q2M is very good with a Raspberry (via I2S); no clicks/pops/distortions anymore..very easy !! i use here now DietPi V6.0->tried „sabre-k2m“; didnt work..“hifiberry-dac“+“rpi-dac“ works without any problems (but only up to 24/192; as said, „our old problem“; need modified kernel..)
as said, on a pi now very easy to handle, no clicks/pops etc..sounds very well but not soo „HiFi“ as with the ES9018/28..somehow less distorted/cleaner in a way, but not so transparent/spacious as the „old“-sabres..could be a problem with the pcb/components on it..but for normal user this ES9038Q2M should be enough 😉
(by that for me DietPi V6.0 is at present much better/cleaner than Moode V4..its much „nearer“ to the original recording; with this Dietpi u can fairly begin to work it out/fine tune))

(Update 1: (Win+Skysong USB-bridge)absolute no comparison to my „old“ ES9018K2M+ES9028Q2M->they sound really much better, absolutely more Hifi; dont know what the main reason could be; maybe the pcb+the components; absolut „platy“; sounds like sheet/plate..
(Raspberry I2S Moode 4.0 („hifiberry-dac“)); sounds really better on a raspberry !! absolutely easy to use; no more such horrible clicks/pops changing files/ made for it 😉 ->used the hifiberry-dac „overlay“->absolut no problems up to 192/24bit, but no more (our „old“ problem..) try to use some other overlays meanwhile..
settings->“Audiophonics ES9028 DAC“ works too (in Moode V4->but only up to 192/24) 

Audiophonics: ES9038Q2M on sale (50€) + some techn. description..

so, 😉
for the european „Sabre-Lover“ ;-), has now also our ES9038Q2M „on sale“(50€)..(LINK)
seems its almost identical with our „green-boards“ here;
they have also +15V DC plug on it, so i guess its PCB 1.04 minimum/upwards..

(User „Zek“ (thx a lot!) here from the forum means:“..This board has an additional regulator for a 5V pin and an additional capacitor (in the middle).“(see comments).

by that there are also some pics with more technical details..(and as said, these „solder/unsolder“-thing)

by that, Audiophonics has also a toroidal transformer „Transformer Toric 30VA 2x15V“ (LINK) on sale for only 17,90€ which seems to be ideal for our ES9038Q2M-boards..
(and a wonderful „wiring/installation“-tutorial/pictures for these torodial-transformer->

check it out 😉

ES9038Q2M: New version is out->V1.06 (Green)

so, 😉
because everyone visiting this site is really „on“ new infos to the ES9038Q2M here are some pics and a description of the new „V1.06“-pcb-layout, i would call it the „Green V1.06„..($39$ Ebay/49$-41€ Aliexpress)

they assembled also a DC-plug (here +15V DC) to it.. (to use it you have to short/solder J6 (is left above the plug from this view))
but the default voltage stays at DC +15V 0 -15V and u can still connect it directly to the board->“* It is recommended to use dual DC+-15V power supply to play board best results

the other difference i first saw that the 3pin-header (Volume) moved from „horizontal“ to „vertical“ (or vice versa)..The jumper row is now down to 5->

(maybe some other user can us tell the other differences in future)..
looks very nice 😉

DIY: LCD1602+I2C modul..(sketches+links)

so, 😉
today, after 60 !! days, my LCD1602+I2C-modul finally arrived..(2.00$ Aliexpress->LINK)

i have already a 2.6″ TFT-LCD display (320×240), but also want to check these 1602-LCDs (its „standard“ for the „real“-Arduino-User 😉 )
okay, there is not soo much to tell, except that i havent bring it to work in „full mode“ so far because (and thats why i write this article here too) it was the „hell again“ 😉 soldering the I2C-modul (in this case i took a 16pin pin-strip) on the LCD-PCB..
so if u can find a 1602-LCD with a I2C-modul already soldered on it, take it ;-)..
i extended my Bluetooth-IR-sketch now with a „blink“ from the whole display (“ lcd.backlight(); delay(250); lcd.noBacklight(); delay(250);“ 😉 everytime i make a command, type a „value“ via the Bluetooth-App; as confirmation..
Its blue and i first thought i print the source („CD,DVD,XMOS-USB etc..)“ on it; but there are no characters on it by now cause i guess i have to solder some pins again ;-(..
useful sketches i´ve found so far were:“identify the I2C-adress from the modul („i2c_adress.ino“) and a simple sketch to get data via the serial monitor and print it on the screen..(.inos and links here-> )

so far so good, many greets from here 😉

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