a bit late to the party I guess.....anyway this is the very thread that introduced me to this forum.
Back then (about 1 year ago) I had bought the Sabaj Da3, so I had googled a bit for reviews/opinions and that is how I found this discussion.
Just like your opinions drove me to buy this dac, I will now post my review/impression after having spent lots of listening hours with it.
I had gotten interested in the Da3 as soon as it had been released, for the simple reason that I already possessed a Sabaj product, the headphnes amplifier named PHA2, and had been very impressed and happy with it.
The pha2 is an amplifier based on the well known ti tpa6120a2 and for the less than 50 euros that I paid for it, it is a killer deal.
I am not an expert in electronics, but looking at the pcb I'd say it is implemented with a fixed gain of some sort, cannot say how much but nothing selectable, and is powered by 5V either from power brick or it also has a mini USB port for portability.
I do not advise people to power it via USB ports tho, there is no noise filtering and that way the amp becomes audibly noisy. I also advise to change the power brick to something cleaner. The included transformer does not sound noisy but somehow imparts an (sometimes overly) warmth to the sound, I am not sure how but it makes the amp sound a bit like a tube amp, with rounded and thick mids.
Construction is very good and solid. Output impedance I never bothered to measure but to me sounds less than the standard 10 ohm seen in most TPA implementations.
The amplification is good ( good enough for me with low impedance cans) but not great. It is rated for 500+ mw into 32 ohms, but honestly I cannot hear them, to me it sounds more like 200-300mw.
However, it does sound very clean, no clipping whatsoever, and it is very cheap. I'd say it is transparent, expecially with an upgraded power supply.
So after this overall positive experience with a sabaj product, I decided to get their Da3 too.
It is a VERY nice entry level DAC.
Good solid build quality, nice thick aluminum case and firm grip on the desk thanks to the silicon pad. The display is very useful and nice. I also liked the solidity of the usb port and the 2.5 and 3.5 mm jacks, never had a glitch with them.
The control keys worked very well, never lost a step, however I do tend to prefer rotary knobs for volume adjustment.
As for the sound, the basic sound signature is exactly the typical Sabre 9018 sound : neutral to clinical (depends on personal preferences), very detailed.
I always prefered to use it with the "slow rolloff" setting to make the sound a bit more "analog" even tho I am aware there are conflicted opinions on this, but whatever.
Something that did, however, make a big difference in sound quality, is how clean the power fed to it was and the USB signal quality outputted by the computer source was too.
Just like other users in this thread, I experimented a lot with the so called USB decrapifiers, and found repeatable and definite improvements each time.
So it is very sensitive to the cleanliness of the source, and based on this it can sound from detailed and dynamic/energetic/very airy (clean source) to a bit overly analytic and "digital" (poor source).
Either cases, no background hiss can be heard. It has ok output power but not great, so it is mostly for low imp/high sensitivity cans. Audio Science review forum has measured it and came out fine.
While I have been quite happy with it throughout this past year, at the end of the day I am about to sell it bacause my headphones mostly suit warmer sources that have a more "analog", less detailed sound.
Ask me any further details on the two above products if you wish to.