Sabaj D5 ES9038Pro DAC

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dwk

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Re: Sabaj D5 ES9038Pro DAC
« Reply #20 on: 19 Aug 2019, 10:32 pm »
I picked up a D5 (refurb from Amazon; prime shipping caused my restraint to cave), and am using it with an x86 Linux box via usb without any problems - automatically detected with no fuss. My SB Touch USB port unfortunately seems to have died (never sees the DAC - complains that it's not connected), so I can't test directly with the Touch, but 'in theory' DAC support should be the same.


Sabaj-polly

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Re: Sabaj D5 ES9038Pro DAC
« Reply #21 on: 20 Aug 2019, 05:39 am »

gadfly

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Re: Sabaj D5 ES9038Pro DAC
« Reply #22 on: 20 Aug 2019, 05:54 pm »
Sabaj D5 with external preamp?????????

I've read 2 reviews that said the S'D5 does not have a fixed line out but rather a pre-out; which I infer means the S'D5 preamp is always engaged.  My system has a separate preamp.  The concern is that a preamp feeding a preamp will negatively impact sound quality.  I've always had dacs that permitted fixed line out to my preamp->amp->spkrs.

Would appreciate hearing opinions or better yet actual experience regarding sound quality when the S'D5 is connected to an external preamp.

thanks-

thank you DWK for the Linux info.


Sabaj-polly

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Re: Sabaj D5 ES9038Pro DAC
« Reply #23 on: 21 Aug 2019, 03:49 am »
:D I found the D5 on amazon has out of stock for a long time.

Now in stock now: https://www.amazon.com/Sabaj-Converter-Headphones-Amplifier-Preamplifier/dp/B07PYRM6J6/ref=sr_1_3?keywords=Sabaj+D5&qid=1566272589&s=gateway&sr=8-3

$15 discount can be used here:https://hifi-express.com/collections/sabaj/products/sabaj-d5-audio-dac-ess9038pro-heaphone-amplifier?variant=26167321788516

The discount code is: 15discount

navi

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Re: Sabaj D5 ES9038Pro DAC
« Reply #24 on: 21 Aug 2019, 08:44 am »
Sabaj D5 with external preamp?????????

I've read 2 reviews that said the S'D5 does not have a fixed line out but rather a pre-out; which I infer means the S'D5 preamp is always engaged.  My system has a separate preamp.  The concern is that a preamp feeding a preamp will negatively impact sound quality.  I've always had dacs that permitted fixed line out to my preamp->amp->spkrs.

Would appreciate hearing opinions or better yet actual experience regarding sound quality when the S'D5 is connected to an external preamp.

thanks-

thank you DWK for the Linux info.

If you set the Digital Volume control to 0dB then it won't be in use.

debjit.g

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Re: Sabaj D5 ES9038Pro DAC
« Reply #25 on: 21 Aug 2019, 06:55 pm »
If you set the Digital Volume control to 0dB then it won't be in use.

Looks like the volume ranges from 0-40. when you say 0dB, I am guessing its the highest volume, i.e 40 ?

wushuliu

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Re: Sabaj D5 ES9038Pro DAC
« Reply #26 on: 21 Aug 2019, 08:02 pm »
Looks like the volume ranges from 0-40. when you say 0dB, I am guessing its the highest volume, i.e 40 ?

Yes, but I think gadfly may be mistaking the ESS in-chip volume control with some kind of analog preamp. I don't recall any preamp features in the D5 other than the headamp. The volume control built into the chip does NOT impact sound quality IMO to an external preamp, unless of course you turn the volume down really low (common sense). Personally, I kept the volume below 40 IIRC and didn't have any issues. You would have to spend serious money to outperform the in-built digital volume control in terms of noise and signal degradation. I believe I covered this earlier in the thread.

dwk

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Re: Sabaj D5 ES9038Pro DAC
« Reply #27 on: 22 Aug 2019, 03:16 am »
Yes, but I think gadfly may be mistaking the ESS in-chip volume control with some kind of analog preamp. I don't recall any preamp features in the D5 other than the headamp. The volume control built into the chip does NOT impact sound quality IMO to an external preamp, unless of course you turn the volume down really low (common sense). Personally, I kept the volume below 40 IIRC and didn't have any issues. You would have to spend serious money to outperform the in-built digital volume control in terms of noise and signal degradation. I believe I covered this earlier in the thread.

The volume control on the D5 controls both the headphone out as well as the line out(s), so it does offer preamp functionality. I'm using it as a dac/pre into a Neurochrome Mod-86 and it's working quite well. I do agree though, that any concern about sound quality due to the variable output is misguided - just set the volume to 40 and don't worry about it.

Letitroll98

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Re: Sabaj D5 ES9038Pro DAC
« Reply #28 on: 22 Aug 2019, 12:16 pm »
I think this might just be a misunderstanding of how volume is marked on control knobs.   Because volume is an attenuator it should read 0db at maximum volume then increments of -db below that, as in "I keep my volume at -40db".  But it isn't, for some crazy reason manufacturers have decided 0 is the lowest and then some arbitrary scale is used to some made up number at the top.  So when intelligent people say 0db, they mean full volume.

RDavidson

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Re: Sabaj D5 ES9038Pro DAC
« Reply #29 on: 22 Aug 2019, 01:37 pm »
It's not a matter of intelligence. To the average consumer, it is more intuitive for 0db to mean 0 output. Most controls for virtually anything in a typical household are like this. 0 on the stove means off. 0 on a hair dryer means off...and so forth. As such, some audio gear manufacturers use 0 as the lowest "visual" value, and note they don't correlate the visual value on the display with the actual reference db value. In these cases what I've often seen noted in the product manual is, random display # = reference db (0db). This is simply an ergonomic paradigm where manufacturers are siding with the typical consumer to make life easier and technical folks will have to reach for the product manual.
« Last Edit: 22 Aug 2019, 08:08 pm by RDavidson »

navi

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Re: Sabaj D5 ES9038Pro DAC
« Reply #30 on: 22 Aug 2019, 05:13 pm »
Looks like the volume ranges from 0-40. when you say 0dB, I am guessing its the highest volume, i.e 40 ?

Yes, on my DAC 0dB is the highest setting then as you drop volume it goes to -1dB, -2dB and onwards.

JLM

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Re: Sabaj D5 ES9038Pro DAC
« Reply #31 on: 23 Aug 2019, 11:20 am »
I have no problem using 0 dB as the "no attenuation" (reduction) in signal.  It comes from the professional ranks, and as more than casual users of high end audio gear we should understand and appreciate its meaning.

ttan98

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Re: Sabaj D5 ES9038Pro DAC
« Reply #32 on: 12 Sep 2019, 07:52 am »
This DAC receives many good reviews from a variety of websites incl. this "authoritative" DAC site:

https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/review-and-measurements-of-sabaj-d5-dac-amp.8337/

More reading for those interested in this DAC.

FullRangeMan

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Re: Sabaj D5 ES9038Pro DAC
« Reply #33 on: 12 Sep 2019, 08:32 am »
It have up-sampler from 16/44 CD ?

wushuliu

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Re: Sabaj D5 ES9038Pro DAC
« Reply #34 on: 13 Sep 2019, 03:43 am »
It have up-sampler from 16/44 CD ?

Not sure what you mean. The chip doesn't upsample like traditional dacs. ESS has their own proprietary processing methods.

wushuliu

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Re: Sabaj D5 ES9038Pro DAC
« Reply #35 on: 13 Sep 2019, 03:48 am »
Am enjoying that elsewhere people are having difficulty keeping the subjective accolades of this dac in check. No such restrictions here. Thanks JohnR, LetitRoll, et al. for such a great forum. :smoke: :beer:

FullRangeMan

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Re: Sabaj D5 ES9038Pro DAC
« Reply #36 on: 13 Sep 2019, 04:26 am »
Not sure what you mean. The chip doesn't upsample like traditional dacs. ESS has their own proprietary processing methods.
Up-sampling can be useful to increase sound quality of analogue recording as Jazz, too bad it not successful with all recordings.

mresseguie

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Re: Sabaj D5 ES9038Pro DAC
« Reply #37 on: 5 Dec 2019, 10:16 pm »
Well, thanks to a weird set of circumstances, my dB Audio Labs Tranquility DAC is sitting in a suitcase and not flying to Taiwan with me this Sunday (long story). I really didn't want to spend three months without good music, so approximately 36 hours ago, I ordered a D5 ($429). It was supposed to be delivered tomorrow, but it was delivered around noon today. Man, that is fast!

I won't use it until middle of next week, but I'll let y'all know how it sounds in my little system there.


Tomy2Tone

Re: Sabaj D5 ES9038Pro DAC
« Reply #38 on: 5 Dec 2019, 11:23 pm »
Any chance somebody has compared the D5 to other dacs under $1k? Like say the Denafrips Aries (ii)?

mresseguie

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Re: Sabaj D5 ES9038Pro DAC
« Reply #39 on: 4 Jan 2020, 04:52 am »
I've had my Sabaj D5 in my vacation system for nearly a month now, and I'm quite satisfied with it. This system is MacBook Pro/TIDAL => D5 (XLR connection) => IceEdge 1200as2 amp => Fritz Loudspeakers LS/5-R. My cables loom is all Triode Wire Labs. Power conditioning thanks to PI Audio DigiBUSS.

During the first 25 to 40 hours or so, the highs were a little strident/a little bright, but as the unit burned in this mostly disappeared. Oh, there's still a shade of brightness, but it doesn't bother me. I've got a 6922 tube preamp sitting unused that I'll eventually connect to discover if the remaining sharpness remains, and to determine if I even need to keep the preamp. I haven't bothered to do any critical listening because I've been too busy or preoccupied, but I'll get round to it eventually. I don't have any other DACs here to compare to, so I cannot offer any thoughts.

For sure, this inexpensive little DAC is doing a great job considering its low price and ease of use. No complaints from me. I'll keep it.

Now what the heck am I going to do with my old Gustard X20u - anyone want a cheap 9018 DAC with volume control/remote?