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Hyde
922
Oct 25, 2020
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Damn everytime I see a new portable dac/amp with Sabre dac I'm always so tempted to pull the trigger. I currently quite enjoy the Dragonfly Red so it's one of those things that I always wonder if there's something better out there?!?!?!?! I previously owned the first Xduoo Link and I wasn't too impressed it sounded too cold/sterile with no bass. Glad to see they made a potentially huge improvement over the last one. So they have bass boost switch is the other switch for gain? EDIT: Nevermind I remember now it's a dac chip that has similar name format as sabre but it's actually not from ESS I think..... EDIT2: Yeah it's the same dac chip as the previous gen Xduoo Link which I already have so I might skip this one.
(Edited)
Oct 25, 2020
Jkross22
54
Oct 25, 2020
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There's a good number of things that influence the sound other than the dac chip. Analog stage, amp, power supply, etc. Focusing on dac chips reminds me of focusing on horsepower for cars - there's a lot more going on than that one data point.
Oct 25, 2020
Hyde
922
Oct 25, 2020
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Lol this I'll agree, though it might be coincidence that all the dac/amp that I tried with AKM dac so far seems to sound similar to each other. So after a while I start to see the pattern. But I guess probably not good to draw conclusion based in my small sample size so you could be completely right.
Oct 25, 2020
Interceptor69
90
Oct 27, 2020
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It is a ESS chip, just not the higher spec one.
Oct 27, 2020
Hyde
922
Oct 27, 2020
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http://www.esstech.com/index.php/en/products/sabre-digital-analog-converters/audiophile-dacs/ Most ESS chips actually start with ES_______ (One S) even though they are ESS Technology. When I google ESS9118EC (Two S) I couldn't find any information relate to ESS Technology, the only pages that comes up are product pages of Xduoo Link. So this lead me to think they might not be related to ESS Technology.
Oct 27, 2020
Interceptor69
90
Oct 27, 2020
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Interesting...I assumed it was from the same family.
Oct 27, 2020
Hyde
922
Oct 27, 2020
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lol yeah that was the confusing part, you see from the ESS website you have: ES9118 For Xduoo Link you have: ESS9118EC Is it a typo? Coincidence? I'd rather to think it's different model all together. As I mentioned all the ESS Technology products starts with either ES- or SABRE- follow by a model number. You can't find any product from their page that start with ESS-. Though either case it's probably not super important, I just found that Xduoo Link version 1 was too clinical/cold sounding for me to want to try again anyway. :P
Oct 27, 2020
Qwervy
421
Oct 27, 2020
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Could be a sub-variant of the ES9118. Either way I find that ESS Tech. DAC's are more sterile sounding than AKM DAC's. Small amps like in these dongle types and in smaller/cheaper audio players tend to have a weak analog stage, mainly with low current output (no buffer-style amplification) which leads to less capable bass on almost any load as a better current gives better bass on most headphones.
Oct 27, 2020
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