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xDuoo TA-30 Tube DAC/Amp
$599
$710

xDuoo TA-30 Tube DAC/Amp

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$599
$710
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Product Description
Audiophiles in search of an all-in-one DAC/amp that doesn’t skimp on specs will find a strong candidate in the xDuoo TA-30 Tube DAC/Amp. The TA-30 is equipped with an ESS ES9038Q2M DAC and a headphone amplifier that can output an impressive 3000 milliwatts at 32 ohms—enough to drive the most demanding headphones Read More

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I reviewed this here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-2mGlikB76I if it's of any use. xDuoo sent me the unit, and for the TLDR: Replace the main rectifier tube with anything basically decent, and caution that the gain (at least on my unit) was too high. I think they put a linear, not log attenuator in it, which is less than ideal.
DoggyDaddy
0
Nov 8, 2021
I'm interested in the TA-30 but have a question about the LDAC Bluetooth CODEC. Does it run at the full 999 kHz making it Hi-Res, or was a slower version used such as 333 or 666 kHz? [rklostermeyer@comcast.net] edit: I was assuming I could listen via my Sony 1000XM4 Bluetooth headphones that utilize the LDAC CODEC. I assume from the comments that the Bluetooth is for input, not output. Can somebody set me straight?
(Edited)
DoggyDaddy
0
Nov 17, 2021
We will agree to disagree. Sony's LDAC at 999 kHz meets the specs for Hi-Res audio. To my ear it sounds remarkably improved over AAC and with high quality sources like Deezer and Amazon Unlimited it is equivalent to the wired Hi-Res sound with my Sony WH-1000XM4's which unfortunately require LDAC for quality Bluetooth.
It's not 999 kHz, the maximum transmission rate for LDAC is 990 kbps. I agree though that the sound quality is better than AAC. But so too is aptX. The bit-rate for an uncompressed 44.1/16 bit (CD Quality) lossless audio file is 1,411 kbps. 990 < 1,411. If you want absolute confirmation, the SoundGuys did measurements that confirm it: https://www.soundguys.com/ldac-ultimate-bluetooth-guide-20026/
(Edited)
Suharsh
7
Sep 26, 2021
I posted this on the TA-20 discussion too .. so not duplicating the post but those who own TA-30 might be following on this discussion thread https://drop.com/buy/xduoo-ta-20-balanced-headphone-amp/talk/2845930?utm_source=linkshare&referer=5Z3FNX
Do yourself a favor and pick the TA-20 if you're married to buying an xDuoo. I've never seen the allure of using a tube rectifier in a modern headphone amp like the TA-30 does, it just adds too many issues, with the most common being rectifier failure. I mean, in guitar amps the use of a tube rectifier actually serves a purpose other than looking pretty. Tube rectifiers have very well defined voltage sag, especially when under heavy load, and this gives some of the nice grungy sound you hear with electric guitars. Don't forget that tubes have a finite life, and these big bottle rectifiers generally are rated for a minimum of 500-1000 hours, which is somewhere between one and two months of continuous use. Worst case, when rectifiers fail they arc internally and can damage the gear they were used in. Problematic in older gear, but very much more so in modern as it is much harder to repair these little guys. The 12AU7/ECC82 used in both amps have somewhere in the 5000-10000 hours of lifespan (based on brand and model), maybe less if you stick with the stock Chinese tubes. I can live with a minimum of 208-416 days of continuous use. I own the TA-20 (and TA-26, TA-03S, and MT-604), and have nothing but good things to say about it (and them). It pairs well with pretty much every set of cans I've thrown at it, as pictured in my review https://drop.com/buy/xduoo-ta-20-balanced-headphone-amp/reviews/2563816
(Edited)
Suharsh
7
Sep 30, 2021
Wow that was a great review! Thanks so much for that and replying to my question. Tomorrow will decide which one, if at all. The boss needs to approve and struggling a bit on this! :)
MLaff
24
Sep 22, 2021
I want to replace the tubes on the unit but don't know what to buy. How do I tell what to buy? Can anybody help?
Either or should work fine. Both models of tube should be much better than the Sino tubes it ships with. It isn't helpful, but the best way I can describe the stock tubes is mushy. They sound generally ok, but are lacking resolution, clarity, and firmness. I don't have the TA-30, but xDuoo ships the same 12AU7 with most of their other amps, and they have been pretty consistently meh. There are some very nice Chinese tubes from Shuguang and Psvane, but they are generally priced high enough that there is no cost benefit of sticking with Chinese. I'd personally suggest going with the JJ as they work better for me with pop and electric guitar (and most modern musical genre). Mind, this is my personal opinion, and the TS sound fine too. Just not as deep with bass riffs and such, with a touch more emphasis on the upper frequencies. If you were a classical fanatic, the TS would be what I'd suggest out of the two. Stuff like violin arpeggios and viola solos benefit from them. Both tubes are a good starting point though, and in the end as long as you enjoy the sound you're getting, that is what really matters. Don't let people try and convince you that you need to buy the bestest ever tubes that cost as much as the amp. Also keep in mind that 12AU7/ECC82/ECC802 tubes need about 50-100 hours to fully break in. They won't sound bad when they're fresh from the box, but they'll start getting better as they break in. Bass can tighten up and rough sounding notes in the high frequency ranges smooth out. So when you do the tube rolling thing, give whatever tubes you start with a good while of use before trying a different pair. Be careful when rolling, excessive insertion and removal of tubes can damage the sockets. Rolling tubes every few months is safe, doing it every few days will be a problem after a while. :)
ilumo
27
Oct 3, 2021
Just a quick FYI. I just assumed that the TA-30 came with chinese tubes, but upon further inspection, it appears that they came with the JJ tubes. Not sure if its the same that you recommended, but assuming they are, they are a tad bit warm with my 8XX's. I swapped some Tung SOL's in there for now and we'll see how they sound. I have a number of CANs to run this amp through the paces so it will be interesting to A B this with my M500.
zbells
233
Jul 10, 2021
No warranty no cry
Purpleknight
15
May 3, 2021
I'm having issues with my xduoo, and the company isn't responding to my requests for assistance, and drop says there is nothing they can do after the 30 day threshold. The large tube keeps cutting out, sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. The other tubes continue to work properly, but the large tube only occasionally heats up and turns on. I don't think the pins are the problem, but I'm not 100% sure. Does anyone have any idea what's happening? I'm a little disappointed because this is my first foray into a DAC and or amp, and I feel like I'm just standing here holding the bag after purchasing it (it represented a really large purchase for me as I'm in university and had to convert CAD). Thanks in advance!
(Edited)
purplegolem
0
Sep 22, 2021
You could troubleshoot by buying a new tube to see if that is the issue. You might as well buy a decent tube if you are going to do this. When my large tube stopped working it wasn't the tube that had an issue, it was some kind of connection on the board or in the wiring that had to be fixed to repair the socket. it cost $150 Cad for me to take it to a tech. The device gets very hot, so keep an eye on that when using it to avoid further degrading the PCB board. I think this may be at the root of all the issues I have been having on my unit. Make sure your room isn't too hot and the unit is in an open and cool area, and try not to run it for too many hours at a time....hopefully, that helps.
MLaff
24
Sep 23, 2021
Could you suggest what I would order to replace all tubes?
ReverendOlaf
30
Mar 31, 2021
Anyone else have a hum in their unit? I don't really hear it when playing, but you can hear it when there's no sound (it's not bad per se, but kinda bummed its there). It appears to be amplified when I increase the volume. I tried disconnecting all metal inputs (coax and USB) and only using optical, but it still was there. Could it be coming from the power? Any help appreciated!
MLaff
24
Sep 23, 2021
The GE5U4GB/5AS4A i searched for in tctubes but nothing came up. Is there another name or number for this tube? Thanks by the way
5U4B is an equivalent of 5Z3P, tube depot has JJ's in stock. GE is the brand of tube in the prior reply.
matp86
16
Mar 30, 2021
Drop it back to $525
Robwi
13
Mar 30, 2021
Has anyone tried a plug-in solid state rectifier such as https://www.thomannmusic.com/tad_solid_state_rectifier.htm Just curious. It would definitely Ugglify the amp. It would be interesting to listen to. Are there issues with causing damage electronically? I don't want to be the first one!
scottlu
342
Mar 28, 2021
the power stage is tube OTL? tube SET or transistor ?
I've never had to do it with a headphone amp yet. I've done it with Speaker amps and helped friends with their guitar amps. It can make a huge difference if the filtering in the power supply is sub-par, especially with directly heated rectifiers where mains noise can be picked up because of the heater. There are usually two things you have to pay attention to in the circuit. First is how it is going to handle inrush of current at power on. In this case they went with a directly heated rectifier tube, so the amp is likely designed for sudden inrush. If they used an indirectly heated tube you'd need the rectifier bridge to be connected through thermistors to slow the voltage ramp, otherwise it could pop fuses. The second thing one would need to pay attention to is the voltage of the circuit. Going from tube to solid state rectification is going to bump the voltage by 10-20 (more efficient, less loss), and that can be problematic if the tubes are already running close to their limit. I don't think that is the case here, but it is absolutely something I'd check before doing it with this particular amp.
Robwi
13
Mar 30, 2021
Thank you, I'm going to hold off on that.
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