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Old 14th September 2012, 07:59 AM   #11
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Join Date: Jun 2009
I ordered the ODAC from jdslabs.com (us). In Europe there's head'n'hifi (ch).

My shipment from HifiMeDiy didn't go out till yesterday since the Direct-DAC was out-of-stock. Usually takes 10-14 days to Europe (Norway).
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Old 14th September 2012, 04:39 PM   #12
brgds is offline brgds  Poland
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Location: Poland
Quote:
Originally Posted by alkasar View Post
Arrived in 2 weeks to France (by swiss post).
You receive an email confirmation when order, and the tracking numbera few days later. Send a mail to mail@hifimediy.com if trouble. It's a small business, but they are quite responsive.
I've found the confirmation in the spam folder (together with other awaited messages and many viagra offers it was shipped on Sept 6th by Chinese post, where the tracking is a bit challenging at least for me
Thanks 122147 for the hint!
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Old 14th September 2012, 04:59 PM   #13
alkasar is offline alkasar  France
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Location: near Paris, France
Quote:
Originally Posted by nakamoomin View Post
I ordered the ODAC from jdslabs.com (us). In Europe there's head'n'hifi (ch).

My shipment from HifiMeDiy didn't go out till yesterday since the Direct-DAC was out-of-stock. Usually takes 10-14 days to Europe (Norway).
Thanks

you'll be able to compare hifimediy's implementation and ODAC in a few days. Hope you'll report here
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Old 17th September 2012, 05:36 PM   #14
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FedEx is putting it through customs today. Hopefully I'll have the parts by tomorrow.
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Old 18th September 2012, 11:22 AM   #15
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So I finally have the HifiMeDiy for comparison to the ODAC!

Setup:
----------
- PC (Spotify Premium)

- ODAC (by JDSLabs)
- HifiMeDiy TL7022+ES9023

- Fiio short interconnect
- iSimple 1m (both from JDSLabs)

- 2 x O2 (both made by me)

- Philips Fidelio L1 (32 ohm)

----------

Maxing the volume and gain on the O2 reveals some background hiss on both DACs. I'd say the background is similar on both DACs.

On installation it is clear that the two DACs use different Drivers. The ODAC uses standard Windows USB sound framework, while the HifMeDiy use a Sabre driver.
Plugging the HifMeDiy into a port previously used by the ODAC brings it up as "ODAC", funny..

Anyway; the driver is clearly Sabre, as the preferences for the DAC is the same as for the Sabre driver. The Sabre driver omits the "enhancements" tab found in the Windows framework but ads a tab with checkboxes for supported bitrates (32, 44, 48, 96 kHz) and formats (DTS Audio, DD, WMA Pro)

Initial impressions:

Background is similar on the two. The HifMeDiy has a ridiculously short cable (5 cm), the ODAC is used with a standard 60 cm USB cable.

The OPutput level on the HifMeDiy is higher than the ODAC. This could be due to driver differences. The resolution is very similar on the two. Overall sound is similar. The HifMeDiy is a little "darker" and not as airy, staging and resolution is similar however. The ODAC is a little sparklier, but it appears to have a little less weight in the lowest octaves. Could be simply that the ODAC is "tighter" or more controlled than the HifMeDiy in the LF.

Overall:
WOW!
It doesn't have quite the same neutrality and airy resolution as the ODAC, but for 39 USD I'd say it's very close, certainly more than I expected. A very entertaining DAC indeed.

Definately a HUGE step up from cheap PCM 2704-based $ 20 USB DACS that flood the market. The HifMeDiy DAC looks just as cheap but sounds WAY better.

I tested with the Fidelio L1 which is not as "dramatic" or revealing (esp HF) as say Grados. Others might have different experience with more analytical headphones.
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Old 18th September 2012, 12:40 PM   #16
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Join Date: Jun 2009
Typos and comments (previous post):

- USB receiver on DAC is TE7022, not TL7022 as I wrote
- The USB cable to the ODAC was a for a CANON DSLR (ferrite beads in both ends)
- O2 was run powered by AC

Comments:
The HifMeDiy DAC has a small LED showing that it's running. ODAC has not (if that matters to you). Microdetails are fainter on the HifMeDiy than ODAC. HifMeDiy DAC has a very similar sound. Staging is almost identical in my setup.
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Old 18th September 2012, 01:36 PM   #17
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Both of the 7022/9023 based DACs DEMOLISH the PCM-based DAC (which again is a HUGE step up from the interal soundcard on a Dell Precision M4500), even in 44.1/16 mode. Everyting is better: Soundstage wider and deeper, Staging is 3D rather than 2D, details are clearer, better PRaT, tighter yet fuller bass.

I am very happy with both DACs and I'm keeping them both. The HifiMeDiy is the laidback brother of the ODAC, which is more of a "nerd". Differences between the two 7022/9023 based DACs are subtle and both are very pleasing to me.
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Old 18th September 2012, 02:10 PM   #18
alkasar is offline alkasar  France
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Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: near Paris, France
thanks for the feedback

I did not install any driver. The default microsoft USB Audio driver is used. Did you install any driver ?

In the device properties, Manufacturer is empty, Model is "HiFimeDIY DAC" and in the features, among others, there is "SABRE 24/96 DAC".
Foobar sees it as "SABRE 24/96 DAC".

Some websites suggest a spcific TE7022 driver, supposely better than the microsoft default driver, but frankly, I could not hear any difference. Removed it.


I wonder if Sabre does something on the low frequencies ? I have the same feeling of added weight in the bass with this dac. Quite flattering to the ears
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Old 18th September 2012, 02:10 PM   #19
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Update:
After spending some time with the ODAC and HifiMeDiy 7022/9023 I have noticed that there are more differences than meet the ear at first listen.

ODAC is less fatiguing and more balanced overall. Everything is at the right place at all times, and the DAC isn't fazed by complex music. ODAC is very consistent. The HifiMediy sounds laidback at first, but there is a shrillness to rock music with heavily distorted guitars/bass (Muse as an example) that isn't there on the ODAC. This makes the ODAC more pleasant on complex music with fast drum segments and "dirty" guitars.

So in conclusion HifiMeDiy has:
- About same overall sound signature as ODAC
- About same stage
- somewhat less micro detail
- a shrillness/nasality that isn't obvious at first

Result: 90% of the ODAC sound, but becomes slightly fatiguing over time, at least with my setup.

However, I'd wholeheartedly recommend this DAC at the asking price of 39 USD. There are so many strong points to the sound compared to the few weaknesses. And it's all a matter of taste in the end..
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Old 20th September 2012, 01:01 PM   #20
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Join Date: Jun 2009
Update 2:
There are issues with running two different drivers for the same chipset.

Now I have drivers for both ODAC and HifiMeDiy USB DAC on the same computer.

On HifiMeDiy: The sample rate is not set correctly and you may get resampling noise on the Sabre drivers. Setting a different SR and then setting it back fixes the problem. I will try to remove the Sabre drivers and use the standard windows usb audio framework on the HifiMeDiy DAC.

I have to retest.

I haven't been able to test any highres audio yet.
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