Which Weiliang DAC to choose right now? - diyAudio
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Old 3rd June 2014, 01:40 PM   #1
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Default Which Weiliang DAC to choose right now?

Which assembled Weiliang DAC would you choose at this point in time (June 2014)?

One of the WM8741 types, the AK4399 (single or dual) or ES9018?

How would you rank them for sound quality? And construction quality?

Weiliang Audio
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DAC 7 WM8741
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DAC 9 AK4399
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AK4399
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AK4399 x 2
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ES9018
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Old 3rd June 2014, 06:18 PM   #2
Stixx is offline Stixx  Germany
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With all due respect it surprises me that you want to buy one of the chinese DAC's... the "you" referring to someone who is very much into single ended tube amplifiers from what I gather from reading your posts

I am no expert in DAC's but have heard a few and sold them quickly (VALAB TDA 1543 for instance). After enjoying in an Audiosector DAC full of BG's (for the sheer energy in it's presentation and the naturalness) I have found something that betters it... the recent Subbu 3.0 DAC from the Group Buy. I think you have to go a long way to find something sounding more open, natural and three-dimensional than this DAC ( and for that kind of money).

Just my personal subjective opinion of course... but most chinese DAC's are of the copy and paste variety... have a nice blue board with nice symmetrical layout and lots of OP amps... all of which is not desirable or necessary in a good sounding DAC. Layout and well thought out power supplies are everything... from here I'd like to let the experts speak (JP, are you around?).

Cheers,
Oliver


PS I can sell you a Subbu V1.0 DAC with a Salas shunt reg and a nice HIFI2000 case... also a very natural performer. But don't take this just as a blunt offer
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Old 3rd June 2014, 07:24 PM   #3
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Thanks Oliver. Yes, I'm very much single ended DHT tubes. Absolutely. But I don't use vinyl at all - all my music is on my Mac Mini. And I need 2v to drive my amp, which is 4P1L into PSE 4P1L. I like high end transformers - that's also true. But I can see a place for solid state in small signal applications. I don't want to throw tubes at a DAC project - I've done that in the past and I think solid state is a better option if it's done properly. Cleaner and more detailed. I have a modest 9023 DAC right now, but it runs of lead-acid batteries at least and the PSU made a huge difference. So I'd be looking to optimise a PSU or even use batteries if it were low current.

I don't know the Subbu DAC but I'll PM you about it.

My brother has a Schiit Gungnir (AK4399) and that's very good to my ears. So certainly looking to upgrade to one of the usual suspects, which I take to be AK4399, ES9018 or WM8471 at the present moment, unless somebody can correct me on that. I'm ready to throw 100 GBP or a bit more at an assembled board. Not sure if I'd want a kit since my knowledge is tubes rather than solid state, and very little digital theory at all. But I can certainly construct quite elaborate tube amps.

So very interested to get some views on which of these Chinese boards to use. And open to all other alternatives. Just need a really good DAC that can output 2v. And I'd normally be using USB in unless anybody has other ideas.

The thing about this forum is that there are extensive threads on detailed projects but not much telling you which of the projects to choose. That's what I'm after - an overview and a choice.

Andy

Last edited by andyjevans; 3rd June 2014 at 07:27 PM.
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Old 3rd June 2014, 09:01 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stixx View Post
With all due respect it surprises me that you want to buy one of the chinese DAC's... the "you" referring to someone who is very much into single ended tube amplifiers from what I gather from reading your posts

I am no expert in DAC's but have heard a few and sold them quickly (VALAB TDA 1543 for instance). After enjoying in an Audiosector DAC full of BG's (for the sheer energy in it's presentation and the naturalness) I have found something that betters it... the recent Subbu 3.0 DAC from the Group Buy. I think you have to go a long way to find something sounding more open, natural and three-dimensional than this DAC ( and for that kind of money).

Just my personal subjective opinion ....
An opinion ?... I have the weiliang dual ak4399 dac and I owned odac and another dac based on same chip as subbu and I like more the cinese akm4399 dac with a good margin.
Your is not an opinion, it is a speculation, you will have an opinion when directly compare the subbu to a weiliang dac.
I don't have an opinion on subbu why I don't know it, simply.
Ciao

Inviato dal mio SM-N9005 utilizzando Tapatalk
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Old 4th June 2014, 11:06 AM   #5
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I'm bought AK4399 DAC (single DAC, not parallel) for my friend. Have no complains whatsoever, excellent unit.
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Old 5th June 2014, 06:10 PM   #6
phase is offline phase  United States
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I'd probably say to go for the DAC7, but I have a 5, with some capacitors swapped out, and really like it.
I would budget another $200-300 for mods, and you'll have something to be proud of.
A decent alternative to a ready made unit at a (much)higher price imo.
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Old 5th June 2014, 07:48 PM   #7
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I'm getting good feedback with the AK4399 options, especially the new dual version with the AK4118. Lots of love on this thread, and not too many problems.

ebay: WEILIANG Dual X2 AK4399 DAC with LCD

The ES9018 is a strong contender in theory, but looks like you have to throw more money at it.
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Old 6th June 2014, 05:13 PM   #8
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I startet with the smaler ones. Weiliang DAC 5 and 9.(sold out) I was satisfied, so I bought the bigger ones. This one: ES9018 32bit 192khz Hi End DAC Optical Coax and Balanced output diy kit | eBay Actual playing.
and this one: 4 layers board ES9018 assembled DAC 192K Optical Coax with LCD display Weiliang | eBay
This one did not arrive jet.
I could follow the line, went better and better!
Regards Gabrie
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Old 6th June 2014, 05:21 PM   #9
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The weiliang 9018 have six opamp, those seems too much, have you modified it?
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Old 7th June 2014, 05:58 PM   #10
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No,
did not change that, but changed some caps and this precision TCXO 1ppm 12.000000MHz
1 pcs High precision TCXO 1ppm 12.000000MHz for AUDIO NEW | eBay
, and took the LME 49710 HA/720 HA (TO99, metal case). But I got now some AD797 AN and will try this one. Need some adapter to use this as a dual OP-Amp. Still looking for that.
Regards Gabriel
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