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Old 29th January 2017, 08:50 PM   #1
PJN is offline PJN  United States
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Default My new JLsounds AK4490 USB DAC

After many delays due to other projects I finally got around to putting together A AK4490 USB dac from JLsounds. I've been wanting a USB dac for use with PC based music servers but I was hesitant to buy a Chinese solution, so I went with JLsounds. I'm very glad I did, I am very impressed with the sound of this DAC. I have several decent DACs to compare it to (EZDAC, Curryman, SUBBU V3, and a TP opus). Behind the TP Opus I felt that the SUBBU was a close second and clearly bested the rest. In a head to head with the JLsounds and the Subbu, I found that I preferred the JLsounds. I felt it was warmer, had similar detail, better dynamics, and had a wider and deeper soundstage. Imaging is excellent. The ESS 9023 based dacs sound great, and punch way above their weight class, but to me at least they sound is a bit thinner and have a more "brittle?", for want of a better word, high frequency. I haven't done a head to head with the Opus yet though. Here are some pics of my build. I reused a wooden case that I made some time ago for a disappointing class D amp (Sure 2x100 wpc). I made a new front from some thin oak stock from home depot. Made a template for the cutout for the LCD screen, the buttons are just cut off nails that press the menu buttons on the LCD. JLsounds was also great to work with and helped me work through some of my screw-ups.

PJN
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Old 29th January 2017, 09:28 PM   #2
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Nice work. Connect output with better signal cable and from 1 piece not 2...and you will be step higher.
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Old 29th January 2017, 09:33 PM   #3
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Default Sure Class D amp

Hi there, off topic - but could you please outline what aspect was disappointing with the Sure 2 x 100 amp? Was it just sound quality or reliability / noise or something? Thank you
Steven
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Old 29th January 2017, 10:19 PM   #4
PJN is offline PJN  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theoracle View Post
Hi there, off topic - but could you please outline what aspect was disappointing with the Sure 2 x 100 amp? Was it just sound quality or reliability / noise or something? Thank you
Steven
For me it was sound quality, at the time I. Impaired it to a dual mono chipamp.com 3886 as well as a .Myref 3886 chip amp, the Sure amp couldn't go.e close. Lacked the clarity, a D the highs were odd. I've since been building Pass class A amps, no going back to. Chipamps or even class AB
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Old 29th January 2017, 10:19 PM   #5
PJN is offline PJN  United States
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Damn spell check
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Old 30th January 2017, 08:29 AM   #6
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Thanks for that PJN - my use for them is not for fidelity, I have a couple on order and hope they will be fine (and reliable!)
Steven
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