The new Khadas Tone Board USB DAC with the Sabre ES9038Q2M DAC chip is the new leader in low cost extreme high quality DACs. This device sounds fantastic. The sound quality is backed up by truly exceptional measurements that are only a whisker away from professional DACs selling for thousands of dollars.
Selling for only $99, it features both usb and S/PIDF inputs. The only oddity is you have to supply your own case. Currently you can have a 3D printed case made for about $20.
If anyone is buying this board and is looking for an aluminum case for it I found one that will work but you will have to drill the holes. I wanted aluminum for shielding. Here is the link to the site for that case.
They have a driver available that works on my Windows 10 machine but they say it will work on Windows 7 also. If you can't find it on their site I have it and can send it to you. On my laptop the player is jRiver Media Center 25 and it works well.
Post by gregviggiano on Jul 18, 2019 9:15:22 GMT -5
Thanks Tom - I ordered the DAC yesterday. I'll let you know when it's here. In the mean time, please send me the driver file. For the case, I going to use an 8-track tape shell (because I like novelty).
I just upgraded PCs and lost my PCI slots I was using for my modified Asus Xonar Essence ST's. I saw your suggestion about this board and figured it would be a good solution. I drive my main amp plus a pair of subwoofers so I wanted two outputs without having to use Y cables. I ended up mounting the DAC on some perf board cut to slide in on the lowest grooves. Here's the results.
I removed the three RCA connectors that came on the board and put four new ones on one of the panels. Mounting the Khadas to the perf board proved to be more challenging than I thought. I have a lot of hardware, it's mostly even sorted, but I didn't have enough #2 or 2.5mm to pull it off. I ended up using the hardware that came with the card and two washers under each of the screws to stand the DAC off the perf board.
This is one side with the USB-C connector poking through.
And here's the other side
I should have put another RCA on the other side for SPDIF, but I don't really use it so I didn't think of it. It will be easy to add later. If you use this enclosure note that the screws are #1 pozi-drive. It will be much easier to get them seated if you use the correct bit.
First impressions of the sound are excellent. I've spent more time getting it in the box than listening to it. More listening is in order. Thanks for the tip Chris!