The regular update of 9038S DAC+HPA, we've named that 9038SG3. Pretty much the same sounding and specs but some major weaknesses of the G2 were improved dramatically.
The first thing is another USB audio bridge with HW Volume(UAC2->ES9038), 32/384, and DSD256 support. Sure, it's not a big deal but I don't know another portable DAC with DSD256 support for Android, only DSD128. Also, 9038SG3 got the standby mode to save your phone battery if DAC is idle > 2 minutes. Strongly reduced LTE buzzing noise aka "static", hence 9038SG3 become more and more portable. Slightly improved SNR, Dynamic Range, and THD+N. Due to PCM384 and DSD the frequency response is extended up to 100kHz(10-100000Hz +0.1/-0.3db). The output impedance is 100mohm. The LED flashing frequency is proportional to the audio data rate. 44.1kHz LED blinks 1 time per 2S, 88.2kHz 1 time per 1S etc.
We have deleted audio modes and by default, you have only the Performance mode(without any delays/interruptions!). Instead, we gonna give you a lot of hardware ES9038Q2M DAC control with our new Android "E1DA Tweak" app with the preset manager, harmonics distortions compensation, Nyquist's filter selection, MasterClock frequency and more, most of these parameters could be dynamical defined depends on HW Volume, of Audio DATA Rate etc. In other words, make your own ES9038Q2M based DAC, and save that as a preset( to share this preset)! However, the app release is delayed, thanks covid19 one more time. The new USB bridge lets you update 9038SG3 FirmWare by USB, and I'll provide FW file everyone who gonna go to use the app.
The new 9038S version will have a black sandblasted anodized aluminum case and caps machined with CNC(G2 used laser-cut that's not too accurate). Logo and the model name are laser marked, an elegant and reliable solution vs G2 silk print.
All these improvements have some cost but as usual, 9038SG3 price range would be similar to the predecessor.
The current Firmware(FW V1.0) configured to work as G2 "Performance mode" for PCM 44.1-192kHz to make a most clean THD harmonics distribution, and as G2 "Normal mode" for PCM384kHz and DSD to provide the best Dynamic Range(123db(A), Performance mode has 1db less) and SNR up to -123db(A). THD compensation utilizes two volume zones, one, if the volume = 0dbfs then the THD compensation optimized for light-load condition(good for high impedance open-back headphones, planars and so on), the second zone -127..-1db optimized for 32ohm load. The Nyquist filter is a linear phase slow roll-off. For legacy 44.1kHz I would like to recommend a sharper filter(see Tweak app) to make exact 0db at 20kHz but the slow one sounds a bit more comfortable to me.
That model is so simple if not say trivial, that it still keeps a negligent name of the prototype project. We have finished that within a month or so. This toy is conventional USB DAC + balanced Headphone Amp, however, it made from the best for today components and now #9038S the only USB DAC+HPA with 550mW@16ohm, SNR -122db(A), THD .0002%@-3dbfs@32ohm, and 10g weight.
The device can operate in 3 modes:
1) Normal Mode -LED is always On, no flashing.
2) Performance Mode – LED flashing 2Hz when no signal detected, THD performance optimized for Fs 44.1-48kHz but PLL lock slower and the first-second signal is muted.
3) SE Mode– LED flashing 1Hz when no signal detected, 2nd harmonic artificially increased to emulate SE tube behavior.
To switch between modes you need to interrupt #9038S power during its startup when LED very fast flashing. Then next turn on #9038S will be started in the next mode(1-2-3-4-1-2-3-4.. cycling)
Note: the latest #9038S Gen2 has 4rth operation mode "IEM" with limited max output power at -15dbfs level for safe operation with low-impedance and high sensitive In-Ear Monitors up to 4ohm, LED is Off when no signal detected. Also, #9038S G2 adopts soft-start function to a seamless start with any(as I hope) iOS/Android devices without external power-bank. However, no one of iOS devices and part of Androids will able to provide USB power enough to drive #9038S G2 for max power. Don't be surprised to see msg like this: "USB OTG device requires external power source", that's why we always suggest Y-splitter.
iOS/Mac devices need to use player app like Neutron to get volume control.
Retail cost: TBD($70)
Materials: sandblasted/anodized aluminum/ES9038Q2M/AD8397
Power: USB 5V power rail no internal battery, 90mA idle current, the device contains up to 4000uF of capacitance and IOS/Android devices can
start OTG operation only with Camera_Adapter and USB OTG Y-splitter cable respectively
Input: USB-C, PCM up to 24b/192kHz
Output: balanced output 2.5mm jack A&K pinout
No adaptors allowed! You can kill the DAC.
Output impedance: .05 Ohm@1000Hz Agilent U1733C
Output power: >340mW@32Ohm@1kHz@THD=1%
Output power: >550mW@16Ohm@1kHz@THD=1%
measured at +.5dbFS level, typical PC USB2 port powered
Frequency response: 10-85kHz +.05/-.2db@ 24b/192kHz
S/N ratio: -122db(A) referenced to 3.399VRMS @32ohm THD+N = 1% @
+.5dbfs typical PC USB2 port powered
DR AES17 120db unweighted
THD@1kHz@-3dbFS .0002% typical for Performance Mode 24b/44.1kHz@32Ohm
THD+N@1kHz@-3dbFS <.0004% typical for Performance Mode 24b/44.1kHz@32Ohm
THD+N@1kHz@-3dbFS <.0009% typical for Performance Mode 24b/44.1kHz@16Ohm
THD+N@1kHz@-3dbFS <.0004% typical for Normal Mode 24b/44.1kHz@32Ohm
THD+N@1kHz@-3dbFS .25% typical for SE Mode 24b/44.1kHz, almost only 2nd harmonic
Conventional PC USB2 port, 32ohm load THD+N vs Power
Conventional PC USB2 port, 16ohm load THD+N vs Power
Conventional PC USB2 port, 70ohm load THD+N vs Power
Conventional PC USB2 port, 110ohm load THD+N vs Power
Conventional PC USB2 port, 70ohm load -6dbfs THD+N vs Frequency
Conventional PC USB2 port, 70ohm load Frequency response
Conventional PC USB2 port, crosstalk