Trying Different DACs

I’ve been playing around with different DACs on my office system over the Christmas holidays, which is as follows;

Streaming from PC —> DAC —> SMSL SA300 Amp —> Q Acoustics 2010i Loudspeakers

All cables are QED.

Presently using the Khadas Tone Board 1 DAC, but have tried;

  • Cambridge Audio DACMagic 100; Sounded dull
    -Topping Ds10s; Just didn’t like the presentation
  • Fosi DAC Q4; Volume from this was just too low (even set at maximum on the the Fosi), had to have the volume on the Amp at 35, whereas, all the other DACs, had the volume around 20

Was going to try the SMSL C100, which was a good price on Amazon, but the order was cancelled by them.

Think I’m going to stick with Khadas, as it seems to be very detailed and clear, with a pleasant presentation. And for the price of it, they do appear to be good value for money.

If anyone is considering a small Class D amplifier, then I can recommend the SMSL ones, as the sound quality is very good and again, they appear to be good value for money.


Do you have anything between computer and DAC to block RF? Of not, the difference might be primarily due to how resistant the DAC is to RF, which can cause modulation effects in the audio output.

No. Only the Fosi behaved differently, all the others were OK volume wise.


Not sure what volume has to do with DAC reaction to RF superimposed on tge digital stream?

Not sure what RF has to do with this. No interference picked up.

All I know is, three out the four DACs used, no change in volume at 20, but when the Fosi used, had to turn up the amp to get the same volume level.


As I said, some DACs are susceptible to RF modulation. Not ‘interference’ that you’d notice as such, rather affecting the sound quality/character. Iin assessment of what a DAC is capable of, if using a source such as a computer, it can make a significant difference if RF isolation s applied. I simply asked whether you did anything to block RF, and from your answer I take it not. (Your conclusion might, or might not, be different if RF was blocked. But volume has nothing to do with it (nor in itself anything to do with sound quality).

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