Leaf/Dovk Audio 348/32 XMOS DAC – China Posted on June 14, 2014 by tubemaze (18 votes, average: 2.83 out of 5)Loading...No reviews found on the web. Read our reviews.Share this post:
I decided to give a chance to chinese DACs. What the hell, around $100 is not a huge investment and maybe somebody can benefit from my experience.
I went for 384kHz 32Bit version with 0.1 ppm clocks. The DAC can decode any files you throw at it (44.1 to 384K) – nothing to complain about here. Has a good chip PCM5102 and WIMA capacitors. It’s compared to Meridian DAC. So far everything looks good.
The DAC does process all the specified bit rates without any problems. I tried a lot of formats from CD rips at 44.1 kHz and 16 to DXD files play at 352.8 kHz and 24 bit. The problems started when I decided to actually listen to music 🙂
USB powered connection was unusable, but the dac is quite flexible and can take external power supply from 5 to 9V. So I plugged in of the best power supplies I had and tried to enjoy the music. Unfortunately I couldn’t.
The music is incredibly sharp and in your face that after a minute or two of listening I became fatigued. Your can forget about attack and decay, air and texture. It was all right there, in your face and very 2 dimensional to the point that I had to turn off the sound. I decided that oh well maybe my SE amp is just not a good match for it, so I connected the amp to McIntosh 275 and Vienna Acoustics speakers. Nothing improved. It was there like a splash of cold water in my face. Tubes couldn’t help to rectify the sharpness.
All in all, despite the specs and the clock and PCM5102, the DAC should be avoided. Everything from internet radio to DXD tracks sounded bad. The DAC sounds great on paper, but not in reality.