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Thread: New DAC Soncoz SGD1

  1. #1
    Join Date: Jan 2019

    Location: Liverpool

    Posts: 150
    I'm Andrew.

    Default New DAC Soncoz SGD1

    Not sure if anyone else has seen this and perhaps many are groaning over yet another DAC thread but I found this to be very intersting . Soncoz has been started by the original designer of the Tone Board which gained very good reviews and support . This was very much a DIY DAC board with main use with Raspberry Pi as a DAC addition.

    The new company has moved away from the DIY and instead is making proper well finished items . Still using ESaber chip sets . Thing is that the all singing all dancing top unit as noted above can be had in the UK for around 450 which in the scheme of things is not that much . For those that are interested have a look at the site and the product page and take a few minutes to look at the Audio Science link thread. Now I have never been a great measurements man and have heard too many musical pieces of equipment that do not measure that well to use this as a main criteria to buy .

    However if you read the inital measurement thread this unit does exceptionally well in all areas except one . Then if you look in the bottom left hand corner at the linked threads there is one that is by the designer to cure the ESS hump . Give that a good read through , firstly it is such a real eye opener to read from a designer his open thinking and work on how to solve this issue and what he was doing . It is also surprising that as this is a Chip fault then what he has published will enable any other designer using these chips to also solve the issue in their designs. He then goes on to say he recalled all units that were not fixed by this and had them upgraded . All current production units have been changed and now use the new capcitors and resistance values he changed so they now read across all the tests as faultless.

    Given what I have read and ignoring the really high test figures I would love to hear one of these units more because I have respect and trust for for the designer and his openess and willingness to listen and change . I hope that someone in the UK takes this product on and lets it be easily purchased in the UK . In the mean time Audiophonics in France sell the both units and while we are still in the EU we can order them without import duty or VAT . If the top unit is still too expensive there is a cut down version at around 210 .

    If anyone has already bought one of these would really like to hear your views on the unit. I fully understand that perfect test figures do not always translate in to perfect audio but I have a strong feeling that this design given the quality that was already present in the Tone Board will be very much a sonic quality DAC as well as a well perfoming test unit.

    www.soncoz.com

    https://www.audiophonics.fr/en/dac-w...fast_search=fs

  2. #2
    Join Date: May 2020

    Location: Germany

    Posts: 2
    I'm Stefan.

    Default Soncoz SGD-1

    Hi,

    so i got mine 3 weeks ago. I can't tell you anything in long time terms but right now I'm really happy with it.

    Ben is a great developer. And nearly every bug which is reported in the audiosciencereview forum is fixed in maximum 3-4 days. so in the last 3 weeks there are i think so 4-5 fixed via firmware upgrade. He is answering nearly every question and also how he documented and fixed the ess hump is brilliant.

    now to the dac itself. for me it is the best i heard in digital analog converting. many details i heard just now and not before with my ifi micro idsd. in cd quality i also heard new details but the if you go up to high res music it is really brilliant. for me i think so that i will never need any other dac.

    i can really recommend this dac. and from my point of view if you have less money to buy a dac give a try to the Soncoz LA-QXD1 for 200$. I think if you have got a good linear power supply for this it will go nearly to the sgd-1. but this is only my assumption cause i never heard this one, but the measurements are quite good and the technic is nearly the same it seems like.

    Best regards

    Stefan

  3. #3
    Join Date: Oct 2008

    Location: Aughton, Ormskirk

    Posts: 2,816
    I'm Jerry.

    Default

    A comparison against the Topping D90 would be interesting. The response from the designer/manufacturer is as impressive as the test results.
    I suspect a good number of high specification, good value DAC's will be snapping at the heels of Topping soon.
    Jerry
    Hifi: IPL transmission line floorstanding speakers, Squeezebox Touch, Soncoz SGD1 DAC, DCB1 Pre-amplifier, Croft Series 7 power amp.
    Custom Hifi cables HA10SE headphone amplifier and Hifiman HE-400 headphones.
    AV system: LG 55B7, Denon AVR -x2300w receiver, Quad 12L (front) 11c Centre and 11L rear . Velodyne DD15 subwoofer.

  4. #4
    Join Date: Jan 2014

    Location: Northants

    Posts: 247
    I'm Martin.

    Default New DAC Soncoz SGD1

    Quote Originally Posted by Bencat View Post
    If anyone has already bought one of these would really like to hear your views on the unit. I fully understand that perfect test figures do not always translate in to perfect audio but I have a strong feeling that this design given the quality that was already present in the Tone Board will be very much a sonic quality DAC as well as a well perfoming test unit.

    www.soncoz.com

    https://www.audiophonics.fr/en/dac-w...fast_search=fs
    I have had one on home demo for the last two days.

    To take advantage of this new generation of fully balanced DAC’s with remote volume controls in mind I designed and constructed a pair of fully balanced push pull mono block valve amplifiers using just two stages of amplification.

    A single 6SN7GT driving a pair of EL34’s in ultra linear push pull configuration. The 4 volts RMS from the true balanced output of the Soncoz is enough to drive the EL34 output pentodes to about 18 watts output.

    In my opinion the sound quality of the new Soncoz SGD1 DAC is outstanding, the very low noise floor reveals superb detail.

    I’m driving a pair of Harbeth SHL5 plus speakers with this simple system, Soncoz DAC driving the mono block amplifiers direct with balanced XLR cables and no preamp, sounds very nice indeed.

    Thanks to Keith at Purite Audio for the loan of the Soncoz.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    Last edited by disarmamant; 20-06-2020 at 13:25.

  5. #5
    Join Date: Aug 2018

    Location: Near Newcastle upon Tyne

    Posts: 68
    I'm Mandeep.

    Default

    I’ve had a Soncoz since Thursday. I’ve compared it to my impulse eBay purchase last year of digital amp co’s Dac Dac TL (I know odd name right?)
    The Dac Dac recently ousted my main dac, Schiit Gungnir MB.
    I find them both very good but some subtle difference. I’m using a zero gain preamp via balanced xlr in.
    Overall I prefer the Dac Dac in my system. This is due to 2 things.
    Firstly the Dac Dac presents a more open, airer sound image which just seems a tad more resolving.
    Secondly I prefer the lower frequencies of the Dac Dac. The Soncoz is richer, fuller in the bass, but seems a tad more muddled at times and somehow a bit slower. The Dac Dac is more up tempo.
    Overall the Soncoz is very good. Natural, rich sounding, tonality is more correct. Defo not harsh or forced at all, actually more like the Schiit Gungnir MB than delta sigma.
    Keith at Purite thinks what I’m hearing in the bass is due to room interactions as the Soncoz has a flat frequency output.
    I’m not sure as the Dac Dac is not far off flat either. I think it’s due to different chips, output and design.
    One other let down is the wobbly knob.
    The reason for trying the Soncoz is that I want xlr to pre amp and rca out to headphone amp. The Dac Dac is only xlr out, single output.
    The Dac Dac outputs nearly 1V more and has lower output impedance, don’t know if that may explain any of the differences I heard.
    Hope my rambling attempt to describe what I’ve heard is useful.
    Mand

  6. #6
    Join Date: Mar 2018

    Location: Portsmouth

    Posts: 25
    I'm Chris.

    Default

    My Soncoz SGD1 arrived on Friday and I have had a few short listening sessions.

    So far I have tried the following sources:
    Optical output from a Meridian CD 200
    Coaxial output from a Squeezebox Touch
    BT from mobile and laptop

    I do not have anything to compare it to in my system so not able to state anything in terms of how it differs but I found I just want to keep playing more and more music. Perhaps over time I will be able to differentiate some differences for each source but at present I am just taking pleasure from the music.

    Re setup it took me a little while to get it going but once I had downloaded the appropriate app onto my phone and PC things went smoothly.

    Agree with observation above by Mand about the wonky knob, although I will mainly use the remote control.

    Changed the filter settings a few times and had a cursory listen but nothing obviously different to my ears.

    Must get back to the music now

  7. #7
    Join Date: Oct 2008

    Location: Aughton, Ormskirk

    Posts: 2,816
    I'm Jerry.

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Mand View Post
    I’ve had a Soncoz since Thursday. I’ve compared it to my impulse eBay purchase last year of digital amp co’s Dac Dac TL (I know odd name right?)
    The Dac Dac recently ousted my main dac, Schiit Gungnir MB.
    I find them both very good but some subtle difference. I’m using a zero gain preamp via balanced xlr in.
    Overall I prefer the Dac Dac in my system. This is due to 2 things.
    Firstly the Dac Dac presents a more open, airer sound image which just seems a tad more resolving.
    Secondly I prefer the lower frequencies of the Dac Dac. The Soncoz is richer, fuller in the bass, but seems a tad more muddled at times and somehow a bit slower. The Dac Dac is more up tempo.
    Overall the Soncoz is very good. Natural, rich sounding, tonality is more correct. Defo not harsh or forced at all, actually more like the Schiit Gungnir MB than delta sigma.
    Keith at Purite thinks what I’m hearing in the bass is due to room interactions as the Soncoz has a flat frequency output.
    I’m not sure as the Dac Dac is not far off flat either. I think it’s due to different chips, output and design.
    One other let down is the wobbly knob.
    The reason for trying the Soncoz is that I want xlr to pre amp and rca out to headphone amp. The Dac Dac is only xlr out, single output.
    The Dac Dac outputs nearly 1V more and has lower output impedance, don’t know if that may explain any of the differences I heard.
    Hope my rambling attempt to describe what I’ve heard is useful.
    Mand
    Isnt your Dac Dac a lot more expensive than the Soncoz?
    Jerry
    Hifi: IPL transmission line floorstanding speakers, Squeezebox Touch, Soncoz SGD1 DAC, DCB1 Pre-amplifier, Croft Series 7 power amp.
    Custom Hifi cables HA10SE headphone amplifier and Hifiman HE-400 headphones.
    AV system: LG 55B7, Denon AVR -x2300w receiver, Quad 12L (front) 11c Centre and 11L rear . Velodyne DD15 subwoofer.

  8. #8
    Join Date: Aug 2018

    Location: Near Newcastle upon Tyne

    Posts: 68
    I'm Mandeep.

    Default

    It was when it came out. The dac chip is quite old I believe, pcm 1972A
    Shows that latest isn’t always greatest, and higher price doesn’t mean better.

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