Douk Audio DSD AIO DAC/Headamp Quick Impressions and Measurements

Discussion in 'Portable and Other Gear Measurements' started by Marvey, Jun 29, 2017.

  1. Marvey

    Marvey Loves sex and records

    Staff Member Friend
    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2015
    Likes Received:
    24,175
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Calabasas, CA
    Douk Audio DSD AIO DAC/Headamp Quick Impressions and Measurements

    s-l1600.jpg
    Douk DSD.jpg

    This thing ain't half bad for an AIO DAC/headamp. I actually prefer the sound of this Douk to some more expensive units. At first I was expecting that nasty ESS Sabre sound, but the nastiness never came! You want to know why? It's not a Sabre DAC. I originally thought it was a Sabre DAC because I saw the letters DSD. Well, it turns out that the chip is a TI PCM1796. This chip actually isn't half bad - kind of reminds me of PCM1792, probably in the same family. No treble nasties. If one thing, maybe a bit on the dull side.

    The Douk drove the HD650s competently. I only have a few complaints:

    1. Only available from China. El Lay customs decided to keep it for a few weeks.
    2. Driver comes on tiny mini CD. I placed the CD specifically in one place so I would not lose it. Of course this means and when I needed it, I forgot where I put it. I resorted to downloading the evaluation version of the generic XMOS drivers from the XMOS site. Of course I found the mini CD right after I did this.
    3. No volume knob. You control the volume via volume slider with a mouse on your computer screen. Of course this means a few occasions where you blow out your ears. Windows like to max out volume upon connection of the USB.
    4. 1/8" jack seems kind of cheap. I needed to wiggle the plug around to get a good connection.
    Here are some good things:
    1. No digital nasties. Nice warm sound. But maybe kind of dull and smoothed over in the lows and mids.
    2. Marginally better sounding than iFi Nano iDSD
    3. Dirt cheap at well less than $100 including shipping costs. I think I bought it for $78.
    The Douk also comes with a cable for DC power in, to be used with a USB phone charger plug. I believe this gives it a bit of extra juice or current. This didn't seem to make a difference with the high impedance HD650.

    Measurements below are slightly lower than usual at 0.527Vrms into 330 ohms. The steps on in on the slider are not that granular so that was the closest I could get to 0.550Vrms. The measurements are pretty good. Note that measurements were taken without the extra DC power.

    1kHz
    Douk 1k.png

    600Hz and 1700Hz.
    Douk 600-1700.png
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2017
    OlafR, PoochZag, Luckbad and 4 others like this.

  2. Marvey

    Marvey Loves sex and records

    Staff Member Friend
    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2015
    Likes Received:
    24,175
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Calabasas, CA
    Doing the Schiit Fulla 2 writeup now. The Fulla 2 would be a competitor to the Douk.
     
    FlySweep and ultrabike like this.
  3. Luckbad

    Luckbad Basshead - Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2015
    Likes Received:
    1,393
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Laguna Hills, CA
    Home Page:
    ultrabike and Dino like this.
  4. brencho

    brencho Good Friend (Moderator)

    Staff Member Friend
    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2015
    Likes Received:
    3,017
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    LA
    Home Page:
    Dino likes this.
  5. zerodeefex

    zerodeefex Ornery Admin

    Staff Member Friend
    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2015
    Likes Received:
    4,946
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Yeah. Marv and I talked it over. It makes sense to try out things like this that have a good recommendation but no one around here has heard. Especially when that gear is cheap :)
     
    ultrabike and Dino like this.
  6. OlafR

    OlafR Rando

    Contributor
    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2017
    Likes Received:
    12
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Location:
    Europe
    May I mention a very suitable external power supply unit to this: The 5V - non-switched/genuinely regulated - adapter to the old, infamous Iomega Zip drive ( the drive itself was known for the "click of death" that made thousands lose their porn pictures and some other data..). The adapter to it can be found cheaply on eBay. At least the one I got with the drive was really well built and rather heavy. (I opened it and was almost impressed).
    But I wouldn't trust this company, so I recommend testing it with different loads to see if it delivers a precise and steady 5 Volt in every case. There seem to have been several suppliers of the adapter, from different countries, as usual. (Of course the lead will need another tip/connector).
    P.S. I agree that this DAC sounds very acceptable, but I used it for a short period only, as I imagined that some other of my DACs gave a slightly better bass fundament. I used the "line out" option only. Always planned to give it another try...
    Cheers, Olaf.
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2017
    ultrabike, Dino, Marvey and 1 other person like this.

Share This Page