Thursday, June 20, 2024

Guides, Testimonials, News

Let me start by saying that the e20 DAC sounds really great! Also, the design of the e20 offers many features that I value including L/R balance control in the software driver, simultaneous output to the unbalanced RCA and balanced XLR outputs, and the option of running directly into the power stage of an amp.

I have a system built around a pair of Spendor S100 speakers and a Jolida integrated >100W tube amp, and I must say that I could not discern any significant difference or improvement in sound between the Chordette QuteHD DSD DAC (that I have also been auditioning) and the entry-level FIIO E17 unit (using the Wolfson 8740 DAC). I was therefore skeptical that I would hear much or any difference in the sound between the e20 and the other DACs


That said, I am happy to report that I do indeed consider that the e20 has improved my listening enjoyment in the form of greater perceived greater clarity. It as though a film has been removed from the sound. Having experimented at various volume levels, I found that the upper bass seems to have more substance while the mid-range and treble have less graininess and more presence. With the assistance of my wife I was repeatedly able to pick out the e20 in blind tests at various volume levels where sometimes one DAC was louder or softer the other. What I was listening for were the qualities that I just mentioned, which came through even when the e20 had the supposed disadvantage of slightly lower volume. Well, enough of my subjective impressions -- the important thing is that feel that your product contributes a tangible improvement to my system.


I will just add, for background, that I am generally a skeptic who usually sides with the more scientific/objective camp of audio forum members who shun fancy speaker wire and esoteric amps/fuses/power cords -- those who believe in ABX tests and think that basic acoustics (i.e. room treatments) matter more than other trivia.


 Best wishes,

J. Katz

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