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REVIEW OF ZHAOLU D3 DAC with inside pics

krell

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 7, 2011
Messages
361
Points
63
Location
india
Hi,
Now the review is ZHAOLU D3 DAC, I purchased this from EBay and one of my friend brought this for me from US.
This DAC is initially 110v, hence I opened this to convert to 220/230volts to use it with 230volts (parallel Rcore transformer windings are changed to series windings simply by one soldering and de soldering two).
The build quality is excellent, this particular unit is upgraded by cyro-parts, so that all the stock caps are replaced by cyro-parts (I dont know any thing about them, the unit we brought is comes as it,
The unit is very heavy when comparing to some other dacs.
Ok, now come to review

Source components:

1) Pioneer DV655A (My trusted and initial purchase, still works excellently)
2) OPPO BDP-83 as a transport
3) OPPO BDP-83 analog out
4) ZHAOLU D3 as a DAC

Amps used are:

1) SANSUI AU -717(Fully restored and recapped)
2) SONY STR-DA777ES (For ease of remote and quick changing of the inputs)

Speakers

1) Yamaha NS1000M
2) McIntosh LS-310(Bookshelf speakers, not in photos, they joined at the end)


I selected some English, Hindi and Telugu songs (mostly AR Rehman, & AKON etc) and made exact copies for use in Oppo&pioneer.
Initially I use oppo as a transport and use the DAC to take analog out (1), then took oppo analog out (2) and finally take pioneer analog out (3)

The listening panel my self &my wife (just two)

The out put from D3 DAC is more enjoyable than the rest of the two players analog out.
It has more bass and channel separation is EXCELLENT, highs are clearer than oppo and pioneer.
I like the little rise and tout bass from this DAC output, I cannot say this is an accurate DAC but the coloration in the music is much more enjoyable.
Finally I am very happy with this purchase. Right now I am using oppo as a transport, but soon I will connect my computer digital out to this DAC to get more comfort.:licklips:
 
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reignofchaos

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 12, 2008
Messages
2,524
Points
113
Location
Bangalore
Ah! A new version of the original chinese dac that started the made in china high end audio revolution.
 

Kannan

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2008
Messages
1,432
Points
113
Location
Chennai
shaking this old thread.

The zhaolu is one of the hidden gems of DACs, In fact the D2 version which was also available as kit form was the most organic sounding and the best of the lot.
It even received rave reviews from the Lampizator guys.

It has the venerable CS4398 chip with fully balanced outputs, very well implemented. An excellent headphone stage which puts my Teac to shame. I had taken it to a recent meet of headphone aficionados in Chennai and it easily drove even the high impedance headphones with ease. Many were surprised by the performance of the decrepit looking DAC.
The 2.5 version was actually a downgrade sound quality wise as the designer jumped to many DIY requests to add some mods.
The 2 version I think had TI627 opamps for the headphone out.
There was no pre for optical and coaxial input, but only for the analogue inputs.

I have used it a lot intermittently and is now part of my collection.

A superb DAC, if anyone comes across it, take a jump.
 

kvijay.svg

New Member
Joined
Nov 4, 2018
Messages
28
Points
3
Location
Sivagangai
shaking this old thread.

The zhaolu is one of the hidden gems of DACs, In fact the D2 version which was also available as kit form was the most organic sounding and the best of the lot.
It even received rave reviews from the Lampizator guys.

It has the venerable CS4398 chip with fully balanced outputs, very well implemented. An excellent headphone stage which puts my Teac to shame. I had taken it to a recent meet of headphone aficionados in Chennai and it easily drove even the high impedance headphones with ease. Many were surprised by the performance of the decrepit looking DAC.
The 2.5 version was actually a downgrade sound quality wise as the designer jumped to many DIY requests to add some mods.
The 2 version I think had TI627 opamps for the headphone out.
There was no pre for optical and coaxial input, but only for the analogue inputs.

I have used it a lot intermittently and is now part of my collection.

A superb DAC, if anyone comes across it, take a jump.
i am willing to buy ZHAOLU D3 what is the price?
 
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