Dac D2.5 from China (HK)

I got this nice Chinese DAC zhaolu D2.5 and I liked it a lot from the first glance.

It has a nice body, good transformer, and 4 nicely laid pcb's: a DAC, a power supply, output stage and phones section.

Lampizator in DAC D2,5

The lampization process is very very simple: just unplug the cable connecting the DAC  board to the output board and connect the lampizator to the wires of the connector. This will give the straight DAC chip output legs driving the lampizator directly (well - actually via signal caps).
The DAC is a V out type with strong 2,5 V signal.

This DAC has a very modern and accurate Cirrus Logic chip CS4398 DAC. It is balanced, so you can go fully balanced easily.
It has a voltage output, so no converson  should worry you. The wires on a 5-way plug are: Left Pos, left neg, ground (black-thick) and symmetrically right neg, right pos.
There are no noise artifacts from conversion process (hiss), bare and unfiltered this DAC is as quiet as it gets.
After taking the signal from the connection cable - the end result is phenomenal. This is a very musical dac, full of details, with superb attack, bass and air. I think it has the sound quality equal to the best ones out there.
I strongly recommend it as an ultimate sound source.
It does not have to fear the 10 000 dollar beasts from the top names in the industry.
The DAC PCB is purely SMD. I noticed a handful of capacitors. With a magnifying glass, a sharp tipped soldering iron and some patience - these can be replaced with proper audio grade caps. Up to 1 uF - with MKP foil type, and above 1 uF - with electrolytics oscons or tantalum. This will take the DAC to another league. Of course while replacing, we substitute the X with at least 2x or better 5x capacitance size.
The output PCB can be disposed of completely. We do not need it.

Here is what they say:

􀂍 Advanced Multi-bit Delta-Sigma Architecture
– 120 dB Dynamic Range
– -107 dB THD+N
– Low Clock Jitter Sensitivity
– Differential Analog Outputs
􀂍 PCM input
– 102 dB of Stopband Attenuation
– Supports Sample Rates up to 192 kHz
– Accepts up to 24 bit Audio Data
– Supports All Industry Standard Audio
Interface Formats
– Selectable Digital Filter Response
– Volume Control with 1/2 dB Step Size and
Soft Ramp
– Flexible Channel Routing and Mixing
– Selectable De-Emphasis
􀂍 Supports Stand-Alone or I²C/SPI™
Embedded Level Translators
– 1.8 V to 5 V Serial Audio Input
– 1.8 V to 5 V Control Data Input
􀂍 Direct Stream Digital (DSD)
– Dedicated DSD Input Pins
– On-Chip 50 kHz Filter to Meet Scarlet Book
SACD Recommendations
– Matched PCM and DSD Analog Output
– Non-Decimating Volume Control with
1/2 dB Step Size and Soft Ramp
– DSD Mute Detection
– Supports Phase-Modulated Inputs
– Optional Direct DSD Path to On-Chip
Switched Capacitor Filter
􀂍 Control Output for External Muting
– Independent Left and Right Mute Controls
– Supports Auto Detection of Mute Output
􀂍 Typical Applications
– DVD Players
– SACD Players
– A/V Receivers
– Professional Audio Products

The CS4398 is a complete stereo 24 bit/192 kHz digital to- analog system. This D/A system includes digital deemphasis,
half dB step size volume control, ATAPI channel mixing, selectable fast and slow digital interpolation
filters followed by an oversampled multi-bit deltasigma modulator that includes mismatch shaping technology
that eliminates distortion due to capacitor mismatch. Following this stage is a multi-element
switched capacitor stage and low pass filter with differential analog outputs.
The CS4398 also has an proprietary DSD processor that allows for volume control and 50 kHz on-chip filtering
without an intermediate decimation stage. It also offers an optional path for direct DSD conversion by directly
using the multi-element switched capacitor array. The CS4398 accepts PCM data at sample rates from
32 kHz to 216 kHz, DSD audio data, has selectable digital filters, consumes little power, and delivers excellent
sound quality.

This picture is not actually reflecting the lampization but the playing around with battery DC supply.

LOOK at these giants which use similar or same DAC. You could join the club for 200 bucks !

Like  CONSONANCE Droplet CDP5.0 - a lovely machine for 5000 USD with fake tubes stage and lots of op-amps inside





AUDIO RESEARCH CD2                CS4329-KP

AUDIO RESEARCH DAC3              CS4328-KP

AUDIOLAB 8000 CD                     CS4329

CAMBRIDGE AUDIO azur340c            CS4338

CAMBRIDGE AUDIO D300SE            CS4338

CONSONANCE CD 120                 CS4396

CONSONANCE Droplet CDP5.0            CS4398

CREEK CD43                          CS4390

CREEK CD43 Mk 2                     CS4396

CREEK CD50                           CS4396

CREEK CD53                           CS4396

ELECTROCOMPANIET ECC-1               CS4398


Entech Number Cruncher 205.2         CS4329-KP

GAMUT CD1                           CS4390

HELIOS MODEL 1S                     CS4328

<>HELIOS STARGATE                     CS4328
LINN MIMIK                          CS4328


MARANTZ CD5001                     CS4392

MARANTZ CD5400-OSE             CS4392

MARANTZ SA-12 S1                  CS4397

MARANTZ SA-14                     CS4397

MCINTOSH  MCD201                  CS4398

MERIDIAN 506.24                   CS4390

MERIDIAN 507                       CS4390

MERIDIAN 508                       CS4329

MERIDIAN 508.24                    CS4390

MYRYAD T-20                        CS4327

MYRYAD MXC6000                   2 x CS4396

NAD S500                           CS4390

NORTH STAR MODEL 192 DAC           CS4396

QUAD 99                            CS4396

SHANLING CD-50                     CS4390

TAG McLAREN CD20R                  CS4329

Talk Electronics Thunder 3         CS4390

TEAC S-Z1 ESOTERIC                 CS4398

Unison Research UNICO CD           CS4392

Also check my Lampucera description with very similar DAC