Gaia 12th DDC /the improvement in SQ is outstanding
after some weeks now running the Gaia 12th as DDC in front of last year's Venus II here's my conclusion:
You (Vinshine) would do your DDC customers a big favour by offering a tried-and-tested HDMI (i2s) cable, either optionally or direct bundled with the DDC.
After I got the Gaia, I tried 3-4 different HDMI cables, from generic 5$ cable (monitor cable) to 150$ Audioquest HDMI cable.
As expected, the 150$ AQ cable clearly was better. It was the most expensive one I borrowed, and thought is would be good enough.
Then I got a hint by a very nice forum member to try out a certain specialized HDMI cable, available from AliExpress. That cable cost around 70$ incl. shipping to Germany.
I was blown away: This cable (AVplay HD-300) is SO MUCH better in sound quality to the much more expensive AQ cable... unbelievable. I don't know how many hundreds or even thousands of $$$$ one would have to spend with AQ or other big names to get equal sound quality.
My point is:
I assume most people buy a Denafrips DDC to put it in front of a Denafrips DAC. Purpose for most people would be (my assumption) to optimize sound quality, by using the i2s connection. Having more inputs is maybe also nice, but most people aim for better sound quality.
You at Vinshineaudio know both products best, and you know also which cables work best as interconnect for the i2s connection.
One can easily multiply the benefit of a 2k$ invest (Gaia) by adding the right cable, which does not even have to be very expensive - I am sure there are other specialized, quite affordable cables that have a good synergy between Denafrips DDC and DAC.
If I would not have gotten the hint about this AliExpress cable, I would still have some benefit by adding the DDC - but it would be much smaller, as it is now.
So... maybe consider? Everybody in HiFi knows the importance of interconnects and cables in general, but with this very special use case (i2s over HDMI interconnect) the benefit of using a certain cable is so huge, missing it would be a big waste.
Anyway, the improvement in SQ is outstanding. Product quality also seems very good, as expected.
Credit: Medon @ Germany
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