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Fixing the Orange LED of the Tempotec Sonata iDSD Plus

Fixing the Orange LED of the Tempotec Sonata iDSD Plus

Hi everyone,

I have found a solution for when my Tempotec iDSD Plus gets the Orange LED.

The solution is fairly easy. I believe that something may not be making good contact with the printed circuit board and may be preventing the DAC from working. However, slightly pushing around the SmartAction SA2000 chip, it seems to make the LED change back to green and allow the unit to work.

You can see the video below where you can see the fix in action:

To put it back in the case, I put a small piece of paper to make a bit of pressure around the SA2000 chip and so far, I haven’t yet had the orange LED issue again.

I hope that it keeps working fine, because I really enjoy the sound this DAC produces.

A week with the Tempotec Sonata iDSD Plus

A week with the Tempotec Sonata iDSD Plus

Hi everyone,

It’s been actually more than a week with my new Tempotec Sonata iDSD Plus, and my experience with this new unit has been very positive.

First of all, I haven’t faced the Blue LED problem again. As I wrote in my teardown article, they changed some components inside that may prevent this problem from happening again, but it also seems to have introduced a problem where the unit main LED turns orange. This happens rarely, and the unit works once the LED turns green again.

The second thing is that the charging speed is back to normal as well. My previous unit was having a slow charge rate of just 0.06A. Here, you can see it’s drawing a full amp, as I also have the unit turned on:

Tempotec Sonata iDSD Plus charging
Tempotec Sonata iDSD Plus charging

Once the unit finishes charging, the LED turns off, as expected:

Fully charged Tempotec Sonata iDSD Plus
Fully charged Tempotec Sonata iDSD Plus

The device not only is working great in my Windows PC, with Tidal and Foobar, both using WASAPI for a bit-perfect playback experience, but it’s also working great with my Hiby R3:

The Hiby R3 also has an excellent sound, but I use my Tempotec Sonata iDSD as the sound is more open to my ears, and sounds more natural too.

It’s been several days with the DAC, and I’m really pleased with it. I’m listening to Tidal Masters, which are actually MQA-encoded music files and they sound excellent with this DAC, as a sample rate of either 24-bit/88.2Khz or 24-bit/96Khz, depending on the track being used:

Hiby R3 streaming Tidal Masters to the Tempotec Sonata iDSD Plus
Hiby R3 connected to the Tempotec Sonata iDSD Plus

I hope this DAC work fine for a lifetime, as it’s the most enjoyable sound I’ve ever heard.

The USB cable I’m using with the DAC is the UGREEN USB to 2x Micro USB (Y) Cable, which allows me to listen to music and keep my unit charged at the same time.

New Tempotec Sonata iDSD Plus Teardown

New Tempotec Sonata iDSD Plus Teardown

Hi everyone,

Today, I decided to do a Teardown of the new Tempotec Sonata iDSD Plus unit I received to compare the internal components to my previous Tempotec/Hidizs DAC. The unit is identical from the outside, so I did the same teardown process I did before for this new unit.

Tempotec Sonata iDSD Plus Teardown 1
Tempotec Sonata iDSD Plus Teardown 1

The best way to open it is to use a sharp object to very careful try to detach the glass. To my surprise, this new unit wasn’t glued entirely. It felt as if the glass was just placed on it, with some simple glued tape behind.

Tempotec Sonata iDSD Plus Teardown 2
Tempotec Sonata iDSD Plus Teardown 2

What I can see from it is a thin tape that covers that metal shield which was holding the glass. Now that the glass is removed, I can remove the 4 screws holding the metal plate to the DAC:

Tempotec Sonata iDSD Plus Teardown 3
Tempotec Sonata iDSD Plus Teardown 3

It’s pretty much identical to the previous Tempotec iDSD Plus unit, except that a quick look reveals that there’s no capacitor at the C46 mark.

Tempotec Sonata iDSD Plus Teardown 4
Tempotec Sonata iDSD Plus Teardown 4

In the above picture, you can see that the old unit (the unit below) has a capacitor in the C46 mark. Let’s tale a closer look:

Tempotec Sonata iDSD Plus Teardown 8
C46 capacitor missing in the new unit

It’s missing in the new unit, as can be seen in the photo above.

Tempotec Sonata iDSD Plus Teardown 9
C46 capacitor in the previous unit

And above you can see it in the previous unit.

Tempotec Sonata iDSD Plus Teardown 5
Tempotec Sonata iDSD Plus Teardown 5

Taking a look at the actual DAC printed circuit board, it also look pretty much identical. I didn’t noticed any difference at first sight, but it does has an IC changed.

Tempotec Sonata iDSD Plus Teardown 7
Tempotec Sonata iDSD Plus Teardown 6

The D4 diode was changed. Above you can see the diode from the new unit, which seems to have been replaced by hand, as it’s not placed straight there. Below, you can see the IC used in the previous unit:

Tempotec Sonata iDSD Plus Teardown 6
Tempotec Sonata iDSD Plus Teardown 7

You can see that one is straight.

It seems that these 2 changes have fixed the Blue LED problem for the new units, and that’s great! They didn’t did a new board revision, and instead they just switched the D4 IC and removed the C46 capacitor. Both boards have the same V1.1 revision written in it.

The battery is the same. Ironically, they also have the same dates. I wonder if Tempotec had to fix old units by hand, sealing it, and selling them as new, or if these are returned units which have been refurbished. Either case, the new Tempotec iDSD Plus works fine, charges fine, and has an excellent sound.

I did, however, noticed that the new unit sometimes have both Green and Red LED turned on simultaneously, making it seem to be orange. The unit doesn’t work at all when this happens.

Tempotec iDSD Plus Orange LED
Tempotec iDSD Plus Orange LED

It seems to work again after I charge the unit a bit. It makes me wonder if it may have to do with the battery voltage when it gets low. While this has been happening rarely, it may represent another underlying problem with this DAC.

I’ll, of course, keep using this DAC because it produces an awesome sound that I really like, and I’ll soon be receiving the newest Hidizs Mermaid MS1 and MS4 In-Ear Monitors which I’d love to use with this DAC.

UPDATE 3/25/2019: Added closer pictures of the C46 capacitor.

Hidizs DH1000

Hidizs DH1000

The Hidizs DH1000 is a DAC/Amp that uses a balanced circuit, featuring Dual ESS ES9018K2M and Dual ESS amps, it provides balanced audio as each DAC decodes each channel. You also benefit from the Balanced 2.5mm audio jack to get the best, balanced audio quality, or you can use your current 3.5mm headphones or cables with it.

The Hidizs DH1000 supports a sample rate of up to 24-bit/192khz.

The Good:

  • Awesome, balanced sound.
  • Excellent channel separation.
  • Extended trebles.
  • Compatible with USB Audio Class 2 devices like Android and PC.
  • Zero delays.
  • ASIO Driver is available.
  • 2.5mm balanced and 3.5mm audio jacks

The bad:

  • Some units suffer from the Blue LED being on at all time, even when not charging the unit.

Unboxing:

Photos:

Got my 3.7v Li-Ion battery and LiPo Charger!

Got my 3.7v Li-Ion battery and LiPo Charger!

Hi everyone,

Hope everyone had an excellent New Year’s Eve! Yesterday, while being New Year’s Eve, I also got a package with 2 items I ordered the past week. They were a 3.7v 2000mAh Li-Ion battery and a basic 500mA LiPo Charger from Sparkfun

Together, with these 2 items, I’m able to charge my Hidizs DH1000 3.8v battery and use the 3.7v as a spare while that charge happens. The problem with my Hidizs DH1000 is that it charges extremely slow, at a painful slow speed of between 60 to 80mA, which is very slow for its 2000mAh battery. With the SparkFun basic LiPo charger, I can charge it at up to 500mA, reducing the amount of hours needed to use my currently favorite DAC/Amp.

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Photos of the Hidizs DH1000 DAC/AMP Circuit Board (Teardown)

Photos of the Hidizs DH1000 DAC/AMP Circuit Board (Teardown)

Hi everyone,

Today, I’d like to show you some pictures of the Hidizs DH1000 Circuit Board.

We need to take out the top and bottom glass first. You can remove the top glass if you want to see the main chips, and you can remove the bottom glass to take a look at the battery. Please note that the glasses are completely glued, not just the borders, so you’ll need something that you can use to carefully remove the glue behind:

Once the glass is removed, there’s a metal shield protecting the circuit board. Removing it is as easy as taking off the 4 screws it has. Note that the surface is full of glue:

Once removed, the beauty of the circuit board awaits:

The main chip is a Hiby Music HBD150A:

The second chip is a SmartAction SA2000 chip. From there, it goes to the dual ESS ES9018K2M DAC’s (Digital Analog Converters):

Here’s a closer look to the dual ES9018K2M decoder chips as well as the dual amp chips:

On the other side, there’s the battery. It can be detached but it seems to be glued, so it needs to be carefully removed:

Here I have the unit connected to my PC using both USB’s and a headphone connected:

And here’s the battery side:

It’s difficult to know if the unit is charging or not, because my unit has a fault in which the LED is always turned on, and the charging is extremely slow. Also, for now, the only way to power it is to disconnect the battery, press and keep pressed the power button, then quicly connect the Power USB cable without having the data cable connected. This will make the unit turn on. Once it’s on, the battery can be connected and once it is connected, the data cable can be connected. Otherwise, the unit will turn off almost immediately, maybe because it doesn’t have enough power to be kept on, which is why the battery needs to be connected.

I wonder if Hidizs will release an updated version (maybe a Hidizs DH2000?) which fixes this battery defect which some users have been facing. It’s just a matter of time to see what amplifier they do next, as this one sounds very good and I enjoy the sound. It’s unfortunate that it has such a battery problem. Anyway, I’ll keep using this product, again, because I enjoy the sound 🙂

Hope you enjoyed the photos and if you did, don’t forget to follow me on Instagram!

The UGREEN USB to Micro USB Y Cable

The UGREEN USB to Micro USB Y Cable

Hi everyone,

Today, I received the UGREEN USB to Micro USB Y cable and I’m going to show it to you and also my use of it.

The UGREEN USB to Micro USB Y cable is a USB cable that splits into 2, and yes, you can use it to connect 2 devices simultaneously and transfer data to them because the cable acts as a USB Hub. This is the cable:

UGREEN Y Cable 1
The UGREEN Y Cable

Taken out of the package:

UGREEN Y Cable 2
UGREEN Y Cable taken out of the package

Now, this is where I show you my usage of it. As you may know from an earlier post, I own a Hidizs DH1000 Digital-Analog Converter and Amp. This Amp that I have has a problem with charging, and that’s where this cable comes handy. The DH1000 has 2 USB ports, One is for data and the other is for charging. This cable is the perfect solution to keep it powered on while enjoying music.

Here’s a picture of the cable connected to the DAC/Amp turned off and charging:

UGREEN Y Cable 3
UGREEN Y Cable connected to the Hidizs DH1000

Now, it’s important to know that this cable consumes around 0.05 to 0.08A (amps), so keep that in mind. This is due to its integrated Hub.

With the Hidizs DH1000 turned on, it consumes around 0.20A:

UGREEN Y Cable 4
UGREEN Y Cable connected to the Hidizs DH1000 and turned on

It works wonderful!

Here it is connected directly to a USB port of my laptop:

UGREEN Y Cable 5
UGREEN Y Cable connected to my Lenovo Legion Y720 laptop and the Hidizs DH1000

And of course, it’s compatible with my Hiby R3. Notice the USB logo on the top left, meaning it has a USB DAC connected to it:

UGREEN Y Cable connected to the Hiby R3 and the Hidizs DH1000
UGREEN Y Cable connected to the Hiby R3 and the Hidizs DH1000

And there you have it. The cable does the purpose it’s meant to do. It’s working fine with my amp, and that’s a wonderful thing. However, when it’s connected to the Hiby R3, the DAP’s (Digital Audio Player, the R3) battery will discharge more quickly. Still, it’s a very nice cable for short listening sessions.

You can buy this cable on Amazon at the following link:

Hidizs DH1000 using a USB Meter to simulate a Y cable

Hidizs DH1000 using a USB Meter to simulate a Y cable

Hi everyone,

As you may have seen from my previous posts, I’ve been developing GUI’s for FLAC and Opus, which are 2 great audio formats. This, of course, means I listen to music, and to enjoy them, I use my Hidizs DH1000 USB DAC/Amp. The sound it produces is awesome, but I’ve been having issues lately due to it charging very slow.

Because the unit charges very slow, at just 0.09A according to my meter, I needed to figure out a way I can keep using my DH1000 without sending the unit back to China for replacement. Of course, this is easy, because the unit features 2 USB, you can just connect 2 MicroUSB cables and have the problem solved. This would send power to the unit while you enjoy music, but what if you only have one USB socket available? Yes, you can use a USB hub, but I don’t think it’s recommended to use one because it would have a Hub in the middle and not a direct connection to the DAC, and also you’ll have several cables around.

To do a simple test, I purchased the PortaPow USB Meter which features 2 USB-A ports. One is for charging only and the other allows data transfer and charge, so the connection I’m using is the data port to the DH1000 data port and the No Data + SmartCharge port to the DH1000 microUSB charge port:

Using the PortaPow to provide Data and Charging to the Hidizs DH1000

With the meter, I could see that the unit is working and it is also drawing power from the USB port, which is what I initially wanted.

I also tested this with my Hiby R3 as you can see below:

Using the PortaPow with the Hiby R3

The Voltage seems to be below 5V, but it’s working fine. The downside is that the R3 battery drains faster, but for short-term music listening, this is fine.

My next step is to find a good USB-A to Micro USB Y Cable that provides charging and data to keep using my DH1000 for as long as possible.

I hope you enjoyed this post and found it useful. I know there’s some of you that have the DH1000 Blue Light issue, and that’s why I also have the rubber band that came with my unit in the DH1000, because I also have that issue. But hey, at least the DH1000 is still working great!

See ya in my next post!