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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.