Malaysian #donglemadness tour by Syazwan Faid
#DongleMadness Malaysia tour
Andy has initiated a #DongleMadness Tour around Malaysia, and I am a lucky one to be a part of it. I will be testing the dongle using two audio gears with my laptop and LG G6 USB C.1. Monk SM Recabled SDIC by Andy EF.
Neutral Bright-ist signature. Does not play well with too high power.
2. Tinhifi P1 + Foam + SDIC Cable, a loan unit from my friend Alif Kurnia Siregar.
Planar magnetic, crazy power hungry.
My aim is to find a dongle that works well with sensitive Audio gear, dongle that designed for powerful audio gear, and dongle that can work for both. I will categorized my review based on dongle sound signature, followed by their total value.
1. Avani. The Champion. Avani works well on both Monk SM and Tinhifi P1. On Monk SM, everything is smooth, and on P1 the dynamics is well maintain, although it require 100/100 volume. Its neutral warm signature enable its to retain the audio gear original signature and add more power. Avani extends the soundstage and smooth out peaky treble and vocal.
2. Apogee Groove. Odahviing. I called it Odahviing, named after a gentle dragon in Elder Scroll skyrim. Groove like it gentle provide a gentle effortless sounding without require to be euphonic / hyper. The percussion has echo impact without needing any additional warmth. The details is all there without needing any additional brightness. Everything sound effortless and gentle. Can run on P1 with a lot more left, although it could have too much power on Monk SM because I notice a peakiness in violin. Due to Apogee Groove effortless sound, I could listen to it without being too loud. Another pro for Groove is it has led light to measure volume level, and the volume button purple light feel satisfactory. The only con is, like a dragon, it is massive and breath fire (I mean hot, could fry your eggs bro)
3. Asus Clavis. The bling-bling. Asus clavis does not have enough power to drive P1, at 100/100 it has some dynamics, but less than Avani and others. On Monk SM, everything is sound effortless, without any peak. Clavis sound signature is clean, without any coloration. Clavis has amazing soundstage and imaging, on instrument and vocal. Clavis Vocal, oh man, like hearing the artist in front of you. Clavis has pleasant guitar and violin timbre, Although the percussion timbre has less echo impact that I wanted it be. Clavis would be the best dongle to drive sensitive IEM. Another pro for Clavis is its bling-bling, or as Andy call its, “Lampu Kedai Siam”, which something that I adore!
WARM AND SMOOTH
4. Odyssey HD. I put it at number four as it adds some warmth on your audio gear. The bright side is, it enhance the timbre on Monk SM and P1 into orgasmic level (Inzal bertubi2). Could drive easily. Monk SM without any peakiness whatsoever and could drive P1 at 100/100 while maintaining dynamics. Odyssey HD is however, offer a smaller soundstage compared to the top three, making it more suitable for earbuds.
5. TempoTec Sonata HD PRO V3. Sonata HD Pro has warmer sensation compared to Avani, but less warm in comparison to Odyssey HD. It has a great synergies with Monk Sm, smooth out the brightness, however it has trouble maintaining dynamics even at 100/100. Tempotec Sonata HD Pro V3 are more suitable for low sensitivity iem like audio lokahi, or hybrids. Tempotec also has smaller soundstage compare to clavis.
BRIGHT AND SPARKLY
6. Abigail. Abigail is actually a very good dongle. It pairs really well with the like of Moondrop Aria, Monk Lite and Smabat M2s Pro. The only reason it is put on number 6 as it does not synergies well with Monk SM. It can drive P1 with at 100/100 with pleasant dynamics, but Avani and OHD synergies better with metallic timbre of P1. Abigail also has larger soundstage and more accurate imaging in comparison to Avani and OHD, making it excellent for muddy or dark audiogear.7. Hidisz S9 Pro. Bright cold and Analytical. And yes you guess it, it does not play well with monk SM, not well at all. Everything sound too sparkly for me to enjoy with cymbal coming to forward. However everything changes on P1. The forwardness that I hear before on monk SM is evolved into mature and perfect sound. Despite being bright, it does sound good on P1, although some peakiness on violin. S9 Pro could easily drive P1 at 70/100, and even more power if using its balanced output.
8. Xnyocn Q2. This one is too bright for me. Another con is that it does not works on laptop at all. Not sure why. Small soundstage.
9. E1DA 9038s. Dead cold analytical. Way brighter than S9 Pro.
Among these 9 dongles, I would choose;
A. Phone dongle daily usage, Abigail, Avani and OHD. Small, cheap, and surprisingly powerful. I tends to lose my stuff, so the thought of losing some 10 usd dongle is not that scary.
B. Portable Laptop Usage, Asus Clavis. It is so clean sounding and its support mic. The customizable bling-bling also could boost my ego in front of my friends muahaha!
C.Permanent Desktop Setup. Apogee Groove. Effortless sound, powerful despite having single SE. That main attraction is off course the led light haha! The things that I appreciate the most about Groove is it effortless sounding enable me to enjoy my music at low listening volume. Oh yes baby, buhbye tinnitus!
I would like to extend my gratitude to Alif Kurnia Siregar for loaning me his P1, without it, I would not know how powerful these dongle are. I also would like to thanks Andy for organizing this #DonglesMadness. It encourages me to appreciate the importance of synergies and powerful implementation of dac or amp on our audio gear. Andy, being a nice person, gift one dongle for Every person that participate in the tour, and I, graciously been gifted Apoogee Groove. Thanks Andy, Muah sikit!!
Original Post can be read here: FB Link
Back to #donglemadness