Abigail

Abigail Prototype 00

DAC Chip: Synaptics (Conexant) CX31993 Single
PCM 32bit–384khz, SNR: -128dB, Power: 1 Vrms 65mW x2, USB Type-C Male, 3.5mm SE (Microphone: YES), 12mm, 5g, Powder coated Aluminum Chassis with compact cable


LISTENING EQUIPMENT USED IMPARTED HUGE INFLUENCE TO SOUND IMPRESSIONS & RATING


BACKGROUND

Abigail is a variant of the CX31993 (CX-Pro) which has been widely popular among Audio Enthusiasts ever since its exposure through #donglemadness a few months back. Wild Lee the founder of Venture Electronics (VE) has procured prototype version of a Dongle built on Cirrus Logic (Synaptics) CX31993 DAC from the same factory that produced and tuned Avani/Xumee.

Similar to Avani, Wild Lee have asked me to test the new CX31993 and ascertain if it is a legitimate unit to be introduced to the Audio consumers, focusing on budget segment. VE has sent several samples to others including Yannick Khong and a few people to get better perspective and evaluation.

After undergoing lengthy and extensive tests on my end, I am satisfied that the prototype CX31993 is indeed a very refined unit exhibiting all the adept implementation similarly found on Xumee/ZOOAUX/iNassen/Avani, all from the same manufacturer with their signature tuning. Cross checking with Yannick Khong and several other recipients of the prototype CX31993, the assessment seems to be aligned towards general agreement on the sonic characteristics of this prototype.

Much similar to the situation with Avani, Wild Lee has asked me to name this CX31993, I have chosen Abigail. This is the story of Abigail, the elder sister to Avani.

Despite physically being the same DAC of Synaptics CX31993, here as shown through TTGK App, Abigail has been identified differently to the CX31993 of CX-PRO and JCally JM6. This proved that the CX31993 of Abigail has been extensively implemented and tuned differently from both CX-PRO and JM6

💚PROS

  • Neutral balanced timbre, natural density and texture
  • Polished and crisp airy dynamics, great coherence
  • Crisp smooth Treble with polished decays, deep extensions
  • Naturally balanced Mids/Vocals with rich textures, realistic tonality
  • Punchy, dense Mid-Bass responses, great texture, smooth decays
  • Deep, subtle Sub-Bass responses, smooth decays
  • Realistic guitars and stringed instruments tone, polished edge
  • Great balance between technical and organic musical ability
  • Wide soundstage depth with excellent spatial imaging
  • Great Macro & Micro details retrieval, superbly transparent
  • Amazing speed and transients, zero congestion/compressions
  • Great resistances to sibilance, forgiving to Lo-Fi recordings
  • Drives stubborn IEMs/HPs with satisfying fidelity
  • Black silent background for super sensitive IEMs
  • Very clean and rich output for AUX/Line Out purposes
  • Great resistance to heating even used for long hours
  • Conservative on power draw from the host
  • Synergize great with ALL type of IEMs/HPs/Earbuds
  • PC, Android and iOS compatible (both USB 2.0 and USB 3.0)
  • Great rugged and durable build and construction

💔CONS

  • Driving power maxed out below 100Ω and with no less than 91db sensitivity.
  • Less euphonic compared to Avani/Xumee
  • No volume adjuster

VERDICT

Abigail. It’s simple. Abigail is the natural progression that was started with Avani. As how Yannick put it “Avani nailed the tone. Abigail continues the story, taking more risks at handling more technicalities and succeeds” – and I couldn’t agree more.

So it seems CX31993 has indeed made history in the audio scene, for being highly affordable yet delivering values beyond the asking price. There are several CX31993 variants already released out there to cater for varying needs. Shamelessly I would say Abigail can shine brighter than most of them, simply because the dongle itself has been built to impress. From the physical rugged build quality to DAC chip implementation, not just solder-on solution and hope for the best OEM approach like the others.

Abigail, Avani & JM6 Compared

IEM Test: TForce Yuan Li + TACables Obsidian
STRICTLY HiBy Player USB Exclusive Mode, Samsung Galaxy S20 USB 3.0 Power Delivery, EQ: Always Off, FLAC

  1. Alison Krauss “Goodbye is All We Have”
  2. Diana Krall “Don’t Dream it’s Over”
  3. Hoff Ensemble “Polarity”

Avani (Vol: 14/100), Abigail (Vol: 14/100), JM6 (Vol 14/100)

  • Deep, crisp Sub-Bass extension for Avani vs Abigail & JM6 deep, smoother responses
  • Smoother vocal decays on Abigail vs crisper & bold presentation of Avani. JM6 in between.
  • Mids 1 step more intimate on Avani & JM6 vs Abigail
  • JM6 has the thickest sounding Mids vs both Abigail & Avani
  • Soundstage 1 step wider for Abigail vs Avani & JM6
  • Abigail & JM6 has more air between notes vs Avani

Driving Power Test: FOSTEX T40RP MK3 50Ω 91db Magnetic Planar + VE Standard DIC OFC Cable

  • Avani, great timbre density, texture, dynamic range and coherence. Amazingly crisp and smooth sound with volume of 20/100
  • Abigail, similar drive as Avani, with better headroom and sense of space. Less crispy but smoother instead
  • JM6 equally adept to Abigail on this test. Practically no difference that my ears can pick up

Among the three, what is apparent to my ears how spacious the headroom and spatial staging is with Abigail. What is common between Avani and Abigail, very marginal superiority on timbre coherence over JM6 (this is extreme nitpicking), transients sounded more polished on the two sisters. If I am to draw my own conclusions, I will always pick Avani for Mids centric intimacy, sharp imaging and overall crispiness, and I will use Abigail when I need a bit more of airy neutrality, space, headroom and smoothness to the sound. Either way, it is great to have options especially considering how insanely cheap these Dongles are. The two of them at $10, 😆

⭐⭐⭐⭐ ($5.00)

Best Pairing: Flexible for anything less demanding under 100Ω

Back to #donglemadness

With Moondrop Aria & VE Black Litz
Abigail & HZSOUND Heart Mirror

157 Comments

  1. Rob says:

    Hello, when will it be available?

    Like

      1. Kurisu says:

        Oh, still can’t find the dongle in VE site… 😦

        Like

      2. Andy.EF says:

        VE Server has been overloaded since last night with people ordering VE Megatron and Asura 3.0. Abigail will be released later when their server stabilized

        Like

      3. amanieux says:

        is there a shop where we can buy Abigail alone, i don’t want a bundle with a earbud

        Like

      4. Andy.EF says:

        You can message them via AliExpress and specify your needs. Or you can message Wild Lee directly on FB https://www.facebook.com/groups/832681366809230/user/1074550283

        Like

  2. Kurisu says:

    Hi Andy, refering to the last 2 pics in your post above, may I know what is the device between the dongle and the DAP?

    Like

    1. Andy.EF says:

      That’s a Micro USB to USB A Adapter then a USB-C converter. My Sony is an old unit thus needing the adapter

      Like

      1. Kurisu says:

        Ah 😀 OK!
        Thx again for the wonderful writeup on the new dongle!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. qtqtko says:

        what brand is that can I have the name/brand of Micro USB A adapter ?

        Like

      3. qtqtko says:

        what Micro USB to USB A Adapter your using?

        Like

      4. Andy.EF says:

        It is an unbranded USB Adapter I bought locally. Probably you can find one in AliExpress

        Like

  3. dw1narso says:

    This and/or Avani for replacement to my CXPro but only if it start to behave or dying later 😉.. Cause I like so much the CXPro characters (energetic, nimble, fresh, euphonic).. Thanks to you, Andy..

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Kaleel Aggarao says:

    Hello! I am looking to buy a VE Monk Lite 120 ohm for a while now as I think it’s the more comfortable earbud with great tonality. Sadly, I don’t have a proper dac/amp setup yet so I only use my smartphone to listen to music. It is said that Abigail synergizes well with Monk Lites thus the bundle offerings from VE. Is it worth it for me to buy this bundle? Can Abigail drive the Monk Lite 120? Your review says that it’s best paired with anything less than 100 ohms impedance so I’m quite not sure anymore haha. I started dipping my toes in the audiophile world just recently so there’s still a lot for me to learn.

    Like

    1. Andy.EF says:

      Yes and that’s the reasons why Monk Lite is bundled with Abigail. Yannick has tested this extensively. I cannot verify that as I don’t have Monk Lite yet, still on order. But I trust Yannick more than anything else

      Like

      1. Kaleel Aggarao says:

        Appreciate it, Andy! Thank you so much.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. andrian says:

    i already own jm6 but i need smoother and foward vocal for mostly jazz tracks and sometimes lo fi. will abigail suits my liking?

    Like

  6. tatakimil says:

    already own jm6 but the female vocal i feel not too smooth, is abigail suitable for jazz vocals and sometimes lo fi tracks?

    Like

    1. Andy.EF says:

      Based on your preferences, I think Avani would suit you better. Avani is a bit more tilted for Mids focus

      Like

  7. Fredrick says:

    Hi! Can these pair with HE400se’s?

    Like

    1. Andy.EF says:

      Not ideal. For compact Dongles to use with demanding Magnetic Planars I would use VE Odyssey HD instead. But for best results you really should consider any of the 5 Star Dongles

      Like

      1. Fredrick says:

        Thanks man! though I’m considering if I can use this dongle as a dac for a pre-amp, say the fxaudio x6 mkii’s

        Do you think it’s ideal?

        Like

      2. Andy.EF says:

        No worries. As a Pre-Amp Abigail works perfectly. I am using mine with VE RAP5 and KSE1200 Electrostatic Amps

        Like

      3. Fredrick says:

        Thanks again man! considering buying this!

        Like

      4. Fredrick says:

        Thanks again man! considering buying this!

        Like

  8. Zek says:

    Does Abigail support DSD256 files on MacOS Catalina via Audirvana?

    Like

    1. Andy.EF says:

      I am sorry I never tried DSD files so would not be able to confirm on this

      Like

      1. Zek says:

        Thanks anyway.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. KKAiserTran says:

    hi sir, i already have CX pro. Should i get abigail, are these 2 different in term of sound?

    Like

    1. Andy.EF says:

      They are based on the same CX31993 chip so in general the sound signature is similar. But to me personally I prefer the cleaner and more stable micro dynamics of Abigail

      Liked by 1 person

      1. KKAiserTran says:

        nice, thanks for your advice

        Liked by 1 person

  10. hello andy sorry for the inconvenience a question which is the best cable in your opinion for the HZSOUND

    Like

    1. Andy.EF says:

      TenpoTec Sonata E44 or Avani

      Like

  11. raccatography says:

    Hi Andy, I am confused and perhaps I just missed something. Why does the Avani pair well with gear less than 100ohms while CX-Pro and Abigail can pair with higher impedance gears?

    Like

    1. Andy.EF says:

      Actually if you check again I stated for all three of them especially Avani and Abigail the exact words – “Best Pairing: Flexible for anything less demanding under 100Ω”. There’s an old mistake on CX-Pro page that I forgot to fix. All four of them will be similarly powered

      Liked by 1 person

      1. raccatography says:

        Ah, I understand. Thank you Andy for the response and the fix! I appreciate everything you do~

        Liked by 1 person

  12. Callum says:

    Hey Andy! Just found your list and I’m loving reading through all the reviews you’ve got up. This looks like the best-rated most portable option for on-the-go listening with a smartphone, how do you think this would pair with the ER2XRs?

    Like

    1. Andy.EF says:

      Thanks!. For ER2XR, I would recommend at least Abigail, JCally JM20 or if you want bigger ones go for Tempotec Sonata HD Pro or E44

      Like

      1. Callum says:

        Thanks for the advice! I’ll grab this as it’s cheap and wait for a sale on a beefier unit.

        Liked by 1 person

  13. Christian says:

    Hi Andy, is er2se paired with abigail or cx-pro good enough? I also have a ap80 dap that I can use.

    Like

    1. Andy.EF says:

      I would go for Abigail for ER2SE

      Like

  14. Manic says:

    Hey there Andy, I am planning on getting these for my PC to run on my Samson SR850’s, would these be an okay pairing and would they be okay on the PC?

    Like

    1. Andy.EF says:

      I never used any Samson headphones so it will be hard for me to gauge properly. But at 32 Ohm I believe Abigail should have no issues driving it

      Like

      1. Faisal Nyan says:

        How does it affect the volume, especially on PC? Currently, the stock volume I have on a direct connection to the pc is slightly too low, to the point I’d need to add a 2-4db pre-amp(with software), this was actually the main reason I was looking for a DAC in the first place as I’ve heard they do increase volume while also helping with sound quality.
        I’ve also heard cheap DACs like these have a different sound when on different devices, did you experience this at all?
        I am also planning on using these with an EQ software, will they be registered as a sound device on the PC?

        Sorry for bombarding you with so many questions, I am currently a little low on funds but am quite adamant on buying a dac as it has been bothering me for a few days and I am trying my best to make a smart purchase with the little money I have

        Like

      2. Andy.EF says:

        Yes once connected to a host, the entire Audio Processing now redirected to the outboard DAC/Amp. So it also means the volume level differs depending on the capabilities of the DAC/Amp itself. For my own use, Abigail has enough power even to drive Magnetic Planars when connected to USB 3.0 power of my ASUS TUFF 15 Laptop or even Samsung Galaxy S20 in HiBy USB Exclusive mode. Don’t let the size fool your eyes. These things pack some punches

        Liked by 1 person

  15. Faisal Nyan says:

    Hey there Andy, I am planning on getting these for my PC to run on my Samson SR850’s, would these be an okay pairing and would they be okay on the PC?

    Like

  16. Aaron says:

    Hey andy between this and the cx-pro what do you think is better? I’m gonna use a blessing 2 dusk. Thanks!

    Like

    1. Andy.EF says:

      I think I already made it clear in my Abigail article that I prefer Abigail over CX-Pro and JM6? at $5 you practically don’t lose anything for trying Abigail

      Like

      1. Aaron says:

        Thanks for clearing it out for me because I wqs reading your other responses but sometimes you’re recommending different dac’s for certain iems. Thanks again

        Liked by 1 person

  17. Charles says:

    Hey Andy, I recently bought the VE Monk Plus. Tried it with my CX Pro but I feel like it’s not enough. Do you think this one’s the best for Monk Plus?

    Like

    1. Andy.EF says:

      Any of the 5 Star Dongles will surely be sufficient for your needs. Skip everything else and at least get an Ovidius B1 or S9 Pro

      Like

  18. Blaze says:

    Hi, I mainly listen to metal (death, thrash, black ecc…), what dongle would be more suited for these generes, Abigail or Avani? I’m sorry for the dumb question, i’m just getting started on the whole audio world.

    Like

    1. Andy.EF says:

      Depends on what you are connecting them to. For myself I use TForce Yuan Li/KZ EDX with Abigail and VE Monk SM/7Hz Timeless with Avani. Two IEMs/Earbuds that I use the most for Metal

      Like

      1. Blaze says:

        I use a pair of KZ ZSN, so i guess the Abigail is the better choiche?

        Like

      2. Andy.EF says:

        Yes. I would choose Abigail

        Like

      3. Amar wagh says:

        Don’t you think that Avani have maximum power output of 35mW and Abigail has 65mW, I think 7Hz timeless being planar magnetic, should have some headroom to bump up volume and maybe Avani would not do it.

        Like

  19. rcksndcy says:

    Can you help me decide which dongle should I get for my KZ EDX Pro? I’m choosing between the Abigail and CX-Pro.

    Like

    1. Andy.EF says:

      Abigail absolutely. It’s just a better implemented CX-Pro

      Like

      1. rcksndcy says:

        Thank you so much. 😊 Now i’m decided to get this one. I have a VEOHD already, but for whatever reason, it feels like it doesn’t work well with my edx pro and cca nra. (Maybe because of my source?) And then I discover this Abigail and Cx Pro. I’m just curious why some says CX Pro is the better version of abigail.

        Like

      2. Andy.EF says:

        OHD does not work well with sensitive IEMs. I use OHD for my magnetic planars, Earbuds and Etymotic IEMs. For sensitive IEMs use Avani or Abigail. That some people who said CX-Pro better than Abigail have different taste and preferences, I made the discovery for both CX-Pro and Abigail. And I personally regard Abigail as superior for my usage

        Like

  20. Anderson says:

    Hello, Mr. Andy. I thank you for your work on this journey. It was so exciting and fun. I would like to ask if Abigail is an update of Avani, and which has the most neutral sound. Thank you

    Like

    1. Andy.EF says:

      No it is not an update. Avani is warmer and have more intimate Mids presentation with sharper imaging. Abigail is more neutral, with wider soundstage and more air. So they complement each other differently

      Like

      1. amanieux says:

        you can hear these subltles differences between avani and abigail but can an untrained ear make the difference ? is this difference showing up only in short term term memory a/b testing or can you plug one of the 2 without seeing which one you plugged and identify them appart in a blind test ( without a/b testing them, just hearing one of them after a good night sleep resetting your auditive memory)? you seem to know what you are doing so i just ordered abigail ($9 including shipment), i will compare it to my apple usbc dongle, not sure that my untrained ear can spot the difference with my sub $130 iems : spring1, heart mirror and fh3. thank you for answering our questions.

        Like

      2. Andy.EF says:

        Listening sensitivity can be vastly different from one person to another. For me at least, I spent a good 6 to 8 hours a day listening to music, especially when these Covid lockdowns started and with nothing much to do at home other than trying to distract myself. It depends on how resolving or scalable your equipment are. And that’s why I did #donglemadness with some of the most versatile IEMs/Headphones/IEMs so that I can capture the nuances that separate one source over the other. Chances are, for casual listening the differences would not be as pronounced on untrained ears, but there’s distinction between brightness/warmth, tonal balance, timbre characteristics which I can differentiate even blindfolded. For example the difference between Avani and Odyssey HD are as clear as daylight to me. But some are less apparent and will need more strenuous conditions to identify them. If you are going to compare JCally JM04Pro vs Apple dongle, chances are you will not hear much differences if you limit your listening equipment to 16-32 Ohm and with more than 100db of sensitivity, but push it beyond 64 Ohm and you will start hearing them sounding different because Apple dongle are not designed for such loads. If you can get the likes of TIN HiFi P1 or Sennheiser HD600, use them and you will understand my perspectives, that’s how I evaluate Dongle values

        Like

      3. amanieux says:

        does 16-32 ohms and over 100db of sensitivity cover 99% of iems ?

        Like

      4. Andy.EF says:

        No. More like 75% at max

        Like

      5. amanieux says:

        so to be clear for us 99% of untrained ears, using exclusively iems 16-32ohms,>100db sensitivity which represent 75% of iems market (and maybe 99% of cheap sub $50 iems) we will not be able to tell a dac appart from one another ?

        Like

      6. Andy.EF says:

        I cannot speak for others. I can only describe what I heard, A simple fact. How receptive others to sound frequency is beyond my knowledge to know

        Like

  21. John says:

    Hi. Basically I need a bit of help choosing between this and just Conexant CX31993.
    I’ll mostly be using my Blon 03, 01 and HZSound Heart Mirror. I can either get Abigail for $11+$5 shipping (extra half price for shipping :’), $16 total, or I can just get one of the hand made (?) Conexant CX31993 from AliExpress for as low as $10. What should I get? Also, which will last longer (is more durable) in your opinion?

    Like

    1. John says:

      I can also get Odyssey for $10+$5=15. I’m open to other recommendations, but my budget is very low, so..

      Like

      1. Andy.EF says:

        Odyssey HD offers different sound signature being warmer and less technical vs Abigail and Avani. What I do love about OHD is the rich density in Dynamics and overall smoothness

        Like

    2. Andy.EF says:

      Abigail will always be my first choice over CX-Pro now for CX31993. It is just simply better built and tuned. As you can see Abigail comes in more rugged construction vs CX-Pro.

      Like

  22. Anderson says:

    Which application did you use to check the technical terms of the dongle?

    Like

  23. Vishnu says:

    Which DAC will sound better with the IEMS having Electrostatic + Dynamic drivers (eg., KZ ZEX/CCA NRA) – Abigail or Avani or VE Odyssey HD?

    Like

    1. Andy.EF says:

      For hybrids like ZEX and NRA, both Abigail and Avani works perfectly. I have both IEMs and used and tested them extensively with Abigail, Avani. But for OHD I normally use for Earbuds and Magnetic Planars. ZEX and NRA are not real Electrostatics, they are Magnastats. Real Electrostatics like KSE1500 and STAX SRM-D10 has proper Energizer units attached to them

      Like

      1. vishnukare says:

        Thanks for the reply. I ordered Avani as it was available online locally. Hope this works well with my Zex.

        Liked by 1 person

  24. Totan Barman says:

    Which one in between Avani & Abigail pairs best with KZ ZSN PROX? Mainly for listening music.

    Like

    1. Andy.EF says:

      Unfortunately I have never listened to ZSN Pro so it will be hard for me to precisely suggests. But I would choose Abigail if you prefer neutral source with wider soundstage. Avani is slightly warmer and more forward sounding, but with slightly sharper imaging. So choose which one matters to you the most. Otherwise both are my personal favorites

      Like

    2. amanieux says:

      a dongle dac will not transform a cheapo iem into a good iem, investing your dollars in a better iem will give you better audible improvement because it is by far the wekest link in the audio pipeline especially in the bottom of the iem price list where the law of diminshing return is not hitting hard. from $10 iem to $20 iem = big improvement, from$100 iem to $110 iem = smaller improvement. my advice i not to invest in a dac until you reach at least the $50 iem price category, in your iem improvement journey long the price ladder.

      Like

      1. Andy.EF says:

        There’s truth in what you said, however do you have solid actual comparisons to back this up? I have in my ownership a few TOTL IEMs ranging from USD $300 to $2200. From SeeAudio Bravery, Etymotic EVO to Shure KSE1500, and yet I spend a lot of time testing the budget IEMs from $5-30 and I can tell you some of them delivers way beyond their price point. Take KZ ZEX for example and with just swapping to right tips and source matching it sounded like a $100-150 IEM. This is not assumptions, these are based on extensive real life usage for at least a week of assessment. So I would recommend that before laying down judgements, listen to them and then decide

        Like

      2. amanieux says:

        i agree eartips may also a better investment than a dac because if seal is not perfect, bass is killed ($5 audiosense s400 rotating tips a la spinfit in 3 sizes is a good example). my experience is much more limited than yours but my sub $30 iems (zs10 pro, bqeyz k2, blon 03 are not in the same category as my $100-150 iems (spring1,fh3). i have not tried zex so it may be an exception to the rule “you get what you pay for”. my sampling data is based on 5 sources and 7 iems, but this rule of the driver being the weakest link in the audio pipeline is also true for headphones and speakers. do you have an example where the best $10 iem+best $10 dongle dac combo beats the best $20 iem direct from a recent phone or a recent laptop ?

        Like

      3. Andy.EF says:

        Try KZ ZEX with Symbio Tips + Pairing with Abigail. That combo sounds like $150 rig

        Like

      4. amanieux says:

        my abigail is on the way so i may try this zex as it is affordable, do you have a link for the symbio tips ? it would be great if you found a magic combination. usually when it’s too good to be true, it’s not true, but financial risk is minimal and i am curious so i will try. thanks

        Like

      5. amanieux says:

        so if i understand correctly zex($20)+abigail($8)+orange tips($12)=total $40 sound to your ears better than your heart mirror straight from your phone (also $40)

        Like

      6. amanieux says:

        if your zex thoughtful iem+dac+tip combo sounds better than a similarly priced configuration where all the dollars are put on the iem alone, then you are right my rule of thumb saying that most of the money should be invested in the drivers under $50 based on my limited experience of iem and sources don’t hold a ground of truth. sorry for loosing your time. it is hard to generalize rules about the respective influence of source,
        drivers, and eartips on the final iem sound quality that is a combination of the 3 (i am ignoring cable but some say it is a 4th element that also modifies sound but i am skeptic as unlike the other 3 it does not show up in the graphs)

        Like

      7. amanieux says:

        i am intrigued can you please share the details and total price of this zex+dac+tips combo that competes with the best $100-$150 iems ?

        Like

      8. amanieux says:

        are these orange tips ok ? https://www.aliexpress.com/item/1005002510505519.html thanks

        Like

      9. amanieux says:

        hi andy did you publish a heart mirror review somewhere ( can’t find it on headfi) ? thanks

        Like

      10. Andy.EF says:

        I never wrote any review on HM

        Like

  25. Niraj says:

    Hi Andy,
    Great work with comprehensive review of every DAC.
    Can you please suggest me a DAC(s) that will work better with my TRI Starsea (9.5ohms). Currently using it with CX-PRO 31993.

    Like

    1. Andy.EF says:

      Thanks. I have no idea the sound signature of Starsea. But if you want to try something with a bit more different sound tuning then worth to try Avani (slightly warmer). Or perhaps a TempoTec Sonata HD Pro (highly technical)

      Like

  26. Hi Andy, in the comments you speak about the KZ ZEX, between the Abigail and the Avani, which one would be better for a bass head, thanks in advance, loved your reviews about dongles. And also which tips eartips would you recommend for the ZEX

    Like

    1. Andy.EF says:

      Thanks!. Most great dongles are neutral and should be that way. However if you want something to pair with bassy IEM, I would choose Avani over Abigail. For ZEX, any big bore silicone tips would be great to enhance bass responses

      Liked by 1 person

  27. rcksndcy says:

    Hello sir. I have Abigail Dongle, I’m planning to get Topping NX1S and pair my abigail with it. But someone told me that the Dongle is redundant in “dongle + AMP” setup. Is it true? I will be using it to drive my Samson SR850 and some IEMS. Thank you.

    Like

    1. Andy.EF says:

      Not exactly redundant. Abigail can churn out 1 Vrms of power at max volume and that can serve as a Line in for NX1s. NX1s being a pure amp does not have DAC functions. So if used correctly it will still be very viable

      Like

  28. amanieux says:

    i got an abigail but veclan had to refund me because of a shielding issue that caused the dac to act as a radio receiver : in moment of silence i heard a tv or radio show at low volume in my left channel (no problem on the right channed and also no problem when i swap abigail for my apple $10 usbc dac), veclan advised me to not order abigail as it may be a problem with my environement, has any one else had this issue or am i in weird location with too strong radio signals for abigail poor shielding ? thanks

    Like

  29. Thoughts says:

    Hello sir , between avani & Abigail which is better for the tin t3+ ( stock tips ) ?
    Unfortunately I won’t be able go get them both. So i have to choose between them.I will be using them for mostly pop genre and for watching movies . Which one between the the two helps to reach to best potential ?

    Like

    1. Andy.EF says:

      For T3+, I prefer Abigail over Avani. Cheers

      Like

  30. Praneeth says:

    What would you recommend for CCA CRA – Abigail or Avani?

    Like

    1. Andy.EF says:

      I haven’t tried the CCA CRA yet, but for most baseline I use Abigail as it is more neutral. Avani is warmer.

      Like

      1. Praneeth says:

        Well now that youve tried the CRA, what would you recommend?

        Like

      2. Praneeth says:

        Now that youve tried the

        Like

      3. John says:

        Well, what would you recommend now?

        Like

      4. Andy.EF says:

        I have just tested the CRA. From what I have tested, Avani works best for CRA. You can read my review here: https://www.head-fi.org/showcase/cca-cra.25622/review/27657/

        Like

  31. Cetros says:

    Hi, thanks for your reviews, really helpful.
    To pair with Heart mirror would you go with Abigail, Avani or OHD and why?

    Like

    1. Andy.EF says:

      For Heart Mirror I will choose Avani. Heart Mirror is among the brightest sounding IEM and Avani being warmer will work better establishing the synergy

      Like

  32. Mark Roca says:

    Will this suit my moondrop quarks which is a already a warm-ish and neutral sounding iem? or avani is better for it?

    Like

  33. Kamil says:

    Hi would you recommend me Abigail or avani dać/amp? I listen to rap and sometimes to pop(the weekend). Right now I have beyerdynamics dt770 pro 80ohm headphones. And I am also going to buy probably Monk buds as it is already in bundle with dac.

    Like

    1. Andy.EF says:

      Between the two, for DT770 Pro 80 Ohm I would choose Avani

      Like

  34. Matthew says:

    Would the Abigail have enough voltage to power a portable external amplifier? If not, are there any similarly performing, reasonably priced small DACs that output 2 Vrms that you would recommend? Really don’t want to have to get an AQ Dragonfly Red.

    Like

    1. Andy.EF says:

      Yes it does. Not 2 Vrms but it is clean and I actually use Abigail to feed AUX for my Electrostatic KSA1200 Amp and VE RunAbout Plus 5

      Like

      1. Matthew says:

        O OK Thank You very much.

        Liked by 1 person

  35. pixelgardenstudios says:

    Hi, Does Abigail provided 2 Vrms. I am interested in pairing it with TPA 3116d2 based power amplifier for my Overnight Sensation speakers.

    Like

    1. Andy.EF says:

      Sorry no. it is capped at 1 Vrms

      Liked by 1 person

      1. pixelgardenstudios says:

        Oh okay. Thank you for the prompt response.

        Like

  36. pixelgardenstudios says:

    Hi, just out of curiosity conducted a little test with Abigail & Fiio K3. The Abigail does sound atleast twice loud compared to the Line out on Fiio K3 while every other parameter on source device remails the same. The Line out of Fiio K3(2021) is 2Vrms. I am wondering how is this possible ! The Abigail loudness level at full volume matches to the 3.5 mm output from Fiio k3 headphone out. Speacification of Fiio K3 headphone reads ≥120mW (32Ω/THD+N<1%, USB DAC) and is >5.6Vp-p as mentioned in Fiio spec sheet. Are Abigail even better than Fiio K3 in Line out department and neck to neck with Fiio K3 in headphone out output power even when K3 do have dedicated OPA926x2 to handle it !!!! . Will really appreciate your thoughts on this.

    Like

    1. Andy.EF says:

      I wish I know exactly what’s going on. But my own observations as noted in my KA3 review, it is actually the weakest 2 Vrms Dongle I have tried so far. Perhaps there’s some sort of bottleneck in the way the amp stage of KA3 that caused it to behave this way. One thing that I need to try soon is to upgrade the Firmware and see if the weakness will go away. To begin with, Abigail CX31993 is just 1 Vrms so that really baffles us right?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. pixelgardenstudios says:

        Exactly, 1 Vrms(Abigail) line out is much stronger compared to Fiio’s K3 2 Vrms and not by little bit but atleast twice louder. i am too dissappointed with my Fiio k3 unit. I bought it in order to improve upon my headphone jack output on my mid-range laptop but it’s even quiter than the laptop 3.5mm port output. Also when i do play Left-Right sweep tone , i can clearly see the soundstage width getting narrowed with Fiio K3 ( Line out ) w.r.t Abigail, where it remains the same as the inbuilt dac on my laptop. Considering the supposedly superior OPA1612 which is used in line out is inferior to the OPA926x2 on the headphone out in terms of soundstage make me question the circuitry implementation choices made by Fiio. Not to forget the weakest 2 Vrms as mentioned by you , 2 Vrms Line out on K3 just sound lifeless ! Please keep updated if you figure out whats going on. K3 doesn’t have dedicated power ports so changing power supply is out of question.

        Like

  37. Zek says:

    You are talking abou two different units – Fiio K3 and Fiio KA3???

    Like

    1. pixelgardenstudios says:

      Yes, I do have Fiio K3 only. But looking at what you said about Fiio KA3 & it completely falls in line with what i felt with K3. I am guessing this might be a common issue with their line of products. Going though your KA3 review page while typing this.

      Like

  38. Alex says:

    Can this handle the SHP9500?

    Like

    1. Andy.EF says:

      Sorry I never used SHP9500 so I can’t tell how will it synergize

      Like

  39. Arthur says:

    Wich would you recommend for neutral-bright iems, this or Avani?

    Like

  40. Brian says:

    Hi, i just bought this abigail last night for my campfire andromeda iem, can it drive my iems correctly and give it a better sound without hiss or noise?

    Like

    1. Andy.EF says:

      I never tried Andromeda so I have no idea. But for my very sensitive IEMs, Abigail is more than enough to provide great sound without any background noises

      Like

  41. Risue says:

    I currently have the CX-Pro for my MD Aria. Is there a noticeable improvement if I get either the Abigail or the Sonata HD Pro? I wonder if I’ll be making a major upgrade.

    Like

    1. Andy.EF says:

      Major upgrade will be something like Colorfly CDA M1 or xDuoo Link2 BAL. Or any of the 5 Stars Dongles especially CEntrance DACport HD or Cayin RU6. CX-PRO is pretty much on the same territory of Avani/Abigail

      Like

      1. Risue says:

        So I shouldn’t really bother getting the Avani/Abigail, since I have the CX-Pro with a similar sound signature?

        Like

      2. Andy.EF says:

        Yes. However Avani is not as bright as CX-PRO and has better smoothness. Something to consider

        Like

      3. Risue says:

        I see. Among the 3 options, which do you prefer the most in sound quality and versatility in headphones/earphones?

        Like

  42. Neon says:

    Hey Andy,
    You mentioned in a previous comment that the abigail would not be ideal for hifiman he400se’s which are 91db/25ohms.
    It has less resistance than the fostex you used in the review and the same sensitivity,
    You said it drove the fostex well at 20/100.
    So it should mean the 400se’s are technically easier to drive?
    So can you check again please?
    Springing for any of the 5star rated dongles would essentially mean spending equivalent money to the headphones themselves, In that case i would rather buy better and more sensitive headphones.
    I would really appreciate your input,
    Thank you.

    Like

    1. Andy.EF says:

      Yes that is correct. Running on my laptop with volume at 20/100. It means Avani and Abigail actually can drive magnetic planars with proper loudness. However must be clarified that proper loudness does not necessarily proper headroom and thus proper potential. It will sound nice still. T40RP MK3 is definitely harder than 400SE. I am just being cautious of suggesting Avani/Abigail for driving something demanding because some people simply need much higher level of loudness. You would be surprised how much different some people sensitivity are to a point that even a 15.1 Vrms iFi ZEN Can may not be enough for them

      Like

      1. Neon says:

        Thanks,
        So a better buy would be the tempotec sonata hd pro?
        That can be tricked into high gain,
        With proper 2vrms support.
        That would be enough without breaking the bank right?
        Or just buy the abigail and be satisfied with it.

        Like

      2. Andy.EF says:

        Yes you can do that. 2 Vrms HD Pro will surely have richer density with more power

        Like

  43. Vishnu says:

    Hi Andy, If I use Abigail as a “DAC” to feed into ifi Zen Can amp and drive the hifiman edition xs / sundara. How different is the sound compared to the usual ifi zen dac + ifi zen can stack?

    Like

    1. Andy.EF says:

      Abigail is actually flatter neutral compared to ZEN DAC. So mainly the dynamics on ZEN DAC would sound denser and richer, but also mildly colored. Abigail is more neutral and has slightly better sense of airy presentation

      Like

  44. Delta_0 says:

    I get myself a CX-Pro yesterday. But why on the TTGK App, the Product Name displayed as “TX 384Khz HiFi Audio” with Product ID “5525(0x1595)” just like Abigail above, instead of “TTGK Audio” with Product ID “13248(0x33c0)” which usually found on CX-Pro? What’s up with that?

    Like

    1. Andy.EF says:

      I have no idea. Perhaps they have changed supplier or factory

      Like

  45. Froggies says:

    Looking at Olina after reading about your recommendations , Avani or Abigail will be the more suitable one ? Thanks

    Like

    1. Andy.EF says:

      Abigail to me synergize better with Olina. But can’t really go wrong with either one of them

      Like

      1. Froggies says:

        Thanks for your info , will get both of them if that’s the case .

        Liked by 1 person

  46. Yongaume says:

    Hi Andy, do you think there is a noticable improvement of quality between Abigail and Jcally JM6 (I already have the JM6), as both use CX 31993 chips? Should I go for the Abigail for the improvement on the CX31993 that I really enjoy, or do you think I should go with Avani instead?

    Thanks!

    Like

    1. Andy.EF says:

      They operate on similar levels already, you want an upgrade go for something like Ovidius B1, DACport HD or Cayin RU6. Link2 BAL as well. Abigail however, has smoother dynamic transients compared to JM6

      Like

  47. carliber123 says:

    Hi Andy, thanks for such a good review of the Abigail dongle.
    Question: would the Avani dongle also work with USB 3.x ?

    Like

    1. Andy.EF says:

      Yes absolutely, Avani and Abigail has been tested extensively on Samsung Galaxy S20 USB 3.2 PD even

      Liked by 1 person

  48. Vinen says:

    Abigail CX31993 sounds better than CS-Pro CS46L41?
    I have CS-PRO CS46L41.
    CS-PRO CS46L41 is estimated only at 3 stars.

    Will iBasso DC05 be much better than Abigail, Avani or CS46L41?

    I have very simple IEMs KZ EDX Pro and KBEAR KS1 and Audio-Technica ATH-MSR7 headphones.

    Like

    1. Andy.EF says:

      Abigail is definitely better sounding than DC46L41. The star ratings a re not estimated, it is given after extensive tests are done on them. Abigail and Avani or CX-Pro 31993 will all be more than enough for your IEMs and headphones, DC05 will only appear marginally better and that’s only when you push for more power because it can go all the way to 2 Vrms

      Like

      1. Vinen says:

        What can you say about CS-Pro CS43131 is more expensive, but is the difference in sound in comparison with Abigail and Avani?

        Like

      2. Andy.EF says:

        Avani and Abigail is still a better unit than CS43131

        Like

  49. Jean says:

    Mr. Andy thank you for all your efforts to test and share your thoughts and findings about DACs. I’m a newbie and perhaps my questions it’s gonna sound a little dumb, but for a people like me, who are just beggining in this field. What would you recommend: Abigail or maybe something like JM10 pro?
    Thank you in advance

    Like

    1. Andy.EF says:

      Get both Abigail and Avani, the two of them combined are still cheaper than most other dongles. I still use them regularly

      Like

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