JCally JM20

DAC Chip: Cirrus Logic CS43131 (Single)
32bits/384KHz, DSD64, DSD128, DSD256. SNR: 120dB, Distortion=0.0003% (32Ω load, 1.2vrms), Power: 0.95 Vrms@32Ω, 2 Vrms@600Ω, USB Type-C Male, 3.5mm SE (Microphone: NO), Compact, Braided SPC Cable 120mm, Painted Aluminum Chassis


LISTENING EQUIPMENT USED IMPARTED HUGE INFLUENCE TO SOUND IMPRESSIONS & RATING


💚PROS

  • Crisp, coherent timbre – sparkly neutral and natural
  • Clean Treble textures with graceful decays, mild airiness
  • Excellent Treble extensions, comparable to Cayin N6ii and Topping D10s
  • Commendable Bass extensions and details with tasty textures
  • Strong, commanding Mid-Bass with lush decays.
  • Bass exhibit solid texture definition, Mids moderately rich
  • Moderately strong sounding sub-Bass seismic sensation and impact
  • Lively guitars and stringed instruments attack
  • Reference grade speed and transients handling
  • Neutral, slightly forward, and clear male/female vocals, good depth
  • Excellent micro details, almost reference grade
  • Great Piano, Violin and Cello tones, attack, and decays
  • Commendable sibilance resistance despite being sparkly bright.
  • Clean background with zero floor noise

💔CONS

  • Slightly dry overall timbre tonality, sometimes barren (sterile)
  • Average dynamic vibe overall, mild visceral bite and groove
  • Less-organic, less-analogue timbre disposition
  • Bass rolls off slightly shorter compared on reference grade comparison.
  • Can be unforgiving on some songs, dependent on recording quality.
  • Moderate layering, instruments sounded spaced closer together.
  • Less than spectacular headstage, soundstage cramped in slightly.
  • Spatial imaging is precise but less holographic compared to reference samples.

VERDICT

JCally JM20 turned out to be adeptly capable to stand proud among the two reference DAP/DAC/Amp of Cayin N6ii and Topping D10s/A50s, on a condition that the other two runs on Single Ended mode and in low gain settings, with limit set to 100 Ohm and below. Switch the other two to High Gain Mode and Balanced, then admittedly there’s slight superiority in heightened sense of fidelity, layers and separation. What they all do share very similarly are the exceedingly clean and coherent attributes as DAC/Amp, even if I must nit-pick then I would say D10s/A50s being the most articulate sounding. I regard all three of them as similarly fashioned in overall timbre and tonality – with subtle nuances separating them. D10s/A50s being pristine clear, N6ii being euphonic and dynamic – JM20 exhibiting a bit of both, proudly. Small and powerful, what is there not to like about this little wonder?

⭐⭐⭐⭐ ($20.00)

Best Pairing: Flexible choices (100Ω max)

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9 Comments

  1. Having read this I believed it was extremely enlightening. I appreciate you finding the time and energy to put this short article together. I once again find myself spending a significant amount of time both reading and leaving comments. But so what, it was still worthwhile!

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  2. This design is wicked! You obviously know how to keep a reader entertained. Between your wit and your videos, I was almost moved to start my own blog (well, almost…HaHa!) Excellent job. I really enjoyed what you had to say, and more than that, how you presented it. Too cool!

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  3. btw, this dongle DOES not decode DSD natively. It will ONLY decode DSD64 & 128 via DoP. at least this is the case with mine…which was *properly* configured and thoroughly tested. this review – authored by someone else and shared all over the ‘net – never took the time to actually give it a proper and complete test. do not buy this if native DSD is required.

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    1. Thanks for the feedbacks. The specs you see there was taken from JCally description of JM20. I personally never tested JM20 for DSD files. If you read my Foreword all the dongles tested here are limited to traditional FLAC, Deezer HiFi or Tidal only. And yes I actually owned all 86 dongles you see here bought with my own money and used every each of them before actually posting my impressions

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  4. fyi, this dongle DOES NOT encode DSD *natively.*. i was only able to get it to encode DSD64/128 via DoP. this review – authored by someone else and shared ALL OVER the web – never took the time to *thoroughly* test this dongle so if you require native DSD encoding, do not buy this one. it’s great for HR PCM and DoP DSD encoding, but that’s it.

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    1. Thanks for the feedbacks. The specs you see there was taken from JCally description of JM20. I personally never tested JM20 for DSD files. If you read my Foreword all the dongles tested here are limited to traditional FLAC, Deezer HiFi or Tidal only. And yes I actually owned all 86 dongles you see here bought with my own money and used every each of them before actually posting my impressions

      Like

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