Weiliang Audio ES9038Q2M SU7 I2S DAC distortion


I bought a Weiliang Audio ES9038Q2M I2S DAC (PCB and Display only) from AliExpress (aliexpress.com/item/3298437 … 4c4d96c5bv). When it’s connected via the 3 I2S lines to my RPi3B+ running Volumio 2.619, using the generic I2S device option, it produces very distorted music in the right channel, nothing in the left, and the display states it’s DSD when it’s actually a FLAC PCM file.

I can change the sample rate, but I get the same distorted sound: a 48KHz rate gets reported as 2.82MHz DSD by the DAC, 96KHz as 5.664MHz, 192KHz as 11.28MHz, etc.

I thought a simple I2S connection should just work? I’ve connected the three I2S lines correctly (LRCK, DATA, BLCK). I have previously used an Audiophonics DAC Sabre ES9023 I2S without any problems.

I’ve searched the forum, but I cannot find any clear advice/instructions. Any help would be much appreciated. I don’t want to waste £30!

Try the R-Pi DAC setting. I also remember removing the link from the volume setting options.

Thanks Old Duffer,
I had read that someone had luck with the R-Pi profile, but it didn’t work for me. I believe that I’ve bought the newer SU7 version of the Weiliang board. With hindsight I should have gone for version 1.07 of the other board. I think I have three routes of investigation to chase:

  1. Connect the ground pin. Perhaps this will clear up the signal.
  2. Investigate whether the DAC defaults to DSD feeds rather than PCM. It’s odd that it reads the I2S signal as DSD. Maybe it needs the USB connection to tell it when PCM is being sent. I note that the Amanero USB cards have a DSD.ON connector pin.
  3. Investigate whether Volumio is sending the music in DSD format rather than PCM.

I’ve played a bit more with the board. It works using the optical input, PCM music plays as PCM. So that rules out issues with the board, power supply, detection of pcm etc.

I can remove one of the I2S pins and it continues to play (which is consistent with the way that DSD is sent by Volumio to the Pi?

Ah well,
I’ll have to spend more time on it tomorrow.

Success! Many thanks Old Duffer.

Connecting the Ground pin and using the R-PI DAC model has worked. I now have 44.1/96/192KHz 16/24 bit PCM tracks working beautifully. And I’m pleased with my £30 ES9038Q2M DAC.

It won’t play native DSD yet. Volumio seems to be sending it as DoP. Is it possible to force it to send as native? (it’s configured as native in the web interface).

Thanks for looking.

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