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Gustard U18 DDC Review, Bring The Best Out Of USB Audio

Once upon a time (early 90s), I remembered there was an article in audio magazine that read..

"All CD players are fully capable of converting CD digital audio to analog, outboard digital to analog converter is not necessary in audio chain" or something like that, from so called audio critic back then external DACs are in every price range from tiny boutique brand to world's biggest manufacturers.

Now in 2021, another external component for digital audio playback appeared is DDC (Digital To Digital Converter) which is designed to help improve the digital audio signal coming through USB, it is another territory for many including myself.

The question is, will it improve the sound of less than perfect USB (yet highly popular) audio playback, so I tried it in my system as you can see in my review video below.

Gustard U18 DDC UUSB Interface

Price: $499 (Dec,2021)

Overall Rating: ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ¾

Pros: Great Improvement, Easy To Use, Reasonable Price.

Cons: It can get a little noisy when switching resolution but nothing major.

I was skeptical at first, then I was surprised for how it can improve the sound by reducing the background noise floor, which is clearly noticeable in my system using Musician Audio Draco R2R DAC and SMSL DO200 DAC playing through Audirvana with 13" MacBook Pro.

BUT it is incremental improvement, will it worth adding it to your system is only you can decide, personally it's a good improvement worth having in USB audio playback chain, my easy recommendation for perfectionist audiophiles or music lovers.

In near future when all digital audio components are better than 2021 standard it may be more noticeable like modern external DACs compare to early 90s components.

Old says Never Say Never, have you ever wonder?

Happy listening!

Demo Music by Janis Ian

My Preferred Headphones for online sound samples are Sony MDR-7506 Audio-Technica ATH-M50

Associated Equipments;

Gustard U18 DDC

Polk Reserve R200 Speaker

KEF R11 Speaker eBay

Denon PMA-SX11 Integrated Amplifier

PS Audio AC-12 Power Cable

Sony HAP-Z1ES Music Server


Musician Audio Draco R2R DAC


SMSL AO200 Amp

ELAC UBR62 Speaker

Wharfedale Evo 4.2 Speaker

Aperion V8T Speaker (Get 10% Off with TBR10 Coupon Code)

Oyaide Neo D+ Class A USB Cable

Mogami AES Cable

iFi SuperNova AC Power Cable

iFi Nova AC Power Cable

Monoprice Premiere XLR Cables

Mogami Gold XLR Cables

AudioQuest King Cobra RCA Cables

AudioQuest Big Sur RCA Cables

Belden 8402 XLR Cables

Oyaide Black Mamba Alpha AC Power Cord

TBR Custom Speaker Cable

TBR Custom AC Power Cables Shielded Version

If you use these links above to purchase any items from Amazon or eBay(No Extra Cost To You), I get a small percentage which help support my work and helps me keep going.

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