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CEN.GRAND 9i-92SA III (Third Generation)

All-in-one Fully balanced Desktop Amplifier with ESS9038Pro DAC

  • XU208 USB interface operating with a FGPA digital processor module enables playback of native DSD up to DSD512 and PCM up to 32bit 384KHz
  • 4 output modes: Normal, BTL, Active Ground and Parallel.
  • Two ESS ES9038Pro DAC chips that can operate in parallel on 8 channels
  • Preamplifier function integrates discrete components and features RCA and XLR stereo inputs and outputs
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Color: Silver
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CEN.GRAND 9i-92SA III (Third Generation)

Vendor: Cen.Grand

CEN.GRAND 9i-92SA III (Third Generation)


Vendor: Cen.Grand

CEN.GRAND 9i-92SA III (Third Generation)

Color: Silver

9i-92SA III "Golden Thrush" DAC / headphone amplifier / preamplifier is a desktop hifi product for headphone user. A variety of advanced technologies and solutions such as USB isolation technology were integrated , such as ESS 9038Pro DAC chip work in eight channel parallel connection, etc.. The audio quality especially headphone amplifier performance is excellent. It will get good effect in driving the mainstream headphones such as HD800S and T1-II.

9I-92SA III headphone amplifier function: four output modes

Four output modes let you select the one that best suits your listening preferences or the characteristics of your headphones. Normal mode is for low-impedance headphones and earphones, and BTL mode for high-impedance headphones. Parallel mode is effective for medium-impedance headphones, increasing driving force but not gain. Finally, Active Ground mode, which brings a stronger sense of harmonics, is particularly suited to listening to vocals or stringed instruments, thanks to the simulation of a "virtual GND". This last mode offers a softer, warmer listening experience.

The technology used in the headphone amplification circuit is fairly simple, but the extremely fine-tuned settings resulting from CEN.GRAND's know-how and experience deliver a clear, delicate sound balance. CEN.GRAND's aim here is to provide a headphone listening experience worthy of a Hifi system.

BTL Output Mode

Recommended for High Impedance Headphones.

Active G Mode

Suitable for listening to Human Voice.


Recommended for Medium Impedance Headphones.

Normal Mode

Recommended for Low Impedance Headphones.

The 9i-92SA "Golden Thrush" consists of the following parts:

  1. USB interface. XMOS second generation XU208 + FPGA digital processing module , isolation technology is used to isolate noise from the computer. Support for NativeDSD512 and PCM384 input.
  2. AK4118+ dual ESS 9038Pro DAC chip. The SPDIF receiver has three interfaces: coaxial, optical, and AES, support PCM 24bit/192KHz and DOP (DSD64) inputs.
  3. Headphone amplifier. It has 6.35 unbalanced interface and 4-pin XLR balanced interface. It has four output mode: Normal, BTL, Active Ground and Parallel.
  4. 4: Pre-Amp consisting of discrete components. "Golden Thrush" can be used as a pre-amp, the input interface is RCA and XLR, with infrared remote control.
  5. Power supply and display system.

A second-generation XMOS XU208 USB interface and a high-performance FGPA

Within your source device, such as a computer, there may be numerous decoupled power supplies generating noise that is harmful to analog circuits. That's why CEN.GRAND has equipped the 9I-92SA III with USB interface isolation technology to block any noise coming from your source device. Isolating this noise significantly improves the purity of the sound signal. On the FGPA side, the code manages data isolation, clock distribution and DoP format decoding.

High-performance OPA and volume control

Equipped with an LPF (low-pass filter) and a high-performance AOP2604, the OPA amplifier circuit delivers a clean audio signal. The volume control chip, a PGA2311, is MCU-controlled. The volume range is -70db to 0db.

Dual DAC chips ES9038Pro

Two ESS 9038Pro DAC chip are used and one for each channel. There are 8 internal DAC in each 9038Pro chip. Most of DAC which used 9038Pro chip only use one or two of them. The others are idle. The mode of multiple DAC channel parallel has many advantages but it is not easy to get good sound and heating is serious. The 9i-92SA III is different. With careful design and adjustment, the structure of 8 internal DAC parallel is one of important reason of good sound.

Current Feedback Circuit.

The technology of headphone amplifier is actually simple and the key is adjustment. Drawing on extensive experience in hifi systems, we have achieved very good results in designing of the "Golden Thrush" headphone amplifier. It not only has strong driving ability but also sound balance, clear and delicate, strong sense of space. You can listen for a long time as well as forget the existence of headphones just like listening to the big HiFi system.

technical specifications
DAC, Headphone amplifier, Preamplifier
DSD Sampling Frequencies
2.8224 MHz (DSD64),5.6448 MHz (DSD128),11.2896 MHz (DSD256),22.5792 MHz (DSD512)
PCM Sampling Frequencies
44.1 kHz,48 kHz,88.2 kHz,96 kHz,176.4 kHz,192 kHz,352.8 kHz,384 kHz,705.6 kHz,768 kHz
PCM Word Length
  • 1 * Balanced stereo XLR
  • 1 * Single-ended stereo RCA
  • 1 * AES/EBU
  • 1 * Optical Toslink
  • 1 * Coaxial
  • 1* USB-B
  • 1 * Single-ended stereo RCA
  • 1 * Balanced stereo XLR
  • 1 * Balanced XLR 4-pin headphone output
  • 1 * Single-ended Jack 6.35mm headphone output
Supported sampling rates
  • SPDIF (coaxial, optical, AES/EBU): PCM up to 24bit 192kHz, DSD64 (DoP)
  • USB-B: PCM up to 32bit 384kHz, native DSD up to DSD512
Output Modes
Normal, Balanced(BTL), Virtual Ground(Active G) and Parallel
Dynamic range
115dB (A-weighted)
Frequency response
±0.4 dB (20-20KHz A-weighted)
-102dB (fs=96KHz /10KHz A-weighted)
Pre-level gain
4db (volume = 0db)
Output power
  • 2.1W (0.9% distorsion 33Ω)
  • 0.5W (0.027% distorsion 600Ω)
Power supply
AC 220V-230V 50-60HZ (6.3A fuse)
320 x 100 x 310mm
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