Cheap DAC OFF: Topping D30, SDAC, Modi Multibit, JDS EL DAC, iFi Nano BL

Discussion in 'Digital: DACs, USB converters, decrapifiers' started by purr1n, May 16, 2018.

  1. Josh83

    Josh83 Friend

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    For the sake of everyone in the loaner program, I sincerely hold the El Dac is better than the C5D. I bought on a whim for well below half list price, and it was *still* overpriced. Terrible digititus, band sound stage, under-powered, FR didn't sound right with the bass boost on or off. Uck.
     
  2. Gatucho

    Gatucho Rando

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    I just got the IEMatch for use with the xdsd and the Andromedas. Im pleased with the results. I like a little bass emphasis so I use the ultra setting in order to introduce lower additional Z. The hiss is completely gone and the balance of the Andromedas is still there (maybe a little more detailed?). Even in the ultra setting the xdsd is able to drive them and the volume knob is still in the "green" level.
    I'm thinking in using the IEMatch to feed the BHcrack with the xdsd in the line level setting. Otherwise I have to set the crack vol pot almost to zero with the hd800. However, I'm not sure if the xdsd in line output mode can drive the 16ohms of the IEMatch.
    So I guess this is a question for @iFi audio. Can I use the IEMatch with the xdsd in line output mode?
     
  3. purr1n

    purr1n Super Friend

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    Should I grab the xDSD from you?
     
  4. jexby

    jexby Posole Prince

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    @purr1n
    I asked @Vansen and @zerodeefex for a separate loaner tour for xDSD, cuz I lost track of the Box of cheaper DACs, and this unit is higher priced and not property of SBAF necessarily.
    I can ship xDSD to you later this week to kickoff the loaner tour, and onwards it goes to another 11-14 people?
     
  5. purr1n

    purr1n Super Friend

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    Actually, start it off on East Coast.
     
  6. purr1n

    purr1n Super Friend

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    @Vansen: do we have a loaner thread for the big box of cheap DACs. I've gotten everything boxed up.
     
  7. Vansen

    Vansen Gear Master (retiring)

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  8. Cspirou

    Cspirou They call me Sparky

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    I have this loaner and the MD Plus. I also have a balanced cable, however IEMatch is 3.5mm TRRS instead of 2.5mm(why????), so I can't use it balanced. But 3.5mm TRS also works so I used that. Even with the lower gain I don't need to go past 11:00 on the volume knob.

    I find the iFi Nano BL to be a VERY good match with the MD Plus! I prefer it over the dongle DACs I've been using as well as my Cayin N5. If I was putting my resources into a top transportable rig I think the iFi Nano would be a part of it.
     
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  9. purr1n

    purr1n Super Friend

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    So what did you think of the Topping D30?
     
  10. Cspirou

    Cspirou They call me Sparky

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    Running the D30 through USB and a cold Modi MB with optical, they seem comparable. Oh, and cold Modi MB doesn't sound that great either. D30 doesn't have anything glaring to me, but there's hints that I wouldn't like this longterm.

    Letting both warm-up overnight with better impressions.
     
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  11. donunus

    donunus Friend

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    I am loving my ifi nano bl more than my go1k by the way. I use the listen filter as well.
     
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  12. dmckean44

    dmckean44 In a Sherwood S6040CP relationship

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    Are you listing with headphones or 2-channel?
     
  13. Cspirou

    Cspirou They call me Sparky

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    Headphones. I only want to do 2-channel to check soundstage as I don't think running the DACs through the Lepai is a fair representation of what they can do.

    I will also say that I am not super experienced with DAC comparisons and I do have difficulty hearing the difference immeadiately. The 1-week test is usually a better gauge for me.

    Also DAC A/B is pretty obnoxious. I not only need to have some sort of switch box, but I also need to switch in the operating system as well. So far the only way I can think of to have both DACs playing music at the same time is with an RCA splitter for the digital COAX, but I don't know if that would degrade the signal. Also two of the DACs are USB only anyway.
     
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    Last edited: Jun 22, 2018
  14. dmckean44

    dmckean44 In a Sherwood S6040CP relationship

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    Oh ok, I didn't realize that's your only amp.

    I'm just going to treat that DACs like any other component and run them all through my 2-channel system one at a time and put them up against Gungnir Multibit and the Soekris dac and take some notes.
     
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  15. Cspirou

    Cspirou They call me Sparky

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    Okay, after overnight warmup the Modi MB creams the D30. At least with M83.
     
  16. bixby

    bixby Friend

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    The D30 is like a pretty mermaid seen from afar. It is not until you get closer and the waves wash off the makeup that you truly find out what hides beneath. Unless of course mine was defective, haha.
     
  17. rlow

    rlow A happy woofer

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    Up here we call that "Good from far, far from good".
     
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  18. rlow

    rlow A happy woofer

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  19. donunus

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    By the way, to my ears the idsd nano BL sounds even better when using asio (reliable/16384) and upsampling pcm to native 2xdsd on jriver. The dynamics seems to improve with a less shouty midrange. Match the volume though when flipping through a comparison because upsampling makes it have a softer volume.

    EDIT: The tonality also goes more towards the direction of the listen filter so if you are using that filter already it kills the sharpness a little more. It creates more depth due to having a slightly less aggressive character. I like it :D

    The Listen filter helping with high frequency disturbances and the upsampling for killing upper midrange shout... WIN!. I feel that if I estimate the volume of the mids to be the same between upsampling vs straight up, I get some extra airiness.

    I am using the AKG K553pro for this test by the way so volume is fine even with the upsampling on. With some rock music though with fuzzy guitars like Green Day's American Idiot (24/192), Upsampling tame's it too much. I like it mostly upsampled to 2x DSD with more laid back music or classical and jazz.
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2018
  20. iFi audio

    iFi audio MOT iFi Audio

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    It's cool that you like it. DSD upasmpling smoothens things nicely and takes a bit of the edge off.
     
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