So, I'm testing the DSS and Mixamp 5.8 again...
I've said this before, but I'm definitively confirming it now: The DSS has LESS hiss than the Mixamp 5.8 at higher volumes.
The DSS still has more hiss at lower volumes, but as you get into the louder volumes they reverse and the DSS has less hiss. I'm not sure where the exact crossover point is. It's when the Mixamp's amplifier hiss starts to kick in, past 60% volume or so.
I've got them both running into the M-Stage. The DSS is at MAX volume, the Mixamp 5.8 is at 2 o'clock 100% game (which is about 80% of it's max) which puts them nearly the same volume level. The DSS has noticeably less hiss. When I pause the game I can barely detect it - with Mixamp 5.8 it's easier to hear the faint hiss.
So the DSS still isn't good for things like AD700s and other easily driven hiss-susceptible headphones, but for double amping + harder to drive headphones the DSS will have a quieter noise floor than the mixamp 5.8 - assuming you've got the them both past ~60% volume. It's true that Mixamp 5.8 gets a little louder overall, but it really gets hissy in that last 20% percent of amping, so I would avoid that area if possible.
I'm not sure why the DSS has more hiss at lower volumes but less at louder volumes - something to do with SNR vs amplifier hiss maybe? I dunno....
It's too bad the Mixamp 5.8 is discontinued, so this information isn't all that useful.
I wonder where the 2013 mixamp falls in terms of noise floor...
The Mixamp 5.8 actually hisses louder than the DSS when they both go past >60% volume and beyond. The DSS never reaches 5.8 at loudest volume hiss, but it doesn't quite reach 5.8 at lowest volume hiss either.
- The DSS maximum hiss is definitely less than anything past 2 o'clock on the 5.8 at 50/50 balance.
Makes me wonder if the DSS would be a better preamp than the 5.8 , since its quieter at its louder volumes near the line out levels.
Edited by chicolom - 3/22/13 at 1:47am