DAC under $300
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RKarim

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Hello,

I am currently looking for a DAC to replace my Topping E30, under $300. I want to use this with a pair of Stax L700's and my HD650's. I use an SRM-323S + an SMSL SP200.

Suggestions would be appreciated.

Thanks,

~RKarim
 
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What’s wrong with the E30 as it’s pretty much a top tier DAC already? I own it as well and can attest to its sound and the measurements are well documented.

If you can go balanced perhaps a Schiit Modius is in your future?
 
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RKarim

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What’s wrong with the E30 as it’s pretty much a top tier DAC already? I own it as well and can attest to its sound and the measurements are well documented.

If you can go balanced perhaps a Schiit Modius is in your future?
I see- I was just looking for a bit of an upgrade as I got my Stax stuff, however I am very happy with it.

Balanced isn't really nessecary for me (the SMSL converts all balanced connections into SE anyways, and the Stax energizer doesn't support balanced inputs). Would you suggest just sticking with the Topping in this situation?

Your advice is appreciated.

Thanks,

~RKarim
 
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HipHopScribe

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I would just stick with the Topping E30. I haven't heard one personally but everything I've read about how it measures and performs suggests that you're unlikely to hear any improvement by getting a ~$300 DAC. This might be a controversial opinion, but well-designed modern DACs should be pretty much transparent at the $100+ level. Beyond that you're probably just paying for features ( balanced, etc.), prettier industrial design or esoteric nonsense. So unless the E30 is missing any features you want in a DAC, seems best to just stick with it.
 
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RKarim

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I would just stick with the Topping E30. I haven't heard one personally but everything I've read about how it measures and performs suggests that you're unlikely to hear any improvement by getting a ~$300 DAC. This might be a controversial opinion, but well-designed modern DACs should be pretty much transparent at the $100+ level. Beyond that you're probably just paying for features ( balanced, etc.), prettier industrial design or esoteric nonsense. So unless the E30 is missing any features you want in a DAC, seems best to just stick with it.
You know, that's pretty much what I thought. Just wanted to be sure that the general consensus agreed with me, and that I wasn't missing out.

Thanks,

~RKarim
 
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BananaOoyoo

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My setup is kinda(?) similar to yours, and I also think you should stick with the e30. If it ain’t broke...
 
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I suggest getting a Fidelio X2HR/27 and some new music with your funds instead.
 
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RKarim

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I suggest getting a Fidelio X2HR/27 and some new music with your funds instead.
Definitely looking at some other purchases, but out of curiosity, why the Fidelio specifically?

Probably going to end up with a phono as I've got a bunch of LPs (almost 100) that I can't listen to (they were my parents, actually in pretty great condition. Definitely a nice find).
 
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Definitely looking at some other purchases, but out of curiosity, why the Fidelio specifically?

Probably going to end up with a phono as I've got a bunch of LPs (almost 100) that I can't listen to (they were my parents, actually in pretty great condition. Definitely a nice find).
I have the HE-400i and Aeon Flow Open. The Aeon is packed so I needed something at work that has more bass impact than the 400i. Already liking the Fidelio X2, but not too impressed by it's materials, I looked up reviews and frequency charts for the X2HR/27. The bass emphasis and treble response are right where I like them. Philips also engineered some great angles into the drivers / pads which meant to me they are really looking at the proper tuning techniques.

Once they arrived the Fidelio felt so well made out of the box. Gimbals were strong, pads thick and wide enough for large ears, and the suspension headband extremely comfortable. I gave them a listen using an iPad Air and thought...meh. I was honestly worried that I made a mistake. I took them to work and gave my hi-fi tracks a listen amped. What a pleasant surprise. The headband took a bit of breaking in as did the clamping force, but now that everything is comfy I don't pick up my 400i unless I need to analyze something in a track. The bass impact is perfect for my tastes, but the treble is so well extended that you get the echoes and brush strokes in other more detailed tracks.

Highly recommended!
 
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