[newbie] Help choosing dac/amp: Topping MX3 vs DX3 Pro vs Hel
Nov 27, 2019 at 8:56 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 6

Leito360

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Hello. New member here.
First of all, my headphones: SHP 9500 (32 Ohm, i know, they don't need an amp). I also use a set of passive speakers that came bundled with a stereo from Sony (LBT-D105). I won't change any of my gear in the near future, i'm not interested right now in do it so.
Main use: Gaming (please, don't put me with all those people who likes RGB and buy everything that has a "gaming" tag on it, i like to inform myself before buying something and my PC has zero RGB), but I also listen to even more and more FLACs with each day, and I also enjoy watching movies on my PC.

I started to look for a better audio solution than the onboard audio of my PC when i bought the SHP 9500 and then I learned about the EVGA Nu Audio (I think that probably every audiophile hates it because it is internal), the idea was to get the NU for $150 on sale, then I started reading and, since I want it to last for several years, the drivers/software will become a problem because someday will have some incompatibility with the OS, or won't be supported by it at all.

My first option was the DX3 Pro from Topping. It is more expensive than the NU by 70 bucks, assuming I will get the card for $150. I learned about the DX3 Pro issues when it first came out, and then I learned that Topping made several revisions to the device, and now its HP output impedance is <10 Ohm, in theory, that will generate distortion to my SHP 9500.

I'm seriously considering to get the Topping MX3, as you may know, it's technically inferior than the DX3 Pro, but it has the same functionality overall.
Some people said to me that I should get the Schiit Hel because (it really has) everything i need, but I find it quite expensive, and my biggest problem with that unit is that I need to unplug the headphones to make the line out active... so i will have to plug and unplug them every time I want to listen to music or a movie through my speakers... that's practically a deal breaker for me, but I had to admit that it's fantastic how it can drive cans with high impedance.

Important fact: most of my information and assumptions came from reading ASR. I know they aren't very popular here, and I personally think that the judgement of Amirm is heavily biased in some of his reviews.
Also, ZeosPantera (From Z reviews) basically "sold me" the Mx3.

My questions are:

1) Is the NU Audio a truly crappy option for $150? Is it inferior to the other three DAC/AMPs I listed in the post? (I already know it's a USB DAC/AMP that connects to the PC through a PCIE-USB bridge)

2) Am I going to have a bad performance if I connect my SHP 9500 to the DX3 Pro? (considering that the DX3 has an output impedance of <10 Ohm)

3) Is the Topping MX3 as crappy as Amirm said in his review? Because Zeos said that it was a pretty cool unit, capable of manage 50 Ohm HP without trouble when it shouldn't suppose to, so i'm kinda confused.

4) Should I seriously consider the Schiit Hel? I really don't like the price, and also I don't like what I said about the line out, but again, I'm a newbie in this area.
 
Nov 27, 2019 at 11:20 PM Post #2 of 6

Gazny

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Since you care about well measuring dacs, how about the LOXJIE D10? It also has a switchable output so you wouldn't need to unplug your headphones. Unfortunately the ergonomics have much to be desired.
 
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Dec 22, 2019 at 1:19 AM Post #5 of 6

cel4145

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I'm seriously considering to get the Topping MX3, as you may know, it's technically inferior than the DX3 Pro, but it has the same functionality overall.

That's not an accurate way to think of it. The MX3 also has speaker amplification built-in. So you're getting even less DAC and headphone amp for your money then if it did not have that.

Also, ZeosPantera (From Z reviews) basically "sold me" the Mx3.

Yeah I don't generally pay much attention to what he says myself.

So here's the thing. Without knowing how good your PC audio is, which is really difficult to predict, the MX3 DAC may not sound any better than what you already have. And you've already pointed out your headphones are easy to drive, so you don't really need a headphone amp. You only need one if you buy a DAC.

So personally, I would put your money in the bank towards a future set of headphones. Then once you get that, think about buying a better DAC and headphone amp, and definitely better than the MX3.
 
Dec 22, 2019 at 2:22 AM Post #6 of 6

mateematy

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From reviews I found out that the Topping D10 is really good for its price currently 65$ on Massdrop. I wanted to get the Loxjie D10 which still is in my opinion a decent option, but I just need a good bang for the buck DAC for the A5+.
 

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