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I'm going to start a thread and poll for each category
It's a great idea that you're helping others to get the best out of their budget. However, I think you bring it up the next level of the usefulness. Why don't you help to set the expectations of each price range? I myself for example really want to know what I am missing for next level from the sound quality perspective. I'm buying sound quality but not driving technology. Thanks for your efforts in helping others..
Guys here is the first one:
This will be fun but will take some time. Might be hard for those who could never stoop to the lowly budget iem's though
It's a low risk/high reward price range my friend. I'm sure many people on here have had at least one successful purchase in this range.
We will move it up to 25-50 with the next poll
So i just figured out my macbook does optical out lmao. I have a cable going out to my SMSL M3 via optical in. How dope is that? The cable is hella long tho, anyone know where I can get like a 30 cm or shorter optical cable?
You could try The Source. Got a toslink there back in the day for my minidisc
Good call Trev, will check them out thanks.
The one I got included a 3.5mm optical adapter. Also used it to plug my Msi laptop into my home theatre for some serious gaming
Funny eough, thats the main reason I got the SMSL M3, to use as an optical dac for my gaming console. I cant game wihtout headphones these days.
i'm kinda crying right now.... so much high quality gear and i'm just sitting here with my 598 and my forte without any dac or amps
As long as your music sounds good and you're happy with it, it's all you need.
My problem is I want to hear all of them.
Vince, my problem is that I want to be with all of them but not to hear all of them!!! ........
Listening to Glastonbury at the moment while her Lightness is having a little nap after a few sips too many.
Listened to Plateaux of Mirror by Brian Eno and Harold Budd...so good. Almost as good as the amazing Pavilion of Dreams.
ZuperDAC == Unboxing & Initial Impressions == The ZuperDAC is a very portable amp/dac from Zorloo, a small outfit out of Hong Kong. A big thanks to the fine folks at Zorloo for giving me a chance to check these bad boys out!
Unboxing the ZuperDAC
Been playing with the ZuperDAC for the better part of the day and I wanted to post my thoughts on them so far.
It comes in a rather no fuss box, very tastefully adorned but suitably tough to protect the delicate innards. Upon unboxing it , you are greeted by the product sheet and the goods front and centre. And oh my what a sight to behold. They are literally at the same color as my laptop!
In the hands it feels smooth in texture and construction and clearly no shortcuts were taken with the build quality - clearly all your money is going towards the dac itself, not some fancy packaging you are bound to forget about anyway. For a device of this footprint, it has a surprising weight to it, and I mean that in the best way possible. This does not feel like a cheap toy at all. This is meant to be a serious device for the discerning listener.
For macs (lol whats an audio driver?) it is as simple as plug and play. A little LED turns on indicating the DAC is engaged. Unlike some other dacs I have use, this unit has yet to get exceedingly hot after me pushing them hard for some time. Again these are early days yet, but thus far these seem to be very well engineered. I am definitely impressed by the thought that has gone into it's design construction.
So.... they look good and feel good, but how do they sound?
Honestly I just received these today and I don't know if I have enough hours on these to comment on them definitely. But here is the thing - my daily drivers are the FiiO X7 and LH Geek Out V2, and listening to the ZuperDAC, I don't feel I am getting a massive downgrade or that I am missing out on anything and thats what surprised me the most....
In fact, I found myself actually listening and enjoying my music rather than attempting to dissect every detail and evaluate every aspect of the sound. But I will say that the ZuperDAC is very natural sounding with a very musical character to it. Does that mean its rolled off and bassy? Of course not! It sports a natural, detailed and engaging sound with impressive resolution, but more so - it has this addicting and effortless sound signature that has me digging through my music collection to test my favourite tracks. You might think these have that traditional sabre glare, but so far it hasn't reared its ugly head yet. In fact, it has a rather nice and full natural bass response compared to the relatively anemic FiiO X7 and Geek Out V2.
Overall, no glaring weakness or downsides from my initial listening hours. But lordy am I getting a kick out of listening to them. I was initially going to do a comparison with my other dacs (FiiO X7, E17K, LH Geek Out V2 and SMSL M3). However that plan went right out the window the moment I plugged in my Havi B3 Pro 1 and loaded up my favourite track, which at the moment is We are the ones to fall by Santa Monica.
If You can't tell already, I am absolutley smitten by how the ZuperDAC sounds and my first impression is that it sounds as capable as my higher end gear, but it adds that touch of musically that my other gears lacking, relatively speaking of course. I did notice however that I had to push the volume near its limit to drive stuff like my 320 ohm VE Zen 1, so I do wish this unit had more headroom in terms of volume. Then again we are talking about something the size of a USB thumbstick so it's not a deal breaker either.
Am I saying that it beats my top end stuff? No, of course not, more so because I honestly haven't had the time to properly A/B against all my toys yet. Frankly, I am having way too much fun with the ZuperDAC and the hard work can wait till later
For now, I am off to musical bliss:
A big thanks to my good friend @WaynesWorld for bringing this device to my attention. Good call bud Definitely worth the wait!!
I will update with more impressions as things progress. Thanks for reading my ramblings
EDIT: I forgot to mention that these have an Output Impedance of 4 Ohms.