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Balanced DAC for Powered Speakers and Wiim Mini

wacomme

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May 11, 2022
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So many choices . . .

What's a good DAC with a toslink connection to the Wiim Mini streamer and powered monitors (Adam T5V) with a balanced connection between DAC and monitors? I also want a preamp (I presume) to adjust the volume of the monitors when not using a remote (iPhone) for the streamer? I currently have the Topping L30ii, but I'm going to use that DAC at work. I'm wanting a similar DAC for the living room, but one that's balanced. What's the best value? I currently use the SMSL DO100 on my desk. I presume that would be a good choice, but is there a cheaper option, or one with a better preamp volume capability?
 

JeremyFife

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I'm looking for something similar ... smsl sems to be the way to go and Amazon has Black Friday deals:
  • DO100 seems to be the best option in pure DAC quality, the preamp abilities (i.e. volume) should be absolutely fine
  • D-6 is cheaper, but the reviews here talk a bit about 'pop' noises when sample rates change.
  • C200 adds a decent Headphone Amp, which is tempting
  • Sabaj A10d (2022) is slightly more but still ballpark if you want a different brand
There was a Gustard X16 on eBay that went for £188 GBP recently ... second hand is an option if you have patience. Again, won't sound better.

They will all sound exactly the same and are all balanced output with a volume control. I haven't tried any of these myself but leaning towards the C200. I haven't found anything cheaper (Topping D10 with an optical to usb converter ... don't fancy that) and value is subjective.
 
OP
wacomme

wacomme

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Which is better? Topping E50 or SMSL DO100? I believe the Topping has MQA which may or may not make a difference using wiim and Tidal master level. How is the gain of the volume for the DO100 compared to the E50?
 

Alan B

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Oct 23, 2022
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i have a Wiim Mini connected to a Topping EX5 combined DAC and headphone amp (which can be used as a pre-amp for powered speakers) which I am pleased with, even though the EX5 has a bug which only shows 44.1KHz irrespective of the source when used on the toslink input.
 

Merifon

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You simply cannot measure EVERYTHING that "describes" how a DAC or any other device sounds. It's nonsense that unfortunately is wide spread here on ASR. And that nonsense usually comes from people that never even tried themselves to compare and find out. But we are here on ASR: We measure sound, we don't use our ears and actually listen.
To be honest, measures for D30pro and 500mkIII, don’t look identical, specially in the filters part. The main part.
What is impossible to say in advance, when those not differ dramatically, is how will "feel" or if we will prefer one instead of the other.
What the measure are useful for, is to not waste time on anything is bad from beginning.
Furthermore, if a sound is "boring" or not, is matter of personal mood or personal listening room and I can't trust the opinion of anyone, without a reference. This is a reason why, I don't like "impressionist" reviews...
 
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