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DAC for vintage amp

Apichai

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Nov 12, 2021
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Hi,
Hello from Thailand. I'm looking for a DAC for my vintage audio amp (MC2105 MX113 combo). It will be used with Raspberry streamer as a USB dac. Here's my current setup;

I already have DX3 pro and BTR5 for my headphones, which are HE400i 2020 and AKG K371. I find that both DAC/AMP combo are fine with both headphones but the dx3 pro has more detail and tighter sound on 400i but for k371, both DAC/AMP are quite similar. HE400i is more open but vocal is slightly pushed back, compared to k371 which is more sweet. I like both.

I had an old MC2105 recently repaired. I tried the amp headphone jack with HE400i (via LDAC of DX3 pro and BTR5). Then, I found that HE400i sound sweeter and more full right away and I like it more than DX3 pro headphone amp, which is more "dried" in comparison. Also, when listen to the speakers (old small JBL monitor), the DX3 pro has more detail and more full than BTR5.

So, I want to hook up the MC2105 with my other large speaker system, which is quite far from PC. I'll will mainly use speakers but occasionally will use headphone jack of MC2105 as well. So, a combo of RPI streamer and USB dac is needed. Since it is a vintage amp, I think I can get away with budget dac. Remote is a must while bluetooth is nice to have. Stores in my areas mostly have Topping & SMSL dacs. Here's what I narrow down to.

Entry: Topping E30, SMSL Sanskrit MkII, M300 Mk II (similar price)
Mid: Topping E50, DX3 Pro+

I already have a linear power supply to power all of those. So, I could hook up my DX3 pro LDAC with RPI streamer, and get new DX3 pro+ as upgraded headphone amp or I can get SMSL or E50 and keep my DX3 pro as a dedicate headphone set.

Which one do you recommend. Please help me with your experience.
AP
 

001

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Hi Apichai, welcome to ASR. I use a raspberry pi as a streamer with the SMSL Sanskrit MkII and I can't fault it. Very happy with it.
 
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Apichai

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Thanks! The thing is, Sanskrit and M300 mk 2 are similar in price, one is newer, another is older but with better chip and bt.

Sanskrit got good review everywhere, the m300 2 review is only handful.
 
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