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DAC recommendations - Modi 3E or alternatives for around 300$ max ?

Computerjul

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Hello guys,

im looking for a good DAC and there are so many options out there. I have no idea what i should get. Im overwhelmed :)

I could just go with a Modi 3E with a ESS9018 chip implementation. From what ive read in a review from superbestaudiofriends the ESS implementation is not too bad. But im not sure if this DAC is good value at 175€. I will use it on my PC with USB connection and i dont necessarily need balanced outputs and prefer a good performing single output for now. I found a few options within my budget. Can you recommend or not recommend one of these:

Modi 3E - 175€
SU-8S - 330€
D50S - 250€
E50 - 270€
E30 - 150€
M200 - 300€
DX5 - 500€ as a all in one solution instead of a stack

If you can recommend one of these or even a better option i would appreciate the feedback. Thanks in advance.

Best regards
Computerjul
 
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Shazb0t

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Looks like the SMSL DO100 is currently the best bang for the buck with performance and features. Seems to be in your price range too. I'd take a hard look at it.

 

DVDdoug

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If you're not hearing noise, the headphone or line-output from your soundcard-computer may be perfectly adequate!

Distortion and frequency response are usually better than human hearing, so usually noise (background hiss, hum, or whine) is the only thing to worry about.

Or maybe you want certain features or higher (louder) headphone output or something like that?

Or, you could get this.
 
OP
C

Computerjul

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Looks like the SMSL DO100 is currently the best bang for the buck with performance and features. Seems to be in your price range too. I'd take a hard look at it.

Thank you. I will take a very hard look at it. :D

I mentioned a few options above in my post. If there are DACs that i should avoid because there are better options around the same price let me know which ones those are so i can exlude them. Also what about a all in one solutions like the DX5 ? These look very convinient. If we compare a good stack for around 500$ with a 500$ all-in-one combo like the DX5 what would you guys pick and why ?

If you're not hearing noise, the headphone or line-output from your soundcard-computer may be perfectly adequate!

Distortion and frequency response are usually better than human hearing, so usually noise (background hiss, hum, or whine) is the only thing to worry about.

Or maybe you want certain features or higher (louder) headphone output or something like that?

Or, you could get this.

I dont have any noise or huge problems with it. The volume is also pretty insane. But it is a for gaming marketed internal soundcard from Creative (not onboard its a seperate card named ZXR) and i wouldnt be surprised if a proper amp/dac would improve my sound experience significantly. Maybe im wrong though i dont know. I will let you know once i compared it.

Its a pretty old soundcard as far as i know and it needs that software suite from Creative and i dont like software i have to download and install manually to make my hardware work. And in addition to that i also want to have a fancy box or two on my desk and might enhance the sound quality :)

Best regards
---
 
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MaxBuck

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Topping D30Pro is selling for $319 right now, and it sounds great (when it works). Unfortunately, I have to send mine back for replacement. :(
 
OP
C

Computerjul

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Topping D30Pro is selling for $319 right now, and it sounds great (when it works). Unfortunately, I have to send mine back for replacement. :(

Thank you. Im actually considering a all-in-one solution. Like a DX5 or EX5 and just be done with it or i get a fancy silver Schiit stack because it looks really clean. Some people say the DX5 is bad value compared to the EX5. Does anyone know what the DX5 does better besides the more powerful amp and different ESS chip ?

I have one question - a lot of reviewers ond others on forums and in videos say that the amps from Schiit like the Asgard 3 add warmth to the sound and also mention other differences in how it sounds a little bit different compared to some other amps.. they all use these audiophile words i cant describe it properly.. but when it comes to Schiit amps like the Asgard 3 or Jotunheim 2 i read that a lot. Is that actually true can anyone confirm that or is that just wrong/placebo/caused by other factors like volume differences ?

I also found this statement in this forum:

"I wouldn't use the Asgard with it though, or even at all. That particular amp model is a bit of an unfortunate construction, being IEC Class I with unbalanced inputs only (owing to it sharing a chassis with Jotunheim and Lyr). With any source that is also IEC Class I (like a PC) or otherwise earthed, issues with ground loop noise are virtually a given." - Is that a real thing ? If yes how can i avoid ever being affected by it ?

Best regards
---
 
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raistlin65

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The Topping E30 measure so accurate that it is easily arguable to be noise and distortion-free within the range of human hearing. In other words, it exceeds the highest fidelity sound reproduction your ears can perceive.

The Modi should be similar in accuracy. But unless you can upgrade your ears to a bat or a dog, you would be unable to hear any difference between them in a properly volume leveled, double blind test.

If you also need a headphone amp to go with it, get the Topping L30. Also similarly accurate.
 

recycledcans

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Thank you. Im actually considering a all-in-one solution. Like a DX5 or EX5 and just be done with it or i get a fancy silver Schiit stack because it looks really clean. Some people say the DX5 is bad value compared to the EX5. Does anyone know what the DX5 does better besides the more powerful amp and different ESS chip ?

I have one question - a lot of reviewers ond others on forums and in videos say that the amps from Schiit like the Asgard 3 add warmth to the sound and also mention other differences in how it sounds a little bit different compared to some other amps.. they all use these audiophile words i cant describe it properly.. but when it comes to Schiit amps like the Asgard 3 or Jotunheim 2 i read that a lot. Is that actually true can anyone confirm that or is that just wrong/placebo/caused by other factors like volume differences ?

I also found this statement in this forum:

"I wouldn't use the Asgard with it though, or even at all. That particular amp model is a bit of an unfortunate construction, being IEC Class I with unbalanced inputs only (owing to it sharing a chassis with Jotunheim and Lyr). With any source that is also IEC Class I (like a PC) or otherwise earthed, issues with ground loop noise are virtually a given." - Is that a real thing ? If yes how can i avoid ever being affected by it ?

Best regards
---
I am using the Jotunheim 2 paired with a Modius dac and am also wondering if I should sell them for a smaller all-in-one solution like the new DX5.
 
OP
C

Computerjul

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I am using the Jotunheim 2 paired with a Modius dac and am also wondering if I should sell them for a smaller all-in-one solution like the new DX5.

Nah i would keep both of these and not sell them. Both are good devices. From my research it seems like the DX5 is overpriced anyways.
 

cybernaut667

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Topping DX3 Pro+

Why look further?

 
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