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DAC: SMSL C200 vs Topping E50; Free amp??

shadow244

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Looking for a balanced stereo DAC with TOSLINK. Currently SMSL C200 (DAC+AMP), Topping E50 and SMSL DO100 (DAC-only) all similarly priced for ~$200. Looking at the review data, the C200 DAC performance seems extremely similar to the E50 or DO100 (DAC-only). Is the performance indeed equivalent? Would I be essentially getting a headphone amp for free with the C200?
Trying to look for reasons to get one of these over the other, but they're all so similar... Also considering a Modius for the US manufacturing but the review data seems a little worse, and I kind of want the screen to be able to see and verify the bitrates.

I'm planning to use the DAC between a WiiM streamer (TOS) and my speaker amp. Might end up in a desktop headphone setup for fun and experimentation.
Thanks everyone!
 

MacCali

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Looking for a balanced stereo DAC with TOSLINK. Currently SMSL C200 (DAC+AMP), Topping E50 and SMSL DO100 (DAC-only) all similarly priced for ~$200. Looking at the review data, the C200 DAC performance seems extremely similar to the E50 or DO100 (DAC-only). Is the performance indeed equivalent? Would I be essentially getting a headphone amp for free with the C200?
Trying to look for reasons to get one of these over the other, but they're all so similar... Also considering a Modius for the US manufacturing but the review data seems a little worse, and I kind of want the screen to be able to see and verify the bitrates.

I'm planning to use the DAC between a WiiM streamer (TOS) and my speaker amp. Might end up in a desktop headphone setup for fun and experimentation.
Thanks everyone!
Not sure what chips they use but you would have to buy and try as they maybe difficult as everything is sometimes implemented differently. Different op amps god knows what output stage whatever type of whiskey the creator drank that day.

If you don’t have experience just buy whichever one looks the best to you.

Guessing the DO100 is newer, but the e50 got the dac as the DO200, but the 200 got two dacs

You’ll spend all day overthinking this, I overthink everything but usually when it comes to that I’ll buy both so I could just end the pointless bs.
 

SiW

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I’m in a similar position - only need a DAC to run with my amp but the prices of the combo units look better value.

I’m currently trying a Topping EX5 but got a C200 as on offer at Amazon. Will return the one I don’t need.
 

Joffy1780

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Looking for a balanced stereo DAC with TOSLINK. Currently SMSL C200 (DAC+AMP), Topping E50 and SMSL DO100 (DAC-only) all similarly priced for ~$200. Looking at the review data, the C200 DAC performance seems extremely similar to the E50 or DO100 (DAC-only). Is the performance indeed equivalent? Would I be essentially getting a headphone amp for free with the C200?
Trying to look for reasons to get one of these over the other, but they're all so similar... Also considering a Modius for the US manufacturing but the review data seems a little worse, and I kind of want the screen to be able to see and verify the bitrates.

I'm planning to use the DAC between a WiiM streamer (TOS) and my speaker amp. Might end up in a desktop headphone setup for fun and experimentation.
Thanks everyone!
The 3 DACs will sound identical. Only real differences are that both SMSL DACs have a built in power supply, whereas the e50 doesn't, and the DO100 has XLR connectors, whereas the c200 and e50 use TRS.
The Topping has a few extra features - it will allow you to choose which outputs are used, whereas the SMSLs output through both balanced and unbalanced simultaneously. Also the e50 has auto on/off and will switch on when it gets a signal to an input. Plus the Topping decodes MQA.
I own a DO100 and it is fantastic, generally, but the remote control has to be fairly close and well aimed.
The c200 is available for an amazing price at the moment on Amazon, and does everything important just as well as the other 2, but has an excellent headphone amp as well.
I know which I would choose, but you may have different priorities.
 
OP
S

shadow244

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The 3 DACs will sound identical. Only real differences are that both SMSL DACs have a built in power supply, whereas the e50 doesn't, and the DO100 has XLR connectors, whereas the c200 and e50 use TRS.
The Topping has a few extra features - it will allow you to choose which outputs are used, whereas the SMSLs output through both balanced and unbalanced simultaneously. Also the e50 has auto on/off and will switch on when it gets a signal to an input. Plus the Topping decodes MQA.
I own a DO100 and it is fantastic, generally, but the remote control has to be fairly close and well aimed.
The c200 is available for an amazing price at the moment on Amazon, and does everything important just as well as the other 2, but has an excellent headphone amp as well.
I know which I would choose, but you may have different priorities.
Thanks! That's a lot of subtle but important things that I wasn't thinking about.
Which *would* you choose? Sounds like the c200?
I think for me it would be the auto-off of the E50 versus the "free" amp in the C200. The remote sounds really annoying and it would be across the room from me in the speaker system.
MQA, output switching, and the power supply aren't dealbreakers for me.
I think I'm leaning C200.
 

Joffy1780

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Thanks! That's a lot of subtle but important things that I wasn't thinking about.
Which *would* you choose? Sounds like the c200?
I think for me it would be the auto-off of the E50 versus the "free" amp in the C200. The remote sounds really annoying and it would be across the room from me in the speaker system.
MQA, output switching, and the power supply aren't dealbreakers for me.
I think I'm leaning C200.
No problem.
Yeah, I would choose the C200. I've got one in my Amazon basket, but I'd only be using it with headphones.....just can't quite justify another DAC at the minute. Maybe the ir sensor has been improved in the c200, as it is a more recent model.
 

Joffy1780

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Do you have an all in one or learning remote? These might work better, but I've not tried it with my Harmony remote.
 
OP
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shadow244

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I’m in a similar position - only need a DAC to run with my amp but the prices of the combo units look better value.

I’m currently trying a Topping EX5 but got a C200 as on offer at Amazon. Will return the one I don’t need.
Let me know if you hear any differences!
 
OP
S

shadow244

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Do you have an all in one or learning remote? These might work better, but I've not tried it with my Harmony remote.
I don't but could maybe use my phone. Regardless if it's a good remote or not, it would be the first thing in that system that would need to be turned on an off at all. The Wiim stays on all the time and my amp has an auto-off with no audio signal.
 
OP
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shadow244

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Does anyone know if you can bypass the amp on the C200? Like if I want to use only the DAC with my speakers can I just plug it into the back connections? Then the front connections will go through the amp circuit? Is that how it works?
 

Joffy1780

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Does anyone know if you can bypass the amp on the C200? Like if I want to use only the DAC with my speakers can I just plug it into the back connections? Then the front connections will go through the amp circuit? Is that how it works?
Yeah, you would connect your speaker amp to the XLR/RCA outputs at the back. What amp do you have?
 
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shadow244

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Yeah, you would connect your speaker amp to the XLR/RCA outputs at the back. What amp do you have?
Awesome thanks. Full setup is a Wiim Mini; Emotiva Bas-X A-100 amp; Paradigm Mini Monitor speakers (90s-2000s era)
Headphones are HD6xx with Fiio E07k portable dac/amp (planning to test the DAC in this system as well).
 

Joffy1780

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Awesome thanks. Full setup is a Wiim Mini; Emotiva Bas-X A-100 amp; Paradigm Mini Monitor speakers (90s-2000s era)
Headphones are HD6xx with Fiio E07k portable dac/amp (planning to test the DAC in this system as well).
Nice setup
So you would connect the Emotiva via the RCA outputs.
 

marekm

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Take a look at SMSL DL200

It is new and well priced. An alternative to SMSL C200.
 
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