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I'm looking for a DAC with warm sound

JulienCeyhan

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Hi everyone!

First of all, I apologize for the language mistakes. I'm French and I don't really know English. So I had my text translated.
I've just registered on this site, and I'm still new to the audiophile world.

I'm currently looking for a DAC for a budget of 300-400eu (max) but I'm lost among all the models on offer.

I have a Pro-Ject Head Box DS2 B amp and a DT 880 Black Special Edition 250ohm, and I've been using a Topping E30 ii DAC for a few weeks now, but I'm not at all satisfied. The high frequencies give me a headache, and I can't listen to my music for long. It's not pleasant to listen to and I find that the sound is not "musical". I plan to return it.

In terms of my expectations, I'm not looking for audio performance but more for "musicality. I want a warm sound with high frequencies that don't assault the eardrums.

I've spotted the Aune X8 XVIII or the Schitt Modi Multibit 2. For the former, I'm planning to change the op-amp for a Sparkos SS3602 (or another?).

What do you think? Do you have any recommendations?
Again, I'm not a hi-fi expert by any means.

Thanks in advance!

Best regards,
Julien.
 

BlackTalon

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Are you using loudspeakers or headphones?

DACs are meant to be neutral. If high (but accurate) frequencies are causing a problem for you, try addressing with adjusting toe (loudspeakers) or with hardware or software equalization. if loudspeakers, it could also have to do with the room.

A DAC that rolls off high frequencies is a 'broken' DAC.
 
D

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Try EQ. This review of the DT 880 600 Ohm shows the relevant deviations. The 250 ohm shouldn't be much different ..... at least, I wouldn't suppose so.


BTW, which DAC did you have before the Topping?

Jim
 

JSmith

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I've been using a Topping E30 ii DAC for a few weeks now, but I'm not at all satisfied. The high frequencies give me a headache, and I can't listen to my music for long. It's not pleasant to listen to and I find that the sound is not "musical".
It's nothing to do with your DAC, it measures very well and is transparent;

Oh and welcome to ASR. :)


JSmith
 
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JulienCeyhan

JulienCeyhan

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Essayez l’égaliseur. Cet examen du DT 880 600 Ohm montre les écarts pertinents. Le 250 ohm ne devrait pas être très différent ..... du moins, je ne le suppose pas.


Au fait, quel DAC aviez-vous avant le Topping ?

Jim
Merci! J’ai utilisé une carte son Audient ID4 MK2. J’étais compositeur. Ce n’était pas ce qu’il y avait de mieux pour écouter et apprécier la musique.
 

DVDdoug

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Also, there is no real agreement on what "warm" is. I used to think it's a mid-bass boost but sometimes it means slight "pleasing" distortion. (Perhaps pleasing to some listeners but most people don't want any audible distortion.) BlackTalon just implied it's high-frequency roll-off.

In reality, with electronics "sound quality" is only determined by noise, distortion, and frequency response. Usually, frequency response are better than human hearing unless an amplifier is over-driven into clipping/distortion so the only thing to worry about is noise (hum, hiss, or whine in the background).

With speakers, acoustics, and headphones you get frequency response variations (perhaps "warm" sound) and issues with reflected soundwaves.

See Audiophoolery.
 

drewdawg999

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Beyers are known to be treble cannons, and lacking in bass. Agreed that you should try some EQ to get rid of treble peaks, and try a bass boost that may or may not be effective. Your Topping DAC uses an AKM chip with Velvetsound, same as my SMSL D-6 which I'm very happy with, warm and smooth.
 

AdamG

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Merci! J’ai utilisé une carte son Audient ID4 MK2. J’étais compositeur. Ce n’était pas ce qu’il y avait de mieux pour écouter et apprécier la musique.
Translation: “THANKS! I used an Audient ID4 MK2 sound card. I was a composer. It wasn't the best way to listen to and enjoy music.”

Please use English in your future posts here. Thank you and Welcome Aboard @JulienCeyhan !
 

JSmith

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Topping DAC uses an AKM chip with Velvetsound... warm and smooth.
27d1aac6-6add-48c4-8b51-97a93300caf0_text.gif



JSmith
 

Galliardist

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Also, there is no real agreement on what "warm" is. I used to think it's a mid-bass boost but sometimes it means slight "pleasing" distortion. (Perhaps pleasing to some listeners but most people don't want any audible distortion.) BlackTalon just implied it's high-frequency roll-off.

In reality, with electronics "sound quality" is only determined by noise, distortion, and frequency response. Usually, frequency response are better than human hearing unless an amplifier is over-driven into clipping/distortion so the only thing to worry about is noise (hum, hiss, or whine in the background).

With speakers, acoustics, and headphones you get frequency response variations (perhaps "warm" sound) and issues with reflected soundwaves.

See Audiophoolery.
I've found on a number of occasions that when people say they want a "warm" sound, they actually just want what everyone else wants, that is, neutral electronics and something approaching the Harman curve added to the response at the ears (at least with over ear headphones).

So without seeing a source/streamer listed, I'd suggest starting with equalisation, and if that isn't helping, try different headphones.
I'm not looking for audio performance but more for "musicality.
This is not the best way to think of things. The musicians are supposed to be performing the music, not your system. There are three parts to any performance: the composition, the realisation/performance, and listening. Your job is the listener here, and the system is there to help you listen, not to improve the performance or the composition. When you find the setup fatiguing, that is a problem that sits on your side of the recording and the performance. It's usually caused by the transducer, not the electronics.
 

GXAlan

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If you want to “manipulate” your sound signature through hardware, I cannot say enough good things about using something like the Schiit Freya+/Freya Noval Rarely do you need to boost your DAC’s output — you just need to attenuate. So, for transparency, you have input switching and a passive volume control that is at the limits of the APx555. You can then enable a tube buffer which has a lot of harmonic distortion but not a lot of noise, which is fully user defeatable.

The subjective warmth that I get with the tube enabled is a wider phantom center which is probably a combination of phase and crosstalk which isn’t immediately noticeable with simple multitone or frequency response. Likewise, there are likely level dependent non-linearities.

Once again, the best way to season your music digitally is with SONY MUSIC CENTER for the PC. It’s free, made by a company that has proper Privacy Policies, and it enables Sony’s DSEE HX which adds a ton of harmonics and IMD, but does so with some level of research/investigation and is fully user-defeatable. The effect happens above 20 kHz but actual end-effect can be audible.


You can see what DSEE HX does in this review

1699234580390.jpeg

1699234601712.jpeg
 

nerdemoji

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my advice is: either use equalization to tone down treble peaks, or get better headphones. Your headphones are bright and have peaky treble. If I were you, I would invest in better headphones, as your DAC is transparent. A different dac will only give you: the same audio or worse, for more money.
 

Dunring

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If you replace the black pads those 880s come with using the Berydynamic dt770 silver replacement pads, I think you'll get the sound you want. They're more comfortable, but the black pads always sounded brighter. They're a separate part number, not the same as the 880/990 silver pads.
The SMSL like the M300 or DO200 have filters and colors that is combination can smooth it out, but the pad swap is much simpler.
 

Snarfie

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Hi everyone!

First of all, I apologize for the language mistakes. I'm French and I don't really know English. So I had my text translated.
I've just registered on this site, and I'm still new to the audiophile world.

I'm currently looking for a DAC for a budget of 300-400eu (max) but I'm lost among all the models on offer.

I have a Pro-Ject Head Box DS2 B amp and a DT 880 Black Special Edition 250ohm, and I've been using a Topping E30 ii DAC for a few weeks now, but I'm not at all satisfied. The high frequencies give me a headache, and I can't listen to my music for long. It's not pleasant to listen to and I find that the sound is not "musical". I plan to return it.

In terms of my expectations, I'm not looking for audio performance but more for "musicality. I want a warm sound with high frequencies that don't assault the eardrums.

I've spotted the Aune X8 XVIII or the Schitt Modi Multibit 2. For the former, I'm planning to change the op-amp for a Sparkos SS3602 (or another?).

What do you think? Do you have any recommendations?
Again, I'm not a hi-fi expert by any means.

Thanks in advance!

Best regards,
Julien.
You can try enclosed correction file from Jaako.
Also available in the Wavelet app i'm using on my android phone. https://github.com/jaakkopasanen/AutoEq/tree/master/results/oratory1990/over-ear/Beyerdynamic DT 880 Black Edition
Some peak going on between 5 an 6 khz.
Beyerdynamic DT 880 Black Edition.png
 
Last edited:
OP
JulienCeyhan

JulienCeyhan

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Merci à tous pour vos conseils !

Donc, si je comprends bien, un DAC ne doit pas apporter de coloration mais doit avoir un son transparent ? J’ai installé Peace equalizer et réglé les bandes en suivant les conseils de Amirm. Il me faut un certain temps pour m’habituer au son.
 
OP
JulienCeyhan

JulienCeyhan

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Si vous remplacez les pads noirs avec ces 880 à l’aide des pads de remplacement argentés Berydynamic dt770, je pense que vous obtiendrez le son que vous voulez. Ils sont plus confortables, mais les coussinets noirs sonnaient toujours plus brillants. Il s’agit d’un numéro de pièce distinct, différent de celui des plaquettes argentées 880/990.
Le SMSL comme le M300 ou le DO200 ont des filtres et des couleurs qui peuvent le lisser, mais le changement de pad est beaucoup plus simple.
J’ai pris les coussinets d’argent de Thomann.de et je n’entends aucune différence. Ils ont la même épaisseur et la même fermeté que les noirs, sauf qu’ils sont argentés. À quoi servent les filtres colorants SMSL ?
 

JSmith

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Merci à tous pour vos conseils !

Donc, si je comprends bien, un DAC ne doit pas apporter de coloration mais doit avoir un son transparent ? J’ai installé Peace equalizer et réglé les bandes en suivant les conseils de Amirm. Il me faut un certain temps pour m’habituer au son.
Thank you all for your advice !

So, if I understand correctly, a DAC should not provide coloring but should have a transparent sound? I installed Peace equalizer and adjusted the bands following Amirm's advice. It takes me some time to get used to the sound.
Correct.
J’ai pris les coussinets d’argent de Thomann.de et je n’entends aucune différence. Ils ont la même épaisseur et la même fermeté que les noirs, sauf qu’ils sont argentés. À quoi servent les filtres colorants SMSL ?
I took the silver pads from Thomann.de and don't hear any difference. They have the same thickness and firmness as the black ones, except they are silver. What are SMSL color filters used for?
I gather you mean the "rich, tube" etc. settings... these just add various levels and combinations of 2nd and 3rd harmonic distortion from what I recall. Please do pass your posts through translate before posting.


JSmith
 
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