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Long Time Lurker - SMSL SP200 + DX3 Pro Ldac (V2)

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#1
First post, long time lurker. Shout out to the man the myth the legend Amir !!

last 2 months I have bought the following Fidelio X2HR Bydernamic DT 1990 Pro and Aune X1s (Aune purchased last week) recently I have bought the SMSL SP200 amp and the topping DX3 Pro Amp to go with it. I sent back the Aune X1s as soon as i got done watching the Z review and reading Amir review on the amp itself.

My question is I hope I did not bottleneck my audio setup with my DAC choice as I rushed my purchase. I game alot more so then listening to music, 60 40 split.

I will use the DX3 RCA ouput to SMSL Amp and shall I set it to high gain max volume then have the Topping set to variable DAC mode and control the volume from my DAC?
 

Tks

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#2
Welcome Keelo :]

As for your purchase choices, I don't see how you messed up anything. Using the Topping as a pure DAC actually takes care of the potential downside it had with the upgrade (the headphone-out output impedance isn't something too great if you're using low impedance devices like many modern IEMs). So as a DAC you get all of its performance with none of the potential Frequency Response randomness that could occur using aforementioned low impedance headphones/IEMs.

Personally, I would only use high-gain on any device only if I feel I'm lacking in power for whatever reason. If I am maxing the volume, and it's still not high enough, that's when I would move to high gain. Otherwise I go fully low gain.

As for specific question about what you should do (whether to set the DAC in full out-put line-out DAC Mode so to speak) or to have it where you can change it's volume. I personally have mine set a -8.0dB (looking at performance graph that seems to be the general area where it's best performance is) and I leave it at that, leave my source (computer or whatever) at 100% volume, and then do all my volume changes with my amp (I use a 789 so we're similar from a performance perspective).

As for whether you "bottlenecked" your setup. Well, if we're purely technically speaking. Perhaps yes. But the differences at play here are not within some realm where you're going to be hearing something like that - at all -

There's a reason Amir used the DX3Pro as his daily driver until the SMSL M500 and DX7Pro released.

On a side note, I saw you talk about you listening spread between gaming and music. I really wish reviewers and generally people online would stop with this bullshit (I get triggered by this nonsense). There is no "music" audio and "gaming" audio quality suited for one device or the other. The only thing gaming devices do better than "audiophile" devices is they simply have more gaming related features like specific DSP profiles that simulate different sorts of sound profiles, like adding echo or reverb. Or they simply have their features merged (like all-in-one devices that function as a microphone input, and audio output). So all it is, is just convenience (in the same way a "gaming headphone" may be simply a headset with a microphone attached, and a volume knob on the headphone itself for convenience.

But in the end, there is no quality difference in terms of these devices when you compare them. To the contrary, many "gaming" devices skimp out on sound quality (this is much less of a problem in the modern day with performance being good for the majority of the population). So unless you're talking about factors those secondary features about "gaming" audio devices, there is no such thing as a device that is worse or better performance wise if you are seeking fidelity/transparency from the sound. Basically the question makes little sense to ask about gaming audio vs music audio (again, unless of course it's those other physical or software features I spoke about).
 

JohnYang1997

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#3
Use low gain reasonable volume (maximum that you would ever actually use) on sp200 and control volume on dx3pro. Maybe you can try getting a comfortable range with sp200 by setting -9db or -15db on dx3pro.
This way you won't sacrifice dynamic range.
 
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#4
Thanks for that detailed response it was beautiful it has made my mind at ease with said purchases.

Good audio gear will always translate into good gaming gear so I'm just after most fidelity and transperency for my money. None of That VS BS However I do have a high end sound card anyway to cover that aspect if need be

Good to finally create an account and stop being a lurker!! I know my wallet will suffer
 
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#5
What is this filter mode I have been hearing about this dac? Which one shall I set it to I hear the 3 is the defualt one and that's fine
 

Tks

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#6
What is this filter mode I have been hearing about this dac? Which one shall I set it to I hear the 3 is the defualt one and that's fine
You should be fine with virtually any of them. Though I have heard ringing using the Non-OverSampling filter on my RME (I dont know what filter number that is on the DX3Pro tbh). So basically you can stick with the default one, and it should be good. If you can't hear a difference, then at the end of the day it shouldn't really matter essentially.

Digital filters are a mystery for most folks in terms of their value, and even purpose on the consumer level seeing as how they're indistinguishable by most.
 
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#7
Great responses guys

So I'm just going to plug in the dx3 set it to variable control and set it to - 8db (I'm guessing minus 8db or just 8db?) Windows at 100% and just use amp in low gain and adjust amp as necessary.

Or go the set amp at low gain and at a level which I will never exceed (1 o clock with the dt 1990 pros if I was to guess) and use the dac to lower or increase volume staying in the region of 8db to 15db

Sounds simple and cannot wait to test this out
 

BDWoody

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#8
Digital filters are a mystery for most folks in terms of their value, and even purpose on the consumer level seeing as how they're indistinguishable by most.
Especially for those of us who don't hear into the high teens khz any longer...

The different filters typically will impact frequencies that I just don't hear any more, if I ever did.

I tried...hard...to hear differences in filters in quite a few DAC's, and so far I have lead ears in that regard.
 

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