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Loxjie A30 vs SMSL DA-9 ?

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#1
Hi,
I'm pretty new to passive speakers but wanted to give it a try as my rokit 6's had terrible hiss and trafo humm. (no, it was not a ground loop)

Speakers: I wanna get similarily big speakers with a deep low end, up to 450€ per pair, no subwoofer
In the selection are currently Nubox 313, QA 3020i/3030i, Wharfedale Diamond D320, and *maybe* teufel ultima 20 (though this probably has a terrible low end)

Other Hardware: Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 2G + ART DTI Dual Transformer/Isolater

Room: the left one will be with it's edge against the wall and 35 cm away from the corner. right speaker will only be 35 cm away from the wall with 2 screens in between.
Listening distance is under 1 meter.

All the reviews got me super excited for the loxjie a30, i'm excited about having the option to use optical from mobo instead of my focusrite usb soundcard because of rare driver shennigans
But after all i've read about amplifiers in the last weeks, it seems to me that such an amp is quickly really undersized.
Now i also found the SMSL DA-9, which uses two of the amp chips that the loxjie uses. There are barely any reviews of that online but it looks promising..
With the loxjie at 4 ohms and 100 dba i'd be running at 20 watts, with the distortion starting to rapidly rise at 40 watts.
The DA-9 seems to get distorted at 50 watts... maybe the graphic is for 8 ohms? Certainly it would have quite a bit more room to "breathe"
Now i have no clue how this "airy" sound works or if it will be even a problem with those speakers i selected.
I guess the QA 3020i and 3030i would be a bit hard to drive, i assume the "airyness" gets lost when the amp tries to deliver peaks of over 40 watts? or is it just about the rms?
I calculated the volume at my listening position and even at 6 ohms, 20 watts i would get 100 DBa - but no clue if that's even loud enough.

Hope you can help me tidy up my thoughts
Thank you
 

milan616

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#2
https://www.crownaudio.com/en/tools/calculators

I put in the sensitivity of the 3030i and a distance of 1 meter, with 85 dB SPL (fairly loud) and very generous headroom of 15 dB (extremely loud peaks, but helpful if you listen to quieter stuff like classical or anything with a lot of dynamic range) and got 16 watts. That leaves you with plenty of power at 6 ohms on the A30. If you plan on ever listening at much larger distances the DA-9 will give you a bit more headroom, but neither will let you host a loud party past a few meters as the power requirements go up drastically. Then again none of these speakers are meant to go loud over a party anyway.
 
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Thread Starter #3
from the graphics i've seen i think 100 db is the minimum i want.
how much headroom would i need there? when i enter 115 db, it tells me to get an amp with 2000 watts :/
 

milan616

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#4
Are you sure you want 100 dB all day every day? Most of the forum members here listen 75-85 dB max for critical listening, home theaters calibrate for 85 dB average (105 peaks) at reference loudness levels. If you do want 100 dB for average listening you're going to need much more efficient speakers and to spend much more money on an amp.
 
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Thread Starter #5
when i turn up the music for 5-10 minutes, maybe once per day or sometimes once per week it shouldn't sound bad...
of course that's not how i'm always listening as i have neighbours above and below me
the rokit's got so loud that i never turned their volume knobs above a third or so
.... considering that ... no idea ... their amp is rated for 73 watts, but my soundcard outputs some serious levels at max volume i think
can i assume that my old speakers never exceeded 35 watts when i always ran them at a third of their alledged volume?
 
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milan616

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#6
Power used is exponential (as you saw with the 2000W calculation!). You very likely never got above 15 watts. Try getting an SPL meter app for your phone so you can see how loud you listen to things right now, you might be surprised at how loud, or not as the case may be, it is.
 

Helicopter

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#7
My Loxjie A30 has enough power to rock my 50m^2 / 540ft^2 room with Focal Aria 948s. It is really impressive. I don't think I have ever maxed it out. -25dB is super loud, and must be just a few watts. Inefficient speakers may need more juice, but most speakers and rooms will be fine.
 
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Thread Starter #8
I couldn't wait for the loxjie anymore so i ordered the DA-9 which arrived today.
SOUND:
I compared it to my 20 year old 5.1 theatre amp and DAMN... it sounds ridiculously CLEAN.
The difference is so noticeable that i could tell even though switching speaker cables takes 1-2 minutes every time.
I only play (well mastered?) electronic music, so this is not a huge issue... But listening to old songs, for example Linkin Park, showed that these (class d?) amps are too analytic for "last gen" recordings.
It even almost became appearant with songs from "oh wonder", at least the vocals.
But maybe I was biased because some amazon review stated that this amp was too sterile on the vocals.
I guess you could say that this old (class ab i guess?) amp sounds "warm", but seriously... it's just muddy (!) compared to the DA-9...
Typical double-bladed sword, but i guess I find this little digital amp better. To be honest: I was really having a blast.
LOUDNESS / NOISE:
I'll wait (at least the 30 days refund period) to test the loxjie A30 to see if the hiss is even better there, but i guess it's already fine... The actual issue is my focusrite 2i2 dac, so the optical connection on the Loxjie would probably be even better.
The volume goes up to 70, which starts to hiss at 61+ or so, but even running it at "37" on 4 ohms speakers at a distance of ~3 meters already filled the living room with unconfortably loud sound (while hissing already disappearing between a distance of 20-25 cm - so no problem just controlling the volume on the computer)
EDIT: Actually in the dead silence of the night, if i concentrate, i can still hear the hiss from 1-2 meters away if the speaker is pointed right at my ear... but it's still a million times better than my rokit's.. and at least there's a mute button to fix it..

TLDR - MY QUESTION:
Since the sound is really clean and analytic, i need to find some nice warm sounding speakers to go with it, as clean sounding speakers with such a clean amp is probably too much.
I was always having an eye on the wharfedale (denton anniversary or diamond) speakers, but alledgedly they all sound really clean, so probably not a good match.
The first pair of speakers I'll be test-hearing are the Nubox 383, but I'd be happy about speaker suggestions around 350-500€ (max 600 if they are a real "killer" value).... Dynaudio Emir M10 (570€) ?
Am i actually right about having to find speakers that are rather "warm sounding"?
(EDM and Indie Pop)
 
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RikB

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#9
I couldn't wait for the loxjie anymore so i ordered the DA-9 which arrived today.
SOUND:
I compared it to my 20 year old 5.1 theatre amp and DAMN... it sounds ridiculously CLEAN.
The difference is so noticeable that i could tell even though switching speaker cables takes 1-2 minutes every time.
I only play (well mastered?) electronic music, so this is not a huge issue... But listening to old songs, for example Linkin Park, showed that these (class d?) amps are too analytic for "last gen" recordings.
It even almost became appearant with songs from "oh wonder", at least the vocals.
But maybe I was biased because some amazon review stated that this amp was too sterile on the vocals.
I guess you could say that this old (class ab i guess?) amp sounds "warm", but seriously... it's just muddy (!) compared to the DA-9...
Typical double-bladed sword, but i guess I find this little digital amp better. To be honest: I was really having a blast.
LOUDNESS / NOISE:
I'll wait (at least the 30 days refund period) to test the loxjie A30 to see if the hiss is even better there, but i guess it's already fine... The actual issue is my focusrite 2i2 dac, so the optical connection on the Loxjie would probably be even better.
The volume goes up to 70, which starts to hiss at 61+ or so, but even running it at "37" on 4 ohms speakers at a distance of ~3 meters already filled the living room with unconfortably loud sound (while hissing already disappearing between a distance of 20-25 cm - so no problem just controlling the volume on the computer)

TLDR - MY QUESTION:
Since the sound is really clean and analytic, i need to find some nice warm sounding speakers to go with it, as clean sounding speakers with such a clean amp is probably too much.
I was always having an eye on the wharfedale (denton anniversary or diamond) speakers, but alledgedly they all sound really clean, so probably not a good match.
The first pair of speakers I'll be test-hearing are the Nubox 383, but I'd be happy about speaker suggestions around 350-500€ (max 600 if they are a real "killer" value).... Dynaudio Emir M10 (570€) ?
Am i actually right about having to find speakers that are rather "warm sounding"?
(EDM and Indie Pop)
What speakers are you using at the moment? Maybe try eq first, cheaper than new speakers...
 
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Thread Starter #10
i was looking for nice speakers for my desk, i just used the speakers in my living room to test the amp (they are awful anyway)
 
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jokan

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#11
Hi, I'm a DA-9 earlyish adopter and have posted at length about it's performance and I am no expert on your amplifier.

May I enquire as to your source as in do you use a DAC? And if so which one? The reason I ask is a simple analogy.
Your speakers are the voice or instrument, an amplifier is a relatively dumb device in that it only has one task which is to Amplify the input signal. Speakers are obviously going to make a huge difference because they are what is actually making the sound.
A DAC or whatever method of single ended input you are using will make a huge difference to what the amplifier produces and amplifies.

Separate note, 100db of music power will cause permanent hearing loss. That's a ridiculous SPL for constant listening. Most of us use 3-5 watts of music power when listening to music at a moderate volume, maybe 10 watts of music power (dynamic power) when we really crank things up. Now our ears are sensitive more to the human vocal range than say Bass, so you can easily have more bass and hence more decibels of output with a subwoofer. Modern speakers are rated without an actual official standard, so decibel ratings are a little bit of a guide, but since most of the companies have an unofficial agreement to publish ratings based at 1 watt per metre with a sine wave signal of 1khz, it's just a guide. Most speakers using the current unofficially agreed upon standard rarely reach above 90db/watt/metre. Most are in the mid to low 80's. Klipsch is probably one of the exceptions with their horn tweeters. A quiet home is 35-40 decibels. So why do we need or want more power? It's similar to Horsepower VS Torque in a car. A high torque car will push you way back into your seat, think Tesla's with instant torque and a lot of it. Horsepower will give you top speed assuming similar weight/size. It's about having instantaneous power on tap in reserve for transients. That's why the higher end, or ultra high end amplifier spend most of their money on huge power arrays for their amps.

Speakers can only play what the amplifier feeds it, so if they are of sufficient quality, and not so old that they have started to literally start to fail (crossover parts on the majority of consumer speakers have a built-in countdown timer as a consequence of costs saving, they use electrolytic capacitors instead of film capacitors which last longer and have a higher tolerance of variation than any electrolytic capacitor).

Long winded, but the point is that the answer is all of the above of what you've stated and others have stated is important.
I used analogies in the hopes that it might be a little bit easier to understand what steps to take.
A 20 year old amplifier is a totally different design from modern amplifiers that are Class-D. They have capacitors. One of the worlds most famous higher quality electrolytic capacitors state that all of their electrolytics have a lifespan of 10 years since the date of production. They break-down chemically over time.

I hope you continue to enjoy your amplifier and whatever music you are listening to!
 
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Thread Starter #12
May I enquire as to your source as in do you use a DAC? And if so which one?
I was testing on an old Laptop connected to a focusrite 2i2, connected to an "ART DTI" isolator, everything balanced.

So why do we need or want more power? It's similar to Horsepower VS Torque in a car. [...]. It's about having instantaneous power on tap in reserve for transients. That's why the higher end, or ultra high end amplifier spend most of their money on huge power arrays for their amps.
Yeah i think even the loxjie would provide sufficient volume levels while still sounding clean on a desk as it should still have at least 30-40% headroom. i guess this headroom is what you referred to as torque.

How is the hissing on your DA-9? i've heard people reapplying thermal paste and it disappeared completely? But i don't want to do that yet as long as i could still return it...
I'm often using it at night when it's really quiet, so anything i can notice is already too much.
 
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Thread Starter #13
the loxjie arrived a few days ago and i had the chance to intensively compare those two, here are my impressions:

i think the da-9 sounds a bit better in my setup compared to the loxjie a30 via optical or even when attached to the same dac via unbalanced analog input.. after all the dac in the loxjie seems pretty solid.
the loxjie seems to have a bit more "warmth?" by which i mean higher output volume in the lower mids.
the da-9 on the other hand sounds pretty analytical with more "air" or "definition" as if it has more reverb.

the loxjie might have like 5-10% less speaker hiss (absolutely unnoticeable), and the device itself is also very quiet so you can put it on your desk (this was unthinkable of with the da-9)
(edited) my focusrite usb interface seems to have a decent amount of hiss, so it overtakes the amp hiss at a volume of 31 (of 70), but this is still plenty.

i really wish it was the other way around as the loxjie via optical has much less issues with skype echo cancellation than my focusrite soundcard.
 
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OP
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Thread Starter #15
yeah but either i'm really bad at it or equalizers always degrade sound quality.
i tried the integrated aimp4 eq and a vst plugin called TDR Nova via dsp->vst bridge
 

HorizonsEdge

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#16
How is the hissing on your DA-9?
I am using the Sabaj A20a which uses the same 2 chip board as the DA9. Even made in the same factory. I get no hiss at max volume. I get no pop when turning it on (some got that on the DA9). It is impossible to say which is a better implementation but random user (me) has had zero issues and exceeded expectations.
 
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Thread Starter #17
w
I am using the Sabaj A20a which uses the same 2 chip board as the DA9. Even made in the same factory. I get no hiss at max volume. I get no pop when turning it on (some got that on the DA9). It is impossible to say which is a better implementation but random user (me) has had zero issues and exceeded expectations.
wow this is crazy... are you running it with analogous inputs? when i turn the da-9 beyond 60 the hiss gets so loud that you'd even hear it vom 20 meters away

i can turn up the loxjie to max too, but only on optical in

(yes my soundcard has some slight hiss too, but the beyond-60 hiss is definitely caused by the amp)

i'm not getting pop sounds when turning it on either, but sometimes i had my loxjie do really weird sounds after i switched my speakers to it and turning it on without remote... might not happen in normal usage though.
 
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daftcombo

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#18
the loxjie might have like 5-10% less speaker hiss (absolutely unnoticeable), and the device itself is also very quiet so you can put it on your desk (this was unthinkable of with the da-9)
Very valuable info for me, thank you.
 

HorizonsEdge

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#19
w

wow this is crazy... are you running it with analogous inputs? when i turn the da-9 beyond 60 the hiss gets so loud that you'd even hear it vom 20 meters away

i can turn up the loxjie to max too, but only on optical in

(yes my soundcard has some slight hiss too, but there's no ground-loop going on as i have this isolator against that^^)

i'm not getting pop sounds when turning it on either, but sometimes i had my loxjie do really weird sounds after i switched my speakers to it and turning it on without remote... might not happen in normal usage though.
My setup is PC->Topping D30 via toslink->A20a
Since I have no idea what "analagous inputs" are and a google search was unsatisfying I must assume I am not.
I can also say that I had no hiss when I previously used other amps; yamaha r-s202, nad 3020v2 and aiyima a07 was my progression. The Yamaha was too big. The NAD ran far too hot. The Aiyima was solid. The A20a is far better.

Side note: since I use my PC as my only source I run the Peace UI on top of Equalizer APO with all other APO's disabled and apparently get a very satisfactory signal. The EQ for my Q150's is very minor but very noticeable. I made a half dozen profiles until I made one that made me happy. Switching profiles is just a click.
 
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