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New headphone stack: Topping or Gustard?

RHO

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I'm looking for an upgrade from my Topping DX3pro (will move to different set).
I got to the next short list:
- Topping D30pro + A90
- Topping D30pro + A30pro
- Gustard X16 + H16

Got some just as awesome alternatives? Tell me!
I use full sized headphones (high and low impedance models) and IEMs.
Remote control is nice but no necessity. Possibility to connect external power amp or active speakers in the future is a big plus, but I could live without it.
BT LDAC is nice.
MQA: I don't care one little bit.

For the EU people:
Any good shops where I could buy these inside the EU? (from July 1st import taxes and VAT will become an issue regarding buying outside the EU)
 

aandres_gm

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I believe the D30 Pro is only available at audiophonics, can't find it anywhere else. As for the question, I believe both stacks compete in different categories. The gustard competes feature-wise with the A90 D90 imo
 
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RHO

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I believe the D30 Pro is only available at audiophonics, can't find it anywhere else. As for the question, I believe both stacks compete in different categories. The gustard competes feature-wise with the A90 D90 imo
It is in stock here.

In the meantime I'm also looking at a more budget friendly option: D50s + A50s. Would that be an upgrade in performance from the DX3pro?
I'm a little bit concerned with the performance of the H16 and A50s when using IEMs.
 

mrbungle

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Any reason you are moving to a stack from a DAC/Amp? If not, then the obligatory RME ADI-2 DAC 2 FS shoutout. Unfortunately they raised prices recently, but the unique features make it still a great buy imho. Being able to adjust treble and bass and other DSP like crossfeed from the remote is worth it. I love my Aryas, but sometimes it’s just a bit too bright on male vocals and with the RME it takes a second to more or less fix.
 
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RHO

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No, no specific reason to go from a DAC/amp to separates.
Yeah, the RME stuff is just above my psychological pain threshold I'm afraid. I do agree that they make some very nice products.

I’ve been thinking a bit more rationally these last few hours. :)
What do I want more out of this stack than what I have with the DX3pro? What am I missing?
… Actually… not much. The only real thing I want more is the possibility to drive some high-impedance, low sensitivity headphones with decent power and the opportunity to use a balanced HP connection.
I think the D50s + A50s ticks all the boxes. Would adding the P50 improve performance in any way? (it looks nice and connecting the power to both DAC and amp is more cenvenient)

Thinking about it this way, a Shiit Maxius + Modius stack looks like a reasonable option too. I use ASIO drivers for DSD playback. Will this be a problem with the Modius?
No BT and worse performance using Toslink is less nice.
Maybe this combo is better for someone that doesn’t use IEMs?
 

aandres_gm

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Have you looked at used RME stuff? The ADI-2 DAC 2 FS goes for ~700€ around here.

Edit: I'm also looking at the A90 + D30 Pro, due to the extra options an A90 offers. Hifigo.com has pretty good prices.
 
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mkawa

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i have a topping d30pro and a50s. reasonable pricing and audibly indistinguishable from more expensive options. i suspect a d50s and a50s or e30 and l30 combo would be just as ABX indistinguishable. the only reason i got the d30pro was that it's driving my genelecs so i need xlr out.
 
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RHO

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i have a topping d30pro and a50s. reasonable pricing and audibly indistinguishable from more expensive options. i suspect a d50s and a50s or e30 and l30 combo would be just as ABX indistinguishable. the only reason i got the d30pro was that it's driving my genelecs so i need xlr out.
Yeah, I think with headphones it will not make too much difference. But I'm a bit worried with IEMs. Running these headphone amps at very low volume does not always deliver as stunning performance as at half or full power. Is that audible? Not with my DX3pro. How about the A50s or the othes other options I mentioned.
XLR out ... I don't need it now. Good chance I'll need them in the future. But knowing that I like to upgrade or just get some new toys once in a while I don't think I will actually miss them this time around.
 
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RHO

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Have you looked at used RME stuff? The ADI-2 DAC 2 FS goes for ~700€ around here.

Edit: I'm also looking at the A90 + D30 Pro, due to the extra options an A90 offers. Hifigo.com has pretty good prices.
Yes, the extra options on those are very nice. That's why I was looking in that direction. But thinking some more about it, I realized that I don't need them now. So I think I rather spend less money and get something I actually use and save some budget for more headphones, IEMs and music. (I like swapping headphones/IEMs to enjoy their differences :) )
Does hifigo ship from inside Europe?
Edit: Found it.
Option 2. Priority shipping
Some areas we could provide priority shipping service, The estimated time of delivery for each country is outlined in the table below. We offer EU*/JP/US/CA/Kr priority shipping free if order value is over $100. you dont need to pay any tax and duty if we marked it is with all tax and duty paid.

America (with all tax & duty paid) , you dont need to pay any tax and duty.
United States/: 1-2 Weeks, average 10 days
Canada:2-3weeks
Chile: 10-17 days
Mexico:2-3weeks
Colombia: 11-19 days

Europe (with all tax & duty paid) , you dont need to pay any tax and duty.
1. France, Germany, United Kingdom, Italy, Spain : 1-2weeks
2. Austria, Netherlands, Hungary, Portugal, Poland Belgium, Czechia, Denmark, Greece, Ireland, Luxembourg, Slovakia, Sweden, Bulgaria, Finland, Slovenia,Latvia, Malta, Norway : 2-3weeks.
3. Croatia, Estonia, Bulgaria,Romania, Lithuania, Switzerland: 2-4weeks,average,3weeks
4. Russia: 3-5weeks,average 4weeks

Europe (do not cover tax & duty)
Ukraine/Belarus: 3-5weeks,average 4weeks
Turkey : 2-3 Weeks
 
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aandres_gm

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Yes, the extra options on those are very nice. That's why I was looking in that direction. But thinking some more about it, I realized that I don't need them now. So I think I rather spend less money and get something I actually use and save some budget for more headphones, IEMs and music. (I like swapping headphones/IEMs to enjoy their differences :) )
Does hifigo ship from inside Europe?
It comes from China, but they offer a shipping option with all taxes paid. Haven't personally tested, but I talked to a user here who has done it several times with good results.

Edit: price difference compared to a European dealer is around 100€ for the A90 + D30 Pro stack. You do win European warranty and arguably easier returns, but the price increase is significant.
 
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RHO

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It comes from China, but they offer a shipping option with all taxes paid. Haven't personally tested, but I talked to a user here who has done it several times with good results.

Edit: price difference compared to a European dealer is around 100€ for the A90 + D30 Pro stack. You do win European warranty and arguably easier returns, but the price increase is significant.
Compared to the Dutch dealer I linked to in a previous post the prices at Hifigo aren't too bad at all. But I can't get the shipping cost calculator to work.
If you can share some links to shops with better prices, that would be much appreciated. ;)
 

dario.epic

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Keep in mind that the D30 Pro has a huge fault with spdif/coax if you plan to connect it to a cd player, as we're discussing in the official review of the dac. If you plan to use it with a pc or a console you'll be fine.
 
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RHO

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Keep in mind that the D30 Pro has a huge fault with spdif/coax if you plan to connect it to a cd player, as we're discussing in the official review of the dac. If you plan to use it with a pc or a console you'll be fine.
Thanks for the warning. I do have cd-player connected via toslink to my DX3pro. I would like to keep that option with the new stack.
 

liu

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If you are close to $1000 price tag,
Just get an RME ADI-2 DAC. Once you have one you would never look into other options.
If you live in EU, why not just buy local. rme-shop.com has very good deal.
For RME, customer support in EU is also more convenient than rest of the world.

Reason to avoid your listed product: see here and here.
 
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aandres_gm

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Compared to the Dutch dealer I linked to in a previous post the prices at Hifigo aren't too bad at all. But I can't get the shipping cost calculator to work.
If you can share some links to shops with better prices, that would be much appreciated. ;)
Hifigo is also the best price I found. For orders over $500, the shipping (including taxes) is free
 
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mkawa

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these all sound the same (transparent), so choose on features, form factor, etc.
 
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RHO

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Yeah, looking at what features and power I need, I guess the Gustard stack or A90/A30pro are a bit much.
I'd rather limit the budget here and get what I need and leave something extra for an extra set of IEMs or/and headphones.

A50s + D50s (+P50?) looks like a nice combo. It does what I need, looks nice, performs well and leaves quite a bit extra for things I can put in/over my ears. :)
Now I need to find alternatives to that stack to compare to and maybe find something better (performance/aesthetics/functions/...) in the same price-range.
I do like the DX3pro a lot. So it's clear I don't need much more. But a small upgrade is always welcome. :)
 
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RHO

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Plan: I could use the DX3pro to test the performance of the A50s. When I set the DX3pro to DAC mode and connect the A50s to it that should yield the same result as using the D50s as a DAC. If I don't like the A50s, it is easy to sell. If I do like the A50s, I can still get the D50s when the DX3pro moves to the other set.
Only issue with this plan: My DX3pro doesn't do what the manual says it should do. I don't know how to switch it to DAC mode.
This is what the manual says:
Manual_output_settings.PNG

The first option: seems to work as indicated. Headphone indicator is on. Headphone amp works. But I have no way to check if the RCA out is on or off.
Second option: I have no idea how to get to this setting. I can get the headphone indicator on AND the DAC indicator on. Is this what is meant here?
Third option (pure DAC functionality): I have no idea how to get to this setting.
Fourth option (pre-amplifier): I can get the DAC indicator on (HP indicator off). HP amp switches of and the volume control seems to work. But again, I can't check it.
 
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