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New Sabaj a10h a Worthy Topping L30 Competitor?

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#61
I just bought the Sabaj, connected to a 10th mkii sanskrit. I have a couple of akg k371s and a couple of k702s. What is your listening volume? It seems to me that I have to raise it a little too much. For example the k702 I cannot listen to them in 0db gain. There is a problem? Also in the k371, which are very sensitive headphones, I have the volume set to -35db in 0db gain.
 

solderdude

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#62
Most likely you are using either digital volume control or EQ with negative pre-amp gain.
It is not a problem to use high gain if you need it. That's what the gain option is for.
 
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#63
Most likely you are using either digital volume control or EQ with negative pre-amp gain.
It is not a problem to use high gain if you need it. That's what the gain option is for.
Thanks for the reply. I set the Windows volume to 100%, that of the dac the same. I had an ibasso dc03 that with the k371 I kept at 30%, so I thought that with the sabaj there would be an explosion of volume, but it is not so and here is the question. I go a little out of OT: do I have to enable audio enhancements on Windows for the Dac or do I remove the tick?
 
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GGroch

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Thread Starter #64
Thomas, I have some K371s so I can crosscheck on mine. What DAC are you using? (add...I see, sanskrit)
My pre-check impression is the same as soldierdude, I think things are normal, but I will check.
 
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#65
Thomas, I have some K371s so I can crosscheck on mine. What DAC are you using? (add...I see, sanskrit)
My pre-check impression is the same as soldierdude, I think things are normal, but I will check.
I have a Smsl sanskrit 10th mkii. I also tried the whole thing with the optical output of the TV to play with the Xbox. To get a high volume level with the akg k702 I have to put high gain and -15db. At this point I begin to think that the headphones are broken or the sabaj is too little.
 

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#66
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Thread Starter #67
According to SMSL and confirmed by Amir's tests the Sanskrit 10th MKII has a max output of 2.2Vrms.

I connected my Lavaudio DS600 v1.1 (max 2Vrms I think as per Amir's test) and with Windows 100% (no effects) and Spotify 100%, -35dB and H1 gain (0dB) the K371 volume was louder than I ever play them, but not distorting/straining. I am old and probably played at -35dB when younger. -40-45 is about max for me now.

Substituting my E1DA 9038D DAC (set to -.5dB = max output of 2.66 Vrms), a10h again at -35dB H1, the K371s were incredibly loud. At -35dB I could not tolerate them for more than a second. -50-5dB would be plenty for me. So, like solderdude, I am pretty sure nothing is broken. The AKG 700 series is pretty hard to drive, and 15dB additional potential gain is a lot.

BUT, see solderdude's previous post #2 in this thread. I have seen no measurements, but it is speculated that the a10h, like the Topping L30 will not reach near its full rated output using a DAC with 2Vrms max. In use, including use with 600 ohm DT990s/880s, I never found this an issue with either amp. Topping has defended their 9+ max gain by saying that owners can be certain that they will never overdrive the amp even at 0dB Highest Gain.

Others may disagree that this was the right choice.
 
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#68
According to SMSL and confirmed by Amir's tests the Sanskrit 10th MKII has a max output of 2.2Vrms.

I connected my Lavaudio DS600 v1.1 (max 2Vrms I think as per Amir's test) and with Windows 100% (no effects) and Spotify 100%, -35dB and H1 gain (0dB) the K371 volume was louder than I ever play them, but not distorting/straining. I am old and probably played at -35dB when younger. -40-45 is about max for me now.

Substituting my E1DA 9038D DAC (set to -.5dB = max output of 2.66 Vrms), a10h again at -35dB H1, the K371s were incredibly loud. At -35dB I could not tolerate them for more than a second. -50-5dB would be plenty for me. So, like solderdude, I am pretty sure nothing is broken. The AKG 700 series is pretty hard to drive, and 15dB additional potential gain is a lot.

BUT, see solderdude's previous post #2 in this thread. I have seen no measurements, but it is speculated that the a10h, like the Topping L30 will not reach near its full rated output using a DAC with 2Vrms max. In use, including use with 600 ohm DT990s/880s, I never found this an issue with either amp. Topping has defended their 9+ max gain by saying that owners can be certain that they will never overdrive the amp even at 0dB Highest Gain.

Others may disagree that this was the right choice.
I tried to emulate more or less the same conditions as you. Here we are. With Apple music at 100% and Windows volume at 100% I have an average listening at -45db and a high volume at -35db although not painful. Could it be that I find the akg k702s too sterile and this results in a feeling of low volume?
 

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#69
The K702 are too anemic and too sharp up top compared to K371.

The K371 is 13dB louder (more than twice as loud) than K702 at the same vol control level. All seems fine at your end.
K371 sounds fine/balanced without EQ. The K702 does not.
 

keebz28

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#70
I listen to my Fostex T50rp at an average of -40db due to the 50 ohm impedance of those drivers. Volume is set at max coming out of the Topping E30 . Comparatively my 32ohm mod headphones only require -65db to be comfortable listening. Just adding a comprison.
 
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#71
Subjective Follow Up after initial use/listening.

3. I does not seem to get as hot as the L30. I do not know whether that is a good or bad thing. Just an observation.
This amp is class D which explains the lesser heat. But I wonder how it sounds compared with L30 ? They say class A is best in general.
 
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Thread Starter #72
This amp is class D which explains the lesser heat. But I wonder how it sounds compared with L30 ? They say class A is best in general.
I think you are mistaken on that. I understand that the a10h and L30 have almost identical amplifier circuitry. Though I no longer own it, I have not noticed any difference in sound between the two.
 
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#73
This amp is class D which explains the lesser heat. But I wonder how it sounds compared with L30 ? They say class A is best in general.
Class A is best in general, maybe that was true during the last century. But things have evolved.
Now there are very good (performance wise) class D based amplifiers, like those that use Purifi or Ncore modules, just to mention a few of them.
And as you guess, less heat is because class D amplifiers have a notably better efficiency than those using class A or even AB.
 

KoMer

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#74
Hi everyone, I'm new here :). Will Sabaj A10h be enough to power Sundara? And would it be like medium gain 5 o'clock or high gain 2 o'clock? And be good combo with E30? Or should i go with A50s balanced? I bought Sundara one week ago and I'm loving them. My setup would be E30 (worth going with D50s?) with USB to PC and optical from LG B9. I will used it for movies (plex), cable tv, music (tidal PC), youtube (on TV and PC) and gaming. I was going to buy Sonos ARC but because i live in a flat and my girlfriend won't let me enjoy Atmos on good volume level (I know i'm doomed :( ) I decided to buy good headphones. Currently I plugged Sundaras to TV for plex, youtube and even PC (sound from nvidia hdmi) and most of the time they sound loud enough at 90% volume on TV (with more there is distortion). Only few movies where too quiet. When i plug them to Asus B550 MB they can be louder. I need a dac to switch inputs with remote without unplugging headphones from TV and plugging to PC, and because I'm sitting 2.5m away I need to control volume with remote. With Sabaj i can set E30 in dac mode and have full volume control with its remote. With A50s I would have to set max fix volume on amp and offset volume with E30 remote. That's why i think i would prefer Sabaj, but i don't know will it be good enough for Sundara. There are so many different opinions how much watts Sundara needs to sound good (some say1-2 watts per channel for good bass) and what I have read here is that A10h with dac @ 2vrms won't do 1W at 32 ohm. So I'm confused. I would buy A10h and test it myself but i can only buy it on amazon on wait 3 weeks when A50s i can buy i my country in retail store and have it tomorrow. A50s would cost me only about 50 dollars more in my currency because i can offset it with VAT. I'm newbie so I would really need some suggestions. Thank you and sorry for my English. Cheers!
 

solderdude

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#75
Sabaj does 1W @ 32 ohm peak in hi gain mode from E30.

Given that you obviously don't play very loud and it can reach 119dB peak SPL you will find it has enough power.
It will go louder than the A50S with E30.
 

KoMer

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#76
It will go louder than the A50S with E30.
I still need to buy good cable for Sundara so with A50s I could go balance and its 2W at 32 ohm? My question is do I need that much power? Is there any difference in normal volume levels or when I need to make it louder for some movies? Is bass gonna be better? Or more watts are just a headroom for going insane loud because at reasonable volume level headphones need only for example 400mV?
 

solderdude

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#77
My question is do I need that much power?
No.

more watts are just a headroom for going insane loud because at reasonable volume level headphones need only for example 400mV?
Correct. When you are going to use EQ to boost frequencies then you don't need a lot of power but more gain.

It is pointless to have 10W as headroom when in practice you will never exceed 0.5W.
However, should you one day buy a much more insensitive headphone and want to play that loud it is handy if your amp can reach those levels.
For those circumstances powerful amps exist.
 

KoMer

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#78
Thank you for your answers. I think i will go with A10h, if it's good quality, neutral, has planty of headroom for Sundara, full volume control with remote and cheaper than is no-brainer. And what dac should i go with it? For stack purposes and the same remote A10d would be great but the price is too high and i don't need Bluetooth. For me is twice the price of E30 (because of VAT) and even D50s is about 40 dollars cheaper in my case. So is there any real benefit i sound, bass, soundstage between E30 and D50s? Or even A10d for that matter?
Edit.
Forgot to ask about cable. My cable is going to be 3.5m long, so with this length is SE be okey? Or is better to go balance?
 
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#79
No.



Correct. When you are going to use EQ to boost frequencies then you don't need a lot of power but more gain.

It is pointless to have 10W as headroom when in practice you will never exceed 0.5W.
However, should you one day buy a much more insensitive headphone and want to play that loud it is handy if your amp can reach those levels.
For those circumstances powerful amps exist.
Since you are very competent I have a question that I cannot answer: does the high gain mode introduce distortion? And in case is it better a high volume in medium gain or medium volume in high gain?
 

solderdude

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#80
All modes produce distortion. In all cases it is below audible limits.
When looking at numbers only then a higher input level in lower gain shows less distortion than lower level with higher gain.
In practice it's all about audibility levels.
 
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