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PC Audio help

Mawashi

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Hi guys,

Thank you for all your valuable insights and I hope to learn as much as I can.

I'm somewhat lost as to what to get for my pc audio setup. Space and funds are a constraint and I'll prefer it if the setup could be stacked and not take up too much space.
It's mostly for gaming and listening to music using the headphones
For movies I'll want the setup to power my pair of desktop Q3020i speakers and a passive sub if possible.

The DAC which I've nailed down is the Topping DX3 Pro +.
For the AMP I have no real clue, should I get a D an A or a tube, my budget is around $300-400 for the amp

D Class Amps
Fosi V3
Topping PA5 II
Rogersound labs ia255

A Class Amps n solid state with tubes
Douk Audio HiFi Pure Class A Power Amplifier Home Stereo Single-ended Amp 15W×2 (Seems to be out of stock at Aliexpress where it is much cheaper for me here in Singapore)
Douk Audio HiFi Valve Tube Amplifier Bluetooth 5.0 Stereo Receiver COAX/OPT Integrated Amp Audio Processor USB Music Player
Dayton Audio HTA200 Integrated Stereo Hybrid Hi-Fi Vacuum Tube Class A/B Amplifier 200 Watts RMS with Subwoofer Output, Headphone Output, Bluetooth 5.0, with Record Player Phono Preamp and USB DAC
Dayton Audio HTA100 Integrated Stereo Hybrid Hi-Fi Vacuum Tube Class A/B Amplifier 100 Watts RMS with Subwoofer Output, Headphone Output, Bluetooth 5.0, with Record Player Phono Preamp and USB DAC
Douk Audio X1 HiFi GE5654 Vacuum Tube Amplifier Bluetooth 5.0 Receiver MM Phono Amp for Home Turntables Power Amp APTX-HD 160W*2
Nobsound MS-10D MKIII HiFi Bluetooth Hybrid Tube Power Amplifier Stereo Subwoofer Amp USB/Opt/Coax

I'm leaning towards the Dayton Audio HTA100 which seems to have a switch for 110v and 220v for here in Singapore and that's great as I don't have to buy a power converter, the Douk Audio HiFi Valve Tube Amplifier Bluetooth 5.0 Stereo Receiver COAX/OPT Integrated Amp Audio Processor USB Music Player and the Nobsound MS-10D MKIII HiFi Bluetooth Hybrid Tube Power Amplifier Stereo Subwoofer Amp USB/Opt/Coax

Many thanks again for any help and advice.

Mawashi
 

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AnalogSteph

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For the AMP I have no real clue, should I get a D an A or a tube, my budget is around $300-400 for the amp
Go for plain Class D. Certainly not Class A, and no vacuum bulbs as shango066 likes to call them. Given the climate in Singapore, every watt of idle power dissipation saved is likely to be a good thing.

If the amp ships with a switch-mode power brick, those generally have a wide-range input (100-240 V typical). That seems to be the case for the Fosi and Topping models, for example.
 
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Mawashi

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Hi AnaloguSteph,

Many sincere thanks. I kidda guessed that the in my climate less heat is best I don't need a table heater lol.

Since, it's mostly just for a pair of tabletop speakers and perhaps a subwoofer so I may not need such fidelity.

That's makes the choice easier so it's likely one of the D's like the ia255 or the PA5 II

I'm curious about how bad the Chinese tube amps are as some get quite decent reviews, albeit reviews from non audiophiles. For about $200-300 are they really all that bad in terms of sound outputs?

Many thanks,

Mawashi
 
D

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I'm curious about how bad the Chinese tube amps are as some get quite decent reviews

Welcome to ASR! :)

1) Reviews are just opinions. Reviews without tests and measurements are pretty much worthless.
2) There are characteristics that reviews (and even tests, sometimes*) do not show. One of them is reliability. I, for one, desire reliability. If you cannot get a good idea of the reliability of an item, then I would proceed with caution. This goes for all products, from all over the globe, not just China.
3) Tube amps can be high-maintenance.
4) Tube amps can be inaccurate, or non-neutral. This may sound inviting at first. A year later, it may be annoying, and you may search for another amp.

Jim

* some tests are perfunctory, and do not go into depth.
 
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Mawashi

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Hi Jim,

I hear you and yes reliability and consistency is important. The tube amps might be fun initially but could be a pain to maintain.
Of the D class lot, the ia255 and V3 are the most inexpensive and I'm leaning towards the ia255 the Pa5 II is much more expensive but I'm not sure how much better it is vs the ia255.

Cheers,

Dillon
 
D

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I hate to make recommendations. That being said, I would take the Fosi V3 with the 48V power supply, mostly because you introduced the idea of a passive sub. You will benefit from some increase in power for that.

As for the Topping, Amir had this to say:
" ... this is a new amplifier and may have issues. In my testing, I pushed the unit very hard many times into clipping and shut down. A power cycle got it back working again. Heat was spread across the whole case which shows attention to that front. Still, large scale production may show issues that did not occur to my samples. So if you are risk averse, you may want to wait a bit or buy from a supplier that accepts easy returns."

At these prices, I think you could flip a coin and be OK. :)

Jim
 
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Mawashi

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Hi Jim,

Much appreciate your feedback and I certainly understand the issues of making recommendations lol.

So am I correct to assume that the V3 is suitable for the passive sub and the ia255 ok for passive subs and might sound better than the v3?

Great advice Jim, many thanks.

Dillon
 
D

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Personally, I wouldn't use the RSL amp on a passive sub, nor would I use the Fosi with only the 32V power supply. I like an amp with a little "oomph" if it's going to drive two speakers as well as a passive sub. That's why I mentioned the Fosi with the 48V supply.



Jim
 
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Mawashi

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Heya Jim,

Cool that seems to be the key to getting things to work out nicely lol.

But if I was to use the RSL for active subs will that be ok? It's just that the reviews of the ia255 seem to suggest it sounds better than the V3 but I'm nick picking here for a $100 amp lol.

Cheers Jim!
 
D

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But if I was to use the RSL for active subs will that be ok?

I would think so.

It's just that the reviews of the ia255 seem to suggest it sounds better than the V3

As far as audio equipment goes, if an electronic device is designed correctly, you will not be able to distinguish its sound from another electronic device that is also designed correctly. It should be neutral (also called "accurate") at any level above the threshold of human hearing.

If you have two electronic devices, and they actually sound different, you have one of the following situations:
1) One of the devices is neutral (or accurate) and the other is not.
2) One was used beyond its power envelope.
3) Both of the devices are not neutral.
4) The listener was subject to confirmation bias. (Confirmation bias very powerful, and impossible to control. That's why the only comparisons that are meaningful are based on double-blind tests, which are scientifically constructed and rigorously controlled to eliminate bias to the greatest degree possible.)

As far as "reviews" saying this or that, please remember what I said in my post above:
Reviews without tests and measurements are pretty much worthless.

My personal opinion is that I won't consider any electronic component for which I cannot find reliable third-party tests and measurements. I don't care whether it costs two hundred dollars or two thousand dollars. YMMV.

Jim
 
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Mawashi

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Hey Jim,

What you just said is something that is pretty rare, most of us regular folks decide what sounds good based on how it makes us feel.. subjective and rather pointless. Yet that emotional attachment is almost always the key for the purposes of buying something, if both sound exactly the same, the one that makes us feel it is better somehow will be chosen be it due to packaging or marketing or whatever takes our fancy.

One of the reasons I choose to post here was there are tons of audio forums out there but few actually show and data, the tests done by amirm and others on the forum was mind blowing, did I understand one single thing, heck no yet, the math and graphs were mesmerizing lol. If I could somehow translate all that alien code I'm sure I eventually learn an new language so I'm sticking around and will try not to sound like a baby lol!

My pc thanks you for shifting the blame for any lousy sound to the dac n amp... perhaps rofl.
 
D

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most of [us] regular folks decide what sounds good based on how it makes us feel.. subjective and rather pointless.

Yes, I realize that. This reminds me of a scene from Star Trek, which I must paraphrase due to the passage of time:

Scotty: "You damn Vulcans have no emotions!"
Spock: "That is incorrect, Doctor. Vulcans do have emotions. We have simply learned to control them."

If I could somehow translate all that alien code I'm sure I eventually learn an new language

That is literally correct. You might say that science is a language, and data is the vocabulary.

Have you not looked at the Reference Library here on ASR? It contains a great deal of information. https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?forums/audio-reference-library.30/

You might also like to search YouTube for ASR videos; Amir has a good number of them there. They are quite helpful. Here are a few to start you off:



My pc thanks you for perhaps shifting the blame for any lousy sound to the dac n amp rofl.

:D :D :D

Have a good day! :)

Jim
 
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Mawashi

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Hiya Jim,

I'll try and get the jargon eventually, some day lol!

In the meantime, just to at least start this I'll get the Topping DX3 Pro + and the V3 48v.

Since, it's just a simple pc setup I'm ok with it being a 2 channel for now but may want a 5.1 eventually so fingers crossed the v3 can become a v5 lol!

Cheers to Jim and guys :),

Dillon :)
 
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Mawashi

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Woohoo, I just got a message from Fosi that they might be releasing a 5.1 version in 2024 :p
 
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