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Project Pre Box S2 DAC & Headphone Amp Review

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#81
can't say I hear a big difference in sound, but where I do (it could be just my perception, though) it is with the MQA content from Tidal.
anyway, I'm selling the Matrix Audio DAC, and the PBS2D is just here to ease the transition to the coming Topping D90 (with MQA).
I don't know if there's any benefit to MQA format as a digital format at least I'm not earing any and I'm not sure science has proved any either so far but I don't think this is your perception. What I can hear is that a large amount of masters from tidal are coming from different mixes and mastering than the ones use for standard "Red Book"s. I beleive this is the main pro of tidal masters and what poeple are hearing and what I can hear : the master is mixed and mastered to have the best reproduction possible, has been approved by the artist (at least they claim they have) because it is meant to be played with higher end gear. whereas stardard Red Book pcm can be processed in the mixing and mastering process to sound better on the radio, car stereo, bluetooth mono speakers, etc. which can crush the dynamic range as well due to the loudness war and result in the lower quality reproduction with hi-fi gear. For exemple the latest from london grammar, even though it is 16bit /44.1k sounds like horribly compressed mp3 to me probably because of a dreadfull mastering. This doesnt happen with MQA versions. You can even find online a list of Albums from tidal where the PCM album and the MQA album don't even use the same recording in the studio. Anyway no need for a MQA DAC to access it but at least the MQA feature of the D90 shows it has a more modern and efficient USB implementation wich is great to have :) Enjoy your music !
 
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#82
well.. Forget everything I said. I just came accross few MQA records which are just as poorly mixed and mastered as the red book version. Seems like there's no standards and we just need to be lucky I guess :(
 
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#85
Hello,

Please help me with an advice : which is the best option between DAC ProJect Pre Box S2 and Topping dx3 pro v.2. The dac will be used only in a stereo system, headphone amplifier is not important from me. Both dacs are at the same price.

Thank you in advance
 
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#86
Hello,

Please help me with an advice : which is the best option between DAC ProJect Pre Box S2 and Topping dx3 pro v.2. The dac will be used only in a stereo system, headphone amplifier is not important from me. Both dacs are at the same price.

Thank you in advance
Same price ?? the Pre Box s2 is twice more expensive in my country.

If you're not an hardcode critical listener you'll be pleased with both just as much.

I'd go for the topping cause you can't switch off the Pre Box S2 it's really meant for desktop use and to be paired with a computer or a laptop. The PBS2 will always be on if not unplugged which can damage the oled screen over a (very) long time).

On another hand depending on where you buy the topping you might not have a good customer service or warranty.

Up to you depending what you need.
 

AudioSceptic

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#87
If you don't need the HP amp, why not go for the Topping E30 or D10s?

I bought the Pro-Ject because I wanted the HP output and also prefer to buy European.
 
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#88
Thank you for the answer, both dacs are used, topping with almost 2 years warranty remaining and Pro-ject without. Both are at the same price. DX3 Pro have bluetooth 5.0, but if there was a noticeable difference regarding the sound in favor of the PBS2 i would have chosen him.
 
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#89
Thank you for the answer, both dacs are used, topping with almost 2 years warranty remaining and Pro-ject without. Both are at the same price. DX3 Pro have bluetooth 5.0, but if there was a noticeable difference regarding the sound in favor of the PBS2 i would have chosen him.
If there's a difference between two sonically (and there's most likely a tiny one) there's no better than the other it's a matter of taste and it's probably indistinguishable if you're just casually listening and enjoying your music sipping a tea so I'd just take the one the features that suit my needs the most.
If you have a doubt and want to get the one that sounds the best to you I'd get both and then sell the one you like the least.
 

AudioSceptic

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#90
Thank you for the answer, both dacs are used, topping with almost 2 years warranty remaining and Pro-ject without. Both are at the same price. DX3 Pro have bluetooth 5.0, but if there was a noticeable difference regarding the sound in favor of the PBS2 i would have chosen him.
Is the used DX3 Pro less expensive than a new D10s or E30?
 

VintageFlanker

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#92
DX3 PRO it's at the same price like a new E30 + usb stick Cambridge Audio BT100 (i have a cambridge cxa 60).
Except the CA BT100 is Aptx-only compatible. The DX3 Pro supports Aptx-HD and LDAC. Plus, it will bypass your CXA-60 DAC we don't know much about.
DX3 Pro have bluetooth 5.0, but if there was a noticeable difference regarding the sound in favor of the PBS2 i would have chosen him.
BT 5.0 doesn't matter for sound quality (yet). It would however bring maybe more signal stability.

Both DACs are good. The DX3Pro clearly has a better IMD Distortion. I'm 90% no one would be able to distinguish both in DBT.

I suggest you go by features you need.
 
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AudioSceptic

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#93
Expect the CA BT100 is Aptx-only compatible. The DX3 Pro supports Aptx-HD and LDAC. Plus, it will bypass your CXA-60 DAC we don't know much about.

BT 5.0 doesn't matter for sound quality (yet). It would however bring maybe more signal stability.

Both DACs are good. The DX3Pro clearly has a better IMD Distortion. I'm 90% no one would be able to distinguish both in DBT.

I suggest you go by features you need.
Can't say fairer than that. Go on features, or place of manufacture if that matters.
 
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