• WANTED: Happy members who like to discuss audio and other topics related to our interest. Desire to learn and share knowledge of science required as is 20 years of participation in forums (not all true). Come here to have fun, be ready to be teased and not take online life too seriously. We now measure and review equipment for free! Click here for details.

Reasonably priced DAC with toslink and remote volume control? Or remote controlled analog preamp?

Joined
Apr 13, 2018
Messages
27
Likes
61
#1
I just got a new TV, and I'm hoping to use my powered studio monitors (JBL LSR305) as speakers. Unfortunately, the TV doesn't have analog audio output, and it doesn't do digital attenuation on the optical audio output.

Anyone have suggestions for reasonably priced DACs with toslink input, and remote volume control? Alternatively, I could get a cheap toslink DAC, and a remote-controlled analog volume attenuator.
 
OP
R
Joined
Apr 13, 2018
Messages
27
Likes
61
Thread Starter #4
Thank you, those seem like great options. Are the remotes on those suggestions reasonably fast at ramping up/down volume? On my other system, the Emotiva XDA-2 has a volume control, but it's unbearably slow.
 

JamesYeomans

Member
Forum Donor
Joined
Apr 28, 2020
Messages
20
Likes
22
Location
Bristol, UK
#5
I have two D50s’s. Excellent DACs. Though I decided to use a Logitech 665 Harmony remote with them as it’s a bit quicker with volume changes + the action feels more satisfying/intuitive for me. The remote that comes with the Topping is OK, but for me it was worth swapping out for the Logitech. Good to know that you can do that if you want to. Can’t comment on the SMSL.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Jul 21, 2020
Messages
85
Likes
24
#6
I have two D50s’s. Excellent DACs. Though I decided to use a Logitech 665 Harmony remote with them as it’s a bit quicker with volume changes + the action feels more satisfying/intuitive for me. The remote that comes with the Topping is OK, but for me it was worth swapping out for the Logitech. Good to know that you can do that if you want to. Can’t comment on the SMSL.
Was the Logitech remote easy to program ?
 
Joined
Aug 13, 2020
Messages
68
Likes
96
#7
The Topping DX7s fits your needs quite well. The remote does change volume fast if held down, but .5db at a time when clicking.
 

SJ777

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Forum Donor
Joined
Jul 29, 2020
Messages
867
Likes
1,296
Location
UK
#9
The Topping DX7s fits your needs quite well. The remote does change volume fast if held down, but .5db at a time when clicking.
The DX3 Pro will do the job but at a cheaper price than the DX7. The DX models have headphone amps as well. Unless you need a headphone amp I think you're better off with the E30. The D50s is great (I have one) but not sure what this would bring that the E30 doesn't, bearing in mind the additional cost of the D50s.
 

JamesYeomans

Member
Forum Donor
Joined
Apr 28, 2020
Messages
20
Likes
22
Location
Bristol, UK
#10
The DX3 Pro will do the job but at a cheaper price than the DX7. The DX models have headphone amps as well. Unless you need a headphone amp I think you're better off with the E30. The D50s is great (I have one) but not sure what this would bring that the E30 doesn't, bearing in mind the additional cost of the D50s.
Bluetooth is the main feature the D50s has over the E30.
 

JamesYeomans

Member
Forum Donor
Joined
Apr 28, 2020
Messages
20
Likes
22
Location
Bristol, UK
#12
Funny how things slip your mind! I think it's because I don't use the bluetooth feature on my D50s so I'd almost forgotten that it was there!
Haha - I don’t use the bluetooth either :)
A feature I’d like Topping to add, would be the ability to disable specific inputs, so they no longer show as available. With the ability to re-enable via the settings menu. Having to scroll through all those inputs is a pain when I only ever use the Optical & USB inputs.

If i was buying now, I’d go for the E30 over the D50s. That said, the D50s does look classy in the flesh. It’s essentially a very nicely finished block of aluminium with a display. Which you know of course :)
 

SJ777

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Forum Donor
Joined
Jul 29, 2020
Messages
867
Likes
1,296
Location
UK
#13
Haha - I don’t use the bluetooth either :)
A feature I’d like Topping to add, would be the ability to disable specific inputs, so they no longer show as available. With the ability to re-enable via the settings menu. Having to scroll through all those inputs is a pain when I only ever use the Optical & USB inputs.

If i was buying now, I’d go for the E30 over the D50s. That said, the D50s does look classy in the flesh. It’s essentially a very nicely finished block of aluminium with a display. Which you know of course :)
Completely agree on the appearance of the D50s.

I find that I only use it for USB input so I basically leave the unit alone (apart from the very useful volume control).
 

AnalogSteph

Major Contributor
Joined
Nov 6, 2018
Messages
1,349
Likes
1,196
Location
.de
#14
Unless the OP does not mind soldering up adapter cables or knows someone who does, I would rather stick with DACs that have a balanced output for the LSR305, otherwise it'll be ground loop central. That would eliminate a few candidates, leaving e.g. the DX7s or the SMSL SU-8.
 
Joined
Sep 5, 2019
Messages
36
Likes
27
Location
Hampshire, Great Britain
#15
SMSL Sanskrit 10th MK II is even cheaper ($110) and performance is about as good as the E30. If you want something in red or blue, this has you covered.

https://www.amazon.com/SMSL-Sanskri...MF1WXYGXQVW&psc=1&refRID=P6JAJQB5GMF1WXYGXQVW
This would be my choice too, ticks all the boxes and if it performs like the MK1 that I own, you will be very happy with it. I run my XBOX into the Optical and then use the USB in via whatever I want to connect to it, never skips a beat.
 
OP
R
Joined
Apr 13, 2018
Messages
27
Likes
61
Thread Starter #16
Unless the OP does not mind soldering up adapter cables or knows someone who does, I would rather stick with DACs that have a balanced output for the LSR305, otherwise it'll be ground loop central. That would eliminate a few candidates, leaving e.g. the DX7s or the SMSL SU-8.
I've run single-ended inputs into powered studio monitors for years without major issue.
 

almico

Member
Forum Donor
Joined
Nov 7, 2020
Messages
48
Likes
39
#17
I was just asking this same exact question. I have a gen 3 apple tv in the bedroom (no cable) that has optical out. I've been running off tv rca, but I'm upgrading components and want better sound q. So I bought the new SMSL SU-9, for the DAC, remote volume and XLR, and will pair it with my Amp Camp monoblocks for now. They have XLR inputs when run mono. I'm waiting for a pair of HiVi DIY 3.1 that I will try on this system.
 
Joined
Nov 19, 2020
Messages
62
Likes
48
Location
Melbourne
#18
I was just asking this same exact question. I have a gen 3 apple tv in the bedroom (no cable) that has optical out. I've been running off tv rca, but I'm upgrading components and want better sound q. So I bought the new SMSL SU-9, for the DAC, remote volume and XLR, and will pair it with my Amp Camp monoblocks for now. They have XLR inputs when run mono. I'm waiting for a pair of HiVi DIY 3.1 that I will try on this system.
I am looking into the SMSL SU-9 as well now, could you please confirm that there are no pops/noises when switched on or off? Also, if the bitrate etc changes, does the device pause all sounds for a second or two? This would happen on the SU-8, so for example when you watch Netflix and the internet bandwidth changes the audio output the sound would stop for a few seconds - very annoying!
 

almico

Member
Forum Donor
Joined
Nov 7, 2020
Messages
48
Likes
39
#19
I am looking into the SMSL SU-9 as well now, could you please confirm that there are no pops/noises when switched on or off? Also, if the bitrate etc changes, does the device pause all sounds for a second or two? This would happen on the SU-8, so for example when you watch Netflix and the internet bandwidth changes the audio output the sound would stop for a few seconds - very annoying!
I own 2 of them now and haven't noticed any noises when switching inputs, or switch "channels" on any input device. I'm using toslink, bluetooth and USB. Not tried SPDIF yet.
 
Joined
Nov 19, 2020
Messages
62
Likes
48
Location
Melbourne
#20
I own 2 of them now and haven't noticed any noises when switching inputs, or switch "channels" on any input device. I'm using toslink, bluetooth and USB. Not tried SPDIF yet.
That's promising! Do you use the DAC as a preamp as well? If so, does the device remember the volume setting when rebooted or if the device is unplugged from the power point (hard reset) or does it then revert back to 100% volume output?
 
Top Bottom