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Recommendation for a DAC for Stax SRM-006ts

nycarrival

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Hello all,

I have a new Stax L700 MK2 and getting a Stax SRM-006ts energiser. I was recommended with Chord Qutest or 2Qute, but the price of these is a bit high for me. Any other DAC you can steer me towards? I am planning to primarily use it with streaming from my MacBook Pro.

Thanks!
 

FlyingFreak

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If you have no idea what you’re looking for, you could start looking at this one.


If you can be more specific about what you’re looking for, it’ll be easier recommending you something!
 
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nycarrival

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Thanks for the replies!

The problem is that I cannot be specific because I am not educated in the headphones field. I like the sound of the Stax speakers and thinking of getting a SRM-006ts energiser (I cannot get the combined DAC/energiser D50 anymore in the UK). I thought that a DAC will make the sound better - this is the best description of my needs to be honest.
 

FlyingFreak

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The one I shared has xlr connection like the energiser and is more reasonably priced than the ones you mentioned.

Things people might want in a dac (outside of the obvious, being transparent): type of connection, volume control, remote control, V output, if you want to use it with anything else or only that one thing…I m probably forgetting something… Then check the look and price range.
It’s (mostly) accepted here that a good dac is transparent, starting around $100. Cheaper ones don’t offer balance connection though. If I had a your gears I would want balance connection, hence the one I shared.

If you look through the thread I shared, you’ll probably learn everything you need (and find a list of dac having been tested).

Hope this helps!
 
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nycarrival

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Thanks FlyingFreak!

What is a balance connection and why do I need that type of connection for my gear?

Problem is that the D30 Pro is not available on shenzhenaudio.com
 

SSS

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Thanks FlyingFreak!

What is a balance connection and why do I need that type of connection for my gear?

Problem is that the D30 Pro is not available on shenzhenaudio.com
Hi, balanced connection means that there are 3 connections per channel from source to input. Two for the signal, one for the shielding of the cable. This is standard for professional audio connections since the signal wires are floating regarding the ground. Thus electrical noise from outside is canceled to some extent.
Since the Stax SRM-006ts has XLR balanced inputs this feature might help. On the DAC, it is necessary to define what the source equipment is. PC with USB link or fiber link or whatever else like a dedicated streamer. Then the DAC should provide the inputs for this. Further the features like volume control (the SRM-006ts has it already), selectable filters, etc. Since the Stax headphones are of excellent sound quality (I have also Stax) the DAC should be approximately of the same quality. My DAC is the audiolab M-DAC and I am satified with this older one.
 

SSS

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Oh, I missed the advantage of NO ground loop problems like hum and buzz when balanced connection is used.
 
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nycarrival

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Thanks! One more question - what is your opinion on Stax SRM-D50 energiser? Shall I consider it so I can have both the energiser and a DAC in one unit?
 

SSS

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And one main issue is which kind of music signal format you will use now and in future. Native-DSD, hi-res PCM, streaming only in CD quality ???
Upon also these criteria the DAC need to be choosed.
 

SSS

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For the Stax L700 MK2 I think only the Stax energizier should be used. Also I don't think that there is a DAC which can do this except perhaps Stax itself where I did not check any models. This you may have a look at Stax. But for future equipment changes like better or different DAC it should be good to have the headphone/energizer couple kept.
 

SSS

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Had a look to the Stax SRM-D50 which accepts digital music data. Hard to say because no knowledge how it sounds. This model has semiconductor only components whereas the SRM-006ts has electron vacuum tubes with silicon front end transistors as amplier. Tubes sound little bit different. So it is also what you may like more. Some people swear on tubes. I hav an Stax energizer with transistors only and it sounds perfect for me at least.
 

vert

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That device isn't an energizer per se but an amp. I have an SMSL Sanskrit DAC +Topping amp + Stax SRD-7 energizer. As for the DAC, you could, but don't need to pay over ~$100 for a good one.
 

SSS

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The Stax SRD-7 is very different to the amplifier/energizers like the SRM-006tS or the SRM-D50. The SRD-7 needs to be driven by a power amplifier. It converts mains power voltage to high DC-voltage bias and transforms the audio signal from the amplifier with transformers to the needed audio hv-signal which is able to move the electrostatic diaphragm. The other two models don't have the transformers, instead they amplify the audio signal to the hv-level direct and of course provide the bias voltage.
 
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Miiksuli

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Any TOP 20 DACs with XLR that Amirm has tested. Just pick what is most attractive for you!
 

Miiksuli

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This is latest list:
index.php
 
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nycarrival

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Thanks! One more question please - what is XLR and why do I need it?
 

AnalogSteph

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I would start like a pleb with a lowly 3.5 mm to dual RCA cable plugged into the Macbook's headphone output. If there is too much extraneous noise when the MBP's power supply is plugged in, oh well, it was worth a shot.

Otherwise you want a basic DAC with balanced output, using either 1/4" TRS or male XLR jacks, plus the corresponding cables. Topping makes the inexpensive D10 Balanced ($139) or the fancier E50 ($199) with TRS outputs. Two 1/4" TRS to XLR (male) cables would be needed for those, check a music equipment retailer for some solid options (the stuff you find on Amazon can be of slightly dubious quality).
 
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