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Throwing away my DAC for monitor speakers, and still feeling nothing really changed... is my ear dumb or its simply the case

timiark

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Background story, see here: link

My previous setup is Topping EX5 RCAout -> KEF KC62 -> Genelec G3.
Now, because there is a nice selling offer, I sold my EX5 and currently running as: PC 3.5mm out->KEF KC62->Genelec G3. (The motherboard is ASUS C8H)

Interestingly, I really could not tell if there is anything changed at all... I mean, besides topping gives me a nice volume button and a better-than-nothing bluetooth, the sound is just as what it is before...

I am reaching to the conclusion that I probably don't need to a new DAC since I am not hearing differences. Or, the distortion is simply not audiable...

What do you think? Is this usually the case for monitor speakers? and DACs are in fact mostly the same when SNR/THD goes below a certain level?
 

Astoneroad

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Veils lifted! Welcome to the real world. Congratulations in taking the red pill :cool:
I took a Blue pill once... there was this Hookah smokin' character trying to sell me stuff that didn't improve the sound....

1663616327200.png
 

kemmler3D

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Background story, see here: link


What do you think? Is this usually the case for monitor speakers? and DACs are in fact mostly the same when SNR/THD goes below a certain level?
Yes, usually the case. Some computer 3.5mm outputs are legitimately very bad. On my laptop, there is terrible distortion for ~20hz signals. But not all are bad. And in normal music listening the differences tend to be hard to hear.

Likely there would be some audible difference in noise if you turned the speakers way up. If you don't do that, I am not really surprised to hear they sound the same.
 
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timiark

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Yes, usually the case. Some computer 3.5mm outputs are legitimately very bad. On my laptop, there is terrible distortion for ~20hz signals. But not all are bad. And in normal music listening the differences tend to be hard to hear.

Likely there would be some audible difference in noise if you turned the speakers way up. If you don't do that, I am not really surprised to hear they sound the same.
Still, <20Hz is not audiable anyways and KC62 cannot dive below 20Hz. (It can, but not audiable, SPL is below threshold).

Maybe high SPL replay makes a difference, but, as you said, I usually don't do that for many reasons:
1. Neighbors will be unhappy.
2. My room mode simply explode at high SPL.
3. I don't perticularly enough loud music.

So, that's it, no difference to me.
 

tomtoo

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Yes, usually the case. Some computer 3.5mm outputs are legitimately very bad. On my laptop, there is terrible distortion for ~20hz signals. But not all are bad. And in normal music listening the differences tend to be hard to hear.

Likely there would be some audible difference in noise if you turned the speakers way up. If you don't do that, I am not really surprised to hear they sound the same.

I have some hifi, home studio, live mixing experience. And i think 3.5mm plugs are shiit. Maybe i have just bad luck. But if there is a 3.5mm plug in the system, i feel unsafe, like having a 50 year old russian nuclear warhead under my pillow. ;)
Maybe even more. :)

In other words, i hate them. And let me add, i even had a old modular analog synth with a lot of them. Naahhhh!!!
 
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Plcamp

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Except for noise level, I don’t detect difference between preouts of my Yamaha AVR and a topping E30. Noise is a noticeable difference but really only during quiet passages.

I’ve often had bigger noise problems with PC’s so I avoid them except via optical connection to an external DAC.
 

kemmler3D

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Still, <20Hz is not audiable anyways and KC62 cannot dive below 20Hz. (It can, but not audiable, SPL is below threshold).

Maybe high SPL replay makes a difference, but, as you said, I usually don't do that for many reasons:
1. Neighbors will be unhappy.
2. My room mode simply explode at high SPL.
3. I don't perticularly enough loud music.

So, that's it, no difference to me.

To be clear, on my laptop the distortion happened in the 20-50hz range and was extremely noticeable. I think the amp driving the analog output on there was just super weak. It was like 100% THD or something, truly awful. Sounded closer to a square than a sine. You also get high crosstalk in those cheapo headphone outputs sometimes, bad news.

That said I agree with the other posts that the most likely audible difference for any remotely decent DAC is noise level.
 
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timiark

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To be clear, on my laptop the distortion happened in the 20-50hz range and was extremely noticeable. I think the amp driving the analog output on there was just super weak. It was like 100% THD or something, truly awful. Sounded closer to a square than a sine. You also get high crosstalk in those cheapo headphone outputs sometimes, bad news.

That said I agree with the other posts that the most likely audible difference for any remotely decent DAC is noise level.
From my measurement, THD is well under control and not very different from measurement of my EX5.
 
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