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Topping A70 Pro & E50 for balanced Studio Monitor and Headphone audio?

Iridist

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So I'm planning on the getting Adam T7V's + T10S Sub and Arya Stealth's, and I'm leaning toward using balanced audio between both. My question is, would the A70 Pro & E50 combo work for this sufficiently as the amp, preamp and dac with balanced outs for monitors and headphones (Source > E50 > A70 Pro > Arya Stealth / Adam T7V) Or would cheaper alternatives work as just as well? i.e, Jotunheim + Modius.

Also I'm using a MIDI controller plugged into a Motu M4 if that complicates things at all (since for now the headphones & monitors would go straight into the motu).
 

Dunring

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I've got an A70Pro and it's sitting on an SMSL DL200 and they look good together, but also it's got a 5 volt output, compared to the E50 at 4 volts. I got it $150 used on Amazon and it's a great DAC for the A70Pro, but also has a nice amplifier in it's own right. Handy to keep less demanding stuff on the DL200 and switch back and forth for the Hifiman HE6se which is really demanding. The SMSL D-6s is also a good one for the same price range (under $200). When switching bit rates there's a slight tick, and it's even softer on the D-6s but still present. The E50 is silent switching modes, but only outputs 4 volts (the A70Pro can take advantage of it for a small performance gain).
 

AnalogSteph

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Or would cheaper alternatives work as just as well?
If you already have an M4, why not run its headphone out into an L50 using a stereo TRS --> 2x RCA adapter cable? (Unlike the A70 PRO, I would not expect any issues when using the unbalanced input.) If you ever decide you want a second audio output device for headphones, it could still be complemented by a matching DAC of choice, e.g. the E50 or E30 II.

If money isn't growing on trees where you live, do not overspend on electronics... especially if it means that you can upgrade in the transducer department (better mains, a second sub etc.).
 

mike7877

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I have the E50 and A70 Pro.

Get the E70 Velvet (which I have as well). At least buy both and try them if you're really leaning into the E50, then send the E50 back lol.
edit: or maybe keep the E50, depends on your opinion (as you're the one who has to live with it). Which ever you choose, it won't take long to make your choice
 

formdissolve

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I have had two E50s and neither of them has failed on me.. they also sound great. I have one as a backup unit in case any of my other DACs die. I know that sounds ridiculous, but this hobby can be at times :D
 

mike7877

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I have had two E50s and neither of them has failed on me.. they also sound great. I have one as a backup unit in case any of my other DACs die. I know that sounds ridiculous, but this hobby can be at times :D

I like my E50 too. Especially for its price, it's pretty good. Better than the E30 II in most respects, especially imaging. The 30 bests it in one way though - it sounds more solid. I know, I know - not very descriptive... But I don't know how else to put it! Lol. I can say more though: I think it has this property because of its other weaknesses, not because it's truly a strength

Something you might want to try with your E50, depending on how you use it - I have an adaptor - two male RCA to female 1/8" which allows connecting headphones to RCA outputs. The E50's RCA output impedance is 20 ohms, and with 300 ohm headphones, the damping factor is 15, or definitely high enough. If you've got 600 ohm cans? Awayyyy more than sufficient damping factor of 30!

The E50 driving headphones directly like this sounds almost identical to using the L30 II HP amplifier. Maximum volume is not quite as loud, but it was always more than enough for me.

I've even driven my Shure SRH-1440 headphones, which I believe are 35 or 37 ohms, and not very efficient. Even though their impedance is only 2x the output impedance, I didn't hear any frequency response anomalies, so if your headphones are lower impedance, you might have good luck that way too.
Easy way to save $200!
 
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