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Topping E30 + L30 vs Focusrite Scarlett Solo 3rd gen - what I'm doing wrong? I'm stupid?

kyxap

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Hi there,

I just got my new E30 + L30 for my current Philips X2Hr that I use with my PC and Focusrite Scarlett Solo for my XLR mic (SM58) that I use for voice over recoding, meetings, game communications, etc. Also I've ordered HD6xx but still waiting to get them delivered (that why I actually decided to get amp)

I decided to test the sound quality and compare topping vs focusrite and I little bit disappointed :(
It's not like day vs night. Its just little bit better like +1+10% clear sound from Topping over the Focusrite .
And after 10-20minutues of listening music it's easy to forget what device I'm using.

How I test:
Configured both devices to 24 bit/96khz
Used flac with different music (metal, punk rock, ska, rock, etc) and all of them have different bitrates.

I don't want to have 3 boxes on my table and Scarlett looks pretty good and convenient for my applications


PS: I know that topping can go up 32bit/9999khz + support ASIO + dsd etc but I didn't notice HUGE difference in dsd vs high quality flac


what I'm doing wrong? I'm stupid?
 

BDWoody

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Hi there,

what I'm doing wrong? I'm stupid?

Hi!

You're doing nothing wrong at all. In fact, you are actually listening where few bother, and they will instead hear what they expect to hear.

I don't think I could tell the difference between any of my DAC's under virtually any normal conditions unless I was looking...then it's easy.

Try with the headphones when you get them, but you are actually on the track that could save you a lot of space, time and money!

Pick what is most useful... The differences are going to be very very small, and likely inaudible.
 

Matias

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The audiophile hobby is about nuances. :)
 

daftcombo

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I have a Topping E30, a Focusrite Solo 3rd Gen and a Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 2nd Gen. As DAC / speaker preamp / easy-to-drive headphones, the three sound the same and are top pieces of gear. My only complain is driver instability of the Focusrites.
So I totally back your claims.

But expect the Solo headphones out to be too weak to drive the Sennheiser or at least not as loud as the L30.
 
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kyxap

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My only complain is driver instability of the Focusrites.
So I totally back your claims.

But expect the Solo headphones out to be too weak to drive the Sennheiser or at least not as loud as the L30.

yeah will do thanks! But now I have less expectation about hd6xx but will see. I just finished testing HD4xx and didn't find them better in terms of sound quality but really-really bad in terms of comfort for my big head

The audiophile hobby is about nuances. :)
hehe

Hi!

I don't think I could tell the difference between any of my DAC's under virtually any normal conditions unless I was looking...then it's easy.

Try with the headphones when you get them, but you are actually on the track that could save you a lot of space, time and money!

thanks! I was expecting that AMP will change my experience to some really noticeable level
 

Pdxwayne

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I briefly tried using Focusrite Scarlett Solo 3rd gen a while back and found that it was too bright with little bass (I believe it was with 60 ohm headphones). It was worse than using my tablet or phone.....

I used L30 and E30 combo a while back with my Philips X2Hr and I also thought that it was no better than using my tablet or phone.

Maybe it is the Philips X2Hr headphones. Once you use different headphones with different ohm rating, the difference between Topping E30 + L30 vs Focusrite Scarlett Solo 3rd gen could be more evident?
 

majingotan

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I briefly tried using Focusrite Scarlett Solo 3rd gen a while back and found that it was too bright with little bass (I believe it was with 60 ohm headphones). It was worse than using my tablet or phone.....

I used L30 and E30 combo a while back with my Philips X2Hr and I also thought that it was no better than using my tablet or phone.

Maybe it is the Philips X2Hr headphones. Once you use different headphones with different ohm rating, the difference between Topping E30 + L30 vs Focusrite Scarlett Solo 3rd gen could be more evident?

PEQ your headphones to the tonality that you prefer. A Harman target curve should sound close to neutral with sub bass emphasis without being bright (due to downsloping curve past 4KHz). And if you really dislike your X2Hr, switch to headphones that is more of tuning akin to Airpods Max which would be warm. BTW, changing amps won't turn your X2Hr into something tolerable for your ears as these equipment are already beyond audibility (under normal listening conditions)
 

Sombreuil

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I use a 2i4 first gen as a DAC, an L30 as the amp and for headphones the Sennheiser HD 598 & 58x. Compared to the Focusrite the L30 sounds pretty much the same, the only reason I bought it is because I couldn't listen to music as loud as I'd like to with the 58x (150ohm).
If you want to EQ your headphones and add (for example) more basses, you'd need to set a negative value to the pre amp in Peace/APO to avoid clipping, and that's where the Focusrite tends to lack power, at least its headphone output.
 
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kyxap

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some updates:

HD6xx + Scarlet:
Scarlet has ok gain for HD 6XX - I use +25% gain on scarlet to get same sound loudness comparing to my X2 hr.

Also I've measured how loud my headphones when I listening to music and it's actually around 60-70 db-A (tested with db Metter app from iPhone) maybe this will be useful for some people. You can get around 80 dBa for 100% gain on scarlet.
 

georgey2k

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same here. I have Scarlett Solo 1st Gen and L30 driving dt 990 pro 250ohm. Differences are very subtle if any.
 

half_dog

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I have a 2i4 gen 2 with me but it's not mine, so rarely I'm using it. I also have a TASCAM US-366 and I have used for some time to drive a HD 600, HD 650 and a Q701. Literally a few years without complain until I started to compare this to a LD MK III and a DIY O2. I realized the bass mainly on HD 600 and HD650 were quite loose and muddy when driven by US-366 and LD MK III but by O2 it was notably controlled, tight but not dry. And after a few researching and learning I could measure and test US-366's output impedance and its unit has something around 55 ohm, it was enough to bring some sound changes over the Senn's (I don't remember if Q701 was affected by it). Anyway, Scarlett 2i2 has 1.2 ohm (I believe solo has the same circuit), this is low enough to avoid sound changes.
Maybe on louder volumes you will be able to make the Scarlett struggles enough to be noticeable.
 

THW

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the topping stack has a lot more power and oomph IIRC. IME the solo’s headphone out is quite weak.

imho after a certain point its less about SINAD and “raw sound quality, other factors start coming into play like usability, reliability, features, output power etc.
 
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