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Topping E30 or DX3pro as DAC for 789?

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May 27, 2020
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#1
I'm looking for a DAC to plug into my THX AAA 789. I'm new to this and have had the THX for a week. Lots has been discussed on this but I managed to grab a DX3pro, after reading the great review on this site, from Drop. It was about $180. That's not going to ship until June 26th which gives me time to exercise buyers remorse.

Since I'm just starting out, I'm not going to look at balanced options so I'm down to these two - the DX3pro or the E30. I already own a BTR5 so don't need the bluetooth. I already own the 789, so don't need the amp portion of the DX3pro.

E30 looking like July delivery and I'll need an external power brick so I figure that would be about $140 total. Is the DX3pro worth $40 more for it's DAC? While its "lower" than the E30 on amir's chart, I'm guessing there's more to it than just that...

Any help/guidance would be much appreciated.
 

Veri

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#3
The DX3 is good as an all in one I would say there are better DAC options than it if you're pairing with the THX.
 
OP
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Thread Starter #4
Thanks for your responses. What would you recommend that are better in the $130 range? I really looked at the reviews on this site and thought I found the sweet spot with the E30 (given that I don't care about balanced at the moment).
 
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#5
if you don´t need balanced there is a huge gap until you get more than what a E30 can offer.
It´s AK4493 done the right way for 130€ and clearly superior if you don´t need amp section over the DX3pro

Next cheapest DAC would be a SMSL M300 if you don´t mind the form factor that´s a really good unit.
AK4497 (velvet sound) Around 220-250€

The Soncoz LA-QXD1 is another good unit if you prefer ESS chips. Latest information is 250-275€.

I just picked the Topping D70...that´s AK4497 as good as it gets. got it for 500€
But price/performance is not as good as others looking at the bare measurements.

Another ESS unit is the Soncoz SGD1. Prices are up a bit and varies 500-600€.

Next step after this is AK4499 stuff....pick your poison....noone has the balls to screw up a device with this chipset.
ANY device with this chip will be close to an endgame DAC.
About 700€
 
OP
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Thread Starter #6
So that’s what I thought! I figured start with the E30 and work my way up to the bad boy you own. However someone in here thinks for E30 money there are better DACs. I did see Amir’s positive review on Soncoz LA-QXD1 but that’s not $130.

I have no idea whether I prefer AK or ESS chips yet...
 

3125b

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#7
The E30 is a damn fine DAC if you dont need balanced out or bluetooth. The measured performance speeks for itself, and usability is quite good as well, it works better (well, that may be the wrong term, the SMSL worked fine, the user interface and display are just not very good and the remote tends to disconnect) than the SMSL 10th MKII I had before.
No such problems with the E30 and Win10. Just remember that you can´t use more than 32bit/192kHz for some applications like Spotify.
I use it in combination with a JDS Atom and usually have the output set to -5dB to have some wiggle room with the analog volume control, otherwise it´s too loud even in low gain with 250 Ohm DT880.
The remote and display can be nice for useability over the Sonocz, however if you want balanced output, you can go with that one just as well. Performance of both is, regardless of DAC chip used, very similar and plenty good for human ears.
 
OP
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Thread Starter #8
Thank you very much for responding. Glad to hear it's the right path. I'm really interested in this chap's suggestion that there better DAC options for pairing to the THX. I mean...I knew there were better DACs. I'm sure one that cost $20,000 is wonderful. But I included the prices so that there was a reference point. Hopefully there's another one out there in this price range that he meant.
 
OP
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Thread Starter #9
OK - that was my thinking, too based on the slightly negative stance on ESS chips offered by Amir - who at this point represents an impartial guide.
 
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#10
The DX3 Pro is still audibly transparent so if you don't care about the price difference and can make use of the extra features I would go with the DX3 Pro
 
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