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Topping EX5, DX7 Pro, M500 v2, Sabaj D5 (or other) for AIO w remote?

Which is your choice for best (budget) All-IN-One?


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slave

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Apr 18, 2022
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Hi everyone,

Long time lurker, I'm looking for some advice.

I'm aiming for a relatively simple All-In-One setup for mixing/mastering music from a laptop (using Reaper) primarily, but also as an AIO for the room.

The idea is a standalone DAC and/or Headphone amp with balanced outs, connected to a pair of powered monitors. USB connection from laptop to the unit, with my pair of Senn HD600's to use with the headphone amp. I really want to be able to quickly adjust the volume, or to switch between headphones & monitors, or inputs, using only a remote control, as I'll be out of arms' reach.
I'm also aiming to use an optical/digital or coax (maybe RCA if available) input, for audio duty (when watching TV or listening to music) via the monitors also, so a remote control on the volume is a must. Ideally, I'd like multiple outputs to both work at the same time, so I can use a subwoofer together with my monitors when I'm listening to music or watching TV.

So far the Topping EX-5, Topping DX-7 Pro, Sabaj D5 & the SMSL M500 Mk2 have grabbed my attention given remote function, but I'd consider other options if they're in my budget.

Is there a stand out here, for what I'm aiming to do?

I'm thinking the EX-5 might be a good option here, given the price & features.
Is there a reason to go with any of the others, over the EX5 for my needs?

Cheers
 

audiofun

Active Member
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Jul 4, 2021
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Just get a Topping DX3Pro+. Don't worry about balanced as you can wire a RCA to XLR dongle easily and it's truely balanced.
See this post
 

wacomme

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One of my primary reasons for wanting/needing a balanced input DAC/AMP is to eliminate ground noise interference when I connect my powered speakers. If this can be accomplished with a RCA to XLR dongle, I'm all ears!
 

audiofun

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One of my primary reasons for wanting/needing a balanced input DAC/AMP is to eliminate ground noise interference when I connect my powered speakers. If this can be accomplished with a RCA to XLR dongle, I'm all ears!
the linked post (and following explanation posts in the next page) explained it very clearly. noise canceling and ground loop elimination are input responsibilities, not output's. output just need to make sure it has same impedance at hot and cold. You need a balanced input device (audio amplifier, or active monitor) to get signal from the DAC, but the DAC does not need to send differential signal (which means inverted polarity signal at cold). making a cable with same cold resistance as the DAC output impedance is good enough.
 
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wacomme

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Just get a Topping DX3Pro+. Don't worry about balanced as you can wire a RCA to XLR dongle easily and it's truely balanced.
See this post
Do you have more information about this, and how to do it? I know next to nothing about soldering (need soldering gun).

To clarify, by soldering the resistor between two connectors within the XLR connector of a RCA to XLR cable, I can connect the RCA/XLR cable to RCA input on the DX3Pro+ and the modified XLR connector to the powered speakers, and for purposes of eliminating electrical ground interference effectively create a balanced input cable? By doing this, I understand power won't increase, but is there any degradation in sound quality?

If this also possible if my only connections on the powered speakers are either 3.5mm or RCA?
 

audiofun

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If this also possible if my only connections on the powered speakers are either 3.5mm or RCA?
I already explained very clearly. differential amplifier to cancel out noise and ground loop is input's responsibility.
You cannot mod an active speaker with only single ended input to balanced, even if you have a balanced out DAC.

if you want balanced connection, you don't need balanced output DACs as you can simply mod it to make it balanced. but you need to invest an active speaker with balanced input.

in reality, just connect dx3 pro rca to your speaker rca. if you don't hear a noise, there's no noise. it's that simple.
 

BHazard

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Feb 7, 2021
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Sabaj A20d 2022. ES9038Pro AIO, Balanced, MQA. I'm loving mine and will be selling off my Gustard X16 as I have no need for it now.
 

wacomme

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I already explained very clearly. differential amplifier to cancel out noise and ground loop is input's responsibility.
You cannot mod an active speaker with only single ended input to balanced, even if you have a balanced out DAC.

if you want balanced connection, you don't need balanced output DACs as you can simply mod it to make it balanced. but you need to invest an active speaker with balanced input.

in reality, just connect dx3 pro rca to your speaker rca. if you don't hear a noise, there's no noise. it's that simple.
I'm sorry for not understanding. This is not a field of study I have any experience in.

I do have noise with my dx3pro+ and speaker rca to rca connection - thus the reason I was planning to return the dx3pro+ and buy something with balanced inputs. I realize in making this change I'd have to buy some powered speakers with balanced inputs - currently have AudioEngine A2s; thinking about the PreSonus Eris 3.5 -TRS input plugs. How would I deal with the TRS and not XLR cable attachments?

And is there anything else I need to know regarding the soldering process?
 

audiofun

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> TRS and not XLR cable attachments

it's just straight wiring. nothing in between.

> I realize in making this change I'd have to buy some powered speakers with balanced inputs

right. balanced dacs won't solve your unbalanced input's issue.

there're ways to eliminate ground loops however. eliminate one wire after another (usb, coax) until you don't hear noise. then try to break the ground loop (such as replacing a coax connection to spdif).

> And is there anything else I need to know regarding the soldering process?

watch some online tutorials. it's damn simple.
 

wacomme

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> TRS and not XLR cable attachments

it's just straight wiring. nothing in between.
Since the PreSonus Eris 3.5 speakers only have TRS inputs, not XLR, can a resistor be added to the TRS terminal to create the balanced cable?
 

audiofun

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> Since the PreSonus Eris 3.5 speakers only have TRS inputs, not XLR, can a resistor be added to the TRS terminal to create the balanced cable?

if you are feeding the balanced input from an unbalanced source (such as DX3Pro+), then yes.

if both input and output are balanced already, don't put a resistor there.
 
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