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What to get as desktop audio nirvana?

Which?


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#1
So guys, for absolute audio nirvana (kind of endgame), what do you think?

1) Element II
2) Topping DX7 Pro
3) Some DAC + Massdrop THX 789
4) Other?

I would like to avoid clutter but not at the expense of sound, as I don't have a way to test any of them where I live, what's your opinion?

I currently have Burson HA-160D combo, Darkvoice 336SE and Dacport LX.

For headphones: LCD-2 Closed, 6XX and Koss LP-950.

If I compare the Burson to the Dacport, the later is much more "clean/transparent" sounding, the Burson seems warmer in comparison. I do wonder what I'm missing with the current offerings as my gear is circa 2012.

If you think I will not get any revelation buying something new please let me know so I can waste money on other probably unnecessary stuff.
 

Tks

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#2
I just need to ask, what do you mean end-game. If you mean performance. That's simple as looking at the reviews and comparing numbers. If it means something else, please let us know.

Also a budget (doesn't have to be set in stone), would also help :]
 
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Thread Starter #3
I just need to ask, what do you mean end-game. If you mean performance. That's simple as looking at the reviews and comparing numbers. If it means something else, please let us know.

Also a budget (doesn't have to be set in stone), would also help :]
Hi, end-game means I'm likely not to change it in the next 5/10 years as something better will come into picture. I just need to like the looks, for example, I don't really like the DX3 PRO.

Budget around 500 usd would be ok, I could extend a little if I feel it justifies it. I ordered a DX7 PRO but the seller is saying they will come in stock in 2020 -_- so it made me think again about my choice.
 

Tks

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#4
Hi, end-game means I'm likely not to change it in the next 5/10 years as something better will come into picture. I just need to like the looks, for example, I don't really like the DX3 PRO.

Budget around 500 usd would be ok, I could extend a little if I feel it justifies it. I ordered a DX7 PRO but the seller is saying they will come in stock in 2020 -_- so it made me think again about my choice.
So you want something that you can use for 5/10 years, and something that looks good if I understand correctly?

Well on that front, audio is wayyy to tumultuous of an industry to know whether gear will last 10 years. Especially with planned and intrinsic obsolescence running rampant in all product industries in the modern era. What I mean by that is devices are made purposefully to not last long, as it's not economically viable to give someone something that will last them 10 years without charging them up the ass for it. If it does last 10 years, think of the company doing that as either making a mistake, or you just getting lucky.

As for the looks, I cant really help there. The topping you ordered seems beautiful in my eyes. Believe it or not I had an infatuation for that device for so long I consider sometimes selling my RME DAC + 789 and just getting the DX7 Pro. It also has Bluetooth input which I consider essential from all devices in 2020 past the $200 mark. My biggest problem with it, is Topping's massive paranoia, or inability to move away from the recent scare they've had with respect to output impedence. For whatever reason, they can't or aren't willing to go back to 1ohm or ultra low impedences. Which is a problem for me since I use IEM's as well as headphones.

I also then remember how I constantly make use of the RME's DSP functions. It's simply too much to pass up on.

As for the other devices on your list. You have the Element 2. If I didn't care for balanced, I'd get that device. My only problem with it, is the volume knob design will allow tons of dust to fall through the junction between the knob and the case. If that were fixed, that'd be great. But again, they have the issue of simply no bluetooth input, and no balanced. And at $400, it's too much of a concession for me personally. But their customer service, and being based in the US, is great for residents here.

The Massdrop, well I though I'd enjoy it more than I do. It has so much damn power I am using my RME on the lowest gain, and I still have to back off the output volume on the DAC if I want to have much volume control on the 789 (with it too being at lowest gain). This thing's power is insane. The design is better looking to be than the 887 from Monoprice (same device but a bit better measuring than the 789). If you get either of these amps, you are set for as long as they last. And speaking of which I'd go for the Monoprice for the sake of warranty, they seem to take care of folks and offer a better warranty. The great thing about them is they have everything you could want out of an amp (audibly transparent performance, nice build quality, and power only deaf people would find not enough). It also allows you use a single-ended DAC or Balanced, while still being able to use any of the headphone outputs.

The 789 can also be had for cheap these days (sub $350 regularly from used sellers), so there's that.

You then also have things like the Sabaj D5. Decent headphone output, and simply one of the best devices for the price (i'd say best bang for buck all-in-one). Goes on sale regularly, and if you ever want a seperate headphone amp in the future, you can rest assured with it's DAC section being literally one of the best.

Lots of options really, things like the D50S from topping is also a great DAC that can be paired with an amp like the newest from Gishelli Labs, or the JDS Atom for instance.

I could go on, but just know all these devices you talk about at least come with exceptional performance. We can't attest these devices will last you 10 years, but either which way you go, you most certainly are getting something that will stomp on gear from 2012 you're upgrading from.
 
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#5
Topping D50s already has inaudibly low distortion. You can go DX7 pro if you want, I doubt you'll hear a difference, even with the 789 amp.
 

Wes

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#6
real issue is the speakers and distance from the wall - is the desktop in the middle of the room?
 

Ratatoskr

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#7
Go to some shows or meets and find out what phones work best for you. Sennheiser HD6XX paired with any of several well regarded budget DACs and amps could give you listening pleasure for many years but end game? No way: you need a $5000 budget for that. Now if you are really looking for audio nirvana and have a much larger budget consider RAAL-requisite SR1a head speakers paired with a Bifrost 2 or RME ADI-2 and Jotunheim R (purpose built amp for the SR1a that will be out this month or next.)

 
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Thread Starter #8
Go to some shows or meets and find out what phones work best for you. Sennheiser HD6XX paired with any of several well regarded budget DACs and amps could give you listening pleasure for many years but end game? No way: you need a $5000 budget for that. Now if you are really looking for audio nirvana and have a much larger budget consider RAAL-requisite SR1a head speakers paired with a Bifrost 2 or RME ADI-2 and Jotunheim R (purpose built amp for the SR1a that will be out this month or next.)

unfortunately I live outside US and is difficult to test equipment, but definitely I’ll not spend 3500 in a headphone :)
 

Veri

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#10
Go to some shows or meets and find out what phones work best for you. Sennheiser HD6XX paired with any of several well regarded budget DACs and amps could give you listening pleasure for many years but end game? No way: you need a $5000 budget for that. Now if you are really looking for audio nirvana and have a much larger budget consider RAAL-requisite SR1a head speakers paired with a Bifrost 2 or RME ADI-2 and Jotunheim R (purpose built amp for the SR1a that will be out this month or next.)

The amp is better looking than the headphone here lol
 

Blur

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#11
Could easily go D50s DAC and Geshelli Archel Pro 2.5 and be done too. Hard to beat that combo really.
 
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Thread Starter #12
Could easily go D50s DAC and Geshelli Archel Pro 2.5 and be done too. Hard to beat that combo really.
I’m waiting for the 789 delivery (today) the DAC is what remains now, I’m waiting for the grace balanced to be in stock as I understand is the best fitted for it.
 
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#16
I doubt it will be same lvl as 789 amp but probably close enough to make it redundant. Depends on the headphones and its sensitivity / impedance.
 

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