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Will a DAC like Topping D30 improve my Edifier S1000MKII's audio quality?

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#1
Hello,
Being a noob in the audio world, this is my first post on audiosciencereview. I recently bought an Edifier S1000MKII at 26,500 Indian Rupees. I am using it with my TV and Computer simultaneously. I am very happy with the sound I am getting from these speakers.

I connected it using an optical cable to my My Samsung NU7100 TV. So, it is a digital connection. In case of my computer, I connected it via RCA cable to the motherboard's built in audio chip. So, it's an analogue connection.

This speaker has the option to change the input type using the remote control.

My question is if I use an external DAC like Topping D30 between these connections, will the sound quality of Edifier S1000MKII be noticeably improved? By improvement, I mean more clarity, lessening of distortion and more crispness.

As you know, Topping D30 accepts USB, optical and coaxial inputs. I plan to use it like
TV >Topping D30's optical input (via TOSlink cable)>Speaker (via RCA cable)
PC>Topping D30's USB input (via USB cable)>Speaker (via RCA cable)

My target is to bypass the speaker's built-in DAC in case of the TV and Motherboard's built-in DAC in case of the PC. And use the external DAC for the conversion in both cases.

I am specially asking this question because I heard Edifier speakers have something called DSP built in which converts the analogue signal into Digital within the speaker. This means whatever DAC is used for the conversion becomes useless and it sounds same even with a super expensive DAC.

Expecting logical and authentic answers from the experts. Thanks in advance :)
 
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Thread Starter #3
I suggest you contact Edifier.
Otherwise it looks like the Topping D30 will work for you.
Thank you for taking the time to respond. I need to be sure about this before investing for the DAC. Otherwise, the money will be wasted if it sounds the same. How can I be sure about this? I already contacted Edifier Support after getting your suggestion and waiting for their reply

I would've never asked this question, if I bought a well-known speaker like Audioengine a5. I could buy the DAC then without any hesitation.

I am expecting to get answers from more audiophiles here.
 

pozz

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Hi @Casual Gamer

It is very unlikely that you'd notice a difference with an external DAC. The limiting factor in your chain would be your speakers, not their built-in ADC/DAC.

If you want better sound you should experiment with placement. Speaker sound is largely dominated by room interactions. Keep some distance between them and the back wall and consider elevating them if they're on your desk. This can get complicated fast but it's the easieat way to get better sound.

About the DSP: the crossover and entire set of electronics for the Edifier (amps, BT, PEQ) governs the speaker's functions. You cannot bypass them and doing so would yield no benefit.

If you do get a DAC, it should be for long-term conveniece (available connections, headphone amp, etc.). With a reputable company like Topping you'd have the benefit of an excellent D/A stage as well.
 
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Thread Starter #5
Hi @Casual Gamer

It is very unlikely that you'd notice a difference with an external DAC. The limiting factor in your chain would be your speakers, not their built-in ADC/DAC.

If you want better sound you should experiment with placement. Speaker sound is largely dominated by room interactions. Keep some distance between them and the back wall and consider elevating them if they're on your desk. This can get complicated fast but it's the easieat way to get better sound.

About the DSP: the crossover and entire set of electronics for the Edifier (amps, BT, PEQ) governs the speaker's functions. You cannot bypass them and doing so would yield no benefit.

If you do get a DAC, it should be for long-term conveniece (available connections, headphone amp, etc.). With a reputable company like Topping you'd have the benefit of an excellent D/A stage as well.
Thank you very much for the reply. It will help me a lot! As I am not going to notice an improvement in terms of audio quality by buying a decent DAC, I am not spending money for it now. It's quite sure that I won't use high-end HPs in the near future.

Regarding your suggestion to elevate the speakers and keep some distance from the back wall, how much distance I should keep from the back wall to get the optimal performance from the speakers? It's 4 inches right now.
 

pozz

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Thank you very much for the reply. It will help me a lot! As I am not going to notice an improvement in terms of audio quality by buying a decent DAC, I am not spending money for it now. It's quite sure that I won't use high-end HPs in the near future.

Regarding your suggestion to elevate the speakers and keep some distance from the back wall, how much distance I should keep from the back wall to get the optimal performance from the speakers? It's 4 inches right now.
About a foot if you can. If you don't have room I wouldn't worry about it though. I would imagine you don't have much space to rearrange furniture and such.
 
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Some say that the first D/A conversion is the most important, so a DAC before an AD/DA would still give theoretical benefits. I'm not sure if it's true at all.
I've read it somewhere at the MiniDSP forums (people wanting to use a DAC before the MiniDSP, which obviously has AD/DA conversion in itself).
 
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About a foot if you can. If you don't have room I wouldn't worry about it though. I would imagine you don't have much space to rearrange furniture and such.
A foot counting from the front of the cone, or from the back of the cabinet? This always gets me confused.
 

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Some say that the first D/A conversion is the most important, so a DAC before an AD/DA would still give theoretical benefits. I'm not sure if it's true at all.
I've read it somewhere at the MiniDSP forums (people wanting to use a DAC before the MiniDSP, which obviously has AD/DA conversion in itself).
It's not true. The easiest way to gauge this is to look up the miniDSP measurements for example. They aren't pretty, which doesn't stop people from using those devices. Point is that whatever signal you put in will be subjected to the miniDSP's own noise and distortion. Introducing another device before the chain will yield no benefit. With speakers their own distortion is so high that it will usually swamp whatever the DAC puts in, depending on the spectrum. Around 2kHz-4kHz is where our hearing is the most sensitive and rooms relative quiet. If the speaker is also quiet in that region you may hear hiss (whether the source is internal or external), particularly if the speaker's very sensitive. Active speaker designers will (or should) pick internal components with this in mind, so that perhaps the internal chips won't be great, but they will focus on making sure that their spectrum of issues is less audible.
 
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Thread Starter #11
@pozz
I can tell you one thing which might be interesting. I can sense slight difference in sound quality, when I hear the same Youtube video from TV and the PC. I realize the sound from PC (analogue, Realtek ALC887) is slightly more detailed. I don't have any formal way to check it but I feel it. Why is this difference where DSP is controlling everything?
Generally I never hear any audible hiss from the speakers and the sound doesn't distort even at the full volume, when I play 24bit FLAC files on my computer.
As I told earlier, I am not a geek and didn't hear many expensive sound systems in my life. But I am pretty happy with the sound I'm getting from this Edifier set. I was trying to see if this can be improved
 

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#12

pozz

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@pozz
I can tell you one thing which might be interesting. I can sense slight difference in sound quality, when I hear the same Youtube video from TV and the PC. I realize the sound from PC (analogue, Realtek ALC887) is slightly more detailed. I don't have any formal way to check it but I feel it. Why is this difference where DSP is controlling everything?
Generally I never hear any audible hiss from the speakers and the sound doesn't distort even at the full volume, when I play 24bit FLAC files on my computer.
As I told earlier, I am not a geek and didn't hear many expensive sound systems in my life. But I am pretty happy with the sound I'm getting from this Edifier set. I was trying to see if this can be improved
It's likely due to volume difference. If the levels aren't exactly matched with a voltmeter you'll pick the louder one as being more detailed, wider soundstage, etc.
 

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