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In need suggestions for choose a dac/amp stack or all in one unit

DnKa
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Hi,

 

New in the audio section so please keep it dump enough to understand if you give any reasoning for you suggestion.

I been going in circles about what to get for my desktop and ps5, so I am in need of help also I have no clue what is good to get.

 

I am living in the UK, so please keep in mind when recommending. The plan is to buy soming I am going to keep for long, so there is no specific budget in mind but be resonable.

 

Don't have a headphone right now but will buy one so I want amp that I don't need to worry about not enough power to run it properly, not sure what yet but will creat a new topic for it later.

I got Yahama HS5 studio monitors and planning to get a powered subwoofer maybe Yahama HS8S but that will be decide later when I got there to buy one.

 

Fetures I would want to have:

  • balanced outputs - its seem better at not picking up noise, is XLR cables better at this?
  • if it have a screen I wish to turn it brighness down or off, best if would be automatic but at worst I would put a dark film on it to reduce the light
  • maybe a seperate output for the subwoofer
  • wish for more than one usb input but from my reaserch there is not many if they exist.

Must not to be big about the sizes below.

 

The dac/amp and all in one I am looking right now:

  • topping:
    • D90 (or se) + A90
    • D30pro + A30pro
    • DX3 pro+
    • EX5
    • DX7 pro
  • smsl su9 + smsl sh9
  • schiit - used only as th store in UK have no stock at all, used also limited but every now and then there is good selection

Please let me know if you got any other recommending.

Thank you reading it maybe bit to long but wanted give as much information I could, but any question I can answer I will.

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I tend to be partial to Schiit since they're based out of the US (and I'm in the US), but as far as I'm concerned Schiit, SMSL and Topping all make good products. I'm not super familiar with the SMSL / Topping offerings when it comes to features, but pretty much everything you've mentioned will sound identical. They all have THD+N so low that it's completely inaudible. 

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No real recommendations on audio gear (personally I'm using the JDS Labs Element III and really enjoy it) but I've got some comments on your wish list.

 

34 minutes ago, DnKa said:

balanced outputs - its seem better at not picking up noise, is XLR cables better at this?

Noise isn't really an issue unless your headphone cable runs next to mains power. Balanced outputs are meant to improve channel separation, which isn't a problem with any decent single-ended amplifier, or for more power because they use multiple amplifiers.

 

34 minutes ago, DnKa said:

wish for more than one usb input but from my reaserch there is not many if they exist.

You can use a USB switch for this. It means another box in the setup, but it will work with any DAC.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

 

 

Desktop:

Intel Core i7-11700K | Noctua NH-D15S chromax.black | ASUS ROG Strix Z590-E Gaming WiFi  | 32 GB G.SKILL TridentZ 3200 MHz | ASUS TUF Gaming RTX 3080 | 1TB Samsung 980 Pro M.2 PCIe 4.0 SSD | 2TB WD Blue M.2 SATA SSD | Seasonic Focus GX-850 Fractal Design Meshify C Windows 10 Pro

 

Laptop:

HP Omen 15 | AMD Ryzen 7 5800H | 16 GB 3200 MHz | Nvidia RTX 3060 | 1 TB WD Black PCIe 3.0 SSD | 512 GB Micron PCIe 3.0 SSD | Windows 11

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Balanced is definitely advantageous going from the DAC to the amplifier as it helps tackle the issue of ground loops. It isn't always an issue, but I consider balanced inputs and outputs to be worth the extra cost. 

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