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20 minutes ago, kelossus said:

Are there any other thoughts on the D90? Particular vs other well known DAC's like the Directstream and Giesler's range of products.

 

If these units are really better than a Pavane or a Directsteam it's a simple decision and I'll buy one right now.

 

I have skimmed through a few threads on various Forums but subjective opinions or comparisons are few. For the most part the discussion seems to be focused on the how well the DAC measures and the dispute around measurements being meaningful. This is all par for the course on a forum but it's a pain to skim through 20 pages to find out very little as to what this actually sounds like.

Agree. I’d rather read subjective comparison, at least somebody bought two dac and compared.

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Man this is really tickling my buying bone. I just need some further encouragement. Digital is not my primary listening source but oddly enough I listen to more music when I have it. The relative ease of it these days gets me down in the hifi room more often.

 

I am torn as I had my heart set on a Fein II but at more than twice the price this Topping is mighty attractive.

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1 hour ago, kelossus said:

I am torn as I had my heart set on a Fein II but at more than twice the price this Topping is mighty attractive.

Well, given where you are, you are well-positioned to compare the two if you get D90. 😀

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Since that post I have now read the ASR and this SNA thread in it's entirety and it certainly has me reconsidering the whole purchase. I feel like I am getting sucked into the somewhat false hype based purely on measurements. I need some solid recommendations from experienced ears. Also historically the new Topping models get released on MassDrop at a discount, it might be worth waiting?

 

I am somewhat prepared to buy it and take a possible 30-40% loss on the 2nd hand market if it's not my cup of tea. I would need to directly compare it to the Fein/Grob to draw any conclusions. I am sure a few local SNA members would be interested to see how this stacked up, maybe even Clay?

 

I don't think it would be as good as Clay's products but that is based on nothing.

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I've just been catching up on this... labyrinth... of a thread, and noticed Silversurfer's opinion on the D90 in a headphone system (and his intention to sell his Metrum Pavane!!). 

 

In my opinion a headphone system will not tell you everything about the sound quality of a DAC. Attributes like dynamics, solidity of bass (heft), and certain frequency traits are difficult to ascertain through a headphone.

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I have not actually seen the full specs, items such as the output impedance, etc.

 

I would also rather it had higher output voltage, but that might be pushing it given the small size of its enclosure.

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5 minutes ago, PositivelyMusicallyGeared said:

I have not actually seen the full specs, items such as the output impedance, etc.

 

I would also rather it had higher output voltage, but that might be pushing it given the small size of its enclosure.

It's 4 volts though the XLRs, is that considered low? I know when I first had the Directstream in my system I noticed right away the compensation required on my volume dial, it's only 2.8v.

 

Edit: Oh wait is this a situation were the lower the voltage the better/louder?

Edited by kelossus

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4 minutes ago, kelossus said:

It's 4 volts though the XLRs, is that considered low? I know when I first had the Directstream in my system I noticed right away the compensation required on my volume dial, it's only 2.8v.

It is not low, nor is it high; and it is usually not a problem, unless you have a very demanding power amp.

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Guest Muon N'

line level is generally 2v isn't it?

 

Edit: that is what my CD Player is 2Vrms, definitely don't need higher.

Edited by Muon N'

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14 minutes ago, Muon N' said:

line level is generally 2v isn't it?

 

Edit: that is what my CD Player is 2Vrms, definitely don't need higher.

I was quoting balanced figures which are usually double. The Directstream is 1.4v unbalanced.

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Guest Muon N'
15 minutes ago, kelossus said:

I was quoting balanced figures which are usually double. The Directstream is 1.4v unbalanced.

OK, I'm only familiar with traditional levels of 2v for domestic gear and 5v for pro stuff.

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3 hours ago, was_a said:

In my opinion a headphone system will not tell you everything about the sound quality of a DAC. Attributes like dynamics, solidity of bass (heft), and certain frequency traits are difficult to ascertain through a headphone.

 

Although speakers image better and sound much more natural, headphones lack the issue of being surround by a room and are probably better for critical listening.

 

They are a much cheaper alternative to reach 'high end' and have phenomenal detail retrieval. What I'm getting at is headphones would be a better indicator of a DACs performance as very subtle things can make a DAC unlistenable.

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Guest Muon N'

I can't listen to headphones, but some seem to prefer them.

 

For myself at least listening that way would tell me little of how something would perform with my speakers.

Edited by Muon N'
typo

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The EMM Labs DV2 has a low 4V and high 7V output. Ed Meitner might know a thing or two about DACS.

Chris Connaker (Computer Audiophile/Audiophile Style) seems to prefer 7V.

 

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Guest Muon N'

What is wrong with peoples amps/pre amps that they need these high output levels :S

 

Or is it the newer chip designs or the implementations of them?

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5 minutes ago, Muon N' said:

What is wrong with peoples amps/pre amps that they need these high output levels :S

These 'low' outputs won't be a problem if one has a top-notch, sensitive pre-amp, which is expensive.

Edited by PositivelyMusicallyGeared

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The EMM Labs DV2 is not designed to be used with a preamp.

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Guest Muon N'
45 minutes ago, PositivelyMusicallyGeared said:

These 'low' outputs won't be a problem if one has a top-notch, sensitive pre-amp, which is expensive.

What low outputs?

 

They seem to have high outputs, most integrated amps and pre amps can work with 2v and and less.

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2 minutes ago, Muon N' said:

What low outputs?

 

They seem to have high outputs, most integrated amps and pre amps can work with 2v and and less.

Never mind, we've got mixed up in different things in this thread.

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1 minute ago, PositivelyMusicallyGeared said:

Never mind, we've got mixed up in different things in this thread.

Very much so :lol:

 

I was looking at a lot of these DAC's (never mind the EMM Labs one as that is not for everyone) and how they seem to have higher than the traditional 2v line level, and just trying to work out why things have moved in this direction.

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2 minutes ago, Muon N' said:

I was looking at a lot of these DAC's (never mind the EMM Labs one as that is not for everyone) and how they seem to have higher than the traditional 2v line level, and just trying to work out why things have moved in this direction.

Which DACs are you talking about? D90 has 2v.

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Guest Muon N'
4 minutes ago, PositivelyMusicallyGeared said:

Which DACs are you talking about? D90 has 2v.

I guess it came about when you said you would like a higher output, then Chris mentions another DAC that had 2.8v and he considered that low.

 

I'm also not sure what the enclosure size has to do with the output level, or how it could mean it has to be lower.

 

Edit: these newer DAC's seem to be taking over the pre side of things having volume controls and such.

Edited by Muon N'

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Guest Muon N'

I better just watch this thread and be happy that I'm sorted in this area.

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1 minute ago, Muon N' said:

I guess it came about when you said you would like a higher output, then Cris mentions another DAC that had 2.8v and he considered that low.

 

I'm also not sure what the enclosure size has to do with the output level, or how it could mean it has to be lower.

The EMM Labs DV2 does have higher output:

 

Maximum output levels: 8.04 or 7.22V (+20.3/19.4dBu), balanced; 4.02 or 3.61V (+14.3/13.4dBu), unbalanced.

 

which is fantastic as DAC output, and also makes it able to drive a power amp directly. Even so, it does not compare with a dedicated pre-amp.

 

D90, with its 2v output, is not in the same category.  As for the size of the enclosure, it seems to me that many manufacturers of DACs, who rely on online business, seem to want to limit product size, or rather the weight of the product to under 2kg, very much with the postage in mind. High output wouldn't be a priority in such a situation.

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8 hours ago, kelossus said:

Since that post I have now read the ASR and this SNA thread in it's entirety and it certainly has me reconsidering the whole purchase. I feel like I am getting sucked into the somewhat false hype based purely on measurements. I need some solid recommendations from experienced ears. Also historically the new Topping models get released on MassDrop at a discount, it might be worth waiting?

 

I am somewhat prepared to buy it and take a possible 30-40% loss on the 2nd hand market if it's not my cup of tea. I would need to directly compare it to the Fein/Grob to draw any conclusions. I am sure a few local SNA members would be interested to see how this stacked up, maybe even Clay?

 

I don't think it would be as good as Clay's products but that is based on nothing.

I think amazon has them for sale? Buy from amazon if not like, return it. 

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