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Question New Dac

dhp

Well-known member
Mar 2, 2016
8
1
4,525
Hi.
I recently purchased an Audiolab 6000CDT CD transport. I have it connected to a Cambridge Audio Dac magic. The audiolab CD transport is excellent and has really given my CD sound a step up.
However I'm wondering if an upgrade of my Dac will provide a further step up in sound quality. The problem is that there are so many models out there its very confusing. I have read everything I can find in terms of models and manufacturers which has left me even more confused ! Lol.

At the moment in contemplating choosing between :
Audiolab m dac plus
Topping D90
Advance Paris dx1
RME Adi-2 Dac FS

In my system I'm also using an audio lab 8000c preamp and my speakers are a pair of bi-amped monitor audio bronze 2 standmounts.

Overall I listen to many different types of music so I'm looking for somthing with a good overall balance, good detail and insight and a good well organised sound stage.

Any opinions / advice/ would be much appreciated 😊
 

Al ears

Moderator
I have heard good things about the RME but it appears overly complex.
You simply need a DAC I feel and not a DAC / Preamp.
Other than some being to handle MQA, which you may not need, there certainly are great number to choose from.
Might I also suggest you consider the Musical Fidelity MX-DAC
 

dhp

Well-known member
Mar 2, 2016
8
1
4,525
I have heard good things about the RME but it appears overly complex.
You simply need a DAC I feel and not a DAC / Preamp.
Other than some being to handle MQA, which you may not need, there certainly are great number to choose from.
Might I also suggest you consider the Musical Fidelity MX-DAC
Thanks for your reply 😊. I read about the mx dac and will add it to my list. Part of the problem is finding a dealer with my list in stock so I can take my Cambridge Audio along and do a comparison. Does the mx have a digital out ?
 

Al ears

Moderator
Thanks for your reply 😊. I read about the mx dac and will add it to my list. Part of the problem is finding a dealer with my list in stock so I can take my Cambridge Audio along and do a comparison. Does the mx have a digital out ?
No it doesn't but would be curious as to why you would need one when the purpose of a dac is to convert signal to analogue?
 

dhp

Well-known member
Mar 2, 2016
8
1
4,525
No it doesn't but would be curious as to why you would need one when the purpose of a dac is to convert signal to analogue?
Hi . I like to make my own CD compilations using a marantz cdr6000 CD recorder. My current Cambridge Audio allows me to connect all my musical digital sources to the dac and then run a digital connection out to my marantz cd recorder. It works well. It would be nice to replicate this with a new dac but it's not essential as I can run an analogue connection from my audiolab 8000c preamp to my CD recorder 😊
 

dhp

Well-known member
Mar 2, 2016
8
1
4,525
Oh i use the analogue loop from the 8000c to the marantz recorder so i can record from my turntable and cassette deck 😊
 

Gray

Well-known member
Nov 27, 2015
1,464
920
12,070
Oh i use the analogue loop from the 8000c to the marantz recorder so i can record from my turntable and cassette deck 😊
...So presumably you've still got a supply of the 'for audio' blank discs.

Here's a review of the previously mentioned MX-DAC.
No digital outs though (would be nice to keep your digital recording option
to the CDR6000):
 
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dhp

Well-known member
Mar 2, 2016
8
1
4,525
...So presumably you've still got a supply of the 'for audio' blank discs.

Here's a review of the previously mentioned MX-DAC.
No digital outs though (would be nice to keep your digital recording option
to the CDR6000):
Thanks very much. I have a good supply of disks . They are quite easy to get hold of. I'll check out the MX 😊
 
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ThisIsJimmy

Well-known member
Nov 11, 2020
101
40
120
Hello,

Since the THX 789 dropped a few years ago, it's had a glorious effect of turning the entire industry on it's head as audio nirvana can now be obtained without spending £1000s.

I own the topping D90, and love it. So long as you aren't planning to use Bluetooth (having bluetooth enabled for some bizzare reason produces audible harmonic noise) you get amazing low to high end with no audible audio distortion. As i'm not using Bluetooth I simply have this permanently disabled.

If you fancy a cost effective THX option i've read good things so far about the SMSL SU-9 DAC which released in September.

If you are interested in actual tested audio results I highly recommend you check out Audio Science Review for the models you are considering purchasing.

Jimmy
 

dhp

Well-known member
Mar 2, 2016
8
1
4,525
Hello,

Since the THX 789 dropped a few years ago, it's had a glorious effect of turning the entire industry on it's head as audio nirvana can now be obtained without spending £1000s.

I own the topping D90, and love it. So long as you aren't planning to use Bluetooth (having bluetooth enabled for some bizzare reason produces audible harmonic noise) you get amazing low to high end with no audible audio distortion. As i'm not using Bluetooth I simply have this permanently disabled.

If you fancy a cost effective THX option i've read good things so far about the SMSL SU-9 DAC which released in September.

If you are interested in actual tested audio results I highly recommend you check out Audio Science Review for the models you are considering purchasing.

Jimmy
Hi Jimmy,

Thanks so much for your input. I've read alot of good things about the Topping D90. The latest version has full MAQ support. I'm not using Bluetooth at all in my audio set up so that is not an issue. Does it provide a good soundstage and a warm sound in your experience ?
 

ThisIsJimmy

Well-known member
Nov 11, 2020
101
40
120
Hi Jimmy,

Thanks so much for your input. I've read alot of good things about the Topping D90. The latest version has full MAQ support. I'm not using Bluetooth at all in my audio set up so that is not an issue. Does it provide a good soundstage and a warm sound in your experience ?
I haven't tested MQA on mine yet (i do have that version). The Soundstage is huge and the sound is neutral and flat. Colouration would need to be done by either your amplifier or speakers. As I have lots of different headphones i like it this way.

Having just gone back to check for the sound issues i mentioned before (as some have said in other forums this was also pre-amp) I no longer have this problem with Bluetooth or Pre-AMP. It looks to have been fixed in Firmware Updates.
 

SteveR750

Well-known member
Mar 11, 2005
537
24
18,895
Hello,

Since the THX 789 dropped a few years ago, it's had a glorious effect of turning the entire industry on it's head as audio nirvana can now be obtained without spending £1000s.

I own the topping D90, and love it. So long as you aren't planning to use Bluetooth (having bluetooth enabled for some bizzare reason produces audible harmonic noise) you get amazing low to high end with no audible audio distortion. As i'm not using Bluetooth I simply have this permanently disabled.

If you fancy a cost effective THX option i've read good things so far about the SMSL SU-9 DAC which released in September.

If you are interested in actual tested audio results I highly recommend you check out Audio Science Review for the models you are considering purchasing.

Jimmy
Mentioning ASR in these forums is a bit heretic? 😅
I agree entirely, Amir's reviews and conclusions are often contraversial to the mainstream. Zen dac anyone?
 

ThisIsJimmy

Well-known member
Nov 11, 2020
101
40
120
Mentioning ASR in these forums is a bit heretic? 😅
I agree entirely, Amir's reviews and conclusions are often contraversial to the mainstream. Zen dac anyone?
Hahahaha, I've learnt the hardway to take multiple opinions, reviews and factual test results into consideration on purchasing products. Test results can say alot about the product performance and what you can expect from it. I'm not aware of anyone else other than Amir who does what he does when reviewing equipment. If others do, i'd be interested in seeing how they would compare.
 

anort3

Moderator
Dec 8, 2019
558
313
1,270
Measurements aren't everything but I appreciate having the ASR site as a reference. Especially with how much headphone stuff he reviews.
 

ThisIsJimmy

Well-known member
Nov 11, 2020
101
40
120
For information if this might sway your decision, my Topping A90 has just died this morning. I have had it since May 2020.

Just tried to power it on and got nothing. The power lead for it works in my D90 fine, so it is not a power lead issue.
I've read on Audio Science Review that some people who have had this have either needed to replace a fuse in the AMP as early batches were undersized, or had to RMA it completely.

As the UK currently (to my knowledge) has no trade deal with China at the moment, if I have to RMA with SHENZENAUDIO this could be expensive :(

I have emailed Topping support and I am now awaiting a reply. I am hoping it's just going to be the internal fuse.

Will keep you posted.

Edit: Just noticed this section was about DACs and not AMPS....sorry.
 
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nopiano

Well-known member
Feb 15, 2009
550
331
19,270
Will keep you posted.

Edit: Just noticed this section was about DACs and not AMPS....sorry.
I think it’s very relevant, because it’s easy to be wowed by a rave from someone whose never listened, plus a low price. Then you realise you’ve no support or comeback.
Decades ago I swapped kit often enough that I didn’t need warranty work, but in recent years I appreciate transferable warranties both as first time owner and as a seller/buyer of used kit.
E.G. Would you prefer PMCs non-transferable 20 year warranty, or ATCs transferable 6 year one?
 

ThisIsJimmy

Well-known member
Nov 11, 2020
101
40
120
Ok, so having investigated, the Internal fuse in the power supply has gone. Firstly i needed a flat head to get at it.

PXL_20210118_111332250.jpg

Topping supplied a spare fuse. It states 250 milliamp fuse on the cover. Comments have been raised that newer A90s are shipping with 1 Amp fuses on ASR.
PXL_20210118_110227226.jpg

Having swapped this over, I now have life in the Amp again. Will see what Topping say on the fuses.
 
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jacobmorrison

Well-known member
Feb 6, 2009
48
3
18,545
Can vouch for the MX DAC. I've had one for a few years now. The original RRP was £699 so if £499 is the new street price it's a bargain. I did find a tendency towards glare if used with silver QED cables. Since swapping to Atlas Equator I've been delighted!
 

ThisIsJimmy

Well-known member
Nov 11, 2020
101
40
120
Evening

I now have recieved a response from Topping.

Topping Response.PNG

Fortunately these wont be expensive and not as specialist as what was shipped with the unit as the increase in ampage suggests as said on ASR initial batches were under sizzed. I have found a pack of 12 for £2.50 on Amazon.
 
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