High End Audiophile Thread Part 2

Discussion in 'Soundcards, Speakers HiFI & File formats' started by vbetts, Sep 24, 2018.

  1. mikeysg

    mikeysg Ancient Guru

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    The Tri Audio I3 came today, leaving it overnight with one of my DAPs to 'burn in' the drivers, but from my initial impression of it, I think I've found my go to ChiFi IEM. As promised, some pics...
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    Edit - I've found my Soundblaster Zx and I'm thinking of using it on my gaming rig. I think Win10 64bit allows for multiple drivers, so I ain't too concern about that. But, the quality of Creative drivers is notoriously......shoddy at best, that's my big concern. What's the best driver for the Zx (64bit Win10 v2004)? Also, the cable on the Zx controller has only one plug (for stereo) to the soundcard, does that mean I can only get stereo, or can the card do some DSP magic to simulate surround? This is for the headphone output on the controller as I want to get surround effect on my headphone. If it can do stereo and only stereo, then it'd be a non-starter for me as I already have my iFi Micro iDSD BL for stereo.
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2020
  2. Anarion

    Anarion Ancient Guru

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    Just use the latest driver available. It can do HRTF by DSP simulation (SBX surround). Games should be set to 5.1 and Windows speaker config should be also set to 5.1. You can then control the surround effect through the Sound Blaster control panel. Setting Sound Blaster control to headphone mode will do that.

    Ordered Topping L30. It will match with my E30.
    topping-l30-headphone-amplifier-preamplifier-nfca-black.jpg
    Looking forward to those better gain options. -9,9dB gain is extremely handy - it might allow me to just rely on adjusting the volume through the L30 alone. Measurements wise it's rather massive upgrade from O2 in every possible way (power, distortion, noise, crosstalk). It's has incredible performance for the money.
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2020
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  3. sverek

    sverek Ancient Guru

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    Nice stack, been using Topping A30/D30 combo for a while now, seems like a decent quality products, holds up nicely.

    Enjoy!
     
  4. Anarion

    Anarion Ancient Guru

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    The good thing about this is that I can finally enjoy the music properly when working. The RealTek crap in my work laptops is beyond horrible. I still get all the DSP benefits from my AE-5 so I don't loose any functionality (win-win). L30 will nicely complete the stack (well, I'll be using them side by side...). It's basically the stack to get at them moment for best price/performance/features ratio.

    So far I don't have anything bad to say about E30. For technical reasons I would have preferred ESS ES9038Q2M over AKM AK4493 (it has benefits like no pop when switching sample rates for example, less leaky filters than what AKM offers - shouldn't be audible though). It does seem that it's it's harder to implement Sabre DACs properly but Topping did a wonderful job with D10s.

    The improvements in amp and DACs has been rather crazy lately.
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2020
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  5. Chastity

    Chastity Ancient Guru

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    If your DAC is popping when switching sample rates, then blame your manufacturer/designer (Topping), and not AKM. It could be the USB interface causing it and not the DAC at all. My SMSL M300 MKII doesn't have this issue at all, and it's an AK4497 solution. I haven't read about this on other forums regarding AK4493 rigs.
     
  6. Anarion

    Anarion Ancient Guru

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    It's simple and cheap to solve when using Sabre DAC, AKM requires workarounds. With AE-5 you can't hear anything when it switches sample rate. It's hardly audible "tsup" when using E30 (depending on what you are playing it may be really hard to even notice) - a non-issue in practice since basically all my audio content is CD quality save some bluray live stuff which are 24-bit 48kHz (and I don't usually even use exclusive WASAPI or ASIO).
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2020
  7. mikeysg

    mikeysg Ancient Guru

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    I was thinking of getting a new DAP to go with the IEM's, not only my ChiFi ones (I do have a few mainstream higher end ones), but I've discovered that my unlocked (paid) version of Onkyo HF Player can be set to:

    1. Output music in DSD 2.8 or DSD 5.6 straight to my iBasso DC02 which decodes and amplifies the music, so I can enjoy my DSD files on my both my phones as well as on my Tab S5e.
    2. Real time convert my FLAC/WAV files into DSD2.8 or DSD5.6 onto my DC02 for PCM->DSD music (though I don't bother as I don't believe that'd be any appreciable benefits). I simply leave it to output in their native formats.

    Both my Huawei P30 Lite and Fold can handle the real time conversion if I wanted them to, but I leave that part out, more keen to load some of my DSD albums into my phones. Looking to get a new phone in a few months, so I'd prolly be looking for one with at least 512GB of internal storage (bare min would be 256GB) + mSD slot with support of up to 2TB, just hope that by that time, fast 1TB mSD cards are out in greater number and are cheaper.
     
  8. alanm

    alanm Ancient Guru

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    The new KEF LS50 Meta Speaker

     

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