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When being fed from a Topping D50, This has better imaging and soundstage than my Jotunheim, while sounding slightly cleaner at high volumes. You get more treble extension compared to Jotunheim. One minor issue I have is I'm getting PS hum in my LCD-2 aluminium edition whenever I touch a metal part of the cans. It only occurs in the side cup that I'm touching, and this is being driven from the balanced out. I can test with balanced input from an SMSL SU-8 if anyone is interested, but it happens with no source connected and is inaudible with music playing, and the noise level is the same regardless of gain and volume settings. I'm guessing it's because the chassis isn't grounded due to external PS. Like I said, it's not a huge issue, just a minor annoyance.
The humming in the LCDs goes away completely when touching the chassis of either the dac or the amp, and doesn't occur at all when connected via usb (so it's probably a grounding issue). As long as the amp has a connection to ground it shouldn't happen. Changed from 4 to 5 stars now, but just be aware of this minior issue. The amp is still stupid clean and there's no reason this should be a dealbreaker imo.
I'd be curious to hear how the SU-8 (balanced output) performs paired with the 789 relative to the D50 in your opinion. I'm considering both DACs, though according to Amir's review
(audiosciencereview.com) it appears the D50 measures best.
With both DACs connected, and using the input switch, I couldn't tell any difference, once volume levelled between the D50, and the SU-8 balanced using LCD-2 2016 aluminium edition from the 789's balanced out playing CD quality audio. I will continue to use the D50 with the 789 as my D50 is black, I don't like using a remote at a desk, I can use all gain settings without having to attenuate. The SU-8 will go back to my living room as an active monitor dac pre where its features are better utilised. Any differences anyone might hear between these two dacs will be down to more resolving headphones, better ears, placebo...
TL;DR: Both work just fine and sound the same.
When I use my unit at low gain and scroll the volume control , there are audible buzzes in my headphones. The buzzes stop when I stop changing the volume. Does this happen to your unit?
Are you using IEMs? I heard a kind of "scratching" noise, presumably from the pot being adjusted, but with full size cans, I don't hear anything at any gain level, especially if music is playing.
Not IEM, open-backs actually. The buzzes are only audible when music is off, only occurs at low gain, and only when I scrolling within the high range of the volume. It's just that I have never encounterer such phenomenon on my other amps.
What did you do to remove the humming?
I got humming while connected to my PC via optical only. As soon as I connected to the PC using USB, it was gone. With no source connected, I could still hear the humming. I think as long as your dac has a connection to ground, it should be fine. You don't even need to use usb input, just as long as the connection is there.