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Between the D30, the Aune X1S , and Crace Design, which would be best with this amp. I already have mine (got it last week) or should I go with something else? I'm new at this, obviously, so help! I have the 6XX, the HE4XX and Focal Elex on the way. Thanks in advance!
I own a Grace Design SDAC and Topping D50, swapping between them to the THX 789, and then to a MD HiFiMan HE4XX.
I listen to a lot of classical music and I'm currently using Vivaldi's Four Seasons, with lots of string instruments, to do my critical listening.
With the D50 I'm finding that what I thought was one violin was in fact two. And I can also 'hear' the concert hall, where with SDAC I thought it was a studio with sound dampeners.
Now I'm going through my entire classical music collection to discover all the instruments I missed.
Hi, I also use a D50 to feed 789 and often use a pair of HE4XX. Have you experimented with the different filters on the D50? They're in the menu under "1. PCM FIR".
In normal use I can't tell the difference except for one of them, but I haven't bothered to do anything other than page through the filters until I hear (or think I hear) a change. I'm just curious about what you would take away from it. My hearing is not what it was ten years ago, and I know I'm susceptible to confirmation bias to a certain extent. I'm assuming your hearing is better than mine, or at least you can better discern when critically listening, because I keep getting worse at it.
I'm using the default PCM FIR - mode 1. I haven't experimented with other modes just yet.
The difference is subtle, as far as I can tell, and few and far in between. And it is only on certain recording that hasn't been mastered. If it has been mastered then I can't tell the difference between the SDAC and D50.
I'm not sure if this is the right way to do it, but I try to identify the unmastered ones as those that I can hear the rustling noise of the people of the orchestra, and can sense the hall or room that they a reciting in - not that there's any certainty, but there is likelihood that it is unmastered.
With the filters I can only guess that the biggest difference would be between the mode 1 and mode 2 or 7, given that they roll off much earlier at around 17~18kHz.
But I think the weakest link is the headphone that is limiting the opportunity to hear the difference, particularly when the frequency response curve drops off too fast after 10kHz. I think it's time for me to start negotiating with the Ministry for War and Finance for authorisation to buy a flagship headphones.
I decided to go with both the Grace Design and the D30 . Now they've shipped, it's just a matter of waiting for one of them to arrive. I really wish they had 2nd shipping...