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Calaverasgrande
1490
Oct 2, 2019
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  • Signal-to-noise ratio (A-weighted): >90dB
laughable at the price. There are multiple DACs and amps that beat this for less.
Oct 2, 2019
dicynodont
82
Oct 2, 2019
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As a much-accursed audiophile, signal-to-noise ratio is the last thing I look at when determining sound quality. It's easy to make a high-SNR amp that sounds lifeless and uninteresting. Have you ever checked the SNR of single-ended vacuum tube amps? At least PS Audio is a well-known name brand for audiophiles, so it's much more like to sound really good. Unlike most of off-brand audio companies here on Drop... This is literally the first Drop audiophile product that doesn't make me hesitate.
Oct 2, 2019
Calaverasgrande
1490
Oct 2, 2019
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I get you on that. I own some SE gear. I've even built some. However, the SNR is the only spec I could find about the audio path in the details. Nothing about freq bandwidth, crosstalk, intermodulation distortion etc. One of these days I'm going to pull the trigger on one of these DACs and/or amps. I need one! But there is always something that sours the deal.
Oct 2, 2019
Evshrug
2337
Oct 3, 2019
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It would help if you could hear it. But, we as a society voted to mostly kill off brick and mortar stores, preferring to read reviews or stick to known brands. Might’ve been hard to find a Sprout for demoing anyway. I use my Sprout II every day. It’s almost a shame that I have a dedicated headphone amp, because the Sprout could replace so many parts, but I mostly just use it with optical input from my TV’s pass through, plus my bookshelf speakers or a pair of headphones. This has had plenty of volume with no background noise with my speakers and all the full-size headphones I’ve used with it. I think a 90dB S:N could be an issue for amping sensitive IEMs, and maybe an easier to drive headphone, but I use it with my Sennheiser HD 650, AKG K612 Pro, and Fostex TH-X0-II. Recently, I got to borrow a pair of Focal Elear, but the stiffness and weight (and thick cord!) are not for me. None of these have any issues with the Sprout, and sound on par with a $300 headphone DAC/Amp, fairly plain sound as some have said but a tad on the dry side. I think it makes my planar leaf Chane bookshelves sound clearer and have better imaging than my $200 Yamaha receiver, and so it has become the audio centerpiece of my living room. Add to that, the Sprout has Bluetooth and vinyl pre-amp input features and I truly think it is a bargain. I’ve read that the original Sprout has a warmer sound to it, possibly due to the Wolfson DAC in it (I don’t know the model number, but I associate Wolfson with the 5th generation iPod and the iPhone 4S), but the Sprout II’s ES9016 DAC chip is still a fairly strong performer. Only issues I’ve had with it: 1.) the Bluetooth receiver is always on, even if the Sprout has a different input selected, so I’ll often come home and find out my phone or iPad are silent because they are outputting to the Sprout. 2.) the hand remote is small, about the size of the AppleTV remote, and both can disappear from time to time. Also, the remote’s volume “steps” are very small, so it’s slow to change the volume. I find it fascinating that the remote is magnetic. Of course, the first Sprout doesn’t have a remote, so...
(Edited)
Oct 3, 2019
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