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Got mine a week ago from China as well. Go figure. Anyhow subjective impressions:
Me: I am a neutral / reference audio fiend who leans towards clean, detailed upper range, forward well defined Mids, modest, punchy Bass with no bleed. Bass kills a headphone for me if it compromises Mids or top end creating a veiled affect. My 51 year old ears are already rolled off on the high frequencies so my setup must accommodate. Shift a frequency range up for me not down.
I've had an original Magni / Modi stack paired with some Sony 7506's for office listening for years. It worked and was cheap. Office noise increased so i went down the road of noise cancellation acquiring Bose 25, 35s. They worked well for cancellation but fidelity is just not there of course.
I picked up some DT880's but no isolation, great sound. I purchased some MSR7's and have been very happy with them for detail and range. Great headphones for the money. I needed more isolation so I picked up a pair of Ety ER4S's. Razor clarity. Hard to listen to depending on source, song, amp. I purchased a RHA L1 portable amp. This has dual Sabre 9018's. The pairing with the Ety's was sublime. Personal, articulate, intense. I fell in love with the Sabre for its clarity because of the L1. The L1 amp burnt out so back to Amazon it went (internal battery). Heartbreak...
Researching Sabre combos led to Topping then to this little gem. Dual 9038's. How could I go wrong. Quick order from China. Setup was a breeze connecting to a Rupert Neve amp.
Listening to the D50 with Ety's and the MSR7's shows immediately that the intense, articulate sound I found in the L1 was not there. The D50 is a more refined, warm sounding DAC paired with the Rupert Neve. I have the Magni I can pair the D50 with but the Rupert Neve is meant for this DAC. Spending time with my setup I only focus on Tidal streams so source tracks are normally of good quality but the D50 will reveal any low quality issues with music, compression.
I am now auditioning some Beyerdynamic T5P 2nd with the DAC and have now moved on knowing the D50 does what it is meant to do. No flash, no drop jaw moments just clean, detailed, refined sound paired with a good amp. I have my Burr Brown and Magni combo to add some warmth to the Ety's as they can be a bit shrill with the D50 but outside of that its time to play with headphones.
This is a great DAC in my opinion. What will happen is this will sell very well and this drop will close making the D50 hard to find in time. At $200 this is a no brainer. Pick it up now and enjoy.
Thanks! I have two neutral, borderline cold headphones and something slightly warm and refined is exactly what I was looking for.