Showing 1 of 144 conversations about:
Shadow12347
34
May 17, 2018
bookmark_border
I literally just bought this from one of the certified dealers (as listed on Topping's website) from AliExpress for $250, and then this drop came.... RIP
Anyways, I came from a Modi 2 + Vali 2 and the difference is night and day... The D50 really is a very good DAC. I kept reading from multiple forums that "all DAC's sound the same once you get around $100", and honestly that is the farthest thing from the truth. The amount of detail and extension into both extremes is just absolutely stellar on this DAC. I currently have it paired with a CTH Amp, and my headphones are the TH-X00, however even with my Vali 2, this DAC extended much further than the Modi 2 ever dreamed of... In addition, it opened up the mid-range a bit, so really, it is a very significant improvement across the whole frequency range. The part that surprised me the most was the sub-bass extension. Listening to Manslaughter by Savant, there is a sub-bass wobble in the part leading up to the chorus that I had never heard before, even in the car, or with any other headphone (K712, HP-150, T50RP, etc.). It appears the limiting factor here was the Modi 2, but the D50 really just opened everything up. It also did very well with one of the most difficult artists I've come across for audio setups to properly reproduce (IMHO): Late Night Alumni. For this reason a lot of my testing with new DAC's/amps/headphones are done listening to her because she has the craziest upper range that's super delicate and nuanced, yet completely effortless, mesmerizing, and even eery. For this reason, setups that are too bright or just not the best tend to murder your ears and when it's off, it's quite noticeable. Listening to Every Breath is Like a Heartbeat on this DAC is just magical. It reproduces her voice so well and picks up every little detail. It's so rich yet so airy. I will admit it did get close to being a little too bright for my ears when paired with the Vali 2 (I'm quite sensitive to the upper region), but just how great it sounded kept me listening regardless! When paired with the CTH, it is toned down a bit in the brightness, but that doesn't take away from the detail. In fact it sounded far more natural, and it was as if she was in the same room. This second pairing appears to have a more laid back signature than with the Vali 2, which in comparison sounded a bit more artificial. That isn't bad per se, because actually overall the Vali 2 did sound quite fun and sparkly with the D50, but I think that is due to some upper range coloration.
This is a very hot DAC, however, so unfortunately, when paired with the CTH, it's a little too much power for my poor TH-X00. The volume has to be kept super low on the amp, and when the amp is turned anywhere from 0 to 11-12ish o'clock, there is audible hiss and static in the right channel. In order to mitigate this I had to attenuate on the D50 very significantly, but the nice thing is, even when attenuating to -32 db, it is still almost the same clarity and detail as when not. This allows me to get the CTH to around 2 o'clock, thus eliminating the hissing. This is a real feat for this otherwise obscure DAC that not really many people talk about. Overall I'm very impressed and can't praise it enough.
As a side note, I also picked up the Jameco Linear Power adapter (5v 1a) on Amazon and it fits perfectly and does a great job. Even with a switching power adapter and the supplied USB power cable, it still sounded quite good, so you can go either way really. I didn't notice too much of a difference here.
May 17, 2018
Jaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay
51
May 17, 2018
bookmark_border
Sir, that was a super nice helpful review, I really appreciate.
Anyway. looks like you had a schiit stack, so I wanna ask you a question.
A little different and cheaper one though, I owned modi2+magni2.
Q1. is D50 good to hook with Magni 2? Doesn't need to be good but wanna make sure its working fine with it.
Q2. you said D50 is "HOT". Is it okey to make Schiit Topping stack? ( put magni on top of D50).

Thanks.
May 17, 2018
wondroushippo
19
May 18, 2018
bookmark_border
I think he meant that the signal is "hot" as in high voltage output, which combined with the CTH's high gain, makes it difficult to use with low-sensitivity headphones in order to get great volume range. So he reduced the volume on the D50 in order to get more volume range.
Can the D50 stack on top of the CTH, @Shadow12347?
May 18, 2018
nobi_one
37
May 18, 2018
bookmark_border
Great review thanks! I also wanted to ask if the D50 is able to stack up nicely on top of the CTH? I think it should be much smaller so it can be placed behind the Tube. Any pic would be appreciated =) Cheers!
May 18, 2018
RyCan
121
May 18, 2018
bookmark_border
Thanks for the review/info. I have a couple of questions for you. Have you tried it with the Bravo Amp? Have you tried using a phone or DAP as a source or just computer. I use almost exclusively phone or tablet as source and would like to make sure it works good and if it drains the battery or charges it
May 18, 2018
Shadow12347
34
May 18, 2018
bookmark_border
No problem! And I did have a schiit stack haha. My first dac/amp combo, and I'll say I found it to be quite competent for the price :)
So for your first question, it's hard to say because I never used a Magni 2, but the connection from the D50 would definitely physically work. It has USB in, RCA out, just like the Modi 2, so it would be an easy drop in replacement. Now whether it is a sonically good pair is another question haha. Solid State amps like the Modi 2 tend to be more accurate/revealing than tube amps strictly in regards to frequency. There are still however a lot of solid states that do introduce coloration, but as a general statement, I think it's fair to say solid states tend to be brighter, whereas tube amps tend to be more laid back. Since I'm sensitive to highs, I wanted a tube amp to tame them a bit, but I also wanted an amp that could drive lower impedance headphones without distortion and hissing, and still wanted detail in the highs, albeit a little more tamed, so I stuck with hybrids. Everyone has different ears, and are sensitive to different things, but I have to say, for me, with just how well the D50 extends into the extremes of the frequency range, a Modi 2 + D50 would be too bright for me, and would probably hurt my ears, and give me a headache. That actually started happening with the Vali 2, which was a hybrid tube/solid state while I was waiting for my CTH to ship, so that may be a genuine concern. If you don't find you have this problem like me, or in other words, you really like the sonic qualities of your Modi 2 + Magni 2, then you probably won't have a problem, and you will definitely enjoy the D50 ;). As a whole, I think it is a fantastic DAC, so I think it's definitely worth the money, because for me I think this is my end game DAC. There is a point of diminishing returns with audio equipment, and more so with DACs, and I don't think spending $1k+ on a different DAC would benefit me enough to justify the cost.
And @wondroushippo is correct in describing what I meant. It's simply a volume problem, that is exacerbated by a quirk of the CTH. However, even in that situation, the D50 took it like a champ, and I'm quite impressed with the quality I get from it even when very significantly attenuating it haha.
As a side note, the D50 does get hotter in regards to temperature than my Modi 2 did, but not to the point where I think it'd be a concern.

And @wondroushippo and @nobi_one it does stack very well on the CTH! I have a power conditioner as well so I stacked the dac/amp on top of that. It also leaves room on the side for me to lay my TH-X00 on top :)
search

search
May 18, 2018
Shadow12347
34
May 18, 2018
bookmark_border
Good question! And funny enough, I have a Bravo amp on order too! I planned on bringing that one to work for my T50RP, but then I decided to upgrade my home system so I brought my schiit stack to work. Now I gotta find something to do with the Bravo haha. Once that one arrives, I can pair it up with the D50 and let you know :).
As for Phones/DAP, I have not tried it yet, and I won't have time today, as I am leaving soon, but when I get a chance to try that out, I'll drop by again, and let you know!
May 18, 2018
Anaz
1
May 18, 2018
bookmark_border
Hi, you have a problem with your CTH - you should not have any static adjusting the volume pot so contact Massdrop. I have a CTH and have no such issues.
May 18, 2018
Shadow12347
34
May 18, 2018
bookmark_border
Hi @Anaz! That is possible. What headphones do you have? I wasn't too thrilled that it was doing this, but I chalked it up as being due to the headphones sensitivity. But if you have the same headphones, or other sensitive cans and don't experience this issue, I would definitely like to get my CTH replaced lol.
I notice it when the knob is turned at any level before 11-12 o'clock. It's not on the turning, it is steady whenever it is set below that level.
May 18, 2018
Anaz
1
May 19, 2018
bookmark_border
Hello @Shadow12347, I've tried the IT01 IEM, which is very sensitive, with the CTH and did not have any static - however, the volume pot had very little travel with the IT01 and there was channel imbalance, but that is a well known issue. With regard to headphones I've used with the CTH: Elex, Sundara, HD 6XX, Cascade, & DT-770.
May 19, 2018
RyCan
121
Jul 20, 2018
bookmark_border
So did you ever get a chance to try the Bravo & D50 combo? If so, what headphones?
Jul 20, 2018
Shadow12347
34
Jul 20, 2018
bookmark_border
Oops sorry! Forgot to respond, but yes I did! It paired quite well actually. I'm quite satisfied with my D50 and am contemplating getting another for work haha. I had only tried it on my TH-X00, but the resulting sound was quite good :). What headphones do you use? Also I haven't tried it with my phone just yet. Really only my PC, but I can give that a shot when I get home since I recently obtained an OTG cable.
I'd also like to revise my above comment, because I was able to get a replacement CTH, and the new one eliminated the low volume static/hiss I had been experiencing. Thanks for the suggestion @Anaz! Now I am able to keep the D50 at 0db, and keep the volume low on the CTH and everything sounds incredible :)
Jul 20, 2018
View Full Discussion