DAC AMP combo advice - K9 Pro, DX7 Pro, Element 2 or stack


I’m looking for some help and advice for my setup.

My home office currently has a PC setup, Mac setup and Apple TV. I’m running a Topping A50s and D50s as the hub of my system. PC is connected via USB, Mac is connected via COAX (using a Topping D10s). I have power speakers running off my D10s, and a Topping PA3 for my powered speakers. Apple TV connects via bluetooth.

My setup is across a L shaped desk with speakers per setup (my passive are used for mucis, active are mostly used for Teams/Zoom calls and YouTube to be honest).

I want to split into two dedicated setups.

My work/production setups needs DAC/AMP (stack or combo) for my MacBook Pro, Apple TV (and in a incoming Mac mini), that will also have my Mackie powered speakers. I usually use Drop DCA Aeon Open X on this setup.

For my PC, mostly used for gaming, but will be learning video editing and also for listening to music when not working. Because of my zoom layout, this DAC AMP (stack or combo) need to have RCA or XLR out for my Topping PA3 too. I mostly use my DT1990 Pro on this.

I also have DT177X, Focal Elegia, Sundara and Moondrop Kato.

I have been reading up/watching reviews on the DX3 Pro+, DX7 Pro, Asgard 3 (with ESS DAC), Matrix mini 3, Fiio K9 and some others.

I don’t know whether my A50s/D50s stack should stay my daily driver and I get something simple for my PC, or if I use that on my PC with the PA3 and I get a new stack/combo for my work setup.

Any advice would be great. I’d upload a pic but if won’t let me. If anyone is in the DMS Discord I can ping one in there.

Stev e

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first, welcome to HFG SeveBA!

second, your setup is very good already, I would suggest you consider buying some USB and RCA switches to jump around your configurations as your needs change. :slight_smile:

What kind of music do you listen to? Do you have a preference for warmer / fun, neutral or analytical sound profiles?

hey, my setup is over two desks with too many cables hence wanting another amp. Also i have user cases where i need audio out of mac & pc at the same, which I cant do :frowning:

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The reason I want an additional setup is these will be on two separate desks, so standalone setups.

I did order the Matrix Mini 3, but my order was cancelled as out of stock.

I listen to EDM, DnB, Techno, Metal, nu-metal, punk, indie, movie sound tracks and all sorts.

Suggest you put the gear that you get the most enjoyment out of where you do the most music listening. The gear you are looking at will do a great job for all the other activities you have mentioned.

I have used Schiit stacks, FiiO k9 Pro and Matrix Mini i3 Pro. All are solid but if you can fit it in the budget I would suggest the K9 Pro. Just beware that they are coming out with a new model K9 Pro ESS which has a dual DAC setup and costs about ~$150 USD more than the Pro. This will replace the current K9 Pro and stores are starting to sell out of that model.

If you get the Matrix Mini i3 just be aware that is has an unusually high headphone output impedance. This will have an audible impact when listening to your Sundaras, Katos and Elegia as they are all low impedance. If this is not making sense you can google it and people have discussed it in their reviews.

Whatever you choose it will be a solid desktop system so don’t worry about if you made the wrong decision. Just turn on the music and enjoy!

My Matrix mini was called by Hifigo (which cost me $25 because of exchange rates and charges), I went to order a JDS Element 3, which then went to back order and each time I’ve tried to order the K9 Pro it’s been “pre-order” - which I’ve been stung on before.

So going to stick as is for now as my Topping A50s drives all my headphones and the D50s is good enough for me.

Thanks for the advice :slight_smile: