Moondrop Dawn - Lineout

Maybe a odd and(or) stupid questions… but here goes.

Was thinking getting the Moondrop Dawn and use it as a balanced dac for an (undefined) balanced amp as it has up to 4Vrms on the output. And then just run 4.4 to 4.4 or 4.4 to XLR into the amp?

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I did something similar for quite some time with a Qudelix 5k → Topping A30pro. So I would say go for it.
Would you connect it to a PC or phone? The description says it has a low/ high gain setting but only in the app. Guess you would have to connect to a phone once and set it to high gain, hope it saves this settings for a PC use.

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Great!
Thanks - what make you change away from it?
Reason why I am looking this direction is just to slim down the footprint on the desk.

Was planned for using it as my PC setup - mostly my desktops but also laptop sometime.
Could set it up via the Android app firstly if that saves the setting.

Running my headphones mostly on a TV but still want to EQ. So the Q5K was my DAC with build in EQ either hooked up to the TV by USB or bluetooth. Then connected to the amp and running a 6m 3.5mm extension cord across the edge of the room to the couch.

Why did I change it? Also wanted it more simple and clean and changed back to bluetooth dac/amps only. First to a ifi Gryphon but there I missed the flexible EQ settings. Just tried the xduoo poke 2 but its bass boost goes up to far in the midrange. Have a BTR7 incoming these days and hope I can settle on it for some time.

Okay, that sound like a smart way about it.
Thanks for the input!

Bluetooth was also one of the way I considered - been using UTWS3 with some of my IEMs for some time and like the formfactor.
Been eyeing the BTR7 seen launch - let us know how it is.

Just cannot decide how I want the setup to be.

What is your current setup / dac / amp ? Power hungy headphones?
How about a dac/amp combo if you only want to get rid of the DAC? Something like a DX3pro+, DX5, JDS Element 3…
Combos limit your choice of course, not too many out there.

Sold most of my gear a few year back - was down to a Matrix Audio Mini-i Pro and now it the UTWS3 and a PowerDac V2 - and for headphones it’s mostly IEMs right now as that has been what I preferred the last few years. Been eyeing some of the newer Planar full size cans, am a sucker for Planar punch.

Yes, true something like a combo unit would be the easy way - the MX5 sound nice! But honestly I was looking at the RNHP(or maybe the cheap E600) and a Xduoo MT604 that I would need some dac for and I like the DAC to be as small as possible. Even looked at some of those ALC5686 USB-C to XLR/RCA cable from Aliexpress which has caught my attention but have not seen anyone try them(could mean I need to) :wink:

You could use this as your DAC!?

You mean the DAC and Speaker + Headphone amp combo? Sure, also possible if you can use the speaker amp part. Price to performance wise the DX3pro+ would be the best for headphones.

With a separate (dongle)DAC you are much more flexible, that’s true. If you don’t like to use your E1DA
just go with the Dawn. Only downside of the Dawn is that it is 4.4mm only. If you ever get an amp with no balanced input it will be a problem. Alternative would be the Hidizs S9 with 3.5mm and 2.5mm.

Just asked on the PD discord where they said would be risky with no ground lead on 2.5mm TRRS. Could fry the dac they said.

True that the DX3 properly is the best option of those two although speaker in not out of the office yet. :sweat_smile:

Yes, getting a 3.5 and 4.4 dongle would be more safe.

I used the 2.5mm to xlr myself, no problem after I got the right cable. First I got a 2.5mm to 2x xlr cable which was wrong soldered. On almost mono tracks it still worked. On songs with a big stereo effect the qudelix stoped playing and went into a protection mode. Got a 4.4mm to 2x XLR and a 4.4mm->2.5mm then, no problems after that.

Both amps you are looking at have a balanced input so I guess it will be fine with the dawn. Worst case you need to buy another cheap 3.5mm dongle (hidizs S8 / tempotec sonata) in the future.

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Thanks again for the confirmation!

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You cant run the moondrop dawn as a line output. Specifically, you can’t run it on full volume. The dawn has a quirk that it can only be run on less than full volume. At full volume, the distortion goes through the roof. It’s a bug in the 3131 chipset that only some manufacturers have been able to solve.

You have some measurements? What is the max output voltage before the distortion exceeds 1%?

Edit:
Wolf’s measurement says it is fine. Voltage goes almost up to 4V on a 300 Ohm headphone, so on an amp with its input impedance in the kilo Ohm range there will be no problem.

(translated link)

Edit 2:

Ah. Okay, I see the multitone test at 0dB is like 30db(-80dB is still just 0.01% distortion) worse than if you reduce the volume digitally by just -0.5dB. I doubt you can actually hear that. When does a track play at full volume / 0dB? Only at short peaks for the dynamic range. Especially if C4PPY will use the MT604 with tubes it won’t be a measuring wonder anyway. Maybe he already got the Dawn and can report if he hears a difference if he drops windows volume to 95/100.

Definitely find something with a dedicated line out like the gryphon or line out setting like the ES100, hiby DAPs.

Have not ordered or settled yet on what the plan will be.
Will give an update on it later when I have made up my mind.

But thank you for the follow up and inputs.

As I also just saw the new DAC and BT receiver from Xduoo with balanced out. Which could be a easy way for 169$

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The original idea was to have something small.

The gryphon is not small and quite pricy to just use it as a DAC.

Same things goes with a DAP. Big and he would pay for things he doesn’t need.

ES100 outputs only 1V SE or 2V balanced, so half the regular voltage the amp expects which means the amp power drops to 25%

Just examples that came to mind and yes the Gryphon is small it’s just not BTR small. It is also a very good DAC when I compare it to my D90.
I wouldn’t ever assume on what someone needs or what their budget is but I can tell you that any information provided gives the OP a different perspective.

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