Need Balanced DAC to break USB ground-loop

PC–USB–E30–RCA–L30–RCA-- Adam T10S–RCA–T5V’s

Headphones are great but powered monitors have nasty ground loop.
PC / monitors / usb hub all share a UPS with Amp/Dac/sub/monitors. its a dedicated circuit i pulled originally just for my PC (its a big boi)

I know a high end workstation isnt an ideal audio source… I did try an IFI usb ground loop eliminator which did remove nearly all the noise but a high pitch noise remains.
volume has no effect on noise @PC or Pre-amp but gain knob at monitor does. so monitor is seeing noise as signal.

I have tried optical which does totally solve this noise but i already use the optical IN for my TV and the only decent switch could find supporting 192khz (monoprice) seems to have already failed and i liked being able to play some of my DSD via foobar without converting to PCM.

Moving forward upgrading to a fully balanced DAC with Pre-Amp functionality would allow me to leave my L30 alone for headphone use and use the XLR’s for my monitors.

Having trouble finding options under say 500 that have a volume knob… otherwise i’d probaly just get a Bifrost2

any advice is welcome! thanks for reading!

Does Soncoz have volume knob? I know Gustard X16 does

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Thanks! I will look at these when I get home in a few. Are these fairly new? seems like every 6months I see something come out beating all before it… is the D30Pro comparable?

About half a year. I haven’t heard the D30Pro, but they seem to be similarly priced

iFi ZEN DAC is balanced but I don’t know whether u can control volume

Yes, you can control the volume of the outputs on the Zen DAC, you just need to make sure the switch on the back is set to Variable:

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great suggestions! I definitely prefer the Gustard features and performance over the IFI but it’s probably not fair to compare them!

does the X16 have any rivals? I may just order one tonight.

Even in the US its getting hard to find anything in stock!


LOL while that amp might pair well with X16 I was hoping for another balanced DAC in the price range that could RIVAL the X16.

I think your wires got crossed their :wink:

For what it’s worth I love my x16. SMSL m400 isn’t nearly as good and d90 was ok but still not nearly as good sounding. The x16 I want to say has drastically higher detail or higher tonal density (maybe wrong terminology) and just straight up has a more engaging sound. I love it. R2Rs might sound more natural or whatever but after some tube preamp magic it’s phenomenal. I would highly recommend the x16. Didn’t think I’d like it this much but holy shit it’s good.


WOW… Yeah, sorry… My brain was obviously more scrambled than I thought after dealing with a work emergency over the past couple days…

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ended up ordering a Geshelli JNOG2 and the Erish for kicks. Hope this and all those xlr cables are worth.

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