Upgrade to Topping D50s?

I have been looking at a possible upgrade from the Schiit Modi 3 to the Topping D50s. I connect to a dedicated laptop via USB to play FLAC and Qobuz in my main system playing through a Yamaha A-S701 Integrated and Klipsch RP- 600Ms or through the SMSL SP 200 and Sundaras… Worth the upgrade under these circumstances? The Bluetooth addition would be an added bonus… Any other recomendations?

I’ve heard fantastic recommendations of the Topping E30. I think this thread may answer some questions for the under $200 DAC questions (besides Gesheli Labs ENOG SMSL SU-8). 🔷 EarMen Donald DAC

I have been eyeballing theTopping E30 and the SMSL SU-8 as well. I guess my question is the E30 a lateral to the Modi 3 or for that fact the D50s and the SU-8 also?

Lateral move? Personally I feel you want an R-2R dac to start hearing something different and unique. But that is my personal preference.

The D50s is a good option if you want Bluetooth. Otherwise go with the E30. I think both are generally considered to sound better than the Modi. But the sound alone is probably not enough to warrant changing for most people. I recommend waiting for the D50s to go sale on Drop which is what I’m doing

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I had the Schiit Modi 3 and the SU8 was definitely a upgrade to it. and i hear the D50s is comparable to the SU8.

Not sure about the E30 if its comparable to the D50 and SU8 i tend to doubt that it is. but like Dago ive heard some pretty good things about it.

But now i’m advised that a r2r is a upgrade to the SU8. I’m currently looking for a Soekris. But theres a LOT of r2r bitfrosts on ebay for sale at 200$ if you want to try that. not the latest bifrost mind you. which i hear is a big upgrade to the previous bifrost

I’d agree with this, and perhaps the Modi3 → something else is worth while, but to me the difference is subtle between any of the lower priced DAC’s.
If holding off on the purchase to move up later to something like a Bifrost 2, I’d consider that.
Bouncing around between <$300 DAC’s when they are for the most part just implementations of a basic manufacturer provided design isn’t really improving a system.


I did a little research on ladder DACs and I am not sure if that would be my cup of tea. I am more into the transparent revealing sound signature… although, it would be interesting to hear the difference they make for sure.

What about a soekris dac1421? It’s a neutral slightly analytical leaning dac, that’s pretty great if you wanted something transparent and revealing

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Speaking of DAC’s have started doing your comparisons yet or are you waiting for the BF2 to come in?
If there is a thread I have missed, please let me know.

I have been hoovering up DAC info like crazy, but I still need more real world experiences.

Thank you.

I haven’t really documented it anywhere else lol, I touched a bit on it in the aune x8 thread but not too much. Still waiting on the b2

Weren’t you getting the Ares II and a couple of others? Or did you already have a couple that you were going to compare against the Ares II and Bifrost 2?

I think for now I will go with the Topping D50s… a subtle upgrade in sound, but I really like the extra features and functionality. This discussion does have me thinking about a second DAC in the system to use with the less than stellar recordings. I was thinking that this is where the r2r and Multibit DACs would fit for me.

I mean that case I would actually say grab something like a ifi zen dac since it’s warmer and smoother, and isn’t going to reveal too much to avoid harshness, I wouldn’t get a higher tier dac to use for worse quality recordings lol (although it would work just fine)

If you feel a lower tier Delta sigma DACs is more accurate then I have to politely disagree. I believe you are letting measurements you see online drive your decisions. More specifically, I would argue against a saver DAC for transparent or details. I think a well designed akm based DAC is more of what you are looking for. However, I agree with M0N and recommend the Soekris. Comparing a DragonFly Cobalt and a relative to the Soekris by a friend with Stax, hearing was believing.

If you want an interesting set of reviews on DACs, look up the Denafrips Ares DAC reviews. Please know measurements tell only a small part of a story.

That is what I am here for… to hear others experienced opinions. I appreciate it a lot. But I also know that what people hear and like is subjective. Measurements are not subjective. I tend to lean heavily towards very low distortion equipment and that sound signature. I do respect yours and MON’s opinion on the Soekris 1421. I am fairly new to DACs; I was perfectly happy with whatever was in the equipment I had… I got curious. There are a lot of people here with way more experience with DACs and other components than I have, but they still have a preference to a sound signature and I try to take that in to account when making decisions. I would love to try the Soekris 1421, but to go from a $100 DAC to a $900 DAC seems like a big leap for something that may not fit my ear, especially when that price tag is higher than any single piece of equipment I presently own. A good example is the SMSL SP 200 purchase I made recently. There were some here that liked the sound signature, others didn’t. I pay attention to what is described… something someone may dislike may be something that is appealing to me. I like the SP 200 paired with the Sundaras a lot. So, I figured the Topping D50s fit into what I typically lean towards measurement wise as well as what people are saying about the sound. I am not expecting a huge difference for sure… the additional functionality was a selling point also. I have no doubt that this is any kind of end game for me… Half the fun is taking those steps and learning as I go, maybe trying something different at some point.

With the SP200, would you be interested in a balanced DAC? That’s about the best reason I could think of to skip the D50s.

I’ve got a D90 paired with a Monoprice 887, and that has been endgame level clean reference sound for me. The D90 is $700, but has everything (dual 4499, balanced out, Bluetooth, remote, and the ability to disable paths you’re not using.

There are cheaper balanced DACs that look very attractive, like SMSL M500 @ $400.

Otherwise, the D50s packs a lot of features and performance into a small package. I just bought one from Drop for a system I’m building for a friend. Still about 3 weeks out, but Drop price was a great deal @ $185.

SMSL M200 is now available, bluetooth + balanced + made for the SP200 :slight_smile:


Imagine if it didn’t have the slant lol


They’re “cheating” a bit though? They’re going for an apparently full-balanced stack but the XLR headphone out itself is not even balanced internally, it’s just for convenience.

Although, do you hear a difference between 1/4" and XLR, @M0N?