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Topping has just released a new dac with the AKM4499.  

Has no headphone support but has BT and XLR.  

The measurements apart from s/pdif are almost as good as it gets 

 

 

https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/topping-d90-balanced-usb-dac-review.10519/

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I do like the idea of BT.

My family hates using Tidal, if they could just stream spotify via BT to the dac, that would make everyone happier

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8 minutes ago, sir sanders zingmore said:

I do like the idea of BT.

My family hates using Tidal, if they could just stream spotify via BT to the dac, that would make everyone happier

Like wise....

 

 but m done with the boss using her iPhone 7 as a boom box!  🙄

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Thanks for the link. 

 

This is a review and detailed measurements of the Topping D90 Balanced USB DAC 

 

But there's no review, just measurements! After which the OP heartily recommends the D90 because of its low noise and distortion. There's no mention of sound quality or that he even listened to it!

 

I couldn't get through all the enthusiastic responses on the subsequent 10 pages of the thread, I was laughing too hard.😃

 

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2 minutes ago, was_a said:

Thanks for the link. 

 

This is a review and detailed measurements of the Topping D90 Balanced USB DAC 

 

But there's no review, just measurements! After which the OP heartily recommends the D90 because of its low noise and distortion. There's no mention of sound quality or that he even listened to it!

 

I couldn't get through all the enthusiastic responses on the subsequent 10 pages of the thread, I was laughing too hard.😃

 

That's all they ever do on ASR. Sometimes they don't even listen to the device after the measurements, they just recommend it if it measures well or not./

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Extraordinary!! No wonder Topping sends him freebies.... They must love that site!

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by was_a

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24 minutes ago, Ittaku said:

Sometimes they don't even listen to the device after the measurements,

But often they do

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15 minutes ago, sir sanders zingmore said:

But often they do

Yes and they always say that everything sounds the same, since they all measure below the threshold of human hearing so it's a foregone conclusion to them that it will sound that way. Makes me wonder why they recommend anything over a Topping D10 with that mentality then 🤷‍♂️

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2 hours ago, Ittaku said:

Yes and they always say that everything sounds the same, since they all measure below the threshold of human hearing so it's a foregone conclusion to them that it will sound that way. Makes me wonder why they recommend anything over a Topping D10 with that mentality then 🤷‍♂️

 

No. They don’t. 
here’s what they say about the much praised PS audio directstream dac 

 

“I started the testing with my audiophile, audio-show, test tracks. You know, the very well recorded track with lucious detail and "black backgrounds." I immediately noticed lack of detail in PerfectWave DS DAC. It was as if someone just put a barrier between you and the source. Mind you, it was subtle but it was there. I repeated this a few times and while it was not always there with all music, I could spot it on some tracks.”

Next I played some of my bass heaving tracks i use for headphone testing. Here, it was easy to notice that bass impact was softented. But also, highs were exaggerated due to higher distortion. Despite loss of high frequency hearing, I found that accentuation unpleasant. WIth tracks that had lisping issues with female vocals for example, the DS DAC made that a lot worse.”

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Guest Muon N'

But was the listening test coming from a biased position based on the measurements and conclusions drawn from that ^_^

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4 hours ago, sir sanders zingmore said:

 

No. They don’t. 
here’s what they say about the much praised PS audio directstream dac 

 

“I started the testing with my audiophile, audio-show, test tracks. You know, the very well recorded track with lucious detail and "black backgrounds." I immediately noticed lack of detail in PerfectWave DS DAC. It was as if someone just put a barrier between you and the source. Mind you, it was subtle but it was there. I repeated this a few times and while it was not always there with all music, I could spot it on some tracks.”

Next I played some of my bass heaving tracks i use for headphone testing. Here, it was easy to notice that bass impact was softented. But also, highs were exaggerated due to higher distortion. Despite loss of high frequency hearing, I found that accentuation unpleasant. WIth tracks that had lisping issues with female vocals for example, the DS DAC made that a lot worse.”

Yeah the only one with distortion measurements above the human threshold - again a foregone conclusion what they would find. Power of suggestion muchly?

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It’s brilliant.
a) The constant objection is that measurements are useless because they don’t tell us what we hear. Then, when in fact they do tell us what we hear, it’s dismissed as bias. 
 

b) The constant objection to ASR is that they never do listening tests. Then, when it’s shown that in fact they do quite a lot of listening tests, they are dismissed as being biased (EDIT 1: @Ittaku I know that's not quite what you said, I'm making a more general point about the objections that are made)

 

EDIT 2: @Muon N', you make an interesting point. Of course it's possible that knowing the measurements of a device may cause a bias - it's almost certain in fact. That's why I think any sighted listening comparison no matter who does it, should admit that it is biased.

On the other hand, many (all?) of the headphone amp listening comparisons done on ASR are done blind 

Edited by sir sanders zingmore

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2 hours ago, sir sanders zingmore said:

It’s brilliant.
a) The constant objection is that measurements are useless because they don’t tell us what we hear. Then, when in fact they do tell us what we hear, it’s dismissed as bias. 
 

b) The constant objection to ASR is that they never do listening tests. Then, when it’s shown that in fact they do quite a lot of listening tests, they are dismissed as being biased (EDIT 1: @Ittaku I know that's not quite what you said, I'm making a more general point about the objections that are made)

 

EDIT 2: @Muon N', you make an interesting point. Of course it's possible that knowing the measurements of a device may cause a bias - it's almost certain in fact. That's why I think any sighted listening comparison no matter who does it, should admit that it is biased.

On the other hand, many (all?) of the headphone amp listening comparisons done on ASR are done blind 

Boo, you're using me to make your point when you know full well that's not quite what I'm saying, but whatever...

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Sir Sanders - that listening test you cited seems to be a rare exception on that site? Hardly a valid point!

 

Certainly, with the Topping D90 there are only measurements following by a 'strong' recommendation to buy. Then 10 pages of post by followers eager to do so!

 

I find that very funny. But also a bit sad, considering the newbies who are sucked in by the hype.

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19 minutes ago, was_a said:

But also a bit sad, considering the newbies who are sucked in by the hype.

To be fair, newbies will be happy with whatever they buy, if they've done some reading before their purchase. They're reading a site that tells them it measures better than almost anything else on earth and is at an affordable price, and then post-purchase bias will make them love whatever they buy. They'll be happy in the knowledge they read it is the best and they can keep checking the site after they've bought it to continue feeling good about their purchase. And ultimately... there's nothing wrong with the sound of Topping DACs so I can't see them regretting anything. Contrast that with someone who spent a lot more and purchased a PS Audio directstream DAC after auditioning it and being happy with the sound, and then going online to find pages and pages of scathing comments about how badly it measures (and therefore sounds.)

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I understand what you're saying, but I disagree that they wouldn't regret buying the Topping. It's expensive for that budget-orientated brand. These are streamlined products, for want of a better word, with plenty of aesthetic appeal. But at the price of a D90 the competition has decent transformers and fully developed output stages - the basis of good sound. Topping relies on modern chip technology and clever marketing. Their cheaper DACs are great for budget setups and appropriately priced, but having heard the D50 and D70 models it is my strong opinion that these pricier products are over-priced. 

 

Another observation on the D90: first reviews mention the heavier case, so Topping has obviously invested in thicker aluminium...Window dressing, in my mind, when they could have doubled the size and used that to advantage. 

 

 

 

Edited by was_a

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50 minutes ago, was_a said:

Sir Sanders - that listening test you cited seems to be a rare exception on that site? Hardly a valid point!

 

Certainly, with the Topping D90 there are only measurements following by a 'strong' recommendation to buy. Then 10 pages of post by followers eager to do so!

 

I find that very funny. But also a bit sad, considering the newbies who are sucked in by the hype.

I might be wrong but I think they do listening tests on pretty much every headphone amp they measure.

 

In any event, if you believe that beyond a certain level of accuracy, all dacs will sound the same then why should they bother with listening tests? You can't really criticise them for than can you?

I do like ASR (just so you know my bias :) ) but given that so many DACs they measure are "accurate enough" I wish they'd measure more of the other components 

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1 hour ago, Ittaku said:

Boo, you're using me to make your point when you know full well that's not quite what I'm saying, but whatever...

Sure, but you did say that they "always say that everything sounds the same". They certainly don't say that 

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Just now, sir sanders zingmore said:

Sure, but you did say that they "always say that everything sounds the same". They certainly don't say that 

Okay if we're going to get pedantic - they always say everything sounds the same, when it's above the magic thresholds they list as the human hearing limits.

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1 minute ago, Ittaku said:

Okay if we're going to get pedantic - they always say everything sounds the same, when it's above the magic thresholds they list as the human hearing limits.

surely the only contentious thing about saying that is about what those thresholds are?

We aren't really needing to debate that humans can hear things below the limits of where humans can hear things, are we?

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1 minute ago, sir sanders zingmore said:

surely the only contentious thing about saying that is about what those thresholds are?

We aren't really needing to debate that humans can hear things below the limits of where humans can hear things, are we?

Well, with two pieces of equipment with a dynamic range above 90dB and noise/distortion below -90dB, and linearity down to -90dB, do they all sound the same?

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Guest Muon N'

Marketing departments have been using numbers to sell to the public on mass for decades, better numbers means better product they like us to think, and we all know that is often been marketing deception.

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23 minutes ago, sir sanders zingmore said:

I might be wrong but I think they do listening tests on pretty much every headphone amp they measure.

 

In any event, if you believe that beyond a certain level of accuracy, all dacs will sound the same then why should they bother with listening tests? You can't really criticise them for than can you?

I do like ASR (just so you know my bias :) ) but given that so many DACs they measure are "accurate enough" I wish they'd measure more of the other components 

Aren't we talking about DACs? 

 

They believe that all DACs sound the same, yet I can't criticise them for that?? 

 

Of course I do!! Don't you??

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6 minutes ago, was_a said:

Aren't we talking about DACs? 

no. The comment was made that they don't do listening tests

 

6 minutes ago, was_a said:

They believe that all DACs sound the same, yet I can't criticise them for that?? 

You can criticise as much as you like, but surely you understand that if they believe that then it makes no sense for them to perform listening tests on DACs. 

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Sorry, Sir Sanders, but you seem to cite others' words and phrases out of context or to suit your argument. You brought up 'criticism', not me! That was a little sneaky of you, wouldn't you say?

 

So, speaking about criticism, you haven't addressed my question: aren't you critical of the fact they believe all DACs sound the same? 

 

 

Edited by was_a

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