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I would be incredibly interested in the findings of someone who's gone from what would be considered a very good DAC, to the D90.

 

I believe that burn in may play a role, and I'm hoping it does. But it does seem as though this is a characteristic of the sound of the DAC, when compared to other DACs. Compared to other Toppings, this may not be the case.

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3 minutes ago, was_a said:

I guess I feel compelled to counter the 'Measurements Rule' brigade when they come out in force, because I feel they are so misleading. I mean, espousing a Topping D10 uber alles is ridiculous.

To be fair, that's only one person's perspective on this thread. I've not (yet?) heard the D90, but I have heard the D10, D50, and DX7s, and they are more alike than apart - I had trouble telling them apart and probably wouldn't be able to in a blind test. I don't know if anyone's done an AKM vs ESS equivalently priced Topping DAC, but I suspect that since the rest of the electronics are almost identical, they'll sound the same as well. The chip is only one tiny part of the picture. Has anyone done this comparison?

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My comparison in the D70 thread:

 

I've done an extensive listening comparison between the Topping D30, D50 and D70s. Their sonic flavours are different according to their respective DAC chips, but dynamic delivery is rather similar due to their relatively small profiles. Power supplies are merely adequate, as is the number and quality of components used in the analogue output stages. In my opinion, these compromises make the D50 and D70 overpriced at RRP.

 

Soundwise, the D30 is very clean and quite balanced across the frequency range. The treble and upper-mids are a little forthright, but paired with forgiving amplification the D30 is great for a budget setup. It reminds me of the first-release Benchmark DAC. The D30 is also good value price-wise, and I keep one in the cupboard as a standby.

 

The D50 is even clearer with a wide soundstage and 'blacker' background, but it sounds rather sterile compared with the other ES9038 DACs I have (and have heard). It's my least favourite of the three Toppings.

 

The D70 would make a great beginner's DAC - at $450 or $500 AUD! It is smoother in the higher frequencies and midrange, yet it remains very transparent with a nice soundstage: in this respect it compares well to more expensive competition. On the flip-side, the bass lacks drive and definition, making things a little lumpy downstairs. And dynamically it disappoints, sounding somewhat restrained.

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2 hours ago, lordcloud said:

I would be incredibly interested in the findings of someone who's gone from what would be considered a very good DAC, to the D90.

 

I believe that burn in may play a role, and I'm hoping it does. But it does seem as though this is a characteristic of the sound of the DAC, when compared to other DACs. Compared to other Toppings, this may not be the case.

Didn't someone sell his/her Metrum Pavenae for D90......?

I think it is in this thread.

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2 hours ago, lordcloud said:

I would be incredibly interested in the findings of someone who's gone from what would be considered a very good DAC, to the D90.

 

I believe that burn in may play a role, and I'm hoping it does. But it does seem as though this is a characteristic of the sound of the DAC, when compared to other DACs. Compared to other Toppings, this may not be the case.

Apparently my opinion counts for nothing because I'm in the "measurement brigade" (boo hiss) but I have gone from "very good" DACs to the D10.

I compared the D10 to a Resonnessence Invicta DAC and a Holo Springs top of the line DAC. Both are considered to be excellent implementations of their very different design philosophy (Invicta is made by the people who designed the sabre DAC and the Holo is a R2R DAC).

 

The Invicta and the Holo have been replaced by the D10

 

I've also heard (not in my system) the D10 against an upgraded Meitner DAC and a Chord Hugo. 

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7 minutes ago, sir sanders zingmore said:

Apparently my opinion counts for nothing because I'm in the "measurement brigade" (boo hiss) but I have gone from "very good" DACs to the D10.

I compared the D10 to a Resonnessence Invicta DAC and a Holo Springs top of the line DAC. Both are considered to be excellent implementations of their very different design philosophy (Invicta is made by the people who designed the sabre DAC and the Holo is a R2R DAC).

 

The Invicta and the Holo have been replaced by the D10

 

I've also heard (not in my system) the D10 against an upgraded Meitner DAC and a Chord Hugo. 

No....because you don't have Golden Ears..

 

Here's the test-can you distinguish the SQ between $ 88.00 powercord and $91.76 powercord? 

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38 minutes ago, sir sanders zingmore said:

Apparently my opinion counts for nothing because I'm in the "measurement brigade" (boo hiss) but I have gone from "very good" DACs to the D10.

I compared the D10 to a Resonnessence Invicta DAC and a Holo Springs top of the line DAC. Both are considered to be excellent implementations of their very different design philosophy (Invicta is made by the people who designed the sabre DAC and the Holo is a R2R DAC).

 

The Invicta and the Holo have been replaced by the D10

 

I've also heard (not in my system) the D10 against an upgraded Meitner DAC and a Chord Hugo. 

I'm interested in your opinion.

 

What were the things you preferred that made you stick with the Topping? Particularly over the Holo? I'm considering the May if the Topping doesn't work for me.

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38 minutes ago, pulinap said:

No....because you don't have Golden Ears..

 

Here's the test-can you distinguish the SQ between $ 88.00 powercord and $91.76 powercord? 

Must just be different systems, personal preference.

I do not really enjoy the Topping D50 dac I have but love listening to my Holo Spring Dac.

I was hoping after reading early SSZ comments about his experience I could sell my Holo Dac and bought the D50. Quite a bit of money I could save.

 

Not the case for me as the Holo is so much better the the D50. I just can not connect to the music like I can with the Holo.

With the topping I find I am listening to system and want to change settings, amps etc as something is not right, while the Holo, I forget about the system and just thoroughly enjoy my music. 

Edited by rocky500

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41 minutes ago, pulinap said:

Here's the test-can you distinguish the SQ between $ 88.00 powercord and $91.76 powercord? 

I cannot. For me, the price difference between power cords has to be at least $4.50 in order to be audible.

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7 minutes ago, Steffen said:

I cannot. For me, the price difference between power cords has to be at least $4.50 in order to be audible.

Weak. I can do it at $4.49

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I'm deaf, I can't hear the difference b/w a $5 and $70,000 power cord. But I think we went off track on the already offtopic discussion that wasn't mostly about the D90.

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16 minutes ago, rocky500 said:

Must just be different systems, personal preference.

I do not really enjoy the Topping D50 dac I have but love listening to my Holo Spring Dac.

I was hoping after reading early SSZ comments about his experience I could sell my Holo Dac and bought the D50. Quite a bit of money I could save.

 

Not the case for me as the Holo is so much better the the D50. I just can not connect to the music like I can with the Holo.

With the topping I find I am listening to system and want to change settings, amps etc as something is not right, while the Holo, I forget about the system and just thoroughly enjoy my music. 

This is where I'm at. I don't enjoy the music as much though the D90...but then I'm thinking, do I simply take issue with hearing the music more as it is on the disc, as opposed it being massaged for audiophile ears.

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Nothing ever much surprises me now when it comes to Hi-fi and what expensive bit of gear should sound great and doesn't and what cheapo bit of gear that should sound ordinary ends up sounding excellent.

 

From my experiences, which I admit are limited compared to many on here, in nearly every case from what I have found what new bit of gear sounds good with what other bit of gear comes down to synergy. Just bolting what is considered to be top end gear together is no assurance of a grade A sounding system, especially once the effect of the room is taken into allowance.

 

If a $100 DAC sounds better than a $3k DAC in Zingmores system, then lucky him, however my guess is there more than likely is some other component in the system that was holding back his $3k DAC in the first place.

 

Do measurements mean anything to me? Nope not really, I have little to no idea of what I'm looking at and to be frank I have little interest in finding out, again because I would rather use the system of trial and error to see how each component interacts with the rest of the system, anyway that works for me and I'm happy with doing it that way. If others would rather bolt a system together based on recommendations based on someone else's measurements without doing back to back testing for themselves then go for it.

However this whole graph and measurement thing fell in a screaming heap for me when George, who is a graph and measurements guy quoted from  graphs extensively for a number of years both here on other forums around the globe, that he said proved the PrimaLuna amp I and many others owned had all these major distortion problems which made them sound harsh blah blah blah, even though many owners said they never experienced what he was talking about, then only to later find out when someone did some research that he was quoting graphs to back up his arguments that were from a different older low end model amp all together. Imagine how many newbies or people who couldn't try before they buy who were considering buying one of those PL amps were turned off by that misinformation?

 

So for me personally I'm happy to start off with subjective reviews from punters about new gear and then if what I read sparks interest and its within my finance zone then I will find out for myself how a component actually sounds when introduced in to my system. So I'm looking forward to reading about more first hand experience with the D90.

 

cheers,

Terry

 

 

Edited by TerryO

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41 minutes ago, lordcloud said:

This is where I'm at. I don't enjoy the music as much though the D90...but then I'm thinking, do I simply take issue with hearing the music more as it is on the disc, as opposed it being massaged for audiophile ears.

Going back to what I said earlier - if you look at how music is recorded and mixed to disc, you'll see it bears zero resemblance to an ensemble performing the music in the flesh. The recreation of live music, instruments, and vocalists, in your listening room is nothing but artifice. That's not a bad thing in the end, as I don't want to recreate hearing multiple microphones of close mic'ed instruments, fake left to right and depth imaging added, tonal balance adjustment to taste, and fake echo, in a virtually soundproof room.

Edited by Ittaku

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1 hour ago, lordcloud said:

I'm interested in your opinion.

 

What were the things you preferred that made you stick with the Topping? Particularly over the Holo? I'm considering the May if the Topping doesn't work for me.

Again my opinion will not be considered valid because of something like the below comment…...

3 minutes ago, TerryO said:

there more than likely is some other component in the system that was holding back his $3k DAC in the first place.

 

However, notwithstanding that opinions only seem to count when they report night and day differences or use fancy audiophile terms, there was nothing that I preferred about the Topping. That was the point… .there was nothing that I preferred about the other DACs either.. they were pretty much indistinguishable once level matched

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25 minutes ago, TerryO said:

However this whole graph and measurement thing fell in a screaming heap for me when George, who is a graph and measurements guy quoted from  graphs extensively for a number of years both here on other forums around the globe, that he said proved the PrimaLuna amp I and many others owned had all these major distortion problems which made them sound harsh blah blah blah, even though many owners said they never experienced what he was talking about, then only to then find out when someone did some research that he was quoting graphs to back up his arguments that were from a different older low end model amp all together. Imagine how many newbies or people who couldn't try before they buy who were considering buying one of those PL amps were turned off by that misinformation?

In the end, his complaint was that valve amps, and in particular the PL amp he chose to pick on, acted like "tone controls" because of their relatively high output impedance. Given a good valve amp is likely to be less than +/- 1dB over the meaningful audible range with a realistic speaker load, and even a great speaker in a real world room can have frequency response fluctuations of up to 15dB, it's nonsensical to pick on that aspect and then hold it up against a $20k Boulder power amplifier that had a perfectly flat frequency response. Like all other measurements, frequency response can only be of limited use. If it still sounds good despite fluctuations with speaker impedance load frequency response dips and peaks, then it still sounds good! End of story.

Edited by Ittaku

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2 minutes ago, sir sanders zingmore said:

Again my opinion will not be considered valid because of something like the below comment…...

 

However, notwithstanding that opinions only seem to count when they report night and day differences or use fancy audiophile terms, there was nothing that I preferred about the Topping. That was the point… .there was nothing that I preferred about the other DACs either.. they were pretty much indistinguishable once level matched

Sorry and no disrespect intended Trev but what you keep saying about DACS making little difference in your system if anything reinforces to me that maybe something in your system is holding it back.

 

cheers,

Terry

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9 minutes ago, Ittaku said:

In the end, his complaint was that valve amps, and in particular the PL amp he chose to pick on, acted like "tone controls" because of their relatively high output impedance. Given a good valve amp is likely to be less than +/- 1dB over the meaningful audible range with a realistic speaker load, and even a great speaker in a real world room can have frequency response fluctuations of up to 15dB, it's nonsensical to pick on that aspect and then hold it up against a $20k Boulder power amplifier that had a perfectly flat frequency response. Like all other measurements, frequency response can only be of limited use. If it still sounds good despite fluctuations with speaker impedance load frequency response dips and peaks, then it still sounds good! End of story.

Sorry Con but what has any of the above to do with quoting repeatedly from the wrong graph to prove ones argument when talking down about a particular amplifier?

 

cheers,

Terry

Edited by TerryO

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1 minute ago, TerryO said:

Sorry Con but what has any of the above to do with quoting repeatedly from the wrong graph to prove ones argument when talking down about a particular amplifier?

That even if he was quoting the right amplifier, it still wouldn't have mattered?

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2 minutes ago, Ittaku said:

That even if he was quoting the right amplifier, it still wouldn't have mattered?

Come on Con George used to comment on just about every PrimaLuna Dialogue Integrated thread on any hifi forum anywhere on the globe using the incorrect graph as proof of why the PrimaLuna wasn't a good bit of gear. When repeatedly asked on these different forums if he had heard one, he said no he didn't have to because he had seen the graph. Only problem with that argument was it was the wrong graph. 

 

Maybe we should leave it there.

 

cheers,

Terry

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Just now, TerryO said:

Come on Con George used to comment on just about every PrimaLuna Dialogue Integrated thread on any hifi forum anywhere on the globe using the incorrect graph as proof of why the PrimaLuna wasn't a good bit of gear. When repeatedly asked on these different forums if he had heard one, he said no he didn't have to because he had seen the graph. Only problem with that argument was it was the wrong graph

Damn straight.

 

If one lives by the sword then one must be prepared to die by the sword and this is proof positive that when one becomes dogmatic, their credibility soon diminishes.

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26 minutes ago, TerryO said:

Sorry and no disrespect intended Trev but what you keep saying about DACS making little difference in your system if anything reinforces to me that maybe something in your system is holding it back.

 

cheers,

Terry

 

Your attempts to explain away my experience are making you sound like one of those “measurements” types :) :) 
 


 

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Just now, sir sanders zingmore said:

 

Your attempts to explain away my experience are making you sound like one of those “measurements” types :) :) 
 


 

Lol ... hardly more like one of those confused types if anything. ... 😉

 

cheers,

Terry

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1 minute ago, TerryO said:

Lol ... hardly more like one of those confused types if anything. ... 😉

Come on, you build your own electronics don't you? You likely know more about measurements than the rest of us combined.

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51 minutes ago, Ittaku said:

Come on, you build your own electronics don't you? You likely know more about measurements than the rest of us combined.

Con, I wish, I'm a plumber by trade, well at least I used to be in a long past life, what I know about building electronics guarantees that I will remain one of those dreaded subjective types forever. ... 😉

 

cheers,

Terry 

Edited by TerryO

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