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7 hours ago, rmpfyf said:

 

Dunno about that - TOTL AKM DAC? That chip - and the parts required to keep it performing as intended - are not cheap. Its a solid price. The chip specs are instrument-grade but without surrounding kit... The DAC IC alone doesn't make a house. 

 

This said it'll probably be on Massdrop before long and we'll grab one there :)

 

Kinda wish it didn't have BT (stuff I don't use/need to pay for/hate antennas near my audio) but that's nitpicking.

 

If only Topping did modular bits for DIYers! Awesome price points for people building stuff downstream of a DSP.

I was watching Shenzhen audio like a hawk everybday and found one day it discounted to Topping D70 by $100US for a limited time, when I decided to hit “buy” I just missed out.  You need to be patient and yes Drop or formally “ Massdrop” is another that can offer some discounts.  I bought my D50 that I love to bits, greet sound, and I can use it as a preamp to drive the Magtech and it’s dead silent compare to other preamps....  you’re right the AKM chips aren’t cheap,  they can be over the $120AU, so for a unit all boxed that can function as a pre is bargain in its own right....

 

for the modular stuff I did look at Twisted Pair Audio at one stage and was seriously considering putting together some PCBs,  but seriously when I added the cost it was pushing $3kAU due to the dollar and it was climbing and then I’ll have to get a case!   Whether I’d get the same level of measurements out of those PCBs is debatable, but when you have a product that’s a few hundred dollars that does the trick why bother....

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Silly me! just noticed this thread headed Topping D90 with 14 pages of comments, so I thought excellent, this will be a good read with lots of comparisons of the new D90 to other DACS in various price

Two user reviews in a couple of weeks appear to have killed the thread, usually this is where things really ramp up.   proof that most people in the thread would rather speculate and try to

That's not true. That's also not true. Measurements give a good guide to what gear will sound bad. If a DAC measures well it will not have a unique "sound". It will simply provide acc

8 hours ago, kukynas said:

no surprise, same as with many other threads about ASR or their measurements, no idea why so much negativity, 5-10 years ago we would be jumping on the roof for independent measurements of audio gear and now when we get that people complaining about it 🤷‍♂️

   

5-10years I was contemplating buying a set of test gear to run on a Laptop,  I have some gear from yesteryear and they’re sitting around being used on demand.  I don’t understand it either???   What  have everyone on an audio site have against test instruments is beyond me.....  when I have disputes with clients telling me they can see the difference in production the 1st thing we do is use a calibrated spectrometer that tells it like it is.... it basically stops the BS on the BS.....  

Distortion levels.  freq response,  resolution,  balance between left/right channels,  effectiveness on filters etc just name a few all matters to me,  especially when it’s highlight graphically is super important, all these will also show up audible to a degree....  I want accurate sound, not exaggerated sound.....   it show you don’t have to pay huge amounts of money for excellent engineered gear and puts a spanner into some of the BS that goes around In this hobby; industry.

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1 hour ago, Addicted to music said:

I was watching Shenzhen audio like a hawk everybday and found one day it discounted to Topping D70 by $100US for a limited time, when I decided to hit “buy” I just missed out.  You need to be patient and yes Drop or formally “ Massdrop” is another that can offer some discounts.  I bought my D50 that I love to bits, greet sound, and I can use it as a preamp to drive the Magtech and it’s dead silent compare to other preamps....  you’re right the AKM chips aren’t cheap,  they can be over the $120AU, so for a unit all boxed that can function as a pre is bargain in its own right....

 

for the modular stuff I did look at Twisted Pair Audio at one stage and was seriously considering putting together some PCBs,  but seriously when I added the cost it was pushing $3kAU due to the dollar and it was climbing and then I’ll have to get a case!   Whether I’d get the same level of measurements out of those PCBs is debatable, but when you have a product that’s a few hundred dollars that does the trick why bother....

 

This is why I kinda wish Topping did some modular stuff. I reckon they'd kill. 

 

They're not exactly doing it cheap with cases or power supplies, so they're doing good on the boards themselves - Topping DAC boards and some hardware-based DSP and it'd be kicking goals hard. I have a 10-channel DAC I need to put together... happy to DIY that!

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58 minutes ago, PositivelyMusicallyGeared said:

It seems, like many other similar vendors, Topping tries to limit the weight of the unit to under 2kg to minimise postage, among other things. If true, it is difficult to pack more/better functionality into the enclosure.

Are you referring the headphone amp functionality is no longer included?

 

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39 minutes ago, Addicted to music said:

Are you referring the headphone amp functionality is no longer included?

 

Not specifically but possibly: It would be a juggling act for Topping to consider what to include in such a small package. If it were to include a head-amp, something else would have to go, or the amp might not have sufficient power to drive some types of headphones, or the much-crammed device might just overheat - particularly in an Aussie summer environment as we are enduring.

 

[Edit] And the amp would very likely be of the Class A type.

Edited by PositivelyMusicallyGeared
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Off topic:

 

i bought one one of these PCB but it was a BB 1798 with a psu included when I 1st got onto SNA....  total cost delivered was under $100AU.  

 

https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/wm8740-dir9001-dac-board-review.10608/

 

Not bad compared to some projects that wS going to cost $1000s.  When I hooked it all up it sounded terrific with certain materials and in some it was just unbearable distortion....  could never work out why some recording was OK and others you just couldn’t listen too.  Well ASR has confirmed why some recordings just distorted like crazy look at the measurements here and you can see why.  This pcb is very similar to the one I got hence the reason I never felt it was worth putting it in a case.   When I got other DAC such as the EE mini max and the NAD M51 there was no hint of distortion whatsoever ever in the materials that I couldn’t listen to with this pcb that I bought of fleebay.....  Now with the Topping products that measure so well,  the D50 is well above board comes in a case and all you do is supply it with 5V and it sounds great on any recording I throw at it.....   just goes to show that measurements matters....

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All this chatter about measurements and none about the physical constraints of small DACs. There's simply not enough room in a Topping case for anything other than budget requirements. You can't cheat physics, folks.

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8 hours ago, was_a said:

All this chatter about measurements and none about the physical constraints of small DACs. There's simply not enough room in a Topping case for anything other than budget requirements. You can't cheat physics, folks.

Better engineering lets you 'cheat physics', look at the evolution of computers, smart phones, etc.

 

We get it, you've shown your dislike of ASR and Topping. Maybe you could provide facts and back up your claims of 'budget requirements'? Maybe provide a list of the DACs you favour and compare to (this DAC does this better than the D90 because... etc.)?

 

Disclaimer, I don't currently own any Topping products nor do I intend on purchasing a D90 but I applaud them pouring resources into R&D and engineering, being one of the first to release products using the latest tech.

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22 hours ago, Addicted to music said:

Off topic:

 

i bought one one of these PCB but it was a BB 1798 with a psu included when I 1st got onto SNA....  total cost delivered was under $100AU.  

 

https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/wm8740-dir9001-dac-board-review.10608/

 

Not bad compared to some projects that wS going to cost $1000s.  When I hooked it all up it sounded terrific with certain materials and in some it was just unbearable distortion....  could never work out why some recording was OK and others you just couldn’t listen too.  Well ASR has confirmed why some recordings just distorted like crazy look at the measurements here and you can see why.  This pcb is very similar to the one I got hence the reason I never felt it was worth putting it in a case.   When I got other DAC such as the EE mini max and the NAD M51 there was no hint of distortion whatsoever ever in the materials that I couldn’t listen to with this pcb that I bought of fleebay.....  Now with the Topping products that measure so well,  the D50 is well above board comes in a case and all you do is supply it with 5V and it sounds great on any recording I throw at it.....   just goes to show that measurements matters....

I have Topping D50s in my headphone system and I am quite happy with it. Use it with Topping P50 power supply.

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12 minutes ago, qwerter said:

I have Topping D50s in my headphone system and I am quite happy with it. Use it with Topping P50 power supply.

How do you find the P50? Does it heat up much? I'm happy with the switching supply I have at the moment, but if I get the A50 I'll probably want the P50 to consolidate supplies (rather than any belief that a linear supply is better or worse). 

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1 minute ago, twofires said:

How do you find the P50? Does it heat up much? I'm happy with the switching supply I have at the moment, but if I get the A50 I'll probably want the P50 to consolidate supplies (rather than any belief that a linear supply is better or worse). 

No, I didn't find it heating up too much. Not with D50s anyway.

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9 hours ago, was_a said:

All this chatter about measurements and none about the physical constraints of small DACs. There's simply not enough room in a Topping case for anything other than budget requirements. You can't cheat physics, folks.

Well you started it!  And,,,,,

 

Yes there was, it’s obviously you missed my point about industrial standards and how things are built today.....

if you haven’t notice,  Topping uses SMDs which have huge specification benefits than yesteryear through the hole components, note that all DAC chips are now SMDs  and you won’t find one that’s not    And almost all DAC manaufactuers and any electronics manufacturers will use SMD, there is no going back, the consumer demands; reduction in size occupying less realestate also the other majors benefit is power reduction.   Benefits of  SMDs  reduces the parasitic LCR on a component construction level due to the reduced physical size and on connection leads, How do you think that they can get outstanding measurements to this level?  Going  down to -130   -140 on noise levels  on the graphs  was unheard of with through the hole components,  components like Opamps that are SOIC can have components closer where it increases PSRR.   Now with SMDs we are reaching and exceeding performance  figures that wasn’t achievable previously period and if you think large caps should be used think again this isn’t an amplifier driving 2 ohm loads, this is a DAC that converts digital codex to a voltage gain of 2-4Vrms   So bigger doesn’t mean better,  I don’t have to say it but look under the hood of a PS Audio DAC and you will wonder why you paid so much cash when you can have a Topping that literally does exactly the same thing......

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1 hour ago, deafenears said:

Better engineering lets you 'cheat physics', look at the evolution of computers, smart phones, etc.

 

We get it, you've shown your dislike of ASR and Topping. Maybe you could provide facts and back up your claims of 'budget requirements'? Maybe provide a list of the DACs you favour and compare to (this DAC does this better than the D90 because... etc.)?

 

Disclaimer, I don't currently own any Topping products nor do I intend on purchasing a D90 but I applaud them pouring resources into R&D and engineering, being one of the first to release products using the latest tech.

We get it? Or you get it? What do you get??😀

 

I got it! I mean, I read your disclaimer! Not exactly helping your cause, because unlike you, I have experience with Topping's products. I own the Topping D30 and like it for what it is. I have owned Topping's matching headphone amp, and it wasn't bad either.

 

I have also owned the D50 and D70 DACs, and believe they are overpriced for what's inside their (small) cases. Regarding the D90, Topping being among the first adopters of AKM's new AK4499 chip is not something I would be so quick to applaud. By all accounts it's complicated to implement. This new chip measures well, so it's easy to send something off to ASR and get a glowing endorsement. But none of this means anything sound-wise.

 

My main concern is that people new to hi-fi are being hoodwinked into believing the hype on ASR.

 

 

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1 hour ago, qwerter said:

No, I didn't find it heating up too much. Not with D50s anyway.

You’ll be surprise what I use...... definitely not a dedicated supply and definitely not something fancy...........😜 

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6 minutes ago, was_a said:

.

 

My main concern is that people new to hi-fi are being hoodwinked into believing the hype on ASR.

 

 

Measurements through the manufacturer and independent testing are considered trustworthy,  subjective claims are not.....  so who’s hoodwinking who?

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4 minutes ago, Addicted to music said:

You’ll be surprise what I use...... definitely not a dedicated supply and definitely not something fancy...........😜 

USB?

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2 minutes ago, qwerter said:

USB?

Nope. 

 

Im a tight arse, and I have no desire to upgrade,  it sounds good as it is.... 

I use a cheap 4.5V power brick that was used to recharge a lithium ion device...  done! 

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12 minutes ago, Addicted to music said:

Measurements through the manufacturer and independent testing are considered trustworthy,  subjective claims are not.....  so who’s hoodwinking who?

You! You are hoodwinking me!

 

Because the vast majority of reviews use measurements to 'check' on a product's credentials and for technical interest, but spend most of the effort on listening to the product and comparing it to other products in the same category or price-range. This gives the reader a good reference point. 

 

ASR readers are given very little to go on.

 

A crying shame for the newbies.

 

PS. Your post on SMDs show me you have a one-dimensional focus on DAC design, and that you ignore what is trully important in a source.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

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1 minute ago, was_a said:

You! You are hoodwinking me!

 

ASR readers are given very little to go on.

 

A crying shame for the newbies.

Id go blind and buy  a product that’s engineered well and I know it works well via specific test methods that are endorsed,  i have to follow the same principle at work...  Trusting someone description on sound quality is subjective, above all never trust me, because my ears are F—-d!  I’m 55 turning 56..  so if I’m gonna trust some audiophiles description then it’ll be none, as most are male on this site and I’m going out on a limb here, most are not teenagers or in there early 20s....  and just because you are an audiophile with the developed skills  in your hobbie  doesn’t mean that I will like what you like.  So in that case I’ll ask again, who’s hoodwinking who?

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29 minutes ago, was_a said:

My main concern is that people new to hi-fi are being hoodwinked into believing the hype on ASR.

they are being hoodwinked into spending hundred of dollars….. 

 

Choose your own hoodwinkery 

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14 minutes ago, Addicted to music said:

Id go blind and buy  a product that’s engineered well and I know it works well via specific test methods that are endorsed,  i have to follow the same principle at work...  Trusting someone description on sound quality is subjective, above all never trust me, because my ears are F—-d!  I’m 55 turning 56..  so if I’m gonna trust some audiophiles description then it’ll be none, as most are male on this site and I’m going out on a limb here, most are not teenagers or in there early 20s....  and just because you are an audiophile with the developed skills  in your hobbie  doesn’t mean that I will like what you like.  So in that case I’ll ask again, who’s hoodwinking who?

Wait...blind and deaf?? 🙂

 

Well, yes, I take your point that every audiophile has their own tastes. 

 

Regarding hoodwinkery (nice one Trevor!!), I guess I'm just reacting to a few Amir (or whatever his name is) threads on ASR, where he strongly endorses a product and scores of followers reply: 'Wow, fantastic, I'm gonna buy it now!'.

 

 

 

 

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10 hours ago, was_a said:

All this chatter about measurements and none about the physical constraints of small DACs. There's simply not enough room in a Topping case for anything other than budget requirements. You can't cheat physics, folks.

That's not true.

29 minutes ago, was_a said:

We get it? Or you get it? What do you get??😀

 

I got it! I mean, I read your disclaimer! Not exactly helping your cause, because unlike you, I have experience with Topping's products. I own the Topping D30 and like it for what it is. I have owned Topping's matching headphone amp, and it wasn't bad either.

 

I have also owned the D50 and D70 DACs, and believe they are overpriced for what's inside their (small) cases. Regarding the D90, Topping being among the first adopters of AKM's new AK4499 chip is not something I would be so quick to applaud. By all accounts it's complicated to implement. This new chip measures well, so it's easy to send something off to ASR and get a glowing endorsement. But none of this means anything sound-wise.

 

My main concern is that people new to hi-fi are being hoodwinked into believing the hype on ASR.

 

 

That's also not true.

Measurements give a good guide to what gear will sound bad.

If a DAC measures well it will not have a unique "sound". It will simply provide accurate digital to analog conversion. 

If you want your system to have a "sound" put some tubes in.

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Sorry, but I completely disagree with everything you just said.

 

To quote you: That's not true...That's also not true...

 

And you can quote me when I say that you are seriously mistaken on both those points. 

 

(I mean, I can use bold print too, right?).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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2 minutes ago, was_a said:

Regarding hookwinkery (nice one Trevor!!), I guess I'm just reacting to a few Amir (or whatever his name is) threads on ASR, where he strongly endorses a product and scores of followers reply: 'Wow, fantastic, I'm gonna buy it now!

 

You make an interesting point (although I thing "scores" is an exaggeration - certainly at this stage, far fewer people base their purchases on ASR measurements than on reviews they read on forums or in the hifi press)

 

I do think though, that if two DACS are audibly indistinguishable it's a bit silly to buy one just because it measures better than the other. 

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5 minutes ago, a.dent said:

 

Measurements give a good guide to what gear will sound bad.

If a DAC measures well it will not have a unique "sound". It will simply provide accurate digital to analog conversion. 

Agreed, it’s what I classified as accurate SQ.

 

7 minutes ago, a.dent said:

 

If you want your system to have a "sound" put some tubes in.

It’s what I classified as subjective manipulation.....  if you want impressive sound with all the nice audiophile description , put a tube buffer in it to colour it so it’s “ impressive SQ” 

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Complete falsehood. Just because a DAC measures well doesn't mean it will accurately reproduce the sound of an instrument, voice, acoustic cues etc.

 

If you believe that, then you really are lucky because you won't have to spend much money to enjoy hi-fi!

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3 minutes ago, was_a said:

Complete falsehood. Just because a DAC measures well doesn't mean it will accurately reproduce the sound of an instrument, voice, acoustic cues etc.!

Likewise Just becuase you think it doesn’t reproduce music instruments and voices accurately doesn’t mean it’s not accurate...  you have an expectation on what it should sound like  accurately,  however a well measured and engineered gear will always be transparent, how do you know that that an accurate DAC or piece of equipment is showing the limitation of that recording....  ive been here many times....

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7 minutes ago, was_a said:

Just because a DAC measures well doesn't mean it will accurately reproduce the sound of an instrument, voice, acoustic cues etc.

agreed, coz that's not DAC's job, the only job DAC has to do is accurately convert digital signal into analog and pass it over to the next stage and if it measures well there's some guarantee it does that conversion as accurately as possible, I wouldn't expect anything more

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11 minutes ago, was_a said:

Just because a DAC measures well doesn't mean it will accurately reproduce the sound of an instrument, voice, acoustic cues etc.

 

If you believe that, then you really are lucky because you won't have to spend much money to enjoy hi-fi!

🥳 Yay!

 

Seriously though, it's not the job of the DAC to reproduce the sound of an instrument or a voice. The DAC is there to turn a digital signal into an analogue one as accurately as possible. That done, if it doesn't sound like an instrument or a voice by the time it hits your ears, the blame lies elsewhere in the journey from recording to your listening position. 

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Again, I'm sorry but I disagree with these opinions. 

 

In any hifi system it's SOURCE FIRST. How the signal passes to the pre-amp is where everything begins.

If you have an unrefined source, for want of a better word, then you're in trouble. 

 

Sure, speakers and room can be tailored to certain sound characteristics, but you can't really cover up a poor source. 

 

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1 minute ago, was_a said:

 

In any hifi system it's SOURCE FIRST. How the signal passes to the pre-amp is where everything begins.

If you have an unrefined source, for want of a better word, then you're in trouble. 

 

Correct,

 

thats why it must measure accurately as possible,  and the same applies downstream.

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You're completely taken with measurements and there endeth your lesson!

 

You quote me and then have a simple answer ready. But ascertaining the sound quality of a DAC is not that simple.

 

If you think it is, then by all means have another simplistic reply ready, and confine your judgement of DACs to measurements only. 

 

Up to you!

 

 

 

 

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6 minutes ago, was_a said:

SOURCE FIRST

Here's where we understand things differently. You see the DAC as the source. I see the digital signal as the source and the DAC as a signal converter.

 

This is why I want evidence that the signal integrity has been maintained. You can't actually listen to a digital representation of an audio signal - you can only hear the result of the conversion. Measurements are all we have to go on that is directly relevant to what the DAC does. 

 

An analogy: you receive a text message from a friend. You can't actually read the 0s and 1s your phone receives, and so it helpfully converts that back into text. Now, you may prefer that your phone automatically corrects your friend's atrocious spelling as part of that conversion, but that would not be accurate. It's your friend who needs spelling lessons, not your phone. 

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@was_a, I don't know you and I don't know if you are really serious with your line of argument.

I'm thinking that surely some of your posts must be tongue in cheek!

A DAC is not a musical instrument. It is a piece of electronic equipment. It has a job to do converting a digital source into an analog signal. It would seem logical to me that doing this in the most accurate way possible would be the aim. The only way of checking the accuracy is with measurements that can be reproduced. The Topping D90 does this conversion very well and therefore measures well.

Saying ASR and it's measurements are leading people astray is just plain wrong. The measurements give everyone a basis for choosing a DAC. If they don't like "accurate" that's fine by me. They can choose a DAC that imparts a level of distortion to the signal and sounds different from accurate. There are certainly plenty of those in most price brackets.

Any way I'll stick with preferring accurate to distorted.

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Well, I don't know you either, but your argument is very one-dimensional and your language at times manipulative. Your last paragraph is a perfect example. You say that measurements on ASR give everyone a basis for choosing an 'accurate' DAC, then say that those who don't choose an 'accurate' DAC will end up with one with too much distortion. 

 

Hilarious! Sorry, but it is!

 

I've already talked about what constitutes good DAC design, earlier in this thread.

 

Perhaps you could go back and read?

 

 

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