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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

5 minutes ago, PositivelyMusicallyGeared said:

I have not actually seen the full specs, items such as the output impedance, etc.

 

I would also rather it had higher output voltage, but that might be pushing it given the small size of its enclosure.

It's 4 volts though the XLRs, is that considered low? I know when I first had the Directstream in my system I noticed right away the compensation required on my volume dial, it's only 2.8v.

 

Edit: Oh wait is this a situation were the lower the voltage the better/louder?

Edited by kelossus
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4 minutes ago, kelossus said:

It's 4 volts though the XLRs, is that considered low? I know when I first had the Directstream in my system I noticed right away the compensation required on my volume dial, it's only 2.8v.

It is not low, nor is it high; and it is usually not a problem, unless you have a very demanding power amp.

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Guest Muon N'

line level is generally 2v isn't it?

 

Edit: that is what my CD Player is 2Vrms, definitely don't need higher.

Edited by Muon N'
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14 minutes ago, Muon N' said:

line level is generally 2v isn't it?

 

Edit: that is what my CD Player is 2Vrms, definitely don't need higher.

I was quoting balanced figures which are usually double. The Directstream is 1.4v unbalanced.

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15 minutes ago, kelossus said:

I was quoting balanced figures which are usually double. The Directstream is 1.4v unbalanced.

OK, I'm only familiar with traditional levels of 2v for domestic gear and 5v for pro stuff.

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3 hours ago, was_a said:

In my opinion a headphone system will not tell you everything about the sound quality of a DAC. Attributes like dynamics, solidity of bass (heft), and certain frequency traits are difficult to ascertain through a headphone.

 

Although speakers image better and sound much more natural, headphones lack the issue of being surround by a room and are probably better for critical listening.

 

They are a much cheaper alternative to reach 'high end' and have phenomenal detail retrieval. What I'm getting at is headphones would be a better indicator of a DACs performance as very subtle things can make a DAC unlistenable.

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Guest Muon N'

I can't listen to headphones, but some seem to prefer them.

 

For myself at least listening that way would tell me little of how something would perform with my speakers.

Edited by Muon N'
typo
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Guest Muon N'

What is wrong with peoples amps/pre amps that they need these high output levels :S

 

Or is it the newer chip designs or the implementations of them?

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45 minutes ago, PositivelyMusicallyGeared said:

These 'low' outputs won't be a problem if one has a top-notch, sensitive pre-amp, which is expensive.

What low outputs?

 

They seem to have high outputs, most integrated amps and pre amps can work with 2v and and less.

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1 minute ago, PositivelyMusicallyGeared said:

Never mind, we've got mixed up in different things in this thread.

Very much so :lol:

 

I was looking at a lot of these DAC's (never mind the EMM Labs one as that is not for everyone) and how they seem to have higher than the traditional 2v line level, and just trying to work out why things have moved in this direction.

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2 minutes ago, Muon N' said:

I was looking at a lot of these DAC's (never mind the EMM Labs one as that is not for everyone) and how they seem to have higher than the traditional 2v line level, and just trying to work out why things have moved in this direction.

Which DACs are you talking about? D90 has 2v.

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4 minutes ago, PositivelyMusicallyGeared said:

Which DACs are you talking about? D90 has 2v.

I guess it came about when you said you would like a higher output, then Chris mentions another DAC that had 2.8v and he considered that low.

 

I'm also not sure what the enclosure size has to do with the output level, or how it could mean it has to be lower.

 

Edit: these newer DAC's seem to be taking over the pre side of things having volume controls and such.

Edited by Muon N'
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1 minute ago, Muon N' said:

I guess it came about when you said you would like a higher output, then Cris mentions another DAC that had 2.8v and he considered that low.

 

I'm also not sure what the enclosure size has to do with the output level, or how it could mean it has to be lower.

The EMM Labs DV2 does have higher output:

 

Maximum output levels: 8.04 or 7.22V (+20.3/19.4dBu), balanced; 4.02 or 3.61V (+14.3/13.4dBu), unbalanced.

 

which is fantastic as DAC output, and also makes it able to drive a power amp directly. Even so, it does not compare with a dedicated pre-amp.

 

D90, with its 2v output, is not in the same category.  As for the size of the enclosure, it seems to me that many manufacturers of DACs, who rely on online business, seem to want to limit product size, or rather the weight of the product to under 2kg, very much with the postage in mind. High output wouldn't be a priority in such a situation.

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8 hours ago, kelossus said:

Since that post I have now read the ASR and this SNA thread in it's entirety and it certainly has me reconsidering the whole purchase. I feel like I am getting sucked into the somewhat false hype based purely on measurements. I need some solid recommendations from experienced ears. Also historically the new Topping models get released on MassDrop at a discount, it might be worth waiting?

 

I am somewhat prepared to buy it and take a possible 30-40% loss on the 2nd hand market if it's not my cup of tea. I would need to directly compare it to the Fein/Grob to draw any conclusions. I am sure a few local SNA members would be interested to see how this stacked up, maybe even Clay?

 

I don't think it would be as good as Clay's products but that is based on nothing.

I think amazon has them for sale? Buy from amazon if not like, return it. 

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55 minutes ago, PositivelyMusicallyGeared said:

As for the size of the enclosure, it seems to me that many manufacturers of DACs, who rely on online business, seem to want to limit product size, or rather the weight of the product to under 2kg, very much with the postage in mind. High output wouldn't be a priority in such a situation.

I'm not concerned with the Emm DAC

 

And this about enclosure size dictating output V levels makes no sense at all.

 

I'll leave you with it.

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4 hours ago, TDX said:

I think amazon has them for sale? Buy from amazon if not like, return it. 

 

+1

This is what I will do if I ever feel the need to upgrade to a D70 or D90.

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9 hours ago, PositivelyMusicallyGeared said:

Which DACs are you talking about? D90 has 2v.

All the figures I was quoting were the balanced output voltage. The D90 has 4v balanaced 2v unbalanced. Fairly standard. The directstream has 2.8v balanced 1.4v unbalanced. It's noticeably quiet.

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7 hours ago, TDX said:

I think amazon has them for sale? Buy from amazon if not like, return it. 

I saw them on Amazon. I had no idea you could return it for a full refund. Will look into that and see if there's a catch.

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11 minutes ago, kelossus said:

All the figures I was quoting were the balanced output voltage. The D90 has 4v balanaced 2v unbalanced. Fairly standard. The directstream has 2.8v balanced 1.4v unbalanced. It's noticeably quiet.

Ah, I seez :thumb:

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Looking at the below policy I don't know if Amazon would accept a return. They state the item must unused and unopened with seals intact. Is it just a matter of delicately unpackaging so when you return the item looks unused?

 

Amazon AU Change of Mind Return Policy

You may return most new, unopened items fulfilled by Amazon AU within 30 days of receipt of delivery for a replacement or full refund of the price you paid for the item if you change your mind - see About Replacements and About Refunds. Unless otherwise stated, original shipping fees for change of mind returns are not refunded. However, you may be eligible for Free Returns shipping.

 

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11 hours ago, Mungbean66 said:

 

Although speakers image better and sound much more natural, headphones lack the issue of being surround by a room and are probably better for critical listening.

 

They are a much cheaper alternative to reach 'high end' and have phenomenal detail retrieval. What I'm getting at is headphones would be a better indicator of a DACs performance as very subtle things can make a DAC unlistenable.

No. 

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9 minutes ago, kelossus said:

Looking at the below policy I don't know if Amazon would accept a return. They state the item must unused and unopened with seals intact. Is it just a matter of delicately unpackaging so when you return the item looks unused?

 

Amazon AU Change of Mind Return Policy

You may return most new, unopened items fulfilled by Amazon AU within 30 days of receipt of delivery for a replacement or full refund of the price you paid for the item if you change your mind - see About Replacements and About Refunds. Unless otherwise stated, original shipping fees for change of mind returns are not refunded. However, you may be eligible for Free Returns shipping.

 

Maybe only amazon prime items can free return? I bought one bag before, not good enough, just returned  

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The only review I can find on amazon is “delivery in one week. Very good unit. Sounds good for its cost.”

 

usually it means just ok...

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A good review / advertorial ! (Click on the LINK and get 10% off). 

 

But there were some valuable observations on AKM's new chip. Reading between the lines, this is the biggest draw-card. Gustard's implementation in its new A22 DAC will be interesting with its transformer utilisation etc. 

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41 minutes ago, was_a said:

A good review / advertorial ! (Click on the LINK and get 10% off). 

 

But there were some valuable observations on AKM's new chip. Reading between the lines, this is the biggest draw-card. Gustard's implementation in its new A22 DAC will be interesting with its transformer utilisation etc. 

Yes I did notice that. I guess they are just being a bit more honest about their conflict of interest than most hi-fi mags are :)

 

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54 minutes ago, was_a said:

A good review / advertorial ! (Click on the LINK and get 10% off). 

 

But there were some valuable observations on AKM's new chip. Reading between the lines, this is the biggest draw-card. Gustard's implementation in its new A22 DAC will be interesting with its transformer utilisation etc. 

The lines are blurred for me. Can you please explain what you are eluding to?

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I would hope I'm not eluding anyone! 

 

I agreed with the reviewer's observations on past AKM and Sabre chips - the differences between them in sound character. The AK-4499 appears to be a substantial improvement over previous AKMs (particularly the prior AK-4497) and has impressive dynamic range etc. Of course, making the most of this is another matter.

 

The Topping D90 only uses one chip, but this is no disadvantage to the impending dual-chip competition, in my opinion. (The best Sabre Pro DACs I've heard were all single chip affairs). The fact that the AK-4499 is fully dependent on current is the main technical challenge for designers, and perhaps the small-footprint D90 is taking shortcuts here. The size of the transformer is a case in point.

 

 

Edited by was_a
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Guest Muon N'

Not very challenging, just requires IV conversion, can be as simple as a resistor, but would more likely be done by the first op amp in this case.

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On 23/01/2020 at 11:48 AM, silversurfer said:

I actually have one; received it this morning. 
My main dac is a Metrum Pavane which is fantastic but slightly sleepy, also have a Border Patrol and they all perform very good with my headphones(HD800S, SR009S, SR007 and various Audeze) and amps( KGST, KGSS, Woo WA22, HDV820 and Hifiman EF6) but I always wanted a more holographic soundstage and Instrument/vocals layering.

And at the moment the D90 does just that...relaxed sound with effortless  extension up and down, warmish but ultra clear as in good body with faultless resolution.

The holographic aspect is quite stunning with instruments and voices presented around me and deep into the soundstage...as they say like being in the room with the artist.

Not regretting the purchase and possibly going to sell the Pavane.

Just saw the Pavane up for sale. Still enjoying the Topping D90?

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  • 2 weeks later...

Anyone managed to compare to D50/P50 combo or similar?

 

Any other comparisons? Be interesting to hear the thoughts of some one who has heard one.

Edited by JPete9
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