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Aimpire AD10: Fake Topping D10 DAC?

amirm

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#1
A member purchased what he thought was a Topping D10 DAC from Amazon as the seller. The unit that he received however had the brand "Aimpire" and model number AD10. He asked me if I could look to see if it performs the same or is a fake.

Looking on Amazon, one clearly sees the issue:

1580764544960.png


Yet the picture of what the device looks like the one that the member received:

Aimpire AD10 Topping Clone Audio Review.jpg

This curious note on Amazon page makes the buy think this is a newer version:
1580764615541.png


Stacking the real Topping D10 on top of Aimpire AD10 shows the striking similarity:
Aimpire AD10 Topping Clone Fake Comparison.jpg

In use however, the display of sample rate on AD10 fake is dim and not matching the PCM/DSD. The reverse is true on real Topping D10 where the sample rate is bright and clear and the PCM/DSD is merely in sharper front.

Plugging either DAC in gets identified as "D10" so clearly the identity of the USB transceiver is copied in the AD10.

Unlike Topping products, there is no manual, or Audio Precision measurements.

Speculation is that maybe they have cloned the entire thing so performance would be the same. Let's find out.

USB DAC Audio Measurements
Let's start with Aimpire AD10:
Aimpire AD10 Topping Clone Audio Measurements.png


That's not good. Our noise floor is so high that it is hiding all distortion spikes.

Let's put the Topping D10 in there instead with identical cabling and setup:

Topping D10 USB DAC Audio Measurements.png


We get a bunch of noise back resulting in large improvement in SINAD of 14 dB.

So if they have cloned Topping 10, they have screwed something up. If not, then it must using a different DAC chip which can't even resolve 16 bit audio properly without adding noise to it.

The member is on a short fuse to return this to amazon so I did not run additional tests. It is clear you are paying the same amount but not getting the same performance as the real Topping D10.

Conclusions
Fair bit of work has gone into making this clone including the case and such. Maybe Topping made it for others with reduced performance. Maybe it is cloned. We can't tell. What we can tell is that it doesn't perform the same yet you are charged the same amount of money. So I say avoid it.

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As always, questions, comments, recommendations, etc. are welcome.

As you see, on top of reviewing audio equipment, I have taken on detective work! That surly deserves a raise in the money I can extract from you all. So please donate generously using: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/how-to-support-audio-science-review.8150/
 

mhardy6647

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#4
I think Amazon just takes the risk -- any truly dissatisfied customer will return. Many won't have sufficient gumption to return. cha-ching!
:)

Actually, it seems (to me) to be even a little worse on that -- A day or two ago on NPR's Marketplace radio program, I was reminded that Amazon pockets ca. 18 billion dollars a year up front from the 150 million Amazon Prime members world wide. That helps to buffer some of the customer service expenses they might have to bear. :oops: Just speaking from a cashflow perspective, of course. ;)

https://www.marketplace.org/2020/02...eally-costly-for-amazon-but-its-used-to-that/
 

617

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#6
You have to feel bad for companies like Topping who have to deal with people not only clumsily cloning their products, but impersonating them as well.

Also FYI I return a lot of stuff on Amazon. If they made returns a hassle it wouldn't be worthwhile for me. It's gotten to the point where I deliberately save their padded envelopes in case I need to send something back; I just drop them off at a bodega near my house.
 

HammerSandwich

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#9
Just speaking from a cashflow perspective, of course.
FWIW, the majority of Amazon's profits come from datacenter operations. With some rounding, AWS pulls about 10% of the gross & 60% of the net. Really, the whole online store appears to be the excuse reason to create & scale up the profitable bit. That said, losing $18B of annual income would turn the entire thing upside down.

Apologies for OT post.
 

mhardy6647

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#12
FWIW, the majority of Amazon's profits come from datacenter operations. With some rounding, AWS pulls about 10% of the gross & 60% of the net. Really, the whole online store appears to be the excuse reason to create & scale up the profitable bit. That said, losing $18B of annual income would turn the entire thing upside down.

Apologies for OT post.
Oh, yes, I know... but basically getting 150 million folks to give you $118 each (give or take) by saying "trust us, we're good for it; you'll be happy you did" is a pretty impressive gambit. (Full disclosure, of course I am a Prime member... :oops:)

Sort of like that interest-free loan Elon Musk floated for one of his little hobby companies recently, a hundred bucks at a time, selling raffle tickets for a pickup truck :)

OK, I, too, apologize for the OT, and I'll stop now!
 

thefsb

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#13
Really, the whole online store appears to be the excuse reason to create & scale up the profitable bit.
Amazon's famously razor thin margins on the retail part are a consequence of its maniacal obsession with monopolizing that space.
 
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#14
What makes it inferior? The other thread overlayed both designs and they look identical. Same components too? I'm curious to know how the fake is inferior. I'm sure there's more to it than copying.
 
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amirm

amirm

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Thread Starter #15
It all depends on the origin of the product. If it is produced by Topping, then they may have degraded performance on purpose for lower selling price to that company.
 

JohnYang1997

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#16
What makes it inferior? The other thread overlayed both designs and they look identical. Same components too? I'm curious to know how the fake is inferior. I'm sure there's more to it than copying.
They "look" alike doesn't mean they are the same components. It only means the layout is similar. Not even the pcb trace routing. It's crucial for good performance.
Also beause they didn't bother to measure every single resistor and capacitor. So the resistor values must be off. Let alone they are very likely to use x7r to replace c0g caps. It's almost impossible to just look at all the components and find out the sources.
To me this performance is pretty much expected.
 

trl

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#18
Wonder how Amazon regulates that whole "newer version available" system. Failed spectacularly it seems here.

Very interesting to see something like this tested nonetheless.
I don't think seller was actually Amazon. Even if the item was fulfilled from an Amazon facility they still don't own the product itself, storage and deliveries being done base on a written contract with the seller.
I really think the seller is the culprit here and, based on customers feedback provided to that specific seller, Amazon will most likely delist the seller from their retail platform.

However, I never had an issue that was not properly handled by Amazon customer service...yet, so I do expect the same Customer Obsession from them with my future purchases too. (Disclaimer: I do work for Amazon, but in the IT backend, so I'm completely powerless when I have issues with a purchase, so I'm just like an average customer there).
 
OP
amirm

amirm

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Thread Starter #19
Just looked at one of the pictures the owner sent me:
1580790112377.png


Notice where I put the red mark. They are actually pretending it is Topping D10.
 

Tks

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#20
I don't think seller was actually Amazon. Even if the item was fulfilled from an Amazon facility they still don't own the product itself, storage and deliveries being done base on a written contract with the seller.
I really think the seller is the culprit here and, based on customers feedback provided to that specific seller, Amazon will most likely delist the seller from their retail platform.

However, I never had an issue that was not properly handled by Amazon customer service...yet, so I do expect the same Customer Obsession from them with my future purchases too. (Disclaimer: I do work for Amazon, but in the IT backend, so I'm completely powerless when I have issues with a purchase, so I'm just like an average customer there).
I was more concerned with the specific system that allows "here's a new version of the product" portion of listings. Amazon's customer service is beastly, it's the only reason I haven't avoided them, if that ever goes away, I'll be dumping them instantly.

It all depends on the origin of the product. If it is produced by Topping, then they may have degraded performance on purpose for lower selling price to that company.
Do you think it's lower binned parts/boards that've failed validation testing and being sold of to entities that'll take them on? Or are these clones of actual hardware?
 

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