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Endgame headphones amp

Aud99

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I’ve built a setup that is dedicated for headphones:

Source: Eversolo DMP-A6 Master Edition
Headphones: Dan Clark Audio E3
Amplifier: Topping A70 Pro

Less than a month later, the amp is dead. It’s showing the “HP DC Abnormal” error on its display, as so many people have experienced here.

I’mmdone with Topping, and looking for another endgame amplifier. The Benchmark HPA4 comes to mind, but… it really is pricey. I don’t mind spending more than I did on the Toppng amp for better QC, but HPA4’s price make me feel uncomfortable.

Are there any other endgame headphones amps that perform as well as the Topping, but don’t cost as much as an HPA4?
 

Human Bass

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Topping A90D has a much better reliability. The A70 is a powerful turd.

You may want to take a look at the new Fiio K19, it is a dac-amp with a very powerful amp, not yet released but soon, already showing up in CanJam.

The Singxer SA-1 is an already tried and true option.
 

Dunring

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I really like my SMSL SP400 as long as you have a 5 volt DAC. The original Topping A90 is another favorite. I have the discrete version also and don't like it as much. I think Topping went too high tech with amps and made them too complex.
I've had the A70Pro a couple of times and would unplug that one, then just connect it to USB with no power and try to refresh the latest firmware before giving up on it.
 

Music1969

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It’s showing the “HP DC Abnormal” error on its display, as so many people have experienced here.

If your music has DC, which is what that error is about (which we discovered in the main A70Pro thread when someone shared the track causing issues and we saw DC in the track analysis ! ) your future amps might have similar problems.

DC is bad for any amp

See this:

 

Talisman

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Topping A90D has a much better reliability. The A70 is a powerful turd.

You may want to take a look at the new Fiio K19, it is a dac-amp with a very powerful amp, not yet released but soon, already showing up in CanJam.

The Singxer SA-1 is an already tried and true option.
So should we reward Topping's constructive negligence by buying something even more expensive from them? Some people seem really masochistic to me. You are the consumers that every company would like
 

Roland68

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Topping A90D has a much better reliability. The A70 is a powerful turd.
Please excuse me if I contradict you, but all topping devices with these stupid modules filled with casting compound are time bombs.
I now know 5 people with defective Topping A90Ds and for all of them Topping refuses to repair them under warranty. There is a charge for shipping to China at your own risk, ditto return shipping and there is no information about the repair costs.

If Topping doesn't stop with these idiotic modules filled with molding compound, it will eventually be their downfall. I suspect that topping already has a loss of at least 30-50% in sales just for PA5 (II) and LA90(D), or more.
 
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Roland68

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I’ve built a setup that is dedicated for headphones:

Source: Eversolo DMP-A6 Master Edition
Headphones: Dan Clark Audio E3
Amplifier: Topping A70 Pro

Less than a month later, the amp is dead. It’s showing the “HP DC Abnormal” error on its display, as so many people have experienced here.

I’mmdone with Topping, and looking for another endgame amplifier. The Benchmark HPA4 comes to mind, but… it really is pricey. I don’t mind spending more than I did on the Toppng amp for better QC, but HPA4’s price make me feel uncomfortable.

Are there any other endgame headphones amps that perform as well as the Topping, but don’t cost as much as an HPA4?
Singxer SA-1, RME and Gustard have already been mentioned.

For me, Violectric and Lake people are among the most reliable devices there are. I have already replaced a few capacitors on 25-30 year old devices that are in use 6 days a week and these devices continue to do their job.

You can get used V100 and V200 for €250-500, V220 is a little more expensive if SE is enough for you. Balanced devices such as V280 and V281 start at around €1000. You don't have to worry about buying 10 year old devices.
The end game for me is the Violectric Niimbus US 4+. Similar price range to the HPA4, but I haven't heard anything that comes close to the Niimbus US 4+ in terms of sound.
Most of the new models are also significantly lower than the HPA4.
What all devices have in common is that they are built like tanks, mechanically and durability. A Violectric V100 has been my work tool for over 10 years.
 

MAB

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Sorry to hear about your A70.
I had a Topping A30Pro, also a stout headphone amp. Unfortunately it was filled with cold and partial solder joints. It stopped working after 9 months. My Topping PA5 amp was also systematically broken due to the encapsulation of components mentioned above. While the reliability appears horrible, the after-sales service is even worse. I wouldn't touch them again, or any of the products sold from the gang of resellers due to the uphill battle they create when a product breaks.

I use an RME ADI-2, which predates all of the Topping gear. I have never had an issue with any RME device, but do enjoy their after-sales service anyway since they released control software for the amp's DSP functions after I bought mine.
 

Human Bass

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Please excuse me if I contradict you, but all topping devices with these stupid modules filled with casting compound are time bombs.
I now know 5 people with defective Topping A90Ds and for all of them Topping refuses to repair them under warranty. There is a charge for shipping to China at your own risk, ditto return shipping and there is no information about the repair costs.

If Topping doesn't stop with these idiotic modules filled with molding compound, it will eventually be their downfall. I suspect that topping already has a loss of at least 30-50% in sales just for PA5 (II) and L90(D), or more.
Well good to know. The 90D doesnt seem to be as problematic as the 70pro. But a 20% of that is still a lot. Especially since it is a flagship.
 

Roland68

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Sorry to hear about your A70.
I had a Topping A30Pro, also a stout headphone amp. Unfortunately it was filled with cold and partial solder joints. It stopped working after 9 months. My Topping PA5 amp was also systematically broken due to the encapsulation of components mentioned above. While the reliability appears horrible, the after-sales service is even worse. I wouldn't touch them again, or any of the products sold from the gang of resellers due to the uphill battle they create when a product breaks.

I use an RME ADI-2, which predates all of the Topping gear. I have never had an issue with any RME device, but do enjoy their after-sales service anyway since they released control software for the amp's DSP functions after I bought mine.
They speak to me from the soul.

I'm actually a really big topping fan because the products sound really great, and not just for the price. For me, the L70 and the A70 Pro in particular are among the best headphone amplifiers in terms of sound.

But Topping's devices with these modules are ruining the hobby for me, my friends, and so many people that I can't even find the words to describe how despicable I find Topping's behavior.
 

Human Bass

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If your music has DC, which is what that error is about (which we discovered in the main A70Pro thread when someone shared the track causing issues and we saw DC in the track analysis ! ) your future amps might have similar problems.

DC is bad for any amp

See this:

What is the song?
 

Roland68

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If your music has DC, which is what that error is about (which we discovered in the main A70Pro thread when someone shared the track causing issues and we saw DC in the track analysis ! ) your future amps might have similar problems.

DC is bad for any amp

See this:

What is the song?
DC in headphone amplifiers has been a solved problem for tens of years.
None of the topping devices have problems with DC after purchase, regardless of the music. This clearly shows that it is not a problem with the circuit.

Take a look at all the Topping models that develop a DC problem after a while, what commonality do you notice?
 

MAB

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If your music has DC, which is what that error is about (which we discovered in the main A70Pro thread when someone shared the track causing issues and we saw DC in the track analysis ! ) your future amps might have similar problems.

DC is bad for any amp

See this:

Yeah, but what about all the other Topping devices that blow playing regular music?
The reference seems to be isolated case. Not even clear if it is the root cause, and quite a jump to conclusions to say it is DC. I would be surprised since DC offsets are something that is solved. Given Topping's track record, I would not be surprised if they didn't take into account real-world use conditions in their gear, they just chase SINAD.:facepalm: They could do both, but seem stuck on a few performance metrics and not real-world reliability.
 
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A

Aud99

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Both the SMSL SP400 and the Singxer SA-1 are tempting.

I might prefer the SA-1 as it does not include a DAC - and I already have a DAC in my Eversolo streamer.

Would the Singxer SA-1 have enough power to drive my Dan Clark E3 (Impedance: 27 ohms, Sensitivity: 90dB)?
 

Dunring

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Both the SMSL SP400 and the Singxer SA-1 are tempting.

I might prefer the SA-1 as it does not include a DAC - and I already have a DAC in my Eversolo streamer.

Would the Singxer SA-1 have enough power to drive my Dan Clark E3 (Impedance: 27 ohms, Sensitivity: 90dB)?
6480mW @ 32Ω will do the job, no worry about that. Just a couple of hours ago I got a Topping A70 Pro from DHL which is rare for a Sunday delivery. Got it on the Aliexpress sale for $352 after coupons, points, and cashback. Warranty is doubled with the credit card so I think I'll keep this as a daily driver sitting on the SMSL DL200 which outputs 5 volts ($150 used on Amazon). With a 2 year warranty I'll chance it at this price. Sound is amazing and by this weekend another Hifiman HE6se is coming, so will really give it a workout with a large preamp reduction that's needed to tweak those.
 

Roland68

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Both the SMSL SP400 and the Singxer SA-1 are tempting.

I might prefer the SA-1 as it does not include a DAC - and I already have a DAC in my Eversolo streamer.

Would the Singxer SA-1 have enough power to drive my Dan Clark E3 (Impedance: 27 ohms, Sensitivity: 90dB)?
It definitely has enough power. Significantly more if the balanced connection is used. Of course, the headphones must then be connected “really” symmetrically.
The first version of the SA-1 should be available cheaper used.
I would only buy the SA-1 V2 new.
 
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Aud99

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It definitely has enough power. Significantly more if the balanced connection is used. Of course, the headphones must then be connected “really” symmetrically.
The first version of the SA-1 should be available cheaper used.
I would only buy the SA-1 V2 new.
My DCA E3 headphones are balanced.

I see the SA-1 v2 can ship to Canada from Amazon.com without any taxes and duties, that’s probably what I’ll choose.

I’m nervous to see if the A70 Pro has damaged the headphones as well… need a new amp to confirm.
 
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