• WANTED: Happy members who like to discuss audio and other topics related to our interest. Desire to learn and share knowledge of science required as is 20 years of participation in forums (not all true). There are daily reviews of audio hardware and expert members to help answer your questions. Click here to have your audio equipment measured for free!

Finally arrived - Gustard X16 DAC and Topping A90 headphone amp

devopsprodude

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 9, 2021
Messages
321
Likes
306
Location
Beaverton, OR
The long wait is finally over. New Gustard X16 DAC and Topping A90 headphone amp arrived today from ShenzhenAudio in China.

Image from iOS (1).jpg


Glad to know that the balanced headphone cable from Audiophile Ninja works (had no easy way of testing it before now).

So far so good. Not much to say that hasn't already been said elsewhere, although it is worth noting that it has plenty of power in low gain for the Hifiman Sundara cans using balanced headphone cable.

Oh, and it's surprising how much heavier the X16 is vs the A90. You'd think that because the A90 is an amp that it would be heavier, but that's not the case.

Worth the almost $900? You can certainly get a stack with plenty of power, Bluetooth, and USB inputs for less, but these are both high quality units. So far I'm pretty pleased with the purchase.
 

RHO

Major Contributor
Joined
Nov 20, 2020
Messages
1,171
Likes
1,058
Location
Belgium
My dream stack!:D
Congrats and enjoy!
 
Joined
Jun 10, 2021
Messages
31
Likes
10
Location
Ireland
That's still an endgame stack. In some ways the A30pro is better than the A90, especially for single ended headphones.
I see. Still a noobie audiophile person at the moment. Nice to know it's a good stack I'm thinking about.
I'm going to get HD 660S headset then the Topping stack. Purely for desktop computer use.
Separate components needed as in a few months I am going to purchase a turntable, to listen to vinyl through headphones.
 

Snoopy

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
Jul 19, 2021
Messages
797
Likes
461
Why not h16 + X16?

Should be around $900 as well. Or the RME ADI-2 FS DAC/amp?


I'm currently thinking about getting something in this price range as well.


I'm not sure why but something always keeps telling me not to buy topping/S.M.S.L .
Maybe because they release a new Device every other week.
 

Snoopy

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
Jul 19, 2021
Messages
797
Likes
461
A90 performed better than H16 in Amir's tests. If I was buying today though, I'd get the A30pro. RME ADI-2 was more than I wanted to spend.


Watched a couple of reviews buy another YouTuber (I think it was "Goldensound" and he mentioned how the topping measured great but sounded "compressed". After reading some more I found plenty of comments by other people that mentioned the same.
 

RHO

Major Contributor
Joined
Nov 20, 2020
Messages
1,171
Likes
1,058
Location
Belgium
Watched a couple of reviews buy another YouTuber (I think it was "Goldensound" and he mentioned how the topping measured great but sounded "compressed". After reading some more I found plenty of comments by other people that mentioned the same.
One reviewer suggests it sounds congested. Other reviewers start to hear the same thing. What a surprise!:rolleyes:
 

RHO

Major Contributor
Joined
Nov 20, 2020
Messages
1,171
Likes
1,058
Location
Belgium
A90 performed better than H16 in Amir's tests. If I was buying today though, I'd get the A30pro. RME ADI-2 was more than I wanted to spend.
I would seriously doubt you can genuinely hear a difference between the H16 and A90. Makes the X16 - H16 stack the better looking one.:cool:
 

Veri

Master Contributor
Joined
Feb 6, 2018
Messages
8,946
Likes
11,079
Watched a couple of reviews buy another YouTuber (I think it was "Goldensound" and he mentioned how the topping measured great but sounded "compressed". After reading some more I found plenty of comments by other people that mentioned the same.
Goldensound dude seems extremely biased by all of the common audiophile myths, heck his last 'measurements' are all digital converters ('DDC's) which he's gushing over. Just digital converters. Surely they'll tell you they add richness to the sound and sound amazing etc. Just ridiculous.
 

Snoopy

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
Jul 19, 2021
Messages
797
Likes
461
Goldensound dude seems extremely biased by all of the common audiophile myths, heck his last 'measurements' are all digital converters ('DDC's) which he's gushing over. Just digital converters. Surely they'll tell you they add richness to the sound and sound amazing etc. Just ridiculous.


Yeah that other dude I'm watching is suddenly all over DDC also. (Jay Soulsik)


Darko will probably be the next one
 

Snoopy

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
Jul 19, 2021
Messages
797
Likes
461
I would seriously doubt you can genuinely hear a difference between the H16 and A90. Makes the X16 - H16 stack the better looking one.:cool:

Yeah that's what I was thinking too.

Shouldn't matter if one combo gets 92/100 and another one 93/100. But at least it looks good together
 

War Penguin

Member
Joined
Feb 1, 2021
Messages
8
Likes
3
Location
Sri-Lanka
The long wait is finally over. New Gustard X16 DAC and Topping A90 headphone amp arrived today from ShenzhenAudio in China.

View attachment 125056

Glad to know that the balanced headphone cable from Audiophile Ninja works (had no easy way of testing it before now).

So far so good. Not much to say that hasn't already been said elsewhere, although it is worth noting that it has plenty of power in low gain for the Hifiman Sundara cans using balanced headphone cable.

Oh, and it's surprising how much heavier the X16 is vs the A90. You'd think that because the A90 is an amp that it would be heavier, but that's not the case.

Worth the almost $900? You can certainly get a stack with plenty of power, Bluetooth, and USB inputs for less, but these are both high quality units. So far I'm pretty pleased with the purchase.

WOW thanks for sharing, it looks awesome. My a30 pro looks a little dwarfed sitting on top of the x16, good to know the a90 is a more aesthetically pleasing option if I go balanced down the road.
 
OP
D

devopsprodude

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 9, 2021
Messages
321
Likes
306
Location
Beaverton, OR
WOW thanks for sharing, it looks awesome. My a30 pro looks a little dwarfed sitting on top of the x16, good to know the a90 is a more aesthetically pleasing option if I go balanced down the road.
You really don't gain much by "upgrading" from A30 pro to A90. A30 pro has gobs of power even for balanced cans and way more power than the A90 for unbalanced headphones. Only real reason to upgrade, in my opinion, is if you need the output features of the A90 that aren't available on A30 pro.
 
Top Bottom