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Help: Topping PA5 II vs PA7

great04

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Hi folks at ASR,
I am looking for a class D power amplifier to drive a new pair of Ascend Acoustics Sierra 1-V2 (8ohms). Room: 14ft x 20ft, distance: 6 to 10ft. I had my eyes on Topping PA5 II and PA7.
  • Measured performance: From what I gathered on the reviews (I am newbie at reading the measurements), PA5 II has less distortion than PA7, especially at frequency >5kHz. Is it correct? Will the difference be audible? Does Topping PA5 II enough power to drive the speakers?
  • Reliability issue: there are reports of serious issues with PA5 (gen 1), and some heating issues with PA7. But I have seen many recent posts on their reliability in the last month. Is it safe to assume they are reliable? Or more time is needed?
Thanks!
 
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great04

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You might consider the WiiM Amp as it is also a streamer and a DAC. Other than your speakers, it's all you need.
Thanks for your suggestion. That crossed my mind as well. But I was a bit concerned about the noise and distortion. Was hoping those can be >105dB.

WiiM Amp:
• SNR: 98 dB
• THD+N: -93 dB
 
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Power Pop 23

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Hi folks at ASR,
I am looking for a class D power amplifier to drive a new pair of Ascend Acoustics Sierra 1-V2 (8ohms). Room: 14ft x 20ft, distance: 6 to 10ft. I had my eyes on Topping PA5 II and PA7.
  • Measured performance: From what I gathered on the reviews (I am newbie at reading the measurements), PA5 II has less distortion than PA7, especially at frequency >5kHz. Is it correct? Will the difference be audible? Does Topping PA5 II enough power to drive the speakers?
  • Reliability issue: there are reports of serious issues with PA5 (gen 1), and some heating issues with PA7. But I have seen many recent posts on their reliability in the last month. Is it safe to assume they are reliable? Or more time is needed?
Thanks!
I doubt I would hear a difference between a PA5 II and a PA7. I own a still working - but less used - PA5. I would assume nothing about reliability. Consider what you would have to expend in effort to obtain warranty service from your location. FWIW, the PA7 has been on the market longer than the PA5 II.
 

NoMoFoNo

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The Topping PA5II and PA7 test very well but I think you're right to worry about their reliability and Topping has suffered badly on the customer service front. I would love to try a PA7 but I simply don't trust at this point. I currently listen to a Fosi V3, which is also based on the TPA3255 but without post filtering so it tested not quite as well.

Whether the listener will hear any difference is another question, but the bottom line for me is that Fosi has not suffered reliability issues AND their V3 can be had with 48V power brick for around $100 whereas the cheapest I've seen the Toppings is $250 for the PA5II and $450 for the PA7. I also believe that Fosi and AIyima will offer models with post filtering in the next year at prices that will substantially undercut Topping and at that point I will see very little reason to consider Topping models based on the TPA325X.
 
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great04

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The Topping PA5II and PA7 test very well but I think you're right to worry about their reliability and Topping has suffered badly on the customer service front. I would love to try a PA7 but I simply don't trust at this point. I currently listen to a Fosi V3, which is also based on the TPA3255 but without post filtering so it tested not quite as well.

Whether the listener will hear any difference is another question, but the bottom line for me is that Fosi has not suffered reliability issues AND their V3 can be had with 48V power brick for around $100 whereas the cheapest I've seen the Toppings is $250 for the PA5II and $450 for the PA7. I also believe that Fosi and AIyima will offer models with post filtering in the next year at prices that will substantially undercut Topping and at that point I will see very little reason to consider Topping models based on the TPA325X.
Thanks for the suggestions!
 

audioje

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I am looking at sierra 1 v2 or lx for my new pair of speakers. I also ordered pa5ii (non plus) but it has been returned to the seller with a delivery issue (dhl sucks...). My room size is similar to you and thought pa5ii would be enough (I don't play loud). Other than pa7, I also thought about smsl al200. Hope PA5ii is enough to drive sierra as I don't like the wider footprints of pa7 and al200...
 

RCL162

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The Topping PA5II and PA7 test very well but I think you're right to worry about their reliability and Topping has suffered badly on the customer service front. I would love to try a PA7 but I simply don't trust at this point. I currently listen to a Fosi V3, which is also based on the TPA3255 but without post filtering so it tested not quite as well.

Whether the listener will hear any difference is another question, but the bottom line for me is that Fosi has not suffered reliability issues AND their V3 can be had with 48V power brick for around $100 whereas the cheapest I've seen the Toppings is $250 for the PA5II and $450 for the PA7. I also believe that Fosi and AIyima will offer models with post filtering in the next year at prices that will substantially undercut Topping and at that point I will see very little reason to consider Topping models based on the TPA325X.
CS bad? Reliability issue, PA5ii? Hmmm..thank you, sir. Almost press the buy button last night.
 

ban25

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CS bad? Reliability issue, PA5ii? Hmmm..thank you, sir. Almost press the buy button last night.
Here's some more threads for context:



Bottom line, don't buy a PA5 or PA5 II -- and realistically, don't buy any Topping amp as they likely all have the same encapsulation issue.
 

RCL162

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Here's some more threads for context:



Bottom line, don't buy a PA5 or PA5 II -- and realistically, don't buy any Topping amp as they likely all have the same encapsulation issue.
Thank you so much..will read later when I'm home.
 

audioje

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If you know a seller with a good return policy, you can try one. I am loving my pa5ii so far. If it last more than 2 years, I will get another one for sure.
 

RCL162

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If you know a seller with a good return policy, you can try one. I am loving my pa5ii so far. If it last more than 2 years, I will get another one for sure.
Well..no return policy in this country. Warranty 1 year but idk what kind of warranty. I'll stick with my V3 for now.
 

RCL162

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Here's some more threads for context:



Bottom line, don't buy a PA5 or PA5 II -- and realistically, don't buy any Topping amp as they likely all have the same encapsulation issue.
Too much circuit for me to learn about how to fix it. Haha..thank you for sharing. I'll wait and see. Maybe in the future there will be a good product. ;)
 

DSJR

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I have to be devils advocate here (forgive me fellas).

Much as I admire the generally excellent performance of these little amps, i do worry about the wasteful 'landfill in a few years' aspect of these units being taken for granted. maybe in the US it's not regarded as much of an issue, but in this little hugely overcrowded island, it's just another thing to show how broken we are here in so many ways and we're encouraged to recycle/repair as much as possible.

I'm hoping that Topping has learned from the recent mistakes and that latest versions of these amps will work for many years under domestic conditions.
 

RCL162

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I have to be devils advocate here (forgive me fellas).

Much as I admire the generally excellent performance of these little amps, i do worry about the wasteful 'landfill in a few years' aspect of these units being taken for granted. maybe in the US it's not regarded as much of an issue, but in this little hugely overcrowded island, it's just another thing to show how broken we are here in so many ways and we're encouraged to recycle/repair as much as possible.

I'm hoping that Topping has learned from the recent mistakes and that latest versions of these amps will work for many years under domestic conditions.
Well in US currency it just $300 something. But here in my country, that's million to spend. I wouldn't buy it if the product will only last 1-2 year. And here seller give me 1 year warranty only. So...nope. Bad idea..
 

ban25

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I have to be devils advocate here (forgive me fellas).

Much as I admire the generally excellent performance of these little amps, i do worry about the wasteful 'landfill in a few years' aspect of these units being taken for granted. maybe in the US it's not regarded as much of an issue, but in this little hugely overcrowded island, it's just another thing to show how broken we are here in so many ways and we're encouraged to recycle/repair as much as possible.

I'm hoping that Topping has learned from the recent mistakes and that latest versions of these amps will work for many years under domestic conditions.
Absolutely agreed 100%. Unfortunately, teardowns have shown that Topping has learned nothing with the PA5 II. If you're looking for something in this space, the Fosi V3 seems well regarded and has not had the same reliability issues.
 

RCL162

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Absolutely agreed 100%. Unfortunately, teardowns have shown that Topping has learned nothing with the PA5 II. If you're looking for something in this space, the Fosi V3 seems well regarded and has not had the same reliability issues.
How about their DAC products? Any bad reports, sir? I would like to try E70 Velvet.
 

ban25

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How about their DAC products? Any bad reports, sir? I would like to try E70 Velvet.
I think you're ok there as all the reported issues have been with their amps. The DACs should have marginal power requirements and therefore minimal heat dissipation.
 
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