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Is there an obvious gap in Topping's product line?

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#1
So, I've been looking at the Topping reviews, particularly DACs and headphone amps.

At the moment, the D10s looks a stunning DAC for the money at $99. It looks like they'll soon be offering a version with balanced outs. According to Amir's video on understanding balanced audio, this might add $50 to the price, so maybe $150.

Okay.

We then have the L30 headphone amp for $130, which looks every bit as good a headphone amp as the D10s is a DAC.

Next up in the range after that is the A50s at $200. Balanced out, but no balanced input.

Next up is the A30Pro for $350, balanced in & out.

Now the only people who need balanced outs are those with headphones which are very difficult to drive, and that's a fairly limited number of people. But there are plenty out there who fear the hum of a ground loop, who'd like a headphone amp with a balanced input.

But you're jumping there from $130 for the L30 to $350 for the A30Pro.

Wouldn't an L30 with a balanced input (not output) for sub-$200 sell like hot cakes? Especially once a D10 with balanced outs appears.

Does Amir's "add $50 for a balanced version" only apply to outputs from DACs, and not inputs on amps?

Over to you lot. I'm still learning.
 
OP
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Thread Starter #3
Put another way.

What's the cheapest headphone amp with balanced inputs with similar measurements to the L30?
 

Beershaun

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#5
AVR?
 

jae

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#6
Topping is releasing a new power amp soon but I don't know the wattage target. They also need to update their dx7pro combo unit with d90/a90 specs. I would love for them to make the unit larger and maybe add some kind of streaming functionality as well to compete with matrix. I'd just be happy with some kind of RPI drop-in module. I would also like to see them develop some ADC/recording interfaces.
 

Phorize

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#8
Yes, phono re amp, implemented in dsp. Thought no one would ever ask.
 
OP
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Thread Starter #10
Amir said in his video on balanced audio that it doesn’t cost a lot to add a balanced out to a DAC, maybe $50.

Is there any reason adding a balanced input to a headphone amp should cost more? I don’t know how the innards would work with that.
 

Martin

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#11
I’d love to see a DX9 Pro with the performance of the D90/A90 stack and Pre90/Ext90 functionality and connectivity. $1500-2000 would not be unreasonable for such a beast. I don’t need it to include streaming.

Martin
 

Vini darko

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#14
Amir said in his video on balanced audio that it doesn’t cost a lot to add a balanced out to a DAC, maybe $50.

Is there any reason adding a balanced input to a headphone amp should cost more? I don’t know how the innards would work with that.
Maybe mr @JohnYang1997 could answer that. These are his babies.
 
OP
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Thread Starter #16
Depends on how similar measurements need to be.

SMSL SH-9 for 290$?
Archel 2.5 pro for 180$ maybe?
SMSL SH-8s Price seems pending. Less than SH-9?
This is the knowledge for which I come here.

U.K. Amazon pricing for the SH-8 is just £160. Should be sub-€200.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is my new, go-to headphone amplifier.

Unless and until Topping come up with the goods.
 

somebodyelse

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#18
A 2 channel with balanced outs would be outstanding also.
Already in the pipeline with a prototype that measures well - the title of the post originally called it the d10(nda). That's why an 8 channel version of the same thing seems less of a stretch. It would also be the missing piece of the puzzle that we've identified for the active crossover requirement in the open source streamer thread.
https://www.l7audiolab.com/f/topping-d10b-dac/
 
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Thread Starter #20
Just looking back on this. I'd forgotten what I'd originally posted, but found myself thinking the same thing as I'd written here when the $230 price for the SMSL SH-8S was announced.

Looking at the review & measurements for that vs the Topping L30, and there's virtually nothing in it, other than the SMSL having balanced inputs.

Can that really be worth the extra $100 ?

Surely Topping can do something like the L30 with balanced inputs, and split the price rise in half - say $180.

Could Topping do an L30 with balanced in AND out for $230 ?
 
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