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Issue with new Topping A90 Discrete

DLS79

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I have my doubts about the seriousness of some users of posts here that report the problems with Topping.

Some of these users have less than 10 or 20 postings and have only reported about problems with Topping and nothing else.

It looks to me like these users have an agenda.

It's not just people with a few posts, if you go looking you will find people with thousands of posts complain about some brands because they don't come with schematics, or offer decade long warranties!
 

DLS79

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I tell you this bluntly and very sincerely. This is bullshit.
If we are going to be blunt, then I will say I don't care what you think! Your example of 2 failures out of 2000 shows your lacking when it comes to knowledge of this topic.


This is commonly referred to as Whataboutism, and you showed many examples of it in the previous post too.
Yea, the trendy word people like to use when presented with uncomfortable truths.

The fact that other companies may have design or reliability problems in no way excuses Topping for their poor design and for ignoring their responsibilities to the buyers of their defective products and recognized as such by Topping representatives themselves on this site .
Please tell me, where did i "excuse" them?
 

Ze Frog

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The Pa5 is the only topping product I've seen have a fundamental issue. Every single product from every manufacture has an expected failure rate, regardless of what consumers think.

I think topping gets dumped on a lot here because its Chinese and not a high end company.

Tell me, what do you think about Ferrari's piss poor engineering of the 458?
Poor engineering is poor engineering. Personally I don't care where a product is made or by whom, or brand prestige or any of that nonsense. If something is bad or a rip-off I don't discriminate. Granted that's my personal take, however I'd imagine many are the same.

When you are a customer, loyalty and patriotism to such is a foolish errand, none of these companies are friends of the end consumer, they are there to make money and so should rightfully give the end consumer a product that is worthy of that person choosing their product to start with be that Ferrari or Topping. Topping I'd avoid seeing what I have done, and Ferrari if I had the cash wouldn't get my money either.
 

Doodski

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When you are a customer, loyalty and patriotism to such is a foolish errand
I demand that I may depend on stuff that I am expensed for. Whether it be the bartenders' attitude or a products reliability I need to depend on those things.
 

terryforsythe

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Poor engineering is poor engineering.
It doesn't seem to me Topping is lacking in engineering skills based on the sound quality I am getting out of my Topping products. It could be more of a supplier/production/QC issue, or a combination of those issues. At one point I ran a RF/EMI filter operation. One of my early projects was significantly revamping our QA operations and test procedures. Our warranty issues dropped over 95% as a result of those changes.

When there are issues discovered to be due to an engineering mistake, engineers usually are pretty good at making sure it does not happen again.
 
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DLS79

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Granted that's my personal take, however I'd imagine many are the same.

In my experience many people are not.

Some will have blind loyalty to a brand no matter what. some will have one bad experience with a brand, and will then take a dump on a brand every chance they get after that. Others will dislike a brand having never owned anything from a brand.

A good example would be Computer hardware, Intel vs AMD, Nvidia vs AMD, etc etc. It's not limited consumer products either, I've seen organizations spends millions on less performant products, because someone within the organization had a grudge against the other manufacture.
 

Ze Frog

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I demand that I may depend on stuff that I am expensed for. Whether it be the bartenders' attitude or a products reliability I need to depend on those things.
Exactly, anything else is an absolute afront. It's a shame, before I joined here I would still visit frequently and can remember watching Topping rise to a level of prominence and was thoroughly impressed. Was great to see what they were achieving and was rooting for them, always one to support the underdog myself. However once it became clear people were having issues and the response or lack of with products, then releasing more stuff with questionable QC I decided long before I got here I wouldn't chance my money. I genuinely hope they can turn it around, is in everyone's benefit that all these companies do really well as even those that wouldn't spend less than a few thousand on a product will end up with better as companies will start fearing some relatively small upstart out doing them quality, price, customer service wise.

A little bit like how Intel getting into GPU market, right now they are really for budget end and enthusiasts but are making massive leaps and driver's keep getting released to improve the product. Few more years and it'll benefit the whole GPU consumer chain regardless of wether they compete at higher end.

Sometimes it's about the bigger picture, I'm more pissed at Topping because they had such a good start and squandered it, they were perfectly placed to start heading towards disrupting the industry in a good way. Luckily WIIM and Fosi among others are now stepping up the heat, my only hope is they keep doing what they are doing in regards to customer service and feedback and if they release a dud actually respond in a way that actually benefits both them and the customer. If Topping had said ' sorry guys, we messed up ', noted that and refunded or promised a revision they knew was 100% fixed as a replacement they could have actually gained from that long term as it inspired customer confidence. Typical though, everything is about short term gain with many companies, if only they could look ahead a bit more, that in itself inspires people because then people can see they are planning to stick around in future.
 

Ze Frog

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In my experience many people are not.

Some will have blind loyalty to a brand no matter what. some will have one bad experience with a brand, and will then take a dump on a brand every chance they get after that. Others will dislike a brand having never owned anything from a brand.

A good example would be Computer hardware, Intel vs AMD, Nvidia vs AMD, etc etc. It's not limited consumer products either, I've seen organizations spends millions on less performant products, because someone within the organization had a grudge against the other manufacture.
Yeah, see what you are saying, especially regarding the computer side. Still makes no sense to be die hard one or the other in my mind. I just don't understand people very well, don't see the logic in such loyalties. There will certainly be an element of audio snobs trashing such equipment from Topping etc, but then why are they buying it anyway. A lot of negatives I've seen are on Amazon, verified purchases. Probably find a lot of those rubbishing such because of snobbery can't actually afford the stuff they have likely never heard but saw a influencer telling them how great it was, it's a strange world.
 

DLS79

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A lot of negatives I've seen are on Amazon, verified purchases. Probably find a lot of those rubbishing such because of snobbery can't actually afford the stuff they have likely never heard but saw a influencer telling them how great it was, it's a strange world.

I think it's a multi part problem.

1) A lot of people in first world countries no longer have a grasp on general manufacturing and supply chain concepts.
2) On average people in first world countries, have become entitled, and petty!

Amazon is a perfect example. You used to be able to find useful information in reviews (good and bad). Now a lot of positive reviews are nothing more than "works as described", and a lot of the negative reviews are brainless rants. The negative rants can get really petty, and blame the manufacture for stuff that was either the reseller, or shippers fault.

I was looking at computer monitor arms the other day and came across a tirade by a gentlemen. The arm he received had multiple scratches, and he was blaming it all on the manufacture. When I looked through the photos he posted, i saw the shipping box in the background. What he purchased was obviously damaged in shipping. The box had crushed in corners, and multiple puncture holes in it.
 

anotherhobby

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If we are going to be blunt, then I will say I don't care what you think! Your example of 2 failures out of 2000 shows your lacking when it comes to knowledge of this topic.
Reread that post you are referencing. You misread. he said "If you sell 2000 amplifiers and 1 out of 2 has problems"... as in a 50% failure rate over 2000 units. You've now twice misrepresented what he said on the same thing in the thread.
 

DLS79

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Reread that post you are referencing. You misread. he said "If you sell 2000 amplifiers and 1 out of 2 has problems"... as in a 50% failure rate over 2000 units. You've now twice misrepresented what he said on the same thing in the thread.

I read it as one one or two out of 2000. Either way it's still a BS exaggeration, topping wouldn't have survived their first year of existence if they had a 50% failure rate.
 

AaronJ

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The problem is not Topping's reliability - it's their reliability in conjunction with how they have handled their warranty service. I can forgive engineering mistakes and would possibly throw caution to the wind if I am confident that I would be made whole in the event of a failure, but I cannot forgive poor business etiquette. Topping are clearly trying to make inroads into the global hifi community and have succeeded in doing so with their engineering and performance at their price point. They have also lost a significant portion of their good graces after behaving like an eBay seller that perpetuates stereotypes. Caveat emptor if you do any business with companies based in foreign countries.
 
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Hey guys,
Heard a lot of good things about the A90D and wanted to experience it myself so I got it a few days ago from Shenzhen. As I opened it and tried it out I immediately had 2 issues:
1. There is a very noticeable static sound (crackling and popping) on the right side of the headphone/iem that I tried. This sound is persistent regardless of volume, gain, balanced or unbalanced output. It is much more noticeable on my IEM as well and sometime when the popping happen, I was scared that my eardrum might blow up lol. Also, I can confirm that it is not because of my DAC because the static sound is still there even if nothing is connected to the amp, except for the headphone and the power cable. Fyi, Im using a 4.4 balanced for my IEM (Moondrop Variation, stock cable) and the unbalanced for my Hifiman HE1000v1 (also stock cable). I have a couple other headphones and iem to try but at this point I don't think it is my gear issue because I have been using them perfectly fine with other dac/amp.
2. When using the unbalanced output for my headphone, after a few minutes a loud static pop will play and the amp reset to "-5" error. Other people have reported this issue and even Joshua Valour had this issue on his unit. After the first -5, I could reset the amp and test it again, but then the second -5 hit and now I cant reset my amp. I tried turning it off, pulling out the cable, let it rest for several minutes, but when I turned it back on it was still on -5 and I couldn't do anything.
At this point, I am quite certain that my unit had an issue and contacted Shenzhen for an exchange, which they agreed to. But I wanted to post my issue here to ask people who had more experience with the amp about it. Was my unit faulty or did I do something wrong? Also, should I go for exchange or just refund and get another more reliable option?
I only had a few minutes to actually experience the sound before the issue start to pop and I absolutely loved what it can do for my cans so it was such a shame.
I heard JohnYang1997 is an expert on these topics so I would hope to hear from him :D
I am getting the same thing almost exactly with my A90D. I have had the unit for about two years (since it came out I believe), and it is or was in use every day driving a Moon 330A power amp, as the preamp for the TV, EverSolo A6, CD player, and as a headphone amp for my Dan Clark Stealths. About two weeks back it started giving crackles and pops in the left channel, and then produced very loud bangs and cracks such that it caused the Moon to go into protection mode, and made we worry about my speakers. It was also showing “-5” on the display, but I couldn’t find any reference to that in the instructions. I was very happy with the A90D from a sonic and functionality point of view, and it still seems to work without problems in headphone mode. Just very annoying that I can’t use it for the purpose for which it was purchased. It was not an expensive component, so it’s really just the inconvenience that bothers me.

I am of course now looking for a solution: Something with enough inputs both digital and analog to take all my sources, have a trigger to turn on the Moon power amp, and drive my DCA ‘phones, AND be reliable. I am probably going to order a Benchmark DAC 3HGC. Seems to check all the boxes.
 
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I am getting the same thing almost exactly with my A90D. I have had the unit for about two years (since it came out I believe), and it is or was in use every day driving a Moon 330A power amp, as the preamp for the TV, EverSolo A6, CD player, and as a headphone amp for my Dan Clark Stealths. About two weeks back it started giving crackles and pops in the left channel, and then produced very loud bangs and cracks such that it caused the Moon to go into protection mode, and made we worry about my speakers. It was also showing “-5” on the display, but I couldn’t find any reference to that in the instructions. I was very happy with the A90D from a sonic and functionality point of view, and it still seems to work without problems in headphone mode. Just very annoying that I can’t use it for the purpose for which it was purchased. It was not an expensive component, so it’s really just the inconvenience that bothers me.

I am of course now looking for a solution: Something with enough inputs both digital and analog to take all my sources, have a trigger to turn on the Moon power amp, and drive my DCA ‘phones, AND be reliable. I am probably going to order a Benchmark DAC 3HGC. Seems to check all the boxes.
A follow up to my above post from April 18:

When the problem occurred I sent an email to Topping in China describing the issue. I got a return email the next day saying that I would need to ship the unit to China at my cost as it was out of warranty. I would also need to pay for return shipping when it was fixed. The email gave me detailed instructions on how to address the package, declare a value for customs etc. I bought a box at my local post office and sent the unit as requested. It got to China in about 5 days. I received another email 3 or 4 days later saying they had fixed the unit and would send it back as soon as I paid the $30 US shipping cost. I was not charged anything for the repair itself. I paid as requested and was sent an email with the tracking number. It arrived back about 5 days later, and is fully operational.

I have to say that I‘m impressed with the Topping service response. They were very fast in responding to my emails and charged me nothing for the fix. You could argue that perhaps this particular problem has not been unusual and they want to recover their reputation, or that as a company on the other side of the planet from most of their customers, they need to be good at customer service. Could be, but if so, then good for them is seeing the problem and addressing it.
 

Palladium

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Exactly, anything else is an absolute afront. It's a shame, before I joined here I would still visit frequently and can remember watching Topping rise to a level of prominence and was thoroughly impressed. Was great to see what they were achieving and was rooting for them, always one to support the underdog myself. However once it became clear people were having issues and the response or lack of with products, then releasing more stuff with questionable QC I decided long before I got here I wouldn't chance my money. I genuinely hope they can turn it around, is in everyone's benefit that all these companies do really well as even those that wouldn't spend less than a few thousand on a product will end up with better as companies will start fearing some relatively small upstart out doing them quality, price, customer service wise.

A little bit like how Intel getting into GPU market, right now they are really for budget end and enthusiasts but are making massive leaps and driver's keep getting released to improve the product. Few more years and it'll benefit the whole GPU consumer chain regardless of wether they compete at higher end.

Sometimes it's about the bigger picture, I'm more pissed at Topping because they had such a good start and squandered it, they were perfectly placed to start heading towards disrupting the industry in a good way. Luckily WIIM and Fosi among others are now stepping up the heat, my only hope is they keep doing what they are doing in regards to customer service and feedback and if they release a dud actually respond in a way that actually benefits both them and the customer. If Topping had said ' sorry guys, we messed up ', noted that and refunded or promised a revision they knew was 100% fixed as a replacement they could have actually gained from that long term as it inspired customer confidence. Typical though, everything is about short term gain with many companies, if only they could look ahead a bit more, that in itself inspires people because then people can see they are planning to stick around in future.

Intel's reliability has also massively slipped in the past decade, starting with flaky GBe ethernet controllers which was supposedly impossible to screw up by 2010. Just very recently they also sold 13/14th i9s that are vastly overclocked from the factory as stable parts and now they are downgrading their specs aftermarket.
 

kelesh

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Intel's reliability has also massively slipped in the past decade, starting with flaky GBe ethernet controllers which was supposedly impossible to screw up by 2010. Just very recently they also sold 13/14th i9s that are vastly overclocked from the factory as stable parts and now they are downgrading their specs aftermarket.

Any further info on this (stepping, etc)? I've been looking for a decent deal on an i9 which I have a board for lying around, but it is not urgent so I waited for prices to drop. I'd like to know which ones to avoid.
 
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