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New Amp to Replace Topping Pa5

ampguy

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I contacted Topping. They were on holiday and finally back. Said if I can show the pa5 is broken (again), that I can get pa5 II provided I never had previous warranty action (I haven't). There are 2 issues here:

1. According to them, my email provider is blocking their email (gmail). So I sent them with outlook address and it worked. But that's a different email address I am sending from, and it lacks the email history where I already cleared that my amp is defective. So ok, I have to go re-record.
2. Pa5 has been on a shelf for months now so I reconnect it. And right now both channels work ok, which is the worst possibility because I know it's defective but it's working (for now).

So now I'm continuing to lose my mind over this. Before anyone starts to think that I've been pissed for 2 years over an incorrectly wired amp that was all my doing, an amp that has been wired doesn't just start hissing and then playing very loud popping noises and then ultimately die on one channel when left alone.
Possibly was never broken. A handful of PA5 haters find every PA5 thread and crap on it saying that if you’re not having issues now, you will eventually, with no evidence. You were possibly subjected to mass hysteria.
 

NTK

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Possibly was never broken. A handful of PA5 haters find every PA5 thread and crap on it saying that if you’re not having issues now, you will eventually, with no evidence. You were possibly subjected to mass hysteria.
@BoredErica's journey with her PA5 has been well documented.
 
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BoredErica

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Possibly was never broken. A handful of PA5 haters find every PA5 thread and crap on it saying that if you’re not having issues now, you will eventually, with no evidence. You were possibly subjected to mass hysteria.
How about you leave my thread and take your insulting BS with you?
Was I having hysteria when noises started coming up, then loud popping noises started appearing, and then the channel died, while nothing changed with the setup? I sold my HD800 to pay for a replacement amp. I was also near first person to note the issue. AND it got cleared through Topping returns with evidence video over a year ago. Maybe Topping is suffering from hysteria too?

Seriously, get a life. You don't need to defend your purchase that hard. Going to start another 'pa5 is the best amp ever' thread again? Anything better than this.

@BoredErica's journey with her PA5 has been well documented.
They know, they're here to make fun of me.

It's kind of twisted fate that even after I get a replacement amp, I'm still dealing with pa5.
 
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BoredErica

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OK. So I used the PA5 again. It's been 2 weeks. Just now I heard a loud POP and now the right channel is now significantly quieter than the left. Like a year ago, one channel dies way sooner than the other. Thankfully my speakers don't seem permanently damaged.

Functional devices are consistently reliable. Defective devices can be inconsistently faulty. I know the amp is faulty. But does Topping know? What if I spend $50 to ship it and they can't hear the issue I'm hearing? The right channel was entirely dead months ago. Then it became fine for 2 full weeks. Topping's not going to QA my Pa5 for 2 weeks.

Everyone here has audio as a hobby so they struggle seeing things from an outsider's POV. There's lots of knowledge people take for granted which seem like 'common sense' which only seem that way because they're talking about audio all the time. I think audio is extremely complicated and that's before the equipment failures. Things just don't go to plan most of the time for a million reasons.

My amp was placed in an out of sight place. It's a pain to service due to that. OK, I took pa5 out and Buckeye in. Never have to worry about it again. Right? Wrong. Ok, dust off Pa5 and test it again. Pa5 defective. Put cables back to Buckeye. Wait. Which cable is for which channel? Which way do they go in? Are they *fully* seated? (They sometimes don't if I'm not careful w/ the Buckeye.) Can't see anything on the back, gotta move things around. Oh, cable too short because I opted to try to move the amp forward so I can see behind it better versus disassembling my entire setup. Ok, amp is now pulled forward enough but strain on cables is causing velcro holding cables up behind my desk to start to buckle. I dunno WTF is going behind my desk unless I move everything aside and crouch behind it because of the myrid of cables velcroed to be tight. Grrr.

I just want to be done with audio and move on with my life. I got so much other crap I have to deal with, I really don't need this right now.

The idea that I hallucinated loud pops on two ocassions and a dead channel that Topping agreed was dead last time is ludicrous. This time I took another video, showing that right channel is now significantly quiter than the left. It's very audible in person but I gotta record on my garbage cell phone in potato quality. I'm going to email Topping again. With my alt email because Topping's emails can't send to my gmail address for some god awful reason. I don't think Topping wants to accept an email exchange from over a year ago via a different email address I claim to be mine linking to a Google drive video that can't be downloaded anymore, where the Topping employee agreed the Pa5 was faulty. So here we are.

Boiling down entire post into 3 points: (tl;dr)
  1. Amp worked for 2 weeks. Now heard loud pop and right channel on amp is too quiet.
  2. I'm concerned about safety of my ears and speakers by continuing to test the Pa5 and revealing issues.
  3. I'm concerned about Topping repair only testing Pa5 1 time and concluding whether it is faulty of not based on that when my unit has shown it can work OK for some time before dying again. An electrical test of some kind mind be able to see something is wrong more definitively.
 
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Sokel

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OK. So I used the PA5 again. It's been 2 weeks. Just now I heard a loud POP and now the right channel is now significantly quieter than the left. Like a year ago, one channel dies way sooner than the other. Thankfully my speakers don't seem permanently damaged.

Functional devices are consistently reliable. Defective devices could be consistently faulty or inconsistently faulty. I know the amp is fault and that it's not my fault. But does Topping know? What if I spend $50 to ship it and they can't hear the issue I'm hearing? The right channel was entirely dead months ago. Then it became fine for 2 full weeks. Topping's not going to QA my Pa5 for 2 weeks.

Everyone here has audio as a hobby so they struggle seeing things from an outsider's POV. There's lots of knowledge people take for granted which seem like 'common sense' which only seem that way because they're talking about audio all the time. I think audio is extremely complicated and that's before the equipment failures. Things just don't go to plan most of the time for a million reasons.

My amp was placed in an out of sight place. It's a pain to service due to that. OK, I took pa5 out and Buckeye in. Never have to worry about it again. Right? Wrong. Ok, dust off Pa5 and test it again. Pa5 defective. Put cables back to Buckeye. Wait. Which cable is for which channel? Which way do they go in? Are they *fully* seated? (They sometimes don't if I'm not careful w/ the Buckeye.) Can't see anything on the back, gotta move things around. Grrr.

I just want to be done with audio and move on with my life. I got so much other crap I have to deal with, I really don't need this right now.

The idea that I hallucinated loud pops on two ocassions and a dead channel that Topping agreed was dead last time is ludicrous. This time I took another video, showing that right channel is now significantly quiter than the left. It's very audible in person but I gotta record on my garbage cell phone in potato quality. I'm going to email Topping again. With my alt email because Topping's emails can't send to my gmail address for some god awful reason. I don't think Topping wants to accept an email exchange from over a year ago via a different email address I claim to be mine linking to a Google drive video that can't be downloaded anymore, where the Topping employee agreed the Pa5 was faulty. So here we are.
Sometimes I feel I'm the crazy one in the room constantly saying that audio stuff should be careless cause their sole destination is fun and their most important features are ease,safety and reliability.

Your thread describes a nightmare and the way you write about it shows a state that no ones deserves when seeking some nice sound.

Hope it comes to an end,and the way to do it is to accept that your previous amp is just a piece of junk now,get rid of it,move on and take it as bad luck or a hasty decision gone sideways as they usually do.
It takes years for amps to prove their record,that's the sad truth.

Edit:And remove this thing FAR and AWAY from your speakers unless you want to search for new ones as well!
 

JeremyFife

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OK. So I used the PA5 again. It's been 2 weeks. Just now I heard a loud POP and now the right channel is now significantly quieter than the left. Like a year ago, one channel dies way sooner than the other. Thankfully my speakers don't seem permanently damaged.

Functional devices are consistently reliable. Defective devices can be inconsistently faulty. I know the amp is faulty. But does Topping know? What if I spend $50 to ship it and they can't hear the issue I'm hearing? The right channel was entirely dead months ago. Then it became fine for 2 full weeks. Topping's not going to QA my Pa5 for 2 weeks.

Everyone here has audio as a hobby so they struggle seeing things from an outsider's POV. There's lots of knowledge people take for granted which seem like 'common sense' which only seem that way because they're talking about audio all the time. I think audio is extremely complicated and that's before the equipment failures. Things just don't go to plan most of the time for a million reasons.

My amp was placed in an out of sight place. It's a pain to service due to that. OK, I took pa5 out and Buckeye in. Never have to worry about it again. Right? Wrong. Ok, dust off Pa5 and test it again. Pa5 defective. Put cables back to Buckeye. Wait. Which cable is for which channel? Which way do they go in? Are they *fully* seated? (They sometimes don't if I'm not careful w/ the Buckeye.) Can't see anything on the back, gotta move things around. Oh, cable too short because I opted to try to move the amp forward so I can see behind it better versus disassembling my entire setup. Ok, amp is now pulled forward enough but strain on cables is causing velcro holding cables up behind my desk to start to buckle. I dunno WTF is going behind my desk unless I move everything aside and crouch behind it because of the myrid of cables velcroed to be tight. Grrr.

I just want to be done with audio and move on with my life. I got so much other crap I have to deal with, I really don't need this right now.

The idea that I hallucinated loud pops on two ocassions and a dead channel that Topping agreed was dead last time is ludicrous. This time I took another video, showing that right channel is now significantly quiter than the left. It's very audible in person but I gotta record on my garbage cell phone in potato quality. I'm going to email Topping again. With my alt email because Topping's emails can't send to my gmail address for some god awful reason. I don't think Topping wants to accept an email exchange from over a year ago via a different email address I claim to be mine linking to a Google drive video that can't be downloaded anymore, where the Topping employee agreed the Pa5 was faulty. So here we are.

Boiling down entire post into 3 points: (tl;dr)
  1. Amp worked for 2 weeks. Now heard loud pop and right channel on amp is too quiet.
  2. I'm concerned about safety of my ears and speakers by continuing to test the Pa5 and revealing issues.
  3. I'm concerned about Topping repair only testing Pa5 1 time and concluding whether it is faulty of not based on that when my unit has shown it can work OK for some time before dying again. An electrical test of some kind mind be able to see something is wrong more definitively.
I feel your pain (I have a repaired PA5, via Shenzen Audio, which they paid for in the end but it took a while and lots of chasing). There is peace of mind, and there are the the obvious financial considerations.
You can't second guess what Topping will do, so why not just send it back and let them look at it. They fixed mine ok. I referenced this forum many times in many emails to them, quoted John Yang's and Topping support posts and made a bit of a meal about it. Happy with the end result.
Or
... try the DIY fix https://audiosciencereview.com/foru...ix-d01-module-replacement-for-everyone.44219/ if you know someone who can do the work (I don't)

If it's stressing you out too much, consider just writing it off. Expensive, but then it's done and you can put it behind you
 
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BoredErica

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Finally some good news:
Topping support evaluated my new evidence of pa5 defect and again agreed that it was defective. Since I never had a previous pa5 warranty action, they are sending pa5 II Plus and without me sending the PA5 in for repair/closer inspection. It'll take maybe a month to get here though so I won't be able to check if the replacement is DOA until then. It's too early to know if Pa5 II will have longevity issues but if I want I can try to sell the PA5 II.

Since Topping support hasn't found a way to reverse the flow of time, given that I already bought the Buckeye, this is all I can reasonably expect. Looking back, could I have waited until the very end of the 2nd year to see if a PA5 II would even launch and if so, be possible as a replacement? Well yeah, but I also forgive myself for finally being too fed up with single channel audio. Plus there's still the open question about the PA5 II.

I don't really see the utility in having 2 speaker amps. One's just depreciating for no reason. When Buckeye eventually fails, there will probably be PA5 III or w/e. Or some other amp from some other company that has been made better in some way over the years. I sold my HD800 to pay for the Buckeye, but that's ok. What's done is done.

Audio to-do list (not as urgent):
-Dealing w/ PA5, PA5 II
-Fix localizable bass (sub in corner, perhaps desk near it is causing it to be localizable. Didn't feel so localizable in old location.)
-Find track specific EQ for Foobar
-Reconsider dynamic bass adjustment with volume adjustment
-Meticulously document room EQ workflow so I don't forget it for 500th time
 
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BoredErica

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PA5 II Plus has arrived. On cursory inspection, the unit is not DOA. So now there are two things on to-do list:
-Sell old PA5 and that includes figuring out shipping
-Either sell PA5 II Plus or keep it.

Well, it's not the best ending at least it's not the worst possible one. I still have 3 amps in my house right now. Maybe 5yr from now the PA5 III or IV won't have any of the potting business. Based on Topping rep wording, if I had asked for a replacement PA5 last year and that one broke too, then I likely wouldn't be elligible for the PA5 II replacement. Now that would've been even worse.

Labeling the cables and where they go would probably help me out in the future... Nothing will fix a loose cable giving me headaches when testing though. I feel like every time I reinstall cables there's a 50% chance I do something wrong and I'm crouching there and my knees hurt.
 
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