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[Poll] What is your experience with the reliability of the Topping LA90D?

How was your experiences so far with a Topping LA90D amplifier?

  • I had problems (out of the box) and received a replacement

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    31

Sokel

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If it was possible, I would have liked your post a hundred times over. Anyways,
Glad you said it and did so, politely. My response was going to be much harsher.
Any ASR member should know by now, buying a topping product, is the equivalent of walking across a 50 yr old mine field. Will it blow or not? 50/50
I don't think it's that bad and I'm of the ones who constantly moans about reliability,durability,etc in every thread.
I think that the cause for all this is the combination of use case scenarios and bad after sale service (mostly because of distance,etc)

All these are desktop amps and their purpose is on a desk,nearfield with appropriate easy small speakers.

Asking them to drive floorstanders 3m away at normal to loud levels doesn't strike me as their normal usage.
Their thermals are not made this way,and let's not forget that the numbers (of watts mostly) that we see on the test last for mere seconds and we always consider the third of this power (at best) to be continuous if thermals and everything else is in place.

I do not say that the company (or any company) is innocent,they state crazy stuff (as power at 10% distortion!) at their advertisements but as members of ASR,informed or WITH THE ABILITY TO BE INFORMED we should know better.
 

Slayer

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I don't think it's that bad

All these are desktop amps and their purpose is on a desk,nearfield with appropriate easy small speakers.

I do not say that the company (or any company) is innocent,they state crazy stuff (as power at 10% distortion!) at their advertisements but as members of ASR,informed or WITH THE ABILITY TO BE INFORMED we should know better.
I do.
An amp is an amp. Be it desktop, tabletop, laptop, rack mount, or sitting on the floor. They're all still amps. Size is irrelevant.
Agree, the company is not innocent. From reliability issues (due to bad design) to warranty support, to IMHO shady business practices when it comes to declaring values for customs, etc.

The horror stories seem to be endless. No joking, I can't think of anyone I know who owns some form of Topping gear, hasn't had issue.
Because of how well they always seem to measure, for a while I really considered getting a Topping dac or amp. Thankfully after hearing so many bad stories and Toppings lack of support, especially on this site, I have lost any urge I may have had to own a Topping.
 

aphysically

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Totally agree just sent back a Topping a70 pro to one of those retailers, customer service is laughable, never again
I bought from Apos since it was mentioned as their authorized retailer for support, but I’m coming to regret that…which I don’t think is good enough for $800 class products. I don’t mind little-or-no support for cheap value products, but this is just bad.
 

Gruesome

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What? I read this several times and I still don't get it. Maybe it's an English skill issue on my behalf.
There is no option to click if you have a problem and you got neither a return nor a replacement (because for example nobody is returning your emails, or because they are denying your refund).
 

Snix

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I bought 2 of these on the release day. (Early April?)
Mid May one of them started popping randomly.
Tried swapping every thing, didn't help, still popping even in Stereo mode.
Got replaced without any problem though. (nlg, now I'm worried if the other would pop any day lol :))

Still love them "when they work". ;)
 

VintageFlanker

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I have two LA90D in monoblock configuration, figuring these would be the last amps I'd ever need in my lifetime if vented well.
Assuming your profile's age is correct, then you're dreaming.;)
 

delta76

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Assuming your profile's age is correct, then you're dreaming.;)
yeah, wishful thinking. that WILL NOT happen.
you (@anphex ) will be lucky to get them functioning out of their warranty (assuming you're in EU with 2 years mandatory for electronics).
let's face it, those are not built to last. The manufacturers keep pumping out new products and dropping supports for older ones (ass soon as 6 months). they knew (if they deliberately designed their products that way, I don't know, but it's quite evidently they don't even expect the products to last long themselves)
 
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Seriously, if the Topping LA-90 has similar reliability issues identified by genuine purchasers/owners, then a public service announcement must be made. No further reviews of their products and no recommendations should be made. Anything else is unacceptable.

Why anyone buys Topping gear completely eludes me. There is not a single other brand with similar mass failures identified on ASR, or anywhere else for that matter.

Disappointing, but not unexpected.
It would be nice to see Topping given a cool off period with no reviews. Given the product pricing lately it's an utter mystery why people keep buying. I briefly considered buying the PA5 but thought the better of it. I don't see the appeal even if the cost was lower. The carrot isn't enticing when you know the stick is coming eventually.
 
Last edited:

Power Pop 23

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I would preface any ASR review of Topping Audio gear - or any other manufacturer following a similar business model - with sentiments similar to those in this footnote Mr. Kalman Rubinson added to his review of the Topping DM7 in Stereophile on December 30, 2022 - that is, with the permission of Mr. Rubinson.

Footnote 1: It seems to me that Topping has emphasized making a high-quality product at the lowest possible cost, with the expectation that there will be little need for extended warranty support. The basic warranty is only one year, and internet purchases may require shipping to China for warranty repairs or replacement. While none of my Topping devices have failed, buyers need to assess their personal tolerance for dealing with the possibility.

I own and use five pieces of Topping Audio gear with no problems - including a PA5 - I now wait before purchasing any audio gear sold using this business model.
 

Steven Holt

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I own the Topping PA3s, for desktop use. I've had the unit over a year, with no issues at all. While I will always swear by Yamaha, I have to tell you that the PA3s is an impressive little unit for what it is. I have to wonder : is it possible that we are hearing from the small minority who have had trouble, and not from the majority who have not?
 

misterdog

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I would preface any ASR review of Topping Audio gear - or any other manufacturer following a similar business model - with sentiments similar to those in this footnote Mr. Kalman Rubinson added to his review of the Topping DM7 in Stereophile on December 30, 2022 - that is, with the permission of Mr. Rubinson.

Footnote 1: It seems to me that Topping has emphasized making a high-quality product at the lowest possible cost, with the expectation that there will be little need for extended warranty support. The basic warranty is only one year, and internet purchases may require shipping to China for warranty repairs or replacement. While none of my Topping devices have failed, buyers need to assess their personal tolerance for dealing with the possibility.

I own and use five pieces of Topping Audio gear with no problems - including a PA5 - I now wait before purchasing any audio gear sold using this business model.

Though Kal purchased 3 of the Pre 90 preamps for his own multi channel set up.

I own the Pre 90 with extender and the E70 DAC, both of which are fine and email support direct from Topping as good as any.

I wonder how many thousands of satisfied customers there are that represent the silent majority.
 
OP
anphex

anphex

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I just sold mine and I will stick to my Denon for a long time now.
The LA90D were just "too hot" for me and let's be honest, the -90 dB SINAD of the Denon Amps are already no audible.
I got about 80 % of the retail price, it's okay. Also looking at China their economy is on a downhill on all fronts. So I doubt a smooth RMA/repair will even be feasible. Unless Audiphonics has had some great instructions and can carry out their own repairs.
 

KenA

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I actually so much want Topping to get it right. The reviews we see here are (generally) awesome with ‘soa’ performance. Ive been tempted a number of times, but always feel I need to wait to see what happens a few months down the track and I’m glad I have. And by then, they’ve got another product out anyway, and around it goes.
if I do go Topping, I’d only buy from a retailer and not direct. Yes, a few more dollars but it’s like a bit of insurance and piece of mind. I’m lucky I have an audio retailer with a range of Topping products near where I live. That way, you can always walk back into the store with broken device in hand.
 

aphysically

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I just sold mine and I will stick to my Denon for a long time now.
The LA90D were just "too hot" for me and let's be honest, the -90 dB SINAD of the Denon Amps are already no audible.
I got about 80 % of the retail price, it's okay. Also looking at China their economy is on a downhill on all fronts. So I doubt a smooth RMA/repair will even be feasible. Unless Audiphonics has had some great instructions and can carry out their own repairs.
How is it you’ve sold yours secondhand after hearing stories and I haven’t even managed to ship my broken amps back yet.
 
OP
anphex

anphex

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1687462088005.png


No seriously, their economy looks bleak. Shenzhen Audio and even some massage chair companies I had contact with got pretty aggressive lately.
Almost all the population is invested in real estate which is on the brink of collapse because it's a social ponzi scheme. This plus severe financial deficits and local and nation wide governments. And leaving international investment and plenty of companies moving their manufacturing away from there. I am not making this up, just check some critical or even official channels. Also a big red flag for Topping.
 

Tony Roma

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I returned my Faulty A70 pro to Shenzhen Audio, its by far the worst customer service i have ever experienced, ongoing for weeks now with no outcome, they keep stalling me, how long does it take to test a faulty product when the fault is so obvious. Im well out of pocket with return shipping and customs, to be honest i just want this sorted so i can i can buy another amp (not a Topping). I have learnt from this no more buying from China, just too much hassle when things go wrong.
 

manisandher

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Seriously, if the Topping LA-90 has similar reliability issues identified by genuine purchasers/owners...

I'm not aware of the original IC version, the LA90, as having any problems with reliability. The discrete version, the LA90D, looks like it might have a problem with reliability.

I have 3 of the original LA90s. One I use very rarely as a stereo amp for my headphones (which require a 'regular' power amp). The other pair I use a monos in my main (not home) office system. These are switched on pretty much the whole day when I'm in the office. Zero problems to date.

But I think many of your comments regarding Topping amps overall are well-founded.

Mani.
 

Kuromi

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I've had mine for a month and waiting for a second to be sent out, will report here if they fail.
 

MAB

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I don't think it's that bad and I'm of the ones who constantly moans about reliability,durability,etc in every thread.
I think that the cause for all this is the combination of use case scenarios and bad after sale service (mostly because of distance,etc)

All these are desktop amps and their purpose is on a desk,nearfield with appropriate easy small speakers.

Asking them to drive floorstanders 3m away at normal to loud levels doesn't strike me as their normal usage.
Their thermals are not made this way,and let's not forget that the numbers (of watts mostly) that we see on the test last for mere seconds and we always consider the third of this power (at best) to be continuous if thermals and everything else is in place.

I do not say that the company (or any company) is innocent,they state crazy stuff (as power at 10% distortion!) at their advertisements but as members of ASR,informed or WITH THE ABILITY TO BE INFORMED we should know better.
I disagree with this.
Floorstanders have nothing to do with it. It's not like people were driving Infinitiy Kappas or Apogee Scintillas. And a big speaker is not intrinsically hard to drive relative to a small speaker, as far as efficiency big speakers are often way easier on an amp because of efficiency and bass extension! To be sure, people's LA90D amps are blowing up on their own, when used in normal ways with normal speakers. I really don't see the speakers or use condition being the issue, perhaps I missed something you can link me to. What I see the PA5 all over again... Amps blowing up for no reason except they had a marginal design and marginal manufacturing... Multiple amps failing for customers who bought multiple amps... Will we also see warranty-return amps fail like we did on the PA5? That remains to be seen. Seems like we are seeing the same playbook from the resellers.

Agree the after-sales service a really bad part of the problem here... But I don't think the product is reliable. Maybe I am jaded from my PA5 experience.
 
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