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Review and Measurements of New Topping D50s DAC

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amirm

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Something between the words tells me it's about clock. And perhaps it's using the "low performance" mode or something to get rid of imd hump.
I'm curious that why the noise floor and ps noise is much higher than d50.
Power supply noise varies from day to day due to vagaries of grounding, state of my PC, etc.
 
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amirm

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@amirm Can you add some graphs comparing D50s with Khadas Tone Board?
Sure, I can run a few comparison graphs tomorrow. For now, the IMD is going to be much better than Khadas.
 

typericey

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Thanks for the review Amir.

This will complicate things for people originally eyeing the D70.

D70 vs. D50s
D70 advantages: ~7dB better dynamic range, balanced outputs, extra RCA outs for subwoofer
D50s advantages: ~2dB better SINAD, Bluetooth, cheaper
 

Veri

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D70 advantages: ~7dB better dynamic range, balanced outputs, extra RCA outs for subwoofer
D50s advantages: ~2dB better SINAD, Bluetooth, cheaper

Imo: need balanced? D70.
Need SE, want bluetooth? D50s.

IIRC there's a D70 version with bluetooth coming too though.. + the DX7s with BT and included amp. Many options indeed :D
 

maxxevv

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Imo: need balanced? D70.
Need SE, want bluetooth? D50s.

IIRC there's a D70 version with bluetooth coming too though.. + the DX7s with BT and included amp. Many options indeed :D

That is correct.

There will be an upcoming version of the D70 with BT. 5.

The yet to be released DX7pro will be with BT 5, XLR3, XLR4, 2.5mm TRRS, 6.35mm TRS and RCA outputs.

Khadas is supposed to release an updated version of the Tone Board too.

Plenty of good options !!
 

daftcombo

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Topping doesn't want the secret of hump disappearance to be known and used by rivals (as Khadas).
My guess is they used a magical hat.

Anyway, we all have to congratulate Amir : without ASR, not a company would have bothered working on getting rid of a difficult to spot hump.

@amirm , if you still have a D50 in your hands, it would be interesting to ABX both in order to check if the hump was audible or not.

Thanks for the good review by the way!
 

maxxevv

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That's a good idea to compare the 2 versions !
 

JohnYang1997

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Sure, I can run a few comparison graphs tomorrow. For now, the IMD is going to be much better than Khadas.
If you are to measure ktb for comparison would you run the two test files I shared last time? Thanks.
 

vkvedam

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Thanks @amirm

Subjectively would you advise to go for an upgrade from D50?
 

CTRLM

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@amirm , if you still have a D50 in your hands, it would be interesting to ABX both in order to check if the hump was audible or not.

Agreed, as a D50 owner this would be very enlightening. I'm going to bet that it's not audible (wishful thinking)
 

Veri

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Something between the words tells me it's about clock. I'm curious that why the noise floor and ps noise is much higher than d50.

You know what I think so too. A "hint" might be in the Katana vs DX7 IMD graph:

Screen Shot 2019-06-27 at 13.14.01.png


Kata runs in sync mode rather than async. ASRC probably off, too? I wonder if it is (one of) the requirements.
On the other hand, the Okto DAC8 uses async and ASRC (and shows minor IMD hump), but compensates with far better noise rejection and noise floor resulting in better effective IMD. I suppose it depends on implementation (what's new, right :D).

I suppose @amirm could verify some of this by looking at Intermodulation distortion with incoming matrix x-sabre pro, and plays with sync/async modes, jitter rejection on/off modes.
 
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Pavano

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Just today I wanted to ask on this forum which DAC to get when a remote is needed.
I think, this one will do. Or what do you think?
 
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PTcyap

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This is a review and detailed measurements of the brand new, Topping D50s. Yes, this is a new revision of one of our favorite DACs, the D50. The new version brings Bluetooth, remote control and better performance (see measurements below). It was kindly sent to me by Topping. I don't see an announcement on it but Topping has shared with me that it will cost US $250. The unit I have is production version but lacks manual, stickers and such.

From the outside, the D50s looks pretty much the same as D50:


You can see the antenna in the back for Bluetooth. The remote control is the same as recently Topping offerings. Indeed I used the one from Topping DX3 Pro to control it. It uses two AAA batteries so there should not be any issue with coin cells.

The back panel is what you expect:
View attachment 28401

For my testing, I just used the round 5 volt cable to USB that Topping provided. I simply plugged that into one of my USB 2.0 on my desktop workstation.

I did not test the Bluetooth but seems like this is becoming a standard feature on DACs which is nice.

All the testing was with Windows 10 USB UAC2 class driver (i.e. I did NOT install anything).

DAC Audio Measurements
Let's fire up the dashboard to see what we have here:

View attachment 28402

Nice! Highest level distortion in the "bad" channel (FFT top right) is at -120 dB which is a few dB better than the best our hearing can do. Clock accuracy is right on the money with that 1.00000 kHz reading.

THD+N and hence SINAD (signal over noise and distortion) have improved by a few dB over D50. Given the small difference in SINAD between our top DACs, this moves the D50s good few notches towards the top of the class:
View attachment 28403

The D50s like D50 uses an ESS DAC where with some exceptions, we have been suffering from an "IMD ESS hum" where at mid-levels, intermodulation distortion suddenly rises. Guess what? Topping has fixed this!
View attachment 28404

Hurray! :) I know what they fixed but I am not at liberty to say what. I will say that they had to fix this themselves and did not get help from other sources.

While we are on this graph, a trend seems to be merging between DACs based on AKM and ESS chips. AKM DACs seem to be more quiet as you can see from performance of DX3 Pro in red. But at max level though, ESS DACs seem to have less distortion by a few dB. Interesting trade off.

Dynamic range reflects the above:

View attachment 28410

This is about 7 dB worse than Topping D70 with is based on AKM chip. Yet, the D50s beats the SINAD of the D70 by 3 or 4 dBs.

Frequency response depends on filter setting. Here it is using the default (mode 2) filter:
View attachment 28405

Nothing really eventful. Here are the filter differences:

View attachment 28406

You have the classic choices here of wider bandwidth but less attenuation of out of band aliasing and vice versa.

Jitter visually looks clutter because of low noise floor revealing smallest aberrations but not remotely an audible concern:
View attachment 28407

Linearity is nailed as one would expect from a well engineered product:

View attachment 28408

Testing with 32 tones rather than one or two, we see exceedingly low intermodulation distortion:
View attachment 28409

As noted, the difference between our tone peaks and the distortion floor is better than 120 dB. This is transparency in play.

Conclusions
One of our favorite DACs has grown up and become even better. The D50s solidly eliminates the ESS IMD hump, adds the much needed remote control and Bluetooth without a premium in pricing. It makes great pairing with such headphone amplifiers at JDS Labs Atom being roughly equal in size and looks.

It is a pleasure to see Topping continue to deliver well-engineered audio products without exception. Using proper measurements allows them to verify and refine the design before we get our hands on.

Needless to say, I am happy to recommend the Topping D50s.

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Questions, comments, critique, etc. are welcome.

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WTH. I just got the D50 last week! -_- and this comes out... Come on!!

Time to upgrade? Or just keep the D50.. I got it from that recent sale for $170 i think?

Thanks for this review amirm..
 
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Snarfie

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Mabey Amir knows if the D10 has the same issiue as the D50 regarding the ESS IMD hump. The D10 use a ess sabre dac so i'm wondering what the result would be.
 
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