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Review and Measurements of New Topping D50s DAC

maxxevv

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This is perhaps the most dangerous audio forum of all. Yes, I’ve just ordered one of those things. And yes, you folk made me do it.
LOL ....at least for over 90% of the time, recommendations here come from a basis grounded in science and measurements. Not airy-fairy plucked out of thin air euphoria as with lots of other audio forums !
 
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LOL ....at least for over 90% of the time, recommendations here come from a basis grounded in science and measurements. Not airy-fairy plucked out of thin air euphoria as with lots of other audio forums !
Heh... I’m one of those “middle of the road” people whose final choice comes down to my personal likes/ idiosyncrasies. But, and this is a big but, any piece of gear I spend money on needs to measure at least acceptably. And If I decide to spend say over a grand or more, the measured performance better be excellent.

As a corollary to me being an engineer, I do acknowledge that most of the times absolute state of the art might be expensive for various reasons. I expect however benchmark measured performance out of those devices.

But that’s just me.
 

TomB19

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Hello again.
I threw myself to a d50pro topping. But I see that it has no power supply included. Do you necessarily need 5v with 1 a ... or does 5v2a work?
You don't need anything, if you run it from USB. It operates fine on USB power from a computer.
 

Snafu

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I have lately had some dropouts between ASUS360 WIN10 laptop and (USB) D50S when using Tidal. Music just stops but time runs in Tidal app.

Tidal log gives "AUDCLNT_E_BUFFER_SIZE_ERROR"

I have tried adjusting buffer size from Topping win10 interface and made a factory reset for D50s. No help so far, any ideas ?

Thanks
 
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I have lately had some dropouts between ASUS360 WIN10 laptop and (USB) D50S when using Tidal. Music just stops but time runs in Tidal app.

Tidal log gives "AUDCLNT_E_BUFFER_SIZE_ERROR"

I have tried adjusting buffer size from Topping win10 interface and made a factory reset for D50s. No help so far, any ideas ?

Thanks
Can’t help you with Tidal but I had occasional dropouts in Foobar which were solved by increasing the buffer size to around 5 secs in the asio settings in the preferences. Same thing in JRiver.
 

Toku

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I have lately had some dropouts between ASUS360 WIN10 laptop and (USB) D50S when using Tidal. Music just stops but time runs in Tidal app.

Tidal log gives "AUDCLNT_E_BUFFER_SIZE_ERROR"

I have tried adjusting buffer size from Topping win10 interface and made a factory reset for D50s. No help so far, any ideas ?

Thanks
Since the details of your use environment are unknown, we cannot give any useful advice.

Is the USB connection of the PC connected by installing the Topping driver?
Or are you using the Windows system audio engine without installing the Topping driver?
What is the resampling rate setting in that case?
What are the settings for PC power management?
 

Gradius

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AUDCLNT_E_BUFFER_SIZE_ERROR:

"Indicates that the buffer duration value requested by an exclusive-mode client is out of range. The requested duration value for pull mode must not be greater than 500 milliseconds; for push mode the duration value must not be greater than 2 seconds."

Also: "The stream is exclusive mode and uses event-driven buffering, but the client attempted to get a packet that was not the size of the buffer."
 

Snafu

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Yes, i use Topping interface = Topping drivers
No, i'm using Topping drivers, ASIO not active. Tidal controls D50s, volume 100%.
Buffer size, i have tested them all from 8 to 4096 samples, with and without "safe", currently 4096, safe, input 50.44ms, output 48.50ms.
These dropouts occur randomly and appeared week or so ago, no new hardware, apps or back ground programs.
Happens with "master mqa" and regular albums, not certain album or song that causes this, can't repeat when trying.
Laptop is ASUS360, no fans + ssd, haven't changed power settings

^
I found that explanation too, but isn't Tidal when in control sending these packages (by buffer size) and D50s just receives them without demanding certain size packet ?

I assume packet size doesn't change sound quality ?

Tidal log:
player log
RenderThread - IAudioRenderClient::GetBuffer failed: AUDCLNT_E_BUFFER_SIZE_ERROR

app log
Playback Report: {"UserID":xxxxxxxxx,"ClientType":"Desktop","ClientVersion":"2.11.3.634","PlatformType":"win32","PlatformVersion":"10.0.18363","RequestURL":"http://en-pr-fa.audio.tidal.com/v2/...yZjYzOGY4MWNlYzViY2NlNzNkZWY0MTZjNmI4MmI0Ng==","Type":"audio","RequestTime":"2020-01-02T09:35:46.246Z","PlaybackStartTime":"2020-01-02T09:35:59.127Z","PlaybackBufferTime":"2020-01-02T09:35:47.382Z","BufferUnderruns":0,"CDNIP":""}


Thanks again
 
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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.

EDIT: Here is the THD+N versus frequency as requested later in the thread:



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.

------
Questions, comments, critique, etc. are welcome.

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Just asking, this or smsl m500? Great Review!!!!!!!
 
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If you want an all in one with a headphone amp you probably know the answer. The smsl also got xlr out and MQA. The Topping is probably(!) more reliable though.
Thank you very very much!!!!! Yes i beleive Topping company is more reliable, but the temptation of having mqa decoding and a pro version of the dac is big. I will think about it. I love this site!
 

Snafu

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and why this mqa sneaks in to every goddamn thread :facepalm:

d50x doesn't even support it but yeah let's talk about mqa and how lossy it is... :rolleyes:
 

kod

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Hi i own Topping d50s and i have installed official drivers, foobar2000 and plugins.
When I set the output (foobar2000->preferences->tools->sacd->output mode: dsd) no sound.
When I set the output (foobar2000->preferences->tools->sacd->output mode: pcm) there is a sound. Topping control panel -> asio status -> ASIO Active (PCM mode). Is it possible to start the sound with dsd output(foobar2000->preferences->tools->sacd->output mode: dsd)?
 

Toku

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Why those new members prefer lossy (and pretty bad) mqa? Is a mystery or what? :p
In my case, I'm just interested in new technology.
But if it's bad, it's quickly eliminated from the world.
I don't feel anything good about MQA at the moment.
 

Toku

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Hi i own Topping d50s and i have installed official drivers, foobar2000 and plugins.
When I set the output (foobar2000->preferences->tools->sacd->output mode: dsd) no sound.
When I set the output (foobar2000->preferences->tools->sacd->output mode: pcm) there is a sound. Topping control panel -> asio status -> ASIO Active (PCM mode). Is it possible to start the sound with dsd output(foobar2000->preferences->tools->sacd->output mode: dsd)?
Yes, you can play it.
However, the setting method of foober2000 depends on the ASIO driver to be installed.
I suggest that you first download the D50s driver from Topping's HP and follow the steps to set up Foober2000 in it.
This method is the easiest and can stably play up to PCM768kHz / 32bit and DSD512.
Please install the latest version of foober2000.
http://www.foobar2000.org/
 

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