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Review and Measurements of the Topping D70 DAC

Fledermaus

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Good on you BD!
So it looks like the mother of random QC failures is still alive...
 

daftcombo

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It seems like if you have a pre-amp after it it will be ok. If not, it could pop. From what I understood.
 

Fledermaus

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Maybe, but then one wonders why you'd spend money on a DAC with volume setting if you need another volume setting before the amp...
Anyway, let's hope this case confirms as a random, isolated one, not the start of an epidemic !
 
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I'm half tempted to order one of these to see (hear) how a decent AKM implementation compares to my Sabre chipped D50 and Chord Qutest.

I have an ongoing issue with ESS Sabre DACs I have owned, there is always a problem with tired ears at some stage of listening and it has varied in intensity & timing depending on the particular DAC, I guess it is probably also dependent on the particular person's sensitivity to it? Despite constantly reading that it's ALL about the implementation - it keeps happening. The D50 is a fine DAC and does a lot better in this regard compared to an Auralic Vega I once owned but after some months of ownership it is obvious that there is a point where the tell-tale ache starts and I never get the same discomfort with the Chord or other DACs I have owned using Burr Brown or Cirrus Logic chips.
 

daftcombo

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I'm half tempted to order one of these to see (hear) how a decent AKM implementation compares to my Sabre chipped D50 and Chord Qutest.

I have an ongoing issue with ESS Sabre DACs I have owned, there is always a problem with tired ears at some stage of listening and it has varied in intensity & timing depending on the particular DAC, I guess it is probably also dependent on the particular person's sensitivity to it? Despite constantly reading that it's ALL about the implementation - it keeps happening. The D50 is a fine DAC and does a lot better in this regard compared to an Auralic Vega I once owned but after some months of ownership it is obvious that there is a point where the tell-tale ache starts and I never get the same discomfort with the Chord or other DACs I have owned using Burr Brown or Cirrus Logic chips.
It is very weird. If you could do an ABX with long (1h or 2) listening periods it would be nice.
 

BDWoody

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Still flawless operation with zero complaints so far. (day 3)

Question... Is there any difference between setting output to DAC (line out) and using any of the other volume controlled outputs with the volume at full?

If I want to set it at -6 db, then just leave it there and leave the rest to the preamp, I would need to use one of the pre modes, correct?

Currently I am using XLR out at -6. Wondering if any advantage to DAC mode.
 

777

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Wrt D70, I just read that some buyer returned his unit for the reason it sent loud pops in the speakers, on switch-on and changing tracks. Is this a case of one defective unit, or might there be some inherent issue ?
It is not a defective unit, it is normal. D70 has aprox. 0.4mV DC offset. It use a high-pass filter for remove the dc voltage. When you start the unit, the signal relay will put on output that 0.4mV. For the first time the amplifier don't see it like a dc voltage to filtered out. For the first moment it see a step voltage. So, we will have a pop in the speakers. Every time the relay work will be a pop in the speakers. In my case, 0.4mV x 50 amplifier gain= 20mV step voltage at the speakers. For me is much more than ok but maybe to another unit it is more than 0.4mV DC voltage at the output.
 
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It is not a defective unit, it is normal. D70 has aprox. 0.4mV DC offset. It use a high-pass filter for remove the dc voltage. When you start the unit, the signal relay will put on output that 0.4mV. For the first time the amplifier don't see it like a dc voltage to filtered out. For the first moment it see a step voltage. So, we will have a pop in the speakers. Every time the relay work will be a pop in the speakers. In my case, 0.4mV x 50 amplifier gain= 20mV step voltage at the speakers. For me is much more than ok but maybe to another unit it is more than 0.4mV DC voltage at the output.
or maybe that user has very sensitive speakers? or some extra powerful amp?
 

Fledermaus

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If the question was "what can go wrong with two NCore 250 monoblocks and 97 dB/2.8V/1m ported 2-ways with 12' woofers and horn-loaded 1' compression tweeters ?"
... Now we've got an answer ;)
 
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So looking at the IMD graph, if I was going to hook this up to a THX 789 via XLR, I would want to set the D70 output volume at -12db to avoid that high level rise (also assuming keep the source at 100%)? I would be hooking up the Source to the D70 from Optical instead of USB, so not sure if that would impact the IMD chart at all.
 
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I use my D70 as a Dac into my preamp and I have not had any issues with maybe 10 power cycles or already. No pops or anything and it operates great, I just set it as a Dac in the Settings so I only use my preamp volume. I am also just using the RCA outs currently as well.
 
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So looking at the IMD graph, if I was going to hook this up to a THX 789 via XLR, I would want to set the D70 output volume at -12db to avoid that high level rise (also assuming keep the source at 100%)? I would be hooking up the Source to the D70 from Optical instead of USB, so not sure if that would impact the IMD chart at all.
Assuming it works like that it definately would be better running the dac at -12db assuming your amp downstream has enough headroom to make up for the lower input signal provided.
 

Krunok

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So looking at the IMD graph, if I was going to hook this up to a THX 789 via XLR, I would want to set the D70 output volume at -12db to avoid that high level rise (also assuming keep the source at 100%)?
At 0dBFS distortion is at -97dB which corresponds to 0.0014%. It is hardly something you should be concerned of. At -12dBFS IMD is at -105dB which corresponds to 0.00056%. You won't hear that difference.
 
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At 0dBFS distortion is at -97dB which corresponds to 0.0014%. It is hardly something you should be concerned of. At -12dBFS IMD is at -105dB which corresponds to 0.00056%. You won't hear that difference.
So what you are saying is if I had Superman hearing then it would be a problem lol. Luckily my hearing is far far from that, so good to know, thanks!
 
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