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Review and Measurements of Topping D50 DAC

MWC

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How can it be possible to play any audio on YouTube other than what YouTube allow? I'm damn sure no audio on YouTube is better than redbook, if that. Although what I hear on this video sounds good compared to what I am used to on YouTube, not that I use it for any audio if at all possible! The video starts with saying 34bit (lol) but anyone can make a simple typo. Video about Hi Res music and look at those mickey mouse speakers he's using! Then his audio is all in the left channel only, so WTF! is going on here and what does this video have to do with the subject at hand anyway? DACs being no better than 20 bit.
I don't think anyone needs to do more than see the 1st few seconds of this video then dismiss it as a fool at play.
 
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Veri

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Hey. I bought a D50 late last year on Ali. I found out about the SMPTE distortion problem here and decided to check. To my surprise, the distortion curve turned out to be smooth, without a hump. I know that Topping has eliminated this flaw in the D50s. They probably made changes to the D50, which is very good. Hump is definitely not there.
That would be great if all D50 are now unaffected :D
 

UAN

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Извините, я поспешил с выводами. Я повторил измерения с EMu-0204, и появился горб на уровне -25 ... 35 дБ. Кстати, горб не только на IMD, то же самое при измерении TND 1 кГц.
 
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UAN

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Friends, who solved the hump problem in the D50? Please tell me. After all, there is a solution made in the D50s. Most likely you need to change the components in the output analog node. I do not have the necessary equipment to experiment. Thanks.
 

avl2

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Hi, 1st post here, although reading a lot, thank you Amir !
I am an owner of a D50 since yesterday :) before I had a MF M1 DAC a Denon DA300 and a hungarian made one, all sold.

Question regarding the filters on D50: I looked through in fast mode all 114 pages and saw some discussion or in https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...ts-of-topping-d50-dac.2403/page-49#post-94424 the response over frequency. But I found nowhere the impulse response of these. Amir, would/could you measure it ? or others any clear and sure info on it ?

From where originate the smooth curves about frequency repsonse of different filters e.g. in https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...s-of-topping-d50-dac.2403/page-95#post-176387 ??

thank you and enjoy music !
 

UAN

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Guys, I read the theory and understood why Topping replaced the OPA output amplifier with LME. In addition, for best parameters, all resistors in the differential amplifier should be the same. So the soldering iron in hand and go! :)
 

BDWoody

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Why would you do this? Do you believe you can hear some audible issue, or do you just like to play around with this stuff?
 

dbraun

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I just created this profile solely to leave this review of the Topping D50s.

I have been an audiophile since 1982 and have owned a wide variety of gear including quite a few MC cartridges, high end tone arms, class A amps and many Japanese vinyl pressings. Much of that has been sold through moves to smaller houses. What I want to report to you is my experience with my current set-up that centers around the D50s.

My current set up is:

FLAC files local or streamed through Qubuz
iPhone
bluetooth
D50s (flat, no filters)
shit interconnects
Bedini 150/150 mk II Class A SS amp
shit speaker cables (25' long!)
Magnepan MG-IIc magnaplanar speakers
700 sq. ft, highly resonate listening room ( I don't think that this plays a large part, but felt the need to disclose).

Normally I would turn my nose up at quite a few of the "weak links" in this system. The "problem" is that none of them seem to matter.


This system is by far one of the best sounding systems I have ever heard. It is a little touchy on listening position as many electrostatics and magnaplanars require. It is not that touchy about speaker placement as I have them about 12" from the back wall. Some day I will experiment with putting the amps between the speakers with shorter cables but right now it performs flawlessly for about $1200 in gear!!

I should also say that I am 55 years old and there is some possibility that I no longer have the hearing of my 20 year old self, but I don't believe that is true, the amount of delicacy I am discerning would be absent if that were the case.

Here is what I am experiencing: Massive sound stage! The sound stage is wider than the speakers and about 20' deep. It has a dimensionality to it that I have never heard in a CD. When I hook up an Onkyo DX-710 (Very good DACs in those units,) the sound stage is cut in half. When I am using the Onkyo, I am also using a NAD pre-amp which could be the source off the limitation to be fair.

With the D50s I am able to hear the delicate in breath in female vocals, the dry skin of a drummer's hand on a conga, fingernails grazing a pick guard in flamenco music. The presence is just phenomenal. In the recordings I have chosen to audition, there is no perceptible digital signature. There is also no tube color but with this crispness, it is not missed.

In some tracks there is ambient sounds, the rustle of leave, creaking of oars, inrush of ocean waves dislodging sand grains. All of this detail is present in a way that I am unable to grasp in real life but am fully present to in isolation of my listening room. I am finding myself revisiting recordings that I thought I knew well and discovering a newfound love for flat-would strings in jazz guitar, the sizzle in hardangfiddle, the tonal signature of a stone room in gregorian chant. But female vocals is where I lose it. I find myself searching out the sparest recordings captured with the most sensitive mics and run through a Focusrite console. It makes me feel like I am 2' away from the most amazing heart singing just for me.

To be honest the heart of this system is the amp and the speakers. This has been a known winning combination for 40 years. The ability to buy this gear so cheaply is new. You could easily swap in early PS Audio or GAS amps, some tube amps etc. Acoustat made some decent speakers. If you didn't care about bass so much some Dick Sequerra Metronone 7 speakers sound almost as good in this rig and don't require such a large room. The surprising part is that you don't need vinyl to get to audio Nirvana and...... you can get vinyl quality out of a STREAMING service!!!

None of this would be possible without a good DAC. I must admit that I have listened to relatively few DACs and I didn't expect much out of an inexpensive one, ESPECIALLY over Bluetooth!!! I am now a believer. This has me reimagining all sorts of ways to implement a music server system in my house with a separate DAC for each room, inexpensive NAD amps, vintage audiophile speakers, etc. Being able to get this sound with a cheap DAC is what makes it possible.

I could write multiple paragraphs with loads of language similar to what you might find in Absolute Sound, but none of the will ever capture the experience I am having with this system. I simply want to leave this testimonial here so that if anyone is questioning whether stellar specs actually translate into a listenable system, know that the the d50s has a soul, a transparent soul that does not impose itself, but a soul none the less. It plays nice with extremely delicate material and it is bringing out the true nature of all the gear down stream.

In audiophile pursuits it is common to chase the grail of ultimate sound. You know that something just isn't right but you are not sure just what. Is it my power input cables?, interconnects?, amplifier transients?, tricky impedance shifts in electrostatic speakers?, etc., etc. To that I say, "start with a stellar source". It used to be that stellar source was a Japanese pressing of a very well mastered gold disc played through a Moving Coil cartridge with a battery powered cartridge pre-amp. I can now say that a digital source can be that stellar source and that the D50s has a role in bringing that to your amp. I cannot say that it is as good as vinyl as I have long sold my turntable, but it is at least 90% the way there and its accessibility to streaming seals the deal for me.

I have limited experience with quality headphones but many of the high-end ones are magneplanar. I do believe that if you coupled the D50s with a quality tube preamp that you could experience what I am hearing for about $800 and a much smaller room. I would be careful with the preamp though, that would be your most important decision. A PS Audio 6.0 pre-amp could also work in that application, but again, much will depend on your actual headphones. Electrostatic headphones (some accept RCA input and have their own "energizer" amps) would definitely be able to provide the soundstage but unless you found some vintage Koss or Staxx units, you would spend more than I spent for my amp and speakers.

Happy listening.
 
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Toku

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Has Topping ever released a firmware upgrade for the D50 or D50s?
The firmware for D50s has not been announced, but the following two firmwares for D50 have been uploaded before.
D50 FW1.02 (18I)
D50 FW1.03 (18L)
These have now been removed from HP.
I uploaded the file when I downloaded and installed it.
 

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BDWoody

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In audiophile pursuits it is common to chase the grail of ultimate sound. You know that something just isn't right but you are not sure just what. Is it my power input cables?, interconnects?, amplifier transients?,
So glad you are enjoying your system and your new DAC!

Those pursuits are indeed common, and can certainly be maddening with all the seemingly conflicting info out there...

I would say for most here, the questions about what can matter have been de-mystified to the point where we can focus on that which has a chance to improve things in the real world based on actual science, as opposed to what some reviewer thought about it during another completely uncontrolled listening session...

You clearly have spent a lot of time in the hobby, and I hope you stick around so those things you list as part of the chase could be eliminated as a source of stress, so time, money and energy resources can be put to best potential use.

Cheers, and welcome!
 

UAN

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Привет коллеги. Теперь мой D50 питается от зарядного устройства телефона. Интересно, влияет ли сила на звук? Будет ли звук лучше, если он работает от хорошего линейного блока?
 

Toku

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Привет коллеги. Теперь мой D50 питается от зарядного устройства телефона. Интересно, влияет ли сила на звук? Будет ли звук лучше, если он работает от хорошего линейного блока?
Я использую адаптер переменного тока для iPad. Все, что вам нужно, это выход 5В и ток 1А.
В поисках более чистого источника питания я работал от батареи постоянного тока, но качество звука не изменилось.
Тем не менее, батареи для мобильной зарядки не должны использоваться.

I am using an AC adapter for iPad. All you need is a 5V output and a current capacity of 1A.
In search of a cleaner power supply, I tried the cleanest DC battery, but the sound quality did not change.
However, batteries for mobile charging must not be used.
 
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UAN

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Я использую адаптер переменного тока для iPad. Все, что вам нужно, это выход 5В и ток 1А.
В поисках более чистого источника питания я работал от батареи постоянного тока, но качество звука не изменилось.
Тем не менее, батареи для мобильной зарядки не должны использоваться.

I am using an AC adapter for iPad. All you need is a 5V output and a current capacity of 1A.
In search of a cleaner power supply, I tried the cleanest DC battery, but the sound quality did not change.
However, batteries for mobile charging must not be used.
Thanks for attention. Have you compared the sound when powered by charging?
 

Toku

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Thanks for attention. Have you compared the sound when powered by charging?
The battery I used is a 4000mAH Ni-MH battery. A shunt regulator was connected to this, converted to 5V, and connected to D50.
As a result, I didn't feel any change in sound quality.
 

UAN

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The battery I used is a 4000mAH Ni-MH battery. A shunt regulator was connected to this, converted to 5V, and connected to D50.
As a result, I didn't feel any change in sound quality.
I connected the DAC to telephone charging 5 V 600 mA and to USB3, 5 V 900 mA. I did not notice the difference in sound, and the noise level on the spectrum analyzer also did not change -130 dB. D50 sounds great!
 
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