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Review and Measurements of Topping DX3Pro DAC and Headphone Amp

ZenTraveler

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Feb 14, 2020
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How is that when feel hear distortion it must be an issue with the DAC? It can't be the headphone or source that have issue?
Comparisons should be made to identify which component that create the issue.
 

bannani

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Dec 14, 2018
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OK, I already have a darkvoice 336 SE and this was with no issue but not satisfied with, that s one of the reason why.
Thanks for the help.
 

nickthestain

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Hi guys, long time lurker here!

I recently bought an SMSL SU-8 but I'm thinking about returning it in favour of a Topping DX3 Pro, since it's more convenient than adding a JDS Labs Atom to my desk for my headphones (saves space and money).

I have some doubts though: I don't use headphones too often, is it worth it to sacrifice the balanced connection to my JBL 305P MkII?

Also, since the V2 it's the one sold on Amazon now, would its 10 ohms impedance affect negatively my listening experience with my Sony MDR-7506s (63 ohms) and possibly some IEMs?

So in the end my question is: considering that I don't want to think too much about upgrading in the (near) future, should I invest more money (and space) and buy an Atom or should I be ok with just the DX3 Pro? What's your advice?
 

Yuno

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I have some doubts though: I don't use headphones too often, is it worth it to sacrifice the balanced connection to my JBL 305P MkII?
No, it's not worth it in my opinion.

Also, since the V2 it's the one sold on Amazon now, would its 10 ohms impedance affect negatively my listening experience with my Sony MDR-7506s (63 ohms) and possibly some IEMs?
This depends on how sensitive are your ears and iems you use. From technical point of view it will be a problem.

So in the end my question is: considering that I don't want to think too much about upgrading in the (near) future, should I invest more money (and space) and buy an Atom or should I be ok with just the DX3 Pro? What's your advice?
I would recommend to not get dx3. If your main use is studio monitors, you need balanced outputs. I would get atom or schiit heresy.
 

nickthestain

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Makes sense. So you think the difference will be noticeable even it the speakers are not far away and connected with relatively short RCA-TS cables?

Just saw the measurements of the Schiit Heresy by Amir, wow, I also like its look. And I should be able to find it at a slightly lower price than the Atom too (in Europe they're both difficult to find though).
 

Veri

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Makes sense. So you think the difference will be noticeable even it the speakers are not far away and connected with relatively short RCA-TS cables?

Just saw the measurements of the Schiit Heresy by Amir, wow, I also like its look. And I should be able to find it at a slightly lower price than the Atom too (in Europe they're both difficult to find though).
Magni heresy (back-ordered) https://www.schiit-europe.com/index.php/magni-heresy-headphone-amp-and-preamp.html
JDS Atom http://www.hifiheadphones.co.uk/jds-labs-atom-headphone-amplifier-eu-plug.html
 

nickthestain

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I was actually looking at those, but the Magni Heresy is out of stock and the Atom is EUR 200 shipped. I think I'll wait for the Heresy to be in stock again.
 

Yuno

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Makes sense. So you think the difference will be noticeable even it the speakers are not far away and connected with relatively short RCA-TS cables?
It's hard to say, but at the very least you will have 1 less factor to worry about in terms of noise if you go with balanced connections. If your main use is studio monitors then I think it makes sense to get the best possible option for that.

I was actually looking at those, but the Magni Heresy is out of stock and the Atom is EUR 200 shipped. I think I'll wait for the Heresy to be in stock again.
It seems to be in stock on Schiit USA website, but their shipping rates are ridiculous (at least to me). About the same as cost of device itself. You can check shipping quote for your location.
 

nickthestain

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From the US the least expensive shipping option is $40, not a bargain, still better than EUR 200 for an Atom, but I'm afraid of customs fees and the longer time to receive it :(
 

tdastrup

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Apr 13, 2020
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Since I got my DX3 Pro, I've always wanted to use the auto standby mode, but with my setup it's unusable. Maybe someone could diagnose my issue and let me know if/how I could fix it.
I have some Kali LP-6 powered monitors that plug into my DX3 Pro via RCAs. Whenever my DX3 Pro goes into standby mode, either by hitting the power button on the remote or if auto standby is enabled, the monitors pop. It's not incredibly loud but it is very annoying and I'm worried it could damage my monitors.
I assume it has to do with the DX3 Pro, because the monitors are always going to try to output the signal they receive over the RCAs...?
 

ZenTraveler

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Since I got my DX3 Pro, I've always wanted to use the auto standby mode, but with my setup it's unusable. Maybe someone could diagnose my issue and let me know if/how I could fix it.
I have some Kali LP-6 powered monitors that plug into my DX3 Pro via RCAs. Whenever my DX3 Pro goes into standby mode, either by hitting the power button on the remote or if auto standby is enabled, the monitors pop. It's not incredibly loud but it is very annoying and I'm worried it could damage my monitors.
I assume it has to do with the DX3 Pro, because the monitors are always going to try to output the signal they receive over the RCAs...?
I think this is active speaker characteristic. I have 2 active speakers, one connected to DX3 and another connected to TV. Both is connected using RCA. Both also will make the pop sound if I power off my TV or DX3 first. I always power off active speaker first to avoid the pop sound.
 

nickthestain

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I saw people complaining about pop sounds using the SMSL SU-8 v2, which I have, when switching between inputs and resolutions. While it's a different situation than yours, I'm also curious to understand if those pops can actually damage active speakers or if the monitors are somehow protected against them. I think we're both talking about small pops though. I'm not really bothered by those sounds, I guess that using DACs that's something that might happen (especially when turning them on and off before the amp/monitors).
 

Reamonnt

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Firstly the level of knowledge on here is simply stunning. I read maybe 50 pages on the DX3 Pro before my lockdown brain got frazzled.

Current Set Up
JBL LSR 305
ODAC into a Dell PC via USB (player JRiver)
Behringer Monitor 1 (control the sound)

The ODAC doesnt have coax or a headphone socket I wanted to hook up my Arcam CD player via coax to a dac and also have a headphone amp. I bought those Status CB-1 to try them, I dont know much about Headphones but understand they are 32ohms.

I was going to go for the DX3 pro but from what ive read they have reliability issues. Id used the masterlist on here to narrow down my choices. The Aune X1 isnt readily available and I was going to go for the Fiio K5 pro but Im not sure of that either. Im a bit stuck at this stage sometimes the Chinese DACs are not easy to get particularly with the Covid.

Would the K5pro be ok or could someone recommend a dac with a coax, headphone and rca. Im having problems with my hearing at the moment which is far more worrying than any of the worrie about DACs. I have not been able to listen to music for 2 days!!

Take care folks.
 

matt3421

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Where do you find the firmware to upgrade the DX3 Pro? On their website all I see is references to drivers for it, not firmware
 

dawit123

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May 3, 2020
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Hi guys.
So much information here that is hard to fathom for a newbie.
I'm considering DX3 Pro v2 as my step-up and first serious (or more serious amp) after prematurely bought Schiit Fulla.
There is a lot of not so good things mentioned about DX3, but would you still recommend it? On paper it sounds really appealing.
I'm looking something to drive my HD58X and He4XX.
 

ZenTraveler

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Feb 14, 2020
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I'm looking something to drive my HD58X and He4XX
DX3 Pro v2 can drive both your HP without problem.
Some critique on the v2 higher impedance amp output, I've compared few of my cans and even Tin T2 with other <1.0 impedance amp but can't hear any difference. HD58X is 150ohm and HE4XX is planar, so it won't be affected by v2 10ohm output.

What's wrong with Schiit Fulla powering your HP?
 

Jimmy

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Jun 20, 2018
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If the main use case will be as a DAC for headphone listening then probably the best option (performance/price) is the K5 Pro, as a pure DAC the lack of fixed output puts other options on top (at least for me), but as a combo unit it's perfectly fine and the form factor is a plus.

Firstly the level of knowledge on here is simply stunning. I read maybe 50 pages on the DX3 Pro before my lockdown brain got frazzled.

Current Set Up
JBL LSR 305
ODAC into a Dell PC via USB (player JRiver)
Behringer Monitor 1 (control the sound)

The ODAC doesnt have coax or a headphone socket I wanted to hook up my Arcam CD player via coax to a dac and also have a headphone amp. I bought those Status CB-1 to try them, I dont know much about Headphones but understand they are 32ohms.

I was going to go for the DX3 pro but from what ive read they have reliability issues. Id used the masterlist on here to narrow down my choices. The Aune X1 isnt readily available and I was going to go for the Fiio K5 pro but Im not sure of that either. Im a bit stuck at this stage sometimes the Chinese DACs are not easy to get particularly with the Covid.

Would the K5pro be ok or could someone recommend a dac with a coax, headphone and rca. Im having problems with my hearing at the moment which is far more worrying than any of the worrie about DACs. I have not been able to listen to music for 2 days!!

Take care folks.
 

Veri

Master Contributor
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Feb 6, 2018
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Hi guys.
So much information here that is hard to fathom for a newbie.
I'm considering DX3 Pro v2 as my step-up and first serious (or more serious amp) after prematurely bought Schiit Fulla.
There is a lot of not so good things mentioned about DX3, but would you still recommend it? On paper it sounds really appealing.
I'm looking something to drive my HD58X and He4XX.
Personally I think the DX3 is very fine for dynamic headphones but planars might lack some current at higher volumes.. I would opt for an amp like Magni Heresy with a dac like Modi or Topping E30. Very hard to beat!
 
Last edited:

Yuno

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Personally I think the DX3 is very fine for dynamic headphones but planars might lack some current at higher volumes.. I would opt for an amp like Magni Heresy with an amp like Modi or Topping D30. Very hard to beat!

I agree with this, I don't think v2 dx3 is a good device. The reason why ASR went mad for this dac was because of it's combination of competent DAC and AMP. At the time it was unheard of at the price point. After v1 got replaced with v2 you have competent dac with mediocre amp. Entire selling point of this device was sadly lost (in my opinion at least). You can get much better by using stack with one of recent top performing amps.
 
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