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Review and Measurements of Topping DX3Pro DAC and Headphone Amp

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It would be great to check the heating of the internal components. Since we can stick heat sinks on the chips and rather easily eliminate this overheating problem if it exists. But the device's case is cold so it would be strange if the insides are hot.
As I mentioned before - sticking heatsinks on chips won't help much to effectively dissipate heat for at least 2 reasons:

1. very modest dimensions of chips and heatsinks,
2. quite small chassis, which is missing ventholes.

Therefore it is simply NOT possible to expel the hot air outside the casing with reasonable speed. You'd better prepare for mounting fans or thermally conductive tapes and drilling holes in the chassis, if you need a working solution against overheating :)
 
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As I mentioned before - sticking heatsinks on chips won't help much to effectively dissipate heat for at least 2 reasons:

1. very modest dimensions of chips and heatsinks,
2. quite small chassis, which is missing ventholes.

Therefore it is simply NOT possible to expel the hot air outside the casing with reasonable speed. You'd better prepare for mounting fans or thermally conductive tapes and drilling holes in the chassis, if you need a working solution against overheating :)
You could always replace the top with a grill and mount a 92 mm computer fan on top
 
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If I'm not mistaken, this is Topping's first amp with low output impedance. If it's truly <0.1 Ohms, that doesn't give a lot of margin for protection of the discrete output stage from itself. Perhaps someone can post a thermal image of the PCA in that area?

block_output.png

output_stage.png
 
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As I mentioned before - sticking heatsinks on chips won't help much to effectively dissipate heat for at least 2 reasons:

1. very modest dimensions of chips and heatsinks,
2. quite small chassis, which is missing ventholes.

Therefore it is simply NOT possible to expel the hot air outside the casing with reasonable speed. You'd better prepare for mounting fans or thermally conductive tapes and drilling holes in the chassis, if you need a working solution against overheating :)
Can't internal heatsinks still reduce temps on critical components?

The total power consumption won't change, so - as you note - the internal air temp won't change without venting. But a hot chip's thermal resistance to that same air will be reduced by adding a heatsink. So a few heatsinks on the hot spots could help, right?
 

pwjazz

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If you want to see the hotspots on a piece of equipment

https://www.flir.com/flirone/

I have used the more expensive units on circuit breaker panels and it shows where the hottest spots are no problem
Apologies in advance if I rub anyone the wrong way, but I can't hold my tongue...

I really love the DIY and hobbyist streak displayed around here and can personally relate to it. OTOH, I'm struck by the irony of us discussing thermal imaging, DIY heatsinks and custom fan installation to fix problems with the "highly recommended" DX3 when we continue to rag on Schiit for their build quality. To be clear, I personally had my first Magni 3 die on me within 15 minutes of first plugging it in, so I'm not claiming that Schiit makes great quality stuff.

I think it's important to call a spade a spade, and the anecdotal reports I'm reading on here make me want to stay away from the DX3, in particular because sending it to China for warranty service is such a hassle. Yeah it has a ton of features, but I suspect a lot of people don't really need those and might be better off with a simpler DAC (even one from Topping) paired with a JDS Labs Atom and just be done with it.
 
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Can't internal heatsinks still reduce temps on critical components?

The total power consumption won't change, so - as you note - the internal air temp won't change without venting. But a hot chip's thermal resistance to that same air will be reduced by adding a heatsink. So a few heatsinks on the hot spots could help, right?
The whole point of a heatsink is to disapate heat into the air. If the air has no where to go it will just get hotter and transfer from the chip to the metal shell, you need ventilation so the hot air can rise
 
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If the reported clicking of the Omron G6K-2P-Y is acoustically unacceptable, then a fan isn't going make them feel any better. Note that heat spreaders are a thing, and not just for convective cooling. That said, if there was a "pop" prior to failure, I'd suspect something there's something afoot that a heat sink doesn't address. Hard to know without probing.
 
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The whole point of a heatsink is to disapate heat into the air. If the air has no where to go it will just get hotter and transfer from the chip to the metal shell, you need ventilation so the hot air can rise
Suppose that the DAC is operating in a fully warmed, steady state. Do you agree that the internal air temperature does not change unless the case or ambient conditions are altered?
 
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Suppose that the DAC is operating in a fully warmed, steady state. Do you agree that the internal air temperature does not change unless the case or ambient conditions are altered?
The heat created by the circuit board increases the temperature inside the case. You need ventilation when you have power going through a circuit. When the board gets warm, the air around it gets warm and that heat has to escape. Basic science.
 
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When power is going through a circuit board, it creates heat, heat then transfers to the air and it has to go somewhere so the air will heat up no matter what.

The air temp will change when the dac is running no matter what
 
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Roen

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Suppose that the DAC is operating in a fully warmed, steady state. Do you agree that the internal air temperature does not change unless the case or ambient conditions are altered?
If you’re assuming thermal equilibrium with your initial condition, then absent any conditions that remove said equilibrium, guess what, thermal equilibrium still exists.

But that’s a tautology and only applies in a specific set of circumstances, of which you’ve assumed, and may not necessarily hold.
 

Yuno

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Either way, I am not getting the dx3 pro, mx3 seems more reliable and stable
Yeah, because no one uses it.
I'm not sure if you realize it but you are comparing unit that was incredibly hyped and bought by lots of people with something that probably no one here has. There is actually little failures of dx3 so far compared to overall volume.
If you want reliable product, buy something by jds labs for instance.
 
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If you’re assuming thermal equilibrium with your initial condition, then absent any conditions that remove said equilibrium, guess what, thermal equilibrium still exists.
I agree. Same power input + same chassis & venting = same internal temps.

Step 2, then, is what happens to a given component's temperature when its power consumption & surrounding air temp don't change but a heatsink is added? The chip runs cooler, because it can pass heat to the air more efficiently.

But that’s a tautology and only applies in a specific set of circumstances, of which you’ve assumed, and may not necessarily hold.
Sure, but this needed to be spelled out step by step.

Final note: the heatsink's mass will keep the chip running at a more constant temp when the power input does vary.
 
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Yeah, because no one uses it.
I'm not sure if you realize it but you are comparing unit that was incredibly hyped and bought by lots of people with something that probably no one here has. There is actually little failures of dx3 so far compared to overall volume.
If you want reliable product, buy something by jds labs for instance.
That and the mx3 is almost $100 cheaper and considering the state of the Canadian dollar, the mx3 fits my budget better so I can get a decent pair of speakers so I don't have to use headphones all the time
 

amirm

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All I proposed is to design an experiment to answer people's doubt. This experiment is very easy to do --- @amirm can do it with a $10 IR thermometer (most likely he already has one) and takes probably ~30 min waiting time for it to heat up (by shortening the headphone output with a 30Ohm resistor), and can get into a conclusion (either it can or cannot reach a steady state with < 80C surface temperature) very easily.
Let me see if I can free up some time tonight for a thermal study...
 
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