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Review and Measurements of Topping DX7s DAC and Headphone Amp

JJB70

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Buying something without a warranty is OK if it is cheap enough to just write off if it blows up after 31 days but I'd expect a monumental discount on something like a DAC/headphone amp if part of the deal was a 30 day return period. For US consumers I think Massdrop has some good deals but for an overseas customer, by the time I add 20% VAT plus customs handling charge, international shipping and consider that there is basically no warranty on some of their goods compared to statutory rights which actually tend to better than many manufacturer warranties Massdrp just doesn't add up. Especially when many local sellers price quite aggressively and there is no shortage of B stock and clearance bargains. For example, I worked out what the HD6XX would cost me after the various additional charges and I can buy HD650's for very little more.
 

jsmiller58

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Buying something without a warranty is OK if it is cheap enough to just write off if it blows up after 31 days but I'd expect a monumental discount on something like a DAC/headphone amp if part of the deal was a 30 day return period. For US consumers I think Massdrop has some good deals but for an overseas customer, by the time I add 20% VAT plus customs handling charge, international shipping and consider that there is basically no warranty on some of their goods compared to statutory rights which actually tend to better than many manufacturer warranties Massdrp just doesn't add up. Especially when many local sellers price quite aggressively and there is no shortage of B stock and clearance bargains. For example, I worked out what the HD6XX would cost me after the various additional charges and I can buy HD650's for very little more.
Makes a lot of sense given your circumstances!

For US consumers it is about the risk / reward trade off of price versus (in some cases) warranty, as we don’t have the duties and taxes and shipping costs overseas customers have.

For me I am willing to take the gamble for moderately priced items. For very high priced items (to me that would be in excess of $500) I might think twice about giving up the warranty coverage...
 
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This info is incorrect. I contacted Topping and this was their response:

Hello

To tell exactly, we will cover the 335 days after Massdrop's 30 days. You are suppose to pay shipping fee to ship the defect item to China mainland and we will pay shipping fee from us to you after repairing it.

Best Regards!
----------------------------------
TOPPING service

- So, it comes with a warranty from MD. Shipping to China to fix but.. it does come with a warranty which honestly is great.
 

jsmiller58

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This info is incorrect. I contacted Topping and this was their response:

Hello

To tell exactly, we will cover the 335 days after Massdrop's 30 days. You are suppose to pay shipping fee to ship the defect item to China mainland and we will pay shipping fee from us to you after repairing it.

Best Regards!
----------------------------------
TOPPING service

- So, it comes with a warranty from MD. Shipping to China to fix but.. it does come with a warranty which honestly is great.
That is fantastic! Certainly makes the discount on Massdrop that much more valuable.
 

graz_lag

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I have ordered a Topping DX7S today from an eBay's seller, @ $440 or so, so abt. $60 cheaper than Topping' $499.99 suggested price.
eBay's seller : szclever88, Hong Kong
 

Jorj

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I have ordered a Topping DX7S today from an eBay's seller, @ $440 or so, so abt. $60 cheaper than Topping' $499.99 suggested price.
eBay's seller : szclever88, Hong Kong
No complaints about mine. I ordered the remote and it is now my preamp in my 2 channel system, in addition to armchair DAC\amp duties. It converts bits to boogie with minuscule amounts of distortion. Job done.
 

jsmiller58

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No complaints about mine. I ordered the remote and it is now my preamp in my 2 channel system, in addition to armchair DAC\amp duties. It converts bits to boogie with minuscule amounts of distortion. Job done.
"converts bits to boogie with minuscule amounts of distortion" - if only we could get more products that exactly do this, and marketers who say it exactly like that...
 

graz_lag

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No complaints about mine. I ordered the remote and it is now my preamp in my 2 channel system, in addition to armchair DAC\amp duties. It converts bits to boogie with minuscule amounts of distortion. Job done.
I wanted a mid-range DAC to revamp my primary system in terms of D/A conversion (currently, it's limited to 96kHz), but I wanted it with balanced outputs. (That's the reason for which I did not consider the D50.)
For the D/A conversion in my secondary system, I went thru several forums over the past years, getting caught in the fishing net of Audio-gd, Schiit (here twice ...), Teac, and Gustard. All went on sale on my local craigslist asap. (Yeah, with a 40% loss on the purchasing price each time ...)
Here at ASR is different : 2+2=4, not 3.9 or 4.1, it's as simple as that.
 

Jorj

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I wanted a mid-range DAC to revamp my primary system in terms of D/A conversion (currently, it's limited to 96kHz), but I wanted it with balanced outputs.
IMO, the benefits of balanced outputs are debatable, but it's nice to have if you're not yet convinced. Even more dubious is the need for high bandwidth music files. I'm fully convinced that for all real-world listening situations, 16/24 is not only enough, it is more than enough. I hope you're not spending extra money for music in higher resolution formats. Save the extra cabbage for better speakers and more music. Stereo amplifiers were more than good enough 20 years ago (although damned inefficient..come on, class D), and now DACs are also 'solved'.
 
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IMO, the benefits of balanced outputs are debatable, but it's nice to have if you're not yet convinced. Even more dubious is the need for high bandwidth music files. I'm fully convinced that for all real-world listening situations, 16/24 is not only enough, it is more than enough. I hope you're not spending extra money for music in higher resolution formats. Save the extra cabbage for better speakers and more music. Stereo amplifiers were more than good enough 20 years ago (although damned inefficient..come on, class D), and now DACs are also 'solved'.
Well, balanced has definite advantages, but for many instances, it's not necessary.

Honestly, I like balanced DACs because they have two separate audio outputs so you don't have to rely on splitters!
 

graz_lag

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IMO, the benefits of balanced outputs are debatable, but it's nice to have if you're not yet convinced.
My primary system has both preamplifier and amplifier that are truly balanced.
I have been waiting for the DX7 "s" upgrade exactly to get the fully balanced implementation of the two ES9038 chips.
That is, if I keep the signal balanced from input to output I am convinced I can count on the known benefits and advantages vs. the unbalanced connections, lower noise, randomization of DAC non-linearity, noise immunity ...

Oh ... I also get some sort of immunity vs. the sellers of the $1,000 per meter RCA cables ...

I hope I can get it delivered before Xmas. (The seller declares 3-weeks transit time from HK, so it should be OK.)
 

graz_lag

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Even more dubious is the need for high bandwidth music files. I'm fully convinced that for all real-world listening situations, 16/24 is not only enough, it is more than enough.
The big difference is given by the quality of the recorded material.
However, when the material's origin is from a reputable recordings, I am 100% positive that playing hi-res music gives back more dynamic and larger soundstage over CD.
Tonally-wise, no real difference, though.
No difference either between 24/96 and 24/192, but half of my collection (2,000 albums) is 24/192, so that was enough to justify the replacement of my 24/96 DAC with the DX7s.
I am sure the psycho-acoustic and placebo effect will drag me to enjoy more the 24/192 over the 24/96 when the DX7s will be in place ... ;)
 
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Finding this amp to work really well with the new LCD2 Fazor headphones I got. I'm not really hearing any difference in frequency response between the single ended and balanced outputs on the DX7s even though their impedance is only 70 Ohm. Since their impedance is so flat vs frequency, I guess 10 Ohm vs 20 Ohm output impedance doesn't matter much.

Still want to compare this 10 Ohm output with the Magni 3 driving some Grados, which have a pretty big impedance hump at 70 Hz
The graph below shows 0.2 Ohm vs 120 has a pretty big hump, but I guess it would be much less at 10 Ohm

https://diyaudioheaven.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/120-gs2000.png?w=614
Some further practical issues with using the DX7s as a desktop rig at work. I don't hook the DAC/Amps up to any work PCs since I don't always have full admin rights to install drivers. So I typically connect a lightning to USB adapter for iOS devices. I had been having trouble with occasional skipping in the USB audio out of some iOS devices on certain OS versions and decided to get a dedicated player that had SPDIF out.

I got a FIIO X3(III), and was connecting it via coaxial. With my Mojo and Bifrost, the connection seems solid and I don't get any dropouts, but with the DX7s, there are fairly frequent dropouts of audio in the middle of songs. Has anyone else had issues with the coaxial input on the DX7s? FYI, I have updated to the latest firmware from Topping and Fiio, but the problem remains, and only with the DX7s, not any other DACs
 

Jorj

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Has anyone else had issues with the coaxial input on the DX7s? FYI, I have updated to the latest firmware from Topping and Fiio, but the problem remains, and only with the DX7s, not any other DACs
Slightly unrelated, but along the same lines.

I was having issues with a Topping D10, occasional dropouts. I had to go into Windows settings under Sounds and change the device Advanced settings to 24bit, 44100 Hz. Interestingly, these settings are application specific. For example, I had to set my monitor speakers to 16bi, 48000 Hz in order for them to work consistently with Skype. Windows 10 is a dumpster fire with regards to audio, especially when you throw a USB C dock into the mix.
 
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Some further practical issues with using the DX7s as a desktop rig at work. I don't hook the DAC/Amps up to any work PCs since I don't always have full admin rights to install drivers. So I typically connect a lightning to USB adapter for iOS devices. I had been having trouble with occasional skipping in the USB audio out of some iOS devices on certain OS versions and decided to get a dedicated player that had SPDIF out.

I got a FIIO X3(III), and was connecting it via coaxial. With my Mojo and Bifrost, the connection seems solid and I don't get any dropouts, but with the DX7s, there are fairly frequent dropouts of audio in the middle of songs. Has anyone else had issues with the coaxial input on the DX7s? FYI, I have updated to the latest firmware from Topping and Fiio, but the problem remains, and only with the DX7s, not any other DACs
I had some issues, it was the cable. Using Gold Deox-it and clamping the cable lightly to increase hold force resolved my issues.
 
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I had some issues, it was the cable. Using Gold Deox-it and clamping the cable lightly to increase hold force resolved my issues.
I'd doubt it's the cable since it's a brand new Coax cable and it works flawlessly with 2 other DACs. At this point, I'm just using USB with the DX7s and for coax players I'm using the Bifrost.
 

Memoryerror

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So I have been enjoying my DX7s (I don't know if I can tell much difference from my Monarchy M22b or my cheap little Taishan). But I have noticed that rain does not sound right through it. I have tried jumping through filters but it doesn't seem to help. I thought it was just bad source material at first, but then I hooked my Taishan up (my M22b needs to get repaired), and it the rain doesn't sound as bad.

I do think it is bad compessed input, I guess the DX7s is just less forgiving?
 
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The DX7s is incredibly transparent...that's for sure.

Dana- just sharing my experience with the 7s. I didn't have issues into other DACs either buy for some reason... The 7s did.
 

Jonny

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Hey guys, wondering if anyone has had any issues playing DSD on the DX7s on a Mac using Audirvana Plus. DSD 64 works via Optical. DSD 64 does not work via USB, just makes a loud popping sound followed by silence. DSD 256 works via USB no problem. I tried upsampling PCM to DSD 256 in Audirvana also via USB and got some weird sounds too.
 
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Here's what I wrote about this back in September post #272 re my iMac via USB using DX7s:

I also wanted to report on interesting findings on using Audirvana and HQPlayer/Roon on the DX7s via USB on an iMac. My music library is mostly ALAC 44.1/88.2/96/176/192. On Audirvana Plus (latest version) I can get PCM upsampled to 705/768, but I get dropouts and clicks at that setting. PCM upsampled to 352.8/384 works fine and sounds very good. On DSD upsampling of PCM files, I can get to DSD256 but again I get clicks and dropouts. No such problems when upsampled to DSD128. On the DX7s in Audirvana Plus upsampled to DSD128, I get strong sibilance on female vocalists, but less so on PCM 352.8/384.

Using HQPlayer/Roon on the DX7s, I can easily upsample PCM to705/768 and DSD256 (the max available on a Mac) without any dropouts or clicks, and no sibilance.


Now, in Audirvana I still can't upsample PCM beyond DSD128 without dropouts, but I can upsample PCM to 705/768 without problems. No clicks either way. And that is using tracks in mostly ALAC on my hard drive or streaming Flac via Tidal or Qobuz. No change or problems at all in using HQPlayer/Roon or Roon alone using DSD256 or PCM 705/768. HTH.
 
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