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Review and Measurements of Topping NX4 DSD Dac and Portable Headphone Amplifier

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Anyone who has both topping nx4 and gr07/HD598. At their respective volumes/power levels, is there any noticeable channel imbalance?

I'm looking to buy the nx4 for my shure srh1540 which is slightly harder to drive than gr07, and about equal to hd598 in terms of driveability. Worried if the power required for my headphones will be on the side of the measurements where there is noticeable channel imbalance. Pretty sure I'll be running in low gain mode since all the headphones mentioned are fairly easy to drive.

Currently I have cayin N3 which sounds very good. But I see a noticeable quality jump when using in low gain mode as compared to mid and high gain. Sub bass is better, vocal clarity is better (I don't even have to concentrate on lyrics, they just flow cleanly in low gain mode). Unfortunately, low gain is just about the tipping point to get some listenable volume out of srh1540 and mid gain is where the listening volume is ideal. I'd say the volume jump from low to mid gain and mid to high gain is only about 25% each but the quality starts to deteriorate somewhat noticeably, though still leagues better than any phone/laptop I've used in all gain modes.

I have all three headphones mentioned but due to a ear problem I had to give up gr07 and hd598 sounds much poorer than srh1540 and gr07 anyway. Srh1540 is not common so I gave a reference to two common headphones to compare.

Thanks and regards,
Manuel Jenkin.
 

amirm

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someone have the numbers regarding the power output at 150ohm, 250ohm,300ohm'sss ? as well had the chance to compare the amp in this against the fiio a5 ?
300 Ohm is already computed on my review graph:



For 150 ohm, eyeballing it, it produces about 3.1 volt so power would be 3.1*3.1/150 = 0.064 watt or 64 milliwatt.

For 250, it is still close to 20 milliwatt on the graph for 300.
 
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For 150 ohm, eyeballing it, it produces about 3.1 volt so power would be 3.1*3.1/150 = 0.064 watt or 64 milliwatt.

For 250, it is still close to 20 milliwatt on the graph for 300.
How did you "eyeball" those ? Is there a criteria behind ?

PS: thank you for your answer on the other thread, now i feel smarter :D
PPS: Could you test the dx3 pro with a 600ohm load btw?
 
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@amirm two questions

1. Were the measurements done in battery powered mode or from a laptop/desktop usb power source. Does the unit perform as good in battery powered mode (ie are the performance data measured similar in battery powered mode). Intending to use with my headphones when walking around the house or in the park and using my Cayin N3 dap as transport.

2. Wondering if my shure srh1540 would fall into the channel imbalance section of the nx4. I use replay gain on my tracks and my tracks range from -18db to +19db on that measurement scale.. so pretty much all digital data coming out will be attenuated by 18db before reaching the dac section of nx4 I guess.

One additional question. When is the apogee groove measurements coming up, you have an ETA for it?
 
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The more I listen to the nx4 the more I like it. I have had many portable amps in the pasts this one is by far one of my favorites.
 

hashan

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@amirm
Hi, new member here :). Read quite alot of your reviews here today; must say they are some of the most objective and comprehensive audio gear reviews I've ever seen on the net. It's even better since HD650 is my primary headphone.

I've been using FX Audio X6 (over TOSLINK) with the HD650s for the last 2 years now and I've been totally satisfied with them. Do you think the Topping NX4 would be a worthwhile upgrade? It'll be on sale soon on AliExpress for ~$133 I guess.
I'm also considering the D30/A30 stack. But I don't feel like buying both of them at the moment. So A30 + X6 DAC is also another option.

How do you think NX4 would compare against X6, X6/A30 and D30/A30 for HD650s?
(Portability of NX4 is a nice bonus :))
 

Aibo

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^^ I've been listening both NX4 and FX X6 lately with AKG K92 and they both sound great, and both can keep these headphones thumping along very nicely even at very loud levels. I may noticed X6 has slightly rolled-off treble so NX4 conveys some atmospheric sounds more clearly - but that's it - I notice it more on NX4 but I don't really miss it on X6. I guess HD650s are much more demanding cans but I'm not really sure if you would get some meaningful upgrade there.

As often lately, I put all my impressions in the video too. It was made before I got X6 so I compared it mostly with Sabaj Da3 I had at hand. Between those two I personally liked NX4 better, especially with headphones where it has much more power. Da3 can sound flat with K92, especially at higher volumes but NX4 makes them almost jump on my head. :)

 

yue

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@amirm only measures the headphone out value but in various posts he is using that value to compare with line output of various other DACs (see the master SINAD chart, for instance). This is not an apple to apple comparison, as the amplifier distortion is also taken into account.

in reality the DAC SINAD should be much higher than 104db, which could make it into the first tier ranking of DAC tested.
 

Roen

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@amirm only measures the headphone out value but in various posts he is using that value to compare with line output of various other DACs (see the master SINAD chart, for instance). This is not an apple to apple comparison, as the amplifier distortion is also taken into account.

in reality the DAC SINAD should be much higher than 104db, which could make it into the first tier ranking of DAC tested.
Not necessarily.
A DAC SINAD of 104.3 with An Amp SINAD of 114 would probably still result in a 104 SINAD for the combination.
 
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