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Serious problem in preamp mode Topping D90SE and D90LE

fred38

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Hi all,

To start, I want to specify that my English is not good and that I use a translator to describe my problem.

I have no scientific vocation, I am simply a music lover.

I took the decision to buy a Topping DAC after reading the many praising topics on this forum. My concern is the preamp part of the DAC that generates static noise, crackles and popping in my speakers that remains linear even if I turn down or up the sound (I can provide a recording made with my smartphone), it is present in USB and optical. .

My configuration before my purchase (no problem since 4 years):
Volumio (PC) or foobar (PC) or Daphile (PC) player => NAD M51 DAC => NAD C275BEE power amp.

I bought a Topping D90LE to replace my NAD M51, and use it in preamp mode, using the same cables as my old setup. After a few minutes or hours (it's very random), the sound degrades strongly with the presence of static noise, crackles and popping in my speakers (listening essentially to DSD or PCM 192 files or more).

1st tests made (without effect on the result):

- Change of PC to use foobar and volumio
- Change of the power cable and the USB cable on the DAC.

I then reconnected my old DAC, works perfectly.

I asked for a return to my dealer for an exchange. I received a second copy of the D90LE. Same problem. I then questioned my system. I decided to test the 90LE at a friend's place:

- His configuration: Volumio raspberry (PC) => DAC in simple DAC mode => Preamp => Power amp. It worked perfectly.

I made a second test at another friend's place (who owns a Topping D10 which is a DAC without preamp mode, without any problem):

- His configuration: Volumio raspberry => DAC => Preamp => Power amp.

1st test : Dac connected in simple DAC mode. Works perfectly.
2nd test: Dac in preamp mode, the problem appeared. It seems that the more the sound approaches 0db the less the problem appears. We think that the preamp mode of the 90LE is simply not functional.

I sent back this copy, and ordered a D90SE, hoping that it does not have the same defect. Same result! I still have it at home, if you have any ideas, but I plan to send it back in a few days for a refund.

I contacted Topping support on July 6. After a few exchanges, I haven't heard back. Friday August 5th, I called Topping again and told them that the problem was also present on the D90SE.... they told me that they didn't manage to reproduce the defect, and that if I still had the possibility, I should send the DAC back and get my money back. Curious answer, which can say a lot....

Important point, my reseller succeeded in reproducing the defect....he also opened a ticket at Topping.

What surprises me is that I didn't see a topic on ASR for this defect. I guess users are running them in single DAC mode.

This is my bad experience with Topping. I would like to have the opinion of @JohnYang1997, who is very present on the forum.

I remain at your disposal for further information / clarifications.

Thank you for taking the time to read me, and incidentally for understanding me :).

Fred
 

Sokel

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The problem is only with DSD and above 192Khz files?Are you sure you have foobar configured correctly?
 
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fred38

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For foobar, I followed the procedure well, and installed the drivers provided by Topping. I tested Volumio / Foobar / Daphile on 2 different computers.
At my friend's place, Volumio under raspberry.

When the D90xx is in simple DAC mode, it works perfectly. This is I think, not the cause.

I did not try to listen for a long time to music lower than DSD or PCM. But when the problem appears, it remains present on all the files listened (also 44.1)
 

Sokel

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You must install SACD plug in (foo_input_sacd-1.4.13.zip) and configure the output as ASIO+DSD: (the name of your driver) first.
Then you have to go to Preferences>SACD and configure it properly there to.
If you need help with that tell me to give you a screenshot (not the same dac but it doesn't matter).
 

Sokel

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And something else,how is the D90's volume control implemented?
Because normally you can't have volume control over native DSD,ecxept if the pre-amp is analog or some other specific implementation.
 

voodooless

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Sounds like some USB issue. Did you try another cable? Do you have other devices on the same USB port? Did you try another USB port? Are there any USB related settings in the OS or bios that need tweaking?

You said the dealer reproduced the issue? What is the procedure to do so?

You said it only occurs after a few hours? What if you reboot your PC? Is it immediately fixed then?
 

MarnixM

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Fred, when playing DSD files and enabling the software volumecontrol ( so called "Alsa" control) I also have playback problems. DSD playback requires a volume level of 100%. Assuming you use "DSD direct" there are two options; turn the volume control to none or try the "general playback options" setting "DSD auto volume level" = on. Read the information about this setting. I did not try the second option myself (i'm not running pre-amp mode).
 

Sokel

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Fred, when playing DSD files and enabling the software volumecontrol ( so called "Alsa" control) I also have playback problems. DSD playback requires a volume level of 100%. Assuming you use "DSD direct" there are two options; turn the volume control to none or try the "general playback options" setting "DSD auto volume level" = on. Read the information about this setting. I did not try the second option myself (i'm not running pre-amp mode).
I would suggest to be very careful with any setting exposing the full volume if it's connected straight to the power amp.
 
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fred38

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I need to plug it back in to test under foobar, I can't do it immediately. But, why would it work normally in single DAC mode and not in preamp mode?
I can control the volume with the remote control of the DAC (DSD or other).
 

Sokel

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I need to plug it back in to test under foobar, I can't do it immediately. But, why would it work normally in single DAC mode and not in preamp mode?
I can control the volume with the remote control of the DAC (DSD or other).
Because as a single dac runs at 100% it's volume.
DSD doesn't have volume control,you need a preamp or some other solution (others may know how) to do that.
 

MarnixM

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I saw you wrote "It seems that the more the sound approaches 0db the less the problem appears". I think this states my solution above.
 

MarnixM

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I would suggest to be very careful with any setting exposing the full volume if it's connected straight to the power amp.
Sokel; that's exactly the content of the information about this setting.
 
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fred38

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Sounds like some USB issue. Did you try another cable? Do you have other devices on the same USB port? Did you try another USB port? Are there any USB related settings in the OS or bios that need tweaking?

You said the dealer reproduced the issue? What is the procedure to do so?

You said it only occurs after a few hours? What if you reboot your PC? Is it immediately fixed then?
I tried with 2 USB cables and different ports.
When the problem was reproduced at my friend's place, we used his cable and his Volumio raspberry.
You said the dealer reproduced the issue? What is the procedure to do so?

Here is the feedback from my dealer:

"Hello,
We have identified a phenomenon (static noise when playing DSD then PCM rather hot) for which we have reported to Topping.
We are currently working with their engineers to find the fault.
Sincerely"
You said it only occurs after a few hours? What if you reboot your PC? Is it immediately fixed then?
I can't remember if I did the test. I tested turning off my amp, it doesn't change anything, but turning off the DAC, stops the problem, but it comes back within 5 minutes.
 
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fred38

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Fred, when playing DSD files and enabling the software volumecontrol ( so called "Alsa" control) I also have playback problems. DSD playback requires a volume level of 100%. Assuming you use "DSD direct" there are two options; turn the volume control to none or try the "general playback options" setting "DSD auto volume level" = on. Read the information about this setting. I did not try the second option myself (i'm not running pre-amp mode).
With volumio, I tested in DSD direct, volume software deactivated. I managed the volume directly with the DAC.
Under foobar, the volume control was also disabled, only manageable with the DAC.

The rear panel of my amp has a volume control (but it is not practical!). When I activate the single dac function on the D90XX, I no longer have any problems.
 
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Sheriff1972

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Hi all,

To start, I want to specify that my English is not good and that I use a translator to describe my problem.

I have no scientific vocation, I am simply a music lover.

I took the decision to buy a Topping DAC after reading the many praising topics on this forum. My concern is the preamp part of the DAC that generates static noise, crackles and popping in my speakers that remains linear even if I turn down or up the sound (I can provide a recording made with my smartphone), it is present in USB and optical. .

My configuration before my purchase (no problem since 4 years):
Volumio (PC) or foobar (PC) or Daphile (PC) player => NAD M51 DAC => NAD C275BEE power amp.

I bought a Topping D90LE to replace my NAD M51, and use it in preamp mode, using the same cables as my old setup. After a few minutes or hours (it's very random), the sound degrades strongly with the presence of static noise, crackles and popping in my speakers (listening essentially to DSD or PCM 192 files or more).

1st tests made (without effect on the result):

- Change of PC to use foobar and volumio
- Change of the power cable and the USB cable on the DAC.

I then reconnected my old DAC, works perfectly.

I asked for a return to my dealer for an exchange. I received a second copy of the D90LE. Same problem. I then questioned my system. I decided to test the 90LE at a friend's place:

- His configuration: Volumio raspberry (PC) => DAC in simple DAC mode => Preamp => Power amp. It worked perfectly.

I made a second test at another friend's place (who owns a Topping D10 which is a DAC without preamp mode, without any problem):

- His configuration: Volumio raspberry => DAC => Preamp => Power amp.

1st test : Dac connected in simple DAC mode. Works perfectly.
2nd test: Dac in preamp mode, the problem appeared. It seems that the more the sound approaches 0db the less the problem appears. We think that the preamp mode of the 90LE is simply not functional.

I sent back this copy, and ordered a D90SE, hoping that it does not have the same defect. Same result! I still have it at home, if you have any ideas, but I plan to send it back in a few days for a refund.

I contacted Topping support on July 6. After a few exchanges, I haven't heard back. Friday August 5th, I called Topping again and told them that the problem was also present on the D90SE.... they told me that they didn't manage to reproduce the defect, and that if I still had the possibility, I should send the DAC back and get my money back. Curious answer, which can say a lot....

Important point, my reseller succeeded in reproducing the defect....he also opened a ticket at Topping.

What surprises me is that I didn't see a topic on ASR for this defect. I guess users are running them in single DAC mode.

This is my bad experience with Topping. I would like to have the opinion of @JohnYang1997, who is very present on the forum.

I remain at your disposal for further information / clarifications.

Thank you for taking the time to read me, and incidentally for understanding me :).

Fred
I also have the same issue. Only present on certain amps though.

No issues with my Marantz HD-DAC1 though.

Since my last test I have updated the firmware, but not tried using it as a pre again. DAC mode is fine
 

Jimster480

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Seems like a firmware issue with DSD vs PCM & volume control as you are flipping back and forth.
 

Sheriff1972

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For me I have not played DSD. Just plain old PCM.
Actually even with nothing playing, the static sound still persisted in my case
 
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fred38

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I also have the same issue. Only present on certain amps though.

No issues with my Marantz HD-DAC1 though.

Since my last test I have updated the firmware, but not tried using it as a pre again. DAC mode is fine
I feel less alone!
My D90LE was up to date (delivered with the latest firmware: Balance, valve), and that didn't change the situation unfortunately. Let me know how it goes for you.
Seems like a firmware issue with DSD vs PCM & volume control as you are flipping back and forth.
Yes, that is the deduction we made.
I sincerely hope that @JohnYang1997 can help us, because when it works, it is a fantastic DAC. At the moment, Topping support is advising me to return the D90SE, without giving me a solution....
 
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fred38

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For me I have not played DSD. Just plain old PCM.
Actually even with nothing playing, the static sound still persisted in my case
I'll plug it back in and test it again within the week to confirm on my end.
 

Jimster480

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I feel less alone!
My D90LE was up to date (delivered with the latest firmware: Balance, valve), and that didn't change the situation unfortunately. Let me know how it goes for you.

Yes, that is the deduction we made.
I sincerely hope that @JohnYang1997 can help us, because when it works, it is a fantastic DAC. At the moment, Topping support is advising me to return the D90SE, without giving me a solution....
Maybe they think that it is a bad unit and there is some noise leakage? Not really sure to say the least
 
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