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Serious problem in preamp mode Topping D90SE and D90LE

Haruko

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Sep 14, 2021
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i have the same problem with D90LE (only in pre amp mode) whenever i play some file, noise comes in then either clicks off or stays there... factory reseting the device helps for a minute or so but then the noise comes back... it sounds like the ocean (noise is not static in amplitude)... problem is not in cable for sure because the noise is non existant at first but then comes in... either in Left or Right Channel or both and when the noise comes it becomes much more louder as you go down in sample rates (384khz being the quietest)... this is just a shame for unit this expensive to be this defective.... i had 0 problems with E50... turning off device and on does not help the problem only makes the noise a bit more quiet but as soon as you start playing the music and hit pause it's there again (plugging usb in and out doesn't do anything).. strangly the noise is still leaking to speakers even when you switch DAC input to IIS

EDIT1:
btw: i did not play DSD files just regular PCM...

now that the unit was quiet for a bit i tried playing DSD file and here we go again (noise is coming from the Left channel) along with crackles in audio... noise turns down after a minute or so of not playing audio and soon as you play the music again noise comes back

Edit2:
It doesn't matter if you play DSD or PCM noise comes in after a while (2-3 min) from the device start. Problem is not bound to Windows it appears in Mac OS too (figures since the noise is still flowing to the speakers even after unplugging USB)
 
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fred38

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i have the same problem with D90LE (only in pre amp mode) whenever i play some file, noise comes in then either clicks off or stays there... factory reseting the device helps for a minute or so but then the noise comes back... it sounds like the ocean (noise is not static in amplitude)... problem is not in cable for sure because the noise is non existant at first but then comes in... either in Left or Right Channel or both and when the noise comes it becomes much more louder as you go down in sample rates (384khz being the quietest)... this is just a shame for unit this expensive to be this defective.... i had 0 problems with E50... turning off device and on does not help the problem only makes the noise a bit more quiet but as soon as you start playing the music and hit pause it's there again (plugging usb in and out doesn't do anything).. strangly the noise is still leaking to speakers even when you switch DAC input to IIS

EDIT1:
btw: i did not play DSD files just regular PCM...

now that the unit was quiet for a bit i tried playing DSD file and here we go again (noise is coming from the Left channel) along with crackles in audio... noise turns down after a minute or so of not playing audio and soon as you play the music again noise comes back

Edit2:
It doesn't matter if you play DSD or PCM noise comes in after a while (2-3 min) from the device start. Problem is not bound to Windows it appears in Mac OS too (figures since the noise is still flowing to the speakers even after unplugging USB)
Exactly the same problems as you.
There are even details that you mentioned that I didn't put in my description:

- Changing source: USB to optical the problem persists.
- Presence of the static noise on the right speaker, or left or both.

Without an update of the DAC, I think that we will not solve this problem, only Topping can help us...

Last night, I sent another email to Topping to let them know that I was not an isolated case, and giving them the link to the ASR forum.

With your E50, did you also use it in preamp mode ? Didn't you change anything else in your configuration ?
 

Haruko

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no changes to E50 I used it only in pre amp mode because my headphone AMP did not have balanced Pre out... no sign of hiss or crackles... Topping responses are kind of pissing me off thinking about making video about this and demonstrating problem so people can be aware before buying this product
 

Haruko

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his problem is similar but not the same to mine

- The issue only happens with Topping's ASIO driver. There is no issue with WASAPI.
i have issues in wasapi as well.. i have uninstalled driver and problem still persists... noise comes in randomly in either L R or both channels and wont go away until you restart the device. It happens both in PCM and DSD playback. Noise comes in usually when new track starts to play... during the playback but usually never on it's own...

i have already unlisted all my youtube videos containing topping devices as I don't want to promote faulty devices
 
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Haruko

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fred38

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Can you try to turn off the Bluetooth in the D90 settings menu (power switch + holding power button) and see if the problem persists ? Mine problem seems to be fixed (at least temporarily) by doing so.
I quickly plugged it back in when I got home from work.... and well disappointment...it doesn't change anything at home....
Nevertheless, keep me informed if it continues to work for you after several hours of listening.
 

Hemi-Demon

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Have you tried using different playback software? Foobar isn't the best package for DSD since you have to rely on so many add ons and differing set up options.

What about Jriver, HQplayer or Roon, they all have versions that will work.with your OS choice? This is on Topping to fix, either way. Most likely it's a driver issue though, as they have very poor software support in my experience.

Also Topping has issue with impedance output matching with certain amps. Could that be the source of the noise issues. When you went to your friends house, what amplifiers did he have? Doesn't volumino allow you to control the volume with your computer or use your phone? It's not ideal, but neither is using you DAC as a pre.

Just get a refund and don't buy another Topping DAC as a pre-amp, or use a Pre-90 to control the volume vs the DAC.

SMSL dacs have their own issues, but in my experience they perform better as a pre, with similar measurement performance as the Topping devices.

Best case scenario spend the money on a better product, with a high reputation like the Benchmark LPA4 if you really need a pre amp.
 
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fred38

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Have you tried using different playback software? Foobar isn't the best package for DSD since you have to rely on so many add ons and differing set up options.

What about Jriver, HQplayer or Roon, they all have versions that will work.with your OS choice? This is on Topping to fix, either way. Most likely it's a driver issue though, as they have very poor software support in my experience.

Also Topping has issue with impedance output matching with certain amps. Could that be the source of the noise issues. When you went to your friends house, what amplifiers did he have? Doesn't volumino allow you to control the volume with your computer or use your phone? It's not ideal, but neither is using you DAC as a pre.

Just get a refund and don't buy another Topping DAC as a pre-amp, or use a Pre-90 to control the volume vs the DAC.

SMSL dacs have their own issues, but in my experience they perform better as a pre, with similar measurement performance as the Topping devices.

Best case scenario spend the money on a better product, with a high reputation like the Benchmark LPA4 if you really need a pre amp.
Thank you for your contribution.
Before your message, I had tested with Volumio, Daphile and foobar, disabling the software sound control.

I am using a PC that is a bit old under windows 10. I am on x86, I could only try Jriver, and the results are identical.

I don't really need a preamp, because I use the DAC for dematerialized music, and sometimes for my TV in optical.

Not everyone seems to have this problem. I think you're right, I think it's more a problem between the DAC and my amp.

I asked my friend about it. When we did the test, the DAC was connected in preamp mode, to his home-made "Kenada" preamp with an input impedance of 2K. My friend has a Topping D10, and has no problems with his system.

I've been trying to get the D90LE and then the SE to work for a month now. I think it's time to stop trying so hard and get my money back!

I have no help from Topping, apart from "we have not been able to reproduce the fault, testing may take a while", and they don't even reply to my last few emails.

To replace the topping, I had seen 3:

- S.M.S.L SU-9
- Gustard X16 or X18

The D90LE when it works (very very rarely) seemed to me more detailed than my NAD M51. Nevertheless, when I see the reliability of these DACs, I wonder if I'm not making a mistake by wanting to sell my NAD M51. This situation makes me think...

Ps: Sorry for my poor English, I hope I make myself understood!
 

Hemi-Demon

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Thank you for your contribution.
Before your message, I had tested with Volumio, Daphile and foobar, disabling the software sound control.

I am using a PC that is a bit old under windows 10. I am on x86, I could only try Jriver, and the results are identical.

I don't really need a preamp, because I use the DAC for dematerialized music, and sometimes for my TV in optical.

Not everyone seems to have this problem. I think you're right, I think it's more a problem between the DAC and my amp.

I asked my friend about it. When we did the test, the DAC was connected in preamp mode, to his home-made "Kenada" preamp with an input impedance of 2K. My friend has a Topping D10, and has no problems with his system.

I've been trying to get the D90LE and then the SE to work for a month now. I think it's time to stop trying so hard and get my money back!

I have no help from Topping, apart from "we have not been able to reproduce the fault, testing may take a while", and they don't even reply to my last few emails.

To replace the topping, I had seen 3:

- S.M.S.L SU-9
- Gustard X16 or X18

The D90LE when it works (very very rarely) seemed to me more detailed than my NAD M51. Nevertheless, when I see the reliability of these DACs, I wonder if I'm not making a mistake by wanting to sell my NAD M51. This situation makes me think...

Ps: Sorry for my poor English, I hope I make myself understood!

Very complex.
I would keep the DAC and consider a dedicated pre-amp. The schiit pre-amps are pretty well priced and perform well in PASSIVE (non tube) mode.

I would be careful with Gustard, as their support is even worse than Topping. They don't have an online presence at all. The Su-9 is pretty good. I have one of those too, just make sure you order one with the latest firmware. I have never used it as a pre-amp, sorry, but the optical input does work on my TV without skipping. That varies though depending on what TV you have and whether your SU-9 has the preferable AK optical chipset pre fire.

Good luck.
 

Haruko

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I quickly plugged it back in when I got home from work.... and well disappointment...it doesn't change anything at home....
Nevertheless, keep me informed if it continues to work for you after several hours of listening.
even with bluetooth off problem now comes in even after 30 seconds of playback
 
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fred38

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Thank you all for your contributions.
I sent back the D90SE today, disappointed by the TOPPING experience.
Regarding the purchase of a preamp, in my configuration, I find it a shame to have to buy one just to run a DAC.
If you add the price of a preamp to the price of the DAC, the deal is still less beautiful....
 

Sheriff1972

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Having moved house I have not unpacked the system yet to try this with latest FW
 
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fred38

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I finally ordered an SMSL-SU9N to replace the Topping.
After a few hours of listening, I have no problems. Even the passage between tracks is silent, something that never happened with the topping.

This is to be confirmed over several days.
 

Rescue911

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we have not been able to reproduce the fault, testing may take a while
Well, I would also write to you.
How many did not try to get your problem - the result is negative.
Plays clean and very high quality.
I'm sorry about your negative experience.
 
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fred38

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Hi ! Thanks for your link. I have since tested the SMSL SU9N (which I sent back because I found it not as good as the D90LE/SE....the bass is omnipresent), but it worked perfectly.
I finally adopted the Gustard X18.

So, 4 DAC tested on my configuration (including my old NAD M51), only the topping was a problem on my system.

At the end of August, I sent a fourth email to the topping customer service about this, it remained unanswered.
 
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gkrnn

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Hi ! Thanks for your link. I have since tested the SMSL SU9N (which I sent back because I found it not as good as the D90LE/SE....the bass is omnipresent), but it worked perfectly.
I finally adopted the Gustard X18.

So, 4 DAC tested on my configuration (including my old NAD M51), only the topping was a problem on my system.

At the end of August, I sent a fourth email to the topping customer service about this, it remained unanswered.
How did the Gustard X18 and the D90xE (x=L,S) compare soundwise, as they seem to have quite some things in common? Compared to the DX7 Pro I currently have, I like the sonic improvements of the D90xE. Wonder if this would be true for the X18 as well.
 

Haruko

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i had to send mine D90 back because the noise was everywhere... in lower sample rates it was halved by intensity but still...
 

gkrnn

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I guess min is not as bad. Still, I don't want to be forced to listen to one or the other format just to prevent the noise occurring.
 
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