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Shenzhenaudio Topping EX5 Review (DAC and Headphone Amplifier)

dorirod

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I think the sample rate is always displayed and the volume just briefly when you change it.

Lovely, mine is now stuck to 192 even though the actual content is actually 44.1 (I don't think I own any 192 files).

@JohnYang1997 , @SHENZHENAUDIO looks like another bug. Is there any chance you can have an option to display volume level instead of sample rate? It's close to useless even when it's correct, but really unhelpful to have the display stuck on an incorrect sample rate.
 

Ranton

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Lovely, mine is now stuck to 192 even though the actual content is actually 44.1 (I don't think I own any 192 files).
That's disturbing! I haven't seen this behavior on mine. Just out of curiosity, what are you using to feed the DAC?
 

dorirod

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That's disturbing! I haven't seen this behavior on mine. Just out of curiosity, what are you using to feed the DAC?
Pixel 3 via USB. Turning it off and on (with back switch) didn't help btw.
 

Ranton

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Bummer. Any chance the Android audio stack is upsampling? Can you confirm the Pixel is outputting the correct sampling rate on another device?
 

Lupin

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Pixel 3 via USB. Turning it off and on (with back switch) didn't help btw.
Try UAPP for Android to make sure the phone output is 44.1
Or temporarily connect the EX5 to the computer and play some music using WASAPI exclusive. No need to install the driver even just for this test.

Not sure about the EX5 but the D30Pro has an DAC and pre amp mode.
In DAC mode the sample rate is always shown on display and in the pre amp mode the volume is always shown on the display.
Maybe the EX5 works in a similar way?
 

CrankyRat

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Hello to you all ! My first post here.
Today I received the package with Topping EX5 ordered last week at Audiophonics.fr (after I found out about it from this forum).
EX5 replaces a Topping D50s (to which I was going to add an A50s to use with some HifiMan Sundara headphones), but after seeing Amir's review of the EX5 I decided to take the last one because it is a DAC + HP Amp combo, even that now I have no use for the D50s.
First thing I uninstalled and then reinstalled the Topping USB Audio driver v5.12.0 (although I don't think it was really necessary, considering that the former DAC was also a Topping product) and then I updated the firmware to v1.65 (my unit had v1.63). I downloaded the firmware update from "https://www.tpdz.net/download".
So far, I like the new unit in my PC near-field setup (EX5 hooked up via XLR cables to a Sabaj A20a desktop stereo integrated amplifier conducting a pair of Wharfedale Diamond 220), but I can't say that I really noticed any difference from the old D50s sound (which was to be expected, both units being very good and acoustically transparent DACs).
The display is larger and, therefore, more readable than the little screen of the D50s and I like the orange color more (it complements better the blue color of the Sabaj A20a display).
I have also briefly listened to the Sundaras through EX5 and I liked the sound from the HP out too. On Low Gain, with the volume set to 70 (out of 100), the sound is pretty loud. If I switch to Hi Gain with the volume set to 70, is already too loud (for my taste).
The volume is on a scale from 0 to 100, and not in dB (say from -99 dB to 0 dB, like more "professional" DACs), but that's not such a big deal after all.
The real problem from what I can tell so far is that the unit is running pretty HOT pretty quickly during operation (even after a couple of minutes after I turned it on, it was already hot), much more than the Sabaj A20a amplifier, for example. I suspect that the HP amplification portion of EX5 stays on even when the Line output is selected, because I don't think that the actual DAC portion can run so hot during operation. I hope this is a normal thing and that my unit is not defective, although I'm a little worried.
Can other Topping EX5 owners confirm the problem with overheating during operation, please?

[Edit]: By comparison, the D50s were running quite cool during operation.

I have had the EX5 for about a week and use it to run speakers thru the XLR output and headphones. It runs warm but not alarmingly so. I also have the A90 which is always cool. I'm curious as to why it runs warm compared to the A90. Enclosure size? Different Amp?
 
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New firmware for EX5 (2021-07-18): Download - TOPPING (tpdz.net)

@JohnYang1997 Any more details of the issues fixed and are there known issues so far in this release? Cheers

Has anyone managed to run the firmware updater from a Mac? I get a permissions error.

1626737325033.png
 
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I have had the EX5 for about a week and use it to run speakers thru the XLR output and headphones. It runs warm but not alarmingly so. I also have the A90 which is always cool. I'm curious as to why it runs warm compared to the A90. Enclosure size? Different Amp?
Mine's just a little warmer than ambient. I suppose someone could measure the power draw.
 

Ranton

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Has anyone managed to run the firmware updater from a Mac? I get a permissions error.
<groan> I take it you're running Big Sur. This is due to the fun new security features. You can search online for fixes...here is one approach, but I can't vouch for it personally:

I haven't applied the update yet, because I'm still waiting for a better explanation of what it does. The documentation on Topping's site is piss poor.
 
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<groan> I take it you're running Big Sur. This is due to the fun new security features. You can search online for fixes...here is one approach, but I can't vouch for it personally:

I haven't applied the update yet, because I'm still waiting for a better explanation of what it does. The documentation on Topping's site is piss poor.
Thank you. I used the video instructions to apply the upgrade via Big Sur.

After that, I re-enabled Gatekeeper with this command:

sudo spctl --master-enable
 

Fenix84

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Are you able to leave this unit on all the time or should you shut it off when not using it?
 
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Are you able to leave this unit on all the time or should you shut it off when not using it?
Per the manual, to the extent I understand it, there is an auto-on/auto-off vs. auto-off only setting. I've switched to auto-off only because my iMac Pro kept waking it up. But I don't think mine is turning itself off.
 

Urushi

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What does the new firmware do? Mine shipped on the 17th of July. I am guessing it wont have the new firmware. Is there a way to verify the version I have?
Also, does this model have any of the L30 issues?
 

SHENZHENAUDIO

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Lovely, mine is now stuck to 192 even though the actual content is actually 44.1 (I don't think I own any 192 files).

@JohnYang1997 , @SHENZHENAUDIO looks like another bug. Is there any chance you can have an option to display volume level instead of sample rate? It's close to useless even when it's correct, but really unhelpful to have the display stuck on an incorrect sample rate.
Hey, I think it belongs to the software issue, pls try other one or using ASIO mode, the correct sample rate will be recognized.
 

SHENZHENAUDIO

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Per the manual, to the extent I understand it, there is an auto-on/auto-off vs. auto-off only setting. I've switched to auto-off only because my iMac Pro kept waking it up. But I don't think mine is turning itself off.
Hello, Pls hold the button after turns off, and then, turn it on.
 

SHENZHENAUDIO

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What does the new firmware do? Mine shipped on the 17th of July. I am guessing it wont have the new firmware. Is there a way to verify the version I have?
Also, does this model have any of the L30 issues?
You can read the firmware info after installs via the below software.
H)}$0QEG8ZKS%N~9FZ)6H0C.png
 

xtiva200

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Just ordered mine last week and received in today through Amazon Australia, ordered Thu and got it today .. unit look and feels sturdy and don't feel flimsy at all.. very impressed. Will need to do some critical listening later today...

One question though, can you configure RCA/XRL to have fixed output level instead of pre-out mode?

Thanks.
ps. was hoping to have the latest on the device but firmware needed to be updated. From windows, nice simple, took less than a min to complete.
 

SHENZHENAUDIO

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Just ordered mine last week and received in today through Amazon Australia, ordered Thu and got it today .. unit look and feels sturdy and don't feel flimsy at all.. very impressed. Will need to do some critical listening later today...

One question though, can you configure RCA/XRL to have fixed output level instead of pre-out mode?

Thanks.
ps. was hoping to have the latest on the device but firmware needed to be updated. From windows, nice simple, took less than a min to complete.
Ex5 does not have the DAC mode, pls try to adjust the volume to max.
 

ReaderZ

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We suggest turn-off when not using it.

If that is a well informed answer then it's very disappointing, as my DX7 pro never had to be turned off, it will put itself to sleep as soon as my PC goes to sleep or turned off.
 
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