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Shenzhenaudio Topping EX5 Review (DAC and Headphone Amplifier)

Berwhale

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I want to clear some desk space. Anyone see any problem mounting this sideways under my desk?

I don't see any problem with this as long as the EX5 has got some airflow around it.
 

Fenix84

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So, after owning the unit for awhile now i thought id try and get the bluetooth working for my guests but when I try and enter the settings to enable bluetooth I get a screen that reads "dFU".

These are the steps:
Back power switch on
Unit powered off.
Hold volume knob down for a few seconds.
The screen reads "dFU".
Can't go anywhere from here.

Is my unit AFU?

If i power off the unit from the back I can go back to using the unit via USB so it still works but I just can't get to the settings screen.
 

Berwhale

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To enter setup... Power off the EX5 using rear switch. Push and hold the volume control in. Switch on the EX5 using the rear switch.

1657008079734.png
 

Jimster480

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Looks pretty nice, I'm in between this and the DX5 to replace my now 5 year old DX7 original.... Debating on what to buy since I use the THX AAA 789 amp and haven't really used the DX7 headphone out in years now...
 
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Jimster480

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Just picked up one of these on ebay for $225 shipped. Will see how it goes. It does have an amber screen though....

So I might still be in the market and just decide to use this on something else.
 

Blew

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Just picked up one of these on ebay for $225 shipped. Will see how it goes. It does have an amber screen though....

So I might still be in the market and just decide to use this on something else.
I'd be interested to know if you hear anything like what I heard in this unit. See my post and conversation in the thread here, along with a video review that also discusses it.

 

Berwhale

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The fact that I am checking out this product at all is because I am interested in MQA CD and that I can connect this to a CD player or Blu-ray player
https://www.stereophile.com/content/mqa-encoded-cds-yes

I would remove the MQA badge off the front of my EX5 if I thought I could do so without leaving a mark. MQA has no scientific basis and is purely a marketing ploy designed to lock people into a licensing scheme to generate revenue.
 

vmuntean

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First post here, I just registered. To use the EX5 with speakers, can I connect it directly to an amp, will the volume control work as a preamp, or it works just for headphones, and I need a separate preamp?
Thanks.
 

respice finem

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First post here, I just registered. To use the EX5 with speakers, can I connect it directly to an amp, will the volume control work as a preamp, or it works just for headphones, and I need a separate preamp?
Thanks.
It's a DAC / preamp with digital inputs only, so unless you have analog sources, such as a turntable, it will suffice as a preamp (by providing volume control).
On the output side, you could connect it to an amp, but it isn't really the typical use case (unless you mean a power amp and not an integrated). The simplest way would be to connect them to active speakers (which have their own power amps).
 

vmuntean

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It's a DAC / preamp with digital inputs only, so unless you have analog sources, such as a turntable, it will suffice as a preamp (by providing volume control).
On the output side, you could connect it to an amp, but it isn't really the typical use case (unless you mean a power amp and not an integrated). The simplest way would be to connect them to active speakers (which have their own power amps).
Yes, my question was, should I connect a power amp, or an integrated amp, to use it with passive speakers.
 
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vmuntean

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It's a DAC / preamp with digital inputs only, so unless you have analog sources, such as a turntable, it will suffice as a preamp (by providing volume control).
On the output side, you could connect it to an amp, but it isn't really the typical use case (unless you mean a power amp and not an integrated). The simplest way would be to connect them to active speakers (which have their own power amps).
Thank you.
 

Berwhale

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Yes, my question was, should I connect a power amp, or an integrated amp, to use it with passive speakers.
That's fine and the EX5 remembers headphone volume and pre-amp volume separately, reducing the risk of loud surprises when switching between them.
 

Berwhale

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Yes, and you can leave the headphones plugged in all the time, prolonging the "lifetime" of the socket.

At the risk of sounding like a fanboi - Yes, the EX5 really does tick a lot of boxes from both a performance and a useability perspective :)

I just wish it had a 4.4mm 'balanced' socket rather than XLR, but that's only because my HD660s came with a nice 4.4mm cable.
 

respice finem

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My only wish so far would be a remote matching the quality of the unit. The current one feels cheap, while it would not cost a million $ to make it better. Maybe in "ver. 2.0".
 

Berwhale

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My only wish so far would be a remote matching the quality of the unit. The current one feels cheap, while it would not cost a million $ to make it better. Maybe in "ver. 2.0".

Topping already sell one...


It's got a flat bottom, so sits on my desk nicely next to my keyboard :)

Picture from Head-fi showing the RC-21 next to the stock remote...

11222628.jpg
 

respice finem

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Metal and microswitches, or still plastic and "rubberdome"? OK even the RME remote is plastic, but the switches are nice.
 

Berwhale

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Metal and microswitches, or still plastic and "rubberdome"? OK even the RME remote is plastic, but the switches are nice.

Aluminium case with carbon contact switches (AKA 'ruberdome')...

7d2e7b649045829b099883dd3ceb9c29_2048x2048.jpg


The remote is screwed together and can be fully disassembled, so it will be easy to clean the PCB contacts should they get 'sweaty' after a while.
 

respice finem

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Nice. This way, should the buttons start to fail, it's possible to clean them without risking breaking the remote.
 
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