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The DX9 or A70/D70 Stack


Apr 28, 2020
Hello all,

As I am typing this my Schiit Modi/Magni stack has been collecting dust for the last 6 months (Magni is busted) and it is more than time for a DAC/AMP upgrade that would
pair great with something like an Audeze LCD-X, Hifiman Arya Organic, or Focal Clear MG!

I had been looking at the Topping A70/D70 Pro and almost pulled the trigger, then got cold feet due to some negative reviews. It is still in the running (thinking maybe Pro Sabre over Octo), but I also learned about the Topping DX9 and it looks like a cool little unit. Unfortunately there doesn't appear to be as many reviews of it, but the reviews that are out there seem to like how it sounds over the A70/D70 Pro.

So from what you have experienced/know/heard which sounds better? Would a DX9 be a better investment than the A70/D70 Pro with the above headphones for someone who mainly listens to rock/metal? This would be a long term investment so I also have to consider something that would pair well with even more expensive headphones.

Or should I save my money and just go with a Schiit Modius/Midgard? The brand new Geshelli Erish 3 Pro also looks good (although not as powerful as the others).

I'm pulling my hair trying to decide what is best with a budget of around $1500. I know sound can be subjective, but I think this is a good place to hash out these options with their different pros/cons.

Thank you from a somewhat newbie Audiophile!
I've put together an A70Pro/D70 Octo stack and it was amazing with noise floor and power, but there's so many distortion free options for a lot less. I get stuff in almost every day, so get to try a lot of what's on the market. Some all in ones that cost much less that I'd consider instead:
SMSL DROP HO150X DO100 DAC (also the D-6s or DO100 Pro will stack with it). It's a really fun amplifier (quiet noise floor and smooth volume wheel).
SMSL DO400 Terrific all in one, I bought five of them last month and would personally use one every day.
SMSL SP400/M400
Topping EX5 I'm using this right now to test it and it's really nice. I might put a matching A30Pro on top of it since I've currently got both in silver since it looks like the same case size.
The A70Pro D70Pro Octo will not disappoint, and you'll never need to upgrade again. It's just for the headphones you mention there's much cheaper ways to get there. You don't need to spend $1500 when for $400 you could get an SMSL DO400 with 3 watts into 32 ohm and it'll sound excellent for much less.
Topping EX5 is really nice and the DX5 is also really nice. The topping DX9 I think is just too expensive overall. Considering that basically all the Topping products will deliver the same sound quality; it is really about what features you want.
IWhich headphones do you plan to use with it?

I personally use a D70S with a THX AAA 789 & A Geshelli Archel 3 Pro because I like the Tone controls!
I appreciate all the feedback! The D0400 is tempting, and yes the DX9 is an expensive piece (although Apos has it on sale as of writing this). Right now its probably down to either the DX9 or the Schitt Modius/Midgard stack. The major pro for the Schitt stack is its way cheaper, but the DX9 is better spec wise, has more features, and it really does look nice!! Its a $500 decision for the price difference.
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