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Topping A30Pro Review (Balanced Headphone Amp)

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A question: Using rca outs on the D/A30Pro stack, feeding balanced XLR from the dac to the headamp, which unbalanced RCA output would give the best quality, the headamp or the dac? In other words, which one would give the best balanced to unbalanced conversion?
Per the A30Pro's manual, RCA output will not act as a passthrough when feeding XLR input. I just tested this myself to confirm.

1620842004913.png


Dear 30Pro stack owners, where did you put your A30Pro, top or bottom? Topping's marketing material places it on the bottom, but all the perforations make me thing its place is on the top of the stack.

Got mine today, but unfortunately I won't get my XLR cables until Saturday, so the impressions will have to wait.
I put my A30Pro on top. It does get somewhat warm when outputting a lot of power, but it would probably be fine on bottom too. I mainly put it on top for better cable routing in my setup.
 
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Dear 30Pro stack owners, where did you put your A30Pro, top or bottom? Topping's marketing material places it on the bottom, but all the perforations make me thing its place is on the top of the stack.

Got mine today, but unfortunately I won't get my XLR cables until Saturday, so the impressions will have to wait.
I keep mine on top when stacking though that's with a different dac but same principal to ventilation applies. It runs pretty cool when driving 150 ohm headphones gets slightly warmer when driving my 32 ohm iems and can get a bit toasty when driving a 600ohm headphone load.
 
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OK, it's definitely a DC offset issue. Measuring the balanced output of my interface while playing back that problematic bloc party track, I get a whopping 3.5v of DC:




That's *really* bad - I did a quick scan of some of my library and the worst I could find otherwise was around 0.1vdc on some amateur soundcloud stuff. My best guess is the Topping is either going into DC detection/protection directly, or the DC offset in the signal is causing the amplifier to overload, and the Topping then goes into overload protection. I suppose that's nicer than the Topping just allowing it to happen unnoticed until the front end fries itself. Some clarification from Topping on this would be great.

So, warning: if you're lucky enough to have an interface with a DC-coupled output, (most high end converters, a lot of professional/recording interfaces), take note of what you're playing. If you find the Topping switching itself off and not coming back on until you stop playback - it's probably DC in your source material. Anyone brave enough to play back the Bloc Party track I linked on the last page should be able to recreate this without issue, it does seem to at least be harmless as it goes into protection (at least for now). And to the mastering engineer of this Bloc Party album, which peaked at #3 in UK Albums Charts at one point: give me some of that crack rock you were smoking
Thanks for mentioning your findings, it's really helpful to all other a30 pro users!
 
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Per the A30Pro's manual, RCA output will not act as a passthrough when feeding XLR input. I just tested this myself to confirm.
View attachment 129401

Thanks for pointing out.
This headampamp can be great, but it leads me to something: If I spend 760$ on this dedicated stack, it 's too bad that I can't benefit from balanced outs to powered speakers, as I'm forced to use rcas and I can't benefit from a balanced preamp, since XLR outs are used for the headamp. It might be wiser to invest just 40$ more in a balanced headamp/preamp like Schiit Jotunheim (400$) with the D30Pro, or even 160$ less with Schiit's own Magnius balanced dac (200$).
 
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Fernando

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View attachment 129401

Thanks for pointing out.
This headampamp can be great, but it leads me to something: If I spend 760$ on this dedicated stack, it 's too bad that I can't benefit from balanced outs to powered speakers, as I'm forced to use rcas and I can't benefit from a balanced preamp, since XLR outs are used for the headamp. It might be wiser to invest just 40$ more in a balanced headamp/preamp like Schiit Jotunheim (400$) with the D30Pro, or even 160$ less with Schiit's own Magnius balanced dac (200$).
Also happens in D30pro?
 
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Also happens in D30pro?
I don't know what you mean.

Now that I'm writing, I wonder what is the unbalanced input performance from the A30Pro.

It would be best that they leaved BALANCED passthroughs instead of RCAs, because we already have the dac's RCA built-in in case of need, and we want to use this headamp in balanced configuration since it is a balanced headamp, so we get no use with rca passthroughs.
 
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Fernando

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I don't know what you mean.

Now that I'm writing, I wonder what is the unbalanced input performance from the A30Pro.

It would be best that they leaved BALANCED passthroughs instead of RCAs, because we already have the dac's RCA built-in in case of need, and we want to use this headamp in balanced configuration since it is a balanced headamp, so we get no use with rca passthroughs.
Can't you just use the balanced trs outputs?
 
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I bought this amp and it's coming soon. Will it have enough power to drive he6se? Apparently magnius is same power in balanced but I read somewhere that they were maxing out the volume high gain balaced on magnius with the hifiman.


Also why does Amir's measurements show a bit more power from the XLR vs 1/4 inch. ?I thought they were the same
 
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FireLion

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The video reviews are a great accompaniment to the written. This one is very informative indeed.

Is the output actually balanced or not? I ask as a few have mentioned it might not be.
 
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OK so AMP arrived, looks cool sounds great with headphones BUT as I understand balanced outs for power monitors is just a passthrough?

will this give some sort of "power" to Yamaha HS7 with TRS to XLR cables?
 

JohnYang1997

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The video reviews are a great accompaniment to the written. This one is very informative indeed.

Is the output actually balanced or not? I ask as a few have mentioned it might not be.
Circuit topologically, and actually, single ended. From line, and balanced signaling, it's effectively balanced.
 
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quick one guys, I got a DX7 pro,high impedance.
if I get this one A30 pro, connected to XRL balance, but the output for balance is TRS, and want to connect to AVR (denon) only RCA would be ok?

Topping Dx7 ==> XLR==> A30pro==>TRS to RCA==> Denon avr===>pasive speaker (Klipsch)

Voltage fromTRS- RCA to Denon should be ok, or could cause problems? I don't want to damage my AVR
 
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Hello. If i plan to use xlr output for my headphones than i need to plug dac through xlr connections or can i feed through rca and still can use headphones through xlr output?
 

Veri

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Topping Dx7 ==> XLR==> A30pro==>TRS to RCA==> Denon avr===>pasive speaker (Klipsch)
Voltage fromTRS- RCA to Denon should be ok, or could cause problems? I don't want to damage my AVR
A30 Pro has no PRE but only pass through, so RCA in TRS out or XLR in RCA out can't work. TRS to RCA cable might work but it might introduce noise or distortion, TRS is balanced RCA is unbalanced. So there's no telling if this will work properly. Voltage-wise it'll drop half since RCA is not balanced so no issue there. But overall I'm not sure your set-up would be the best idea. You can try though..

Hello. If i plan to use xlr output for my headphones than i need to plug dac through xlr connections or can i feed through rca and still can use headphones through xlr output?
You can use either RCA input or XLR input, and all headphone outputs will work in either case. No problems there.
 
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How much power do you lose with RCA in vs XLR? I'm planning using my d50s as the dac into the a30 to power he6se
 
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Veri

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How much power do you lose with RCA in vs XLR? I'm planning using my d50s as the dac into the a30 to power he6se
2V single ended vs 4V balanced input will make quite the difference, for HE6 a balanced DAC wouldn't be a bad idea..
 

Veri

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Do you have any recommendations? Not wanting to pay 400$ just for a dac.
Have you already ordered the A30 Pro? If yes, just try D50s and high gain on A30. Might suffice. If you need more, check out SMSL SU-8. Or Grace SDAC balanced on drop. Geshelli J2 should also be good... I see it's not orderable right now though.
 
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A30 Pro has no PRE but only pass through, so RCA in TRS out or XLR in RCA out can't work. TRS to RCA cable might work but it might introduce noise or distortion, TRS is balanced RCA is unbalanced. So there's no telling if this will work properly. Voltage-wise it'll drop half since RCA is not balanced so no issue there. But overall I'm not sure your set-up would be the best idea. You can try though..
You can use either RCA input or XLR input, and all headphone outputs will work in either case. No problems there.
Yes, the idea was that..TRS Cables to RCA, but yeah that's the problem, TRS is balance and RCA is not, so not sure if that could cause troubles.
I guess it will be safeter:

Topping dx7 XRL =>A30 pro ( headphones)
Topping dx7 RCA => Denon=> Klipch
??
 
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