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Topping A30Pro Review (Balanced Headphone Amp)

JohnYang1997

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Using your same logic + knowing that the 650 impedance rises up to 600ohm at the low end, I think he meant what he meant: greater drive.
That's a common misconception. The rise in impedance doesn't have any negative in frequency response. In contrast the frequency draws less current from the amplifier making it the more current sensitive frequency.

In another way, the frequency response is measured with the same given voltage at different frequencies.
 

solderdude

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I have a bit of a question regarding some electronic matching: I have a [email protected] and I've saw your comment earlier in the thread that the A30Pro power specs were designed to match that Headphone.

Thing is, I've been researching a bit over the DT880 recent fame (I've owned mine for 10+years) and I stumbled upon an argument that states that in fact they wouldn't need much power, but more (in this case less) damping factor coming from amps with high Output Impedance.
That argument is false. The DT880-600 is not output resistance dependent. In fact that is one of the benefits of high impedance headphones. It can also be used on OTL tube amps with unusual high output resistances and integrated amps with unusual high output resistances on their headphone out sockets. Often these amps just feed the speaker out signal via a very high value resistor. The idea is that this all doesn't matter.
They also do not need a lot of power. The amplifier needs to reach a high voltage and have high gain.

they say that the same result could be accomplished with high current/power, but that that would be brute forcing a more nuanced problem. What's your take on that?
high current/power speaker amplifiers can provide a high voltage and have high gain. That's what you need.
The power the amplifier can deliver in speakers will not be there. The output voltage will be as the DT880-600 will be no load to that amplifier.
Also speaker amps have very, very low output resistances but when you use the headphone out some of those amps have then the output resistance of that amp will be high. But again... the output resistance thing is not an issue with these headphones.

I don't mean to affront you with this info, it is a legitimate question. This argument of higher OI for high Z headphones like the Senns 6x0 and 8x0s and the beyers does pop up a lot, but it is often made by the same persons that spend more money on cables and tube rolling than on headphones and amps themselves.
For Senns 6x0 and 8x0s an unusual high output R does have a measurable and just audible sonic effect. Not so for the Beyer 250 and 600 as their impedance peak at low frequencies is not as high.

I myself own a L30 and I wonder if I'd benefit from the upgrade, as both measure great and the difference then boils down to power output differences (or doesn't it?).
Only when you feel you cannot not play as loud as you want and are often faced with the volume control being maxed out and wanting to go louder.
 
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That argument is false. The DT880-600 is not output resistance dependent. In fact that is one of the benefits of high impedance headphones. It can also be used on OTL tube amps with unusual high output resistances and integrated amps with unusual high output resistances on their headphone out sockets. Often these amps just feed the speaker out signal via a very high value resistor. The idea is that this all doesn't matter.
They also do not need a lot of power. The amplifier needs to reach a high voltage and have high gain.
Would OTL designs then be perceived as sonically different through the [email protected] because of the topology? Or did you just mean that it'll sound "ok" because of the high impedance (and thus, tolerance for unusually high OIs, something an iem wouldn't have), like with the old 400-500ohm loudspeaker days back in the 50-60's?

Only when you feel you cannot not play as loud as you want and are often faced with the volume control being maxed out and wanting to go louder.
This is an answer I'll have to digest with time as I have always been indoctrinated with the more expensive better mentality inside the medium o_O. But that leaves me wondering, wouldn't continued release of TOTL measuring stuff like the L30 and the A30 Pro undermine the top end offerings like the A90 with time?

And thank you all for the responses, it's been really clarifying ;)
 
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wouldn't continued release of TOTL measuring stuff like the L30 and the A30 Pro undermine the top end offerings like the A90 with time?
Not really, no. The products each have their own defined use case beyond measuring well. The L30, for example, doesn't offer any balanced options, iirc. The A30 Pro has balanced XLR input (and dual 6.35mm balanced pass-through, is that right?), but not balanced headphone output (as per Amir's review) and does not offer any preamp functions. The A90 is balanced, offers balanced headphone output, preamp functionality and balanced output. (Folks, please correct me where I'm wrong, I'm working off memory.)

Plus, each of these devices offers a different footprint for size.

I have finally received the A30 Pro from Drop, and I have to say, it's everything I'd hoped it was going to be. I've used it with headphones only so far, but I get more than enough power to drive the HiFiMan He6SE V2 to my desired volume on medium gain, and I love the convenience of the headphone connectors. It's the right size, right color (balck), stacks perfectly in my space with the D30 Pro, and doesn't have the annoying wall wart plug, which enables me to actually plug it into my one remaining outlet. Very impressed with the engineering and design of this amp and my only thought for improvement would be for it to weigh more (which should be telling).
 

Sharur

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With E30, the A30Pro doesn't get that loud for DT880 600 Ω. I am easily maxing out the pot on quieter recordings using high gain.
 
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With E30, the A30Pro doesn't get that loud for DT880 600 Ω. I am easily maxing out the pot on quieter recordings using high gain.
That doesn’t sound like it’s expected behavior, unless those quiet recordings are really quiet, or your normal listening volume is deafeningly high. By comparison, I can get a nice listening volume out of the A30 Pro on the HiFiMan HE6SE V2 with medium gain with RCA input, but that’s 64 ohm, not 600. I don’t know enough of the relationships to calculate out how much power you should be able to output into 600 ohms on the A30 Pro, though. Be interested to learn if someone can point me in the right direction.
 

Sharur

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That doesn’t sound like it’s expected behavior, unless those quiet recordings are really quiet, or your normal listening volume is deafeningly high. By comparison, I can get a nice listening volume out of the A30 Pro on the HiFiMan HE6SE V2 with medium gain with RCA input, but that’s 64 ohm, not 600. I don’t know enough of the relationships to calculate out how much power you should be able to output into 600 ohms on the A30 Pro, though. Be interested to learn if someone can point me in the right direction.
This is my benchmark for a quiet recording. I want to be able to get this uncomfortably loud. I have no doubt that I will be able to once my D10 balanced arrives.
 

Cidious

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My A50s was supposedly as powerful as anyone would need on its balanced output port but It would struggle to drive my Beyer 600 Ohms to a level where I had to turn it down because of too loud. This is on high gain and It would max out the potmeter while still being nowhere near hurtful volumes and it would clip. And that was with the D50s maxed out. It was surely enough for daily listening sessions. But not plentiful in this scenario. On the other hand it would drive my HD660s with ease obviously.

So I think people should be more careful stating certain amps are all you ever need powerwise. (modern can's are getting more efficient though) There are always certain combinations and other cans that may require a bit more.

That said I also ordered the A30 Pro and assume it will be enough even for my 600 ohm beyers and modded T50rp (Mad Dogs) that are both power hungry with headroom indeed.

Not because I felt the A50s wasn't doing it's job well enough. But got the D30 Pro and the OCD triggers me of having a mismatch :p
 

Sharur

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My A50s was supposedly as powerful as anyone would need on its balanced output port but It would struggle to drive my Beyer 600 Ohms to a level where I had to turn it down because of too loud. This is on high gain and It would max out the potmeter while still being nowhere near hurtful volumes and it would clip. And that was with the D50s maxed out. It was surely enough for daily listening sessions. But not plentiful in this scenario. On the other hand it would drive my HD660s with ease obviously.

So I think people should be more careful stating certain amps are all you ever need powerwise. (modern can's are getting more efficient though) There are always certain combinations and other cans that may require a bit more.

That said I also ordered the A30 Pro and assume it will be enough even for my 600 ohm beyers and modded T50rp (Mad Dogs) that are both power hungry with headroom indeed.

Not because I felt the A50s wasn't doing it's job well enough. But got the D30 Pro and the OCD triggers me of having a mismatch :p
reminds me of a post solderdude made where he was referring to the A30Pro. I'm certainly not reaching 'impressive' levels with the E30.
Screen Shot 2021-07-27 at 1.04.27 AM.png
 

Lupin

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That said I also ordered the A30 Pro and assume it will be enough even for my 600 ohm beyers and modded T50rp (Mad Dogs) that are both power hungry with headroom indeed.

Not because I felt the A50s wasn't doing it's job well enough. But got the D30 Pro and the OCD triggers me of having a mismatch :p
I have the D30Pro (in DAC mode) feeding the A30Pro using balanced XLR.
Levels are already getting very loud (for me) at 1 o'clock and way too loud at 3 o'clock on the volume dial on medium gain with my modded T50rp MK3 headphones. I would say there plenty of headroom left for the A30Pro with these headphones as I don't even have touched high gain yet.

Don't have the Beyers so no idea how load they will go. According to solderdude's explanation it should go loud enough. Although it differs from person to person what loud is of course.

Good call on getting the A30Pro. Ones needs a matching stack to satisfy their OCD :)

That's also the reason why I got my D30Pro/A30Pro stack.
My SMSL M200 died and sending it back to China for warranty... and hope it doesn't get lost in transition and actually gets fixed costs so much that's it's not worth it for me.
So I needed a new DAC and I got the D30Pro. My OCD can't handle a mismatched stack so the SMSL SP200 had to go to and be replaced by the A30Pro.
 

Cidious

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I know this is the D30 Pro but I had these feet around. I will use these for the A30 Pro also. to give it some more breathing from the bottom.
 

Lupin

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View attachment 143783 View attachment 143784 View attachment 143785

I know this is the D30 Pro but I had these feet around. I will use these for the A30 Pro also. to give it some more breathing from the bottom.
Well if you're going to have the A30pro with those feet then the D30pro need the same feet else the OCD will get triggered again.
Looks pretty nice imho. I'm sure using those feet under the D30pro makes the sound from the D30pro more detailed and textured. :p

I have transparant feet under my A30pro to get it to slide less on top of the D30pro and the extra breathing room is an extra bonus, the D30pro gets noticeably less hot now from the A30pro's heat output. Altough for the life of me cant remember ordering transparant feet, I was sure I ordered black feet.. ooh well not going to see them from regular sitting distance and angle.
 

Sharur

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Well if you're going to have the A30pro with those feet then the D30pro need the same feet else the OCD will get triggered again.
Looks pretty nice imho. I'm sure using those feet under the D30pro makes the sound from the D30pro more detailed and textured. :p

I have transparant feet under my A30pro to get it to slide less on top of the D30pro and the extra breathing room is an extra bonus, the D30pro gets noticeably less hot now from the A30pro's heat output. Altough for the life of me cant remember ordering transparant feet, I was sure I ordered black feet.. ooh well not going to see them from regular sitting distance and angle.
if the heat was an issue why would topping market the stack with the dac on top?
 

Cidious

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if the heat was an issue why would topping market the stack with the dac on top?
I personally don't think heat is much of an issue but I think it will look more centered under the monitor and a bit easier to turn the volume knob.. That's all. I'll take a photo in 2 days when the A30 Pro also arrives.
 
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I personally don't think heat is much of an issue but I think it will look more centered under the monitor and a bit easier to turn the volume knob.. That's all. I'll take a photo in 2 days when the A30 Pro also arrives.
Just out of curiosity, could you also check for the "sound out of the amp itself" when no headphone is connected and the amp is in high gain?
 
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