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Topping A30Pro Review (Balanced Headphone Amp)

itsikhefez

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Need some help here.

I was listening with the A30 Pro out of my D90. A few minutes in the music all of a sudden got cut out and the protection relay began clicking none stop. I turned off the A30 Pro and waited about 20 minutes or so with nothing plugged in to see if it'll return to normal, that didn't do the trick as it still does the relay clicks none stop the moment I try to turn it on .

I have tried plugging in a pair of headphones and unplugging, same with a DAC, and also different power outlets, but nothing seem to be able to get it out of the circuit protection.

Is the unit dead or is there something else to check and see if it'll get out of that funk?

Something similar just happened to me too.
The unit was on and when I came to my desk I heard a constant clicking noise.
Had it for less than a month, only on low gain with easy to drive HP's (LCD-X)... I will work on a replacement or return but this is pretty disappointing.
 

dizzyraider

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Something similar just happened to me too.
The unit was on and when I came to my desk I heard a constant clicking noise.
Had it for less than a month, only on low gain with easy to drive HP's (LCD-X)... I will work on a replacement or return but this is pretty disappointing.
My local retailer ended up sending the unit back for repair and all seems good so far, but yeah definitely know what you mean. Especially it sounds like such a great unit before it failed for no apparent reason.
 

DualTriode

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Hello All,

About the termination / load resistors for the headphone dashboard test; I see that the APx555 has 300R, 600R and the default 200k internal input resistors. At 4 volt balanced input across 300R that is 0.0533 Watts or 53.3mw. I can picture a string of low ppm 1206 size surface mount resistors adding up to 300R.

In my DIY bin I found a package of 1/8 Watt Vishay PTF series 30R, 5PPM resistors and soldered together 10 in series for a total of 300R at 4 volts. Plus Mogami XLR cables.

Using a Topping A30Pro

THD+N 0.000092

SINAD 121

Thanks DT
 

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David_M

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@JohnYang1997, @amirm, and others ... I bought a Topping EX5 DAC/Amp last November to use for my PC streaming setup using Kali Lp-8v2 powered speakers, with occasional headphone use. All works well, except that the EX5 headphone amp is weak driving my Hifiman 400se single-ended headphones (25 ohms, 91dB sensitivity). I have to turn the volume up to close to 100 to get satisfactory audio output levels. Maybe my hearing is not as good as it once was. So, I just decided to buy an A30Pro headphone amplifier to hopefully drive my cans better than the EX5. A30Pro arrives next week from Shenzenaudio...My questions are:

1. Do I place the A30 Pro on top of the EX5 for best ventilation?

2. Since both EX5 and A30 have volume controls, do I set the EX5 volume level to 100 (to get its maximum ESS9038 DAC output voltage), and then use the A30 as my master volume control? I plan to use the A30Pro balanced outputs to drive my Kali LP-6v2 powered speakers via TRS-XLR adapters.

3. What output gain level should I set for the EX5? Low or high?

4. Does the output 4-pin XLR of the A30Pro have the same power as its single-ended output?

5. Anything I should know (reliability or otherwise) regarding the A30 or this EX5/A30 pairing would be welcome ... Thanks!

Unfortunately, I simply don't have the time to read through all 63 pages of this thread. The thread searches I did had nothing on the EX5/A30 pairing.
 
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usern

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2. Since both EX5 and A30 have volume controls, do I set the EX5 volume level to 100 (to get its maximum ESS9038 DAC output voltage), and then use the A30 as my master volume control? I plan to use the A30Pro balanced outputs to drive my Kali LP-6v2 powered speakers via TRS-XLR adapters.
A30Pro will not adjust volume for the speakers. If EX5 is at 100% and A30Pro is at 20%, then your speakers will get 100% volume. In order to avoid blasting full 100% when you switch from headphones to speakers, I think you should adjust volume with EX5.
 

David_M

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A30Pro will not adjust volume for the speakers. If EX5 is at 100% and A30Pro is at 20%, then your speakers will get 100% volume. In order to avoid blasting full 100% when you switch from headphones to speakers, I think you should adjust volume with EX5.
So the volume control knob of the A30Pro is for the front headphones outputs only and not the rear RCA/XLR line outputs?
 

JazAV

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I just bought a Topping A30 Pro to replace a very reliable SMSL SH-8s connected to a Sennheiser GSX 1000 for gaming - not because the SMSL didn't have enough power or wasn't good enough but just so I could have a 'little' more headroom on the single ended side of things for planar headphones. Once I swapped out the units I couldn't understand what was going on. The A30 Pro was not as powerful as stated on the spec sheet as I can max out the volume on high gain (because I EQ muchly). The A30- Pro keeps cutting out when using the Hifiman Sundara with that 'relay' click, then comes back. The SMSL has no such issues and I never, ever had to max it out, PLUS it runs super cool unlike the A30 Pro and my A90. I do realize that the GSX 1000 can only output @1 Vrms but hey, it's the same DAC on both amps. Methinks Topping are inflating their numbers greatly. This amp can't cope with what a supposedly less powerful amp can cope with. Maybe the SMSL's PLFC tech is just miles ahead of Toppings NFCA tech. It wasn't a bad experience - I just felt scammed by that 5.5 JIGAWATTS into 32 OHMS hype! I might go for the Schiit Lyr 3 for that headroom I was looking for...

Can anyone explain what is going on with this amp because at the moment I believe it to be trash... :(
 
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ninetylol

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I just bought a Topping A30 Pro to replace a very reliable SMSL SH-8s connected to a Sennheiser GSX 1000 for gaming - not because the SMSL didn't have enough power or wasn't good enough but just so I could have a 'little' more headroom on the single ended side of things for planar headphones. Once I swapped out the units I couldn't understand what was going on. The A30 Pro was not as powerful as stated on the spec sheet as I can max out the volume on high gain (because I EQ muchly). The A30- Pro keeps cutting out when using the Hifiman Sundara with that 'relay' click, then comes back. The SMSL has no such issues and I never, ever had to max it out, PLUS it runs super cool unlike the A30 Pro and my A90. I do realize that the GSX 1000 only output 1 Vrms but, hey it's the same DAC on both amps. Methinks Topping are inflating their numbers greatly. This amp can't cope with what a supposedly less powerful amp can cope with. Maybe the SMSL's PLFC tech is just miles ahead of Toppings NFCA tech. It wasn't a bad experience - I just felt scammed by that 5.5 JIGAWATTS into 32 OHMS! I might go for the Schiit Lyr 3 for that headroom I was looking for...

Can anyone explain what is going on with this amp because at the moment I believe it to be trash... :(
faulty amp or your ears exploded
 

JazAV

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faulty amp or your ears exploded
I connected it to my Bifrost 2 and no problems there. I don't believe it's faulty at all. I'm guessing it's just the way the A30 Pro handles certain DAC's. I'm hoping someone can explain the technicalities of what might be going on better than what I think is going on. Might take a while but I can wait.
 
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Leiker535

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I connected it to my Bifrost 2 and no problems there. I don't believe it's faulty at all. I'm guessing it's just the way the A30 Pro handles certain DAC's. I'm hoping someone can explain the technicalities of what might be going on better than what I think is going on. Might take a while but I can wait.
Are you running RCA or bal from the Bifrost 2?
 

usern

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Single ended only on the GSX 1000 but balanced on the Bifrost.
If you input RCA to A30pro you will not get full power from headphone out. You need to use XLR inputs for full power. So in that aspect it’s working as intended. Your DAC only outputting 1 Vrms is even further limiting factor.
 
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Leiker535

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Single ended only on the GSX 1000 but balanced on the Bifrost.
Strange. Bifrost is specced to give 4V on bal out, and I know personally the A30 Pro to get to deafeningly high volume, specially on a sensitive gamer headphone.

Can you try the bifrost's bal out on another amp, and see if it still lacks volume? Also, I see the DAC has a remote and variable volume, is it possible that the bal out has lowered set volume vs. the SE?

In the end you can also try measuring the actual voltage coming out of it with a multimeter, but I honestly don't know the way around it for a XLR connection.
 

JazAV

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My topping A90 is connected to the Bifrost, balanced. Bifrost has absolutely no volume control, even on the remote. Remember, the 1 Vrms dac is louder on my SMSL SH-8s, which is rated at 3w into 32 ohms whereas the A30 Pro is rated at 5.5w into 32ohms. It could just be the simple fact that Topping's numbers don't add up because the advertised 5.5w into 32 ohms was achieved using a 5 Vrms DAC for marketing purposes. From what I hear, it was not the matching D30 DAC. I have heard a little about Topping's inflated numbers before about 6 months ago. Maybe they are true. I was hoping not because I did just spend my hard earned cash on their shit. Either way, I know it's working correctly and not damaged.
 
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JazAV

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My topping A90 is connected to the Bifrost, balanced. Bifrost has absolutely no volume control, even on the remote. Remember, the 1 Vrms dac is louder on my SMSL SH-8s, which is rated at 3w into 32 ohms whereas the A30 Pro is rated at 5.5w into 32ohms. It could just be the simple fact that Toppings numbers don't add up because the advertised 5.5w into 32 ohms was achieved using a 5 Vrms DAC for marketing purposes. From what I hear, it was not even the matching D30 DAC. I have heard a little about Toppings inflated numbers before about 6 months ago. Maybe they are true. I was hoping not because I did just spend my hard earned cash on their shit.
It may also be the way Topping's NFCA tech handles the 1 Vrms compared to the SMSL PLFA tech. I don't know. But I am disappointed. I may just sell it here in the UK if anybody wants to buy it. £280 including postage. Can't say fairer than that. I have had it less than 24hrs.
 

usern

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A30 Pro is rated at 5.5w into 32ohms. It could just be the simple fact that Topping's numbers don't add up because the advertised 5.5w into 32 ohms was achieved using a 5 Vrms DAC for marketing purposes.
5.5W into 32 ohms have been measured and demonstrated to be true:
index.php
Note that this is with 4V XLR input. If you want power from RCA input then you need to get something like Magni Heresy or use the SH8s that you already have.
It may also be the way Topping's NFCA tech handles the 1 Vrms compared to the SMSL PLFA tech. I don't know. But I am disappointed. I may just sell it here in the UK if anybody wants to buy it. £280 including postage. Can't say fairer than that. I have had it less than 24hrs.
The A30- Pro keeps cutting out when using the Hifiman Sundara with that 'relay' click, then comes back.
Could be your 1 Vrms DAC has DC component or something that is triggering protection circuits or could be faulty A30pro. Why not send it back to seller if you don't like it? You are going to sell potentially faulty unit to unsuspecting buyer?
 
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Veri

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5.5W into 32 ohms have been measured and demonstrated to be true:
index.php
Note that this is with 4V XLR input. If you want power from RCA input then you need to get something like Magni Heresy or use the SH8s that you already have.


Could be your 1 Vrms DAC has DC component or something that is triggering protection circuits or could be faulty A30pro. Why not send it back to seller if you don't like it? You are going to sell potentially faulty unit to unsuspecting buyer?
Guessing he ordered from a China retailer direct which has very expensive return shipping.
 

usern

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Guessing he ordered from a China retailer direct which has very expensive return shipping.
I ordered my first A30pro from China and when it stopped working I thought the return shipping would cost a lot from EU, but turned out not to be much higher price than shipping inside EU. It's worth looking into.
 

JazAV

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Yes, I ordered from Hifigo like I usually do.
5.5W into 32 ohms have been measured and demonstrated to be true:
index.php
Note that this is with 4V XLR input. If you want power from RCA input then you need to get something like Magni Heresy or use the SH8s that you already have.


Could be your 1 Vrms DAC has DC component or something that is triggering protection circuits or could be faulty A30pro. Why not send it back to seller if you don't like it? You are going to sell potentially faulty unit to unsuspecting buyer?
So then its to do with the way the A30 Pro handles RCA inputs. As long as I understand the issue and its not broken I somewhat feel better. I guess the A30 Pro just doesnt fit my needs. Do you know of any other amps that have high power single ended inputs and outputs for what I require? You probably know more than I do....
 
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