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Topping A70 Pro HP & Preamp Review

Rate this preamplifier and headphone amp:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 13 4.0%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 7 2.1%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 37 11.3%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 269 82.5%

  • Total voters
    326

thewas

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It's less than one half of a dB.
I don't think you realize how insignificant that is.
In this case of course it is really insignificant as the absolute value is still low, still I wouldn't want my refrigerator or car to consume almost 10% more, so everything is relative.
 

Ahmonge

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It’s not 9%. It is 7.14% less power at 32 Ohms than specified by Topping
 
Last edited:

IAtaman

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That's not the point. The point is that they are lying in their specs.
I bet you don't own any headphones that would need more than 3W.
I bet >90% of the people do not own headphones that require more than 3W, let alone the last 0.9W to 12.7W.
9W gets famously hard to drive HE-6 to 115dB SPL.

And that 0.9W you feel you are cheated out of, that might still be a measurement error or difference somewhere.

If you are looking for reasons to bash Topping, you'd get better RoI from focusing on their QC. This is a dead end.
 

oleg87

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That's not the point. The point is that they are lying in their specs.
Topping has their own Audio Precision measurements for you to peruse - you can see what they measured.
Maybe they used a cherry-picked unit (though as the other folks point point, it is a truly meaningless difference) but unit variation and component tolerance is a thing.
 

Moscardo

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If you are looking for reasons to bash Topping, you'd get better RoI from focusing on their QC. This is a dead end.

There are no free lunches out there, and audio is no exception. All sectors where QC is important, automotive, medical, aeronautical, military have very high costs. Exhaustive testing of every single product is expensive. Assuring reliability using high quality materials, processes, and design is expensive.

You simply cannot have, at the same time, performance, reliability and low cost. You have to choose and Topping prioritizes performance and low cost, so reliability suffers. Any other manufacturer has its particular and different position.

Benchmark, an highly appreciated company, prioritizes performances and reliability. At a much higher cost. Schiit could be seen in the middle between these two extremes, with a balance of the three aspects.

These are market strategies and philosophies and any customer expecting from Topping the same level of reliability of Benchmark is really naive, if not stupid.
 

IAtaman

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There are no free lunches out there, and audio is no exception. All sectors where QC is important, automotive, medical, aeronautical, military have very high costs. Exhaustive testing of every single product is expensive. Assuring reliability using high quality materials, processes, and design is expensive.

You simply cannot have, at the same time, performance, reliability and low cost. You have to choose and Topping prioritizes performance and low cost, so reliability suffers. Any other manufacturer has its particular and different position.

Benchmark, an highly appreciated company, prioritizes performances and reliability. At a much higher cost. Schiit could be seen in the middle between these two extremes, with a balance of the three aspects.

These are market strategies and philosophies and any customer expecting from Topping the same level of reliability of Benchmark is really naive, if not stupid.
Color me stupid but from your short essay the logical conclusion I reach is that Topping is cheap and consequently unreliable. If you are wondering why you are not their PR specialist, well, here is one reason.
 

oleg87

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There are no free lunches out there, and audio is no exception. All sectors where QC is important, automotive, medical, aeronautical, military have very high costs. Exhaustive testing of every single product is expensive. Assuring reliability using high quality materials, processes, and design is expensive.

You simply cannot have, at the same time, performance, reliability and low cost. You have to choose and Topping prioritizes performance and low cost, so reliability suffers. Any other manufacturer has its particular and different position.

Benchmark, an highly appreciated company, prioritizes performances and reliability. At a much higher cost. Schiit could be seen in the middle between these two extremes, with a balance of the three aspects.

These are market strategies and philosophies and any customer expecting from Topping the same level of reliability of Benchmark is really naive, if not stupid.
This isn't some no-name $50 "how can they possibly make a profit on this" amp from AliExpress, Topping sells high-end products at high-end prices. No one's going to die if a faulty unit goes out to retailers but there's still a reasonable expectation of solid QC processes. Unlike your average medical device or piece of avionics, a headphone amp is really not that complex of a system to QC and I think they should be doing better.
 

Moscardo

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Color me stupid but from your short essay the logical conclusion I reach is that Topping is cheap and consequently unreliable. If you are wondering why you are not their PR specialist, here is one reason.
Your conclusion is correct and who buys a product which offers the same performances (or more) of other ones costing 5 times more should be aware that there are drawbacks, otherwise Benchmark would be out of business by now.

On the other hand, Topping is still there so the percentage of unsatisfied customers must be acceptable.

I am not here to defend Topping, and would strongly prefer to be the Benchmark PR specialist instead of the Topping one. However, I think that Topping has the right to exist and it is my choice to buy from them, knowing that it is (relatively) a gamble but if I am lucky and find a good sample, I can have high quality at low price.
 

Moscardo

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This isn't some no-name $50 "how can they possibly make a profit on this" amp from AliExpress, Topping sells high-end products at high-end prices. No one's going to die if a faulty unit goes out to retailers but there's still a reasonable expectation of solid QC processes. Unlike your average medical device or piece of avionics, a headphone amp is really not that complex of a system to QC and I think they should be doing better.

In fact, many companies are able to offer better reliability in the same price range, but not the same state of the art performances. Or, maybe, they choose to do not.

I imagine that giants like Sony, or Yamaha, or Teac , could offer an headphone amp good as the Topping ones and more reliable, leveraging on their know-how and industrial base. But then they could not justify their own more expensive products.

So Topping, even if could do better (I do not think so), does not need to do so, because its direct competitors (Gustard, SMSL) are not able to offer anything better.
 

tarikuz

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Bah Deming said:"Without data, you’re just another person with an opinion". Where are the data? I have e30 since 3 years, always on because on TV, i had l30 heavily used and sold to a friend which is very happy. I have a dx7 pro daily use a couple of hours per day and perfectly working. I had an a90 lightly used. Since a couple of weeks I have an a70pro and a d70pro daily use on the work pc and are flawless. I'm really happy and never faced any problem.
 

Antagron

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Mmm I normally say wait 6 months after a new Topping product to buy.

It seems since this product has faults till recently fixed, I will wait another 4 months till I buy it.

Just to make sure the stock I buy is from the latest fixed stock.

I will buy in Feb 2024 :D
there could (I hope) have a A90pro by then!
 

agrabah

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Hello!

This is my first post. I'm a longtime lurker of this forum. I'm partly a "subjective creed" audiophile, but starting to dip my toes a little into reality and objectivism here. I enjoyed my journey so much I decided to buy the Topping A70 Pro/D70 Pro combo on account of the review here, and am so far very happy with my purchase.

Until a few weeks ago, when I noticed that my A70 behaves a little weirdly. When no music plays and I turn the volume knob up or down, I hear a faint noise (sounds like static). On some settings it's a little louder, on others quieter. On some settings it's not present. The noise disappears at 0.0dB and at the minimum setting. It's also loudest on for example -31 dB, but goes away when I turn the knob to 30. Sometimes I also hear a faint click (which is not the click of the knob rotation).

When the music starts playing, I don't hear anything. It could be that the music masks it, or that it simply isn't present. I tried my Meze Empyreans and my AKG, and I hear this with both headphones. I also though that it could be the cable (bad contact), but I think I've ruled that out.

Did any of you have similar experiences? Do you know what could be the problem?

Thank you very much for your help!

Best,

Tine
 

Ahmonge

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agrabah

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Wouldn't it be the relays clicking while turning the volume knob?

Thank you for the answer.

No, I can hear the sound of mechanical clicking when I turn the knob if I listen without headphones, but that click does not get "electrically" relayed (sorry, I'm not really technically proficient) so that I would hear it as a part of the audio signal. The clicks I hear as part of the audio signal perhaps could be clicks from the relay, but it happens only occasionally and with no discernible pattern.

It's driving me insane - I can hear distinct noise on the -31.5 dB setting, and there is a click when I turn it to -32.0 dB, but then there is no noise. And then again no clicks through to at least -50.0 dB.
 

tarikuz

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Thank you for the answer.

No, I can hear the sound of mechanical clicking when I turn the knob if I listen without headphones, but that click does not get "electrically" relayed (sorry, I'm not really technically proficient) so that I would hear it as a part of the audio signal. The clicks I hear as part of the audio signal perhaps could be clicks from the relay, but it happens only occasionally and with no discernible pattern.

It's driving me insane - I can hear distinct noise on the -31.5 dB setting, and there is a click when I turn it to -32.0 dB, but then there is no noise. And then again no clicks through to at least -50.0 dB.
Have you tried to update the firmware ? The latest one is the v2.01 --> https://www.tpdz.net/newsinfo/875033.html
 

agrabah

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Have you tried to update the firmware ? The latest one is the v2.01 --> https://www.tpdz.net/newsinfo/875033.html
Thank you, I will try this when I get home in the evening.

I'm really not sure what to make of - I turned the A70 an D70 and streamer off. I then turned the A70 on, and I couldn't hear the noises I described earlier. I turned the D70 on, still no noises. I will try again with different sources today.

Could this perhaps be some weird ground loop issue?

Thanks!
 
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