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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 2.2%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 37 11.4%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 267 82.4%

  • Total voters
    324

Moscardo

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Joined
Apr 12, 2023
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625 Ohms or 1250 Ohms, either way, poorly designed gear. And it would be poor 30 years ago, let alone these days...
Actually, 30 years ago most analogue sources had around 1 kOhm output impedance. At that times, opamp outputs were not so frequent end even in that case first generation opamps were not able to drive directly a cable capacitance or sustain a short circuit, so output resistances were ubiquitary for stability and protection. This was perfectly acceptable because, at those times, standard input impedance was 47 kOhm or even 100 KOhm.

What you probably do not know is that Denafrips DACs are R-2R ladder DACs, which is an ancient if not the oldest way to do digital to analogue conversion. Just a series of calibrated resistors directly connected to the digital bits. This is the simplest way, which does not involve complex signal elaboration as in delta sigma converters. For the same reason, the less possible signal manipulation , the output stage is a simple low pass passive filter, with no active components to lower the output impedance.

This is no "poor" design. On the contrary, is quite sophisticated to do properly, as you need precision in the resistor matching in the order of 0.005% to achieve 20 bit resolution.
 

registlse

Member
Joined
Aug 11, 2022
Messages
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9
Hello, I have a A90D for over a year and I am very satisfied, no worries...
Did anyone compare it to A70?
 

tarikuz

Member
Joined
Nov 18, 2019
Messages
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Hello, I have a A90D for over a year and I am very satisfied, no worries...
Did anyone compare it to A70?
I had the A90 Discrete, with the Susvara it had no headroom (always near 0)... the A70Pro has musch more headroom (I usually listen -28dB, with classical -20dB), it sounds great, it's more warm (let me say less analystical). I really love it, that's why I sold the A90D. IMHO it really worth to replace it. The display is very nice and I like the spectrum analyzer.


396351030_10233033990251558_7389277324490882447_n.jpg
 

tarikuz

Member
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Nov 18, 2019
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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!
Have you updated it ?
 

staticV3

Master Contributor
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Aug 29, 2019
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I had the A90 Discrete, with the Susvara it had no headroom (always near 0)... the A70Pro has musch more headroom (I usually listen -28dB, with classical -20dB), it sounds great, it's more warm (let me say less analystical). I really love it, that's why I sold the A90D. IMHO it really worth to replace it. The display is very nice and I like the spectrum analyzer.


View attachment 325506
The A70 Pro has 1.2dB more headroom than the A90D with the Susvara as load.
If your experience was vastly different than that, then it must've been some form of user error (wrong volume curve in the settings, low input voltage, etc)
 

tarikuz

Member
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Nov 18, 2019
Messages
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The A70 Pro has 1.2dB more headroom than the A90D with the Susvara as load.
If your experience was vastly different than that, then it must've been some form of user error (wrong volume curve in the settings, low input voltage, etc)
It was on the highest volume curve. Dunno why it sounded really low.
 

Bewateraudio

Member
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Nov 12, 2023
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9
I just ordered the A70pro, not thr D70. Then I saw the new DX9. I need to upgrade my DAC anyways. Should I return the A70 pro for DX9?
 

RigidRoamer

Member
Joined
Nov 11, 2023
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0
Have bifrost 2/64 and Singxer sa-1. And looking to replace the amp with A70Pro. Now the question is - should I keep the Bifrost or get the matching D70 dac instead?
 

agrabah

New Member
Joined
Nov 6, 2023
Messages
4
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3
Location
Slovenia
Have you updated it ?
Not yet. I was not at home the last few days and have totaly forgotten about it.

But I feel stupid now - I'm enjoying some music on the A70 right now, and there is no issue now.

The sources are the same, but the "wiring" is a bit different - I used a different electrical outlet and I use an electrical filtration device (I know, I know: these don't make a difference - I've read the tests here - I'm considering selling it, but will have to make some sort of blind listening test first so that I can decide if I hear a (positive) subjective difference or not, but for now it makes a fine extension cord ;)

But I'm not certain that the other outlet or anything else made the difference - as I've described earlier, the next morning after turning it off and back on, the noises were gone. But this also happened before.

I will update the device and report back as soon as possible.
 

Moscardo

Member
Joined
Apr 12, 2023
Messages
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Mine is, but I have no idea on where to look for the serial number, it doesnt seems to appear on the unit

Hello, the serial number is not attached to the unit but can be found on the side of the box, together with a bar code. If anybody with a unit from the new batch could report here its serial number,this could be very useful. For privacy you could omit the last two digits
 
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Dunring

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Feb 7, 2021
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I just got an A70 Pro today, serial number 23066561XX and it came with original firmware but updated easily. I have an original A90 which I've been using, and also an A90D Discrete to compare it to. Ridiculous power, at -30db in low gain with the HE5xx on balanced. Don't have any heavy hitters to push it, the HD6xx and Ananda Stealth don't take that much to power compared to these. With the Topping D90LE it's clean and no issues, doesn't get hot and the VUMeter display is really fun to see. I tested the original A90 and it's accurate within .1db for channel matching, so I really prefer it's simplicity though. Running it in 5 volt mode and couldn't ask for more in any category. The serial number is on the right side with the little QR code they use now silkscreened on. I just take the others off with a hair dryer and re-stick them on the bottom to not have to look at it.

PXL_20231116_031240675.jpg
 

Pulsarre

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Aug 28, 2023
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Location
France
Hello, the serial number is not attached to the unit but can be found on the side of the box, together with a bar code. If anybody with a unit from the new batch could report here its serial number,this could be very useful. For privacy you could omit the last two digits
Serial number 23086561XX -> confirmed new batch by audiophonics
Thanks for the tip btw !
 

Ykar

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Joined
Apr 24, 2020
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Mine just arrived, serial 23066562XX, but latest FW already installed (v2.01 from mid Oct.), isn't that strange ? Package was sealed so definitely new. I didn't test intensively yet but no error so far.
Could Audiophonics have mistyped serial, 23066561XX instead of 23086561XX ?
 
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Pulsarre

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Aug 28, 2023
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Location
France
Mine just arrived, serial 23066562XX, but latest FW already installed (v2.01 from mid Oct.), isn't that strange ? Package was sealed so definitely new. I didn't test intensively yet but no error so far.
Could Audiophonics have mistyped serial, 23066561XX instead of 23086561XX ?
I can confirm that I've wrote the correct number, it ís 23086561XX.

I also doubt that this sticker comes from Audiophonics themselves, I think it is more likely to be from Topping themselves.

I have no idea of the FW installed on tho.
Mine is a black one btw, I know that Audiophonics had silver ones available while I was waiting for my unit to come, so they might have a delay in shipping for the silver units... Maybe ?
Just supposition at this point
 

Ykar

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Apr 24, 2020
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Anyone using it to feed power amp from XLRs out ? A70 produce a quite loud pop in the speakers every time I switch input or when switching pre-out back from RCA to XLR. Actually pop is louder on left channel.
I've tested RCA out, pop is there but much quieter and symmetric.
On 6.35 headphone out, not a single pop whatever input / output selection.
Thanks

Edit : + same loud pop when unmuting
 
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Moscardo

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Apr 12, 2023
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I can confirm that I've wrote the correct number, it ís 23086561XX.

I also doubt that this sticker comes from Audiophonics themselves, I think it is more likely to be from Topping themselves.

I have no idea of the FW installed on tho.
Mine is a black one btw, I know that Audiophonics had silver ones available while I was waiting for my unit to come, so they might have a delay in shipping for the silver units... Maybe ?
Just supposition at this point
A cross check can be done on the unit itself. I found that on one side there is a small QR code which contains the serial number.

To check the FW, simply keep the volume knob pressed while powering on with the rear switch. You have to cycle the switch to return to normal operation.
 
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Nordling

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Dec 13, 2021
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Location
North of the Netherlands
Anyone using it to feed power amp from XLRs out ? A70 produce a quite loud pop in the speakers every time I switch input or when switching pre-out back from RCA to XLR. Actually pop is louder on left channel.
I've tested RCA out, pop is there but much quieter and symmetric.
On 6.35 headphone out, not a single pop whatever input / output selection.
Thanks

Edit : + same loud pop when unmuting
Hello Ykar, could you please tell us a bit more about the power amplifier you are using? I have just ordered the Topping A70pro and I'm planning to use it primarily as a preamp to my Boxem Arthur 4215/E2 Purifi Eigentakt power amplifier.
 

tarikuz

Member
Joined
Nov 18, 2019
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I have no problems in balanced mode with xlr mogami cables connected to a rotel rb1582mkii
 

Pulsarre

Member
Joined
Aug 28, 2023
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13
Location
France
A cross check can be done on the unit itself. I found that on one side there is a small QR code which contains the serial number.

To check the FW, simply keep the volume knob pressed while powering on with the rear switch. You have to cycle the switch to return to normal operation.
Still reports the same seral number, it is indeed a "8".

I have the FW v1.07 tho, so I guess the update was done by audiophonics as well as the seal on the box itself on your unit @Ykar.
 
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