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Topping A70 Pro HP & Preamp Review

Rate this preamplifier and headphone amp:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 15 4.4%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 7 2.0%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 38 11.1%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 282 82.5%

  • Total voters
    342

marcom22

Active Member
Joined
Feb 7, 2020
Messages
161
Likes
127
Location
Rome
It's not a problem with DC, DACs or music.
It's just because of these stupid modules filled with potting compound. The problem with the A70 Pro and A90D is probably that direct current components from the power supply get into the small signal processing. You can't compensate for this externally, even with filters.

Does Topping actually realize how many customers they have already lost and how many devices they are not selling because of these stupid modules?
For me alone it's an A70 Pro, two LA90Ds and a PA5. In my circle of friends there are at least another 50 devices that were not purchased from Topping.

Addendum:
A topping DX9 is also on the list of devices I didn't buy. Since there was no clear information as to whether the device will be delivered with open modules or potting mass, I left my money with SMSL for a D400EX DAC worth €1100.
Totally agree.
 

Aud99

Member
Joined
Feb 24, 2024
Messages
10
Likes
6
Sorry that happened to you man!
They are a little hard to get a hold of, but you do have the support email slightly incorrect.
I have [email protected], whereas, you have an additional "s" after "service".
Hopefully that helps a little and I'm hoping your headphones are fine, but they should be. My understanding is that this DC protection is in place to protect the headphones.
Thanks! The incorrect address I was using was from their website.

They did reply to me with basic troubleshooting instruction, which confirm that the unit is dead.

Thankfully I am able to send it for refund to Amazon as I was in their 30 days return window.
 

Cactusound

New Member
Joined
Mar 29, 2024
Messages
3
Likes
1
Hi, just a question for anyone who has had the chance to listen to both: if one owns the RME ADI2-Pro FS, does it make sense to buy the Topping A70 Pro as a headphone amp? Obviously I'm reading a lot of good things about this amp here (at times seems miraculous) but is the RME still a good alternative in 2024? I would like to avoid spending 400€ just to try it out.
My use would be professional for ITB mixing and critical listening, so I am not interested in the 'mojo' introduced by the machine but rather a correct analytical rendering of the various instruments on the various planes.
Thaks in advance for any reply :)
 

IXOYE

Member
Joined
Jan 22, 2023
Messages
74
Likes
88
Hi, just a question for anyone who has had the chance to listen to both: if one owns the RME ADI2-Pro FS, does it make sense to buy the Topping A70 Pro as a headphone amp? Obviously I'm reading a lot of good things about this amp here (at times seems miraculous) but is the RME still a good alternative in 2024? I would like to avoid spending 400€ just to try it out.
My use would be professional for ITB mixing and critical listening, so I am not interested in the 'mojo' introduced by the machine but rather a correct analytical rendering of the various instruments on the various planes.
Thaks in advance for any reply :)
I would like to know as well.
 

marcom22

Active Member
Joined
Feb 7, 2020
Messages
161
Likes
127
Location
Rome
One thing I must tell :) ...... when the Topping A70 works ......... it works like a charm !!!! <3 It's delicious ..... how it sounds ..... I stay in Heaven.
 

Gymboy

Member
Joined
Nov 9, 2023
Messages
20
Likes
6
103dB/mW sensitivity means that 100mW of clean power into 20 ohms will be enough for physically painful volume levels, and the RME can do that and then some.
LCDX even though its easy to power and get loud in volume, is it driven fully/properly is a question. Only way to know that is to try and see a difference in sound... I have LCD 2021 closed back and it performs just better with more power, tighter, quicker more dynamic.
 

Bret Halford

New Member
Joined
Jun 6, 2023
Messages
1
Likes
1
Hi, just a question for anyone who has had the chance to listen to both: if one owns the RME ADI2-Pro FS, does it make sense to buy the Topping A70 Pro as a headphone amp? Obviously I'm reading a lot of good things about this amp here (at times seems miraculous) but is the RME still a good alternative in 2024? I would like to avoid spending 400€ just to try it out.
My use would be professional for ITB mixing and critical listening, so I am not interested in the 'mojo' introduced by the machine but rather a correct analytical rendering of the various instruments on the various planes.
Thaks in advance for any reply :)
I have an A70pro using RME ADI-2 as DAC. It wasn't actually more power that motivated the A70pro in my case (I rarely activated the high gain mode on the RME). Rather it was that I could hear noise on some of my more sensitive IEMs (even on the dedicated IEM output). The A70pro is inky silent even with my most stupidly sensitive IEMs. So if you are looking at the extreme load scenarios (either extremely sensitive or insensitive headphones/IEMs) the A70 does offer some audible benefits.
 

staticV3

Master Contributor
Joined
Aug 29, 2019
Messages
8,324
Likes
13,400
LCDX even though its easy to power and get loud in volume, is it driven fully/properly is a question.
100mW is 100mW. There is no "bad" or "good" power.

Only way to know that is to try and see a difference in sound... I have LCD 2021 closed back and it performs just better with more power, tighter, quicker more dynamic.
Basic equal loudness contours.

Unless there's heavy distortion or a built-in smiley face signature, louder will always sound better.

This is a purely psychoacoustic effect though.
The sound does not physically become "tighter, quicker more dynamic".
The headphone plays exactly the same, just not as loud.

The "tighter, quicker more dynamic" part all happens in your brain.
 

Gymboy

Member
Joined
Nov 9, 2023
Messages
20
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6
100mW is 100mW. There is no "bad" or "good" power.


Basic equal loudness contours.

Unless there's heavy distortion or a built-in smiley face signature, louder will always sound better.

This is a purely psychoacoustic effect though.
The sound does not physically become "tighter, quicker more dynamic".
The headphone plays exactly the same, just not as loud.

The "tighter, quicker more dynamic" part all happens in your brain.
So thats why Susvara or HE6 are being used with power amps because watt is a watt and power or reserve of it doesn't matter.
 

staticV3

Master Contributor
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Aug 29, 2019
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So thats why Susvara or HE6 are being used with power amps because watt is a watt and power or reserve of it doesn't matter.
It indeed doesn't matter.

It is however very easy to convince your hearing of the opposite using psychoacoustic tricks like equal loudness and expectation bias.

No one that is convinced of the benefits that speaker amps and headroom bring to headphone listening, has tried a proper double blind, level matched test.

If they did, they would realize that it's all in their head.
 

Gymboy

Member
Joined
Nov 9, 2023
Messages
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6
My ears are telling me different but would like to try once proper double blind test just for sake of testing my ears/brain.
 

Cactusound

New Member
Joined
Mar 29, 2024
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1
The point is that headphones are like loudspeakers, so if mastering engineers load the loudspeakers, perhaps B&W, with dual mono 400-600W amps per channel, it is to cope with situations of full orchestral or very fast transients. So power seemingly sufficient on paper for a headphone may not actually be sufficient 'on the road'.
Thanks @Bret Halford for your experience sharing, much obligado.
 

oleg87

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 26, 2022
Messages
356
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648
Location
California
The point is that headphones are like loudspeakers, so if mastering engineers load the loudspeakers, perhaps B&W, with dual mono 400-600W amps per channel, it is to cope with situations of full orchestral or very fast transients. So power seemingly sufficient on paper for a headphone may not actually be sufficient 'on the road'.
Thanks @Bret Halford for your experience sharing, much obligado.
Maybe I'm underestimating how loud people here like listening, but I really can't imagine >120dB peak SPL being insufficient for any reasonable purpose. It's *very* loud even with the highest DR material I've got to the point of being thoroughly unpleasant, to say nothing of hearing health implications.
 

Ahmonge

Active Member
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Joined
Sep 30, 2022
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220
Location
Valencia, Spain
Maybe I'm underestimating how loud people here like listening, but I really can't imagine >120dB peak SPL being insufficient for any reasonable purpose. It's *very* loud even with the highest DR material I've got to the point of being thoroughly unpleasant, to say nothing of hearing health implications.
In fact, headphones are far more powered than speakers. Any decent desktop HP amp brings at least 1W of power between 16 and 32 Ohms, and several hundred miliwatts up to 300 Ohms, and the headphones have sensibilities between 84 and 100 dB/mW, most of then past 90 dB/mW, while loudspeakers have a range of sensitivities between 83 and 90 dB/W. In terms of comparable sound level, it's as if the listener of speakers were using an amplificer of more than one kWatt per channel.
 

lollonet

New Member
Joined
Jan 7, 2024
Messages
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0
Hi People
Does anyone owning an A70 pro noticed that there is some low level signal (volume independent) at the SE pre out even when only HPA is selected?
I found that on a first unit I bought. I sent it back complaining about that but the second one I got has the same small issue.
Thanks
 

Music1969

Major Contributor
Joined
Feb 19, 2018
Messages
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2,858
Hi People
Does anyone owning an A70 pro noticed that there is some low level signal (volume independent) at the SE pre out even when only HPA is selected?
I found that on a first unit I bought. I sent it back complaining about that but the second one I got has the same small issue.
Thanks
Have you tried flicking the grounding switch at the back?
 
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