• WANTED: Happy members who like to discuss audio and other topics related to our interest. Desire to learn and share knowledge of science required. There are many reviews of audio hardware and expert members to help answer your questions. Click here to have your audio equipment measured for free!

Topping A90 Discrete Review (Headphone Amp & Preamp)

Rate this Headphone Amp/Pre-amp

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 16 3.9%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 14 3.4%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 70 17.2%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 306 75.4%

  • Total voters
    406

Music1969

Major Contributor
Joined
Feb 19, 2018
Messages
4,673
Likes
2,848
I use my A90D almost daily since my purchase, and I enjoyed it very much... That's why this is quite devastating to me personally.
Yeh its good if matched to good DAC (low output impedance)

What DAC you use it with?

The newer A70 Pro is even better but doesnt look as nice, to me

Because I really loved the dot matrix volume display of the A90D when I had it - best looking headphone amp , maybe ever at any price, in my opinion
 

inscythe

Member
Joined
Sep 25, 2021
Messages
25
Likes
24

nico1

Member
Joined
Mar 31, 2023
Messages
12
Likes
5
The A90D display of -5 indicates that the headphone protection was triggered by detecting a DC voltage exceeding the threshold. If left unprotected, the headphones may be damaged.
If the A90D is not connected to any input, power off for 5 minutes and then restart and no longer show -5, this means that the DC voltage introduced from the input. Generally speaking, there is more DC voltage for low frequency sounds. And the higher the gain and volume settings, the greater the amplification, will lead to the DC voltage is more amplified, more than a certain amount will trigger this protection.

If this happens frequently, it is recommended that can change songs or turn down the volume or gain.
Can anyone confirm that if this doesn’t fix the problem my unit is faulty, so I have to send it to Topping in China to get it fixed/replaced? Aren’t there any other known practices in order to fix the problem myself?
 

Snoopy

Major Contributor
Joined
Jul 19, 2021
Messages
1,643
Likes
1,232
Can anyone confirm that if this doesn’t fix the problem my unit is faulty, so I have to send it to Topping in China to get it fixed/replaced? Aren’t there any other known practices in order to fix the problem myself?

Maybe a DC blocker thing would help here?
 

inscythe

Member
Joined
Sep 25, 2021
Messages
25
Likes
24
Can anyone confirm that if this doesn’t fix the problem my unit is faulty, so I have to send it to Topping in China to get it fixed/replaced? Aren’t there any other known practices in order to fix the problem myself?
This happened to my unit, remaining at -5 even when there is nothing connected to it. My unit is being returned to China to be fixed/replaced. Hopefully Topping can diagnose the problem so that it won't happen again.
 

escalibur

Active Member
Joined
Jul 2, 2018
Messages
236
Likes
161
Can anyone confirm that if this doesn’t fix the problem my unit is faulty, so I have to send it to Topping in China to get it fixed/replaced? Aren’t there any other known practices in order to fix the problem myself?
I suggest that you contact Topping's support and ask them about your options. https://www.tpdz.net/contact

Gladly my unit was worked flawlessly after my previous report. *knock knock* Hopefully it will continue to work, because I would not like to send my unit to China and probably wait forever until it is fixed or replaced.
 

Lupin

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
Feb 11, 2021
Messages
588
Likes
984
Hopefully it will continue to work, because I would not like to send my unit to China and probably wait forever until it is fixed or replaced.
That's why I spend a little bit more on my stack and got it from a European reseller. No need to play the package to China roulette that way.
 

nico1

Member
Joined
Mar 31, 2023
Messages
12
Likes
5
Can anyone confirm that if this doesn’t fix the problem my unit is faulty, so I have to send it to Topping in China to get it fixed/replaced? Aren’t there any other known practices in order to fix the problem myself?
Update: I've left the AMP turned on with the "-5" for 24 hours with no input connected (XLRs and the headphones 4.4mm cable), today I woke up and now it's working again. I hope this won't happen anymore.
 

Cruzer1048

New Member
Joined
Aug 7, 2023
Messages
2
Likes
2
Update: I've left the AMP turned on with the "-5" for 24 hours with no input connected (XLRs and the headphones 4.4mm cable), today I woke up and now it's working again. I hope this won't happen anymore.
I am trying that as a last resort. The "-5" happened yesterday. I've been looking at this forum to find a solution. I will let you know what 24 hours will do. Wish me luck!
 

Music1969

Major Contributor
Joined
Feb 19, 2018
Messages
4,673
Likes
2,848
I am trying that as a last resort. The "-5" happened yesterday. I've been looking at this forum to find a solution. I will let you know what 24 hours will do. Wish me luck!
Send it back (to Topping via your seller).

Its the best way for Topping to improve their design and quality control (seeing more units coming back to the factory lol)
 

Jimster480

Major Contributor
Joined
Jan 26, 2018
Messages
2,895
Likes
2,055
Location
Tampa Bay
Send it back (to Topping via your seller).

Its the best way for Topping to improve their design and quality control (seeing more units coming back to the factory lol)
Can't blame you there. I mean they need to understand that making stuff that doesn't last and charging a ton for it isn't going to work. My original Topping products never had an issue and they are 6-7y old now... I guess we would have to question though how many actually failed vs how many were sold.
 

Music1969

Major Contributor
Joined
Feb 19, 2018
Messages
4,673
Likes
2,848
Can't blame you there. I mean they need to understand that making stuff that doesn't last and charging a ton for it isn't going to work. My original Topping products never had an issue and they are 6-7y old now... I guess we would have to question though how many actually failed vs how many were sold.

Agreed we don't have the failure rates but still, nobody should put up with poor quality and wait to ask if others are having issues and how to fix

Don't waste time - send it back

The product in this thread is not cheap.

In time QA/QC will improve quickly, if they get to analyse all the returns / faults
 

Cruzer1048

New Member
Joined
Aug 7, 2023
Messages
2
Likes
2
Agreed we don't have the failure rates but still, nobody should put up with poor quality and wait to ask if others are having issues and how to fix

Don't waste time - send it back

The product in this thread is not cheap.

In time QA/QC will improve quickly, if they get to analyse all the returns / faults
Great advice, I shipped it back yesterday. Cheers!
 

Tank81

Member
Joined
Sep 3, 2023
Messages
10
Likes
6
I cannot recommend this amp. Sure it sounds great. Had it 2 months when suddenly while gaming im hearing this piercing "pop pop crack" sound from my left driver. Restarted all and same thing happened after 30mins of use now giving me error -5code. Realising i just damaged my focal clear mg headphones I asked topping about this and they asked me to post video what is going on... after that they said that my unit needs to be sent to China for some "sensitivity adjustements." I even tried to check what version this unit had but then it was giving me error -2 code.
I contacted the seller and sent unit back to them. Now I dont have amplifier and im left with possible damage on my Focal clear mg:s. I still hear some crack sounds from time to time from left driver when listening using Ifi neo. Im not sure who is responsible for fixing these focal clears now and Im not sure can I trust that after "new adjustments" my unit would be fine.
 

chrisby

New Member
Joined
Sep 4, 2023
Messages
1
Likes
0
Heard a loud pop w/ mine td, it's showing a -4.

Is there a list of error codes somewhere? Scoured the internet and couldn't find them. Would help w/ diagnosis.

Going to work on RMAing it, have had it since Jan and was really enjoying the product :/
 

Tank81

Member
Joined
Sep 3, 2023
Messages
10
Likes
6
Heard a loud pop w/ mine td, it's showing a -4.

Is there a list of error codes somewhere? Scoured the internet and couldn't find them. Would help w/ diagnosis.

Going to work on RMAing it, have had it since Jan and was really enjoying the product :/
Error CodeCause AnalysisTroubleshooting / Solution
-2/-3/-41. Too high temperature
2. Overload
3. Too low load impedance or short-circuit load
4. Unit may be defective
1. Unplug the power supply and reboot A90D after the unit cools down. Put A90D in an environment with good heat dissipation.
2. Try to turn down the volume level and reboot A90D 3. Check the output connection and check if the downstream devices are defective.
4. Disconnect all the inputs and outputs of A90D and reboot. If that still not works, unit is considered defective.
Note: The V2.0 firmware fixed the -4 problem, if you meet this situation, please try to upgrade the newest firmware firstly.
-51. Abnormal headphone amplifier DC
2. Unit may be defective
1. Try to turn down the volume level, and reboot A90D after it cools down (in 1 minute).
2. Disconnect all the inputs and outputs, and reboot A90D after it cools down. If that still not works, unit is considered defective.
-7Incorrect firmware versionUpgrade the correct version of firmware.
 

metasharp

Active Member
Joined
Oct 21, 2022
Messages
120
Likes
70
That's unfortunate, especially considering it's supposed to have ESD and DC protection as stated here:
I hope your headphones aren't damaged.
 

aphysically

Member
Joined
May 1, 2022
Messages
67
Likes
54
I cannot recommend this amp. Sure it sounds great. Had it 2 months when suddenly while gaming im hearing this piercing "pop pop crack" sound from my left driver. Restarted all and same thing happened after 30mins of use now giving me error -5code. Realising i just damaged my focal clear mg headphones I asked topping about this and they asked me to post video what is going on... after that they said that my unit needs to be sent to China for some "sensitivity adjustements." I even tried to check what version this unit had but then it was giving me error -2 code.
I contacted the seller and sent unit back to them. Now I dont have amplifier and im left with possible damage on my Focal clear mg:s. I still hear some crack sounds from time to time from left driver when listening using Ifi neo. Im not sure who is responsible for fixing these focal clears now and Im not sure can I trust that after "new adjustments" my unit would be fine.
What month and year did you buy the A90 Discrete?

I wonder if Topping has/is planning on making the same changes to the modules in the A90D that were apparently made (?) in the LA90D modules

Any update on your headphones? Is topping doing anything?
 

Tank81

Member
Joined
Sep 3, 2023
Messages
10
Likes
6
What month and year did you buy the A90 Discrete?

I wonder if Topping has/is planning on making the same changes to the modules in the A90D that were apparently made (?) in the LA90D modules

Any update on your headphones? Is topping doing anything?
I got new amp from Audiophonics. Im just going to sell it. Original was bought 4/23. I was told that theres quite a few broken ones. I didnt reciave any mail considering my headphones. I hope my home insurance is going to cover that.
 

aphysically

Member
Joined
May 1, 2022
Messages
67
Likes
54
I got new amp from Audiophonics. Im just going to sell it. Original was bought 4/23. I was told that theres quite a few broken ones. I didnt reciave any mail considering my headphones. I hope my home insurance is going to cover that.
Hmmmmm, I might look to replace my A90D at some point if we don't have any statement from @JohnYang1997 on the status of the modules in this device. I'm a bit nervous after my LA90D double failure :\. I'm not sure there's other good options out there that allow balanced input/output, work as preamp, have remote control, and have dimmable front. The Benchmark maybe? I will look at it - hopefully its screen auto dims (anybody know?)
 
Top Bottom