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Topping D10 Balanced Review (USB DAC)

cheapmessiah

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This is good to know. Thank you. Though, the price is increasing too! Is there any reason to use a more expensive dac than the 10Db? Aside from a quality digital to analog conversion and good numbers, what features do a fancier dac provide that the 10Db doesn't provide? It seems that the features should be in the amp, not the dac.
Feature set, some DACs have stuff like remote control, multiple outputs, different inputs, filters, Bluetooth, DDC, but unless you need any of those, D10b already outstanding.
 

usern

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This is good to know. Thank you. Though, the price is increasing too! Is there any reason to use a more expensive dac than the 10Db? Aside from a quality digital to analog conversion and good numbers, what features do a fancier dac provide that the 10Db doesn't provide? It seems that the features should be in the amp, not the dac.
If only thing you need is USB -> balanced analog signal, then D10b is perfect. As for how DACs differ in sound, see if you can detect difference in 250$ and 30$ DAC:
 

Bel Canto

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I should add you can also control the gain of the D10B over the USB interface. You cannot do that on the E50 as it is an MQA DAC. I'm told the inability to control the gain via USB is common for MQA DACs but have not confirmed this.
I believe this is due to the Xmos USB chip used. The Xmos 208 which the D10B uses allows volume control while the Xmos 216 which MQA dacs use does not allow PC volume control.
 

wacomme

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I should add you can also control the gain of the D10B over the USB interface. You cannot do that on the E50 as it is an MQA DAC. I'm told the inability to control the gain via USB is common for MQA DACs but have not confirmed this.
To clarify, what does this imply? I like the 10Db and L50 combo - separates with balanced inputs, and less expensive than the 10Db + A90. With the L50, I control headphone volume with the dial on the L50, correct? To switch to the pass through (e.g, desktop speakers connected to balanced inputs), do I switch the toggle on the L50 to "Off"? At that point the volume dial on the L50 does not work, correct? If my Macbook is connected to the 10Db via USB and the powered desktop speakers are connected to the L50 with balanced inputs, in pass through mode would the volume control on my computer keyboard control the powered speakers?

And for a loaded question - what do I give up with the 10Db with lack of MQA over the E50?

Thanks!
 

wacomme

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And then, besides being a single amp/dac vs separate units, is there any advantage/disadvantage of the EX5 compared to the 10Db + L50?
 

doitttt

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i have it, old first topping d10.
was amazed at how good sound it has.
could see in this review that new topping d10 balanced.
is much better.
could see with measurement that 10ps measured with apx555
perhaps is almost, just as good Audiophilleo
and how sounds, topping d10 balanced
it must be crystal clear sound
 

cheapmessiah

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And then, besides being a single amp/dac vs separate units, is there any advantage/disadvantage of the EX5 compared to the 10Db + L50?
Power, L50 has enough and then some to drive most headphones with as low as 90db/w eqing with -10db of preamp gain.
EX5 is more limited.
 

usern

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With the L50, I control headphone volume with the dial on the L50, correct?
Yes
To switch to the pass through (e.g, desktop speakers connected to balanced inputs), do I switch the toggle on the L50 to "Off"? At that point the volume dial on the L50 does not work, correct?
L50 volume dial does not work for pass through yes.
If my Macbook is connected to the 10Db via USB and the powered desktop speakers are connected to the L50 with balanced inputs, in pass through mode would the volume control on my computer keyboard control the powered speakers?
Yes you control volume with your PC not L50 volume dial. You have to be careful to not blast 100% volume to speakers when you use 100% PC volume for headphones (for full volume range) and control it with L50. I've had several times that happen with my D10s which controls my speakers with PC volume.

Updated D10 with volume dial would be awesome actually!
 
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doitttt

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10 ps must be very low, on topping d10
and what does it mean for the sound on usb
 

wacomme

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I believe this is due to the Xmos USB chip used. The Xmos 208 which the D10B uses allows volume control while the Xmos 216 which MQA dacs use does not allow PC volume control.
Is there PC volume control with the DX5? The DX5 is MQA.
 

wacomme

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So what are the implications of using the 10Db with the A30Pro for both headphones and speakers?

  1. I can control HP and speakers with the A30Pro volume knob
  2. I can control speakers with the keyboard to my Mac, but not HP volume.
  3. I must set Mac volume to max to use HPs.
  4. When switching from headphones to speakers, I must reduce the max volume setting on my Mac.
Anything else? Do people do this? How much of a bother is it? I like the A30Pro compared to the DX5, but the DX5 is probably more convenient.
 

usern

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So what are the implications of using the 10Db with the A30Pro for both headphones and speakers?

  1. I can control HP and speakers with the A30Pro volume knob
  2. I can control speakers with the keyboard to my Mac, but not HP volume.
  3. I must set Mac volume to max to use HPs.
  4. When switching from headphones to speakers, I must reduce the max volume setting on my Mac.
Anything else? Do people do this? How much of a bother is it? I like the A30Pro compared to the DX5, but the DX5 is probably more convenient.
1. is not true. You can only control HP with A30pro volume knob.
2. you can control also HP volume with keyboard, but you need to set A30pro volume to constant loud setting.

Have you considered SMSL HO200? It has a preamp and is not much more expensive than A30pro. Can control both HP and speakers with volume knob. Works with D10b.
 

wacomme

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1. is not true. You can only control HP with A30pro volume knob.
2. you can control also HP volume with keyboard, but you need to set A30pro volume to constant loud setting.

Have you considered SMSL HO200? It has a preamp and is not much more expensive than A30pro. Can control both HP and speakers with volume knob. Works with D10b.
I will look in to the HO200, but it's not ranked as high as the A30Pro by Admir.

I don't mind being able to adjust the HP volume with the A30Pro and speaker volume with the keyboard. Thus, my only concern is to turn Mac volume to max to use HP, and then turn Mac volume down to switch over to speakers. Is that correct?

Must I turn Mac volume to max to use HPs?
 

usern

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I will look in to the HO200, but it's not ranked as high as the A30Pro by Admir.
As Amir himself says:
Note that we are talking about inaudible differences either way but for the battle to land on top of rankings, this makes a difference.
HO200 numbers are still absolutely one of the best out there and it having preamp function makes it so much better than A30pro for your use case. Besides having A30pro myself I can tell that it has few quirks that I would have probably chosen SMSL one myself if it was available when I bought it. A30pro gets super hot. In summer maybe even dangerously hot: link
There's also coil whine when it's turned off: link
I don't mind being able to adjust the HP volume with the A30Pro and speaker volume with the keyboard. Thus, my only concern is to turn Mac volume to max to use HP, and then turn Mac volume down to switch over to speakers. Is that correct?
Yes, correct
Must I turn Mac volume to max to use HPs?
For smooth volume adjustment on A30pro, yes. But you can also turn A30pro volume all the way up and use Mac volume, but it has less granularity and low volume steps might be too big.

Myself I actually use D30pro + A30pro for headphones only and D10s for speakers. I connect D10s from digital coax out to Neumann KH 750 DSP sub which has internal DAC and it sends balanced signal to monitor speakers. So in Windows I can swap device from D30pro (HP) and D10s (speakers) and have different software EQ on both of them at the same time. It also remembers D10s volume. But it is forgotten if D10s USB port is changed which is how I sometimes blasted 100% volume to speakers which is not nice.
 
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wacomme

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As Amir himself says:

HO200 numbers are still absolutely one of the best out there and it having preamp function makes it so much better than A30pro for your use case. Besides having A30pro myself I can tell that it has few quirks that I would have probably chosen SMSL one myself if it was available when I bought it. A30pro gets super hot. In summer maybe even dangerously hot: link
There's also coil whine when it's turned off: link
How much of a bother or problem do you have with the heat and coil whine? I hear for some the heat isn't bad and the coil whine loudness is unit dependent - some are quieter than others.

I'm tempted by the HO200. I need to do more research. It seems to have enough power and the layout and volume knob seems nicer than the A30Pro, but the numbers just aren't that good compared to the A30Pro. Now, can people hear anything below 20Hz, I don't know. I'll do some more research, but the A30Pro seems like a nice amp that will last me a long time. I could buy the 10Db now and live with the headphone/speaker transfer hassle, and later down the road buy a different DAC with a preamp that would circumvent the volume problem. I presume matching the A30Pro with the D30Pro circumvents the headphone/speaker volume issue, correct?
 

usern

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How much of a bother or problem do you have with the heat and coil whine? I hear for some the heat isn't bad and the coil whine loudness is unit dependent - some are quieter than others.
I actually do not use A30pro that much, especially during summer. I have JDS Atom Amp that I use for daily driving my headphones. Coil whine is noticable in quiet room so I have it switched off from the front switch and also from back switch.
I'm tempted by the HO200. I need to do more research. It seems to have enough power and the layout and volume knob seems nicer than the A30Pro, but the numbers just aren't that good compared to the A30Pro. Now, can people hear anything below 20Hz, I don't know.
HO200 numbers are excellent. The difference does not matter in practical world. You will get maximum clarity from A30pro and HO200. As regards to 20 Hz, I am not aware of any music that goes this low. Maybe unedited field audio recordings go this low.
I could buy the 10Db now and live with the headphone/speaker transfer hassle, and later down the road buy a different DAC with a preamp that would circumvent the volume problem. I presume matching the A30Pro with the D30Pro circumvents the headphone/speaker volume issue, correct?
A30pro pass through is still a hassle, no matter if you get a DAC with volume dial. See here for example: link

Your idea of buying another DAC later has potential. But instead of replacing D10b, you could compliment it and not replace D10b, but add another seperate DAC to control just speakers. There's nice audio interfaces like Audient iD4 MK2 or Motu M2 and you could also use XLR microphone with them for voice calls / speech recording. I used Audient iD4 MK1 to control monitor speakers before I got DSP sub.
 
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wacomme

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Regarding the HO200: I've been reading about noise at low volume with IEMs (not my typical listening device on desktop amp). Apparently this goes away with a XLR connection. I guess this is reaching, but it's a concern. That and that non-balanced inputs have less noise than balanced.

Except for the IEM issue, I guess none of this noise is going to affect human ears.

The only other concern is the lack of a remote - for both the HO200 and A30Pro. Generally, this isn't a concern. But it would be nice to adjust the volume when sitting in the chair across the room with a remote - that is if and when I buy long headphone cable extensions (likely). I suppose if and when I buy a more feature rich DAC than the 10Db it could be controlled with a remote.
 

wacomme

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I know for more money, does the 10Db + A90 operate the same way as the 10Db + HO200?

Though, neither has a remote.
 
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It looks (in my case) ,that the onboard switching power supply + 5.65V / -5.6V, which supplies the output analog circuits (3 OA) behind the DAC, fails / does not start ..). That PSU is powered from 5V inputs. The all other onboard sources (3.3V, 1.2V, 1V) start up normally, they are linear (not switched) sources, powered by 5V inputs. It is simply a faulty (unreliable) internal symmetrical switching power supply, consisting of one miniature 12-pin IC ( marked DP0 3V4) and a pair of SMD components (2 inductors, diodes, a pair of resistors and capacitors:facepalm:

View attachment 181660
 
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