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Topping D10s USB DAC and Bridge Review

eliash

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Optically isolating the second DAC to break ground loops. It's only relevant if you have an issue with ground loops.
Even though my Samsung NC10 Netbook (used for playback) has no ground connection in its powersupply, parasitic currents (through capacitive mains coupling!) cause audible trouble. That is because parasitic current flows through the USB cable into any DAC (when its USB-port is somehow connected to the analog ground - which can be simply checked with DMM - Ohm measurement) and further flowing through the analog output cable to the often gounded amp. Since all (analog) cables and amp inputs have some ohmic resistance in their ground connection, there is an audible voltage drop from that parasitic current. (This may emerge from the PC´s power supply or from the PC itself).
Grounding the PC in that case will cause an additional ground loop.
That´s why I decided to ground the PC (via shielded LAN cable, WiFi disabled anyway) and use an external USB to S/PDIF converter towards the DAC, yielding isolating output transformers even on both sides.
Using a long enough S/PDIF cable (to move pulse edge reflections away for the sake of least jitter - caused by impedance mismatch on the S/PDIF line - some 2-3m long will do), I think jitter perfomance promises to be better than via Toslink (and better 192KHz sampling rate support anyway).
 

peanuts

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I've rebooted, double-checked all connections, etc., and am at a loss. I think I may have a DOA unit. Anyone have any ideas?
no, a dead on arrival topping unit? that never happens lol. how high is their failure rate anyway, one in ten?
 

escalibur

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@JohnYang1997 Do you know how would this DAC perform with eg. AD797 opams?
 

eliash

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Is the lower output impedance something to watch out for? The 30 vs 100 Ohm.
If so, when is this becoming a important factor?
Since I am using resistor attenuators to match the DAC´s output to the amp´s input, I found 2 things to watch out from a dimensioning perspective.
- First is capacitive cable loading, in case of very long cables the capacitance of the cable and the output resistance might form an audible low pass. Considering standard cable and length and the mentioned output impedances, nothing bad will happen in either case (even disturbing bats with 192KHz sampled test signals).
- The second issue is the amp´s input resistance. I once "upgraded" a Yamaha integrated amp with a 10KOhms precision vol pot for noise reasons. Whenever this resistor attenuated output was selected, the output on the rec-out line of the amp dropped a bit. Therefore I came to the conclusion that not much more than 600Ohms of device output impedance are reasonable. This is a factor of more than 6 apart, so I woudn´t worry about, even in an high-end application.
 

raif71

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Today received D10s. Subjectively, the sound becomes a little brighter and sharper at the same volume than the e30. But if listen for a long time, then the difference is no longer obvious. But when switching quickly, it feels. In any case, it is subjective.
Very satisfied this baby.

View attachment 75349
I'm not surprised as ESS is brighter than AKM. I experienced this comparing nx4dsd vs q5s. In any case, like you said is subjective but nonetheless "observable data" collated between us , objectively speaking :)
 

111a111sk

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Is there any better performing DAC with S/PDIF or Toslink output under, say, $500?

And could someone with any less than godlike hearing distinguish D10s from D10?
 
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Today received D10s. Subjectively, the sound becomes a little brighter and sharper at the same volume than the e30. But if listen for a long time, then the difference is no longer obvious. But when switching quickly, it feels. In any case, it is subjective.
Very satisfied this baby.

View attachment 75349
I'm very much new to this topic, but could it be the filters these dacs are using? My LG G7 thinq also has an ESS dac like the d10s and has 3 filter options. All 3 have very audible sound characteristics and the default "sharp" filter actually does sound a bit harsher on some frequencies to my ear, but if you compare them with different music over long periods of time, it sounds the most natural (though maybe not the most pleasant at first). This is why I went with the d10s. The e30 has the typical AKM filters I've seen in every review, that all go to 24khz or above. Like I've said, I'm no expert, but Amir keeps mentioning how it should go only to 22khz to be more "correct". Obviously I know, that how high the filters go might not be responsible for the sound characteristics and I'm sure there are more factors, placebo being one of them haha
Maybe someone more knowledgeable can comment on this?
 

VintageFlanker

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Found this subjective review of the D10S yesterday...

Of course, the D10S can only sound good "for the price", since it only costs 99$.

The 2 DAC’s from Topping utilized 2 different, but very capable DAC chips, namely the AK4493 for the E30, and the ES9038Q2M for the D10s...
With this main difference, I found that the E30 tends to be a hair more dynamic than the D10s, however the D10s is able to catch up and best the E30 when it comes to the resolution and clarity...


...Although lacking in the ability to present a dynamic bass or the nuances of the vocal range, the D10s has performed well beyond what I can expect from its price point.

I'd love to read the audiophile press doing some controlled listening one day...:rolleyes:
 
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As an audio enthusiast, I know how useful it can be to find people's opinions and experiences on the forums, although they are often completely misleading.

For this reason I would simply like to report my short experience with the newly arrived D10S, using the most "scientific" approach possible (however it may be defined as such).

I state that I wanted to try the D10S because I find a certain roundness in my setup that I don't like very much ... and for what it costs an attempt is legitimate (but also just to try the optical output in comparison to Realtek).

I own a Marantz PM6006 UK Edition, which I have used so far with the internal DAC (CS4398 with discrete IV and LPF and linear power supply), connected via toslink to the Realtek of my pc.
The speakers are Dali Spektor 2 and on my pc I have the Dirac Live Studio software (let me tell you, it is the FIRST thing anyone should consider to get the most correct audio possible ... considering phase and frequency it is incredible how "wrong" it is audio without it ... nothing but bit-perfect!).

I connected the D10S with both the analog and digital outputs, so as to easily exchange between it and the Marantz internal DAC, and since it is not known whether the burning in influences or not, I let it go for a while before to do the comparison.
Then I start to trade, sometimes blindly and sometimes not ... and practically I always recognize each of the two. And hell ... Marantz always sounds "better", more intriguing, more musical, more present.
So I'm starting to think that Marantz's discrete components have their effect, and that maybe the optical output of the XMOS somehow reduces the jitter compared to Realtek ...
But my balls are spinning at this point and I want to deepen, so I take the UMIK1 and do some measurement in REW.
In a moment I find two things worthy of note: the Marantz has an average of 1.5 db more than the D10S (progressive from 1 db on the low up to 2 db on the high) and starting from 1khz the phase has completely different behavior (therefore using Dirac with the correction for the Marantz the D10S is not completely correct in phase).
Heck ... I think the phase difference can be neglected momentarily (also because it becomes difficult to exchange even Dirac profiles in real time) but the difference in level I can easily compensate when I exchange between the two using the Dirac gain (which allows me to make 1.5 db of adjustment instantly, in that small void that is when the amplifier changes source).
So I start comparing this way, and to my satisfaction I hear that the difference is minimal at this point. Maybe with the headphones you can better understand the differences, but with my setup what I hear is only a slight difference in "expression".
The Marantz DAC confirms its relative roundness and slowness on the transients, while the D10S has more detail and more defined and faster transients.
Let me be clear ... we are talking about negligible differences ... not night and day. Both are excellent DACs and do their job, especially the Marantz one considering it's integrated.
But the D10S has that greater "resolution" that I was looking for, so I would say that I can be satisfied.

Soon I will try to redo the correction with Dirac and the D10S to see if anything changes with the speech of the phase.
I also have an OPA1612A that Topping's customer service has recommended to me as a replacement for the 49720 installed on the D10S (it should change a little bit ... but we'll see if it will be appreciable or not).
Ah... also I will try to look for any differences between the Realtek optical output and that of the D10S.
 
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Veri

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:p, I'm not surprised at the response only that it took some time. Usually it will be immediate.
Sorry for being so slow today :oops::) But I owned or heard Sabre, AKM, TI, Cirrus Logic/Burr Brown, Sony TDA, even boutique/R2R, in a proper matched test you can't really hear a difference. Warmer/brighter/harsher? If you don't know which one you're listening to for some reason the difference you thought you heard suddenly is no longer there.... odd :)
 

raif71

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Sorry for being so slow today :oops::) But I owned or heard Sabre, AKM, TI, Cirrus Logic/Burr Brown, Sony TDA, even boutique/R2R, in a proper matched test you can't really hear a difference. Warmer/brighter/harsher? If you don't know which one you're listening to for some reason the difference you thought you heard suddenly is no longer there.... odd :)
At least we got a common on the stuff we've heard except R2R. My enjoyment in music doesn't involve me doing proper matched test. I just listen to music. So sue me :)
 
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