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Topping D30 DAC Measurement and Review

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#22
I know, those graphs say it all so I'll be more inclined to flip it.

EDIT: Can I ask how the distortions are injected into the signal? I'm new to this but would like to understand at a more knowledgeable level.
 

amirm

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#23
They are noise components (there is no signal playing). Perhaps with addition of Audioquest, there is more opportunity for noise pick up over the cabling or the device itself. I will re-test it again one day and see what I can figure out.
 
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#24
I see.

Would there be any way to record the output for any differences at the listener level, if any? I've read tonnes of forums with regards to these 'conditioners' or 'filters' and to be honest, I'm having a hard time believing that these components make any difference to the sound but I suppose it's worth a listen - even if I don't think it'll make any difference.

A question I have is, would anyone be able to decipher what's going on within the PCB and see what it's supposed to be doing to the signal?
 

amirm

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#25
I don't have a high fidelity enough analog to digital converter to capture what is there without adding its own signature. And at any rate, those components were are all ultrasonic so nothing would be heard anyway.

And sure, I can open and look inside if it is not too destructive. First I have to find it though in my pile of stuff. :)
 

watchnerd

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#26

Wombat

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#27
Any pic of the underside?

I found this. No help, not a marketable pic. Obviously inferior(vibration sensitive devices) used here. :confused:

8385872.jpg
 

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amirm

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#30
So the photos that we have, I can see a few SMD resistors but what are those black things? What could these be doing the signal?
They are inductors as designated by "L" notations. I would need to trace the signals but they seem to be various filters to get rid of high frequencies. There is also some common mode filtering which I suspect is for power line but in my experience those operate at too high a frequency to be of any value in audio applications.
 

stunta

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#31
The D30 arrived today. Connected straight to my amp, I am getting 80 db at my normal sitting position with the volume at 14 on Roon! This thing could easily overload downstream equipment if one is not careful. Initial impression is very good. I am hearing some more background detail than the Oppo Sonica I think. The bottom end is more pronounced. If the Oppo is better in some ways, its not obvious just yet which makes me think the price difference (the Oppo is $800 USD) is unjustified. The Oppo does have volume control, balanced output and streaming over wi-fi (no support for gapless playback over DLNA). Quite a price to pay for some additional features.

I'd settled on around $800 - $1000 USD as the sweet spot for DACs but the Topping has brought that down to $120. This is quite remarkable.

I found out about Topping from this site, so thank you!
 

stunta

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#33
Hi Amir,
Have you done a teardown of the D30? A comment here by "John Doe" indicates very outdated parts in this unit. I looked up the DAC chip and I see discussions on it as far back as 2011.

Has the core DAC tech (setting aside features like multi-channel audio) changed a lot this past decade?

I like how the D30 sounds, but I am curious about this to understand what compromises were made to produce a $120 DAC at this level.

Thanks
 

stunta

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#35
I should stop going down this rabbit hole, but after some more reading about Topping DACs, I found that apparently, the higher end DX7 uses a mobile version of a Sabre DAC chip.
 

stunta

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#37
I think in general, it makes sense to compare different models from the same manufacturer. For instance, if the DX7 and D30 measure and sound similar, then it becomes clear that the price difference is for features like balanced outs, volume knob, remote etc. This is really helpful when trying to decide which model to buy.

Amir, I take it you don't have an ADC that is acceptably transparent? Since you have so many DACs going through your bench, it would be really cool to tap into the analog outs, record the output using an ADC and share it here. That way, members can hear the DACs for themselves and compare in their own systems. The ADC would be a constant, so comparisons would still be valid.

Its too bad I am not in Seattle anymore. I have a Benchmark ADC gathering dust that I could have loaned out.
 

amirm

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#38
Amir, I take it you don't have an ADC that is acceptably transparent?
I do not. I am looking for a decent one at decent cost (< $500).
 

stunta

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#39
Check out the Roland R-05 for about $200 USD.

One issue though is that you cannot write to a PC. It only writes to a memory card. You can make binaural recordings with the included earphones though, which is quite neat.
 

RayDunzl

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#40
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