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Topping D30Pro Review (Balanced DAC)

PeteL

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Regarding the noise increasing above 40 kHz due to the noise shaper, do the other upper midrange DACs do that, too? I just checked Amir's reviews of the E30 and 10th Mkii (both AK4493), and they simply didn't include the graph for this measurement.

As for performance, -135 dB 2nd and -138 dB 3rd harmonic is really top league. -145 dB 4th and -150th 5th is almost unheard of! Of the top of my head, I cannot name another DAC device this good *. Noise is also very good.

Looking at the CS43198 data sheet, it states -115 dB THD+N typ, -109 max with 24 bit data. Mediocre! With 16 bit, only -94 dB typ, 88 max. Strange!

If linearity is superb, this has to be noise. So will paralleling DACs bring down noise this much?

What's the story with 16 bit data? That's nowhere near the 98.6 dB theoretical limit, hell, you could find TDA1541A specimen that were better than this. So what is this? Nonlinearity in the 15th bit? This doesn't really make sense to me.

* edit: the DX7 with ESS (which?) beats it on 2nd (-139.5 dB) but not on 3rd (-134). 4th and 5th are signficantly worse than for the D30 Pro here.
SMSL M400 has -134 dB 2nd (slightly poorer than D30 Pro), -143 dB 3d (bestingthe D30 Pro) but completely looses out on 4th and 5th which are both around -140 dB
Topping D90 with AK4499 does not come close to M400
May I ask how you get 98,6 theoretical limit for 16 bits? I haven't done the full calculation for a while but the quick approximation of 6.02n=96.3 dB should be very very close and to my knowledge is the accepted theoretical limit for 16 bit audio, but unless stuff changed, dither is pretty much always applied, which gives a dynamic range of about 93 dBs
 

pos

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Very well done @JohnYang1997, really nice design and performance there!!
I like everything I have seen so far!
It looks like it might just be missing an AES3 input to be perfectly perfect for my use case, but I can certainly live without one if the rest is up to the task.
So, I have a few questions if you don't mind :)
  1. Is there an ASRC on the spdif input and if so at what target frequency is it operating? (thinking about "syncing" multiple DACs)
  2. What kind of DC output level can I expect (worse/typical) on the balanced output
  3. Does the device remember its settings (volume and input selection) when turned off/on directly from the main
  4. Does the device emit any kind of pop/click/noise when turned off/on directly from the main, or when syncing to a different input sample rate on the spdif input? Or in any situation really.
  5. What is the idle power consumption?
  6. How are thermal aspects handled, and would it be safe to let it turned on 24/7?
  7. Can the screen be turned off (possibly with a delay) ?
  8. Is the coax input transformer-coupled? What max voltage can it take? (would love to be able to connect an AES3 signal with minimum adaptation...)
  9. What it the output impedance on each leg of the balanced output?
  10. How are potential failures handled? (risks of DC output, 0dBFS noise, etc.)
 
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bennetng

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Maybe off-topic but for those who care so much about filters or those who think Cirrus Logic is not trustworthy, the very old CS5381 ADC used on Lynx Hilo has a much more reasonable set of filters than the current top AKM 557x series ADCs. Better attenuation, less and smoother ripple.

Reviewed in 2012, so a very old product already.
https://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/lynx-hilo

index.php


cs5381.png




ak5572.png


I even made a correction filter to reduce these ripples, so people with interfaces using these AKM ADCs can try it below:
https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...tests-welcome-to-add-others.16332/post-540307
 

BostonJack

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That also depends on which chord you are talking about. The hugo one has sharp edge at 20khz but relaxed afterwards. I think that's their way to avoid digital clipping. And such filter shouldn't measure very good in multitone . I think hugo2 and quest dropped such filter and adopted more regular filters.
If you read through my explanation somewhere earlier you'd know the filter adopted in current DACs are probably most ideal in real world sense with least trade off.
A beautiful looking and beautifully measuring DAC. I'm going to place a picture on my night table so I can gaze at it when I wake up in the morning.
Right next to the image of amir's avatar. ;)
 

capslock

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On the poor 16 bit performance of the CS43198 according to its data sheet, Tom Christianses over at diyaudio guesses that they screwed up the math on an interpolation algorithm. If that is buried inside the chip, how does the D30 Pro perform on 16 bit data?
 

GWolfman

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@GWolfman I think Topping has reached a level of performance and connection with it's consumers that none others have. Just my speculation.

Personally, I'd go Topping. Customer support has been great through ASR and will most likely be a more reliable product.
Thanks for the reply! I guess I just need to decide if the bluetooth on the Gustard X16 is worth taking the gamble. I suppose I'll review the X16 owner's thread to see what's happening there.

Any guess as to cost? I don't see an update from @amirm yet. Any news on release date?
 

tomli747

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As mentioned in other posts, if people don't bother to click them. You trade one thing for another, there is no free lunch. Not specific to AKM, Cirrus Logic, ESS, TI etc. It is good to have "choices", but don't expect one setting is always better than the others in all aspects.
Thank you so much for the datasheets.
I changed my thought on digital filters after reading your comment.
 

phoenixdogfan

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I appreciated the You Tube video, Amir. There were a couple of finer points on the measurement that were going over my head. Specifically, I didn't realize (though I should have if I thought about it) that the IMD distortion curve is highest at lowest output because it includes the noise component and not just distortion, and also I never quite understood that the optimal cut off on filters is 1/2 the highest sampling rate, hence 22khz for 16/44.1. Also was made aware of the depth of attenuation. Now I'll look to see if it goes all the way down to -120 db from now on.

I'll look forward to a similar exegesis when you do your first amplifier, speaker, and headphone reviews.
 

Helicopter

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What an exciting review! Another great Topping product. I love the orange LED display too. It reminds me of Yamaha 1987 is a good way and really steps up the aesthetic while likely improving reliability compared to something more prone to failure / burn-in. Nice work!

Amir, the video was great. You look better in this video compared to the interview you just did. Light? The shirt? Weight loss? Maybe just I'm in a better mood today. :facepalm: I think its better light.

For my audio (for work) I just crank the volume until it starts clipping and then back it off a bit. Now you have gone from famous person to famous influencer. ;) Perhaps you need another ASR badge. You could give a couple to Gene and Erin while you're at it. Congrats!
 

phoenixdogfan

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What an exciting review! Another great Topping product. I love the orange LED display too. It reminds me of Yamaha 1987 is a good way and really steps up the aesthetic while likely improving reliability compared to something more prone to failure / burn-in. Nice work!

Amir, the video was great. You look better in this video compared to the interview you just did. Light? The shirt? Weight loss? Maybe just I'm in a better mood today. :facepalm: I think its better light.

For my audio (for work) I just crank the volume until it starts clipping and then back it off a bit. Now you have gone from famous person to famous influencer. ;) Perhaps you need another ASR badge. You could give a couple to Gene and Erin while you're at it. Congrats!
Now we have a dynamic trio. A real boost for the reality based audiophile community.
 
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amirm

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Any guess as to cost? I don't see an update from @amirm yet. Any news on release date?
I sent them a message but got OOF back saying it is Chinese new year until the 22nd but they may respond.
 

raistlin65

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While I likely will just read your reviews in the future, I thought the video review was great @amirm. Audio is nice and clear explanations were, too.

Suggestion for next time in case someone hasn't mentioned it yet: position the video camera vertically that is filming you.
 

paulraphael

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Top Topping have something just like this with a headphone amp built in?
 
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amirm

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Suggestion for next time in case someone hasn't mentioned it yet: position the video camera vertically that is filming you.
Love to do that but I have a massive monitor so the angle of camera would be quite acute. And at any rate, you won't be able to see the measurement gear and such. :)
 
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