• WANTED: Happy members who like to discuss audio and other topics related to our interest. Desire to learn and share knowledge of science required as is 20 years of participation in forums (not all true). There are daily reviews of audio hardware and expert members to help answer your questions. Click here to have your audio equipment measured for free!

Topping D30Pro Review (Balanced DAC)

tvrgeek

Major Contributor
Joined
Aug 8, 2020
Messages
1,017
Likes
547
Location
North Carolinia
Neither my D30Pro nor my NAD C298 power amp got better, nor gained or lost "edges." So I guess you're lucky.

Or not.
Do note, the differences were small, but clear to me and more so to my wife. She has very sensitive hearing.
So, how do you like the NAD? It's on my short list along with March if I go class D. If AB, it is Atoll for "flavor" or Vidar and Benchmark for clean.
 

tvrgeek

Major Contributor
Joined
Aug 8, 2020
Messages
1,017
Likes
547
Location
North Carolinia
OK, I had forgotten APO needs to be added to each device. So it is now in the loop with the Topping driver, but I assume, using Windows Media Player, it is using WAE. So to use WASAPI I have to switch players, and then add Voicemeter?
 

MaxBuck

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
May 22, 2021
Messages
1,247
Likes
1,627
Location
SoCal, Baby!
Do note, the differences were small, but clear to me and more so to my wife. She has very sensitive hearing.
So, how do you like the NAD? It's on my short list along with March if I go class D. If AB, it is Atoll for "flavor" or Vidar and Benchmark for clean.
I love my NAD C298. It's clean as a whistle.
 

tvrgeek

Major Contributor
Joined
Aug 8, 2020
Messages
1,017
Likes
547
Location
North Carolinia
Thanks. A bit mire than I wanted to pay, but was the first class D where the reviewer had nothing to say. No flavor, just an amp. Compared to all the previous class D I have heard, that is a huge advance! It was well reviewed by Amirm's bench measurements.

Applying something close to the Walker Curve has proved it is more a matter of the room and eq than DAC. Not completely but largely. The right answer may be adding a choke to the tweeter. Give me a first order LP @ 4000 or 6000. Maybe switchable. 4-5-6 and forgo the host based mess. The LF corrections were al less than a couple DB. Audible but hard to say which is correct.

Digging into FOOBAR to test WASAPI on the D30. Found out everything is add-ins. It may do what I want if I can dig deep enough.
Another thread said post Vista/7, Windows does not screw up the audio path, so using the default or Topping driver and APO is fine. No reason to load the WASAPI or ASIO plugins for Foobar/Jriver/ etc. with Voicemeter. But still contradictory if I should say 16 , 24 or 32 bits to give Windows the "room" to play. Pretty consistent on picking the correct sample rate. I THINK, WASAPI makes that correct dynamically.

Waiting to see if it stutters again. So far today has been fine. The files it failed on the other day played fine. I don't want to blame the DAC if it was the PC.

No one has piped in with what I don't get if I run the generic Windows driver. In reality, for CD and maybe some HD files, what is the D30 buying me? Through cans, I can hear a tiny difference in super low level detail, but not through the speakers and that is what I want it for. I do get remote volume. Don't need the Schiit as a preamp, but lose it as a head amp. Don't listen to cans anyway except on my desk for Y-tubes in the morning when the wife is asleep. Maybe I am wrong, but all the super duper features only apply if I go to some streaming services for insane bit and sample rates or the ugly MPQ. Whatever the DSD something is.

If I never need past 24/96, does it matter?

Is the volume done in the digital domain, or is it a chip in the analog?


I think I am still confirming, once one reaches a "decent" DAC, differences sonically are tiny. Would a Gustard or Cord actually sound different through speakers? An R2R? Granted, there are a lot that do sound different. Worse. And some are very expensive!

Well, I need to listen some more. Maybe another Brown Betty Heff. Interesting ale, not the usual Heff. Strong wheat note on the nose, but not in the flavor. I want something crisp but not as sweet as Blue Moon or as dry as Hoppium.
 

Veri

Master Contributor
Joined
Feb 6, 2018
Messages
9,140
Likes
11,358
If I never need past 24/96, does it matter?

I think I am still confirming, once one reaches a "decent" DAC, differences sonically are tiny.
A conclusion many audiophile spenders fear to admit. So, kudos. About using the Windows driver, you need ASIO to interface with professional/studio applications, so that's one reason one might want to install the driver. The "general purpose" windows drive is, well, meant for general purpose :D
 

Gradius

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
Aug 17, 2019
Messages
618
Likes
382
Location
Iquique, Chile
The D30 Pro is a nice DAC, but it does not accept digital in from my CD players and CD transport (Audiolab CDT6000) without skipping. These all work perfectly with my other DACs.
Perharps the culprit here is the copy protection from SPDIF/Toslink.

Try a cheaper chinese toslink to coax adapter, or the inverse. Those normally disable all copy protection present on SPDIF.

They did the same for HDMI (yeah, it's ilegal, but they did it anyway). This is why is posible to capture videos from HDMI from some time now.
 

tvrgeek

Major Contributor
Joined
Aug 8, 2020
Messages
1,017
Likes
547
Location
North Carolinia
Never heard of copy protection on CD, only SACD. It can be defeated on a PS-3. I doubt it would cause dropouts, just not work at all. I can't imagine a physical layer converter to magically supply the key. It might fix whatever level or quality problem is being had. If it works with other DACS, then Michaelc has a bad one. I will test tomorrow as I need it for the OPPO output. If SACD is protected, then there is no reason I am keeping my OPPO. It also means I would never buy one because I could not rip it into my music server.

So, the reason to keep the Topping is DSD which has to be done in the DAC or else it does not make sense. Looking at various libraries of DSD. Sony has some titles that I might want. But $45 for a CD won't fly, so I can see why it failed along with SACD. Sony greed killed them both. If a CD was $12, and a SACD was $15, it would have taken off. Give me a break, U4K movie does not cost that much! I have read enough I don't want to fool with MQA. Add to the list of other grievances I have with Sony.

So, it looks like the D30 is a really good DAC full of features I don't need. Dropouts among them. I'll use it a couple more days listening for a dropout. If so, it is toast. If not, I have to decide if I like it's convivence and want my Schiit on my desk where I do use headphones. It is a nice bit of kit and sounds pretty good. That is what it is supposed to do.

Again: Is the volume done in the digital domain, or is it a chip in the analog?
 

MarcosCh

Major Contributor
Joined
Apr 10, 2021
Messages
1,702
Likes
1,349
Yes, copy protected CDs exist, and no, the problems with CD players and D30pro are independent of the CD being copy protected or not.
 

tvrgeek

Major Contributor
Joined
Aug 8, 2020
Messages
1,017
Likes
547
Location
North Carolinia
Amir, I know you measured at 4.148 Vrms for consistency, but does it go higher? This is useful info when considering using it with an amp that prefers a bit more. And thanks for the review.
Industry specs for both SE and balanced. If you need more, get a preamp with more overhead. Maybe, are you driving 100 feet of cable? As the DAC is the source, they have an advantage of knowing what the maximum input is, so they make the amp based on that. With a preamp, they do not know so more gain is usual.
 

tvrgeek

Major Contributor
Joined
Aug 8, 2020
Messages
1,017
Likes
547
Location
North Carolinia
Topping instructions for ASIO for FOOBAR are missing a couple of steps. That is going into the ASIO panel and making several selections. Most were a guess as again, no instructions. Sure, a professional recording engineer knows these things, but not consumers.

Anyway, running ASIO output from FOOBAR. Still fighting the FOOBAR UI but at least I can download some sample files to see if all this stuff works. Figured out you have to run ASIO to run DSD. WASAPI does not. I think.

BTW, like to give a shout out to the supplier from Amazon: AOSHIDA. They seem quite concerned with the dropout-stutter. Most resellers are " Eh" I am hope it was a Windows glitch as it happened only a few times and has not reoccurred, though my PC is stripped down, no background updates, scans etc. My MUSE, NAD, OPPO, and SCHIIT never once stuttered. Even doing security scans and application background updates. Microsoft does to things that don't show up in the process list. I will say "sneaky bastards" but what I really would like to say is inappropriate for this forum. Really thinking I should have built a Raspberry PI server. It has been a long time, but I used to be able to make UNIX sing and dance. If I could find the drivers, I guess I could put Ubantu on the thing. Another project I don't have time for. No, not a Mac. I hate Apple almost as much as I hate Sony.
 

tvrgeek

Major Contributor
Joined
Aug 8, 2020
Messages
1,017
Likes
547
Location
North Carolinia
Swapped my new cap bank old MOSFET back in the chain. 90% fix for the harshness. I think I'll leave the Topping in the stereo and put the Schiit on my desk as a big headphones upgrade. Now if I can just get FOOBAR or JRiver UI to make sense, I can run WASAPI and bypass the Windows resampling and re-dithering. The D30 IS cleaner and more detailed than the Schiit Asgard/AKM DAC, and walk by better than the old Wolfson, so for a cheapskate engineer who also believes in subjectivism I think the Topping is a winner. A year ago I would have believed no difference.
 

tvrgeek

Major Contributor
Joined
Aug 8, 2020
Messages
1,017
Likes
547
Location
North Carolinia
I am sad to say I am returning it to Amazon. No question it is sonically supurb. It comes down to two issues
A couple of skips/stuttering that I could not blame on the host computer
An incompatibility between the WMP ASIO plug in from Source Forge and the Topping driver. It will not run ASIO. It will with the Winyl player. It does to my Fosgate. What would be a small problem I would overlook turns out to be the exact use I need. I have spent about 20 hours on this bug and need to move on.
 

MaximXXL

Member
Joined
Oct 20, 2021
Messages
32
Likes
3
I may have missed this information - does the Topping d30 pro have a galvanic isolation of the usb input?
 

MaxBuck

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
May 22, 2021
Messages
1,247
Likes
1,627
Location
SoCal, Baby!
I am sad to say I am returning it to Amazon. No question it is sonically supurb. It comes down to two issues
A couple of skips/stuttering that I could not blame on the host computer
An incompatibility between the WMP ASIO plug in from Source Forge and the Topping driver. It will not run ASIO. It will with the Winyl player. It does to my Fosgate. What would be a small problem I would overlook turns out to be the exact use I need. I have spent about 20 hours on this bug and need to move on.
Sorry you encountered what seems like a fatal flaw for your use of this DAC. Hope you're able to find a good replacement.
 

tvrgeek

Major Contributor
Joined
Aug 8, 2020
Messages
1,017
Likes
547
Location
North Carolinia
Sorry you encountered what seems like a fatal flaw for your use of this DAC. Hope you're able to find a good replacement.
Very disappointed as it DOES sound very nice. I am giving JRiver one last try before I drop it off. If I am not stuck with WMP and the driver incompatibility, I would rather keep it. So Schiit for now. That Denafriz and Gustard are both tempting as well as Bifrost. but moving on for now.
 

Pulkass

Active Member
Joined
Feb 17, 2019
Messages
227
Likes
42
Arrived in the post today. Added USB from pc via balanced to electronic X over and three power amps. The main board noise has disappeared with balanced !! First impression is very very good sound. But after a while from internet hi Res files, it does not follow the stream, it's like choked, l test it via coax from my cd player, one second of silence, every 30 seconds of music, l change cd player, this time no sound at all!! I will return it immediately to Amazon, do you have serial numbers of the first defective factory batch?
 

erazze

New Member
Joined
Jan 4, 2022
Messages
2
Likes
1
Hey folks,

new to this forum and fairly new to hifi in general, so bear with me :)
I would like to get into a 2.1 setup and since this DAC has XLR and RCA outputs and volume control, my question is if I can connect the DAC to my power amp via XLR and to a subwoofer via RCA. Or is there an issue I cannot think of right now? Any help is welcome.
 

tvrgeek

Major Contributor
Joined
Aug 8, 2020
Messages
1,017
Likes
547
Location
North Carolinia
You need a crossover, somewhere. If you don't mind running your speakers full range and your sub has a LP filter, then it will work. Personally one of the biggest benefits of a sub is taking the load, read high excursion and distortion, off the mains so I want a high pass on the mains. Life would be good if someone made a real nice adjustable 2nd order HP active filter. You could then blend with the sub just right.

Most full size "stereo" preamps have a sub out, but no HP filter to the mains. Just a mono out to the sub.

Why do you want to run XLR? Are you running a hundred feet to your amp? In a horribly electrical environment next to a degausing machine or arc light? Or is XLR the "thing" you read about?

I am old school and run analog crossover, though researching. Some desktop multi-function DAC/head/amp have a sub output. I do not know why we don't see more 3,4,6 or more channel DACs of high quality and the onboard DSP to do the crossovers. This is the domain of MiniDSP of course. I am just looking into host based crossovers. Maybe you can run a cheap DAC to the sub and good to the mains, but use a PC based app volume control. They actually make a USB volume control pot that will tell windows to set the vol. Lots of options. Quality, convivence, price is your choice. This is what I am thinking about for my desktop as I am not as picky as my stereo. On it, I have an X-KITZ crossover I will be putting back in when I add a mute relay. LR4 @ 70 analog. I had a cheap Rolls on it for a while. Thought about swapping the OP-Amps. In my last house I ran a DBX pro-sound crossover. I did run XLR as it was about 50 feet from pre to amps.
 

Chagall

Active Member
Forum Donor
Joined
Jul 9, 2020
Messages
101
Likes
272
Hey folks,

new to this forum and fairly new to hifi in general, so bear with me :)
I would like to get into a 2.1 setup and since this DAC has XLR and RCA outputs and volume control, my question is if I can connect the DAC to my power amp via XLR and to a subwoofer via RCA. Or is there an issue I cannot think of right now? Any help is welcome.

Welcome to ASR.

As @tvrgeek said, adding sub and setting up x-overs isn't trivial.
AFAIK the simplest way to get HP/LP is to go with:
Parasound preamp ($$$)
or a sub that can high pass signal to mains (some KEF subs have that option $$$)
or miniDSP 2x4 HD ($), Flex ($$), SHD ($$$) ...it's a bit more hands on, but is the most flexible (adding delays, EQ).

But this is just the first step.

To properly setup x-over you will need to do some measurements with UMIK and REW to phase align subs and mains, match house curve and maybe apply some EQ. Also depending on your room, adding room correction software can make night and day difference.

It's a lot of work, but it's worth it.
 
Top Bottom