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Topping D50 III Balanced DAC with EQ Review

Rate this DAC:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 4 1.3%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 8 2.5%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 44 14.0%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 258 82.2%

  • Total voters
    314

Ron Texas

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My Take: Laboratory grade SINAD, but the EQ feature isn't worth much because it only works with the USB input. As the USB input is likely coming from a computer of some sort, EQ may be accomplished upstream of the DAC. I find the MiniDSP products more useful as their EQ works with all inputs plus there is a crossover and delay to enable proper setup of a subwoofer.
 

capslock

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The next generation DACs with 10-band PEQ that works for all inputs, were already shown by Topping at the CanJam NYC.
The D90 III Discrete is based on a new discrete 1-bit DAC module using a positive and negative 16-element DAC for each channel.

Another more advanced DAC is the D900 which also comes with a 10-Band PEQ, but adds a much nicer display with a spectrum analyzer and other VU styles.
The D900 is based on the same DSM module but using a positive and negative 32-element DAC for each channel.

Both DACs will be probably shown at the Highend show in Munich.
Are these DACs the new RME ADI-2 DAC killer?
Surely they don't make their own DACs at Topping. So those would be the current models from AKM or ESS since there is noone else left in the high end of the market.
 

Sonic-Wall

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The ADi-2 is A DAC, AMP, & Headphone AMP in one, so a person has to wait for an updated Topping DX9/DX7 with PEQ before such a claim can be made!
Don’t worry, for the price difference you can easily add an external headphone amp ;-)
 

staticV3

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Surely they don't make their own DACs at Topping. So those would be the current models from AKM or ESS since there is noone else left in the high end of the market.
The upcoming D900 and D90 III Discrete use discrete ΣΔ designs instead of off-the-shelf AKM or ESS chips. They do in fact make their own DAC.

You can see the boards here:
1709998450495.jpeg 1709998111647.jpeg
 

IAtaman

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If you need USB in USB out EQ functionality, you can actually build it yourself quite easily for ca $30 in parts and some free software.

 

Rja4000

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Wow. I am not aware of any discrete ΣΔ DACs being better than the best integrated so far.
This one dates back to 2020.
At the time it was scoring as the best SINAD DAC measured by Amir.
 

DrCWO

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This one dates back to 2020.
At the time it was scoring as the best SINAD DAC measured by Amir.
Same performance as D50 III but price 50 times cheaper. Like that :)
 

Bleib

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DrCWO

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D50 III lacks the streamer though
Sure, but get a Raspberry Pi for 50$ and my rooExtend for example and you will be fine ;)

Edit:
And caused by the full metal case it has a touch of High End like the X-Sable DACs that also have a machined case.
 

cheapmessiah

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Wow. I am not aware of any discrete ΣΔ DACs being better than the best integrated so far.

You can allways copy chunks of the logic developed by other companies, if not the whole deal, and just present it not as an IC but rather as discrete components on a board as shown by:
The upcoming D900 and D90 III Discrete use discrete ΣΔ designs instead of off-the-shelf AKM or ESS chips. They do in fact make their own DAC.

You can see the boards here:
View attachment 365419 View attachment 365420

Most consumers wont be able to tell.

And considering even cirrus logic DACs can now get SOTA measurements, there might be tech and knowledge more readily available than before that could allow "newcomers" to make good, if not great, bespoke DACs.
 

SDX-LV

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Nice, send some shivers down the spine of RME.
Good point. RME makes good products, but their pricing is worse than Apple memory upgrades. I hope RME wakes up and starts offering more consumer friendly pricing, because right now the recommendation is - get anything else unless you reeeeealy have to have an RME device.
(I own RME Babyface and have used other RME interfaces)
 

Palladium

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.And considering even cirrus logic DACs can now get SOTA measurements, there might be tech and knowledge more readily available than before that could allow "newcomers" to make good, if not great, bespoke DACs.

The physical format of DACs matter much more than the chips. Dongles have much more EE design compromises than desktop DACs that makes them less performant in pure SNR, for instance.
 

Rednaxela

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Good point. RME makes good products, but their pricing is worse than Apple memory upgrades. I hope RME wakes up and starts offering more consumer friendly pricing, because right now the recommendation is - get anything else unless you reeeeealy have to have an RME device.
(I own RME Babyface and have used other RME interfaces)
I disagree.

Topping doesn't show at all that RME is too expensive.

Rather they show how far bare-bones and disposable one can go to reach how low a price point.
 

DrCWO

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I disagree.

Topping doesn't show at all that RME is too expensive.

Rather they show how far bare-bones and disposable one can go to reach how low a price point.
I asso disagree.
Show me a device with Phone pre and four channel output like the RME ADI-2/4 offers for a lower price.
 

yys310

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Is there a way to do noise level vs DC input?
Bruno Putzeys said the idle tone problem in chip DAC before.
Not sure if that still is the case for modern ESS/AKM chips.
 
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