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Topping D70 DAC

Krunok

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I am set with grace sdac, all I miss is changeable digital filters. Default one is not slow roll-off which is a must for my preferences for classical recordings to handle transients exceptionally fast. Maybe I will check out chip spec and mod it to communicate with DAC chip on the bus to be able to switch filters - for me it would be end of the road dac. I would pay even 2-3x for grace if they do it within this small, lovely box.

A few days ago was checking out X1S as DAC only (because built-in amp was step aside from atom performance IMHO) and I was like changing digital filters during playback 5 times. I figured It was always set to 2nd filter - I was not sure which one is that, but after I got home and checked specs just out of curiosity, it was of course slow roll-off. It gives a bit sparkle, speed and aggressiveness instead of being smoothed out and boring. Must be something with it, because I can easily detect which filter it is or at least if it's slow roll-off or not with almost 100% probabilty during AB tests.
It would be interesting to see if you could guess which filter (fast or slow roll-off) was used with D10 as Topping didn't specified.

My guess, based on logic, not hearing, is that it's fast but I'm really not sure.
 

tired_guru

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It would be interesting to see if you could guess which filter (fast or slow roll-off) was used with D10 as Topping didn't specified.

My guess, based on logic, not hearing, is that it's fast but I'm really not sure.
From what I have already checked out - default for 9018k2m is not slow roll-off (probably fast). But I need to have possibility to change filters "on the fly" to be sure during AB test + some track with violin & piano. Just like in aune x1s by holding long "input button". I checked D10 because if it was set to slow roll-off I would buy it in a heartbeat. By default it was not, as I recall from 9018k2m pdf.

Checked out ak4452 chip in grace sdac - you can connect any uC and communicate with the chip using simple i2c bus:

ShortdelaySharp roll-off - this is what is set by default after reset of chip if no further configuration instructions are not sent.

There are a few built-in filters:

1550931755594.png


1550931810161.png


So what you need is to write 2 registers @01h & @02h addresses to switch between different built-in filters. To not overwrite actual other bits values, it is nice to first read these registers and then only to set single bit and write certain register (bits SD and SLOW).

Here are the differences between default and slow roll-off filter in this chip (might be interesting for some technical freaks what is the difference):

1550932329052.png



1550932395462.png


Sometimes I just think that some small differences during listening/subjective opinions regarding DACs that measure the same, are simply because of digital filter that is being used, instead of lack of some extra measurement when reviewing.
 
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Krunok

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From what I have already checked out - default for 9018k2m is not slow roll-off (probably fast). But I need to have possibility to change filters "on the fly" to be sure during AB test + some track with violin & piano. Just like in aune x1s by holding long "input button". I checked D10 because if it was set to slow roll-off I would buy it in a heartbeat. By default it was not, as I recall from 9018k2m pdf.

Checked out ak4452 chip in grace sdac - you can connect any uC and communicate with the chip using simple i2c bus:

ShortdelaySharp roll-off - this is what is set by default after reset of chip if no further configuration instructions are not sent.

There are a few built-in filters:

View attachment 22414

View attachment 22415

So what you need is to write 2 registers @01h & @02h addresses to switch between different built-in filters. To not overwrite actual other bits values, it is nice to first read these registers and then only to set single bit and write certain register (bits SD and SLOW).

Here are the differences between default and slow roll-off filter in this chip (might be interesting for some technical freaks what is the difference):

View attachment 22417


View attachment 22419

Sometimes I just think that some small differences during listening/subjective opinions between DACs that measure the same are simply because of digital filter that is being used instead of lack of some extra measurement when reviewing.
I haven't tried it but I'm pretty sure I wouldn't be able to tell the difference between slow and fast roll-off. :)
 

tired_guru

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I haven't tried it but I'm pretty sure I wouldn't be able to tell the difference between slow and fast roll-off. :)
You might be surprised, especially when changing them on the fly why there is music playing using neutral headphones. I couldn't tell the difference on aune s16 (ak4495 chip). Have no idea why. On x1s (9018k2m) this is quite easily to tell the difference especially between slow roll-off and 2 other filters. This x1s as a DAC is amazing. Check out latest amirm review of it. When connected to jds atom this is very respectable combo no matter the price.

I also had possibility to check out some very low impedance stuff with fostex drivers and very strong magnets - th-610 (25 ohms). Oh my GOD. It was driving them like hell. Almost like (or as good - it was quite a while since I last heard this combo) questyle's current mode amp cma400i. Local audio dealer after short audition was like - how much for this little amp ? Shut up and take my money ! And I was like - haha.

Very deep & strong bass but only works great with amps that have great control over the drivers with very high damping factor and since atom has only about 0,7ohm + a lot of power for low impedance without hint of distortion, it was simply amazing just like I suspected.
 
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Strange. The link says it has 4497 inside. I expected 4499.
AK4499 was just announced- doesn't even ship to customers until probably June. Expect a D90 next year with them :)
 

Veri

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Strange. The link says it has 4497 inside. I expected 4499.
Like @thunderchicken says, the D70 was announced w/ pre-orders, 4497 confirmed as the chip for a long time already.

Probably very few developers have the luck to be already experimenting with 4499 chips. No way they will hit the market any time soon.
Also, the 4499 will be a bitch to implement correctly, similarly if not even harder than the ESS9038PRO.
 

tired_guru

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Like @thunderchicken says, the D70 was announced w/ pre-orders, 4497 confirmed as the chip for a long time already.

Probably very few developers have the luck to be already experimenting with 4499 chips. No way they will hit the market any time soon.
Also, the 4499 will be a bitch to implement correctly, similarly if not even harder than the ESS9038PRO.
Yep, these pro versions or top of the line dacs from certain family are much more demanding regarding proper implementation, to get most of what they are capable of.

In my opinion sometimes it's better to just focus on mobile/simple versions like 9018 k2m (D10, X1S), 9038 q2m (khadas tone, D50) or ak4452 (grace sdac) and implement it well, than not getting enough into "pro" complex chips and screw things up. This approach usually results in even worse performance than mobile/simple versions of the chips with easy, well engineered application.

That's why I am never into the hype for newest, TOTL dac chips itself. This is only small part of what final product will be capable of and how will it measure. To be honest, to get what simple/mobile version dac chips have to offer is quite tricky enough for final product and will be far beyond human hearing possibilities.

But you can't then advertise it as "audiophile high-end" in the flyer for big $$, even if it's much better than fluffy design with TOTL pro dac chips.
 
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Anyone else catch that the preorder page is "out of stock" and listed at $799? I've been waiting for reviews to make a decision, and saw the pre-order price fluctuate between $599 and $799. When the pre-order page first first went down, Ali Express had an option to buy one shipping immediately for $599. That's gone now, and no amount of searching brings up anything but ASR/HF/Reddit posts and the defunct pre-order page. When is this thing actually coming out? Does anyone know?
 
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This sounds like the DAC I've been waiting for! I emailed ShenZhenAudio and Topping customer support asking for an ETA date. If it's coming this month, I would imagine they would have an upcoming ship date.
 
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This sounds like the DAC I've been waiting for! I emailed ShenZhenAudio and Topping customer support asking for an ETA date. If it's coming this month, I would imagine they would have an upcoming ship date.
Did they happen to say what the final price would be? This looks like a fantastic device but for 600 it is a bit high when you can get something like the Stoner acoustic UDX balanced dac with the AK4497 in it for 330 shipped.
 

maxxevv

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That US$6XX/- price range is for the DX7 Pro (that has a BT 5.0 receiver like the DX3 Pro), which is in line with the DX7S range (US$5XX/- which doesn't have a BT receiver) ) . Not the D70. I don't know how you guys got that price bracket though.

The price tag for the D70 shouldn't vary too far off from the D50's pricing.
 
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Did they happen to say what the final price would be? This looks like a fantastic device but for 600 it is a bit high when you can get something like the Stoner acoustic UDX balanced dac with the AK4497 in it for 330 shipped.
I have no idea. Neither company has responded to my emails
 

Veri

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I don't know how you guys got that price bracket though.

The price tag for the D70 shouldn't vary too far off from the D50's pricing.
If you read the first few thread pages, there was a D70 discount pre-sale at $599 on aliexpress before, so no the final price will be far more expensive than D50. It has 2x 4497 chips after all...
 
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