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Topping D70s MQA Review (DAC)

Rockdog

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What kind of "burn in" are you referencing? Transducer burn-in is very real, and I have measured it on several occasions.

(Pro tip: re-do your room EQ every couple months or so after getting new speakers till the drivers stabilize. Also re-do the eq when the weather significantly changes as temperature and humidity will significantly affect how your speakers perform in your room.

Not necessary if your listening room has very good temperature and humidity control.)

Burn in of cables on the other hand is nonsense for standard conductors like copper, silver, and aluminium unless we are talking about corrosion, in which case conductivity gets worse and not better.

There might be some very exotic conductor used in scientific applications that changes it's conductivity under sustained load, but I doubt someone would use such a conductor in an audio cable, at least I have never heard of it.

There are some amps or DACs that need to warm-up to a certain temperature before operating at optimal performance, but that is different from burn-in, and should only take a few minutes at most.

As for tubes, they do burn-in, but that just means the tube needs to be replaced. Tubes are designed to work best when new and typically only degrade with use, similarly to light bulbs.
What transducers and under what controls and test parameters?

Temperature and humidity "significantly" affect how speakers perform? How much change in temp and humidity? I would posit that it would need to be dramatic as compared to a normal living room conditions to have a significant effect. Have you measured this and under what controls and paramaters?

Transducers built with quality components, and quality crossovers or self amplification should under no circumstances take "months" to stabilize. Don't think that's arguable on a scientific forum.

I agree with the rest. If you're proposing that room eq measurements prove speaker burn in and significant response to atmospheric conditions, I'd say there are other reasons for inconsistent results. Makes me wonder if Amir is tightly controlling these factors in his garage using his Klippel... don't remember mention of it. If its 30 degrees that might be something, but even then I'm skeptical of significant change.

Change my mind...
 

Noob

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What transducers and under what controls and test parameters?

Temperature and humidity "significantly" affect how speakers perform? How much change in temp and humidity? I would posit that it would need to be dramatic as compared to a normal living room conditions to have a significant effect. Have you measured this and under what controls and paramaters?

Transducers built with quality components, and quality crossovers or self amplification should under no circumstances take "months" to stabilize. Don't think that's arguable on a scientific forum.

I agree with the rest. If you're proposing that room eq measurements prove speaker burn in and significant response to atmospheric conditions, I'd say there are other reasons for inconsistent results. Makes me wonder if Amir is tightly controlling these factors in his garage using his Klippel... don't remember mention of it. If its 30 degrees that might be something, but even then I'm skeptical of significant change.

Change my mind...
I'm not really into the debate thing. There is literature you can find online along with the relevant mathematical formulas to calculate room expansion and contraction as well as the thermal expansion of the speakers. The physics of humidity affecting sound is also well researched. I haven't written the scientific papers myself, but people with fancy PhDs have. Not that having a PhD in these types of things automatically means they are correct. But it does mean they studied a lot.

Sorry for not doing the search for you and giving you a bunch of links. I don't have the energy for that.

My experience with this is in professional sound reinforcement for venus and monitoring for broadcast. Since none of these conditions are lab conditions, I can't give you the precise controls etc. I'm just telling you what is somewhat common knowledge among people in my line of work. I spoke to a sound engineer who, due to the construction materials of the venue he managed, measured a thermal expansion in the room dimensions of near 10in or so if I remember correctly. And this caused quite a bit of trouble for him with resonances and standing waves that seemed to change every time he turned the system on.

I am not sure how you came to the decision that speakers do not burn-in, and depending on the construction, there may be some that don't. I imagine AMT drivers probably experience almost no burn-in, but I have not measured them to know for sure. Dynamic drivers all seem to experience burn-in or break-in from my experience. I have not measured any planar drivers, but Dan Clark headphones are notorious for changing the most dramatically due to the pleated design of the driver. The dimensions change so much that he actually has to run them for many hours before driver matching and even then users still experience a bit of change in the sound. But once they settle, they are very stable. Balanced armatures seem to experience no burn-in. Electrostatic drivers I am unsure of but probably do not break-in. And regular (un-pleated) planar drivers are probably also quite stable out of the box, but I can't say for sure. I will say that I have not personally experienced burn-in with my dynamic driver headphones, but I most definitely have with speakers in rooms that are kept at a mostly stable temperature and humidity and have no exterior walls that might experience abrupt thermal changes from weather.

And this isn't a couple dB at one or two frequencies, this is huge changes of up to 8dB difference at it's most extreme.

Sorry if you really wanted me to change your mind and put forth some strong points to build an argument. That's not something I care about.

Oh, almost forgot. Danley and Presonus are the brands of the speakers. The Danleys have been very stable since day one. The Presonus on the other hand are the ones that changed dramatically after several months of use. It was very gradual, so I didn't actually notice the change. It wasn't until we did a system-check using an Earthworks M23 that we noticed the frequency response had changed. Other changes on different speakers have been very subtle, but at least this one was not.

Again, my memory failed me. I just remembered. We also ran a jbl system and some Renkus Heinz monitors. I didn't experience any significant change with the Renkus Heinz speakers, but they were heavily used when we purchased them. The JBL system did experience some very noticable change, but this seemed to be because the system was almost 20 years old and the drivers were starting to fail. Most noticably, the tweeters were gradually losing response above 10kHz. The tweeters had been replaced once before.

And no, I do not want to enter a debate about if driver failure is real or not.
 
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Rockdog

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I'm not really into the debate thing. There is literature you can find online along with the relevant mathematical formulas to calculate room expansion and contraction as well as the thermal expansion of the speakers. The physics of humidity affecting sound is also well researched. I haven't written the scientific papers myself, but people with fancy PhDs have. Not that having a PhD in these types of things automatically means they are correct. But it does mean they studied a lot.

Sorry for not doing the search for you and giving you a bunch of links. I don't have the energy for that.

My experience with this is in professional sound reinforcement for venus and monitoring for broadcast. Since none of these conditions are lab conditions, I can't give you the precise controls etc. I'm just telling you what is somewhat common knowledge among people in my line of work. I spoke to a sound engineer who, due to the construction materials of the venue he managed, measured a thermal expansion in the room dimensions of near 10in or so if I remember correctly. And this caused quite a bit of trouble for him with resonances and standing waves that seemed to change every time he turned the system on.

I am not sure how you came to the decision that speakers do not burn-in, and depending on the construction, there may be some that don't. I imagine AMT drivers probably experience almost no burn-in, but I have not measured them to know for sure. Dynamic drivers all seem to experience burn-in or break-in from my experience. I have not measured any planar drivers, but Dan Clark headphones are notorious for changing the most dramatically due to the pleated design of the driver. The dimensions change so much that he actually has to run them for many hours before driver matching and even then users still experience a bit of change in the sound. But once they settle, they are very stable. Balanced armatures seem to experience no burn-in. Electrostatic drivers I am unsure of but probably do not break-in. And regular (un-pleated) planar drivers are probably also quite stable out of the box, but I can't say for sure. I will say that I have not personally experienced burn-in with my dynamic driver headphones, but I most definitely have with speakers in rooms that are kept at a mostly stable temperature and humidity and have no exterior walls that might experience abrupt thermal changes from weather.

And this isn't a couple dB at one or two frequencies, this is huge changes of up to 8dB difference at it's most extreme.

Sorry if you really wanted me to change your mind and put forth some strong points to build an argument. That's not something I care about.
If you're talking large venues and things like setting up for a concert in a stadium or arena, or large club, in regards to atmospheric conditions, sure! Heck, it all changes when the seats are filled too.

If your talking esoteric headphone drivers for burn in, sure, to some degree perhaps. Dynamic drivers in your living room, nada. You say 8db, how did you come to that conclusion on a home audio system?

Look, I'm here for fun and don't want some crazy debate either, but I'm sure you'll find major pushback for saying here that dynamic drivers change by 8db through burn in over time. Thats crazy actually, as speaker testing such as Amir does would require at least weeks or months of burn in just to test accurately! A new speaker would completely suck coming out of the box if it was off its actual response by 8db! It would destroy their sales and their reputations.. I can cite plenty of sources for this the burn in myth in the references listed in these forums.. and, including honest manufacturers.

The pro audio speakers you mention undergo lots of abuse and get hammered by their amps, I'm sure. That may be more akin to use and abuse than actual driver burn in.. I really don't know, but if I was in pro audio and my speaker changed by 8db in a couple months, I'd never buy that brand again. The other you cite were used or dying.

Of course drivers fail, but thats a very very long time in a quality home speaker, otherwise there would be no used market. In a quality home audio speaker, under regular usage, even cranked up on Metallica for weeks, burn in is nonsense. Sorry.
 

Noob

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If you're talking large venues and things like setting up for a concert in a stadium or arena, or large club, in regards to atmospheric conditions, sure! Heck, it all changes when the seats are filled too.

If your talking esoteric headphone drivers for burn in, sure, to some degree perhaps. Dynamic drivers in your living room, nada. You say 8db, how did you come to that conclusion on a home audio system?

Look, I'm here for fun and don't want some crazy debate either, but I'm sure you'll find major pushback for saying here that dynamic drivers change by 8db through burn in over time. Thats crazy actually, as speaker testing such as Amir does would require at least weeks or months of burn in just to test accurately! A new speaker would completely suck coming out of the box if it was off its actual response by 8db! It would destroy their sales and their reputations.. I can cite plenty of sources for this the burn in myth in the references listed in these forums.. and, including honest manufacturers.

The pro audio speakers you mention undergo lots of abuse and get hammered by their amps, I'm sure. That may be more akin to use and abuse than actual driver burn in.. I really don't know, but if I was in pro audio and my speaker changed by 8db in a couple months, I'd never buy that brand again. The other you cite were used or dying.

Of course drivers fail, but thats a very very long time in a quality home speaker, otherwise there would be no used market. In a quality home audio speaker, under regular usage, even cranked up on Metallica for weeks, burn in is nonsense. Sorry.
I didn't say anything about "in my living-room" or "a home audio system".
I have not measured speakers for at-home listening. The ones which changed dramatically are a pair of Presonus Eris8 xt monitors used for monitoring broadcast audio and typically run at 78dB peak.
And I agree with you. We probably won't buy from that brand again because of this.

Typically the changes we see in frequency response after the first six months of use are on the order of one or two dB in a few narrow frequency bands. Sometimes we don't even bother re-doing the eq if it's not a critical application such. It varies from speaker to speaker with some showing no change at all. In the future, we will probably stay with the Danley brand because of how consistent they are and look to other options for bookshelf monitors. Tannoy is next on the list of monitors to try.

And I don't see why I should care much about pushback. All I did was take some measurements and share what I have found. If someone thinks I am lying, that doesn't really matter. I don't have any emotional investment in this topic. It's just work to me.

As for the claims of manufacturers that the speakers "improve" after breaking-in, I have never experienced this, nor have I spoken to anyone who has experienced this. I have measured change over time, but I can't say anything about improvement. I have observed speakers getting gradually worse over time and losing bandwidth and/or dynamic headroom.
 
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Rockdog

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I didn't say anything about "in my living-room" or "a home audio system".
I have not measured speakers for at-home listening. The ones which changed dramatically are a pair of Presonus Eris8 xt monitors used for monitoring broadcast audio and typically run at 78dB peak.
And I agree with you. We probably won't buy from that brand again because of this.

Typically the changes we see in frequency response after the first six months of use are on the order of one or two dB in a few narrow frequency bands. Sometimes we don't even bother re-doing the eq if it's not a critical application such. It varies from speaker to speaker with some showing no change at all. In the future, we will probably stay with the Danley brand because of how consistent they are and look to other options for bookshelf monitors. Tannoy is next on the list of monitors to try.

And I don't see why I should care much about pushback. All I did was take some measurements and share what I have found. If someone thinks I am lying, that doesn't really matter. I don't have any emotional investment in this topic. It's just work to me.

As for the claims of manufacturers that the speakers "improve" after breaking-in, I have never experienced this, nor have I spoken to anyone who has experienced this. I have measured change over time, but I can't say anything about improvement. I have observed speakers getting gradually worse over time and losing bandwidth and/or dynamic headroom.
Well, to wrap it up.. you were never talking about home audio reproduction, which this site is mostly about.. Atmospheric influences were referring to large venues, not homes. And, speaker burn in, in a significant way, is something you mainly experienced in a single brand of pro audio speaker that you would no longer buy.

My position remains, in a decent quality speaker, burn in is nonsense.

Best to you.
 

ShiZo

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Is it true standby uses a lot of energy and there are pops on shutoff?
 

DHT 845

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What is the best input to stream music into D70s, USB (due to the lowest jitter)? What streamer would you recommend (roon capable)?
TeraDak Network Music Streamer Raspberry Pi 4B or ALLO USBBRIDGE SIGNATURE PLAYER Streamer with SHANTI Dual Power Supply or sthe else?
I was first thinking about MOON by Simaudio MiND 2 but it does not have USB output so the great measurements of D70s with USB input would not be utilized with this streamer, right?
 

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DHT 845

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After some reading and thinking my idea is like that:

1. Buy Raspberry Pi 4 board (without box): Buy a Raspberry Pi 4 Model B – Raspberry Pi
2. Buy Uptone Audio stub USB gender converter: USPCB A>B Adapter – UpTone Audio
3. Buy 50cm (very short) flat CAT 8 ugreen ethernet cable: UGREEN Cat 8 Ethernet Cable 40Gbps Network RJ45 Patch Cord High Speed Fr PS4,PS3 | eBay
and
connect (via uptone stub) raspberry board at the rear of Topping D70s (Pi board is light so uptone stub should support it, no USB cable at all),
next connect rasperry Pi via flexible ugreen cable to LNF-C7 : LAN Noise Filter (that I already have connected to router and I think this filter is a great bargain): LNF-C7 : LAN Noise Filter for Network Player, Eliminate Transmission Noise | eBay

And plug low noise power supply to raspberry Pi.
Is that crazy cheap solution a good idea? Shortest possible USB (just stub with some filter), very short Ethernet CAT8 cable with filter between router and raspberry Pi.
 

Veri

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After some reading and thinking my idea is like that:

1. Buy Raspberry Pi 4 board (without box): Buy a Raspberry Pi 4 Model B – Raspberry Pi
2. Buy Uptone Audio stub USB gender converter: USPCB A>B Adapter – UpTone Audio
3. Buy 50cm (very short) flat CAT 8 ugreen ethernet cable: UGREEN Cat 8 Ethernet Cable 40Gbps Network RJ45 Patch Cord High Speed Fr PS4,PS3 | eBay
and
connect (via uptone stub) raspberry board at the rear of Topping D70s (Pi board is light so uptone stub should support it, no USB cable at all),
next connect rasperry Pi via flexible ugreen cable to LNF-C7 : LAN Noise Filter (that I already have connected to router and I think this filter is a great bargain): LNF-C7 : LAN Noise Filter for Network Player, Eliminate Transmission Noise | eBay

And plug low noise power supply to raspberry Pi.
Is that crazy cheap solution a good idea? Shortest possible USB (just stub with some filter), very short Ethernet CAT8 cable with filter between router and raspberry Pi.
It all sounds quite overkill already, but yes don't see why it won't work nicely.
 

Emilios

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Hi, I recently bought a D70s and I have the following question. Did anyone by any chance already compare the RCA output with the XLR output? I now use the RCA output and find the D70s a bit shy of bass and the soundstage not very large either. Would the XLR output improve this? The dac has now been in continuous use for 3 days. The DAC is in between an Aurender N100 streamer and a McIntosh amp. Regards, Emilios
 
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DHT 845

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On XLR d70s sounds better not onlly in bass. Try it.
 

mrbungle

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So many options. Topping D70s or D90 or Gustard X16 or A22 or SMSL SU9 or M400 or something else in that $500 to 1200 range? I feel like I can’t go wrong with either of those, but would appreciate some insights.

Looking for a DAC connected to the A90 and a Roon Raspberry Pi 4B. Hifiman Arya.
 

Noob

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So many options. Topping D70s or D90 or Gustard X16 or A22 or SMSL SU9 or M400 or something else in that $500 to 1200 range? I feel like I can’t go wrong with either of those, but would appreciate some insights.

Looking for a DAC connected to the A90 and a Roon Raspberry Pi 4B. Hifiman Arya.
Since they all perform similarly, you might as well just get the cheapest. I think the SU9 or X16 are the two cheapest on this list.

Unless there are specific features and functions you are looking for, don't worry about it, because they are all great products.
I got the D70s because I specifically wanted a DAC that used a dual-mono AKM design partially because the AKM factory burned, and I wanted to buy a product that felt like I was in some way contributing to the AKM economy and also because this DAC represented to me an engineering landmark in that Topping created a DAC using a chip with lesser rated specs than the D90 for less money than the D90 and ended up with extremely similar performance and even exceeded the specs of the DAC chip, which is very impressive to me.

If I didn't care about those things, I would have gone with the SU9.
 

ShiZo

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Since they all perform similarly, you might as well just get the cheapest. I think the SU9 or X16 are the two cheapest on this list.

Unless there are specific features and functions you are looking for, don't worry about it, because they are all great products.
I got the D70s because I specifically wanted a DAC that used a dual-mono AKM design partially because the AKM factory burned, and I wanted to buy a product that felt like I was in some way contributing to the AKM economy and also because this DAC represented to me an engineering landmark in that Topping created a DAC using a chip with lesser rated specs than the D90 for less money than the D90 and ended up with extremely similar performance and even exceeded the specs of the DAC chip, which is very impressive to me.

If I didn't care about those things, I would have gone with the SU9.
I was really impressed by the d70s for those same reasons. But someone reported that it uses a lot of energy when turned off and pops when powered on or off. I've tried to get these issues verified by others. Have you seen anything like that so far?
 

Noob

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I was really impressed by the d70s for those same reasons. But someone reported that it uses a lot of energy when turned off and pops when powered on or off. I've tried to get these issues verified by others. Have you seen anything like that so far?
I have had neither of those issues, but I also practice the industry standard order of powering up and powering down a system due to years of it being drilled in my head.
On is from source to output. Off is from output to source.
So I have never had the chance to hear it because I turn on my amp after the DAC is on.
I start from my computer, then DAC, then Amp, then plug in my headphones. And I work backwards when powering down. Or I skip the computer if I am going bluetooth through my phone.

I don't experience any energy drain issues that I can detect.
 

nimar

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I was really impressed by the d70s for those same reasons. But someone reported that it uses a lot of energy when turned off and pops when powered on or off. I've tried to get these issues verified by others. Have you seen anything like that so far?

Might have been me, popping when turning DAC off before power amps is rather normal. And as far as the power drain, it's 2.4W in standby. Its not ridiculous, it's just not as good as good as EU requirement of <1W in standby. That said, I don't know what other DACs draw, its entirely possible its better than most, its definitely better than my audiolab m-dac which idle's around 5.4W, doesn't really have a standby mode.
 

Rockdog

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I was really impressed by the d70s for those same reasons. But someone reported that it uses a lot of energy when turned off and pops when powered on or off. I've tried to get these issues verified by others. Have you seen anything like that so far?
My D70s has a slight click when switching sources and even when switching sample rates from the same source. Its a little disheartening but they're pretty low level. Not sure if others get this too. Otherwise it sounds great.
 

DHT 845

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Are there any benefits of supplying upsampled PCM 768kHz signal to D70s from streamers like volumio?
 

DHT 845

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I must say that I am a bit angry. Because there are 2 contradictory opinions (on this forum too I guess) about using hats for Raspberry. Some say that hats have no sense, just use USB out of R-Pi board (just use a good PS for the board), some say that with hat (like Allo USBridge) there is better sound quality. John Darko says that USB in Raspberry is shit (ab. 5:10 in link below)
Pi-Squeeze! A DIRT-CHEAP music STREAMING system (+ ROON alternative) - YouTube

Where is the truth?
 
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