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Topping D90 Balanced USB DAC Review

MOCKBA

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Sep 23, 2019
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If you feel otherwise, comment in the thread and I will decide what to do based on that.
No reason to rebuy an entire product line, but few samples can be reasonable. It helps also people to select a right retailer.
 

Tokyo_John

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Normally, I would have returned. But I bought it from Aliexpress and I live in Brazil (the country where people are dying like flies). This makes it very complicated....

If you already switched cables and source devices, and optical runs fine, then it has to be related to the D90 USB input.

I think you can only try shipping it to Topping directly for repair, or simply run optical instead. I think Topping has been good about repairs/replacements of defective units, so definitely contact them and find out.
 

Toku

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Hi everyone,
I recently bought the D90 + A90 and I am listening to a lot of annoying crackling and popping sound. It doesn't matter the player, youtube, gamers. In such cases they are random. But when I move the windows volume bar, it’s constant. I recorded a video to show you.
My setup is simple: PC ---- USB ---- D90-- XLR --- A90 (or without the A90) ---- XLR ---- Yamaha HS8 (or KRK rokit 8) Updated drivers Topping from the official site.
I tried with RCA cables I tried with other USB cables (I only have simple cables)
Tried with all the usb ports Only DAC mode or PRE
I decided to enable the onboard sound to test the optical input of the D90. In that case the crackling and popping noises disappear.
Everything is grounded. I never had any problems with my Focusrite USB audio interfaces.
I ordered a usb cable from Amazon, which claims to be 4N copper, I don't know if this has any real benefits.
Normally, I would have returned. But I bought it from Aliexpress and I live in Brazil (the country where people are dying like flies). This makes it very complicated. The cable I ordered from Amazon cost more than twice as much in fees.
So, any tips? Thanks.
Video:
You are only talking about connections between devices. More information is needed to find the cause.
Types of audio players used on PCs, types of music files to play, etc. (feg. DSD/PCM, Bit rate, WASAP/ASIO ... etc)
 

Racheski

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Hi everyone,
I recently bought the D90 + A90 and I am listening to a lot of annoying crackling and popping sound. It doesn't matter the player, youtube, gamers. In such cases they are random. But when I move the windows volume bar, it’s constant. I recorded a video to show you.
My setup is simple: PC ---- USB ---- D90-- XLR --- A90 (or without the A90) ---- XLR ---- Yamaha HS8 (or KRK rokit 8) Updated drivers Topping from the official site.
I tried with RCA cables I tried with other USB cables (I only have simple cables)
Tried with all the usb ports Only DAC mode or PRE
I decided to enable the onboard sound to test the optical input of the D90. In that case the crackling and popping noises disappear.
Everything is grounded. I never had any problems with my Focusrite USB audio interfaces.
I ordered a usb cable from Amazon, which claims to be 4N copper, I don't know if this has any real benefits.
Normally, I would have returned. But I bought it from Aliexpress and I live in Brazil (the country where people are dying like flies). This makes it very complicated. The cable I ordered from Amazon cost more than twice as much in fees.
So, any tips? Thanks.
Video:
What happens when you use a different DAC via USB?
 

ArturoKiwi

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Feb 13, 2020
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Hi everyone,
I recently bought the D90 + A90 and I am listening to a lot of annoying crackling and popping sound. It doesn't matter the player, youtube, gamers. In such cases they are random. But when I move the windows volume bar, it’s constant. I recorded a video to show you.
My setup is simple: PC ---- USB ---- D90-- XLR --- A90 (or without the A90) ---- XLR ---- Yamaha HS8 (or KRK rokit 8) Updated drivers Topping from the official site.
I tried with RCA cables I tried with other USB cables (I only have simple cables)
Tried with all the usb ports Only DAC mode or PRE
I decided to enable the onboard sound to test the optical input of the D90. In that case the crackling and popping noises disappear.
Everything is grounded. I never had any problems with my Focusrite USB audio interfaces.
I ordered a usb cable from Amazon, which claims to be 4N copper, I don't know if this has any real benefits.
Normally, I would have returned. But I bought it from Aliexpress and I live in Brazil (the country where people are dying like flies). This makes it very complicated. The cable I ordered from Amazon cost more than twice as much in fees.
So, any tips? Thanks.
Video:
You could also try to reboot your pc with a Ubuntu usb pendrive and try to play music from Linux. So you'll be sure that it isn't driver/Windows dependant.
Under Linux all Dac are automatically detected
 

Nicolaas

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Feb 2, 2020
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You could also try to reboot your pc with a Ubuntu usb pendrive and try to play music from Linux. So you'll be sure that it isn't driver/Windows dependant.
Under Linux all Dac are automatically detected
That's a good idea. You could try Linux Mint Xfce with player Audacious. You do not have to install Linux but you can run it from an USB stick!
 

EdW

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Jul 5, 2020
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Location
Cambridge, UK
Hi everyone,
I recently bought the D90 + A90 and I am listening to a lot of annoying crackling and popping sound. It doesn't matter the player, youtube, gamers. In such cases they are random. But when I move the windows volume bar, it’s constant. I recorded a video to show you.
My setup is simple: PC ---- USB ---- D90-- XLR --- A90 (or without the A90) ---- XLR ---- Yamaha HS8 (or KRK rokit 8) Updated drivers Topping from the official site.
I tried with RCA cables I tried with other USB cables (I only have simple cables)
Tried with all the usb ports Only DAC mode or PRE
I decided to enable the onboard sound to test the optical input of the D90. In that case the crackling and popping noises disappear.
Everything is grounded. I never had any problems with my Focusrite USB audio interfaces.
I ordered a usb cable from Amazon, which claims to be 4N copper, I don't know if this has any real benefits.
Normally, I would have returned. But I bought it from Aliexpress and I live in Brazil (the country where people are dying like flies). This makes it very complicated. The cable I ordered from Amazon cost more than twice as much in fees.
So, any tips? Thanks.
Video:
As @Veri suggests it is quite probably a ground issue. If you have access to a laptop PC try that connected via USB to the D90 with the mains power supply to the laptop disconnected. If this doesn’t work correctly then you may have a faulty D90
 

sq225917

Senior Member
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Jun 23, 2019
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...and the windows volume control will be bit chopping unless you are using a software that controls the dac volume directly.
 

FrankBRC2

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Thank you all so much for answering me.



Tokyo_John
The main factor that made me buy this DAC was the possibilities that USB has to offer. Send to Topping sounds very expensive. But I contacted them, they still haven't answered my email.

Racheski
I don't know if a USB audio interface can be considered a DAC, a basic one with different functions, but the main one is the ability to connect to the PC, and from the interface to connect to the speakers through balanced cables. With this type of equipment, USB audio interface, in this case, Focusrite Scalett 2i2 gen 2 and gen 3, I never had any problems.

Toku
Indeed, I didn't specify the software side.
Until recently I hadn't even heard of DSD audio, I wanted to experience it.

Foobar with the components that comes with the Topping driver

HQPlayer (trial)

Winamp (just PCM)

I focused more on Foobar, which is the player I know the most. In it I configured

Output - Device --- ASIO: foo_dsd_asio
ASIO drivers --- foo_dsd_asio (double click):
Topping USB Audio Device
Asio native
none
none
0ms
dsd64
dsd64
TOOLS
SACD --- Output mode --- DSD

It doesn't matter what type of audio I listen to, DSD or PCM. Player also makes no difference. Always popping and cracking noise. Even on youtube
 

FrankBRC2

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100% a USB grounding noise issue :/ can you proceed to keep using optical input of D90?
As I replied, I bought the D90 for its USB capabilities. Is it not possible to solve the problem with grounding noise? A cable, filter...?
 

FrankBRC2

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As @Veri suggests it is quite probably a ground issue. If you have access to a laptop PC try that connected via USB to the D90 with the mains power supply to the laptop disconnected. If this doesn’t work correctly then you may have a faulty D90
Unfortunately I don't have access to a laptop
You could also try to reboot your pc with a Ubuntu usb pendrive and try to play music from Linux. So you'll be sure that it isn't driver/Windows dependant.
Under Linux all Dac are automatically detected
I will try this. Thanks.
 

auronthas

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May 14, 2019
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How many of D90 owners are using balanced XLR?

After almost a year using D90 with balanced output (both DAC and Pre Mode), the sound remains little too bright and harsh on certain tracks especially high end frequency.

I decided to change to single ended RCA output, now it sounds smoother and yet detail. Getting an old Sony CD player as CD Transport, will try its spdif output to D90 and have a good audition later.
 

Nicolaas

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Feb 2, 2020
Messages
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How many of D90 owners are using balanced XLR?

After almost a year using D90 with balanced output (both DAC and Pre Mode), the sound remains little too bright and harsh on certain tracks especially high end frequency.

I decided to change to single ended RCA output, now it sounds smoother and yet detail. Getting an old Sony CD player as CD Transport, will try its spdif output to D90 and have a good audition later.
I use my D90 in RCA mode only (and sometimes BT mode). If the recording is good then the D90 sound quality is good!
 

Mancunian

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Jan 10, 2021
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How many of D90 owners are using balanced XLR?

After almost a year using D90 with balanced output (both DAC and Pre Mode), the sound remains little too bright and harsh on certain tracks especially high end frequency.

I decided to change to single ended RCA output, now it sounds smoother and yet detail. Getting an old Sony CD player as CD Transport, will try its spdif output to D90 and have a good audition later.

I use mine with Roon > Roopie > USB > D90 > Balanced XLR to Drop AAA 789 > Various headphones sounds great. I'll try the RCA to see if it sounds different when I get a chance (currently RCA to some Roberts active speakers), the only time I experience too bright was using Grado SR325 headphones, but that's more the headphones :)
 

Dclone

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Apr 30, 2020
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How many of D90 owners are using balanced XLR?

After almost a year using D90 with balanced output (both DAC and Pre Mode), the sound remains little too bright and harsh on certain tracks especially high end frequency.

I decided to change to single ended RCA output, now it sounds smoother and yet detail. Getting an old Sony CD player as CD Transport, will try its spdif output to D90 and have a good audition later.

I use balanced XLR output to Krell pre amp. I have disabled BT and only plays Tidal with laptop connected throgh USB. Use Win 10 and the latest D90 driver and FW. My speakers are extremely revealing especially in mid and treble spectra. I do not find the sound harsh or to bright. I did have that experience with my DX7/s though (probably chiprelated). One thing I learned is that the quality of the USB cable is really important. My whole system is using true balanced XLR.
 

Veri

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I use balanced XLR output to Krell pre amp. I have disabled BT and only plays Tidal with laptop connected throgh USB. Use Win 10 and the latest D90 driver and FW. My speakers are extremely revealing especially in mid and treble spectra. I do not find the sound harsh or to bright. I did have that experience with my DX7/s though (probably chiprelated). One thing I learned is that the quality of the USB cable is really important.
This is a science site sir. Having "extremely revealing" speakers is no argument to make such blanket statements. "chip related" or USB cable related harshness? No such thing. Or, you know... prove it.
 

ArturoKiwi

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I use balanced XLR output to Krell pre amp. I have disabled BT and only plays Tidal with laptop connected throgh USB. Use Win 10 and the latest D90 driver and FW. My speakers are extremely revealing especially in mid and treble spectra. I do not find the sound harsh or to bright. I did have that experience with my DX7/s though (probably chiprelated). One thing I learned is that the quality of the USB cable is really important. My whole system is using true balanced XLR.
Hi Dclone, could I ask you which pre and speakers do you have?
 

Max Efficiency

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Mar 30, 2021
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Hi everyone,
I recently bought the D90 + A90 and I am listening to a lot of annoying crackling and popping sound. It doesn't matter the player, youtube, gamers. In such cases they are random. But when I move the windows volume bar, it’s constant. I recorded a video to show you.
My setup is simple: PC ---- USB ---- D90-- XLR --- A90 (or without the A90) ---- XLR ---- Yamaha HS8 (or KRK rokit 8) Updated drivers Topping from the official site.
I tried with RCA cables I tried with other USB cables (I only have simple cables)
Tried with all the usb ports Only DAC mode or PRE
I decided to enable the onboard sound to test the optical input of the D90. In that case the crackling and popping noises disappear.
Everything is grounded. I never had any problems with my Focusrite USB audio interfaces.
I ordered a usb cable from Amazon, which claims to be 4N copper, I don't know if this has any real benefits.
Normally, I would have returned. But I bought it from Aliexpress and I live in Brazil (the country where people are dying like flies). This makes it very complicated. The cable I ordered from Amazon cost more than twice as much in fees.
So, any tips? Thanks.
Video:

I experienced the same issue as you, popping and crackling sound basically on all media files that I play from my PC (Spotify, Youtube, downloaded videos etc.)

- Crackling sound : PC <USB> D90 <XLR> A90 <XLR> Adam A5X, HD800S, Focal Celestee
- No crackling sound : Note 10+ <Bluetooth> D90...
- No crackling sound : Work laptop <USB> D90...

I suspected the issue might be the PC's motherboard USB, therefore I downloaded and installed the USB driver from the motherboard manufacturer's website.

Lo and behold, no more popping and crackling sound from my PC USB connection. Worth a try if you haven't done so and good luck :)
 
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