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Topping D90SE Review (Balanced DAC)

b4nt

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EU considered the many big and little boxes in our houses and offices: PC, screens, TV, audio, phone chargers, hubs... If all that uses less in off/standby modes, a huge amount of energy is saved at countries and at continent scale.
 

nhs

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New bug! I use my D90SE in preamp mode connected straight to the power amp.
If the D90SE is turned off while the volume is muted, the volume level is automatically set to 0db when the D90SE is turned on next time.
This already happened to me several times and led to explosive loudness from my speakers. That aggravates me so.
@JohnYang1997 can you give me a statement that this is a firmware bug which will be fixed now? I want to send the device back to the dealer within the returning window if it can not be fixed per firmware update next day. Thanks.
 
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Serg

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The sugar you're talking about is harmonic distortion and phase distortion. It's entirely different from EQ, and one is not a substitute for the other. Certainly many people do like the warmth of tubes and transformers, and all of the very measurable non-linearities that come with. I enjoy it myself. I think a DAC is the last place you want to find It though. You should start with a pure signal, and sugar it up further down the chain. Your preamp, amp and speakers are where you should be getting that. If you want it at the source, try vinyl. For me, I want the purest reproduction of the source possible.
This!!
 

JohnYang1997

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New bug! I use my D90SE in preamp mode connected straight to the power amp.
If the D90SE is turned off while the volume is muted, the volume level is automatically set to 0db when the D90SE is turned on next time.
This already happened to me several times and led to explosive loudness from my speakers. That aggravates me so.
@JohnYang1997 can you give me a statement that this is a firmware bug which will be fixed now? I want to send the device back to the dealer within the returning window if it can not be fixed per firmware update next day. Thanks.
I think you triggered system reset which is USB input, mute, turn off.
 

Rottmannash

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I just received my D90SE. Bought on Amazon from Aoshida Hi-Fi. Delivered in 4 days to US.

Replacing an old Mytek Brooklyn DAC+.

A bit of background. I had bought a Matrix Audio X-Pro year and a half ago. Subjectively, I felt the Mytek was better, but when I did a blind test, I could not tell a difference. So Matrix was returned.

Now, first impressions on the D90SE. It could be in my head, but it sounds way better than Mytek, feeling cleaner low and high end, and I can play louder without any subjective feeling of “compression.” I have the D90SE in 5volt preamp mode, mode 5 filter FR linear, driving a McIntosh MC462, which powers KEF R11s from 4 Ohm output taps.

Could this be a output impedance issue? Topping specifies 100ohm output impedance. My McIntosh has a 22kohm input impedance and 4.2 volt input sensitivity. Stereophile measured 20dB gain using the 4ohm output taps, which I’m using. Mytek supposed to have 50ohm output impedance and 6volt output at 0db. On paper, this should not be an issue.

Either way, D90SE sounds better in current setup. Or maybe it’s in my head and matter of expectations. I expected Matrix to sound better, but it didn’t; I expected Topping to sound the same, but it sounds better. Thinking of doing a blind test again.

Also, recently got a Schiit Modius, which subjectively is worse the both of these. But again, this could be in my head or an issue with the ability to drive the McIntosh.


View attachment 138980
Please don't light a fire in that fireplace!
 

JohnYang1997

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New bug! I use my D90SE in preamp mode connected straight to the power amp.
If the D90SE is turned off while the volume is muted, the volume level is automatically set to 0db when the D90SE is turned on next time.
This already happened to me several times and led to explosive loudness from my speakers. That aggravates me so.
@JohnYang1997 can you give me a statement that this is a firmware bug which will be fixed now? I want to send the device back to the dealer within the returning window if it can not be fixed per firmware update next day. Thanks.
What do you think would be a suitable solution. I'm thinking changing the default volume to -30dB and change the system reset sequence to a more complex one. Normally we would assume you don't mute then turn off. But after thinking about it, if one uses mute functions very often it would be inevitable to trigger the condition.
I'm certain it is fixable though. Need your feedback.
 

nhs

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What do you think would be a suitable solution. I'm thinking changing the default volume to -30dB and change the system reset sequence to a more complex one. Normally we would assume you don't mute then turn off. But after thinking about it, if one uses mute functions very often it would be inevitable to trigger the condition.
I'm certain it is fixable though. Need your feedback.
First mute then turn off is not a sequence I usually do. But my DAC is located in the living room where other family members often watch TV too. So they often mute the music for watching TV and after awhile just turn off all devices. That's a typical scenario. Next time you turn on the DAC then boom... It happens.
I am expecting that the D90SE, like many other devices (Oppo, SMSL, Rotel) I had, should always remember it's last volume for next booting.
I think, your suggestion with more complex sequence for full reset is ok. Reducing default volume by -30db is also good but not necessary.
 
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nhs

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Unless, accidentally or on purpose, you trigger a full reset ;)
If Topping chose the combination USB input+mute+turn off for triggering a full reset, I must say it is a very improvident choice. The use case I described above could often happen. There is plenty of other better combinations for example
- Press volume down and volume up button simultaneously.
- or use your existing sequence USB input, mute and turn off but within a time range of 3 seconds.
I just own the D90SE few days but it has happened to us several times, so I can not use the D90SE under this condition.
 
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b4nt

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- Press volume down and volume up button simultaneously.
- or use your existing sequence USB input, mute and turn off but within a time range of 3 seconds.

Other boxes use basic sequences for reset, like press and keep pressed mute button at mains power up, for 10 seconds. Any display or blinking indication after the 10s would be welcome, to indicate it was taken into account; on some boxes, one never knows if it happened.
 

nhs

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Other boxes use basic sequences for reset, like press and keep pressed mute button at mains power up, for 10 seconds. Any display or blinking indication after the 10s would be welcome, to indicate it was taken into account; on some boxes, one never knows if it happened.
Yes, it is also a further mindful possibility.
 

threni

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How much state does a DAC have that it needs a factory reset?
I'd go with "turn it on with the power button held in".
 

nhs

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@JohnYang1997, I think, your proposal with a more complex sequence or other suggestions above, all sounds reasonable. The main thing is, that you can provide a fix by a firmware which we are able to download and update our device. Can you do it?
 

ShiZo

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What filter have you guys been using? I've been using 5 but a lot of people seem to like 7. I never heard of a minimum correct fast filter before.
 
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