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Topping D90SE Review (Balanced DAC)

glc650

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By default this DAC is set to output RCA and XLR simultaneously. What's the use case for this feature? Is there any disadvantage to leaving it on this default setting?
 

enricoclaudio

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Lets say you want to use the D90SE as a pre amp with a subwoofer in your system. Use XLR to send signal to the speaker's amp or active monitors and RCA to the subwoofer. There is no disadvantage to leave it that way even if you use XLR or RCA only.
 

rlwings

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Hey guys, I have 2 questions for the community:

(1) Can I use an adapter on the XLR outputs of the D90SE to turn them into another set of RCA's to go to my subwoofer's amp. Would the voltage be too high for this purpose, or will the voltage be controlled by the Dac's preamp volume? (In other words just using the first half of the DAC's volume control?)

(2) I see that the DAC's ASIO driver now allows for 24 or 32 bit. Is there any value\downfall in choosing 32 bit? - I'm using Dirac room correction in the audio chain which I think runs at 24 bit. Would choosing 32 bit just upscale the audio without any degradation? Or would it make an Improvement?

Thanks for your help and expertise guys. :)
 

enricoclaudio

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Hey guys, I have 2 questions for the community:

(1) Can I use an adapter on the XLR outputs of the D90SE to turn them into another set of RCA's to go to my subwoofer's amp. Would the voltage be too high for this purpose, or will the voltage be controlled by the Dac's preamp volume? (In other words just using the first half of the DAC's volume control?)

(2) I see that the DAC's ASIO driver now allows for 24 or 32 bit. Is there any value\downfall in choosing 32 bit? - I'm using Dirac room correction in the audio chain which I think runs at 24 bit. Would choosing 32 bit just upscale the audio without any degradation? Or would it make an Improvement?

Thanks for your help and expertise guys. :)

Why not use the RCA outs directly from the D90SE to send signal to the subwoofer(s)? You can have both, XLR + RCA Outs active in the D90SE. If you have 2 subwoofers, then send left signal to the subwoofer on the left and right signal to the subwoofer on the right.
 

rlwings

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Why not use the RCA outs directly from the D90SE to send signal to the subwoofer(s)? You can have both, XLR + RCA Outs active in the D90SE. If you have 2 subwoofers, then send left signal to the subwoofer on the left and right signal to the subwoofer on the right.
Thanks for your response! - I should have mentioned that I don't have XLR inputs on my amp. Only RCA. So the RCS's on my D90SE would already be in use. :\
 

enricoclaudio

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Thanks for your response! - I should have mentioned that I don't have XLR inputs on my amp. Only RCA. So the RCS's on my D90SE would already be in use. :\

Then use a balanced (XLR) to RCA adapter. That’s totally fine.
 

JohnYang1997

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Hey guys, I have 2 questions for the community:

(1) Can I use an adapter on the XLR outputs of the D90SE to turn them into another set of RCA's to go to my subwoofer's amp. Would the voltage be too high for this purpose, or will the voltage be controlled by the Dac's preamp volume? (In other words just using the first half of the DAC's volume control?)

(2) I see that the DAC's ASIO driver now allows for 24 or 32 bit. Is there any value\downfall in choosing 32 bit? - I'm using Dirac room correction in the audio chain which I think runs at 24 bit. Would choosing 32 bit just upscale the audio without any degradation? Or would it make an Improvement?

Thanks for your help and expertise guys. :)
1, Using splitter is the way to go. Do not convert balanced output to single ended like that.
2, Nothing meaningful. Either is fine.
 

rlwings

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OK, I just want to express my utter amazement with the Topping D90SE. Both the DAC and the preamp are excellent!

As I've mentioned before I own the new ($4,000 CAD) Marantz Model 30 integrated amplifier and I assumed that the preamp section in the Marantz just had to be better than the one in the D90SE.

Well, after switching between both preamps I was shocked to discover that the preamp in the D90SE sounds so much more satisfying than the Marantz. It is an obvious difference not a subtle one... By better I mean that it sounds more resolving; I can hear more detail. The Marantz is 'soft'\rolled off and too 'warm' by comparison. The Topping has drive and excitement, and is way more transparent yet somehow never too clinical. To me it's almost perfect!

Honestly I'm shocked and was wondering if I might hear from some of you guys about this... I mean at $4,000 the Marantz advertises an excellent preamp section complete with it's own toroidal power supply, high quality components and their 'famous' HDAM technology. The Model 30 is advertised as two separate units living in one box; equal to having separates due to the preamps total isolation from the amp and other sections. Much time and 'tuning' has apparently gone into this special Marantz amp and I am shocked that the Topping D90SE's preamp is this much better. I mean the Topping is a $1,000 DAC with a preamp thrown in as a convenience factor for crying out loud. ... Seriously, how is this even possible? - I feel ripped off by Marantz!

Thoughts?
 
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enricoclaudio

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OK, I just want to express my utter amazement with the Topping D90SE. Both the DAC and the preamp are excellent!

As I've mentioned before I own the new ($4,000 CAD) Marantz Model 30 integrated amplifier and I assumed that the preamp section in Marantz just had to be better...

Well, after switching between both preamps I was shocked to learn that the preamp in the D90SE sounds so much more satisfying than the Marantz. It is an obvious difference not a subtle one... By better I mean that it sounds more resolving; I can hear more detail. The Marantz is 'soft' \ rolled off and too 'warm' by comparison. The Topping has drive and excitement, but never too clinical. To me it's almost perfect!

Honestly I'm shocked and was wondering if I might hear from some of you about this... I mean at $4,000 the Marantz advertises an excellent preamp section complete with it's own toroidal power supply, high quality components and their 'famous' HDAM technology. The Model 30 is advertised as two seperate units living in one box; equal to having seperates due to the preamps total isolation from the amp and other sections. Much time and 'tuning' has apparently gone into this special Marantz amp and I am shocked that the Topping D90SE's preamp is this much better. I mean it's only a $1,000 DAC with a preamp thrown in as a convenience factor for crying out loud. ... Seriously, how is this possible? - I feel ripped off by Marantz!

Thoughts?

I would return the Marantz and if you need more inputs, get a Pre90 + Ext90 for $898 and you will be saving more than $2K. Stack the D90SE + Pre90 + Ext90 and you would have a killer all in one preamp/DAC for less than half price the Marantz….

https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/topping-pre90-review-preamplifier.18283/
 

rlwings

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I would return the Marantz and if you need more inputs, get a Pre90 + Ext90 for $898 and you will be saving more than $2K. Stack the D90SE + Pre90 + Ext90 and you would have a killer all in one preamp/DAC for less than half price the Marantz….

https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/topping-pre90-review-preamplifier.18283/
Great idea! - Especially if I would have acted sooner. Unfortunately I am outside of the return window now. :(

Oh well, I guess I learned a few very important (and expensive) lessons here:

(1) Higher price does not always equal better sound.
(2) Listen and compare before buying (preferably in your own home).
(3) Look for transparent products that measure well then do your own room correction\eq-ing - (Avoid sound signature stuff).
(4) China is now making some pretty excellent stuff. :)

And to make matters worse, I actually bought 2 Marantz Model 30's!! ... But I also bought 2 Topping D90SE's so that's good. And the Marantz amp does sound excellent once I bypass it's preamp section and go direct to the amp via the D90's preamp. So at least I ended up with 2 amazing sounding systems... Just wasted a lot of money.

P.S. My only source is a PC with Dirac room correction
 
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billdylan

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I also received mine in the mail this Monday, and so far it is mostly fine.

But, like others have said, I am having issues with dropouts when using it with my LG OLED tv via optical. I was expecting this since people mentioned it, but I wasn't prepared for how frequent they are, typically like once a minute or so it drops out for a split second.

What I wasn't expecting was similar dropouts when using I2S out of my pi2aes board. They are much less frequent, but still present, like maybe once an hour or so.

The only dropout free input is the USB from the same raspberry pi 4 I have the pi2aes plugged into.
Hi There

Just an idea but maybe its having the same problems as the E30 Is having . Ask 'The Elders' if there has been a chip change to the problematic Cirrus CS 8416 recently, probably not, but its worth asking member JohnYang as He commented on this thread today, and I think he designed some of these products ,so a good man to ask. And he has also confirmed such problems exist with the Topping E30 via the coaxial input on other posts on here

If confused ,check the e30 " jitter problem" thread...and last few pages of the '" E30 review thread "

Apparently Topping no longer recommend it being used in this way via Coaxial, and cannot fix it .So you may have to send it back if it for a refund if it continues

Hope this is a help

Take it easy

Bill
 
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glc650

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Lets say you want to use the D90SE as a pre amp with a subwoofer in your system. Use XLR to send signal to the speaker's amp or active monitors and RCA to the subwoofer. There is no disadvantage to leave it that way even if you use XLR or RCA only.
I assume the same goes for the Pre90 as well since it has the same output options?
 

strom

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I am going to sleep. If you need anything from me, it will come 10+ hours from now....
I have the Stax SRM 323S energizer and the Stax SR 009S electrostatic headphones connected to my iMac. Can the Topping D90 SE be used in this set up?
I am going to sleep. If you need anything from me, it will come 10+ hours from now....
 

Snoopy

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By default this DAC is set to output RCA and XLR simultaneously. What's the use case for this feature? Is there any disadvantage to leaving it on this default setting?

I'm using a Cambridge cxn V2 that does that too.
I'm using the XLR output for my headphone amp. And the RCA out for my stereo amp.
 
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Interesting findings:
bluesound node (latest model) sounds a little better with MQA than flac 44.1 kH (Radio paradise).
And topping d90se sounds better than the internal dac of the bluesound node, this dac is a clear improvement in my system.
so I am keeping this dac. Sounds a bit more clear and brighter, more perceived detail yet very smooth. NOT Tiring at all! Very natural and realistic. Very happy with the sound. Good punchy bass and very good soundstage! I can recommend the investment in this external dac, even though the bluesound node (130) dac is supposed to be pretty good.

but the interesting fact is that the MQA version with the topping dac now sounds actually a little worse to my ears than flac 44.1.
can there be an explanation for that?

btw:
this Topping dac can’t take optical input from Samsung tv, too much jitter probably. But via the hdmi through the bluesound node no problem. No hickups in sound, so I am happy with this "solution".
 
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Snoopy

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Interesting findings:

btw:
this Topping dac can’t take optical input from Samsung tv, too much jitter probably. But via the hdmi through the bluesound node no problem. No hickups in sound, so I am happy with this "solution".

Mqa is just a scam. You get lossy audio and all the mqa unfolds do is add noise to the high frequencies.

It's no surprise that a normal Redbook Flac sounds better than a lossy stream.
 

Sisay

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looking inside, what does it cost here?(parts for $ 200)

what is the margin on such devices?
 
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muslhead

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Pssst, manufacturers are in the business to make money. What they make on each part is their business and their job as all good capitalist is to make as much as they can on each item they sell. I do not understand this obession in this forum with margin and profits. If you dont like the price move along.
 
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