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Topping D90SE Review (Balanced DAC)

rlwings

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I've never owned a Samsung or LG TV and never will. My cheap Vizios and TLC TVs work great with my D90se. It's kind of weird that the more expensive TVs don't work with this dac.
Lol, I changed my mind and deleted my post... But yes, it is a bit weird about Samsung. :)
 

amper42

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If the D90SE has issues working with known devices via optical or other ports Topping has an obligation to compile a list and disclose the information in sales literature so prospective buyers will clearly understand limitations exist and are not expected to be fixed.

If the company knowingly sells a product which is not functional with certain configurations and makes no effort to disclose the known incompatibility prior to sale they open themselves up to claims and poor customer relations. That type of business activity can damage a company.
 

MikeJ

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If the D90SE has issues working with known devices via optical or other ports Topping has an obligation to compile a list and disclose the information in sales literature so prospective buyers will clearly understand limitations exist and are not expected to be fixed.

If the company knowingly sells a product which is not functional with certain configurations and makes no effort to disclose the known incompatibility prior to sale they open themselves up to claims and poor customer relations. That type of business activity can damage a company.
As far as my research goes, this is not primarily Topping's fault. Did you know that ESS DAC's jitter rejection algorithm is, unfortunately, very unforgiving to poor input sources? Hence that's the reason for dropouts / loss of clock synchronization. There are other ESS-based DACs out there which exhibit this behavior. It's not that straightforward as you say.
 

Veri

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If the D90SE has issues working with known devices via optical or other ports Topping has an obligation to compile a list and disclose the information in sales literature so prospective buyers will clearly understand limitations exist and are not expected to be fixed.

If the company knowingly sells a product which is not functional with certain configurations and makes no effort to disclose the known incompatibility prior to sale they open themselves up to claims and poor customer relations. That type of business activity can damage a company.
There are barely any good functioning digital receivers in the current supply chain, what with corona and AKM factory fire..
 

Trell

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As far as my research goes, this is not primarily Topping's fault. Did you know that ESS DAC's jitter rejection algorithm is, unfortunately, very unforgiving to poor input sources? Hence that's the reason for dropouts / loss of clock synchronization. There are other ESS-based DACs out there which exhibit this behavior. It's not that straightforward as you say.

The new RME ADI-2 DAC fs with an ESS DAC chip won’t have this issue. Part of the reason why RME is more expensive.

Edit: spelling
 
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Rover

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The new RME ADI-2 DAC fs with an ESS DAC chip won’t have this issue. Part of the reason why RME is more expensive.

Edit: spelling
The D1se on ES9038PRO is cheaper than the D90SE and has no problems .Because there is a built-in DPPL controller and SMSL knows that users need it.
 

Trell

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The D1se on ES9038PRO is cheaper than the D90SE and has no problems .Because there is a built-in DPPL controller and SMSL knows that users need it.

As I wrote: Part of why RME is more expensive and that does not exclude other manufactures getting it right, but is still an expense that has to be covered one way or another. My comment was about Topping having issues, though, but the same trade-offs are there with respects to costs of the product vs features for all manufactures.
 

Rover

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As I wrote: Part of why RME is more expensive and that does not exclude other manufactures getting it right, but is still an expense that has to be covered one way or another. My comment was about Topping having issues, though, but the same trade-offs are there with respects to costs of the product vs features for all manufactures.
Recall that the RME ADI-2 FS is made in Germany and the D90SE is ordinary China.That's why it's more expensive.
And for the D90SE , it was too high a price , too expensive ,without the function needed by the consumer.!It is better to take a dac from SMSL or Gustard where there are no problems with ES9038PRO.
There's a built-in DPPL jitter function.!:eek:
And 100% compatible with any technique.;)
 
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Trell

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Recall that the RME ADI-2 FS is made in Germany and the D90SE is ordinary China.That's why it's more expensive.
And for the D90SE , it was too high a price , too expensive !It is better to take a dac from SMSL or Gustard where there are no problems with ES9038PRO.
There's a built-in DPPL jitter function.!:eek:
And 100% compatible with any technique.;)

Sure, a product made in Germany has added labour costs, among others, but for me the RME ADI-2 DAC fs is still the better value for it’s features and support: dynamic loudness, B/T tone control, PEQ, auto ref level, safety features like slow ramp up of volume, usable device GUI, Digicheck app. None which the other DAC/hpamp has, yet.

In this I think that RME made the right choice instead of exclusively chasing SINAD.

Useful features is what sets RME apart from the competition, and the rest has to play catch-up.
 

Rover

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Sure, a product made in Germany has added labour costs, among others, but for me the RME ADI-2 DAC fs is still the better value for it’s features and support: dynamic loudness, B/T tone control, PEQ, auto ref level, safety features like slow ramp up of volume, usable device GUI, Digicheck app. None which the other DAC/hpamp has, yet.

In this I think that RME made the right choice instead of exclusively chasing SINAD.

Useful features is what sets RME apart from the competition, and the rest has to play catch-up.
Yes, there is truth in this.
 

Trell

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Yes, there is truth in this.

I’ve no doubt that other manufacturers will follow with similar features as RME, but it will be a major upgrade along with costs of development. The price for the consumer will increase significantly, though.

For Topping that already has very good products it means that it’s end of the line for just better specs, and as company they need to add features to their DACs, and probably expand to other product segments as well. It’s my understanding that new product lines are in development.
 
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Powell2199

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I've been wondering сan i use 5V mode with Neumann KH120 monitors? Maybe someone has experience on that matter?
 

Trell

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I've been wondering сan i use 5V mode with Neumann KH120 monitors? Maybe someone has experience on that matter?

Sure you can, according to the specs: Max input level is +24 dBu (about 12V RMS) and then adjust the input Input gain control (sensitivity) on the monitors as needed for your listening levels.


Handy calculator: http://www.sengpielaudio.com/calculator-db-volt.htm
 

G-rig

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Hi all, this Topping unit seems good, it is over twice the price as the SMSL SU-9 (in AUS), is it twice as good or just works properly as intended?
I have just set up the SMSL SU-9 yesterday, and waiting from a reply from Shenzhang Audio to see if it's had the 3rd harmonic distortion problem (I joined to ask some questions here).

I'm also planning on running either DAC as a DAC only setup to active monitors, similar to above I'm not sure if there is a proper way to set the gain control on the rear of the speakers vs the DAC volume? I notice some hiss if standing close to the tweeters but probably get that anyway.
I still want to have a good range of volume using the phone/app as control (for now cast to CCA until I build a RPi4 and perhaps Volumio for direct streaming). I don't think the preamp ON mode is viable given lack of range and risk of very high volume (not a desktop setup with amp).

HS80M Input Sensitivity/Impedance = -10 dBu/ 10 k-ohms
Using XLR balanced outputs.

Thanks in advance!
 

Rover

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Hi all, this Topping unit seems good, it is over twice the price as the SMSL SU-9 (in AUS), is it twice as good or just works properly as intended?
I have just set up the SMSL SU-9 yesterday, and waiting from a reply from Shenzhang Audio to see if it's had the 3rd harmonic distortion problem (I joined to ask some questions here).

I'm also planning on running either DAC as a DAC only setup to active monitors, similar to above I'm not sure if there is a proper way to set the gain control on the rear of the speakers vs the DAC volume? I notice some hiss if standing close to the tweeters but probably get that anyway.
I still want to have a good range of volume using the phone/app as control (for now cast to CCA until I build a RPi4 and perhaps Volumio for direct streaming). I don't think the preamp ON mode is viable given lack of range and risk of very high volume (not a desktop setup with amp).

HS80M Input Sensitivity/Impedance = -10 dBu/ 10 k-ohms
Using XLR balanced outputs.

Thanks in advance!
Look better at SMSL D1se.
 

G-rig

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Look better at SMSL D1se.
Thanks, I'm looking at a few reviews. Not sure if it's worth the extra over su-9 but possibly if it works properly. No LDAC. I won't use all the time but good for convince or guests and was impressed that it kept the audio quality in tact.

A store sells this and the topping D90se locally (more expensive than Shenzheng audio, but easier than sending back to China is there are issues), I've heard the D90SE has a DSD problem.

The su-9 had a small pop when powered on/off or Changing input with my monitors setup, PC no problem (but drivers didn't work at all and crackling sound)
 

G-rig

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The power supply and regulation and filtering stages on the D1SE look promising. I was also considering the Gustard x16.

I want to have volume control so use variable not fixed to active monitors. I think the sound is still ok. If use fixed (level 99) it can be way too loud by mistake, and the phone vol control very low.
 
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bennetng

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I've heard the D90SE has a DSD problem.
If you are referring to the Archimago review I posted above, it is not a D90SE specific issue. It is the inherent limitation of the ESS chips. Firstly, read his two previous analyses with another Topping and RME product using the AK4493:

Then read the D90SE review:

His Oppo UDP-205 with the same ESS9038 Pro chip showed the same issue as well.

...as well as the Topping D10B with a non-pro ES9038

The conclusion is that AK4493 showed far superior DSD performance than ES9038, regardless of using "Direct DSD" or not. On the contrary, ES9038 always degrade DSD input, and the degradation is more severe with higher DSD rates (256 and 512).

It makes me curious about the CS43198 DSD performance as it claims "Direct DSD" capability as well.
 
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