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Topping D90SE Review (Balanced DAC)

G-rig

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Oct 11, 2021
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Once more astonished by this sub 1K DAC. Setting it for pure DAC (no pre amp) XLR output only, Bluetooth off, FTIR 7 for PCM and 5V got me almost 70% sound pleasure compared to my 13 times more expensive Accuphase DC950 that uses two D90SE chips one for each channel and a beefy power supply.
Accuphase also do not have MQA, Bluetooth, DSD1024 via I2S and PCM 32/768. Chinese Hi End Is top notch. And for 900 bucks!

That's good, there's no need to spend a fortune like yesteryear on real high end gear. A lot of these DACs have great specs and features, as long as they last you a good amount of time and work as intended (with no bugs and quirks). Don't want to have to replace equipment every few years for nothing. My Cambridge DAC magic from 2011 is still going strong but decided time for an upgrade - mostly for an integrated volume knob and an updated more detailed sound (but still ended up with no MQA as I got an RME).

Not many people are too worried about BT, but it's handy especially for guests etc. I briefly sampled the SMSL SU-9 and it did sound pretty good, as well as LDAC. Two way BT would be neat for use with Sony headphones when I want NC, but android phone does the job with LDAC and Google assistant.
 

NTomokawa

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Once again, Topping has demonstrated their masterful engineering.

I just wish they used a more visually pleasing display font. Sans-serif would be good.
 

G-rig

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Yes and a volume knob instead of up/down buttons.
It's a shame as they look like old set-top boxes from out of the early 90s.
Didn't matter so much when they were a few hundred bucks, but hardly cheap to buy anymore.

Still waiting on a refund from Amazon for the SMSL, had to send back to china :rolleyes:
 
Last edited:

Pulkass

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Feb 17, 2019
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Once again, Topping has demonstrated their masterful engineering.

I just wish they used a more visually pleasing display font. Sans-serif would be good.
Only if they could add a tubed class A analog output. !!!!! All chipped music is a no no.
 

Pulkass

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Great idea-ruin SOTA DAC performance with a distortion-producing class A tube stage...brilliant
You add SOUL-Emotion, not a humanless chippized OP sound. It s worth . I have tubed DACs. Let the chips do the numerics, when it comes to music let it be analogic. Option option. Ops for you or tubes.Thanks
 

Trell

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You add SOUL-Emotion, not a humanless chippized OP sound. It s worth . I have tubed DACs. Let the chips do the numerics, when it comes to music let it be analogic. Option option. Ops for you or tubes.Thanks
:facepalm:
 

Nicolaas

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Great idea-ruin SOTA DAC performance with a distortion-producing class A tube stage...brilliant
I used my D90 dac with a Marantz PM8006 amplifier and it sounds very dynamic and very clean. I also have a 30 years old hybrid 25 W stereo amp with ECC88 front stage and MOS fet end stage. Last year I recapped the 2 power supplies with Mundorf capacitors and since then I am again using my DIY hybrid amp. It sounds even more dynamic than my PM 8006. Probably both amps would have bad reviews when measured by Amir...
 

Marc v E

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I used to love the sound of my musical fidelity headphone amp which has tubes in it. I also used to think it complemented the 'sharp' detailed sound of the cyrus dac.

Reading this forum and buying a topping dx7 pro plus genelec 8030 changed my mind. It gives a sound that is so *right*, that I'm planning to buy the d90se for my main system.

For what it's worth: tubes to compensate a 'sound' is a road to nowhere ime. I now go for best measuring. As a result satisfaction is beyond what I experienced before, for a price way lower than I used to pay.
 

Veri

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I used to love the sound of my musical fidelity headphone amp which has tubes in it. I also used to think it complemented the 'sharp' detailed sound of the cyrus dac.

Reading this forum and buying a topping dx7 pro plus genelec 8030 changed my mind. It gives a sound that is so *right*, that I'm planning to buy the d90se for my main system.
Great to hear ;)
 

Saffy

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May 3, 2020
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I fully appreciate these great specs, though I returned my D90se and am keeping my old D90 which was hands-down preferred in my rig. Topping appears to have weaked all aspects of of the new SE, though they did so having been forced to use the inferior (IMO) ESS9038 Pro chip (no choice as the AK4499EQ is no longer available). It was either that, or stop selling D90s' altogether - so IMO this was a make-do scenario.
 

Eddy H.

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I've noticed that switching between rca and rca+xlr I lose a couple dB. Has anyone else noticed this? I'm wondering if something is wrong with my dac. Can anyone else confirm this? Thanks.
 

Rottmannash

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I fully appreciate these great specs, though I returned my D90se and am keeping my old D90 which was hands-down preferred in my rig. Topping appears to have weaked all aspects of of the new SE, though they did so having been forced to use the inferior (IMO) ESS9038 Pro chip (no choice as the AK4499EQ is no longer available). It was either that, or stop selling D90s' altogether - so IMO this was a make-do scenario.
Inferior? By what metric(s)?
 
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