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Topping DM7 8-Channel DAC Review

Rate this DAC:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 7 2.2%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 18 5.6%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther

    Votes: 53 16.4%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 246 75.9%

  • Total voters
    324

Neslo1108

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Hello @dualazmak

Thanks for the fast response.
I have tried to output to EIKO via VB cable from Audirvana so it is possible.
I don't quite get how @gac800 postprocess the spdif signal from HDMI extractor in the MOTU 828 so it output again in the multichannel setup.
I would like to use the Topping DM7 that does not have spdif input and even if it had (Like Okto 8 Pro) then it would still not be able handle the crossover from EIKO or room corrections. So my wish is to have the streaming app being run inside the Audio PC (headless) so it can be output EIKO/DM7
 

dartinbout

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I have no problem feeding MC DSD music though J. River without conversion, except for 5.1 DSD above 128. J.River fails but HQ Player works but I kinda hate HQ Player. I've got 7k tracks 4 channels and above (250k total, pcm and DSD). The library functions for HQP are worse than doing calculus on an abacus.
 

Sokel

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I have no problem feeding MC DSD music though J. River without conversion, except for 5.1 DSD above 128. J.River fails but HQ Player works but I kinda hate HQ Player. I've got 7k tracks 4 channels and above (250k total, pcm and DSD). The library functions for HQP are worse than doing calculus on an abacus.
No problem in such case,the player will perform as it should be,only will not apply any of the DSP you have assign to it.
As long as it's not software crossover or some heavy EQ'in that affects drivers negatively you will only notice the difference that your system have with and without EQ.
 

dartinbout

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I take my coffee black and my steaks rare. DSD is fine as it is. With MC music, I find I'm pretty much stuck with the whims of the engineers. Different albums have different mixes, though the classical Pentatone MC albums are fairly cohesive across multiple releases.
 

Sokel

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Not according to the developer. He hasn’t revealed how it’s done, precisely.
Someone correct me if I'm wrong but DSD encoding is the last step in SACD production and that is because is difficult to process and work with.

I think I read that progress is done and is possible these days with the right hardware/software but that's all I know.

If HQ has found a way to do it (apply Signal Processing directly to DSD) without converting it first that is something interesting.
 

Sokel

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Someone correct me if I'm wrong but DSD encoding is the last step in SACD production and that is because is difficult to process and work with.

I think I read that progress is done and is possible these days with the right hardware/software but that's all I know.

If HQ has found a way to do it (apply Signal Processing directly to DSD) without converting it first that is something interesting.
(that's the Derk Reefman's - Erwin Janssen's 2002 paper about it,which amongst others they clearly state:

dsd.jpg


Just for reference and of course a lot of progress must have been made in 20 years.
 

Whoareyou

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I received another response from Topping support
"Balanced to unbalanced will have an impact on performance. It is possible that will work, but there is also the possibility that there will be direct flow."

Any educated guess as to what they mean by direct flow? Yeah, I can just ask them I've now sent followup to support about it and see if I get an explanation that I understand.
Just to close the loop on this, at least per the response from Topping support

" simply put, using it in this way may produce some popping sounds, which normally won't damage the DM7 or other devices, but will affect the listening experience. "
 

dualazmak

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Hello @dualazmak

Thanks for the fast response.
I have tried to output to EIKO via VB cable from Audirvana so it is possible.
I don't quite get how @gac800 postprocess the spdif signal from HDMI extractor in the MOTU 828 so it output again in the multichannel setup.
I would like to use the Topping DM7 that does not have spdif input and even if it had (Like Okto 8 Pro) then it would still not be able handle the crossover from EIKO or room corrections. So my wish is to have the streaming app being run inside the Audio PC (headless) so it can be output EIKO/DM7

Hello again @Neslo1108,

To tell the truth, I sometimes (once in a month or less) seriously enjoy HiRes (HiRes in visual and audio) YouTube videos such as my beloved Voices of Music's wonderful baroque and early classical music performances, and also enjoy 2K (Full-HD) and/or 4K TV music programs. In these HiRes audio-visual occasion, I take a kind of "reverse thinking configuration" of using my 4K OLED (organic light-emitting diode) 55-inch TV as just PC screen monitor with all the digital audio signals still going into EKIO to be XO/EQ processed with my multichannel multi-driver multi-amplifier audio system.

Last year in March, I finally replaced my rather old (and discontinued) Panasonic 50-inch plasma TV with new Panasonic TH-55HZ1800 55-inch OLED 4K TV which we usually use in our dining room connected to my audio listening room. When we turn-around that OLED 4K TV 180 degree facing to our listening room, it just fit between our L & R SP drivers. In my post here, you can find several photos of our listening room as of January 2021 including the TV audio-visual setup with our old Panasonic 50-inch plasma TV which has been already replaced by new 4K OLED 55-inch TV TH-55HZ1800. (Now, all of our TVs receive TV channels through BNC coaxial line connected to optical digital TV channel receiver unit; the "single!"optical digital cable coming into my home supports both ordinary high-speed internet connections and also all of the available optical TV channels [and also many many FM radio channels]).

With my audio dedicated completely silent Windows PC (see my post here and end portion of here for the details), I usually use one DVI-I connected standard 27-inch PC monitor of 2560 x 1440 pixel. For my above audio-visual (PC/TV) sessions, I can connect the TH-55HZ1800 4K OLED 55-inch TV as the "second" pure PC monitor using one HDMI cable from my PC's motherboard HDMI-out, and Windows 11 Pro can utilize it as 4K 3840 x 2160 HiRes 55-inch large screen monitor of Refresh Rate 30 Hz which is just OK for my YouTube and TV program watching. Again, all the audio signals are still configured to go into EKIO via ASIO driver(s) (or WASAPI, if needed) for DSP (XO/EQ) processing in my main multichannel audio system.

I also have really reasonably priced full HD TV tuner wire-connected to our GB home LAN (i.e. not directly to TV or PCs) which receives all of our local digital TV channels, BS digital full HD channels and 4K digital channels through BNC coaxial line from the optical digital TV receiving unit and also connected to high-speed GB home LAN (we call it optical TV!). Using the dedicated TV-player software for that LAN-connected TV-Tuner, my audio PC (as well as any of the PCs in my home, and also from outside of my home only if I like to do so with our smart phones or mobile PCs) can play all of the available TV channels/programs quite smoothly with completely no interruption nor slowing-down. Of course through the wired high-speed GB LAN to optical internet connection, the PC can play any of the YouTube videos as well as other internet streaming video/audio programs really smoothly.

In summary, at least in my optical high-speed internet/TV and fast wired GB LAN environment, together with a LAN-attached HD TV tuner, I can use my PC as YouTube and other streaming audio-visual center as well as 4K TV center with "using 4K OLED 55-inch TV just as visual PC monitor" and "all the audio signals can be processed by my main multichannel multi-driver multi-way multi-amplifier full audio setup".
 
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dualazmak

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" simply put, using it in this way may produce some popping sounds, which normally won't damage the DM7 or other devices, but will affect the listening experience. "

As we have already intensively discussed, the possible affection(s) (or possible damage[?] to DM7 and/or RCA input gears/amplifiers) would depend on the selection of TRS-RCA adaptors or cables (No3 floated or not, No1 ground treatments) and also on the way of grounding within DM7 which can be only understood by close-up look (photos) of the inside and PCB of the unit.
 
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mdsimon2

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Those that are complaining the the DM-7 lacks an HDMI port and the ability to decode multi-channel audio, need to realize that to have included that in the DM-7 would have priced it well beyond what anyone would be willing to pay for the device simply because of the licensing fees for HDCP. There is a cost of entry to play at this performance level. However, many are not willing to pay, but are willing to look over the outfield fence and heckle the home team.

Topping should have built it with AES/EBU ports for multi-channel audio is something else that has been mentioned. Again, this interface choice would essentially limit the device to the pro market and drive the cost up—probably beyond what most members here would be willing to pay. How many consumer-level devices have AES/EBU outputs on them? Does your Mac or PC laptop have an AES/EBU port? Would you need to purchase a USB to AES/EBU interface to get the same multi-channel OS exposure to eight channels at the same sample rates? Why would you do that if the device has a de facto standard USB port that delivers the same capabilities?

For me, anyway, it comes down to how much time do I have to screw around with stuff to get where I want to be to achieve the results that I desire. Usually when it is all costed out, the monetary investment is the same or more—plus I have to invest huge amounts of time putzing around with software or other hardware to get everything to work. If I had the need for a multi-channel DAC, a device this simple—with this level of performance—makes it a very simple choice.

If someone wanted AES inputs seems like you could do it by adding a miniDSP U-DIO8, although at $400 + $600 = $1000 you are getting close to the cost of an Okto dac8 pro and assuming you want AES inputs so you can interface with a physical HDMI source like an AppleTV would still need an 8 channel HDMI extractor like the Vanity Pro or Meridan HD621.

Routing would like something like: 8 channel LPCM source -> HDMI extractor -> 8 channel AES -> U-DIO8 -> PC/Mac/RPi running software DSP -> DM7.

Michael
 
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Whoareyou

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As we have already intensively discussed, the possible affection(s) (or possible damage to DM7?) would depend on the selection of TRS-RCA adaptors or cables (No3 floated or not, No1 ground treatments) and also on the way of grounding within DM7 which can be only understood by close-up look (photos) of the inside and PCB of the unit.
Yes, I read the discussion ...

I am simply relaying Topping's response. Nothing more nothing less. I thought others might also be interested in Topping's thoughts.

I for one wanted to hear the manufacturer's response to the question. Obviously, YMMV
 

MCH

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Yes, I read the discussion ...

I am simply relaying Topping's response. Nothing more nothing less. I thought others might also be interested in Topping's thoughts.

I for one wanted to hear the manufacturer's response to the question. Obviously, YMMV
Thanks for posting. I think it is very relevant to clarify this, as i can imagine in a multichannel system chances are there is one or more unbalanced amp (i.e subs...).
Missing @JohnYang1997 input on this....
 

ClassicalDJ

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I'm a multichannel listener (several hundred classical SACD rips and multichannel PCM downloads) and Roon user who has been considering a dedicated multichannel DAC like this or the Okto Dac8 to achieve some additional SINAD by going around my Marantz SR7013 (the space is also used for home theater) and directly to an external multichannel amp - to date I've just been using a fanless Linux-based Roon endpoint connected to the SR7013 via HDMI.

I would have bit of work ahead of me to figure out how to replace the Marantz's bass management and Audyssey room correction. My experiments setting up a bass crossover using Roon's DSP have been thwarted by rear-channel mapping issues. I've considered using JRiver or even Dirac Live as a Roon zone, but I believe these would require buying/building a silent Windows PC to run in the listening room.
 

Kal Rubinson

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Wow, really? Where did you read that native DSD was supported on the Mac? This is relatively rare, and from what I understand requires a custom driver, which few manufacturers provide for the Mac (exaSound being one exception from what I gather).
It has been a long time since I've done it (rarely use a Mac) but I recall using a stack of Myteks via USB from my MacBookPro a while back. No special drivers needed.

However, I am expecting a DM7 shortly and I'll let know for sure.
 

Kal Rubinson

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I have no problem feeding MC DSD music though J. River without conversion, except for 5.1 DSD above 128. J.River fails but HQ Player works but I kinda hate HQ Player.
Why does Jriver fail? I run 5.1 DSD256 without issues.
 

da Choge

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" ... I for one wanted to hear the manufacturer's response to the question ... "

Me, too! I think this very affordable multichannel DAC could be the component I've been hoping for. But the effect of the balanced to single-ended conversion on this unit has me concerned. It might not be all that significant, but, alternatively, could be very significant in terms of audio degradation depending on how this unit is designed.

I would use the front two channels in a balanced configuration through a separate balanced stereo amp (to get the best quality for my stereo music files). But I would also want to use the remaining 5/6 channel output of the DM7 in a balanced-to-single-ended conversion (either through properly designed cables or through very high-quality balanced-to-RCA transformer units) to listen to my multichannel music files via the 7.1 multichannel RCA inputs of my AVR. How would this affect the performance of the DM7? -- particularly how would it affect the SQ during playback of pure stereo files? Don't care too much about the surround channels, but if this arrangement would interfere with high quality stereo playback (from just having the other unused DM7 outputs connected in a balanced to single-ended conversion scheme to my AVR) -- well, then, this would be a serious issue for me.

I wish Amir could test this for us that wish to use the DM7 in this way. I would be willing to send him properly designed balanced TRS to single-ended RCA cables to test the effects on the DM7's SQ measurements. -- Or maybe Topping could give us more definitive responses? I don't know if John Yang was involved with the design of the DM7, but, if so, what would be his recommendations for this use of the DM7? Maybe some early adopters will be able to give their feedback on this. Despite its affordability, I think I will hold-off buying a DM7 until this issue can be further clarified.

In any case, the DM7 still seems to be a very affordable as well as exciting development.
 
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Trell

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Me, too! I think this very affordable multichannel DAC could be the component I've been hoping for. But the effect of the balanced to single-ended conversion on this unit has me concerned. It might not be all that significant, but, alternatively, could be very significant in terms of audio degradation depending on how this unit is designed.

I would use the front two channels in a balanced configuration through a separate balanced stereo amp (to get the best quality for my stereo music files). But I would also want to use the remaining 5/6 channel output of the DM7 in a balanced-to-single-ended conversion (either through properly designed cables or through very high-quality balanced-to-RCA transformer units) to listen to my multichannel music files via the 7.1 multi-channel RCA inputs of my AVR. How would this affect the performance of the DM7? -- particularly how would it affect the SQ during playback of pure stereo files? Don't care too much about the surround channels, but if this arrangement would interfere with high quality stereo playback (from just having the other unused DM7 outputs connected in a balanced to single-ended conversion scheme to my AVR) -- well, then, this would be a serious issue for me.

I wish Amir could test this for us that wish to use the DM7 in this way. I would be willing to send him properly designed balanced TRS to single-ended RCA cables to test the effects on the DM7's SQ measurements. -- Or maybe Topping could give us more definitive responses? I don't know if John Yang was involved with the design of the DM7, but, if so, what would be his recommendations for this use of the DM7? Maybe some early adopters will be able to give their feedback on this. Despite its affordability, I think I will hold-off buying a DM7 until this issue can be further clarified.

However, in any case, the DM7 still seems to be a very affordable as well as exciting developement.
Read post #462 by Nagster and the following ones for balanced output to single-ended off another Topping product and guesses for DM7.
 

glc650

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But I would also want to use the remaining 5/6 channel output of the DM7 in a balanced-to-single-ended conversion (either through properly designed cables or through very high-quality balanced-to-RCA transformer units) to listen to my multichannel music files via the 7.1 multi-channel RCA inputs of my AVR.
I assume you are referring to the 7.1 "analog" inputs found on a lot of AVRs? Are you sure your AVR actually keeps the signal from these inputs untouched all the way through? I know that with my Marantz SR8012 I had to change additional settings (just using Pure Direct mode didn't work) in order to avoid the AVR's DSP and even then I had no real way to verify that the signal was truly untouched all the way through.
 
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da Choge

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I assume you are referring to the 7.1 "analog" inputs found on a lot of AVRs? Do you know if your AVR actually keeps the signal from these inputs untouched . . .
Yes, I think it does based on Amir's testing of the unit. But, you're right, some of these AVRs, AVPs, and Stereo components convert the analog signal to digital immediately for processing and you can't get around it (e.g. Anthem AVRs, NAD, etc).
 
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