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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: 16 5.1%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther

    Votes: 52 16.5%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 240 76.2%

  • Total voters
    315

Labjr

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Nice review. But not much new here. An eight channel DAC in a box. No DSP or anything else. Basically D10 Balanced DAC x 4. I don't see the need to keep the same small form factor. Who's going to use this as a desktop DAC? Would've been nice if they staggered 8 XLR jacks on the back panel instead of the plastic TRS. Or added a DB25 connector? There are plenty of DB25 breakout cables available.

I think the multi channel market would go crazy if there was a good, easy to use DSP package for room correction, active crossover and surround etc. But seems like multi channels DACs are for multichannel audio playback only.
 

Trell

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Nice review. But not much new here. An eight channel DAC in a box. No DSP or anything else. Basically D10 Balanced DAC x 4. I don't see the need to keep the same small form factor. Who's going to use this as a desktop DAC? Would've been nice if they staggered 8 XLR jacks on the back panel instead of the plastic TRS. Or added a DB25 connector? There are plenty of DB25 breakout cables available.

I think the multi channel market would go crazy if there was a good, easy to use DSP package for room correction, active crossover and surround etc. But seems like multi channels DACs are for multichannel audio playback only.

When you get your wishlist will you find the device too expensive?
 

phoenixdogfan

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Shots fired! :)

Personally I think this is great and I'll definitely order one. Not sure if/when I'll move to a 100% PC-based front-end in my media room... but being able to use it for a mix of multichannel audio and gaming in my office will be much appreciated. Plus I'll have a better justification for all these powered monitors I keep buying because of reasons. :D
The Topping, an M1 Mac Mini, seven powered monitors and a powered sub.
 
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maxxevv

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My use case is not AVR,i'm away of the people with the many speakers :p,my use case is an active crossover so I can replace my dac,my pre,and my existing analog electronic one.
So you can understand why the comments.
Then have you read and participated in @dualazmak 's very comprehensive discourses on active crossovers for his speakers using an 8 channel DAC ?
 

Glitch

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A missed opportunity for the active crossover market IMHO with the omission of an onboard DSP and an analog input. DSP on the PC is not straightforward and has many problems.
 

sarumbear

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A missed opportunity for the active crossover market IMHO with the omission of an onboard DSP and an analog input. DSP on the PC is not straightforward and has many problems.
Raspberry PI integration
 

dorirod

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Hello, maybe it's an obvious question, but will this show up as 8 separate DACs when attached via USB to a computer (that can be sent separate signals), or will it show up as 1 DAC that gives the same output 8 times?
 

sarumbear

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Interesting product. I really hope a similar product that take HDMI input with ARC function. Also can do DSP/EQ via mic measurement like what a HDMI receiver does. This way I can then hook the 8-channel DAC with Genelec system for great movie experience. Come on Topping you can do it!
HDMI ransom is not cheap.
 

dwkdnvr

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Yeh Focusite is class compliant too.

Just ask anyone who uses it on Linux for multichannel, if it works.

It doesn't.

So class compliant almost means nothing to me. from practical experience

We need to know what Linux kernel version was tested (if tested) for 8 channel support.

Or wait for someone to buy and test
Well, yes - I'm definitely familiar with the disappointments associated with Linux audio. But, in the overwhelming majority of cases I've looked at, it's the mixer/routing/channel mapping that tends to be the problem with these interfaces. For something like the DM7 where those things don't exist and you're simply taking 8 USB channels and sending them directly to the outputs untouched, there is a lot less to go wrong.

I'm almost willing to pick one up, but am hung up on the complete lack of inputs and the inability to expand to more channels - 2 things that the Ultralite Mk5 offers for about the same price. This would be great as a specialty 2-channel DSP xover integrated with Roon or LMS where the lack of inputs isn't a problem, or in a HTPC based setup with JRiver. My interests are a bit more experimental - DSP xovers and multi-channel ambience convolution, mixed music/video setups etc, so I'm not quite sure I can live with the limitations.
 

Kal Rubinson

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View attachment 217906

Suppose I have the above configuration:
1) USB connected to PC and running Foobar2000
2) connection to active speakers as above

Does Foobar 2000 have channel assignment such as above or similar (the numbers above are just for reference)? What about SW cutoff frequency setting? Does Foobar2000 have cutoff freq setting?
Dunno but I suspect so. Jriver does.
 

dwkdnvr

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A missed opportunity for the active crossover market IMHO with the omission of an onboard DSP and an analog input. DSP on the PC is not straightforward and has many problems.
That's basically an 8-channel MiniDSP Flex/SHD. The fact that MiniDSP doesn't already offer one might speak to their perception of the potential market.

I probably shouldn't be, but I have to admit I'm a bit surprised at the tenor of this discussion. It seems that a large number of people really expected Topping to produce a full HT pre/pro with 120dB SINAD for under $1000, and are upset that it didn't happen. Having watched Emotiva and Outlaw struggle with budget pre/pro offerings that don't come anywhere near SOTA performance, I'm not quite sure where that optimism came from. The complexities of executing a pre/pro are orders of magnitude more challenging than whats Topping has done here, and they're mostly on the software side which isn't Topping's wheelhouse.

I am left thinking that the best thing Topping could do is create a set of 'reference examples' showing how the DM7 is best used.
 

mdsimon2

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There is no need for ASRC with the OKTO.

Although the Okto has no ASRC between the AES input and the USB host it does have an ASRC between the USB host and the DAC clock domain (i.e ESS jitter eliminator). All described much better here -> https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...kto-dac8-8ch-dac-amp.7064/page-60#post-333521. It needs this as otherwise you would get buffer underruns due to mismatch between the AES and DAC clock domains.

The nice thing about the Okto is you do not need to engage resampling or rate adjust in CamillaDSP which consumes resources. Also the buffer level is more stable than a CamillaDSP async resampler / rate adjust setup.

Michael
 

MCH

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The "Standby power consumption of < 1.5W" is very high for a device with no network functionality and should run afoul with EU regulations.
Oh! :(
Does this mean the only way to get it is going to be overseas import? Then it will be a pass for me. My life has dramas enough :D
 

mdsimon2

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I recall that post you replied to but a DAC with only USB for input should be able to handle all common sample rates with no problem at all with no need for an added ASRC. Am I missing something here?

In the scenario I described you have a SPDIF receiver which is clocked by the incoming SPDIF signal and a USB DAC clocked by a local oscillator. You need some way to bridge the clock domains which is why I recommended async resampling / rate adjust in CamillaDSP. If you just using the DM7 by itself with no separate SPDIF input card then there is no need for resampling.

Michael
 

Trell

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Oh! :(
Does this mean the only way to get it is going to be overseas import? Then it will be a pass for me. My life has dramas enough :D
Nope, but for some certifications Topping has to change if they want to sell to consumers. When they get big enough they’ll find that out the hard way. But even consumers expect standby power to be low.
 
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Glitch

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That's basically an 8-channel MiniDSP Flex/SHD. The fact that MiniDSP doesn't already offer one might speak to their perception of the potential market.

I probably shouldn't be, but I have to admit I'm a bit surprised at the tenor of this discussion. It seems that a large number of people really expected Topping to produce a full HT pre/pro with 120dB SINAD for under $1000, and are upset that it didn't happen. Having watched Emotiva and Outlaw struggle with budget pre/pro offerings that don't come anywhere near SOTA performance, I'm not quite sure where that optimism came from. The complexities of executing a pre/pro are orders of magnitude more challenging than whats Topping has done here, and they're mostly on the software side which isn't Topping's wheelhouse.

I am left thinking that the best thing Topping could do is create a set of 'reference examples' showing how the DM7 is best used.

Yes, that's what I want, an 8ch MiniDSP Flex/SHD. And I don't think I'm the only one.
The 120dB SINAD is great and worth the asking price, except in practical terms a well implemented 8ch DSP with 96dB SINAD and various inputs is much more valuable. It's as if Topping is playing to their strengths without addressing practical uses.




Raspberry PI integration

Sure, hit me up after you have it all figured out and have debugged all the problems, I'll be interested.
 

Trell

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In the scenario I described you have a SPDIF receiver which is clocked by the incoming SPDIF signal and a USB DAC clocked by a local oscillator. You need some way to bridge the clock domains which is why I recommended async resampling / rate adjust in CamillaDSP. If you just using the DM7 by itself with no separate SPDIF input card then there is no need for resampling.

Michael

Topping could just add SPDIF input and that was that. So no need for ASRC unless you’ve some other requirements.
 

balletboy

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The product is useful for those that quite simply needs/wants an excellent performing eight channel USB DAC with balanced output along with a remote and all-channel volume control, at a reasonable price. The device even has trigger in/out: very nice. It wouldn't satisfy my needs/wants and I'm not that arrogant to say it's useless.



You should broaden your horizons, balletboy.
I was looking at the product website to see who or what it was designed for. No luck.

I assumed it was an external DAC for an AV system, but others point out that the lack of connectivity and software means you have to attach a laptop, you can't attach a normal consumer AV source product.

I would have thought the basis of a review of any consumer product is, based on who or what the product is designed for, will it meet their expectations? When you don't even know who or what the product is for, you can't even start to assess it. Most of the comments in this thread are questioning who or what it is for.

@Glitch at ±176 aove summarises is much better than me: "The 120dB SINAD is great and worth the asking price, except in practical terms a well implemented 8ch DSP with 96dB SINAD and various inputs is much more valuable. It's as if Topping is playing to their strengths without addressing practical uses."
 

sarumbear

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Schenzen Audio:

View attachment 217908

Do they actually mean it needs a computer attached, as NOT shown in their graphic? So $600 for the unit and $1,500 for a laptop. Surely cheaper and more practical to just get an AVR receiver and you also get a proper remote?
Bingo! This device is not meant to replace an AVP/AVR.
 

sarumbear

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