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Topping DX1 bright treble issue

audibob

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Following the good reviews here and elsewhere, I decided to get a DX1. Most of the sound is great but I'm finding the extreme treble to be very bright. Tracks which are already bright, especially early '80s pop stuff, can sound almost unbearable.

Does it just need a lot of time to break in or this a feature of this particular DAC?

Any help would be much appreciated. Thanks.
 

DVDdoug

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It's NOT the Topping. (Virtually all electronics have flat frequency response.)

It's probably your headphones or speakers and you probably just need some EQ to turn down the treble.

Tracks which are already bright, especially early '80s pop stuff, can sound almost unbearable.
This a just wild guess, but if you are playing ripped CDs, a few CDs have pre-emphasis which boosts the highs. There is a "flag" on these CDs to trigger de-emphasis during playback on a regular CD player for flat playback. But it's often not-detected or corrected-for when ripping.
 
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audibob

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Thanks for the reply. It seems to be anything I play which is very treble heavy. A good example is here:
. The instrumental intro sounds incredibly detailed and clear, but when Summer's vocals kick in the brightness is very uncomfortable - or at least it seems that way to me.

My previous Dac/Amp was an Ifi iDAC2. It was not as clear as the Topping but the treble was massively more bearable.

My headphones are Shure SRH840A, if that's any help.
 

kemmler3D

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The SRH840A have a big peak at 10khz so maybe that explains it.

They also have a rise in impedance at 100hz, I wonder if maybe you had some interaction with the IFI DAC that went away with the Topping DAC to lower output at that range, but I'm probably just making things up at this point, I don't know if that's even possible.

Is it possible you had some kind of EQ setting applied to the IFI but not the DX1?

If none of those apply I would just give it time with the DX1. Psychological / placebo differences in sound with DACs are 10000x more common than actual differences in sound. You may expect it to sound bright, so it sounds bright. What often happens is when we get new gear, we listen more closely, sometimes we listen to different music than normal. When we do that, we may discover flaws that we ignored for a long time before that. The SRH840 definitely have a big 10khz peak that could make things sound strident or piercing. It's possible you got used to that, but started noticing it again with the DX1.
 
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audibob

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No, I wasn't using any eq before, but I've just now downloaded JamesDSP and the AutoEQ profile for the SRH840A. Difficult to say if the result is 'better'. The sound is certainly quieter and much less bassy. Extreme treble still seems pretty piercing, though.
 
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audibob

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Just a quick update: @kemmler3D was right. After a few days, the sound seems to have settled down massively and the bright treble is no longer an issue.

Thanks for your help, everyone!
 
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