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Topping DX3 Pro+ Review (DAC & Headphone Amp)

GoMrPickles

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I'm late to the party here, but a question: How would this fare with the 32-ohm impedance Oppo PM-3? Per Amir's initial comment, it's not great for low-impedance cans... currently using an SMSL SU-8 and a Topping L30, which sound pretty great.
 

Rene Stanneveld

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Liked the little thing. my AD18 is getting worn out and was looking for something "better"
Needed that since my ESS Sabre 9118 dac on my "Awesome" motherboard was doing "coil whine" imitations on my audio output.
When my 5700XT video card was doing some "work" :p
Since then i have build two mono blocks using Hypex UcD250LP's (by demolishing a sta-400d and bought a second PSU)
Passed on this one and many others since i want to see the SAMPLE RATE not the (insert bad word here) VOLUME when in "pre" mode.
The only one that has done it right is the EX5 i think, shows volume when using it and then switch back to sample rate.
So i did the right thing and bought a Sabaj d5 :p
 

Limopard

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I'm late to the party here, but a question: How would this fare with the 32-ohm impedance Oppo PM-3? Per Amir's initial comment, it's not great for low-impedance cans... currently using an SMSL SU-8 and a Topping L30, which sound pretty great.
As far as I understood low impedance can be a problem with the DX3 when paired with low sensitivity. The Dan Clark Stealth Amir used is an extreme example with just 88 db/mW - Amir still rated the combination as "usable". The Oppo is at 96 db/mw (appr. perceived twice as loud at the same input power) and should work ok.

In the measurements of the Stealth it needs 549 mV for 94dBSPL while the Oppo only needs 138 mV.
 
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Dukies07

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Would the DX3 Pro+ not be a good pairing with the DT 900 Pro X’s due to the performance with low impedance headphones? I keep reading this, but being a newbie I am not sure what the cutoff is when you guys reference “low impedance” headphones. I know the DT 900 Pro X’s are easy to drive and won’t require the power the DX3 Pro+ is capable of, but I am considering it for other features as well as future proofing for more demanding headphones I may purchase down the road.
 

raistlin65

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Would the DX3 Pro+ not be a good pairing with the DT 900 Pro X’s due to the performance with low impedance headphones? I keep reading this, but being a newbie I am not sure what the cutoff is when you guys reference “low impedance” headphones. I know the DT 900 Pro X’s are easy to drive and won’t require the power the DX3 Pro+ is capable of, but I am considering it for other features as well as future proofing for more demanding headphones I may purchase down the road.

The DX3 Pro+ performance issue is only going to be for very low impedance (<20 ohms), very low sensitivity headphones. If you read the subjective part of the review, even the 20 ohm Ether CX did well.

Since the DT 900 are 48 ohm with high sensitivity, it is absolutely not a concern. In fact, it's not a concern for 99% of headphones.
 

Gradius

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I'll be joining "the club" soon.

FYI, v5.30 is out since 12/01/2021.

V5.30.0 (December 1, 2021)
-----------------------------------------------------
* New: support for Windows 10 (21H2)
* Fix: problem with only one MIDI direction
* Fix: scaling issues in control panel
* Chg: some improvements for MIDI
* Chg: sample rate recovery improved
* Chg: Documentation

Sent e-mail to [email protected] asking for that driver version.

I also see nonsense burning more than $300 on a DAC.
 

eye_scream

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Hi, I am also a newbie in the HiFi-world, after Sony WH1000XM3 I would take a walk on the wilde side.

My first setup: Xperia 1 III, Tidal-HiFi, Walevet EQ, Bluetooth LDAC 990kb/s, Dx3Pro+ (high gain), Sivga P-II.

I would have a question about the settings:
It is hard to describe, but e.g. the high tones from Miles Davis's trumpet is not only loud, it is sharp, hurt, and I have to reduce the volume. The max dynamic range from this album is ~15dB.

What would be the good settings in this case?
Is the only solution a low gain?

Dx3Pro+:
Can only the two predefined gains be selected or can the gain be freely varied?

Walevet:
There is a gain limiter in this EQ app, but to be honest, I am lost among the many setting options.

These high tones from Miles Davis are not only a short peaks, they are more sec loong, therefore I pushed the threshold to -27dB. (Dx3Pro+: high gain)
Walevet help:
https://pittvandewitt.github.io/Wavelet/


What solution would you recommend to a beginner?
Do I have to look for a good settings for everything, or should the settings always be fine-tuned depending on the music and style?
 

raistlin65

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Hi, I am also a newbie in the HiFi-world, after Sony WH1000XM3 I would take a walk on the wilde side.

My first setup: Xperia 1 III, Tidal-HiFi, Walevet EQ, Bluetooth LDAC 990kb/s, Dx3Pro+ (high gain), Sivga P-II.

I would have a question about the settings:
It is hard to describe, but e.g. the high tones from Miles Davis's trumpet is not only loud, it is sharp, hurt, and I have to reduce the volume. The max dynamic range from this album is ~15dB.

What would be the good settings in this case?
Is the only solution a low gain?

Dx3Pro+:
Can only the two predefined gains be selected or can the gain be freely varied?

Walevet:
There is a gain limiter in this EQ app, but to be honest, I am lost among the many setting options.

These high tones from Miles Davis are not only a short peaks, they are more sec loong, therefore I pushed the threshold to -27dB. (Dx3Pro+: high gain)
Walevet help:
https://pittvandewitt.github.io/Wavelet/


What solution would you recommend to a beginner?
Do I have to look for a good settings for everything, or should the settings always be fine-tuned depending on the music and style?

You can EQ the headphones to correct that. Equalizer APO with Peace GUI is free system-wide EQ many of use to tweak the sound of our headphones. I'm unfamiliar with the the P-II, so I'm not sure what EQ setting you would use to adjust that.

Probably best to ask in this thread for the headphones https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/sivga-phoenix-review-headphone.22893/
 

radix

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Hi, I am also a newbie in the HiFi-world, after Sony WH1000XM3 I would take a walk on the wilde side.

My first setup: Xperia 1 III, Tidal-HiFi, Walevet EQ, Bluetooth LDAC 990kb/s, Dx3Pro+ (high gain), Sivga P-II.

I would have a question about the settings:
It is hard to describe, but e.g. the high tones from Miles Davis's trumpet is not only loud, it is sharp, hurt, and I have to reduce the volume. The max dynamic range from this album is ~15dB.

What would be the good settings in this case?
Is the only solution a low gain?

Dx3Pro+:
Can only the two predefined gains be selected or can the gain be freely varied?

The high gain vs low gain is a fixed boost to the output level. It is not easy to switch back and forth. You can always adjust the overall volume with the knob.

I'm not familiar with Wavelet eq and don't use the bluetooh interface much. You might need to put a high shelf on those headphones, say 10 kHz high shelf -6 dB (Q 1.0 if it asks for that) and see how that does.

There do not seem to be published EQ settings for the Sivga. I found this SPL chart for them. I originally had -3 db above, but upped it to -6 dB based on this chart. You might even want to pull the frequency back to 8 kHz or so. That's just a simple starting point, there are better and more complex EQs you could try, but I wanted to keep it simple.

The normal curve people shoot at for headphones falls off quite a bit in the high frequency. See this thread, for example. I know there's an ASR curve thread, but I couldn't find it right away.

11338728.jpg
 

radix

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@raistlin65 @radix
Thank you!
I found also a measurement about Sivga P-II.

As first step I will compare the a measured frequency response with the Harman curve from Amir, and based on the major differences I will create a EQ settings, and maybe after then I don't have to use the gain limiter.

That sounds like a good path.

BTW, you can switch between high and low gain easily with the M button on the remote. I was thinking of getting into the menu system by the knob. If the display says "GAIN" you are in high gain mode.
 

GDT

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Hello, I just bought a Topping DX3 Pro+ and I'm very happy with it for now. I installed drivers v5.30 on Windows 11 and configured foobar following the guide. I use an Edifier S530D speakerset on line-out and occasionally I use Superlux HD681Evo as headset (I'm going to change them). Mainly I use the Edifier to listen my music.

I didn't change DX3 configuration as it was out-of-the-box and I'm using PreAmp mode (not DAC mode). I setted up Windows volume to the max as the Edifier volume, and I use the topping to change volume as I need to. How do you think about this, to get the best from my brand new Topping? Should I switch to DAC mode and use the Edifier speakers to set volume level?
 

dreamscene

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Hello, I just bought a Topping DX3 Pro+ and I'm very happy with it for now. I installed drivers v5.30 on Windows 11 and configured foobar following the guide. I use an Edifier S530D speakerset on line-out and occasionally I use Superlux HD681Evo as headset (I'm going to change them). Mainly I use the Edifier to listen my music.

I didn't change DX3 configuration as it was out-of-the-box and I'm using PreAmp mode (not DAC mode). I setted up Windows volume to the max as the Edifier volume, and I use the topping to change volume as I need to. How do you think about this, to get the best from my brand new Topping? Should I switch to DAC mode and use the Edifier speakers to set volume level?
Don't over think it. Try this experiment, remove your Topping DX3Pro+ Dac/Amp completely, plug your headphones and speakers directly to your computer using the basic built in soundcard from the motherboard. Listen to the music for 30mins. Then plug in the Topping Dac/Amp and then listen to the same music (same volume too), if you can't hear any difference (most won't), then don't worry about any tweaks, charts, numbers, volts, various setups etc etc. Just use it and enjoy the music.
 
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GDT

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Don't over think it. Try this experiment, remove your Topping DX3Pro+ Dac/Amp completely, plug your headphones and speakers directly to your computer using the basic built in soundcard from the motherboard. Listen to the music for 30mins. Then plug in the Topping Dac/Amp and then listen to the same music (same volume too), if you can't hear any difference (most won't), then don't worry about any tweaks, charts, numbers, volts, various setups etc etc. Just use it and enjoy the music.
I definitely can hear the difference when listening to the music with integrated Realtek sound card and with the Topping, with speakers and with headphones too. So some tweaks advices are welcome.
 

Miiman

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For me it was the power that was lacking in my built in soundcard. With EQ the volume had to be maxed out all the time, it could work for some music if not listening loud but for movies it was way too low as movies has high dynamic range for explosions and such so the volume in movies is way lower than music, the built in soundcard was unusable for that.
Also i love having the remote as i can sit in my sofa (extension) without the keyboard and easiely change the volume. So even if the DX3 Pro+ did not have better SQ (to my ears if i compared myself, which it does) i would still have bought it.
 

lockheed

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I am thinking of upgrading my Topping D30 to something with LDAC BT, and DX3 Pro+ is a candidate. So is SMSL M200, which seem to have all the same features + XLR balanced out (I have a balanced amp, but on a distance of 20cm, that will likely not make any difference), at somewhat higher price.
Can anyone comment on the difference in SQ between those two DACs? I was unable to find anything anywhere.
I am also curious about how it compares to Topping D50s, but mostly M200.
 

raistlin65

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I am thinking of upgrading my Topping D30 to something with LDAC BT, and DX3 Pro+ is a candidate. So is SMSL M200, which seem to have all the same features + XLR balanced out (I have a balanced amp, but on a distance of 20cm, that will likely not make any difference), at somewhat higher price.
Can anyone comment on the difference in SQ between those two DACs? I was unable to find anything anywhere.
I am also curious about how it compares to Topping D50s, but mostly M200.
Topping BC3 is a Bluetooth receiver with LDAC that also has optical out. So you could connect it to the optical input on your D30, assuming you're not using that input already.


Of course if you're also anxious to upgrade your headphone amp, then the DX3 Pro+ could be a good choice
 
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