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Topping DX3 Pro+ Review (DAC & Headphone Amp)

GoMrPickles

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I got both devices (M500 XLR and DX3 RCA) to sound exactly the same connected to SP200.

M500:
- Line out
- Volume 40 (full volume)
- Tidal: System Controlled (Software MQA Decoder)
- Volume Slider in Windows 100%

DX3:
- DAC on / Headphone off
- Default (low) gain
- Volume 0.0 dB (full volume)
- Tidal: System Controlled
- Volume Slider in Windows 100%

Now there is no more difference in treble and they both sound equally good.
Tinny sound is gone with DX3 - both sound indistinguishable.
I'm sorry if my posts have may have caused confusion / upstirr.
FWIW, I appreciate you posting your impressions, and the time you spent going about figuring out why you were hearing what you were hearing.

Did you (or another poster) figure out why you had the initial impression that you did?

I'm considering replacing an SMSL SU-8 + Topping L30 stack with this, just to have one less thing on my desk.
 

Walter

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FWIW, I appreciate you posting your impressions, and the time you spent going about figuring out why you were hearing what you were hearing.

Did you (or another poster) figure out why you had the initial impression that you did?

I'm considering replacing an SMSL SU-8 + Topping L30 stack with this, just to have one less thing on my desk.
Agreed. Great that he followed up with what worked for him, and it would be helpful if he described what he needed to change.
 
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Veri

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I got both devices (M500 XLR and DX3 RCA) to sound exactly the same connected to SP200.

M500:
- Line out
- Volume 40 (full volume)
- Tidal: System Controlled (Software MQA Decoder)
- Volume Slider in Windows 100%

DX3:
- DAC on / Headphone off
- Default (low) gain
- Volume 0.0 dB (full volume)
- Tidal: System Controlled
- Volume Slider in Windows 100%

Now there is no more difference in treble and they both sound equally good.
Tinny sound is gone with DX3 - both sound indistinguishable.
I'm sorry if my posts have may have caused confusion / upstirr.
Great, some peace of mind :)
 

Limopard

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Is it possible that the Topping doesn't correct pre-emphasis when connected to a CD player? My Genesis s/t (German Vertigo) CD sounds a bit too bright.
 

Purity86

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Hi, I canceled my Topping E30 order yesterday, cuz it has an uncertain preamp performance (I intended to connect my active speakers 305P into my TV via optical and get the benefit from the remote control), now I'm thinking about the DX3 Pro+.
How it performs as a preamp in this case (TV> DX3 > Active speakers).
 

xnor

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Is it possible that the Topping doesn't correct pre-emphasis when connected to a CD player? My Genesis s/t (German Vertigo) CD sounds a bit too bright.
Shouldn't your CD player do the de-emphasis filtering?
If it doesn't then it needs to set the emphasis bit in the S/PDIF stream which the ES9038 should honor. But this is such a niche use-case that nobody tests it.
 

Limopard

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Shouldn't your CD player do the de-emphasis filtering?
If it doesn't then it needs to set the emphasis bit in the S/PDIF stream which the ES9038 should honor. But this is such a niche use-case that nobody tests it.
I'll double check it with another player. Obviously the Marantz CD 5001 doesn't handle the emphasis bit via SPDIF correctly, but the Pioneer BDP 450 does. It's not the Topping's fault.
 
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xnor

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How is this coupled with the Sundaras if its noisy at low ohms?
I don't understand this question. The measurements show same noise regardless of load resistance.
If you're asking for how loud the noise floor will be with your headphones then just get their sensitivity specs (in dB SPL/1 V RMS), subtract 26 dB to get to 50 mV and then subtract the 88 dB SNR that were measured.
 

xnor

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'it says its clipping at 32 and 50 ohm, and seeing as the sundaras are 37 ohm?
Im no expert, so youre gonna have to keep it in layman's terms.
Clipping means that as you turn up the volume at some point distortion will rise dramatically.
This point starts at 7 V into 32 ohm. If my numbers are correct then Sundaras produce 108 dB SPL at 1 V, so there is plenty of headroom to destroy your headphones and hearing.
At 80 dB SPL, which corresponds to a normal listening level, those headphones only need 0.04 V. Even very weak portable devices could drive these headphones to sufficient levels.

Btw, if your intention of buying this device is to improve sound quality then my suggestion is to spend the money on better headphones instead.
 

Kim555

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Well. My daily for PC and gaming and music too, is the 1990 pro. Very happy with those. The sundaras are better by a slight margin but my K5 Pro feels lacking in driving them so i don't bother to switch em up that much in-between the 1990s.

I'd imagine the DX3 Pro+ would be a jump up. And I could use the DX as a DAC when upgrading the amp.


That was my thought, at least.
 

ZenTraveler

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What is the right way to level match headphones? I would guess if you use 1 headphone over two amps, you could voltage match it on say a 1khz tone? If trying to compare two different headphones with different impedances, what would you match? current?

Thanks
I don't think you can with 2 different headphones as each most likely output different loudness at varying volume.
 

radix

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How is this coupled with the Sundaras if its noisy at low ohms?

I use the dx3pro+ with the Sundaras. It's perfectly fine with the Sundaras. You'd have to listen very loudly to get it to clip (I've never gotten so loud). On high gain, I'm usually listening around -30 dB or -17 dB low gain.
 

jani80k

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FWIW, I appreciate you posting your impressions, and the time you spent going about figuring out why you were hearing what you were hearing.

Did you (or another poster) figure out why you had the initial impression that you did?

I'm considering replacing an SMSL SU-8 + Topping L30 stack with this, just to have one less thing on my desk.

My suspicion is that the headphone out has a bit of a treble hiss compared to listening through an AMP in DAC mode.
I just connected it to my Monolith Liquid Spark AMP and it sounds smoother with no treble hiss.
I will do some more tests and try to reproduce the issue.
 
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jani80k

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Ok, all I can say is this.
With my HD58X on max possible listening volume (really loud):
- Headphone out causes a scratch in the treble (voices saying "S" or "CH" for example)
- Liquid Spark AMP is super smooth with no scratch
I think it's the headphone out. Maybe I am wrong here again :):facepalm:;)
EDIT: Yes, I can confirm. At higher volumes, the problem becomes obvious. It's the headphone out that is a bit "scratchy".
You can reproduce it by watching this video through the headphone out and then through an amp.
Whenever there is an "S" or a "T" there is a scratchy sound. This is not there when run in DAC mode through an AMP.
The first couple of lines of "Ella Fitzgerald - Solitude" sound so harsh through the headphone out. But through my AMPs they sound just normal.
 
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jani80k

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Not according to the measurements of it.
Sorry, hiss was the wrong word. I mean a hissing sound caused by certain letters/sounds.
 
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