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Topping DX3 Pro+ Review (DAC & Headphone Amp)

fquails

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Apr 18, 2022
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Do you recomend Topping dx3pro+ ? My jds labs atom dac is broken and I am searching for a new amp (or dac/amp). What are the problems the topping dx3pro+ has?
I have two units, both used daily for two years now. I like them both. Only issue is connecting to bluetooth as I described in previous post. I compared the sound with other LDAC bluetooth receivers (using their internal dacs and connected to the Topping), and the Topping sounded the best. Don’t know why. So I got rid of the other receivers. What I do now is disconnect the bluetooth connection manually on the source device when done listening. Then connect manually to listen again. Seems to work. The sound is worth the extra steps which take less than 5 secs. The problem is relying on auto connect with the topping bluetooth—there is often no sound when automatically connected.

All other functions from all wired inputs continue to work well for me.
 
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dmusgr

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Listening to mine in my 2.1 system now used as both DAC and preamp fed Tidal from my old phone by USB Sounds great! No problems here. It does get quite warm, warmer than my Class A/B Rotel amp, and warmer than my SMSL DO400.
 

Absalom

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Hello,
I am relatively unfamiliar with the anatomy of DAC/headphone AMPs but I have the DX3 Pro+. I was messing around with the settings when I got a display showing the letters "dFU". After that, when I restarted the device, a lit-up DAC text had popped up in the left side of the display. The sound is also only coming from the left side of my headphones, not both (using the front output, that is).
What is the matter here? Surely, it must have been in DAC mode previously when the text was not lit up, too, since I connect the device via USB to my laptop. I can't have been using it as just an AMP the whole time, right? Also, why is the sound only coming from the left channel? Thank you for any answers.
 

radix

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Hello,
I am relatively unfamiliar with the anatomy of DAC/headphone AMPs but I have the DX3 Pro+. I was messing around with the settings when I got a display showing the letters "dFU". After that, when I restarted the device, a lit-up DAC text had popped up in the left side of the display. The sound is also only coming from the left side of my headphones, not both (using the front output, that is).
What is the matter here? Surely, it must have been in DAC mode previously when the text was not lit up, too, since I connect the device via USB to my laptop. I can't have been using it as just an AMP the whole time, right? Also, why is the sound only coming from the left channel? Thank you for any answers.
Here's the manual: https://www.toppingaudio.com/download/dx3-pro-user-manual

The "DAC" and the "<headphone icon>" indicate the output channel. In headphone mode, it's the headphones only, in DAC it is the DAC only, or you can have both.

I do not know why it would only be 1 channel


Screen Shot 2024-03-28 at 1.14.30 PM.png



There is also what they call "preamp model" and "DAC mode". In preamp mode, you have variable volume output, and in DAC mode you have fixed line-level output. I believe that is for the rear connections only. This is different than the DAC display.
 

Absalom

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Here's the manual: https://www.toppingaudio.com/download/dx3-pro-user-manual

The "DAC" and the "<headphone icon>" indicate the output channel. In headphone mode, it's the headphones only, in DAC it is the DAC only, or you can have both.

I do not know why it would only be 1 channel


View attachment 359687


There is also what they call "preamp model" and "DAC mode". In preamp mode, you have variable volume output, and in DAC mode you have fixed line-level output. I believe that is for the rear connections only. This is different than the DAC display.
So when using headphones I should use it with only the <heaphone icon> lit up? It still does the job of a DAC even though it does not have the light on if I am not totally lost on this?
 

radix

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So when using headphones I should use it with only the <heaphone icon> lit up? It still does the job of a DAC even though it does not have the light on if I am not totally lost on this?

They use the term "DAC" in a couple different ways, none of which directly relate to the meaning "digital to analog converter." It's confusing.

In general, when you use head phones you do not want the line out also active. Likewise, when you are listening to speakers, you do not need the head phone amp going. But some people may have a special use case where they want to both. The default is one or the other, not both.

The "DAC" indicator light means "line out". The headphone icon means headphone out. Obviously, it is doing digital-to-analog conversion when using the headphones too, even if the DAC light is not on. It's just a "line out" indicator.
 

Absalom

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They use the term "DAC" in a couple different ways, none of which directly relate to the meaning "digital to analog converter." It's confusing.

In general, when you use head phones you do not want the line out also active. Likewise, when you are listening to speakers, you do not need the head phone amp going. But some people may have a special use case where they want to both. The default is one or the other, not both.

The "DAC" indicator light means "line out". The headphone icon means headphone out. Obviously, it is doing digital-to-analog conversion when using the headphones too, even if the DAC light is not on. It's just a "line out" indicator.
Ok, that clears my confusion. Thank you!
 

Mordor

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IN DAC mode only, is the sound different from DAC+Pre?
 

TheShield

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I have two units, both used daily for two years now. I like them both. Only issue is connecting to bluetooth as I described in previous post. I compared the sound with other LDAC bluetooth receivers (using their internal dacs and connected to the Topping), and the Topping sounded the best. Don’t know why. So I got rid of the other receivers. What I do now is disconnect the bluetooth connection manually on the source device when done listening. Then connect manually to listen again. Seems to work. The sound is worth the extra steps which take less than 5 secs. The problem is relying on auto connect with the topping bluetooth—there is often no sound when automatically connected.

All other functions from all wired inputs continue to work well for me.

Have you compared your DX3 Pro+'s top the C-200? Some say the C-200 has better sound quality. It sounds like the Topping has the same issue witth the C-200 where the sound randomly stops and the bluetooth doesn't auto connect when turning on the unit.

I found the UI to be superior on the C-200. I wasn't a fan of the reverse numbers when adjusting the volume on the Topping.
 

little-endian

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Apr 16, 2023
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At more than double the cost with nothing extra I need
Well, "double the cost" depending on where you reside, I guess. But no question, the DX3 Pro+ definitely has the better "bang for the buck".

What both lack is the implementation of a de-emphasis circuit as the CD standard actually demands it, resulting in boosted treble when playing back such content directly.
 

fquails

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Have you compared your DX3 Pro+'s top the C-200? Some say the C-200 has better sound quality. It sounds like the Topping has the same issue witth the C-200 where the sound randomly stops and the bluetooth doesn't auto connect when turning on the unit.

I found the UI to be superior on the C-200. I wasn't a fan of the reverse numbers when adjusting the volume on the Topping.
I have no experience with the C200, unfortunately.
 

brydon10

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Jun 23, 2019
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Well, "double the cost" depending on where you reside, I guess. But no question, the DX3 Pro+ definitely has the better "bang for the buck".

What both lack is the implementation of a de-emphasis circuit as the CD standard actually demands it, resulting in boosted treble when playing back such content directly.
I've never heard of this CD de-emphasis circuit. Interesting. Is it something to worry about in other dac/amps? I'm guessing this is only an issue if you are using a cd player as a transport through spdif into the DX3?
 

Labjr

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I've never heard of this CD de-emphasis circuit. Interesting. Is it something to worry about in other dac/amps? I'm guessing this is only an issue if you are using a cd player as a transport through spdif into the DX3?

From what I've read, it was used on early CDs. Although, I'm not sure which ones or if a list of pre-emphasised CDs exists.
 
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