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Topping DX5: Issues with SPDIF audio drops

calm

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My first post at ASR so let me start off by saying that I really appreciate the work some of you guys are putting into this forum. Also, I hope I'm the right place with this thread.

Got my Topping DX5 earlier this summer. Love the clarity it provides when I use it with my Bluesound Node2 as a source for streaming and audio files. I'm not a very seasoned listener when it comes to DACs or DAC/HP combos, but it's superior to anything I've ever used before. It also seems like a good pairing with the DT770 Pros I currently have with regards to output power. I also quite like the design, although I'll acknowledge the oddly placed "DX5" logo :D

Apart from my comments above, and the issues I'm describing below, there's not much to say that isn't already said in @amirm's awesome review and the thread that follows it.

Issues:
When I'm using my 65" Samsung Q9F TV (QE65Q9FNAT) as a source I experience frequent and complete drops in audio. I haven't measured how frequent the audio drops are but it could easily be every 10-20 seconds at its worst. In my current setup I use a Cambridge Audio 851D as a DAC/pre-amp for different digital sources, and connect the DX5 to the digital output on the 851D for listening on my headphones. I also experience the same issues when I connect the TV to the DX5 directly or run it digitally through another unit, like the Node2. I have no issues when listening on my speakers (TV -> 851D -> power amp), or with the DX5 with other digital sources, e.g. from the Node2 over coax or Toslink. I also have no issues when I connect the TV to the DX5 via Bluetooth but I obviously didn't by a 500$ DAC/HP amp to listen to BT SBC audio :D

The Samsung One Connect Box that comes with the TV only has Toslink output, so when connected directly I'm using that, but I've also tried connecting to the DX5 with coax when running the digital signal through another unit, to see if that made any difference. It didn't.

Searching through the internet I can find lots of reports of similar issues when Samsung and LG TVs are paired with high-end DACs, and it seems some of their TVs are simply putting out a really ****** SPDIF signal on the Toslink outputs. Unfortunately none of the reports I've found have reached a solution on the source side, i.e. the TV output, but it looks like JDS Labs have acknowledged the issue with some of their DACs (based on ESS chips, which I guess is the same as the DX5?): https://blog.hifiheadphones.co.uk/jds-labs-optical-input-drop-outs-with-lg-samsung-tvs/

Solutions?
  • Is there any hope in Topping acknowledging this, like JDS Labs has, and releasing a firmware that fixes the issue?
  • Hoping to keep the DX5, does anyone here know if the the SPDIF iPurifier2 from iFi could be a solution? Buying a 500$ DAC/HP amp was a bit of a stretch for me to begin with so I would rather not add 200-250$ to that for the iPurifier2 unless it's guaranteed to fix the drops
  • If switching to another DAC, are there other chips apart from the ESS' that I should look out for and avoid, and others that are guaranteed safe, like the older AD1955s on my 851D?
  • Using an HDMI audio splitter/extractor with HDMI ARC support, given that the extracted SPDIF signal is of better quality than what comes from the TV directly. It's only 50$ from a local retailer.
 
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OP
calm

calm

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This will clean up the SPDIF signal, I’m pretty sure a guy from RME measured this and found it had insanely low jitter on the reassembled signal. And it gives you multiple inputs! https://www.tindie.com/products/beni_skate/automatic-spdif-opticalrca-audio-switch/

Thanks, that's a really good tip. Seems like a really nice unit to have, even if it doesn't fix my problem, and I don't mind supporting the guy that took the effort to put something like this out there.

Gonna try sending him a message on Tindie to see if thinks the Wolfson audio processor that is doing the de-jittering can help me in any way.
 

WondrousHippo

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Thanks, that's a really good tip. Seems like a really nice unit to have, even if it doesn't fix my problem, and I don't mind supporting the guy that took the effort to put something like this out there.

Gonna try sending him a message on Tindie to see if thinks the Wolfson audio processor that is doing the de-jittering can help me in any way.
If you ask, also ask if there's any issues with 88.2 kHz as I think that's like...the one flaw

Here are the jitter measurements I measured: https://forum.rme-audio.de/viewtopic.php?pid=149763#p149763
 
OP
calm

calm

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If you ask, also ask if there's any issues with 88.2 kHz as I think that's like...the one flaw

Here are the jitter measurements I measured: https://forum.rme-audio.de/viewtopic.php?pid=149763#p149763

Thanks for the link. While I don't know what a measurement with jitter looks like, be being almost completely linear I imagine the de-jittered result is quite good :)

I've already sent him a message, but I'll ask about any 88.2 kHz issues if I get a reply.
 

RandomEar

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Thanks for the link. While I don't know what a measurement with jitter looks like, be being almost completely linear I imagine the de-jittered result is quite good :)

I've already sent him a message, but I'll ask about any 88.2 kHz issues if I get a reply.
With jitter is the dark blue line (analyzer loopback). Less jitter is below that line, more jitter would be above. The DUT outputs essentially zero jitter regardless of the input jitter in a range of 0 to 200 ns.
 
OP
calm

calm

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Got a very kind answer from Benjamin, the guy who's making and selling those switches, offering a return if it doesn't improve my setup. Seems like he's off for some time, so he's not accepting any orders atm, but will place one as soon as he's open for business again.


If you ask, also ask if there's any issues with 88.2 kHz as I think that's like...the one flaw

Here are the jitter measurements I measured: https://forum.rme-audio.de/viewtopic.php?pid=149763#p149763

I asked him if he knows of any issues with 88.2 kHz playback.


Thanks! Having that problem with Samsung TV. Just now ordered this switch.

Awesome. When you get the switch I'd love to know if it has fixed the problems you've been experiencing.
 
OP
calm

calm

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Switch on the way! Really excited to see if it can make any difference for me.

@WondrousHippo Got an answer regarding 88.2 kHz issues:
I only heard from 2 people that they had problems with 88.2kHz (and I already sold a few hundred switches), but normally 88.2kHz should be working - it must be somehow a problem in combination with the devices they have connected - I offered these 2 people to exchange the switch to see if this fixes the problem, but they didn’t want it, because 88.2kHz is very rare anyway and it was no problem for them.
As this is all handled by the hardware of the audio processor chip like any other frequency there’s also not much I can change or improve here.
Best Regards
Benjamin
 

John Zil

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Got a very kind answer from Benjamin, the guy who's making and selling those switches, offering a return if it doesn't improve my setup. Seems like he's off for some time, so he's not accepting any orders atm, but will place one as soon as he's open for business again.




I asked him if he knows of any issues with 88.2 kHz playback.




Awesome. When you get the switch I'd love to know if it has fixed the problems you've been experiencing.
Fixed the problem. Works fine. Need mini USB to power it. Did not come with a power cable. But it is well made and does the job.
 
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