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Topping DX5 Review (DAC & HP Amp)

Rate this product:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 15 4.6%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 7 2.1%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 75 23.0%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 229 70.2%

  • Total voters
    326

LME49990

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One can deviate from the datasheet and still have good results..
The output impedance is <= 0 ohm as measured by amirm.

There is a 3.3 ohm resistor in series at the output, At best the output impedance is 3.3ohm
<=0 ohm output impedance is physically impossible
 

Veri

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<=0 ohm output impedance is physically impossible
Well sure, I mean to say it is near 0. The spec on the DX5 is < 0.1 ohm, as pretty much all modern chip-based amps are...
 

AngryMetalGuy

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Can I join you :) (No MQA club), it would be less expensive I’m sure (40 to 50€) and if I keep it I will not use anyway.


What do you thing about the sound modes on DX5; Valve Sound vs Transistor sound vs Sound Mode Off. In this DAC it's definitely doing something I don't know if it's go or bad for me it looks like the Transistor Sound mode is thinner and quicker (don't like it) the Valve Sound mode is tad rounder and softer (maybe too much, but I like it) for once I think it's good that topping gave you the possibility to notice a change between sound modes. I had SMSL SU-9 before and didn't notice any apparent change when using sound colours.
 

julitoole

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Hi, i'm also new around here and looking for a DAC around 350€ to pair with my NAD C 316BEE V2 and Q Acoustics 3030i. I've restricted the choice to Topping dx5, SMSL M500 MKII and also SMSL D300 so please can you share your experience with both. I think objectively they should have the same sound signature the SMSL D300 has a different Chip manufacture so don't know if it will affect sound.
Thank you
as I only use and tested them with headphones I can not tell you about Its preamp capabilities. For me the dx5 had more "juice" so I will stay with the dx5. But I would pinpoint that difference to the dx5 achiving higher power output in the headphone amp. Besides that I wouldnt say I hear an audible difference between them. as yavormoskov said you should include the sabaj device too, I am thinking about trying it too as it is a bit cheaper and seems to have similar performance. Another reason for me to take the dx5 is that topping seems to be more willing to publish and make firmware updates available. The smsl m500 mk1 had a firmware issue that they resolved but they made it very hard to find it. Its basicaly not on their website and you have to get it somewhere online and that was a big no no for me.
 

julitoole

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I had to google for the manual to check for that would be a bad user experience for a desktop DAC/amp: You can double-click on the volume knob to switch output. It does not say if the volume for each output of remembered, which would be nice to have.

This not a behavior I want, though, as only option.
It does remember volumes for each output independently.
 

pavlo_y0l0s

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Did not find zoomed pictures of the inside, so decided to take it apart myself. Attached are the pictures of the output ICs.
 

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AngryMetalGuy

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Ok I have now the 3 DAC's with me SMSL D300, SMSL M500 MKII and Topping DX5 (did the firmware update with no problem) starting from the construction of the devices the Topping is definitely the best from the terminals to the enclosure there's no comparation.
I like the display of SMSL D300 since I use (all DAC's) as DAC only, I don't need to see the volume. The menu and display's on SMSL's are more user friendly and in M500 MKII it's nice to have the sound color modes to play a little, you'll will notice changes from the different 9 options also the remotes on SMSL are more intuitive overall their nicer.
From the three D300 as less options to play around. From "my" user experience the M500 was the best followed by Topping and last D300. It was I little hard to get my DSD files working on foobar but all three of them worked in the end. As for Bluetooth again the Topping was the best experience connected with LDAC (best connection).
As for sound with standard modes (no color modes and sound modes) they sound similar, same differences that I think to hear are subjective no blind test. So I'm almost sure I'll keep the Topping DX5.
The construction denotes care as does the firmware releases to address problems with the unit.
 

AngryMetalGuy

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That's not correct. I just get DX5 and I can tell you that all settings can be changed without the remote control. But with remote control you can change the settings directly without switching on/off to get into "settings menu".
Sorry if I'm wrong but, it looks that you only have fully access to menus by switching off and then switching on while pressing the front button. Not all functions are available through the remote. There's room for improvement from Topping, for me there's just one option I would like to have on the remote, the possibility to change between DAC and Pre-amp modes. The displays "menus" and remote control on SMSL are intuitive "more user friendly". Despite all this the construction on Topping DX5 is better than SMSL M500 MKII and D300, as they sound the same (DX5 in Valve Sound mode) I think I'll keep Topping.
 

rarewolf

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Feb 22, 2022
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The DX5 looks great if you only have space for a single-box solution, but for only a bit more, I would consider the E50 + L50 combo. This has, essentially, the same DAC but what I understand to be a more powerful headphone amp with proper balanced output. Depending on your headphone choice, the difference could be beneficial.

Please correct me if I’m wrong, but I checked out the L50 and its specs don’t show any distinction/differences between the SE and XLR headphone outputs either.

I’m new to this level of amplification but, as impressed as I am with a Sennheiser DD IEM powered by a small dongle DAC/Amp, I’ve decided not to limit myself to IEMs that don’t require the power required by headphones. Hence my interest in this Topping (and the SMSL M500 mk2). I have to say that, as many of Amir’s reviews I’ve read, and all those times he recommended balanced over SE, I was surprised he didn’t even mention the XLR HP output wasn’t truly balanced and was only for convenience… but then and like I said, I’m a newb. My planar IEMs definitely exposed the difference in sound quality from my dongle when I opted for balanced over SE. That, together with comments from Amir (and other reviewers), I became a real fan of balanced.

What does it mean to describe these Topping amplifiers as “balanced”? That is, they offer balanced inputs, but do not offer a balanced HP output? Is it truly the case that, when amplifiers offer this much power for headphones (different from dongles), there is absolutely no practical difference between the sound quality of SE vs balanced?

I have to say, after reading a number of reviews of these Topping and SMSL DAC/Amps that I am impressed, but I also like asking questions so that I am confident in my purchases. It probably even helps psychoacoustically… TIA :)

Edit: I’m currently checking out the Topping small stack, D50S & A50S, which does offer a true balanced output, so the Topping engineers haven’t totally ignored its possible benefits. However, of note the A50S’s 4.4mm output offers no more power than the DX5’s SE… and that again begs the question regarding this level of power (>3W) negating any benefit of balanced(?)
 
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JoetheLion

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My planar IEMs definitely exposed the difference in sound quality from my dongle when I opted for balanced over SE.
I doubt that. First of all, balanced is louder and then you find that better. If you adjust your volume and do a blind test, you would probably not be able to determine a significant difference. Unless output impedance is higher at balanced. This is rather worse for IEMs.
 

Jimster480

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Do you think these people are not turning OFF their OLED display and that causes the burn-in? How sensitive are these OLED displays to burn-in? I don't think I have a OLED display @ home and so I have no experience with them.
The OLED displays in any of these products do burn in over time as they are left on. I have run mine on low brightness for years but it has still faded on all the text where I use it most often. It just is what it is.
 

AngryMetalGuy

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I don't find information about the DSD cut frequency (filter) on DX5 normally on AKM there are at least two, 39 kHz default and another, can anyone confirm this. Also ES9038PRO as five starts 47.44k @ 44.1 kHz (default).
This information would be very interesting to me as my tweeters are amt with a frequency response to 50 kHz. In DSD files as shown by Amir in is videos there's no useful music information beyond 36 kHz (basically just noise) at least in the files I also own. So I think I should apply a 39 kHz like used on AKM chips or I'm sending noise (despite inaudible) and don't known how it affects the twitter. Or doesn't really matter?
Thank you
 
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AngryMetalGuy

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This is the section of the headphone amp of DX5
Signal amp is using TI OPA1612A Driver is using Ti TPA6120
Gain is switch using relay which is good

According to the datasheet of the Ti TPA6120 the resistor on the output should at least be 10ohm
But topping choose instead to go with 3.3 ohm, So it might not be a good idea to pair it with a headphone with ultra low impendence,
With a resistor if 3.3ohm in series with the output how could they specify the output impendence to be <0.1ohm ?

The rated power from the datasheet of TPA 6120 is 80mW into 600ohm From a ±12-V Supply at 0.00014% THD + N

Anybody knows what NFCA means ? I did not find any global feedback from the output


View attachment 218937
Can you confirm if all the signal op amps are TI OPA 1612A?
Thanks
 

LME49990

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Can you confirm if all the signal op amps are TI OPA 1612A?
Thanks
As far as I can see yes the signal OP Amp are all OPA 1612A

Have you listen to the Value and Electronic modes ? Can you describe the difference of both which you preferred and how it is different from turning off the sound mode
 

AngryMetalGuy

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As far as I can see yes the signal OP Amp are all OPA 1612A

Have you listen to the Value and Electronic modes ? Can you describe the difference of both which you preferred and how it is different from turning off the sound mode
As for the OPA's the marking's OVII TI 15I (if you google it) it seam's to go to TI OPA 1612A, If you look at the pictures of E50 you can see clearly the marking's of the OPA1612A.

As for sound it's just a subjective opinion. Valve sound feels more full and round (check voices) than the original, transistor mode is a thinner and quicker. The original sound is transparent and neutral compared to the others. I think it's a question of taste.
 

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SubcrewJimmy

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Hi, i am have issue with MQA tracks (on TIDAL and Foobar2000), then start play or scroll track it make 'clicks' then change mode from PCM to MQA, same as here https://audiosciencereview.com/foru...dac-and-headphone-amplifier.24341/post-902276

this bug or feature?)
Yo guys!

I was having the same issues and I sent email to topping, finally got a reply with v1.40 firmware updates, let’s check is there any improvements!

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1LvBfgZNZ-MIO1HlFM_VS_2uA9ceM_ZQg/view?usp=sharing
 

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SubcrewJimmy

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Yo guys!

I was having the same issues and I sent email to topping, finally got a reply with v1.40 firmware updates, let’s check is there any improvements!

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1LvBfgZNZ-MIO1HlFM_VS_2uA9ceM_ZQg/view?usp=sharing
Translation of the email

Nice to meet you, please wait for the interview and we will complete the questions at the end of bloom time.
1. MQA songs can be heard when they are cut. We were able to retrieve similar information, and we've updated the property to make it better, so try updating the property again.
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1LvBfgZNZ-MIO1HlFM_VS_2uA9ceM_ZQg/view?usp=sharing
2. The possible development of MQA connections to non-MQA coincides with the absence of a speech path. We went through many tests, testing different MQA songs and DSD/PCM songs. How are you currently feeling about this situation? Are there any specific regulations?
3. DX5 broadcasts MQA after returning to the window, and it is possible to pick up the window at a rate of 44.1khz (the original setting is a higher kHz). After many tests, no law reappeared. This information is currently unavailable.
 

SubcrewJimmy

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I received my DX5 from Amazon 3 days ago and tested it immediately and found that there were many problems with the DX5's operation. None of PCM, DSD, MQA works properly like the E50 and DX3 Pro + I have used so far.
Pop noise caused by switching to songs with different sample rates or switching songs between DSD and PCM. Occurrence of sound interruption or pop noise that occurs several times at the start of MQA playback. In addition, the volume may suddenly drop extremely and no sound may be output from the left CH. The sound quality is good, but I am not in a state where I can listen to music with peace of mind.
I immediately learned about the new firmware V1.38 and installed it in anticipation, but nothing improved. I will investigate the symptoms a little more and then return it to Amazon.

addition
You will hear a loud relay operation sound every time you switch songs on the DSD. However, this relay sound may not be produced at all while using it. It's a very strange behavior.

* Whenever I receive a DAC product, I use PCM 44.1 ~ PCM768kHz, DSD64 ~ DSD512, and several types of MQA files to check the operation.
Let’s check my reply tofu
I got the new V1.4 firmware
 
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