• WANTED: Happy members who like to discuss audio and other topics related to our interest. Desire to learn and share knowledge of science required as is 20 years of participation in forums (not all true). There are daily reviews of audio hardware and expert members to help answer your questions. Click here to have your audio equipment measured for free!

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

julitoole

Member
Forum Donor
Joined
Jul 11, 2022
Messages
10
Likes
7
Hi if you can, try the SMSL M500 MKII and the Sabaj A20 they are more user friendly and have a better DAC chip (don’t think it really matters that much) I've tried both DX5 and SMSL and kept M500 MKII. Subjectively I only liked DX5 in valve sound mode and to me that way was like standard M500 sound. The really main reason for not going with DX5 was not to have access to all the options without disconnect it from power and the firmware updates problems reported (even if my sample did note stall, it would sometimes say it was updating even if not connected through USB)
I wonder what settings do you mean ? are there some I did not even discover?
 

rarewolf

Member
Joined
Feb 22, 2022
Messages
78
Likes
30
The full menu it's acessible by powerig on the unit while front button pressed. Half the options are only available trough power cycle (not a good thing).

Mine is the DX3P+, but I certainly didn’t see anything in its “hidden” menu that I’d care to change that often
 

Dennis_FL

Senior Member
Forum Donor
Joined
Feb 21, 2020
Messages
390
Likes
262
If you don't mind separate device:
1. Today SMSL released SMSL PO100 and it's only $35. It should work as a USB->SPDIF digital interface to your monitor. You don't really need a DAC for that because as discussed by many people above, having a DAC degrade audio performance for your monitor.
2. I already suggest a DAC-headphone amplifier combo unit (Topping DX3Pro+) that is not only super good, but also fairly cheap. In real world however, HD650 don't really need an amplifier as it needs very little power. If your phone/computer's headphone jack is loud enough and is noise free, you won't get improved performance with external headphone amplifier.
That's exactly what I do. I have one USB port for Roon and one for the SMSL PO 100 (USB to Coax) and send both to my Gustard X16 DAC. When I tried using the same USB for both, Roon protested.

 

MiCoHi

Member
Joined
Aug 26, 2021
Messages
10
Likes
5
Location
Warrington, UK
Just taken delivery of my DX5 today and loving the sound so far.

However, am I right in thinking that when DAC mode is selected (I am using the unit to power my Neumann active monitor setup), it effectively kills the phones out?

I got the unit with the intention of having it as a one-box solution to drive my DCA Aeons as a listening station and when the children are out, to use it to power the Neumann rig. Without a power up menu change, this seems to be not possible?

Ideally, I just want a unit that I can use as an amp with headphones and as a DAC with speakers. Is there such a thing or am I best off using 2 devices (as I currently am - Topping D10S on the end of an RPi for the Neumanns and a Hidizs S9 Pro on the end of another RPi for my cans)?
 

Toku

Major Contributor
Joined
Apr 4, 2018
Messages
1,966
Likes
2,031
Location
Japan
Just taken delivery of my DX5 today and loving the sound so far.

However, am I right in thinking that when DAC mode is selected (I am using the unit to power my Neumann active monitor setup), it effectively kills the phones out?

I got the unit with the intention of having it as a one-box solution to drive my DCA Aeons as a listening station and when the children are out, to use it to power the Neumann rig. Without a power up menu change, this seems to be not possible?

Ideally, I just want a unit that I can use as an amp with headphones and as a DAC with speakers. Is there such a thing or am I best off using 2 devices (as I currently am - Topping D10S on the end of an RPi for the Neumanns and a Hidizs S9 Pro on the end of another RPi for my cans)?
Switch the output mode of DX5 to AMP+Line Out. (Display shows P+L Vol)
 

Attachments

  • DX5 Output Mode.png
    DX5 Output Mode.png
    468.4 KB · Views: 107

MiCoHi

Member
Joined
Aug 26, 2021
Messages
10
Likes
5
Location
Warrington, UK
Thanks for the reply, but in this mode, the line out from the back will trigger my KH750 to spring into life and will flood the lounge with the same audio I've got in the headphones.

I need a unit that can swap between headphone amp only mode and then pure DAC out mode, so that's line 1 and line 4 in the above photo. I was hoping the remote would do this and whilst it sort of can (by pressing the centre cursor button on the remote, it turns LO on), I can't seemingly change from amp only mode, with local volume control, to DAC only mode with fixed level out.
 

MiCoHi

Member
Joined
Aug 26, 2021
Messages
10
Likes
5
Location
Warrington, UK
Issue seems to be resolved by installing V1.40 of the firmware. This allows for a volume controlled phones output or a fixed level DAC mode.

As revealed in post #476 of this thread.
 

MiCoHi

Member
Joined
Aug 26, 2021
Messages
10
Likes
5
Location
Warrington, UK
On further tweaking, it seems that some careful balancing has to be done to preserve the gain structure when used in different modes:

As I use Roon to stream to my Neumann lounge system, I tend to prefer using the volume adjustment via DSP as the DX5 is not within reach. This means that the gain levels have to be adjusted in the Neumann control app as otherwise, when I switch over to headphone listening, the volume is too low, as I need to knock back the DSP level in Roon to stop music blasting out at ridiculous, ear-bleeding levels.

So, knock back the Neumann control level, keep the Roon DSP level fairly high, possibly turn on high gain also depending on which cans I'm using (currently swap between my DCA Aeon, Truthear x Crinacle and my old faithful Beyer DT770s).

It's a bit of a faff, but means that I'm now able to free up a Raspberry Pi, a Topping D10s and a Hidizs S9 Pro, all the associated cabling and power feed.

Not tried the BT streaming yet, but it will enable me to watch the tv through my Neumann rig, unless there's too much of a delay.
 

Hartana

New Member
Joined
Sep 2, 2021
Messages
3
Likes
0
Hi, this is my first post here, decided to get the DX5 and am pleased with the overall look and feel of the product, After checking that the unit is working as intended, I open up to learn more about the internal. First look it is using a switch mode power supply with an output of 15V up to 1.4A. I guess at this price point they will not be providing one with a toroidal transformer. The Ess9068as only have 3 filter mode. One of the integrated circuit have it marking erased offView attachment 218918
From this picture, does topping dx5 use a coupling capacitor for the output? The 4 pcs yellow color before the XLR out.
 

LME49990

Member
Joined
Jul 18, 2022
Messages
10
Likes
6
From this picture, does topping dx5 use a coupling capacitor for the output? The 4 pcs yellow color before the XLR out.
They are Nichicon FW capacitor, Looking at the traces they are connected to the 49R9 ohm resistor of the op-amps so sadly they do seem to be, At this price point and the choice of component in other area, I will expect a higher grade part like FG, KW or KZ here
 
Last edited:

Hartana

New Member
Joined
Sep 2, 2021
Messages
3
Likes
0
They are Nichicon FW capacitor, Looking at the traces they are connected to the 49R9 ohm resistor of the op-amps so sadly they do seem to be, At this price point and the choice of component in other area, I will expect a higher grade part like FG, KW or KZ here
Yes, I have check the pcb trace, its ouput coupling capacitor. Its comes from the ouput pin op-amp (opa1612). Why use coupling capacitor? Is there any dc offset or just for "sound voicing when designed the Dx5"? Because the capacitor is very large (220uF).
 

LME49990

Member
Joined
Jul 18, 2022
Messages
10
Likes
6
Yes, I have check the pcb trace, its ouput coupling capacitor. Its comes from the ouput pin op-amp (opa1612). Why use coupling capacitor? Is there any dc offset or just for "sound voicing when designed the Dx5"? Because the capacitor is very large (220uF).
The primary use of these capacitors is to block of DC, unfortunately as you so pointed out they also introduce some voicing, A larger cap will extend the lower frequency response lower so it is good to have but at a larger cost.

If you mainly use the unit as a DAC output, I would recommend try changing the caps to Nichicon KZ or Silmic II or Toshin UTSJ, these are my favorite top 3 cap for this purpose
 

Hartana

New Member
Joined
Sep 2, 2021
Messages
3
Likes
0
The primary use of these capacitors is to block of DC, unfortunately as you so pointed out they also introduce some voicing, A larger cap will extend the lower frequency response lower so it is good to have but at a larger cost.

If you mainly use the unit as a DAC output, I would recommend try changing the caps to Nichicon KZ or Silmic II or Toshin UTSJ, these are my favorite top 3 cap for this purpose.

The primary use of these capacitors is to block of DC, unfortunately as you so pointed out they also introduce some voicing, A larger cap will extend the lower frequency response lower so it is good to have but at a larger cost.

If you mainly use the unit as a DAC output, I would recommend try changing the caps to Nichicon KZ or Silmic II or Toshin UTSJ, these are my favorite top 3 cap for this purpose
Thank you for the recommendation . Will try.
 

carmol

Member
Joined
Apr 20, 2021
Messages
12
Likes
6
The primary use of these capacitors is to block of DC, unfortunately as you so pointed out they also introduce some voicing, A larger cap will extend the lower frequency response lower so it is good to have but at a larger cost.

If you mainly use the unit as a DAC output, I would recommend try changing the caps to Nichicon KZ or Silmic II or Toshin UTSJ, these are my favorite top 3 cap for this purpose
With 122 SINAD, fourth in the top 20 DAC SINAD on hundreds reviewed,
there is voicing ?


Replacing the capacitors will have the only effect
to void the warranty
 
Last edited:

bearcatsandor

Member
Joined
Nov 11, 2020
Messages
32
Likes
58
I'm considering the DX5 against the D90D/A90se set. I will be using them in a home studio via DAW (usb-in). I'll be using the DCA Stealths. I don't listen at loud volumes. I've never measured my headphone listening level, but I'm the kind of guy that brings hi-fi ear plugs to moves because they're too loud. I'm feeling that the power will be enough. However, does it make any difference that it's not fully balanced, that there's no ground lift if my input will primarily be USB? I can't see using the analog inputs that often, so what use is the ground lift? As far as I know there are no other features missing, so given all that is there any reason for me to spend the extra on the 90s?

I mean yeah the SNR is a little better on the D90D/A90SE set, but am I really gonna hear that when mixing and mastering?

edit: doing a very unscientific test, i played some pink noise over my headphones at a little more than my usual listening level and shoved my phone mic against the left driver whole looking at a sound meter. It was around 70 dB max.
 
Last edited:

arrow0309

Member
Joined
Sep 8, 2022
Messages
27
Likes
5
UK users might take advantage buying it from amazon.it discounted and with shipping fees it's still ~£340.
Not for long.
 
Top Bottom