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Topping DX5 Review (DAC & HP Amp)

Rate this product:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 16 4.2%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 8 2.1%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 89 23.6%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 264 70.0%

  • Total voters
    377

Daaadou

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Switch the output mode of DX5 to AMP+Line Out. (Display shows P+L Vol)
Noob question but is there a way the unit will turn off LO when I plug my headphone in ?
I have noticed sound is coming both from the speakers and the headphone set at the same time.
I can turn it off by double clicking on the knob and switching to PO only instead of PO+LO but is there a way to have a smart PO+LO ? :D
 

Toku

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Noob question but is there a way the unit will turn off LO when I plug my headphone in ?
I have noticed sound is coming both from the speakers and the headphone set at the same time.
I can turn it off by double clicking on the knob and switching to PO only instead of PO+LO but is there a way to have a smart PO+LO ? :D
DX5 does not have automatic switching of PO,LO,PO+LO. Manual switching only.
I have never seen a DAC product that automatically switches to headphone mode when headphones are connected.
Manual switching may be troublesome, but with DX5 you can easily switch using the remote control. So I don't think it's much of a problem.
 

Daaadou

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Ok, I didn't know, avr and hifi amp would do that if you connect hp on their front port, they would automatically shut down the speakers.
Anyways, it is ok to use the remote to do it, though, would be convenient to auto shut the speakers when listening with the headphones since I do not see the purpose of having both speakers and hp playing at the same time for a desktop appliance.
 

Alamei

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Out of curiosity (coming from someone with a lack of electrical engineering experience), would the XLR outputs on a device like this still work to eliminate ground hum when driving studio monitors, or do you lose that particular benefit of the professional-style connections when a device isn't balanced internally? I just got in a pair of Kali IN-8 v2 monitors that I'm running into a ground loop problem with on my current Element III, and I'm looking into solutions for eliminating it.
 

Robbo99999

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Out of curiosity (coming from someone with a lack of electrical engineering experience), would the XLR outputs on a device like this still work to eliminate ground hum when driving studio monitors, or do you lose that particular benefit of the professional-style connections when a device isn't balanced internally? I just got in a pair of Kali IN-8 v2 monitors that I'm running into a ground loop problem with on my current Element III, and I'm looking into solutions for eliminating it.
This DAC is a balanced DAC, so when you use the balanced out connections on the DAC then you'll get the benefit of eliminating the ground loops - as far as I know it won't depend on what you connect it to, but your Kali IN-8 v2 monitors will be fine connecting it. Actually, I think whatever you're connecting it to needs to have balanced inputs, as the signal is up to 4V for a start - but surely your Kali IN-8 v2 monitors have balanced inputs?
 

Alamei

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This DAC is a balanced DAC, so when you use the balanced out connections on the DAC then you'll get the benefit of eliminating the ground loops - as far as I know it won't depend on what you connect it to, but your Kali IN-8 v2 monitors will be fine connecting it.
Thank you for the quick response. I wasn't sure whether the XLR outputs being driven by the SE topology had any impact on the functionality beyond outputting less power (which is always a non-issue for me given the low volume levels I listen at). Good to know this would be a viable option if my other attempts to break the ground loop fail.

EDIT: Yes, the monitors are using standard studio connections, so they have balanced XLR and TRS input options in addition to unbalanced RCA.
 
Last edited:

wisechoice

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Out of curiosity (coming from someone with a lack of electrical engineering experience), would the XLR outputs on a device like this still work to eliminate ground hum when driving studio monitors, or do you lose that particular benefit of the professional-style connections when a device isn't balanced internally? I just got in a pair of Kali IN-8 v2 monitors that I'm running into a ground loop problem with on my current Element III, and I'm looking into solutions for eliminating it.
Balanced (or differential, not sure about the fine points here) connections should eliminate any ground loops in your setup. Relatively few balanced devices are balanced internally, while nonetheless still providing that benefit. @amirm has said that’s the main reason to use balanced connections between devices. Common mode noise/interference rejection is the name of the game here. An actual electrical engineer could tell you more, and there will usually one or two lurking around these parts.
 

wisechoice

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This DAC is a balanced DAC, so when you use the balanced out connections on the DAC then you'll get the benefit of eliminating the ground loops - as far as I know it won't depend on what you connect it to, but your Kali IN-8 v2 monitors will be fine connecting it. Actually, I think whatever you're connecting it to needs to have balanced inputs, as the signal is up to 4V for a start - but surely your Kali IN-8 v2 monitors have balanced inputs?

Yes, both devices need balanced connections.
 

rarewolf

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Balanced (or differential, not sure about the fine points here) connections should eliminate any ground loops in your setup. Relatively few balanced devices are balanced internally, while nonetheless still providing that benefit. @amirm has said that’s the main reason to use balanced connections between devices. Common mode noise/interference rejection is the name of the game here. An actual electrical engineer could tell you more, and there will usually one or two lurking around these parts.

… except… is the DX5 truly a balanced DAC? Nowhere in Topping’s description does it explicitly say so, and if you look at the specs its “balanced” specs are exactly the same as SE…
 

Veri

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… except… is the DX5 truly a balanced DAC? Nowhere in Topping’s description does it explicitly say so, and if you look at the specs its “balanced” specs are exactly the same as SE…
... it outputs 4 volts. It's balanced.
 

rarewolf

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... it outputs 4 volts. It's balanced.
Yep…you’re correct. I wonder why Topping doesn’t specifically say so, and while it offers a RV “balanced” output at the rear, it doesn’t offer a balanced HP output(?)
 

staticV3

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Yep…you’re correct. I wonder why Topping doesn’t specifically say so
Their website clearly says that the XLR Line out is balanced and that both the 1/4" and 4pin XLR headphone outs are single-ended:
5642252.jpg 6643001.jpg

As for why they do that, it's because contrary to balanced line out, balanced headphone out offers no advantage if the Amp is mains-powered.
And so Topping give their customers a 4pin XLR connector in case they already have such a cable or they like the rigidity, but they don't waste the resources to implement a differential headphone Amp.
 

rarewolf

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As for why they do that, it's because contrary to balanced line out, balanced headphone out offers no advantage if the Amp is mains-powered.
And so Topping give their customers a 4pin XLR connector in case they already have such a cable or they like the rigidity, but they don't waste the resources to implement a differential headphone Amp.

I agree that balanced at the hp output doesn’t make much sense unless the hps can benefit from the higher voltage, but just so I can understand better, why for this amp does the mains affect the hp output and not the line out?
 

staticV3

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why for this amp does the mains affect the hp output and not the line out?
Not sure I understand the question.

Differential headphone Amps have value if you're working with power supply voltage constraints, like with USB or battery-powered equipment.
Since the DX5 is mains-powered, this does not apply.

Differential Line output has value in that it reduces EMI for long cable runs and suppresses common-mode noise from ground loops.

Those two points aren't related.
 

rarewolf

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Not sure I understand the question.

Differential headphone Amps have value if you're working with power supply voltage constraints, like with USB or battery-powered equipment.
Since the DX5 is mains-powered, this does not apply.

Differential Line output has value in that it reduces EMI for long cable runs and suppresses common-mode noise from ground loops.

Those two points aren't related.

I’m getting there, but I would’ve thought the type of mains power for the DX5 is the same as for the L70, but the hp XLR hp outputs definitely differ in functionality, while for line outs they’re exactly the same. I’m obviously misunderstanding some significant difference, or purpose…
 

GMX

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Testing at various impedances we get:
View attachment 195323

Ignore the little glitches (measurement error). At 300 and 600 ohm there is no clipping so if you are hearing distortion it is your headphone! Below that naturally is current limiting. Unit is stable and capable of driving even 12 ohm load. Output impedance is essentially zero.
Hi, sorry I'm a newbie, what does this mean? That with my Slate VSX headphones - Impedance: 37 Ohm - the amp won't work well? So do you recommend other models from Topping?

My budget is up to 500 euros and I'm looking for an all-in-one with an excellent DAC that doesn't distort in the low frequencies (fundamental), and also the amp must not distort in the low frequencies (fundamental), but that works perfectly with my 37 Ohm headphones (I chose this headphone because works very well with software such as Acustica Audio's Sienna, almost at the level of an Audeze LCDX - in terms of being able to play well with this software: neither headset distorts in the low frequencies even with strong correction curves and boosting in that area, for everything else in performance the Audeze is obviously a much better headphone).

A big thank you to whoever will help me understand better!
 

Berwhale

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Hi, sorry I'm a newbie, what does this mean? That with my Slate VSX headphones - Impedance: 37 Ohm - the amp won't work well? So do you recommend other models from Topping?

Your headphones will work fine with a DX5, and there is also the cheaper option of the DX5 Lite without the 'MQA tax'...

 
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