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Topping DX5 Review (DAC & HP Amp)

Rate this product:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 16 4.3%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

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

    Votes: 89 23.7%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 262 69.9%

  • Total voters
    375

Angryboomer

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Hi @Angryboomer! Welcome to ASR.

Since the DX5 doesn't have analog inputs, there's no "gain" in the traditional sense.

With the volume turned all the way up, the DX5 will output 2.1Vrms
Thanks, not so much what I wanted to hear, yet helpful. So, Is that asking too much for a smallish one box solution with gain?
 

staticV3

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Thanks, not so much what I wanted to hear, yet helpful. So, Is that asking too much for a smallish one box solution with gain?
The Adcom GFA-545 II only needs 1.5V in to reach maximum output (clipping), so the 2.1V of the DX5 is more than enough.

If you have quiet music that's mastered to significantly below 0dBFS Peak, then consider looking into volume normlization or replay gain.
 

Justin44

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Just got one of these in shipped straight from Hong Kong, seems neat so far. Question for more educated owners: For typical use is there any reason to change the PCM Filter or Dithering settings to something other than the default?
I messed around a bit but I don't seem to notice any differences
 

Angryboomer

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The Adcom GFA-545 II only needs 1.5V in to reach maximum output (clipping), so the 2.1V of the DX5 is more than enough.

If you have quiet music that's mastered to significantly below 0dBFS Peak, then consider looking into volume normlization or replay gain.
Not so much a fan of the leveling, or replay gain, I'm mostly using Audirvana and even though that player has options, they state you give up something to get something.
My set up now isn't terrible, I'm simply dealing with some upgradeitus. Been through a bunch of Schiit, funny thing is, each time I "downgraded" things got better. Jot>Asgard>Modius/Magni3, go figure.
 

staticV3

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Not so much a fan of the leveling, or replay gain, I'm mostly using Audirvana and even though that player has options, they state you give up something to get something.
You don't lose any quality whatsoever by ensuring that your tracks are set to close to 0dBFS Peak.
 

silver-matter

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Is the DX5 or DX5 Lite worth an extra $100 over the DX3 Pro+ if you can find one on sale ~$300?

Currently using HD6XX and DT770 80 ohm.
 

Dunring

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Is the DX5 or DX5 Lite worth an extra $100 over the DX3 Pro+ if you can find one on sale ~$300?

Currently using HD6XX and DT770 80 ohm.
You can currently get a used with warranty DX3 Pro+ for $140 (or $145 for the "Used Very Good") on Amazon.
Sometimes they have the DX5 for $200 rock bottom used price, but currently they don't have any. I'd run with the DX3Pro+ for that price. Hificollege has a 1 year warranty and they really honor it. Aoshida-US just tells you to return it.
 

Angryboomer

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You don't lose any quality whatsoever by ensuring that your tracks are set to close to 0dBFS Peak.

I started using "Preserve Album Dynamics" just now with positive effect. I would love the ability to toggle while listening.
I had been reluctant to use RG features because enough folks complain of clipping while using, I wonder if there aren't some other factors at play with those complaints.
Right now, it's all good!
 

pma

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I am to receive my DX5 tomorrow. I am curious about measurements I will do, sound - listening tests, and moreover about long term reliability (CPLD update failure and frozen unit as mentioned in this thread several times). Hope not to have such issues.
 

Asma

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I am to receive my DX5 tomorrow. I am curious about measurements I will do, sound - listening tests, and moreover about long term reliability (CPLD update failure and frozen unit as mentioned in this thread several times). Hope not to have such issues.
I contacted Topping support regarding an update error that I read about on some resources. They said that I don’t have to worry, this problem is not widespread. I've been using my DX5 for 3 months now, no problems so far, great combination of DAC and amp in one package.
 

ColdCloudU

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Hello. I'm from Ukraine and first of all I want to thank every participant in this forum and especially its creator Amirm for his reviews and recommendations on devices. Thanks to you all, my choice of audio equipment was easier than it could have been. And music (I’m from Kherson and now I’ll probably never be able to return to my hometown), alas, has become the last thing that gives me emotions in life and nostalgia.

3 days ago I purchased the HD660S2, which I had been dreaming about for almost a year. Although I can’t afford them without inconvenience. 2 days ago I received Topping DX5 Lite.
For me, this is an ideal combination in terms of beauty and also based on everything that I have seen and heard about them on the Internet and I will probably never be able to afford anything more.

Closer to the topic: I visited the topic https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...nding-the-windows-audio-quality-debate.19438/ and realized that if you use Equalizer APO + Peace interface - I dont need ASIO and everything like that (I don’t even really understand what it is). I only listen to music (+youtube, movies...) on my laptop (FLAC mostly (foobar), rarely WAW/AIFF) and don't do any recording or similar. And since the summer of 2023 I have been using PEACE with the oratory1990 preset for 560s
Now I have configured everything so that when my laptop turns on, PEACE automatically turns on with the included preset from oratory1990 for 660S2 and it is right there in the tray - so I don’t even see any windows and immediately put on headphones as the main output device from the laptop without additional clicks .

QUESTION 1
The DX5 Lite topping confused me a little yesterday. I accidentally discovered that my collection is mostly FLAC 16-44100, BUT. Most new albums purchased on Bandcamp in 2023 have 24-48,000. And my latest album from my favorite artist has 24-96,000.

I went into the Windows sound settings and set it to 24-96000 as Amim recommended (but I’m not sure that he recommended so much, I read too many topics) in one of the topics. But if you click "Set as default" then 24-96000 will change to 32-96000. Why does the system think this value is better? Or is my DX5's driver causing it to be set to a higher value based on its capabilities? I don't understand what should be specified here, because the default value should be the most correct? But I'm leaning towards 24-96000 since it's the highest audio file setting in my collection.

QUESTION2
From my Topping DX5, I expected that the display would show the value of the currently playing file. What is beautiful, convenient, very pleasant and banally logical. But it does not display the current playback parameters, but the limit value that is set in Windows. Is this how it should be? I just expected it to change depending on the playing song.

Thank you for reading this long message, I really hope for your help.

P.S.
I just checked so that other users with similar problems are not looking.
Amirm recommended setting 24Bit, 44.1kHz (if you don’t want to mess with ASIO or WASAPI - I don’t)
And another user whose arguments inspired me with confidence said that everything above 24Bit, 48kHz makes no sense.

Therefore, if I really want to, it probably wouldn’t be a mistake to set the audio file from the collection to the highest parameter (in my case, 24bit-96kHz songs)?
Probably this will heat up the DX5 device more and there are no other disadvantages?
 
Last edited:

staticV3

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Hi @ColdCloudU! Welcome to ASR. I hope you enjoy your time here :)
QUESTION 1
The DX5 Lite topping confused me a little yesterday. I accidentally discovered that my collection is mostly FLAC 16-44100, BUT. Most new albums purchased on Bandcamp in 2023 have 24-48,000. And my latest album from my favorite artist has 24-96,000.

I went into the Windows sound settings and set it to 24-96000 as Amim recommended (but I’m not sure that he recommended so much, I read too many topics) in one of the topics. But if you click "Set as default" then 24-96000 will change to 32-96000. Why does the system think this value is better? Or is my DX5's driver causing it to be set to a higher value based on its capabilities? I don't understand what should be specified here, because the default value should be the most correct? But I'm leaning towards 24-96000 since it's the highest audio file setting in my collection.
You can always set Windows to the highest possible bit depth (32 bit), without any negative consequences. Even if you only play 16 bit tracks.

If you want your DAC to switch sample rate automatically to match the track, then simply set foobar2000 to output in Exclusive mode.
I think this functionality is built in natively by now, so you don't even have to install any plugins.

QUESTION2
From my Topping DX5, I expected that the display would show the value of the currently playing file. What is beautiful, convenient, very pleasant and banally logical. But it does not display the current playback parameters, but the limit value that is set in Windows. Is this how it should be? I just expected it to change depending on the playing song.
Windows has a few different ways of sending audio to your DAC. These are called Audio APIs.

The standard way that YouTube, Spotify, etc. send audio is via the Wasapi Shared API or the DirectSound API.
These will send audio first to Windows, which then resamples everything to one uniform sample rate, and only then is the audio sent to your DAC.

This is why your DAC always displays the same sample rate.

If you want your tracks to always be sent to the DAC at their native sample rate, without that resampling step in between, then you need to use either the ASIO API, or the Wasapi Exclusive API.

Wasapi Exclusive is advantageous in that you don't have to install special drivers for it to work, and it's also a bit more stable generally.

Foobar has the Wasapi Exlusive API built in. You just have to set the Output to Exclusive.
 

pma

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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.

Which output have you used, RCA or XLR, single-ended or balanced line? There is a common problem when connecting any DAC with internal PSU and class I design when connected to power amplifier that is also in class I, both devices having the signal ground connected to protective earth, PE. I have many reports from other users who have had such configuration. I tested it yesterday with m DX5. In case I use DX5 with my NC252MP connected through balanced XLR line, everything is OK and there are no pops or clicks under any conditions. But, If I connected the DX5 with the class I power amplifier via RCA single ended cable, there are clicks audible from speakers when switching the DX5 input or switching between tracks (though there is no hum/buzz from speakers). This happens due to interfering currents through the signal ground wire of the RCA single-ended link, due to ground loop between the 2 class I devices. It would be nice if @amirm tested the RCA link immunity if the DUT is connected to grounded class I input of the AP.

So do not use this:

DAC class I RCA.png


But use this!

DAC class I XLR.png


Balanced differential input subtracts the interfering click voltages.
 

worms

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Hi. Many thanks for this topic.
I managed to solve all the initial problems with you,
In the future I would like to buy a Thieaudio MKIII, but before that I intend to buy a Dac/Amp. Are there any plusses about this device to get along well with the MKIII
For this moment I have auditioned K11, K7, DX5, I still intend to check out K9, M500II.
I had high hopes for the DX5, however I ended up with a listening version, new out of the box. I wonder how long it has to play to present its full capabilities and what can improve.
After 23 hours of annealing, I have the impression that the bass has improved, gained weight stopped being so boxy. After the K7 I still miss better separation of the stage in depth and maybe to the sides, is there a chance that this will still improve?
What is your experience in warming up the DX5 what has changed with you in its sound presentation?
I would sincerely appreciate your response.
Regards.
 

staticV3

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I had high hopes for the DX5, however I ended up with a listening version, new out of the box. I wonder how long it has to play to present its full capabilities and what can improve.
The DX5 presents it's full capabilities the moment you start playing audio.

After 23 hours of annealing, I have the impression that the bass has improved, gained weight stopped being so boxy.
What you're hearing is purely in your head.
The actual sound coming out of the DX5 has not changed.
 

worms

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Am I to understand that no changes are taking place in any of the equipment and all this burning, annealing is pointless?
But on the other hand I have heard that it takes 2 weeks for the head, the brain to get used to it, so is there a chance that I will hear what I would like, haha?
In total 7 days I had the K7 and was not fully convinced , DX5 I also have for 7 days so the odds are even. The brain will have the same chances, after the playing time of these equipment.
 

Bleib

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Am I to understand that no changes are taking place in any of the equipment and all this burning, annealing is pointless?
But on the other hand I have heard that it takes 2 weeks for the head, the brain to get used to it, so is there a chance that I will hear what I would like, haha?
In total 7 days I had the K7 and was not fully convinced , DX5 I also have for 7 days so the odds are even. The brain will have the same chances, after the playing time of these equipment.
Recording quality, headphones / speakers / room etc is where the problems exists, not with the DAC
 

staticV3

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Am I to understand that no changes are taking place in any of the equipment and all this burning, annealing is pointless?
Correct.

Speaker woofers may "burn-in" (driver surround becomes softer), but solid state electronics certainly cannot.

But on the other hand I have heard that it takes 2 weeks for the head, the brain to get used to it, so is there a chance that I will hear what I would like, haha?
Yes. Brain burn-in is certainly a thing.
Over time, your hearing slowly gets used to a particular tonality
 

worms

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Recording quality, headphones / speakers / room etc is where the problems exists, not with the DAC
I play the same list every time, use the same IEM Thieaudio Blue and KZ AS16, there are no more variables, I just swap the Dac/Amp.
Comparing with the ALC4080, the K11 immediately played with better stereo and joy , each song brought cool emotions. The K7 immediately improved the stage to the sides and depth, stereo imaging, but took away the joy of listening, I had the impression that all different genres of music were played the same in the same dullness, speed, simply boring. After 5 days I began to open up to it.
The DX5 has a speed similar to the K11, and better stereo, but not as good as the K7, for the moment, well, and that depth seems to be missing.
I mark these are just my impressions and I could be wrong,
 
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