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Topping DX7 Pro+ Review (DAC & HP Amp)

Rate this DAC & HP Amp

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 8 2.2%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 10 2.7%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther

    Votes: 56 15.4%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 290 79.7%

  • Total voters
    364

Bleib

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I bought and returned a DX5 on Amazon when I had purchased Aeon 2 Noires. The DX5 just couldn't drive them, which was shocking because what Dan Clark Audio recommended me as min power requirements was far exceeded by the DX5 in high gain setting. Some people on this forum told me it was probably current-limiting that I was running into. Just sounded awful at higher volumes on really bassy sections, and I still had around 5dB of room to increase the output, so it wasn't even that I was at the peak output.

Question is, is the DX7Pro+ going to have that issue? Not that I specifically care in that I returned the Aeon 2 Noires (I'm done with DCA for good, the Stealth seems great but if it's even harder to drive than the Aeon 2 Noires, no thank you, learn how to design a more sensitive headphone).
Why not consider a L30 II?
 
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amirm

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And yet the Yamaha amps have a long-proven track record of reliability, good performance, customer support at competitive prices. Maybe some of that is just as valuable as 'state of the art SINAD at 1.00 kHz'. Maybe more valuable.
I used to repair ton of amplifiers in late 1970s and early 1980s. Every Japanese brand would come in for repair. Some had very common problems. A high-end Pioneer receiver from what I recall used these bad transistors. They would all go bad early in the life of the unit. I would replace the transistor with my eyes closed. On top of that, every brand would come in with blown output stage, etc.

So yes, reliability is superbly valuable. But so is reliable data! You don't know the stats for either Yamaha or Topping. On customer service, good luck getting good one of those from any of these brands today. Blow up a receiver and you could be blamed for misuse. I had an Anthem processor whose HDMI board went bad. Not only was warranty denied but the box had to be sent to Canada for repair taking a long time.

The "good news" is that you can buy a DAC from Topping for $150 and get near state of the art performance. Should it go bad in the future, that is your worst case outlay.
 
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amirm

amirm

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Question is, is the DX7Pro+ going to have that issue? Not that I specifically care in that I returned the Aeon 2 Noires (I'm done with DCA for good, the Stealth seems great but if it's even harder to drive than the Aeon 2 Noires, no thank you, learn how to design a more sensitive headphone).
Given what you described, it might. You should get a more powerful amp.
 

formantzero

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Given what you described, it might. You should get a more powerful amp.

Well then that begs the question, who is the DCA Stealth designed for? Does it truly require an A90D-class headphone amp? It seems that it requires amplification on the very edge of what we consider headphone amps, almost crossing into speaker amp territory. How on earth could this have been a design goal of a 4K+ headphone?

I don't dispute its FR and objective performance, but it seems absurd to me. Two sales people at the audio store I often go to told me that they don't even try to sell the Stealth anymore because they don't think anything can drive it sufficiently (they don't carry Topping products). They said the Phonitor doesn't even do it justice.
 

Garrincha

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I bought and returned a DX5 on Amazon when I had purchased Aeon 2 Noires. The DX5 just couldn't drive them, which was shocking because what Dan Clark Audio recommended me as min power requirements was far exceeded by the DX5 in high gain setting. Some people on this forum told me it was probably current-limiting that I was running into. Just sounded awful at higher volumes on really bassy sections, and I still had around 5dB of room to increase the output, so it wasn't even that I was at the peak output.

Question is, is the DX7Pro+ going to have that issue? Not that I specifically care in that I returned the Aeon 2 Noires (I'm done with DCA for good, the Stealth seems great but if it's even harder to drive than the Aeon 2 Noires, no thank you, learn how to design a more sensitive headphone).
I you have headphones dificult to drive, I would not try to double down on the amp. For example if you are willing to invest $4,000 in a DCA Stealth, why not get a Flux FA-10, which has 16 Watt at 32 Ohm for $750? You want have any future problems to drive any headphone, add any $250 DAC from Topping/SMSL/etc and you will have superb sound for years.
 
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sam_adams

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The "good news" is that you can buy a DAC from Topping for $150 and get near state of the art performance.

Just buy two and the problem is solved before it arises. `Cause you know that shipping can be costly to send it back for warranty service and all and it would be an outrage to have to pay for that.
 
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amirm

amirm

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Well then that begs the question, who is the DCA Stealth designed for? Does it truly require an A90D-class headphone amp? It seems that it requires amplification on the very edge of what we consider headphone amps, almost crossing into speaker amp territory. How on earth could this have been a design goal of a 4K+ headphone?
It works "fine" for music that is produced with near max gain and normal to medium loud levels. I use it that way with my RME ADI-2 which doesn't have infinite power. It is just that for max dynamics, it requires a lot more power. Power follows an exponential curve so to go from medium loud to really loud needs tons more power when you are starting at a high baseline already.
 
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amirm

amirm

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Just buy two and the problem is solved before it arises. `Cause you know that shipping can be costly to send it back for warranty service and all and it would be an outrage to have to pay for that.
To be clear, I have told Topping that they need to set up an exchange service in major markets for warranty repair or at least for early mortality. It is a big expense for them but I think they have grown large enough to have this kind of presence/support.
 

shrimp_dude

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What strikes me is how timeless the Yamaha aesthetics proved to be. Wondering who was the Industrial designer originally but he definitely had a vision. Look at this CA1000 from 1973! That's a very similar face and it doesn't look dated one bit. I find that impressive.

View attachment 228670

I have this exact unit given to me by my father, that he bought new when it came out. Needed service to replace capacitors and transistors but after some effort this unit sounds wonderful with both speakers and headphones (high impedance cans like audio technica adx5000). I'm amazed what was achieved so many decades ago vs what is being sold nowadays.
 

PeteL

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I have this exact unit given to me by my father, that he bought new when it came out. Needed service to replace capacitors and transistors but after some effort this unit sounds wonderful with both speakers and headphones (high impedance cans like audio technica adx5000). I'm amazed what was achieved so many decades ago vs what is being sold nowadays.
Yeah I gave a CA800 to my brother. Good sounding amp for sensitive speakers. Still going strong. Not the first buyer so I don't know if it have been recapped or not.
 

Robbo99999

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And let's not forget that it has two modes of 40-ish and 50-ish SINAD that we're waiting to be listened and learn what they sound like.
I'm REALLY curious about it.
Tube and transistor.
I guess so, I mean you can see from the "Tube" aspect that the lack of SINAD is intentional. But still it would be interesting to know what people thought it sounded like......although thinking about it what is there to learn......we already know there's no real good reason to intentionally add distortion to a playback chain if your goal is to reproduce the original material faithfully. I suppose what is interesting is how many people would notice a difference......it's not really the kind of the thing that can be learned from one reviewer.....I guess it would have to be a test done among many, or a test done on yourself. There's probably a way to test something similar yourself, I think there's software you can use to add distortion......and it might depend on what kind of distortion you add, etc.
 

PeteL

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I guess so, I mean you can see from the "Tube" aspect that the lack of SINAD is intentional. But still it would be interesting to know what people thought it sounded like......although thinking about it what is there to learn......we already know there's no real good reason to intentionally add distortion to a playback chain if your goal is to reproduce the original material faithfully. I suppose what is interesting is how many people would notice a difference......it's not really the kind of the thing that can be learned from one reviewer.....I guess it would have to be a test done among many, or a test done on yourself. There's probably a way to test something similar yourself, I think there's software you can use to add distortion......and it might depend on what kind of distortion you add, etc.
There's this guy.
 

Garrincha

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There's this guy.
Yes, I recommend this to everyone. I got -54 dB, which is already quite high. On sine waves, with sensitive IEMs, on music material it would be much lower still. It is very educational how little even higher distortion is audible.
 

PeteL

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Yes, I recommend this to everyone. I got -54 dB, which is already quite high. On sine waves, with sensitive IEMs, on music material it would be much lower still. It is very educational how little even higher distortion is audible.
So I guess in the end, it's really the dynamic range that is the relevant benchmark metric to be looked at and judge the products on, looks like THD don't matter much.
 

Garrincha

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So I guess in the end, it's really the dynamic range that is the relevant benchmark metric to be looked at and judge the products on, looks like THD don't matter much.
Yes, dynamic range is important. But again, the results could be a surprise. CD has 96 dB of dynamic range. But how much do we really need, more ( High-Res), or is just e.g. 60 dB sufficient? There is a nice test: https://www.audiocheck.net/audiotests_dynamiccheck.php I achieved 72 dB, on sensitive planars and IEMs, I doubt that anybody could manage to get to the full 96 dB CD level. So much about High-Res...
 

PeteL

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Yes, dynamic range is important. But again, the results could be a surprise. CD has 96 dB of dynamic range. But how much do we really need, more ( High-Res), or is just e.g. 60 dB sufficient? There is a nice test: https://www.audiocheck.net/audiotests_dynamiccheck.php I achieved 72 dB, on sensitive planars and IEMs, I doubt that anybody could manage to get to the full 96 dB CD level. So much about High-Res...
The thing tough, there will never be a firm limit for what you really need, let me explain, a lower noise floor, will alway be "better" because you don't have any Idea how much gain will be applied to it, as simple as that, so any noise figure can be potentially heard. So it's a strict scalable performance metric. You will always be able to say. -70 dB THD, is invariably equally as good as -80 dB THD. But you can rigorously say that 96 dB Dynamic range is better than 92dB, because there is no limit to digital attenuation and gain. There is no preconception of type of transducer, headphones, IEms, amped speakers etc. You can say tough, under the right conditions, or under "normal" condition 80 dB DR will not result in audible noise, but you get my point. in one case we can say, it's the same thing (as long as you are not clipping) , and in the other, well it does better you will always be able to make it audible and one will be better.
 

yavormoskov

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There is something I am confused about. According to the specs this combo provides 1.9 watts of power into 32 ohms. But @amirm shows 1.5 watts. Where is the difference coming from?

Screenshot_20220904-223954~2.png
 

PeteL

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There is something I am confused about. According to the specs this combo provides 1.9 watts of power into 32 ohms. But @amirm shows 1.5 watts. Where is the difference coming from?

View attachment 228809
Yes, Amir always specify the max power "At clipping" or at the max power before an amp start to be out of his linear behavior and start adding distortion. If I'm correct, I believe Topping specs as the max power based on 10% THD, I think, I haven't double checked, used to be. Many use 1% distortion as the max power, So yes, this metric is not fully standardized and can be confusing when you don't know.
 
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amirm

amirm

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There is something I am confused about. According to the specs this combo provides 1.9 watts of power into 32 ohms. But @amirm shows 1.5 watts. Where is the difference coming from?

View attachment 228809
The graph shoots up exponentially so not very accurate to measure the real knee of the curve. Also, at what distortion the power is measured is not standardized. I probably should set up a test at 1% THD like I have for power amplifiers for a more definite metric.
 
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