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Topping DX7 Pro+ Review (DAC & HP Amp)

Rate this DAC & HP Amp

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 7 2.2%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 8 2.5%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther

    Votes: 52 16.0%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 257 79.3%

  • Total voters
    324

mugbot

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I just stop questioning when people say their headphones need 1W. They obviously listen at very high volume levels. As I have gotten older (I turned 50 early this year, which granted isn’t really THAT old), I have found that I need to turn the volume up too, but never to the levels these folks are talking about.
2W will get a pair of Aeon Noire's to 125dB. That's the entry level into a range that contains jet engines and fireworks.

Listening at that level will get someone permanent hearing damage very quickly. An extra watt gets us to about 127dB.

125dB is often considered the threshold for pain.
 

Robbo99999

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There's this guy.
Yep, I've done that before, I got to -33dB I think, on the Joss Stone track. There's different types of distortion though isn't there, sure I saw some software linked on this site that added distortion to anything you wanted to play & it was configurable.
 

Garrincha

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Within these forums, I remember people commenting on the shallow angle of Topping's remote operation. Has that improved with the new design?
I have a general, maybe ingenious, question for people using the remote control on a headphone amp (and maybe additionally as a pre-amp). Do you really sit across the room with the cable passing on the floor to the other end? If so, is this not weird? Don't you have kids or dogs or wifes or vacuum cleaning robots falling over the cable? Aren't especially the cheaper Topping/SMSL/YouNameIt combos made for having a smallish, yet still SOTA standalone solution besides the main system?
 
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Sokel

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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.
As I said earlier I have tried with @pkane's Distort wich you can do just about anything and the results are actually quite fun!
There's a lot of other tools as some friends said here.
But I'm curious about the specific implementation.
 

oscar_dziki

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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?

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.
Topping l30 II gives 3,4 Watts into 32 ohm. I think it should make your ears bleed with DC Stealth and it costs $150
 

bumelant

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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?

I'm really surprised with Amir's opinion on Stealth. Perhaps my hearing is a little bit more sensitive or I'm just listening to calmer music, but I've been plugging my DCA Stealth into:
  • Mojo 1 + Poly
  • TXH AAA789 (with D10 Balanced)
  • D90 (with DX7Pro and Hegel CDP4a)
  • DX7Pro directly
with high res and CD quality music, using SE cable.

Result? I have found Z*E*R*O difference whatsoever in how they sounded in my non-blind tests, in whichever configuration. And I've tested classical, audiophile, jazz and electronic, bassy music on a levels very loud to my taste. No popping, cracking or distortion noted in Mojo as well (contrary to Amir's experience with Mojo 2).

Of course this is only the case with precise volume matching, because when you just plug them in and press "Play", it's very easy to settle on different volume and it will make any headphone sound very different. You can also more instantly increase volume on a dedicated amp, which makes the sound "blast" your ears (vs Mojo that raises level gradually and do not provide that blast). But other than that, I found NO DIFFERENCE. Which is in line with a lot of research that happened in this area. Perhaps had I been 15 years old and had better hearing in >15kHz area...? But I'm not.

So, am I subjectively excited with those new Topping devices? Not at all. Those are great on paper, and surely a great engineering achievement, but in practice to me they are wasted opportunity to make those devices more functional instead (although I see some positive signs in that department too).
 

Human Bass

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Thanks Amir. Now I'm faced with a choice:
1) topping d10 balanced (already on the table) + topping a90 discrete
2) topping DX7 Pro+
What do you think ?
1 please. The A90D is one of of the best amps ever made.
 

mctron

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I have a general, maybe ingenious, question for people using the remote control on a headphone amp (and maybe additionally as a pre-amp). Do you really sit across the room with the cable passing on the floor to the other end? If so, is this not weird? Don't you have kids or dogs or wifes or vacuum cleaning robots falling over the cable? Aren't especially the cheaper Topping/SMSL/YouNameIt combos made for having a smallish, yet still SOTA standalone solution besides the main system?
I sit alone with a long cable plugged into my AVR when the family is asleep on occasion. Nothing strange about that. And a remote helps in that case, and also for pre-amp mode, obviously. Many people only have a need for a single digital device running through a high quality DAC acting as a preamp and headphone amp for their listening needs, so I don’t see why Topping/SMSL/other similar products need to be pigeonholed as something aside from a main system. It can serve that purpose perfectly well.
 

Anthony T

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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.
Not exactly a outlook that has a benefit for anyone other than Topping is it?
Toppings customer service has been appalling recently, loads of products from Topping/SMSL and other brands are suffering faults far too early in their lifespan.
The “pile ‘em cheap and buy more often” approach isn’t really sustainable in these times so please do bear that in mind.
There are many audio Co. that have superb service and repair departments, don’t denigrate them by even implying they have a similar approach to customer service as Aoshida for example as well as many other authorised sellers of Topping PA5 as another example. You see happy to lower the bar though so crack on but you don’t fool anyone,
 
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vco1

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I have a general, maybe ingenious, question for people using the remote control on a headphone amp (and maybe additionally as a pre-amp). Do you really sit across the room with the cable passing on the floor to the other end? If so, is this not weird? Don't you have kids or dogs or wifes or vacuum cleaning robots falling over the cable? Aren't especially the cheaper Topping/SMSL/YouNameIt combos made for having a smallish, yet still SOTA standalone solution besides the main system?
I do sit across a large room when my DX7Pro (no plus) is used as a pre-amp. And when I'm listening with headphones, the device is in such as place that I'd need to get out of my comfy chair to change the volume. A remote control was a must when I bought my DAC/HPA.

Quite happy with my DX7Pro b.t.w. And I don't feel the need to change it for anything else in the foreseeable future.
 

lordhumungous

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The big question is while this dac has superb measurmanets, how reliable will it be. The DX5 it seems has had many problems .
 

yavormoskov

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$359.99 + Covid = $699.99USD
echo "Hello, World!"
The problem is that inflation in general is a self fulfilling prophecy. I guess some chips and other parts were harder for the manufacturers to procure and this drove the cost up. But the retail prices are even higher because the company execs think what if the next time we need raw materials or parts and they are scarce or much more expensive. So, they are raising the retail price even more in order to have extra cash in their accounts just in case. And it goes on and on and on.
 

Rottmannash

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"The “pile ‘em cheap and buy more often” approach isn’t really sustainable in these times so please do bear that in mind." @ Anthony T -- isn't sustainable? Are you certain? I believe our society has become all too comfortable buying a new smartphone every year or two, a new smart watch every time a new version arrives, etc. I think this approach is brilliant for companies who want to increase sales and therefore profits-is it smart or wise? Probably not but it is what it is in 2022... this from someone who owns 4 Topping DACs.:rolleyes:
 

catalogguy

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Since this has a trigger, I am considering this for my living room TV. The trigger extends the dac as a front end beyond simply adding a volume control, input switch and infrared remote. The trigger - as a simple, reliable power control for an amp - is big for WAF/ease of use.

There are few decent dacs under 2k that provide decent dac performance and provide a trigger (I am thinking Okto and Benchmark). All I need now is wifi and compatibility with Roon (such as Airplay or ChromeCast). The price of the RPi 4B has increased to $135 in the couple of years since I last bought one for $40; and adding the case, power supply and SD card, this becomes a $900 appliance... not the cheapest dac, but a compelling price to get that package of features and functions. Adding wifi and Roon compatibility to the DX7 Pro+ would fill a niche to add high quality 2-channel music and tv audio to any family room, den, bedroom, etc. (the Matrix Mini i-3 Pro comes close to this, but lacks a trigger).
 

yavormoskov

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"The “pile ‘em cheap and buy more often” approach isn’t really sustainable in these times so please do bear that in mind." @ Anthony T -- isn't sustainable? Are you certain? I believe our society has become all too comfortable buying a new smartphone every year or two, a new smart watch every time a new version arrives, etc. I think this approach is brilliant for companies who want to increase sales and therefore profits-is it smart or wise? Probably not but it is what it is in 2022... this from someone who owns 4 Topping DACs.:rolleyes:
This is so true. I don't have a super fancy high paying job but have more money in the bank than my boss who is always buying the latest and greatest. My phone is not the latest model but still does the same things, as his. It's called consumerism.
 

Rottmannash

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This is so true. I don't have a super fancy high paying job but have more money in the bank than my boss who is always buying the latest and greatest. My phone is not the latest model but still does the same things, as his. It's called consumerism.
Our modern economies rely on it.
 

srkbear

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Golfing strikes again :)
OK, not really cheap, but in the so called high end audio "spheres", it's usuall to pay such (and higher) prices for a DAC, or preamp, or HP amp alone.
I’m getting confused on what the price expectations are for a DAC/Amp that performs this spectacularly. What competitive offerings in this segment cost less than $699? The DAC section alone is comparable in performance to the D90SE, save for the 1 volt max output voltage drop. Help?
 

srkbear

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Is it possible to somehow measure how sensitive the SPDIF input is to jitter? Some previous Topping DACs have not worked with CD/DVD players, i.e. they have not been able to lock the incoming signal properly.
Yeah, I had that problem with the D90SE, it’s been well-described. I worked around mine for my SACD player via an HDMI to coax de-embedder and it works great. Some claim that the issue was resolved with the v1.87/1.88 firmware, but I haven’t bothered to test this yet.

I’m rather surprised it could be fixed actually because when the problem was discovered, John Yang attributed it to the CS8416 input receiver and said it was firmware-independent.
 
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