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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

srkbear

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Basically a D90SE performance level machine with free headphones amplifier? Hmmmm... Seems intriguing.
It’s not quite up to D90SE performance with that lower voltage output though. The D90SE promises at least five volts but I get more like 5.2-3 with my multimeter.
 

JanesJr1

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formantzero said:
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).
There's something else wrong with your setup. I drive Noire's to ear-splitting, low-distortion SPL's with JDS Atom Amp, Topping D50S, AND Hidisz S9 Pro dongle (running balanced). And no, I'm not deaf. Max SPL is somewhat lower for the dongle (which is a champ, for a dongle, in delivering current to low impedance headphones), but more than I'll ever want to listen to. The Noire's require an amp with current, but there are lots of those around that will work.
 
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Bleib

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There's something else wrong with your setup. I drive Noire's to ear-splitting, low-distortion SPL's with JDS Atom Amp, Topping D50S, AND Hidisz S9 Pro dongle (running balanced). And no, I'm not deaf. Max SPL is somewhat lower for the dongle (which is a champ, for a dongle, in delivering current to low impedance headphones), but more than I'll ever want to listen to. The Noire's require an amp with current, but there are lots of those around that will work.
You might have quoted the wrong post
 

srkbear

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I think you're right. I have a dx7pro that has been performing flawlessly except when I connected it to a spif output from a panasonic bluray and watched a movie. It lost signal quite a few times. Notably during quiet passages. The movie I watched was First Man. I will try it some more to see what I can find.
This has been brought up a few times on this thread, and I had similar problems with the d90SE. Both share the CS8416 input receiver. There have been a few folks who have challenged this theory, but it was the one proffered by John Yang awhile back and I haven’t seen any alternative explanations. The receiver is apparently picky about its S/PDIF sources.

Workaround is an HDMI de-embedder; I’ve had fantastic results with the KanexPro HAECOAX unit for $99 bucks on Amazon, although you can find it cheaper…

Kanex Pro HDMI Audio De-Embedder with 3D Support, 2-Channel, HDCP Compliant, Full HD 1080p (HAECOAX) https://a.co/d/ieB2rDy
 

JanesJr1

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respice finem

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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 $699? The DAC section alone is comparable in performance to the D90SE, save for the 1 volt max output voltage drop. Help?
We are basically stating the same. Still, 699$ are serious money, so many will choose lower priced solutions, measurably inferior, but far from bad - like the EX5 for instance.
 

Mulder

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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.
Hmm. Interesting. If I remember it correct he said the same about the D30Pro
 

Billy Budapest

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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.
Topping and SMSL are not related companies to my knowledge. Not sure what you mean by “Topping/SMSL.”
 

respice finem

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Why buy this when you can buy the RME dac for a few hundred more and a ton more features? Reliability of RME is unquestioned.
RME is a no-brainer, if money is no issue. If it is an issue, why not something still very good, but cheaper? That's why I said the DX7Pro+ is not cheap...
Time (and sales) will show, how much market is there for it.

BTW: I got an RME ADI2-DAC for the main system and an EX5 for TV and such. If I was to buy today, I would buy exactly the same.
 
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srkbear

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RME is a no-brainer, if money is no issue. If it is an issue, why not something still very good, but cheaper? That's why I said the DX7Pro+ is not cheap...
Time (and sales) will show, how much market is there for it.

BTW: I got an RME ADI2-DAC for the main system and an EX5 for TV and such. If I was to buy today, I would buy exactly the same.
For that matter I think a D90SE/LE+A90 stack would likely be close to equitable in cost with the RME, for the closeted folks who occasionally use Tidal (I might be one of those ;)). Add an RPI or a Zen Stream, hook up Roon for your DSPs and you’re good to go! I’ve got just such a setup sitting next to me on my nightstand.:)
 

Lupin

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A new performance vs. cost milestone delivered by Topping, well done!
Personally I just can't get over the display though, I so much more prefer the orange display from the D30 Pro and such.
 

stevenswall

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Lol I wonder how long it will take before manufacturers make ASR redundant. 100 vs 110 vs 120+ sinad does it matter in the end

Maybe once the cost is -$10 per channel for something like this people will include it in surround sound processors with fully balanced outputs and no notable hardware or software engineering issues.
 

formantzero

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There's something else wrong with your setup. I drive Noire's to ear-splitting, low-distortion SPL's with JDS Atom Amp, Topping D50S, AND Hidisz S9 Pro dongle (running balanced). And no, I'm not deaf. Max SPL is somewhat lower for the dongle (which is a champ, for a dongle, in delivering current to low impedance headphones), but more than I'll ever want to listen to. The Noire's require an amp with current, but there are lots of those around that will work.
Don’t know what to tell you. DX5 was connected via USB, playing music through Tidal in exclusive mode, both as MQA and as regular 44.1 kHz with the DX5 in high gain output mode. Cranked to near the limit it was fairly loud but started to distort a few db from the max. But the limit didn’t feel ear damage worthy. It wasn’t pleasant but it was tolerable. My issue is the distortion free max was just not quite loud enough to be the “max”. I want the max level for capable performance to be that little bit extra that you usually don’t want but is there in reserve nonetheless.
 

staticV3

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@formantzero makes sense actually. The DX5 is awful at driving high loads. It can do about 125mW at 13Ω before hard clipping. See here and here.
Now, that should still leave you with 113dB SPL peak output.
That's fairly loud, but only if your tracks are mastered well. If they're high DR recordings and perhaps not normalized, then I can see how volume might be lacking.
 
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Thomas savage

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This is a review, detailed measurements and listening tests of Topping DX7 Pro+. It was sent to me by the company and costs US $699.
View attachment 228132
As you see, the DX7 Pro+ sports the newer look of some Topping products. I did not care for it much before but it is growing on me. :) Three different headphone jacks are provided and all provide the same output, eliminating the need for adapters.
View attachment 228133
AC adapter is nicely built-in and we have the useful trigger input/outputs so that you can sequence power up of auxiliary gear.

Topping DX7 Pro+ DAC Measurements
Let's start with our usual dashboard using balanced out:
View attachment 228134
Wow, for some reason I did not expect record breaking SINAD but we have it:
View attachment 228135
A newer current to voltage converter may be behind this advancement.

RCA performance is nearly as good:
View attachment 228136

Dynamic range is of course superb:
View attachment 228137

As is distortion in both IMD and multitone:
View attachment 228138
View attachment 228139

Jitter and noise is superbly low/unmeasurable:
View attachment 228140

I don't think I have ever seen the 24-bit squarewave bits resolved as well as here on the left.

Linearity is perfect of course:
View attachment 228141

The usual filter set is provided:
View attachment 228142

To make it easier to select one, here is the response up to cut off frequency:
View attachment 228143

Filter 3 is the default and seems like the right choice (together with Filter 5).

Using those two optimal filters we get superb wideband performance vs frequency:
View attachment 228144

This is impeccable performance for a DAC.

Topping DX7 Pro+ Headphone Amplifier Measurements
Let's start with our dynamic range for 50 mv output:

View attachment 228146
This is great but not chart topping:
View attachment 228147

Power is just about everything so let's look at that at 300 ohm:
View attachment 228148

This is plenty to drive high impedance headphones. I like that it doesn't clip so if you hear any distortion, it is your headphone doing it, not the amplifier!

Switching to current limited 32 ohm, we get:
View attachment 228149

This is lots of power as well combined with exceptionally low noise and distortion especially in low gain mode.

Finally, here is our sweeps at different impedances:
View attachment 228150

Remember that Power = Volt * Volt/impedance. So you can determine how many watts you have at any of the above impedances before clipping.

Topping DX7 Pro+ Headphone Listening Tests
I started to listen with my everyday and difficult to drive Dan Clark Stealth headphone. There was plenty of volume to get these cans going. I could get the amp to distort on one track from -3 dB to 0 dB but that was not a volume I could tolerate in normal listening. Sound was beautiful, detailed with a quiet background allowing me to hear deep into the recordings.

Switching to Sennheiser HD650 provided a superb experience as well. There was so much power available that I could go beyond any reasonable listening level. Fidelity was exceptional. So much so that I did not want to put them down and take picture of the unit for the review!

Conclusions
We expect the best from Topping and yet, they still manage to surprise in how well they execute. To create a DAC to break their own records requires a level of self motivation for excellence that few companies attempt. The performance of DX7 Pro+ is just stunning in this regard with no fault to identify whatsoever.

The headphone amplifier is also quite a performer albeit with a target just shy of stand-alone amps from Topping. Superb experience is to be had with the combination leaving nothing to complain about.

It is my pleasure to recommend Topping DX7 Pro+. The product personifies dedication to excellence in engineering and design.

------------
As always, questions, comments, recommendations, etc. are welcome.

Any donations are much appreciated using: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/how-to-support-audio-science-review.8150/
The cheques are growing on me too , sorry Brad and Adam, this was my gig . You guys get Chord .

I'd be touching myself from joy but this this money i don't have too ..
 

markk02474

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I came here after ShenzhenAudio alerted me to the review.
In 15 pages of comments, nobody commented on Amir's thought that the current to voltage conversion had been improved to reach SOTA SNAD.
BINGO! Peak delta-sigma DAC chip technology was reached a few years ago while the analog implementation is still catching up. The ESS 9038Pro chips are expensive (originally $100, unsure of current price), so two of them make any product using them a premium product using ESS's top of the line chips.

Internally, each of the 38Pro's 8 channels has 8 (I think) D/A converters outputting current. Summing 8 channels into one, the current swings are massive. This is a big challenge of optimizing performance from the ESS9038Pro. Topping may now be using parallel current to voltage converters to handle all that paralleled current from the DAC chips to achieve SOTA performance, it has been what others used. A variable on this conversion is that firmware can program the amount of current output by the Pro DAC chips, to not overwhelm analog circuits, but at a cost of lost dynamic range and SNR. We don't know what parameters each maker programs into the DAC chips.

Perhaps there is still room for improvement in delta-sigma chips. They now support very high sample rates, putting the pushed out noise now within the Nyquist frequency of those rates. Previously, noise above 100 KHz wasn't an issue when the passband was 0-22 KHz, but now the passband goes much higher.
 
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pseudoid

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AC adapter is nicely built-in and we have the useful trigger input/outputs so that you can sequence power up of auxiliary gear.
Looks to be a snap-in IEC (C14) receptacle for an input AC cable.
202209_ToppingDX7ProACinput.jpg

Edit: Could not readily locate a tear-down to see internal design/lay-out and ps design.
 
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