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Topping E30 DAC Review

voodooless

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Does this Topping E30 have a warmer musical sound? (because of the orange display?)
Do you think it would sound differently if they would have chosen green?

Are the added USB cables audiophile?
I don't think I want to go there..

I have a Klotz USB cable and that is not audiophile because it is randomly interrupting the music, detaching the DAC. It is good for transferring files anyway.
Why would it transfer files just fine, but not work for USB audio..? I'm pretty sure the cable is not the issue here.
 
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samsa

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What's this auto/on feature? Can someone explain? Hopefully my replacement e30 doesnt get the "Err" message and detects usb input this time! Waiting on the l30 for the stack.
The E30 did come with a manual (in English, Chinese and Japanese). Its feature (including this one) are explained there.
 
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Does this Topping E30 have a warmer musical sound? (because of the orange display?)
Are the added USB cables audiophile?
I have a Klotz USB cable and that is not audiophile because it is randomly interrupting the music, detaching the DAC. It is good for transferring files anyway.
Why the sarcasm?
 

magicscreen

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Why would it transfer files just fine, but not work for USB audio..? I'm pretty sure the cable is not the issue here.
I do not know. It was working well for a half year then suddenly began stopping the music randomly per hour.
Player software displayed "DAC detached - DAC initialized" message and you can continue by pressing the play button.
I replaced this cable with a more cheaper Hama cable and that works perfectly.
During file transfer there is error correction so you cannot see any error.
 

voodooless

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During file transfer there is error correction so you cannot see any error.
So file transfers also don't work.. Well then the cable seems to be broken indeed.. nothing to do with a so called "audiophile" cable. Or you can label any working USB cable as audiophile if you like ;)
 

ThsM

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I just bought a Topping E30 and a SMSL Sanskrit 10th MK2 (one will be used on the desk with my PC and the other one with my CCA for music listening). I would like to use one of them as a preamp for my Behringer A800.

Do you guys know if one or the other is more appropriate as a preamp? Or is there no difference in how the volume of the RCA outs is handled?
Do both do a dynamic compression of the digital signal, or is the volume handled in the analog part of the dacs?
 

voodooless

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Do you guys know if one or the other is more appropriate as a preamp? Or is there no difference in how the volume of the RCA outs is handled?

They should be quite equivalent for pre-amp duty. Both use the digital volume control inside the DAC chip. Results should be virtually the same.
Do both do a dynamic compression of the digital signal, or is the volume handled in the analog part of the dacs?
Dynamic compression is something completely different. Please do not obfuscate it with a digital volume control. A volume control has no dynamic component...
 

ThsM

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They should be quite equivalent for pre-amp duty. Both use the digital volume control inside the DAC chip. Results should be virtually the same.


Dynamic compression is something completely different. Please do not obfuscate it with a digital volume control. A volume control has no dynamic component...
Thank you for the quick response. I am sorry, for confusing these terms. I am not very much into electronics. I just had something in mind, that if you e.g. use Windows' volume control you're reducing the signal's "bandwith" and therefore its dynamic capabilities. But as I said, I am not into electronics and don't know how to describe, what I mean. What I basically read was something like having Windows volume at 100% if using a USB Dac, to have full signal quality and lower volume in the analog part of the signal chain. I was just wondering if the signal gets "hurt" if I use the Topping's or SMSL's volume control instead having a "real" preamp with an analog dial.
 

voodooless

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Thank you for the quick response. I am sorry, for confusing these terms. I am not very much into electronics. I just had something in mind, that if you e.g. use Windows' volume control you're reducing the signal's "bandwith" and therefore its dynamic capabilities. But as I said, I am not into electronics and don't know how to describe, what I mean. What I basically read was something like having Windows volume at 100% if using a USB Dac, to have full signal quality and lower volume in the analog part of the signal chain. I was just wondering if the signal gets "hurt" if I use the Topping's or SMSL's volume control instead having a "real" preamp with an analog dial.
An analog volume control will have exactly the same effect: it will raise the noise floor (vs the sinal) and therefore the lower DR. Either way there is no free lunch. And don't forget, you'll have to set your volume control to -48 dB before you actually start eating into the DR of 16 bit content. That is pretty quiet already on most amps.
 

magicscreen

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I have a Sony DVD player (NS36) with the AK4385 DAC chip.
Will this E30 with AK4493 sound better?
Or there will be no audible difference?
 

voodooless

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I have a Sony DVD player (NS36) with the AK4385 DAC chip.
Will this E30 with AK4493 sound better?
Or there will be no audible difference?
Who knows what you like better.. Technically though THD+N is 19dB better, noise is probably even more improved. Also the digital filter has much better attenuation (the AK4385 only has 54dB attenuation).
 

ThsM

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An analog volume control will have exactly the same effect: it will raise the noise floor (vs the sinal) and therefore the lower DR. Either way there is no free lunch. And don't forget, you'll have to set your volume control to -48 dB before you actually start eating into the DR of 16 bit content. That is pretty quiet already on most amps.
Thank you very much! This was very helpful.

I noticed that the SMSL goes from 0 to -40 and the Topping from 0 to -99 (in 0.5 increments). So will use the topping as preamp for the Behringer A800, as the volume can be set more subtle.
 

odyo

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Does this Topping E30 have a warmer musical sound? (because of the orange display?)
Are the added USB cables audiophile?
I have a Klotz USB cable and that is not audiophile because it is randomly interrupting the music, detaching the DAC. It is good for transferring files anyway.
Yes orange display adds a nice warmth to the sound. Silver box have a bit sparkle up top. I think it might work well with silver plated cables. Added usb cables are poor quality. I'd say you need to spend couple hundred box for proper cables but totally worth it. Also there is a hi res audio sticker on top. If you remove it sound quality takes a big hit.
 

voodooless

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Thank you very much! This was very helpful.

I noticed that the SMSL goes from 0 to -40 and the Topping from 0 to -99 (in 0.5 increments). So will use the topping as preamp for the Behringer A800, as the volume can be set more subtle.
In that case I’d say the E30 will be a bit nicer as a pre-amp.
o_O
 
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Has anyone posted this previously? I performed a search and no results were returned. Mods, please delete if I'm not permitted to link this.

The article delves into the measured performance of the AK4493 filters in the E30. I don't want to re-open the linear vs minimum phase debate (no, really), but the author does a great job at illustrating the differences in AKM's implementation and the inevitable compromises between each.

http://nihtila.com/2019/10/18/dac-digital-filters-part-2-deeper-dive-into-ak4490-and-ak4493-filters/

Interesting that Topping chose a minimum phase filter as the default for their E30. Minimum phase filters prioritise performance in the time domain at a cost to phase variances in the frequency domain. I assume @amirm switched to filter 1 - linear phase, sharp roll-off - before measuring?
 

frogmeat69

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PSA - the E30 and L30 have just come on Drop for $140 and $130.
No savings over any other seller up front, and it doesn't ship until September, but you do get a bunch of reward points for each, which add up to $40 off your next purchase if you buy both DAC and amp.
 

JohnYang1997

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Has anyone posted this previously? I performed a search and no results were returned. Mods, please delete if I'm not permitted to link this.

The article delves into the measured performance of the AK4493 filters in the E30. I don't want to re-open the linear vs minimum phase debate (no, really), but the author does a great job at illustrating the differences in AKM's implementation and the inevitable compromises between each.

http://nihtila.com/2019/10/18/dac-digital-filters-part-2-deeper-dive-into-ak4490-and-ak4493-filters/

Interesting that Topping chose a minimum phase filter as the default for their E30. Minimum phase filters prioritise performance in the time domain at a cost to phase variances in the frequency domain. I assume @amirm switched to filter 1 - linear phase, sharp roll-off - before measuring?
Minimum phase is not prioritising performance in time domain. The NOS or slow roll off does. Minimum phase will have less phase shift in low frequencies and more phase shift in highs. Linear phase needs infinite long delay to get perfect low frequency phase but it will have linear high frequency phase.
Regardless, if you listen for yourself, you will notice that the difference is minimal, pretty much inaudible.
 

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