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Topping E30 DAC Review

AnalogSteph

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The question is: Can one sense such small difference of 0.2db between DAC at 10Khz? How about more and more db differences at freq higher than 10Khz?
The limit of discernibility is about 0.3 dB, and above 10 kHz things should get less and less critical are hearing sensitivity plummets. So I'd say nothing of that should be audible.
 

Pdxwayne

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The limit of discernibility is about 0.3 dB, and above 10 kHz things should get less and less critical are hearing sensitivity plummets. So I'd say nothing of that should be audible.
I only checked up to 11khz and the difference at 11khz is ~0.3db between DAC (when volume matched).

But I think my uca202 and audacity might have reached it's limit of accuracy....So I am going to stop for now knowing that there indeed could be differences in the highs.
 

solderdude

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Have you checked how high your hearing goes ?
Use the E30 on a sharp filter setting. Don't set freq. above 20kHz you might be hearing aliasing and think you can hear 21kHz.
Set the volume at around 400Hz and then sweep downwards (NOT upwards) from 20kHz.
There is plenty of online generators. Don't cheat by upping the volume at higher frequencies.
Use a headphone that is known to reach 20kHz (say HD600/HD650).
Then, ask yourself how important the differences above say 15kHz could possibly matter.
 

Pdxwayne

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Have you checked how high your hearing goes ?
Use the E30 on a sharp filter setting. Don't set freq. above 20kHz you might be hearing aliasing and think you can hear 21kHz.
Set the volume at around 400Hz and then sweep downwards (NOT upwards) from 20kHz.
There is plenty of online generators. Don't cheat by upping the volume at higher frequencies.
Use a headphone that is known to reach 20kHz (say HD600/HD650).
Then, ask yourself how important the differences above say 15kHz could possibly matter.
My measurements were showing differences between DAC for 10khz (~0.2db) and 11khz (~0.3db). I am wondering if those are the freq that give the E30 extra "sparkles". Or it is from even higher freq?
I don't have good headphones. The current ones on hand cost $99 the most. On the other hand, my stereo amp claim to have freq response up to 100khz. My speakers also claim over 40khz freq response.

However, as you can see, my speakers pretty much emphasize 7 to 10 kHz:
fr_listeningwindow-1.gif


I will use REW to test my speakers setup like you suggested when possible. Unfortunately, my family members are at home all the time......

The YouTube tests with headphones I did a while back showing that I am only good up to around 15 to 16khz anyway....
 

solderdude

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0.1dB difference is inaudible, even when it is switched AB.
The extra sparkle requires quite a few dB.
The measured speaker (under test circumstances which is not your home) seem to have the BBC dip.
1 sub division is 1dB imagine how 0.1dB would register on that same scale. You cannot even see it as the thickness of the trace in the plot is already bigger.
 

half_dog

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I would suggest to use a online tone generator or REW signal generator (you can setup it to play a specific tone) because YouTube encode their videos and audio to a lower "quality". Maybe you can hear above 16kHz and YouTube is limiting high frequency content.
 

solderdude

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The tone generator I linked to can indeed reach 22kHz.
The danger of using even higher frequencies (when using speakers) is that one may be accidentally turning up the volume control in order to 'hear' high frequencies and burn your tweeter in the process because you don't hear it. Be careful with speakers. Adjust volume at 400Hz to 1kHz or so in a way that it does not sound loud and then don't touch the volume control.
Only sweep from high to low because the other direction (from low to high) may be deceiving. You may believe you still hear something when it is already gone.

The REW tone generator is fine too of course. The same applies. Be careful using speakers and loud high frequencies. Never try to find out when you can hear 16kHz again when it stops at 15kHz. Tweeters are low power rated in general and don't like continuous tones.
 

Pdxwayne

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The tone generator I linked to can indeed reach 22kHz.
The danger of using even higher frequencies (when using speakers) is that one may be accidentally turning up the volume control in order to 'hear' high frequencies and burn your tweeter in the process because you don't hear it. Be careful with speakers. Adjust volume at 400Hz to 1kHz or so in a way that it does not sound loud and then don't touch the volume control.
Only sweep from high to low because the other direction (from low to high) may be deceiving. You may believe you still hear something when it is already gone.

The REW tone generator is fine too of course. The same applies. Be careful using speakers and loud high frequencies. Never try to find out when you can hear 16kHz again when it stops at 15kHz. Tweeters are low power rated in general and don't like continuous tones.
Did some tests today.

Gustard X16 with all 3 filters set at -20db.
REW tones also set at -20db.

Listening ~10 ft away from speakers.

At that volume, 400hz and 1Khz are clearly heard from listening position. Unfortunately, the highest I can sense is ~13,800hz from 10 ft away at same volume. My daughter upstairs in her room complaining about the tones I can barely hear. : (

My room is heavily carpeted. Still, definitely my high frequency hearing deteriorated a lot already..... but maybe still pretty normal for my age.

Will check E30 later when have the opportunity.
 

Pdxwayne

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The tone generator I linked to can indeed reach 22kHz.
The danger of using even higher frequencies (when using speakers) is that one may be accidentally turning up the volume control in order to 'hear' high frequencies and burn your tweeter in the process because you don't hear it. Be careful with speakers. Adjust volume at 400Hz to 1kHz or so in a way that it does not sound loud and then don't touch the volume control.
Only sweep from high to low because the other direction (from low to high) may be deceiving. You may believe you still hear something when it is already gone.

The REW tone generator is fine too of course. The same applies. Be careful using speakers and loud high frequencies. Never try to find out when you can hear 16kHz again when it stops at 15kHz. Tweeters are low power rated in general and don't like continuous tones.
My daughter couldn't stand high freq with stereo setup, so I could only do short tests and it seems my limit with E30 with my stereo setup (e30 -20.5db and REW at -20db, sitting at ~10ft away) is similar to x16, at less than 14khz.

I just checked with my $99 headphones with REW (USB to DAC, DAC to L30). Using a decently loud level at 400 Hz, I could sense up to ~16khz. 14khz definitely easy to sense. Using this headphones information, I would guess when I go decently loud with my stereo setup, I could sense up to around 16khz or so with my speakers....
 
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companyja

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Somewhat silly question perhaps but I'm just trying to figure out where I'm going to put the DAC once it arrives - does anyone know how long the USB power and signal cables are that come with the E30? I need a bit less than 1m for both. I imagine the USB signal cable might be 1m since that is the standard but I'm worried that the power cable is shorter and I'll need to do some dumb things with extensions to get it to where it needs to go.

I'm struggling to find the answers, perhaps I'm bad at looking but haven't found the info anywhere yet
 

Robin L

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Somewhat silly question perhaps but I'm just trying to figure out where I'm going to put the DAC once it arrives - does anyone know how long the USB power and signal cables are that come with the E30? I need a bit less than 1m for both. I imagine the USB signal cable might be 1m since that is the standard but I'm worried that the power cable is shorter and I'll need to do some dumb things with extensions to get it to where it needs to go.

I'm struggling to find the answers, perhaps I'm bad at looking but haven't found the info anywhere yet
The provided connector/interconnect for the E30's power is about a meter long. It uses standard USB to a charger on one end. The other end [that connects to the E30] isn't the standard connector, but it's not so exotic than you couldn't find a longer interconnect if needed. Conversely, a regular AC extension cord would also work. I stack the E30 and the L30, so I got myself the shortest connector of decent quality I could find, about a foot long. As the output connects to RCA jacks, should be no problem finding something around the house that works.
 

companyja

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The provided connector/interconnect for the E30's power is about a meter long. It uses standard USB to a charger on one end. The other end [that connects to the E30] isn't the standard connector, but it's not so exotic than you couldn't find a longer interconnect if needed. Conversely, a regular extension cord would also work. I stack the E30 and the L30, so I got myself the shortest connector of decent quality I could find, about a foot long. As the output connects to RCA jacks, should be no problem finding something around the house that works.
Ah, so even the power cable is at least a meter? That's good news since I was fearing it was shorter. If it's a meter, it should reach either my PC or a power plug. Thanks for the info!
 

Robin L

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Ah, so even the power cable is at least a meter? That's good news since I was fearing it was shorter. If it's a meter, it should reach either my PC or a power plug. Thanks for the info!
I got a 3 meter interconnect to link my computer [a laptop] to the E30. Set me back something like $8.
 

companyja

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I got a 3 meter interconnect to link my computer [a laptop] to the E30. Set me back something like $8.
No problem with the singal cable length (USB-B in the DAC > USB-A in the PC). I was wondering about the USB power cable (barrel-type adapter in the DAC > USB port on charger/PC). Sometimes manufacturers give a really short one of those. If that one is also about 1m, I should be able to fit everything with the stock cables. I have lots of those generic USB signal cables, but I don't have a USB to barrel power cable nearby.
 

yodog

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I did lots of measurements today.

I first check the consistency and accuracy of my UCA202 single channel measurements.
With E30 volume set at -8.5db, using filter 1, I measured 2Khz and 10Khz tone 3 times each. I confirmed I got matching db numbers for all 3 captures per freq.
E30 (-8.5db, filter 1, 2Khz tone generated at 0.8 out of 1 in Audacity): 0.9db
E30 (-8.5db, filter 1, 10Khz tone generated at 0.8 out of 1 in Audacity):0.8db
There is a drop of 0.1db between 2Khz and 10Khz.

I then checked E30 measurements by Johnyoung89 from Topping. Indeed there is a slight drop in dB for filter 1 in 10Khz. Not exactly 0.1 db, but Audacity can only show 0.1db increment.
View attachment 112768

Now that I established my UCA202 can accurately and consistently do single tone measurements, I checked Gustard x16 measurements next.

I have previously established that E30 has higher output than X16, thus I measured x16 at -8db, using same test files.

Gustard X16, -8db, filter 1:
2KHz: 0.7db, 10Khz 0.4db

Gustard X16, -8db, filter 2:
2KHz: 0.6db, 10Khz 0.4db

Gustard X16, -8db, filter 3:
2KHz: 0.7db, 10Khz 0.4db

So, it looks like X16 drop from 2Khz to 10Khz is either 0.2 or 0.3db.

E30 has a drop of 0.1db with filter 1 at around 10Khz.
Gustard X16 (I was using filter 3) has a drop of 0.3 db at around 10Khz.

The question is: Can one sense such small difference of 0.2db between DAC at 10Khz? How about more and more db differences at freq higher than 10Khz?
Can you measure toppings filter #5? I use this filter often and curious how it compares
 

yodog

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Guys, I was wondering something. I noticed my topping e30’s left and right rca connectors are backwards compared to my bluesound node 2i.

I was wondering if topping e30 is backwards or if the bluesound node 2i is?

Does anyone know if topping intended for the user to interpret the “left” and “right” RCA’s when looking at the DAC with the screen facing you or from behind ? Which way is the correct left and right for the e30 DAC?
 

Pdxwayne

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Guys, I was wondering something. I noticed my topping e30’s left and right rca connectors are backwards compared to my bluesound node 2i.

I was wondering if topping e30 is backwards or if the bluesound node 2i is?

Does anyone know if topping intended for the user to interpret the “left” and “right” RCA’s when looking at the DAC with the screen facing you or from behind ? Which way is the correct left and right for the e30 DAC?
Looking from the front, both my Node2i and Topping E30 right RCA is on the right.
 
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