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Topping E30 II DAC Review

Rate this DAC:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 7 2.9%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 15 6.3%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther

    Votes: 78 32.6%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 139 58.2%

  • Total voters
    239

Artzox

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Of course that's because you're used to hear the harmonic distortion of the tube and your system.
And yeah, there is no "synergy" in the objectivist world like in ASR.
I am using the xduuo for a couple of months, but I have tried listening without it in the chain. I cannot say that with the tubes the added the difference was night and day - just a little more depth and less edges, not the holographic holy grail of tubes I assume is there when your power amp is using tubes. The Xduuo is just a buffer in this case, albeit OTL. Of course with the E30 II adding the tube pre I got a less black background but I did't like it with or without the xduuo. Ignoring the harshness, as this also depends for me on the speakers and the amp, the sound was just too claustrophobic and missing top extension.
Anyway, you are right about this being ASR, but in the end I have Amir's measurements of the E30 II as they are part of the in-box materials they send from Topping. I look at them and by all accounts this should be a stellar dac, yet it isn't pleasant to listen to.
 

HDavidson

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Jun 1, 2019
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Is DSD Direct (AK4493S) activated by default in this dac? If not, what is the way to do it?
.............................................................................................
The E30 II has a function to lock its maximum output level. This allows it to operate in pure DAC mode. In this mode, the DSD signals bypass the DATT soft mute and the Delta Sigma modulator to provide optimal sonic performance.
 

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conuss

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Is DSD Direct (AK4493S) activated by default in this dac? If not, what is the way to do it?
.............................................................................................
The E30 II has a function to lock its maximum output level. This allows it to operate in pure DAC mode. In this mode, the DSD signals bypass the DATT soft mute and the Delta Sigma modulator to provide optimal sonic performance.
It turns out that optimal sonic performance is not provided in preliminary mode with DSD, lovely! )
 

Toku

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It turns out that optimal sonic performance is not provided in preliminary mode with DSD, lovely! )
DSD Direct is ON when E30 ll (AK4493S) is set to DAC mode and OFF when it is set to Pre mode.
This DSD Direct feature is also available in the older model E30 (AK4493). It's not a feature that was first introduced in the E30 ll.
But it also has its drawbacks. If DSD Direct works and you switch songs manually, pop noise will appear, albeit slightly.
 

conuss

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DSD Direct is ON when E30 ll (AK4493S) is set to DAC mode and OFF when it is set to Pre mode.
And are you comfortable with DSD not being able to deliver optimal sonic performance in pre-mode?..
 

Toku

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And are you comfortable with DSD not being able to deliver optimal sonic performance in pre-mode?..
I bought 3 E30's and 2 E30 ll's. I can't hear the difference in DSD sound quality between Pre and DAC modes. In DAC mode, a little pop noise (click noise) occurs due to switching the internal operation of the DAC when switching between PCM and DSD songs.
A DAC with DSD direct mode as well as the E30 ll is the SMSL D300. However, DSD can only be played in DAC mode on the D300.
 

charleski

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And are you comfortable with DSD not being able to deliver optimal sonic performance in pre-mode?..
Pre mode = digital volume control. You do realise that it’s impossible to do this without some form of conversion to multi-bit, right?
 

cola

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Jun 12, 2020
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E30 II sound test done.

In DAC mode and with filter no. 4 - the difference is real clear - so there is no way back to my old Meridian 203 DAC.

It´s fun to listen to my best cd´s - now with a smile on my face ;-)

DSD and USB inputs not tested yet.
 

fluxcapacitor

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Anybody recently purchase something from schenzenaudio.com and received any delay in shipping? i'm planning to buy E30ii from there.
 

Toku

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Anybody recently purchase something from schenzenaudio.com and received any delay in shipping? i'm planning to buy E30ii from there.
Given the current world situation, delays in delivery are unavoidable. Depending on the country, it takes 1.5 to 2 times longer than usual.
Please note that there is generally no compensation when luggage is lost on the way.
 

fluxcapacitor

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i could contact with them over chat , they told that delivery speed returned to normal, no any effect of corona etc. i ordered mine for 128,usd, waiting now impatiently.
 

Els

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Sep 30, 2022
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This is review and detailed measurements of the Topping E30 II DAC. It was sent to me by the company and costs US $149.
View attachment 220677

The single "SEL" button powers on the unit (touch sensitive) and selects input. Some combination of power cycling and that button lets you change menu settings but bets to use the included remote:
View attachment 220678

There is no power supply included. There is a USB to 5 volt barrel connector giving you the choice of how you feed it. I started with my USB hub built into the monitor but got the best results with a Samsung USB charger. Your situation may vary as you don't have an analyzer in front of the unit.

Topping E30 II Measurements
This our dashboard using Toslink input:

View attachment 220552

And now USB:
View attachment 220705

Depending on grounding, I could almost get up to 118 dB SINAD. But going with what we have, performance is still excellent:
View attachment 220680

Here is our dynamic range:
View attachment 220553

And IMD test:

View attachment 220554

Jitter performance is very good with USB input:
View attachment 220681

But both Toslink and Coax showed significant 250 Hz jitter components:
View attachment 220682

As noted, these are inaudible though as the typical level is below threshold of hearing/masked.

Linearity shows a hair noise but otherwise is excellent:
View attachment 220683

Multitone test highlights the very low levels of distortion:
View attachment 220684

Here are the included filters:
View attachment 220685

Using the default F2, we get this wideband distortion+noise vs frequency:
View attachment 220686

Not state of the art but still very good.

Conclusions
Great to see my favorite "orange LED" DAC updated. Performance is improved across the board compared to Topping E30. Yet the price has hardly changed. We are talking about near state of the art performance in a finished DAC selling for just $149. With good looks to go with it.

I am a bit bothered by Toslink and Coax Jitter. AKM chip used here doesn't resample as ESS does so any issues there travel right through the DAC. Fortunately it is not an audible concern and for someone like me who uses USB as the primary input, non-issue.

I am going to put the Topping E30 II on my recommended list.

-----------
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/
I have 4 of your recomended topping dacs should I get this one too? I am now listening to the E50s, sounds is exellent. About balanced out dacs better or just diferent?
 

Kitarist

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Can anyone explain why this dac sounds so different with different usb cable ? On the stock usb cable the edges are sharp and it sounds sibilant while with the other usb cable it sounds smoother and less sibilant and less harsh on the edges (this new usb cable has a choke also, could that help or make it worse for filtering too much?) . Again its my subjective opinion so no one gets butthurt. Also talking about USB input data
 
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Blaazen

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Apr 12, 2022
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Can anyone explain why this dac sound so different with different usb cable ? On the stock usb cable the edges are sharp and it sounds sibilant while with the other usb cable it sounds smoother and less sibilant and less harsh on the edges. Again its my subjective opinion so no one gets butthurt.
Do you mean USB cable for data or for =5V power supply?
 

DanielT

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Can anyone explain why this dac sounds so different with different usb cable ? On the stock usb cable the edges are sharp and it sounds sibilant while with the other usb cable it sounds smoother and less sibilant and less harsh on the edges (this new usb cable has a choke also, could that help or make it worse for filtering too much?) . Again its my subjective opinion so no one gets butthurt. Also talking about USB input
Test the cables blindly.Ask a friend to change them. Do it in a serious and sensible way so that your friend who changes the cables way does not in some
influence your choices of cable (your ability to pick the right cable with your ears) with his bias, preconceived notions about different cables (unconsciously with facial expressions and so on).

Test,.. well ...twenty times and then tell us the result.:)

Actually it should be a double blind test you do, but still. Better then nothing:)

Tips and advice on blind testing here:

 

cola

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If the data stream (bit 0 / bit 1) is identical than the result should be the same.

In other settings i noticed differences between the optical and the coax input - but that is already discussed.
 

Mihaylov

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I really like the sound of the E30ii. But there is one firmware bug. When you switch from DSD512 playback to PCM768 playback there is loud noise and distortion instead of sound. After the DAC is turned off and on again, the PCM768 sound plays normally.
This is not the case when migrating from the DSD512 to the PCM384.
Has anyone noticed anything like this?
 

Toku

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I really like the sound of the E30ii. But there is one firmware bug. When you switch from DSD512 playback to PCM768 playback there is loud noise and distortion instead of sound. After the DAC is turned off and on again, the PCM768 sound plays normally.
This is not the case when migrating from the DSD512 to the PCM384.
Has anyone noticed anything like this?
I discovered the E30 ll's PCM 768kHz playback problem immediately after its release, recorded the symptoms in detail, and reported them to Topping in China along with a video recording.
Tipping said in their response that they are working to resolve the issue but need some time. And promised to contact me as soon as the issue was resolved.

The problem is that playing PCM 768kHz on the E30 ll results in a very noisy playback.
The same symptoms have been experienced with several DACs so far. I reported it to Topping in China each time, and they have since improved it with a firmware update.

With the E30 ll, especially when playing DSD and then playing PCM768kHz files, the problem occurs at a rate of 80-90%. Loud noise completely drowns out the music.
PCM 768kHz playback is only used for equipment testing, so I'm patiently waiting for Topping's firmware update.

But repeating the same mistakes over and over again is a problem for the company.
 
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