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Topping E30 II DAC Review

Rate this DAC:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 14 4.3%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 22 6.7%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther

    Votes: 103 31.6%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 187 57.4%

  • Total voters
    326

rcstevensonaz

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A real pre-amp has at least some gain,multiple inputs AND outputs and the ability to drive anything (impedance wise) down and up stream.
I think the correct statement is: A real pre-amp has at least some gain.

Multi-input source selectors (or mixers) and/or multi-output options are the function of a multi-source receiver or mixer. That functionality can be front-ended to a pre-amp that only does "pre-amp", or those functions can be integrated into the preamp. But input / output source selectors (or mixers) are not preamplification.
 

EJ3

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I think the correct statement is: A real pre-amp has at least some gain.

Multi-input source selectors (or mixers) and/or multi-output options are the function of a multi-source receiver or mixer. That functionality can be front-ended to a pre-amp that only does "pre-amp", or those functions can be integrated into the preamp. But input / output source selectors (or mixers) are not preamplification.
I would like to add that, in the past (& sometimes today) many pre=amps had a phono pre-amp built into the main pre-amp (usually MM and sometimes a second MC). These (at the time) where commonly known as pre-amps, as they took care of the phono stage as well as the line inputs. There were also ones (more common today) that were commonly called called Line Pre-Amps (but today are many times just called pre amps) & did not have the phono stage in them. So one needs to do some investigation to see if the pre-amp has the connections you need.
& yes, a real pre-amp has at least some gain.
Here is the front and rear view of one of my pre-amps with both the MM & MC phono stages (yes, it is the one Amir tested):
Apt Holman Preamplifier Review Phono  Vintage Stereo.jpg

Apt Holman Preamplifier Review back panel Phono  Vintage Stereo.jpg
 

Hapo

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I think the correct statement is: A real pre-amp has at least some gain.

Multi-input source selectors (or mixers) and/or multi-output options are the function of a multi-source receiver or mixer. That functionality can be front-ended to a pre-amp that only does "pre-amp", or those functions can be integrated into the preamp. But input / output source selectors (or mixers) are not preamplification.

...Schitt has a passive preamp with no gain...


...w/o a potentiometer it would be a signal switch...???...I am confused, but methinks I need one of those...not sure how to wire it though...

...it is correct to connect the headphone/preamp to it through an input and then run the output to the power amp...???...


614LeJ48evL._AC_SL1500_.jpg


 
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Jimbob54

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.w/o a potentiometer it would be a signal switch...???...I am confused, but methinks I need one of those...not sure how to wire it though...

...it is correct to connect the headphone/preamp to it through an input and then run the output to the power amp...???...
Depends what you are trying to achieve. That one in your pictures will let you select multiple inputs (so maybe CD, DAC, tape(?)) and select which one to send to a device down the chain- lets say an amp. In that scenario you are going to want to be attenuating signal upstream of this box for all input devices.

Or do you want a box that lets you send one input device to multiple selectable outputs (so maybe head amp, power amp etc) ? In which case you can get those- I would imagine their is a sister product fro the one you linked with 4 out one in.
 

notsodeadlizard

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BTW:

There are also a few DACs that still use analogue potentiometers for volume control. This might be desirable for some people who don't like digital control.
For example, the iFi Audio ZEN DAC V2. You can see the potentiometer on the mainboard.


The manual says:

"The analogue volume control in the ZEN DAC V2 is sonically superior to any digital volume control.
It can be used to control the headphone volume and the preamplifier volume (when set to "Variable").

Note: With this type of volume control, channel imbalance may occur in the lower volume range. Try setting the ZEN DAC V2 so that
your volume for listening is around 11 - 13 o'clock."

The pair for E30 II, L30 II designed by Topping has own volume regulation in preamp because DAC is DAC and amp is amp.
And the reasoning about quality ... For a long time no one has heard the difference in those DACs at all.
But it is not forbidden to fantasize about how the sound has radically changed when the DAC is replaced (or some better than Alps potentiomenter will be used for volume regulation, etc.).
When I'm in a bad mood, I don't like any sound at all.

if in your system you have the only one source and it's a DAC, you can use DAC attenuation for volume regulation of course.
A good real preamp will still be better, because (lot of blah-blah-blah)...

But, please, do not connect the DAC to electrically incompatible inputs :)


Screenshot_20230219_224642.png
 

computer-audiophile

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I also own the L30II. It is called a headphone amplifier and actually has a classic potentiometer with which I can also control the volume on my active speakers if I switch from headphone to line output. However, I almost always use the E30II DAC alone at that point because I rarely listen with headphones and then the L30II doesn't bring any sonic advantages.

BTW: One more thing about the amplifier stages that some people have been puzzling over here: There are some DAC chips that deliver line-level output directly, without subsequent stages. In most cases, however, the DAC device contains operational amplifiers downstream of the DAC chip. Or tube output stages, sometimes. So in any case, amplification of the analogue signal takes place.

l30II.jpg
 
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frki16

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And the reasoning about quality ... For a long time no one has heard the difference in those DACs at all.
But it is not forbidden to fantasize about how the sound has radically changed when the DAC is replaced (or some better than Alps potentiomenter will be used for volume regulation, etc.).
When I'm in a bad mood, I don't like any sound at all.
not all of us "cursed" with great hearing ;)
 

notsodeadlizard

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not all of us "cursed" with great hearing ;)
It's not about hearing abilities at all.
If second harmonic is somewhere close to -130 dB and the higher harmonics are even smaller it's not hearing abilities about at all.
But no one forbids subjectivity and fantasy.
 

frki16

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It's not about hearing abilities at all.
If second harmonic is somewhere close to -130 dB and the higher harmonics are even smaller it's not hearing abilities about at all.
But no one forbids subjectivity and fantasy.
so what is real problem connectinge30 to nad poweramp?
 

staticV3

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so what is real problem connectinge30 to nad poweramp?
If you set the NAD to Max volume and have the E30 set to -30dB or so, then a bug or single-event upset could reset the digital volume to -0dB which would blast your speakers, potentially damaging them and your ears.

An analog volume potentiometer on the other hand can only "reset" if you knock it or fatfinger it by accident.

Of course, the solution to this is to just turn down the Amp so that full output out of the DAC won't destroy anything.
 

Hapo

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...I have mine set @ -5db...that seems to match the output to the other sources (CD player and FM tuner) that don't use the E30 II...

...why would you set the power amp to max volume...???...that would seem to court disaster...
 
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notsodeadlizard

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Ah, ok. Well not me. I'll never buy a Topping again.
In principle, I fully support you, even if we have completely different reasons.
I just don't like everything marked "made in prc" and don’t want to multiply the world’s sorrow for the lost industry with my little money.
 

Rottmannash

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Hapo

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...IMHO that's what speakers should be...that would be finding the Holy Grail...

...electronics are not supposed to have a "sound signature"...that's distortion, no...???...
 

Synxk

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yo guys, is there any benefit to use the e30ii with a 5v power supply as power delivery? Or is the USB power delivery through the connection with my pc enough?
 
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