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Topping E50 Review (Balanced DAC)

Debqtz

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Yeah, he definitely got taken by the dealer, who probably made almost as much or more profit on the cables as any other component in the system. However, he'd already made the purchase so when I saw his initial post right after he made it, I refrained from saying so. I figured that in the long run, it was a fairly small percentage of the total cost of the system, the cables were most likely no worse than a $10 pair, and they look nice, so why criticize his new toy?

However, since others have not refrained, and he is now retelling the ridiculous story the salesman told him, I think enlightening him to the truth--if he will listen--is probably called for. It is still a very nice system, and compared to what he probably would have gotten talked into if he had not read ASR first, he did quite well.
The salesperson put the cable out on loan to me for free for 2 months. I paid 0$ for it. Can buy it if I want after that. And the story I was told on how unprofitable to sell the cables came straight from the owner of Nordost Joe Reynolds. Don't see a reason for him to lie but yeah
 

Debqtz

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Yeah, he definitely got taken by the dealer, who probably made almost as much or more profit on the cables as any other component in the system. However, he'd already made the purchase so when I saw his initial post right after he made it, I refrained from saying so. I figured that in the long run, it was a fairly small percentage of the total cost of the system, the cables were most likely no worse than a $10 pair, and they look nice, so why criticize his new toy?

However, since others have not refrained, and he is now retelling the ridiculous story the salesman told him, I think enlightening him to the truth--if he will listen--is probably called for. It is still a very nice system, and compared to what he probably would have gotten talked into if he had not read ASR first, he did quite well.
But yeah am super happy with my system. Went form a pair of Sennhieser HD6XX connected to a Darkvoice 336SE on stock tubes plugged into a AudioQuest Dragonfly Red connected to my computer all junk cables.
Now I'm on a Blusound Node (2021) connected to a Topping D90SE which is connected to a Music Fedility MX-HPA to my Focal Utopias all with quality cables and interconnects. Sounds AMAAAAAAAZING lol, 20 times as amazing? No, but just goes to show how good a deal Senn. 600 series are
 

Walter

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You definitely have a very nice system that I would love to have. Nordost essentially lies about cables every day, in my opinion. You have a great opportunity, unless you just like the look of the cables enough to pay for them. Get some inexpensive cable from a local retailer, or some of the Amazon Basics cables that are verified real oxygen free copper, and get a friend to switch them around without letting you know which is which. A dealer gave me a similar opportunity with an even more ridiculous cable--optical--in 2000 and was astounded that I returned both the $80 and $200 cables because they sounded no different from the one that came with my Sony CD changer. I'd actually persuaded myself that the $80 one sounded slightly better, only to discover that I had forgotten which one was hooked up!
 

Grur

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Performance wise, the noise floor of D30pro would be a lot lower at 1.3uV. Better suitable as preamp than E50. Otherwise E50 is a better performance/price device
Hi. How much higher noise floor is the E50? A bit put off by your comment with regards to buying it, as I intend to connect straight to active monitors. Thanks
 
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Debqtz

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You definitely have a very nice system that I would love to have. Nordost essentially lies about cables every day, in my opinion. You have a great opportunity, unless you just like the look of the cables enough to pay for them. Get some inexpensive cable from a local retailer, or some of the Amazon Basics cables that are verified real oxygen free copper, and get a friend to switch them around without letting you know which is which. A dealer gave me a similar opportunity with an even more ridiculous cable--optical--in 2000 and was astounded that I returned both the $80 and $200 cables because they sounded no different from the one that came with my Sony CD changer. I'd actually persuaded myself that the $80 one sounded slightly better, only to discover that I had forgotten which one was hooked up!
Yeah I will try that!
 

Walter

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Yeah I will try that!
Cool. The only thing to watch out for, especially on Amazon, is fake copper cable that is actually ALUMINUM. That CAN affect the sound. I generally bought mine at Radio Shack when I lived in the USA.
 

Atanasi

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Hi. How much higher noise floor is the E50? A bit put off by your comment with regards to buying it, as I intend to connect straight to active monitors. Thanks
Active monitors have self-noise. You should check if the noise from the DAC or pre-amp is more or less than the self-noise of the active monitor.

For example, Genelec 8030C has self-noise of 5 dBA at 1 m. The most sensitive gain is -6 dBu for 100 dB, so the self-noise corresponds to a signal level of -101 dBu. E50's balanced output is specified for 2.3 microvolts of noise, which is -110.5 dBu, clearly below the self-noise.
 

usern

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I have Audient iD4, which has higher noise floor than these Topping DACs, and could not tell the difference if the XLR cable is connected or not with Genelec 8030C or Neumann KH 80 DSP. Both speakers have audible hiss in a quiet room though (no input connected).
 

Mark Lawless

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My question is about jitter using Coax. You say that jitter is a little worse compared to USB, but is that source dependant? Does the DAC have its own internal clock that helps prevent jitter? On my other DACs D30 and E30 toppings. I hear a rather large difference between USB and Coax. But I would be happy to upgrade to this DAC if it would get rid of that performance difference. I have a Bluesound vault that only has coax output, going USB out from my PC using exclusive mode sounds fantastic, but using the bluesound vault the quality takes a real dip. Thanks for your help here, I love and promote your reviews on FB all the time.
 

fluxcapacitor

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i just received my E50 and extremely happy with it, very very nice sounding dac. I use it at max volume (0.0) and zero additional noise it adds to the sound. One thing that was very surprising for me was when i use usb connection and my graphic card kicks in, E50 is filtering the noise perfectly and there's no audible difference between graphic card is in use and dac is turned off. My previous dacs with same pc were used to badly affected by graphic card in load..E50 is simply filtering it perfectly. Amazed. Also, built quality, touching sense etc. feels premium. This is a solid dac. Highly recommended.
 

Veri

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i just received my E50 and extremely happy with it, very very nice sounding dac. I use it at max volume (0.0) and zero additional noise it adds to the sound. One thing that was very surprising for me was when i use usb connection and my graphic card kicks in, E50 is filtering the noise perfectly and there's no audible difference between graphic card is in use and dac is turned off. My previous dacs with same pc were used to badly affected by graphic card in load..E50 is simply filtering it perfectly. Amazed. Also, built quality, touching sense etc. feels premium. This is a solid dac. Highly recommended.
Are you using balanced out? Because that could minimize the computer / GPU kind of noise ;)
 

fluxcapacitor

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Are you using balanced out? Because that could minimize the computer / GPU kind of noise ;)
nope, using only unbalanced outputs as did with previous dacs. This was a big surprise for me cuz even marant nd8006 can't isolate that noise from gpu in use...
 

Veri

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nope, using only unbalanced outputs as did with previous dacs. This was a big surprise for me cuz even marant nd8006 can't isolate that noise from gpu in use...
That's nice to hear!
 

fluxcapacitor

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İnfact , this is awesome.dead silent at USB of PC with gpu in load.3cm from tweeter, zero additional noise in any condition.just for this reason, i was using only optical input.
 

TunaBug

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I quite like this shot, well done! Topping ought to consider taking a few shots like this for marketing purposes.

Yes, that image caught my eye as well. The colors look a bit too manipulated, but it's nice.

I have a love/hate feeling toward the pictures on Topping's website. Their photography is generally very good, but then the information content on their pages is burned into images as well so that you can't copy/paste/search/translate any of it.
 

JaccoW

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Yes, that image caught my eye as well. The colors look a bit too manipulated, but it's nice.

I have a love/hate feeling toward the pictures on Topping's website. Their photography is generally very good, but then the information content on their pages is burned into images as well so that you can't copy/paste/search/translate any of it.
Yet it's straight from the camera. ;) Just with a wide open 35mm F1.8 lens on APS-C. The only thing I might have done (don't remember) is to set the white balance before shooting. It's just a very full orange colour and pretty close to what I see in person. It feels close to the glow of a tube amp IMHO.
 

TunaBug

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Yet it's straight from the camera. ;) Just with a wide open 35mm F1.8 lens on APS-C. The only thing I might have done (don't remember) is to set the white balance before shooting. It's just a very full orange colour and pretty close to what I see in person. It feels close to the glow of a tube amp IMHO.

Cool. I'm curious, what is the surface that was reflecting the numbers? I guess i thought the orange to red shift would have resulted in something of a more of purple reflection for the white bits.
 

fluxcapacitor

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AVKS

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Might be a stupid question, but does anyone know/can anyone share the length of the cables that come with the E50?
 
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