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Topping E50 Review (Balanced DAC)

yanm

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I have a similar set up with TV (toslink) + Streamer (coax) going into the E50 (also used to control volume), then Audient id14 MKII as a gain+dsp filter device (knob at 2 out of 10 so roughly 6db gain) and final output to Presonus E8 sub + E8 XT.
with this setup I usually listen to -30db (I haven't measured it but SPL should be in the [70-75]db range).
So, a similar experience. For me, it was interesting to realise that, in my case, most of the potential power of the amplifier is not used as I never go louder than -20dB, which would correspond to 2.8V FS for the AHB2 or 1W for 8 ohms speakers.

But I think that the E50 volume implementation is not linear (I've never reached the -15db volume level for example) which may explain why SPL at -40db is very low.
I do hope that the dB readings of the E50 are according to the standard formula 20*log(A), where A is the attenuation. It would otherwise be a very strange design choice to show dB as unit but not to follow the formula.
 
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yanm

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A question on the auto standby feature of the E50: it seems not to work as I expected. For example, after power down (of the mains), the E50 sometime starts as 'on' and othertimes in standby. If I put the E50 in standby via the "power button" of the remote, the E50 does not come out of standby automatically (I would have expected the auto standby to always override whatever is set via the remote in that case). What should be the expected behavior? My setup: Bluesound Node <USB> Topping E50.

Also, does someone know if there are separate IR codes for 'ON' and 'OFF' commands? As far as I can see there is only a "power toggling" code, which is causing me some headache to automatize my setup via the Logitech Harmony... especially considering the unexpected behaviour of the auto standby feature.
 
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bogi

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A question on the auto standby feature of the E50: it seems not to work as I expected. For example, after power down (of the mains), the E50 sometime starts as 'on' and othertimes in standby. If I put the E50 in standby via the "power button" of the remote, the E50 does not come out of standby automatically (I would have expected the auto standby to always override whatever is set via the remote in that case). What should be the expected behavior? My setup: Bluesound Node <USB> Topping E50.
Troubles with power modes were reported also for other Topping DACs, see https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...10-balanced-review-usb-dac.25094/post-1041319

D10bal does not have on/off switch. With E50 you can avoid such troubles. Simply disable the auto on/off feature. Then power on/off your device by using remote or by touching the front panel.
 

Aldoszx

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I have a similar behavior from my E50.
I am using it as Roon endpoint with an RPi4 (Ropieee).
When E50 is in standby and I am trying to play something in Roon, it tries to wakes up (show the three dashes on the screen) but disappear from Roon for 1-2 seconds.
After that, when appears again I can play as usual.
None of my others Topping DACs (E30, D10s, D50s) does not have this issue, used in the same configuration.
 

yanm

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Troubles with power modes were reported also for other Topping DACs, see https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...10-balanced-review-usb-dac.25094/post-1041319

D10bal does not have on/off switch. With E50 you can avoid such troubles. Simply disable the auto on/off feature. Then power on/off your device by using remote or by touching the front panel.
I have a similar behavior from my E50.
I am using it as Roon endpoint with an RPi4 (Ropieee).
When E50 is in standby and I am trying to play something in Roon, it tries to wakes up (show the three dashes on the screen) but disappear from Roon for 1-2 seconds.
After that, when appears again I can play as usual.
None of my others Topping DACs (E30, D10s, D50s) does not have this issue, used in the same configuration.
Thanks, so it is not only me experiencing strange stuff. On the other hand, it could also be an issue with source side: this is what makes this kind of problem troublesome, as each company will say that their device works very well in their test and that it must be the other party.

I do wonder if Topping will correct the issue (if it’s on their side) with firmware update: what is the company track record in supporting and improving released products?

I can indeed use my Harmony remote to control the DAC but the lack of separate on/off codes (only power toggling) makes control dicey…
 

Aldoszx

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I hope Topping will address this issue with E50.
This is my first Topping DAC that have same kind of issues.
 

kchap

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You can disable the auto standby mode:
1642157362809.png
 

Aldoszx

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@kchap that's I don't want to do !
I need to have auto standby ON because I have a Raspberry Pi always On and I don't want to keep also the DAC always ON.
Ropieee has the USB auto suspend option which does not work as expected on E50.
So, there is something wrong From my point of view.
 

kchap

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@kchap that's I don't want to do !
I need to have auto standby ON because I have a Raspberry Pi always On and I don't want to keep also the DAC always ON.
Ropieee has the USB auto suspend option which does not work as expected on E50.
So, there is something wrong From my point of view.
I'm not sure there is a solution. Do other DAC manufactures have a similar option? Windows 10 has a sleep/low power option for USB but I think that is OS specific and not part of the USB standard.
 

Aldoszx

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For me, it is a solution with all other DACs I have, most of them being various Topping models.
Unfortunately, E50 seems to have another behavior, perhaps due to the new XMOS version used, I don't know.
 

kchap

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For me, it is a solution with all other DACs I have, most of them being various Topping models.
Unfortunately, E50 seems to have another behavior, perhaps due to the new XMOS version used, I don't know.
I see. Is your E50 running 1.06 firmware? If no it may make a difference. If yes all I can suggest is keep drawing it Topping's attention, as you are trying to do.
 

Aldoszx

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Yes, it is running latest (1.06) firmware. I am gonna try to rise the problem to Topping.
Unfortunately, the interaction with them is very time consuming.
It is very difficult to make them to accept a problem or at least to try to reproduce it.
Right now, I am trying to solve another problem I have (and not only me) with Topping E30 and 44.1 PCM files not displayed correctly in DAC mode.
 

yanm

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Yes, it is running latest (1.06) firmware. I am gonna try to rise the problem to Topping.
Unfortunately, the interaction with them is very time consuming.
It is very difficult to make them to accept a problem or at least to try to reproduce it.
Right now, I am trying to solve another problem I have (and not only me) with Topping E30 and 44.1 PCM files not displayed correctly in DAC mode.
That’s a bit my worry with companies like Topping: while they are releasing a tons of new (and very good) products, they may not support older products and correct bugs (except if glaring obvious) as much as we would expect/like…They are offering very good value and it may be that they are not having enough margin to fund a dedicated support/maintenance team. Hopefully, I will be proven wrong.

Another strange thing happened today for the first: the music stopped playing while I was increasing volume of the DAC: the node was still streaming to the E50, which indicated it was still decoding. But no sound. To be honest, it may be another components downstream the chain (ARX RS-1 switch or AHB2) but I doubt it as I never had this occurring when using the AVR and the same downstream components…
 
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Martinvb

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Is the remote control must be pointed almost directly to the E50 then only it will work?
I found my unit is slightly off-angle, it has no response on E50.
Same problem here when operating the DAC from 3m and >45 degrees off axis. Decided to hook up a simple USB infrared extender to fix this. Now the remote works from any angle.
 

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escalibur

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How does this DAC perform with A90?

I'm wondering whether it would suit me if I want to swap between SE and BAL amps by using only a single DAC. I don't need any extra features so I prefer not to spend my money on D90SE etc.
 
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LuckyLuke575

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We’re all different.

Some people here appear to be able to afford every new ‘upgrade’ that comes along.

We used to talk about diminishing returns in regard to the price-quality ratio of different products, and having to spend more and more for less and less of an improvement.

Swap price for ‘next version’ and I think we’re seeing that here. And those small improvements appear to often be numerical rather than something you can hear.

When Amir reviewed the D10s he concluded “Measured performance is stellar for the category leaving just enough gap for state-of-the-art DACs to make a living with higher performance and cost.”

SOTA then was the Okto DAC8 Stereo with a SINAD of 122. This has 121. Is anyone going to claim they can hear the difference?

The Okto cost $1,000. That was around 13 months ago.

Sit in awe at where we are.
I'm totally in awe bud. I feel like I'm living in the golden age of Hifi audio in terms of performance and price.
 

LuckyLuke575

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I review what gets sent to me from companies and members. And a few I buy myself. If you look at all the reviews I do, Topping is a small fraction. If you mean DACs and headphone amps, Topping sends me everything they build. Other companies do not to the same extent. So really nothing I have control over.
100% legitimate in my eyes
 

Pjotter

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Hi, have a bitdepth question. I'm using Audirvana with my E50. Should I activate 'Bit depth maximum to 24bit (instead of 32bit)' in the Audirvana settings or leave this off. Thanx!
 

escalibur

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Is it possible to plug two amps into E50 at the same time? I mean SE amp with RCA and BAL with XLR. I was wondering if I could use E50 to switch between the amps depending which one I prefer to use.
 
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