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Topping E50 Review (Balanced DAC)

Blew

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@Blew I will avoid quoting your opinion. But you aren't hearing real quality at all. What you are hearing is pure DISTORTION.
"Real quality" is also an opinion. It's obviously not "pure" distortion either, or else it would just sound like noise. By that argument you could also say that any DSP is distortion.

And lossless IS trully lossless (1:1 from original), compressed or not.
True. However, I'm less concerned about what is technically true lossless than I am about how it sounds. If I was given a choice between 24/192 lossless PCM and 24/192 MQA of the same master then I may opt for the lossless, but unfortunately that's not a choice that is often available. However, I haven't done enough subjective testing between those two options yet to determine which sounds better.

mqa is just what mp3pro intented to be years ago.
Not really. MQA is not lossy in the same way that MP3 is lossy, and it contains corrections in the analog domain.
 

Blew

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This Sony model is SACD compatible. But through the Topping, it plays a single-layer SACD as 44.1 (odd, like it's downsampling), won't play the Lennon Gimme Some Truth Blu-ray at all (just digital static), plays the Hendrix Electric Ladyland Blu-Ray at 24/96, and plays MQA at 88.2. Confusing. I don't want to rip these SACDs to get DSD; that's why I purchased the DAC (I have an OPPO 105 that plays them and a Yamaha CD-S1000 that plays SACD). Just trying to get this DSD thing going on this system.
What does the Sony's manual say? There is usually a setting for SACD output format and interface.

It may only output SACD digital audio via HDMI due to the copy protection on coax/optical outputs as @Gradius mentioned. Maybe the 44.1 downsampling is intentional as a SACD copy protection mechanism that retains the ability to output in CD format.

If HDMI is your only option for digital audio output then I wonder if a HDMI audio stripper would work.
 

TheWalkman

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Can someone share their thoughts on the three filter options?

These are all filtering frequencies far above what my tin ears can hear any more.

Are these designed to protect someone‘s super tweeters from working too hard?

What am I missing?
 

linuxfan

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Hooked a SONY Blu-Ray via coax to the E50 and connected the DAC to a Marantz PM700N via RCA cables. Played a hybrid SACD. The E50 display reads 44.1 PCM. What does that mean? Am I right this should be reading the 24/96 SACD layer and outputting a hi-res signal?
Atomicdog, the only way to get raw DSD data output from an optical disk player is via DSD-over-HDMI.
First you need an SACD player or Blu-ray player which supports this feature. There's an unofficial list of compatible players here -
https://www.avsforum.com/threads/dsd-over-hdmi-players.1155206/

Then you also need a particular type of HDMI de-embedder device, such as this -
https://www.ebay.com/itm/353347272941
You can't just use a generic HDMI extractor.

More details in this thread -
https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...mi-audio-to-usb-conversion.11481/#post-328929
 

raif71

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Hooked a SONY Blu-Ray via coax to the E50 and connected the DAC to a Marantz PM700N via RCA cables. Played a hybrid SACD. The E50 display reads 44.1 PCM. What does that mean? Am I right this should be reading the 24/96 SACD layer and outputting a hi-res signal?
Yeah, I too got my Gustard X16 to show 44.1khz when playing sacd using a Sony Bluray Player however I got the DAC to show DSD by using an hdmi via i2s converter board that connects the bluray via its hdmi out to Gustard X16 i2s input. The thread is shown here.
 

JaccoW

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It may only output SACD digital audio via HDMI due to the copy protection on coax/optical outputs as @Gradius mentioned. Maybe the 44.1 downsampling is intentional as a SACD copy protection mechanism that retains the ability to output in CD format.
Some (but not all) SACD's have a so called Redbook 16-bit 44.1 kHz layer so regular CD players can play them at normal CD-quality. So that's probably what is going on here.

I asked a similar question a couple of pages ago but yeah virtually zero SACD players will output DSD over Coax/Toslink. That is down to the standard and limits of those technologies and the DRM at the time SACD came out.

To give people an overview here:
  • CD: 1.4 Mbps for 2-channel. 16-bit 44.1 kHz
  • SACD: 5.6 Mbps for 2-channel 1-bit 2.8224 MHz (2822.4kHz) DSD, more if it is a 6 channel (5.1) recording.
  • Coax/S/PDIF: 3.1 Mbps 20-bit 48kHz but can go as high as 24-bit 192 kHz PCM (9.216 Mbps) if the receiver supports it. Theoretically no maximum bandwidth but the S/PDIF standard doesn't support it in most devices.
  • TOSLINK: 3.1 Mbps. 20-bit 48 kHz max. Modern TOSLINK can go as high as 125Mbps but is rarely supported. Higher jitter. Based on S/PDIF.
  • HDMI 1.0: 36.86 Mbps
  • HDMI 2.0: 49.152 Mbps. At least 16-bit 44.1 2-channel but up to 8-channel 16/20/24-bit x 32/44.1/48/88.2/96/176.4/192 kHz or 8-channel 1-bit DSD (aka 22.4 Mbps)
It was unfortunately a standard that came into existence when companies were trying to figure out DRM and record companies were very apprehensive about giving consumers access to their Master Tape copies through hi-res audio formats. So every single older SACD player has a Sony approved internal DAC to decode the DSD signal or sends the encrypted data stream over HDMI to a Receiver that can safely decode DSD into analog before it leaves the device.

There are a couple of Blu-Ray players that can extract it to USB through a commandline tool but other than that you're out of luck. And I feel your pain.
 
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yanm

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Can someone share their thoughts on the three filter options?

These are all filtering frequencies far above what my tin ears can hear any more.

Are these designed to protect someone‘s super tweeters from working too hard?

What am I missing?
F1 is the “mathematically correct” reconstruction filter for sampled signals, F3 is similar but minimal phase. F2 seems to be an attempt at a NOS-type of filter. I don't hear any differences between any of those to be honest.

Some reading if interested (I particularly like the second link):

All in all, I would have preferred if F1 had a lower cutoff frequency, now it is a bit hot and may show some slight aliasing artefacts. From that perspective F3 is better with an attenuation of about 80 dB at 22 kHz (only about 10 dB at 22 kHz for F1). TBH, I don’t fully understand why F1 and F3 do not have the same cutoff frequencies as for example in the the E30 DAC (may be due to difference in the chipsets, AKM for E30 and ESS for E50). Interestingly enough, the default settings are “minimum phase” for the E30 but “linear phase” for the E50.
 
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Hee

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Dear Professors.
The name of this part? Or the purchase site?
This is estimated to be a relay. (3710 2007U)
I want to get it.
111.jpg
 

JaccoW

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Some (but not all) SACD's have a so called Redbook 16-bit 44.1 kHz layer so regular CD players can play them at normal CD-quality. So that's probably what is going on here.
[...]
To give people an overview here:
  • CD: 1.4 Mbps for 2-channel. 16-bit 44.1 kHz
  • SACD: 5.6 Mbps for 2-channel 1-bit 2.8224 MHz (2822.4kHz) DSD, more if it is a 6 channel (5.1) recording.
  • Coax/S/PDIF: 3.1 Mbps 20-bit 48kHz but can go as high as 24-bit 192 kHz PCM (9.216 Mbps) if the receiver supports it. Theoretically no maximum bandwidth but the S/PDIF standard doesn't support it in most devices.
  • TOSLINK: 3.1 Mbps. 20-bit 48 kHz max. Modern TOSLINK can go as high as 125Mbps but is rarely supported. Higher jitter. Based on S/PDIF.
  • HDMI 1.0: 36.86 Mbps
  • HDMI 2.0: 49.152 Mbps. At least 16-bit 44.1 2-channel but up to 8-channel 16/20/24-bit x 32/44.1/48/88.2/96/176.4/192 kHz or 8-channel 1-bit DSD (aka 22.4 Mbps)
To quote my own post and to add some more things I've since learned about SACD playback on the E50.

Traditional S/PDIF coax or TOSLINK might be limited but on the E50 these two connections support:
  • 24-bit 192kHz PCM
  • Dop DSD64
    • Packages the RAW DSD stream in a (24-bit 176.4 kHz) PCM package that gets unpacked back into DSD in the DAC.
SACD is DSD64 (!), so if you were able send your DSD stream over HDMI you could use a DSD De-embedder to send it over Coax to the Topping E50. Several people have reported succes with a Topping D90 but apparently it depends on the HDMI output of your player.

More info in this thread: Converting a Blu-ray/SACD player into a digital DSD transport

Follow the links to the box on eBay. No link yet since I'm trying to figure out which one it is since they range from $40 to $110 and I'm not sure which one does what.

To be continued.
 
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bogi

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Not really. MQA is not lossy in the same way that MP3 is lossy, and it contains corrections in the analog domain.
Of course, MP3 and MQA are lossy in different ways.

1) Folding/unfolding process of MQA:
I found curious that people who deny to perform software upsampling are fans of MQA down and upsampling DSP.

2) Ultrasonic noise added by MQA filters - see Archimago's measurements comparing Topping D90SE built-in filter and MQA filters:
"As you can see, I've created a 96kHz file with content starting at 17.5kHz rolling-off by 45kHz. Obviously music should not have high levels out to 40+kHz, but you never know and I'm trying to be illustrative here. The shape is intentional so we can identify the pattern across the frequencies."

Topping%2BD90SE%2B-%2BNoise%2BDemo%2B-%2BMQA%2B96kHz%252C%2BFilter%2B2%2Band%2B4%2B192kHz.png


It is easier to trust propaganda words than to try to understand things.
 
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bogi

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Dop DSD64
  • Converts the RAW DSD stream to 24-bit 176.4 kHz PCM
DoP DSD64 does not convert DSD stream to 24 / 176.4. DoP is used as a way how to transfer DSD bitstream through PCM only capable interface into DAC or other digital device. The PCM envelope is taken out on DAC side and original DSD bitstream is processed by DAC in the same way as if the same bitstream would be sent through DSD capable interface.
 

JaccoW

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DoP DSD64 does not convert DSD stream to 24 / 176.4. DoP is used as a way how to transfer DSD bitstream through PCM only capable interface into DAC or other digital device. The PCM envelope is taken out on DAC side and original DSD bitstream is processed by DAC in the same way as if the same bitstream would be sent through DSD capable interface.
Changed it to
  • Converts the RAW DSD stream to a 24-bit 176.4 kHz PCM package that gets converted back into DSD in the DAC.
 
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bogi

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No, that's too incorrect. There is no DSD -> PCM -> DSD conversion in the case of DoP. You would need to understand the difference between binary coded PCM samples and unary coded DSD bitstream (every bit in DSD bitstream has the same weight). DoP is only a way how to transfer the original DSD bitstream, without any processing done on that bitstream (no change in transferred bits), to other device. Imagine DoP only as a PCM envelope to transfer unmodified DSD bits. Those DSD bits in PCM envelope are not PCM - you could not play them to get real audio content. DSD to PCM conversion is quite complicated mathematical process involving so called decimation and is lossy.
 

Grooved

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...
Traditional S/PDIF coax or TOSLINK might be limited but on the E50 these two connections support:
  • 24-bit 192kHz PCM

I imagine it's for oldest devices, because even the motherboard from one of my computers (10 years old) can send 24/192 over Coax and Optical (confirmed by the DAC linked to it).
It also gives me idea to check an old DVD-Audio player that I still have, I only used it with it's analog outputs, will see what there's on the Optical output with a 24/192 disc as source.
 

JaccoW

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No, that's too incorrect. There is no DSD -> PCM -> DSD conversion in the case of DoP. You would need to understand the difference between binary coded PCM samples and unary coded DSD bitstream (every bit in DSD bitstream has the same weight). DoP is only a way how to transfer the original DSD bitstream, without any processing done on that bitstream (no change in transferred bits), to other device. Imagine DoP only as a PCM envelope to transfer unmodified DSD bits. Those DSD bits in PCM envelope are not PCM - you could not play them to get real audio content. DSD to PCM conversion is quite complicated mathematical process involving so called decimation and is lossy.
So as I understand it now:

"(DSD Over PCM) DoP is a method for transporting DSD audio over USB ports that do not have a DSD driver. Each consecutive set of 16 DSD bits is stored as PCM bits in the lower 16 bits of a 176.4/24 sampling rate. An 8-bit DoP header is added to each sample. In order to reassemble the PCM bits into a continuous DSD stream, the DAC at the playback end must be DoP compliant." (PCmag)

USB_DSDviaPCM_1v0.jpg


To summarize DSD-guide.com:

The normal DSD64 sample rate of 1-bit at 2.8224MHz has a data rate of 2.8224Mbits/sec. This is equivalent to 16-bit PCM at 176.4kHz but 8-bits are used to mark the PCM package as DSD so 24-bit 176.4kHz. The DAC requires 2x 16-bit streams, to be able to form a stereo stream and as such some compare it to a 16-bit 88.2kHz PCM file, though the differences in technology mean there are some heated opinions on which one is better and if it matters. There are some advantages to a continuous stream over blocks that need to be put together.
There is some built in safety there that if the package gets partially dropped or accidentally interpreted as PCM it will produce a low-volume, high-frequency 88kHz tone that is inaudible and won't harm most hardware. Though most will filter this out.

  • Packages the RAW DSD stream in a (24-bit 176.4 kHz) PCM package that gets unpacked (but not converted!) back into DSD in the DAC.
 
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