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Topping E50 Review (Balanced DAC)

RitzyBusiness

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I have been enjoying the performance of a Topping E50 for 26 months. I think I would have difficulty reliably discerning a difference between the measured performance of the E50 and the Eversolo dac-Z8.
Its even hard to casually discern the difference between a dac that measures poorly with one that measures highly, I am talking polar opposites of SINAD in the e50 vs bifrost 1 MB (unison USB)

There are audible differences (in favor of the E50) but if I am just jamming out to music, especially modern music, its not something I would even think or worry about. I think the biggest difference happened in games, where directionality became less fuzzy on very quiet sounds like far away foot steps, but I have no proof of that other than my own experience.

----

As for the E50, as a DAC. I am glad I bought it, its transparent and unless some super fancy wireless tech or HRTF tech comes out I doubt i'll be changing this till it breaks. Its made me take a hard look at the Topping A70 Amp which seems like a kitchen sink with enough power to pretty much blow up any headphone, though I think my Lyr+ is plenty good enough, a balanced rig is versatility and I don't use any tube so nothing will be lost.
 

Audioboxer

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Am I correct to say because this is an MQA DAC you cannot use Windows volume control to impact the DAC volume level to the AMP? I had this back when I used a iFi Zen stack, Windows volume control just didn't do anything.

Tried searching for the answer to this and best I could find was possibly put the E50 into DAC mode and Windows volume control may work? I know controlling volume via the headphone amp is best, but even on my D10 balanced which runs full power all the time occassionally having my keyboards volume knob able to work is convenient.

E50's are getting quite cheap now and I may sidegrade to it for the additional features it brings.
 
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Toku

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Am I correct to say because this is an MQA DAC you cannot use Windows volume control to impact the DAC volume level to the AMP? I had this back when I used a iFi Zen stack, Windows volume control just didn't do anything.

Tried searching for the answer to this and best I could find was possibly put the E50 into DAC mode and Windows volume control may work? I know controlling volume via the headphone amp is best, but even on my D10 balanced which runs full power all the time occassionally having my keyboards volume knob able to work is convenient.

E50's are getting quite cheap now and I may sidegrade to it for the additional features it brings.
When playing DSD and MQA on the E50, the volume control on the PC side cannot be used. If you make any changes to the original file, it will no longer play properly. Please fix it at 100% position.
At this time, if you set the E50 to PRE mode, you can control the volume on the E50 side.
 

Audioboxer

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When playing DSD and MQA on the E50, the volume control on the PC side cannot be used. If you make any changes to the original file, it will no longer play properly. Please fix it at 100% position.
At this time, if you set the E50 to PRE mode, you can control the volume on the E50 side.

I won't be using DSD or MQA, just FLAC via Tidal.

So am I correct to assume the volume control can be used on the PC side then? I have no need to control the volume on the E50 side as I won't be hooking it up to my T5Vs. They run off their own interface for separate EQing.
 

Toku

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I won't be using DSD or MQA, just FLAC via Tidal.

So am I correct to assume the volume control can be used on the PC side then? I have no need to control the volume on the E50 side as I won't be hooking it up to my T5Vs. They run off their own interface for separate EQing.
If only PCM files are played, the volume can be controlled on the PC side.
However, only stereo 2ch PCM signals can be played. There is no problem if the target is FLAC from TIDAL.
 

Audioboxer

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If only PCM files are played, the volume can be controlled on the PC side.
However, only stereo 2ch PCM signals can be played. There is no problem if the target is FLAC from TIDAL.

Thanks, that's all I needed to know. Behaves differently than the Zen DAC then which just locks out all control no matter what you are playing.
 

MLaranjeiras

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Thanks a lot!
Just now I am listening both Topping E50 (around US$ 200.00) and IFI DSD Gryphon (around US$ 500.00) and they, to me, are tiers. But the Gryphon seems to be somehow a little more refined, smooth.
 

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Gradius

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Just now I am listening both Topping E50 (around US$ 200.00) and IFI DSD Gryphon (around US$ 500.00) and they, to me, are tiers. But the Gryphon seems to be somehow a little more refined, smooth.
That's just placebo effect.

Your brain is playing tricks to you, because you payed more for it, the brain NEEDS to recognize that money spent as "better quality".

E50 is transparent, but I have doubts about the ifi.
 

Overseas

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That's just placebo effect.

.....

E50 is transparent, but I have doubts about the ifi.

You contradicted yourself but may be finally right.
So IFI may sound different, if 'smoother' that is a different subject.
 

lemmy_collins

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some subjectivists lost on this forum ?

Topping E50 was reviewed there... hard to be more transparent, and far above human "hearing threshold"...

@MLaranjeiras you could send your IFI Gryphon to @amirm to be measured, then 2 solutions:
- measurements are bad -> the difference heard are THD or any other "problem"
- measurements are good -> placebo effect

By the way, a tiny sound level difference and probably you'll prefer the one set higher.
 

half_dog

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Others independent measurements with AP 555:

From L7 Audio lab:

From Purr1n:
(This measurements demonstrates a quite different result, maybe a defective unit?)

There are more independent measurements here but with different rig (Cosmos ADC)
 

MLaranjeiras

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That's just placebo effect.

Your brain is playing tricks to you, because you payed more for it, the brain NEEDS to recognize that money spent as "better quality".

E50 is transparent, but I have doubts about the ifi.
It is possible. I like a lot the E50 and do not have yet reasons to change it for another. I am sending back the IFI to the owner
some subjectivists lost on this forum ?

Topping E50 was reviewed there... hard to be more transparent, and far above human "hearing threshold"...

@MLaranjeiras you could send your IFI Gryphon to @amirm to be measured, then 2 solutions:
- measurements are bad -> the difference heard are THD or any other "problem"
- measurements are good -> placebo effect

By the way, a tiny sound level difference and probably you'll prefer the one set higher.
For now, I am very glad with the E50. It is all fine for me. IFi offers much more than I need.
 

lemmy_collins

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Others independent measurements with AP 555:

From L7 Audio lab:

From Purr1n:
(This measurements demonstrates a quite different result, maybe a defective unit?)

There are more independent measurements here but with different rig (Cosmos ADC)
read on Purr1n:
"maybe one day their audio engineers will design by ears first and measurements second, rather than design purely by APx555*."
maybe when you're a subjectivist you don't know how to properly set a test bench...
 

lemmy_collins

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It is possible. I like a lot the E50 and do not have yet reasons to change it for another. I am sending back the IFI to the owner

For now, I am very glad with the E50. It is all fine for me. IFi offers much more than I need.
my point is modern DAC, ADC, amplifiers ... when properly implemented are transparent, you can't heard any differences... There's only one culprit in modern audio: speakers and the room they live in... You can say i'm a hardcore objectivist but blind tests tell i'm probably right
 

half_dog

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Okay. Purr1n has a point about the 2kHz thing. That's even stranger because if the F0 is 20kHz, there is a 4kHz peak as well (doesn't matter the output)... I did the same with a D10s and it didn't do it.
The measurements were done using a Topping E2x2.

Hi @JohnYang1997! Could you take a look on it? Do you think that a firmware update can fix it?
 

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sejarzo

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read on Purr1n:
"maybe one day their audio engineers will design by ears first and measurements second, rather than design purely by APx555*."
maybe when you're a subjectivist you don't know how to properly set a test bench...

I don't believe anything from that site for precisely that reason. He's inherently biased against objectivity, and that quote proves it.
 

MLaranjeiras

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It is possible. I like a lot the E50 and do not have yet reasons to change it for another. I am sending back the IFI to the owner

For now, I am very glad with the E50. It is all fine for me. IFi offers much more than I need.
By the way, at 63, my ears are defeated at 14 KHz
 
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