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Topping E70 Stereo DAC Review

Rate this DAC:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 8 2.1%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 8 2.1%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 45 11.9%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 317 83.9%

  • Total voters
    378

AdrianusG

Senior Member
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Feb 28, 2023
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Hi Everyone,

Shortly i will (probably) decide to purchase either an Topping E70 or the E70 Velvet.

i'm sure both devices will be fine, however, i read some review that the Velvet version sounds better specifically with DSD material than it's ESS counterpart.
Cause for this is the way AKM chips process DSD different than ESS, at least according to what his sources told him.

I realize that this is of course the reviewers very Subjective view, since no measurements or blind tests were provided, but still, could there be something to it,
in that AKM processes DSD different than ESS?

greetings

Ad

PS @Amir,

do you have plans to measure the Velvet version of this DAC anytime soon?
 

AdrianusG

Senior Member
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Thanks for this:)

if i see correct not a lot of (measurable) difference except for the ever so slightly worse Inter-modulation distortion from AKM version this time.

I'll just go for the cheapest of the two then i guess.

Greetz

Ad
 

Steve96

Member
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May 18, 2021
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My original E30/L30 stack power finally blew. I've only had experience with the AKM chip in desktop dacs. Would the E70v be (somewhat substantially) improved from the E30 (first edition)? Is the E70 stack actually fully balanced?
 

PeterH

New Member
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May 7, 2021
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Sorry, just re read your post.

The 1.04 firmware update is for the E70 ( ESS chip) I have installed it on mine and it's fine.

I have asked if it functions on the E70 Velvet (AKM chip). The prefix ( V ) on the firmware version causes confusion.
All, confirmation from my end. Installed on my E70 and is working fine. (Came in on firmware 1.02)
 

Namesbuck

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Location
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My original E30/L30 stack power finally blew. I've only had experience with the AKM chip in desktop dacs. Would the E70v be (somewhat substantially) improved from the E30 (first edition)? Is the E70 stack actually fully balanced?
It has balanced and RCA outputs to choose from. I had an e30 and now use the e70 in my main system. They are both transparent DACs. For PCM files doubt you could ever reliably tell the difference but the e70 is obviously more premium with more features.
 

Namesbuck

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I got the VU meter fever. Any issues using the E70 RCA output simultaneously with the XLRs outputting to my PA7 to run this VU meter from Ali express?

Will the VU meter read the RCA output with any degree of accuracy? There are adjustment knobs on the back of the VU meter.
 

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Namesbuck

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None that I could think of.
It might make more sense to use the RCA outputs from my subwoofer if I wanted the VU meter to capture the signal from non digital sources i.e. turntable.

I'm not sure if the crossover in the sub effects the RCA output signal? In other words would the VU meter only read signals below 80hz if that's where I have it set on the sub.
 

staticV3

Master Contributor
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I'm not sure if the crossover in the sub effects the RCA output signal? In other words would the VU meter only read signals below 80hz if that's where I have it set on the sub.
Without telling us which subwoofer model you're talking about, you'd have to do your own research.

Or you could tell us the subwoofer model so that we can do that research for you.
 

Namesbuck

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Without telling us which subwoofer model you're talking about, you'd have to do your own research.

Or you could tell us the subwoofer model so that we can do that research for you.
SVS SB 1000 hooked up via speaker level connection. Appreciate the insight.... I'm leaning towards it's not going to work but as you point out it's all about what going on inside the box.
 

staticV3

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It might make more sense to use the RCA outputs from my subwoofer if I wanted the VU meter to capture the signal from non digital sources i.e. turntable.

I'm not sure if the crossover in the sub effects the RCA output signal? In other words would the VU meter only read signals below 80hz if that's where I have it set on the sub.
From the user manual:
Screenshot_20230803-154449_Drive.png

What's not clear is if the Line output also works when you use the High Level input. That you'd have to try yourself.
 

MRC01

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I just got one of these yesterday. I rang it out with test signals recorded to my Tascam DA3000 recorder and it measures at least as clean as Amir says. The DA3000 has excellent DA and AD converters but not as excellent as Amir's APx555. I do find the E70 very subtly different from the DAC in my preamp, which uses WM8741 chips and slightly higher distortion (3H at about -70 dB). They are indistinguishable on most recordings, but on a few, the E70 upper mids / lower treble seem just a tad cleaner or more pure.

Regarding whether to use the E70 output at 4V or 5V (balanced), 2V or 2.5V (unbalanced), it seems obvious that it's best to use the high voltage output and if that voltage is too high for your downstream device, turn the E70 digital volume to -2.0 dB. This will give the same output voltage, but with -2 dB of digital attenuation the E70 may better handle too-hot digital recording levels (clipping or intersample overs).
 

MRC01

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PS: I installed firmware 1.04 from earlier in this thread and it works fine (Topping still hasn't put it on their site). I'm glad I did because DPLL setting 5 didn't handle 88.2 and 176.4 sampling well, so I upped it to 7 and it became clean. Setting 6 also worked but I figured I'd give it one extra nudge just to be sure.

Also I have found 1 minor bug in the E70 firmware. With the display in L-A mode, it goes dark after 30 seconds as expected. If while the screen is dark you turn the knob to adjust the volume by only 1 click, the display wakes up but the display shows the prior setting, not the new one, even though the actual volume does change. If you want it to show the volume you are setting, adjust it at least 2 clicks then back to whatever you want.
 

MRC01

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PPS: regarding the filters, here's what I measured, similar to Amir though displayed in a way that's easier for me to read. For filters 1-7 I used colors in ROYGBIV but since indigo & violet are hard to differentiate, I used black for V.

In the chart legend, the first number is the filter response @ 18 kHz, the second at 20 kHz, the third is the filter stopband.

e70-FR-filters1-7.png

The filters having the smoothest flattest passband response are #1 and #3 (red & yellow). Pick #1 if you want linear phase, #3 (the default) if you want minimum phase. However, these filters don't fully attenuate until 24.1 kHz, so they are technically improper. That is above Nyquist (22.05 kHz) so they may leak, but any aliases will be > 20 kHz which should be immaterial.

However, if you want a filter that fully attenuates by Nyquist, your choices are #5, #6 or #7 (blue, purple, black). Of these, #5 has the widest passband response, but a touch (0.1 dB) of ripple, and since it's -2.1 dB @ 20 kHz it's not quite as wide as #1 or #3. #7 has less ripple than #5 (about 0.05 dB), but more passband attenuation, down 4.5 dB @ 20 kHz. Both are linear phase. Filter #6 has no ripple but it's down 11 dB @ 20 kHz. This shows the compromises that must be made to handle the narrow transition band of 44.1 kHz sampling with the limited processing power available in small chips. Filters at higher sampling rates don't have to make these compromises since the transition band is wider.

Filters #2 and #4 attenuate so early, those with good high frequency hearing may hear slightly smeared or less sharp transients on high quality recordings with lots of HF energy, for example with jangling keys, castanets or other small percussive clicky sounds. That's at 44.1 kHz only of course since at higher sample rates these filters should be flat through 20 kHz. And they don't attenuate until 28k so they can leak HF noise that can alias in the passband as low as (22050 - (28000 - 22050)) = 16,100 Hz.

Overall, I suggest using filter #1, don't worry and enjoy the music.
 

Gradius

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Also I have found 1 minor bug in the E70 firmware. With the display in L-A mode, it goes dark after 30 seconds as expected. If while the screen is dark you turn the knob to adjust the volume by only 1 click, the display wakes up but the display shows the prior setting, not the new one, even though the actual volume does change. If you want it to show the volume you are setting, adjust it at least 2 clicks then back to whatever you want.
Those bugs should be reported to Topping.
 
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