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Topping G5 quit working

86billionneurons

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I bought the G5 from Apos and thought I'd share my experience with you all.

I'm a beginner audiophile whose initial setup was an AKG K361 paired with a Hidisz S9 Pro. $250 or so. Nice clean sound with vastly more detail than I was getting out of my Bose desktop speakers. I also subscribed to Tidal. Is it better than Apple, who knows, it just sounds really good. I did notice that the K361's seemed a little veiled, a term I've heard used on this forum.

After 9 months with this setup I began to wonder what the next step might be toward budget audiophile nirvana. I gave the K361/S9 to my brother and picked up a nice pair of Elear's on Reverb and bought the G5 based on Amir's review. $550 total.

The combo worked well at first. The veil was lifted and the base seemed thumpier. There was more detail. Too much detail sometimes with poorer recordings. Ennio Morricone's Humanity (Pt. 1) from The Thing soundtrack no longer had a background fuzz that I liked, and there were bumps in the recording that I didn't notice before. I wanted to borrow back the old setup from my brother to compare.

I downloaded a couple of free EQ apps for Mac and fiddled with them before giving up. A few days after that, after perhaps 8 hours of listening time with the new setup, the G5 stopped producing sound and began flashing a red light that means "no signal". Various means of troubleshooting confirmed the problem was the G5 and not the Elears or my internet connection or the USB dongle. I uninstalled the EQ apps in case they were the problem. No dice.

As much as I liked the G5, I decided to explore another DAC/amp (TBD), so I submitted a return/refund request to Apos instead of requesting a replacement. Be advised that the 45-day return advertised by Apos is really only a 15-day return if you don't want to lose 20% of your purchase price to a restocking fee. The customer support rep told me to expect a delay in processing the return due to "short-staffing" which made me wonder why that should be my problem.

I checked the RMA address on Google Maps. I guess this is Apos America headquarters:

img0808.png


This picture and the warning about short-staffing made me imagine the garage stuffed with RMA boxes except for a narrow corridor leading to the washer/dryer/cat litter. However, three days after my G5 arrived at AAHQ, the refund went through. I would buy through Apos again because their customer service rep was very attentive and short-staffing wasn't a problem after all. They're keeping their U.S. overhead low which helps them to remain price-competitive.
 

suttondesign

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That address may simply be where the owner registered the business, with the owner working remotely and other employees doing likewise. I practice law entirely from a home office using Zoom, and all filings with courts are online, and many court appearances. I have no paper files any more. For my nice cans business, I have a small storage space.
 

Essar

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I'm on day 11 waiting for a response from Apos indicating progress on my RMA. Does anyone know if this is unusual for them or am I getting the shaft?
 

Essar

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@86billionneurons Apos won't respond so no RMA, and yes, it's incredibly defective. Here's the sound of the static. My bank is investing Apos for fraud so I'm hoping I can return this and pay the damn 20% restocking fee. I'm furious that Apos is blowing me off. Have a listen.
 

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jcadduono

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I wish I had bought mine from Apos, I think shipping to them in USA sounds a lot more affordable than the $150 CAD it costs to ship my defective G5 back to Aoshida HiFi in China. I think I am just going to trash it and wait for something better.
 
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86billionneurons

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That's $150 CAD you can invest in another DAC. I ordered a Cayin RU7 to replace the G5.
 

ThatM1key

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When I was gonna get my 2nd Topping DAC/Amp (Topping E30/L30), I almost went with Apos until I saw all the fake sales. I went with Hifigo because of the actual discounts. I was an early adopter and so I got a L30 that risked exploding. Emailed Hifigo and they shipped me a fixed unit all for free, they didn't even make me destroy the old one. I heard some other retailers forced there customers to make a mark or even flat out actually destroy the unit before they were able to get there fixed unit. My issue with that whole situation was some people got there fixed unit and literally flipped there early adopter units onto 3rd party selling websites.

When it came to Amazon, I bought a SMSL Amp that changed the dynamics of my speakers way too much. Sucked all the bass out of my ELACs and you had to crank the bass settings to get something out of it. Repacked most of the items expect for a few manuals/papers, sent it back to Amazon and gave me back all of my money. Initial buying price was a few dollars above other places but still.

Edit: Hifigo & Apos Audio have the same DOA/RMA polices.
 
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EchoChamber

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Did you try Bluetooth to see if it worked? I have an issue with the USB-C to Lightning connector. I’m using a different cable now with no issues. Some adapters are not build to Apple’s specs.
 
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86billionneurons

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The G5 worked until it didn't. I run my DACs from the monitor USB-out connection, however the G5 had an input issue even directly through my laptop USB. And I didn't realize that I needed an OTG USB cable to run it from my iPhone, so I thought the thing had quit. Never tried BT. I am, however, happy to now have the Cayin RU7 which has a warmth the G5 lacked.
 

jcadduono

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I caved and shipped my defective G5 back to Aoshida for $35 with no tracking (it costs $80 extra to get tracking on the same service!) via Canada Post small air packet, marked $20 value "sample" as they requested, about 2 months ago. It was either lost in transit in China or discarded by Chinese customs. Alternatively, perhaps it was received by Aoshida and I have no proof so nothing happens. Figures.
I hope a decent competitor (upgrade) to the G5 comes out sometime, for now I have decided to stick with Tanchjim Space + IEMs and it's been great.
 
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