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Topping L30 Headphone Amplifier Review

Tks

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How many you guys listen to headphones with high gain volume maxed?:oops:
Never, this is just for borderline deaf people or something. Hegel (for the one thing I felt they did right with their headphone amp reviewed here a while ago) forced parity with balanced and SE power output, specifically because they said they didn't see a single use case where you would need 4V output to a headphone.

I agree with them, and if any performance can be salvaged by implementing lower-power designs, I'd say go for it. The days of 600 ohm or inefficient headphones are coming to an end. You are seeing a ton of (in my opinion) overly efficient drivers with virtually even smartphone levels of power output, still reach ear bleeding levels of volume.

I am far more interested in seeing designs of amps and DACs these days that can eek out better SINAD at the 50mV range for example (which is why i hope to see something like a DX7 Pro V2 that incorporates lessons learned with these newer-gen devices and salvages some of that lower-output performance, and fixes that dreaded output impedance). I don't particularly care about 4V input/output to an amp at all really, as I am NEVER EVER using that, even with low-gain and such. Want performance I can use at sane ranges (and no I don't want to lower my DAC output especially if the amp is better performing, why would I make the DAC an even bigger bottleneck?)

Great job John, all that's left is for that power amp that everyone is waiting on the edge of their seats for (and maybe just maybe a DAC/AMP that I know companies hate making due to the cost/pay-off ratio that sucks compared to selling separates).
 
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Matias

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You know people, everyone wants moar power and lower distortion numbers, does not matter if it is used or audible. More is better culture.
 

Robin L

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Reality is, I've got a Schiit Magni 3, works fine. Wonder if there is an audible difference. Just listened to some YouTube videos via the Magni hooked into an ACER Aspire 5. Suspect the Topping would sound the same playing back Lady Gaga or Gustav Mahler.
 

F1308

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Suspect the Topping would sound the same playing back Lady Gaga or Gustav Mahler.
In my system I can tell for sure if they are playing wood or metal... great sound.
A pity yours cannot show the difference between Mahler and Gaga.
Try Tchaikovsky....and see if there are any differences...
Should be provided the volume is higher than zero...
 
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Robin L

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In my system I can tell for sure if they are playing wood or metal... great sound.
A pity yours cannot show the difference between Mahler and Gaga.
Try Tchaikovsky....and see if there is any differences...
Should be provided the volume is higher than zero...
I guess you're attempting a joke. I suspect there isn't all that much audible difference between the two headphone amps on the listening end; though the Topping has better specs, the technical differences between the two devices might be within the limits of audibility. No matter what music is played.

Watching Lady Gaga on YouTube, I am struck by the various lifts from the classical repertoire in her extended length videos.
 

F1308

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I guess you're attempting a joke. I suspect there isn't all that much audible difference between the two headphone amps on the listening end; though the Topping has better specs, the technical differences between the two devices might be within the limits of audibility. No matter what music is played.

Watching Lady Gaga on YouTube, I am struck by the various lifts from the classical repertoire in her extended length videos.
Don't tell me it was not funny....
 

dmac6419

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I guess you're attempting a joke. I suspect there isn't all that much audible difference between the two headphone amps on the listening end; though the Topping has better specs, the technical differences between the two devices might be within the limits of audibility. No matter what music is played.

Watching Lady Gaga on YouTube, I am struck by the various lifts from the classical repertoire in her extended length videos.
Buy one and find out,it's cheap, I spend more on lunch in a week, when I have a worm in me belly
 
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amirm

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Thread Starter #236

GPJ

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I have the sp200 too,keep it and get the l30 then you'll have 2 good amps
If you are getting the SP200 for XLR phone output or input, save your money and get L30. There is zero difference between TRS and XLR on my SP200. And SE input is better than XLR input according to SMSL tech. Verified with nearly 10 different phones I use.

An E30 / L30 makes M200 / SP200 look needlessly expensive ... unless you absolutely need Bluetooth and "Sound Color" modes.
 
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@JohnYang1997 Any chance on an all in one unit combining the L30/E30? Something similar to the DX3pro in form factor; I have several DX3pro LDAC units which I absolutely love.
As someone who gravity towards all-in-one solutions, I strongly second this.

I've had a DX3 Pro (non-LDAC version, with lower output impedance) for over a year and a half, and couldn't be more happier with it.

My only complains as an IEM-mostly user are the slightly noise level (audible if nothing is playing or with very sensitive IEMs) and the clicking noises during BT reproduction (feature that I absolutely adore).

Give us the same low impedance as my first non-LDAC version, slighty more power for 300/600 ohms headphones, better 50mV performance for IEMs and retaining the fantastic 3.5 mm output + another 6.35 one for headphones (much more convenient duality instead of using adapters). No need for balanced connections, just a truly SE endgame in an AIO form. ;)

@JohnYang1997 Make it happen and you would be my (and many others') hero. :D
 

restorer-john

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Real word matching requirement would be something like 20k to 50k.
I am maintaining that 2.5k is low.
Absolutely it's low. Too low and simply shifts the onus to the source which in my opinion is a cop out. Great product, but way too low input impedance for any type of amplifier, be it pre/main or HP.

There are plenty of other sources other than just a DAC, something the kids these days seem to forget.
 

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