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Topping L30 Headphone Amplifier Review

Jose Hidalgo

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raistlin65

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Musically you're right. But since it's a song about LSD, I believe that psudo-psychedelic cover is right on spot ! :D:facepalm:
I've always wondered if I should give him credit for being brave enough to put that album out there? Or whether he doesn't deserve any credit because he doesn't realize how bad he is?:facepalm:
 

Robin L

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I've always wondered if I should give him credit for being brave enough to put that album out there? Or whether he doesn't deserve any credit because he doesn't realize how bad he is?:facepalm:
It's not an issue of "how bad he is". He's as good as Ken Nordine, every bit as surreal. With his skills in voice-over work, "The Transformed Man" appears to be self-consciously absurd. This indicates that he's in on the joke:

I'd also like to point to the "Rocketman" performance, and Beck's paraphrasing of that performance in "Where It's At".

And one more thing:


We now return to apocalyptic reports of exploding headphone amps and headphones, which are already in progress.
 

threni

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I am not French. Try again. :facepalm:
Damn! I knew "From France" could have meant something else...

Edit: So, in the profile it says "Location: xxx" but when you hover over a nickname or click on it on mobile it says "From xxx". The latter is an incorrect assumption, and should say "Location" too.

It goes without saying that I apologize unreservedly for calling you French.
 
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vert

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Sorry if it looks like I'm piling on Topping, but in the heyday of, say, Japanese hi-fi, was it common for gear to actually blow up headphones? The low cost is too easy as an excuse. The cost of an L30 + headphones is actual money for some people,not to mention I wonder how it is that such products are allowed to pass regulatory tests nowadays.
 

threni

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Sorry if it looks like I'm piling on Topping, but in the heyday of, say, Japanese hi-fi, was it common for gear to actually blow up headphones? The low cost is too easy as an excuse. The cost of an L30 + headphones is actual money for some people,not to mention I wonder how it is that such products are allowed to pass regulatory tests nowadays.
I'm not sure it's accurate or meaningful to extrapolate from a handful of cases of damage from one revision of one amp design from one company to some wider statement about Chinese hifi. I've bought exactly two Sony products in the last 5 years; a phone and a TV and in both cases the display has failed leaving the audio/processing etc working fine and requiring repair/replacement. My anecdata is unlikely to sway anyone against buying from Sony, Canon etc just because they're in the same country.

It's just a guess but I'd imagine regulatory tests are related to safety, not consequential damage, and they they've all been successfully passed, if only because I doubt that they're all that elaborate or extensive.
 

bravomail

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Went on NewYear holiday break. Ordered E30/L30 via Drop. Meanwhile, a storm here for 50+ pages.
Some Nevada desert guy (where static is in the air) managed to jolt L30 and his headphones to death.
I would hire this guy to jolt/test all the equipment which is praised on ASR - esp Atom without any DC protection. :)
L30 I got is with 2010xxxx serial number. So it goes back. Thx to JohnYang and Topping for quick fix!
But, meanwhile, here's my subjective impressions of E30/L30 stack vs Schiit Modi3/Magni 3+ (PC Windows10, Foobar2000 with WASAPI output to USB, FLAC audio, AKG K7xx headphones).
E30 has no problem handling 32 bit/44.1kHz. I had issues with 32 bit on Modi3, it was set to 24bit. There is a difference with 32bit E30/L30 config (vs the same config of 24 bit) - it is sharper and crisper, not muddy.
I also played with different filters of E30, it comes with FF4 by default (slow rolloff, short delay). After playing a while I chose FF1 (sharpest, no delay) - the base had more energy. Other thoughts - I don't want my ears destroyed by supersonic high energy waves.
I set E30 to DAC mode (not PreAmp).
I set my L30 to 0dB gain and HPA. What I noticed - I had to rotate volume pot significantly between different tracks when trying to listen to different fragments of songs. I have my Foobar player set on per-track volume normalization, so it is not my source material issue. Looks like you will rotate more with L30. With Schiit Magni3+ my physical rotation was less. Not sure if it is good or bad. Just reporting.
Now to main thing - sound. It sounds good, only very slightly better than Schiit stack, very slightly. In other words - if you have Schiit stack - there is very little reason to change. Heresy maybe closer to L30, but I don't have Heresy.
 

solderdude

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How safe am I if my laptop, DAC, and L30 all have no ground?
Safer (when operating wireless on batteries) but still not safe. A current will still be able to flow. When the laptop is connected to mains (via a switching power supply) then for very high frequencies that power supply is basically directly connected to mains which in itself is referenced to ground.
In the SMPS there are low value caps from the secondary side to the mains side. This is to ensure they meet requirements. That cap is close to 0 Ohm for ESD pulses. ESD pulses are VERY high (steep) in frequency component and can pack quite some punch, be it only for a very, very brief moment.
What happens is: body charged to say 12kV (really happens easily when getting of a cloth covered couch for instance) and discharges through the potmeter shaft into the opamp and part of it to the groundplane in the amp. This continues to the RCA shield which is connected to the DAC which is connected to USB ground which is connected to the laptop ground which via the power supply makes its way to mains and ultimately to ground.

Just arrange a new one and all your worries are gone. No ESD sensitivity for the amp, no DC on the output.

When you often experience a 'jolt' in the house in the winter and/or see sparks flying from your hand (is fun to see in the dark) then the old L30 is 'at risk'. When the air is dry try pulling a sweater over your head in the dark and let others see ESD flashes.
Harmless for humans... not for electronic components.
That's why there are ESD tests.. to test for this.
 

Pdxwayne

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Safer (when operating wireless on batteries) but still not safe. A current will still be able to flow. When the laptop is connected to mains (via a switching power supply) then for very high frequencies that power supply is basically directly connected to mains which in itself is referenced to ground.
In the SMPS there are low value caps from the secondary side to the mains side. This is to ensure they meet requirements. That cap is close to 0 Ohm for ESD pulses. ESD pulses are VERY high (steep) in frequency component and can pack quite some punch, be it only for a very, very brief moment.
What happens is: body charged to say 12kV (really happens easily when getting of a cloth covered couch for instance) and discharges through the potmeter shaft into the opamp and part of it to the groundplane in the amp. This continues to the RCA shield which is connected to the DAC which is connected to USB ground which is connected to the laptop ground which via the power supply makes its way to mains and ultimately to ground.

Just arrange a new one and all your worries are gone. No ESD sensitivity for the amp, no DC on the output.

When you often experience a 'jolt' in the house in the winter and/or see sparks flying from your hand (is fun to see in the dark) then the old L30 is 'at risk'. When the air is dry try pulling a sweater over your head in the dark and let others see ESD flashes.
Harmless for humans... not for electronic components.
That's why there are ESD tests.. to test for this.
In my area, year long humidity is 60% to 80%. I don't recall the last time I have a static discharge inside my home....But I do get many at work!
 

Thalis

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In my area, year long humidity is 60% to 80%. I don't recall the last time I have a static discharge inside my home....But I do get many at work!
here where I live its almost at 100% daily.... but I used to get a lot of static in one particular workplace a long time ago... aircon and carpets....
 

solderdude

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In my area, year long humidity is 60% to 80%. I don't recall the last time I have a static discharge inside my home....But I do get many at work!
Still.. I would contact the seller to have a replacement sent. The DC protection isn't working properly.
 

raistlin65

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It seems like it damaged, but didn't didn't completely destroy, a pair here.
If that's true, one up in two years is not evidence of a major design problem that supports John Yang's negative claims about the Atom. Could be a random failure of a component within the range of what almost everyone would feel is acceptable.
 

maverickronin

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If that's true, one up in two years is not evidence of a major design problem that supports John Yang's negative claims about the Atom. Could be a random failure of a component within the range of what almost everyone would feel is acceptable.
It's certainly not prone to failures that require DC protection like the L30 is, but it's still true it doesn't have any.
 

raistlin65

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It's certainly not prone to failures that require DC protection like the L30 is, but it's still true it doesn't have any.
Right. I'm not sure what your point is, as that's already been established and I did not make claims that it had DC voltage protection.

Rather, JY said,

JDS Atom also doesn't have protection whatsoever. DC in DC out, no protection. So USA made = better quality is simply BS.
So you support that claim? Seems to me the proof is in the pudding, so to speak, as I originally pointed out.
 
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