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Topping L50 Review (Headphone Amp)

usern

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I know, I am looking for maximum power actually (without going top of the line). I think it is the A30 Pro and D10 from them if I am not mistaken, but their lineup seems to have numbers and letters all over the place at a glance. I am used to GPU numbers (bigger is better or at least newer).
With balanced inputs (D10b for example):
@300 Ohm
A30pro: 730 mW
L50: 636 mW
@33 Ohm
A30pro: 5.5 W
L50: 3.2 W

Both are pretty much top of the line.
 

Itamarz

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So can anyone explain the differences beetween the l50 and a50s?
the a50s is realy balanced vs the l50 which is not? Which means the a50s have the potential to sound better?
 

Veri

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the a50s is realy balanced vs the l50 which is not? Which means the a50s have the potential to sound better?
-a50s 2.5mm(correction: 4.4mm) is "true" balanced and not same output as single ended over another connector
-l50 is like A30 Pro : crazy power but actually unbalanced

Potential to sound better? Not really, it is an audiophile myth perpetuated on forums like head-fi. Balanced is positive and negative signal with double the output, double the noise and very good common mode rejection against ground loops etc. There is nothing to indicate it is inherently better sounding, it can just go louder. See for example this great article:
 
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kkeretic

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-a50s 2.5mm is "true" balanced and not same output as single ended over another connector
-l50 is like A30 Pro : crazy power but actually unbalanced

Potential to sound better? Not really, it is an audiophile myth perpetuated on forums like head-fi. Balanced is positive and negative signal with double the output, double the noise and very good common mode rejection against ground loops etc. There is nothing to indicate it is inherently better sounding, it can just go louder. See for example this great article:
A50s actually has a 4.4mm output. As for its balanced and unbalanced outputs, listening to my Sundaras it is definitely not the same experience. Whether because of the noticeably higher power output, greater distortion (although that would be ridiculous given the measurements), the cable (even funnier), or something else, have no idea. Sundara probably likes power.
 

usern

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There is nothing to indicate it is inherently better sounding, it can just go louder.
It can go louder versus A50s own unbalanced output jack, but in context of A50s vs L50 - L50 beats A50s with
636 mW @300 Ohm for L50 vs
209 mW @300 Ohm for A50s using balanced headphone connector.
Of course to achieve full power for L50 you need balanced input signal.
 

Itamarz

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Thanks for the answers!
So if l50 is stronger even on "balance" mode so why would anyone chhose the a50s over it for almost the same price?
 

usern

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Thanks for the answers!
So if l50 is stronger even on "balance" mode so why would anyone chhose the a50s over it for almost the same price?
Perhaps someone who needs small form factor and balanced 4.4 mm headphone connector. These days indeed it is very niche product.
 

kkeretic

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Thanks for the answers!
So if l50 is stronger even on "balance" mode so why would anyone chhose the a50s over it for almost the same price?
I was in dilema two days ago. Purchased another A50s for my second stack. Reasons:
- stack with the D50s (have two of them)
- form factor, really small in size
- extremely nice and proven sound with my Sundaras balanced so didn't want to roll the dice to get something that may "sound/think to sound" even slightly different
- bulky transformer, already owned one with the L30, had to switch it on/off through the power strip 'coz it was sucking ~3-4W when idle
- don't know if L50 heats like L30, hope not and A50s is barely warm even after several hours of use
- L50 is a brand new product and I swore I would no longer buy devices that hadn’t been on the market for at least 6 months
- saved 40€

But L50 has much more power unbalanced and a switch instead of preamp + balanced inputs if needed/wanted, like that.
 

Veri

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- bulky transformer, already owned one with the L30, had to switch it on/off through the power strip 'coz it was sucking ~3-4W when idle
- don't know if L50 heats like L30, hope not and A50s is barely warm even after several hours of use
L50 has similar power design and same power brick, so I doubt it'll differ much.
 

ririt

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It can go louder versus A50s own unbalanced output jack, but in context of A50s vs L50 - L50 beats A50s with
636 mW @300 Ohm for L50 vs
209 mW @300 Ohm for A50s using balanced headphone connector.
Of course to achieve full power for L50 you need balanced input signal.
What will be the achievable output power for L50 if using an unbalanced input signal?
 

Itamarz

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A preamp a headphone amp is used to control the volume of your speakers?
 

usern

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What will be the achievable output power for L50 if using an unbalanced input signal?
Unfortunately @amirm did not post graphs with RCA in on the first page. Would be interesting indeed to know that.
A preamp a headphone amp is used to control the volume of your speakers?
Yes, you send full signal from DAC to headphone RCA in and control the volume of RCA out with A50s for example. But note that L50 does not have preamp functionality. It will just pass through whatever signal is fed to inputs, volume knob does not affect it.
 

Marcomarco

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currently gustard x16 + L30 + sundara. if connecting gustard xlr to trs L50 end out SE sundara can i have great benefits
 

Dmitriy

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hello everyone, I wanted to ask the owners of the L50 if you connect a balanced connection on the back panel, will the 6.5 headphone output work in this case? sorry I'm writing through a translator
 

ririt

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Looking at the high gain value for the L50 (13dB), it is significantly higher than the one of the L30 (9.5 dB). Mean that when using a 2V input through RCA, should I expect more power with the L50 than with the L30? Several threads mentioned that with a 9.5 dB gain L30 is unable to reach full power with a 2V input (it requires 3V). Would that be slightly different with L50?
 

kchap

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Does anybody with both the L50 and A30 Pro have any thoughts on soundstage/imaging differences?
I have the L50. I hear lot's of references to 'soundstage'. I have no idea what it means. Modern amps should have - do have - a flat frequency response, very little/no phase non-linearities, low noise, low distortion and good gain balance between channels. How can they affect the mysterious 'soundstage' if they meet the aforementioned criteria.

Is everybody really talking about output power? Loud music can sound different, not just louder.
 
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Lupin

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Does anybody with both the L50 and A30 Pro have any thoughts on soundstage/imaging differences?
This is quite easy.. soundstage is 98% subjective as objective measurements don't show anything why either L50 or A30Pro would have better soundstage than the other.

So we need to follow the subjective way of thinking. For subjectivists everything that is more expensive is automatically better sounding than cheaper gear.

With this in mind it's a easy conclusion that the A30Pro very obviously has better soundstage and imaging... it is like a night and day difference. My wife could even hear the difference while she was ironing in the other room. My adopted vietnamese kid mentioned that the differences is easy audible. Even my goldfish is more content when the music is playing through the A30Pro instead of the L50. :facepalm::facepalm::facepalm:
 
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Diable

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I know, I am looking for maximum power actually (without going top of the line). I think it is the A30 Pro and D10 from them if I am not mistaken, but their lineup seems to have numbers and letters all over the place at a glance. I am used to GPU numbers (bigger is better or at least newer).
Since you're looking for max power I'd skip all of Topping amps. Their amps power ratings are pulled from the nether or just made up by the marketing department. I'd go with the Magnius since is offers a ton of verified power, top of the line measurements and great sound quality for $200.
 
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