• WANTED: Happy members who like to discuss audio and other topics related to our interest. Desire to learn and share knowledge of science required. There are many reviews of audio hardware and expert members to help answer your questions. Click here to have your audio equipment measured for free!

Topping L50 Review (Headphone Amp)

Audioboxer

Member
Joined
Nov 16, 2022
Messages
40
Likes
12
After a month or so of use still really happy. No plans to change to the E50 at any point either because its MQA which always seems to disable the windows volume control. The D10b is perfect to pair with the L50 if your only need is USB audio from a PC. I know XLR is very popular but more companies shouldn't sleep on TRS, the space you gain is great for desktop use, same great power in a smaller package.

Might be frowned on by some but my AMP is just set on medium gain at 100% volume and I control volume from my keyboard knob. That being said I have read some people say windows digital audio control makes no difference to sound quality and I definitely can't notice anything. Spotify on normal volume level with a -7.5db pre-gain on Sundara's can hit 100% digital volume without discomfort on most songs (it is loud). Other sources like youtube or games can be too loud/uncomfortable at 100% in windows with the AMP volume knob maxed out.

So definitely enough power staying off high gain for Sundara's with a reasonably beefy -db pre-gain. Not sure what exactly Spotify volume normalisation at normal drops song volume db. EQ off at 100% AMP and 100% windows volume blows your eardrums lol, but Sundara's EQ soo well so I guess most people will EQ them at a PC.
 
Last edited:

Jimster480

Major Contributor
Joined
Jan 26, 2018
Messages
2,936
Likes
2,123
Location
Tampa Bay
After a month or so of use still really happy. No plans to change to the E50 at any point either because its MQA which always seems to disable the windows volume control. The D10b is perfect to pair with the L50 if your only need is USB audio from a PC. I know XLR is very popular but more companies shouldn't sleep on TRS, the space you gain is great for desktop use, same great power in a smaller package.

Might be frowned on by some but my AMP is just set on medium gain at 100% volume and I control volume from my keyboard knob. That being said I have read some people say windows digital audio control makes no difference to sound quality and I definitely can't notice anything. Spotify on normal volume level with a -7.5db pre-gain on Sundara's can hit 100% digital volume without discomfort on most songs (it is loud). Other sources like youtube or games can be too loud/uncomfortable at 100% in windows with the AMP volume knob maxed out.

So definitely enough power staying off high gain for Sundara's with a reasonably beefy -db pre-gain. Not sure what exactly Spotify volume normalisation at normal drops song volume db. EQ off at 100% AMP and 100% windows volume blows your eardrums lol, but Sundara's EQ soo well so I guess most people will EQ them at a PC.
Not sure about running your Amp at 100% all the time though; I think that it could allow too much current especially if Windows audio adjusts the volume randomly. Typically I set some volume that is loud but that I can handle with Windows audio at 100% and then I can turn it down from there if I need.
 

Audioboxer

Member
Joined
Nov 16, 2022
Messages
40
Likes
12
Not sure about running your Amp at 100% all the time though; I think that it could allow too much current especially if Windows audio adjusts the volume randomly. Typically I set some volume that is loud but that I can handle with Windows audio at 100% and then I can turn it down from there if I need.

Fair comment, I might reconsider that then. Haven't had any issues or anything, but that doesn't mean I shouldn't listen to feedback!
 

Moto

Active Member
Joined
Jan 19, 2021
Messages
180
Likes
41
I just got an L50 and was testing voltage out levels. On the Balanced input with no load , on the M setting( which is supposed to be 0db) I get -1.5db. Using the SE input I get -.5db. Is anyone else seeing this?
 

dsnyder0cnn

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
Dec 14, 2019
Messages
559
Likes
823
I just got an L50 and was testing voltage out levels. On the Balanced input with no load , on the M setting( which is supposed to be 0db) I get -1.5db. Using the SE input I get -.5db. Is anyone else seeing this?
That seems to be reasonably close to me. Where did you get the impression that the medium gain setting gain should be exactly 0 dB?
 

Moto

Active Member
Joined
Jan 19, 2021
Messages
180
Likes
41
Here at Topping’s site. Chart “What are the Differences”.

When it claims 0db and I get -1.6db actually which is 4.2v in and 3.48 volts out, I consider that significant.
Are other experiencing this?
 
Last edited:

Moto

Active Member
Joined
Jan 19, 2021
Messages
180
Likes
41
I measured the output voltage from the dac and compared it to the output voltage of the l50 when fed by the dac. I did some more reading just now and found the input impedance of the l50 is only 2k. I measured the dac unloaded and that is the problem. The low input impedance coupled with the, I believe 207 ohm balanced output impedance of the dac is causing it.
 
Last edited:

Jimster480

Major Contributor
Joined
Jan 26, 2018
Messages
2,936
Likes
2,123
Location
Tampa Bay
I measured the output voltage from the dac and compared it to the output voltage of the l50 when fed by the dac. I did some more reading just now and found the input impedance of the l50 is only 2k. I measured the dac unloaded and that is the problem. The low input impedance coupled with the, I believe 100 ohm balanced output impedance of the dac is causing it.
2k? That is pretty low for an amp.
 

Moto

Active Member
Joined
Jan 19, 2021
Messages
180
Likes
41
That’s what John Yang says here on ASR.
Oddly though unless my calcs are wrong, the voltage shouldn’t drop from 4.25 to 3.48 solely based on dac output impedance of 207 ohms unless the input impedance of the l50 is more like 1k ohms.
 
Last edited:

JediMa

Active Member
Joined
Jul 14, 2020
Messages
199
Likes
67
Location
Italy
It's a great review, is this a good upgrade for an Atom ?
 

Jimster480

Major Contributor
Joined
Jan 26, 2018
Messages
2,936
Likes
2,123
Location
Tampa Bay
It's a great review, is this a good upgrade for an Atom ?
Depends on what you need. Sonically there wouldn't be a difference unless your headphone doesn't get enough power from the Atom as it is right now.
 

milosz

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Forum Donor
Joined
Mar 27, 2019
Messages
598
Likes
1,673
Location
Chicago
It's a great review, is this a good upgrade for an Atom ?
Atom is a DAC. A very good DAC, very near the top state of the art. So close to the top of the class of DACs that the best-of-the-best DACs are only A LITTLE better- and you would not be able to tell the difference audibly.

So, Atom is a great DAC and a great DAC deserves a great amp. This Topping amp is a GREAT amp- tops in all respects except price! It is very modestly priced, yet it gives REALLY top performance. It will not add or subtract anything from the sound of the Atom DAC, so it would be a great match for the DAC. At a very modest price.
 

Jimster480

Major Contributor
Joined
Jan 26, 2018
Messages
2,936
Likes
2,123
Location
Tampa Bay
Atom is a DAC. A very good DAC, very near the top state of the art. So close to the top of the class of DACs that the best-of-the-best DACs are only A LITTLE better- and you would not be able to tell the difference audibly.

So, Atom is a great DAC and a great DAC deserves a great amp. This Topping amp is a GREAT amp- tops in all respects except price! It is very modestly priced, yet it gives REALLY top performance. It will not add or subtract anything from the sound of the Atom DAC, so it would be a great match for the DAC. At a very modest price.
There is an Atom DAC and an Atom Amp just FYI. You can build an "Atom Stack" with 2 different items.
 

JediMa

Active Member
Joined
Jul 14, 2020
Messages
199
Likes
67
Location
Italy
The difference is in power only. If you need more of it, then yes it’s a good upgrade.
Or if you need the passthrough or TRS/XLR pre.
That's what I look for more power and balanced
 

JediMa

Active Member
Joined
Jul 14, 2020
Messages
199
Likes
67
Location
Italy
Another newbie question, to use the XLR port do I need of a complete new cable for my headphones or is it enough an adapter like this? Example
 

IAtaman

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Mar 29, 2021
Messages
2,461
Likes
4,338
Another newbie question, to use the XLR port do I need of a complete new cable for my headphones or is it enough an adapter like this? Example
:) In how many different ways are do you need to ask the same question before you will be satisfied that it is anwered properly?
 

JediMa

Active Member
Joined
Jul 14, 2020
Messages
199
Likes
67
Location
Italy
:) In how many different ways are do you need to ask the same question before you will be satisfied that it is anwered properly?
I never asked about a sort of dongle adapter, specially about XLR so.. that's why I'm asking
 
Top Bottom