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Topping LA90 Review (Integrated Amplifier)

Rate this amplifier:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 27 4.3%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 42 6.7%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 155 24.6%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 405 64.4%

  • Total voters
    629

mike70

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May 9, 2021
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But just buying better speakers that don't need a sub in the first place would probably be a better plan

Once you tried a good sub maybe you change your mind as me ... any bookshelf speaker needs a sub :)
Buy your bookshelf speaker thinking at good high and mid frequencies response, dispersion, etc ... usually the design compromises can't do it all very well. So, let the bass to a sub.


My opinon after years of "urban legends" about subs ... and how i change my mind with real experiences.
 

juliangst

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Dec 11, 2021
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Once you tried a good sub maybe you change your mind as me ... any bookshelf speaker needs a sub :)
Buy your bookshelf speaker thinking at good high and mid frequencies response, dispersion, etc ... usually the design compromises can't do it all very well. So, let the bass to a sub.


My opinon after years of "urban legends" about subs ... and how i change my mind with real experiences.
The problem with my current setup is that I cannot simply use a mini dsp and cross the speakers and sub over.
I would have to go the traditional route and just connect the sub to the pre out or use the high level in.
 

rubley00

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Oct 20, 2019
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Unless his speakers are very insensitive, or he listens at very high volume, it'd be just fine. Floorstanding speakers are usually quite sensitive (>90dB), so at normal listening distance and volume, it will draw less than 5w per channel.

Of course a more powerful amp can drive it louder, but this amp can handle it, in most cases

Sensitivity alone doesn't tell the whole story. From Stereophile (which is admittedly not a great source):


"With the Classé Omicrons or bridged Bel Canto eVo6s, that range was not emphasized though still full enough to be thoroughly engaging and realistic, but was disappointingly lean with the admittedly overmatched 56W of the Linn Chakra C4100 amp."


"I estimated the B&W 802D's voltage sensitivity as 89dB(B)/2.83V/m, within experimental error of the specified 90dB figure and usefully higher than the average of the more than 500 speakers I have measured in the past 16 years. The B&W's impedance plot (fig.1) reveals the speaker to be moderately difficult to drive, with a magnitude that drops to 3 ohms throughout the upper bass and an awkward combination of 4 ohms and –50° electrical phase angle at 60Hz."

You need headroom for bass hits. The LA90 is clearly designed to power bookshelfs with a high pass filter, paired with a subwoofer.
 

mike70

Active Member
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May 9, 2021
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The problem with my current setup is that I cannot simply use a mini dsp and cross the speakers and sub over.
I would have to go the traditional route and just connect the sub to the pre out or use the high level in.

Well, there're two schools with sub integration: high pass filter to mains with low pass to the sub ... or ... use only low pass filter to the sub in the natural frequency where the mains roll out. That's the way i use it, and it works.

Crossovers have their caveats, it is not a clear (or only one) answer to use high and low pass filter.
 

juliangst

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Well, there're two schools with sub integration: high pass filter to mains with low pass to the sub ... or ... use only low pass filter to the sub in the natural frequency where the mains roll out. That's the way i use it, and it works.

Crossovers have their caveats, it is not a clear (or only one) answer to use high and low pass filter.
Thanks for the insight. I would probably use the port plugs for my LS50 and let the sub do all the lower frequencies.
 

mike70

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Thanks for the insight. I would probably use the port plugs for my LS50 and let the sub do all the lower frequencies.

Check it out, there's not an "universal truth" ... i have the R3 in that way, with the port plugs and a svs 3000 micro crossed at 60Hz (remember that the crossover have -3dB at the frequency).
Sounds wonderful.
 

usa_satriani

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Jan 20, 2022
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Location
Aix-en-Provence, France
Hello,

I am looking for an amp to drive my compression drivers in my 3 way active setup for home use...
I guess this one has low floor noise ?
I have lab gruppen ip450, it is an overall great amp, can't complain except for some floor noise.

I don't use any protection, is there some ploc at startup and shutdown?

After several months, has this proved to be reliable?

Regards Greg
 

Sokel

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Sep 8, 2021
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I don't use any protection, is there some ploc at startup and shutdown?

After several months, has this proved to be reliable?

Regards Greg
I wouldn't use it whiteout protection,regardless the amp,even it was years hard proved rock solid.
Peace of mind lowers SINAD by a lot ;).
 

kenshone

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May 15, 2022
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Bass is the most power hungry part of the frequency spectrum. If you're not near field, I could definitely believe the bass will suffer. I use mine with an external sub with an active crossover, and I have no problems at mid field.
 

Jimster480

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Bass is the most power hungry part of the frequency spectrum. If you're not near field, I could definitely believe the bass will suffer. I use mine with an external sub with an active crossover, and I have no problems at mid field.
This is always the case, same thing in the headphone world. If you have a phone powering some planars it may "drive it" but then the bass suffers immensely.
 

CanisDirus

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May 31, 2022
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Power is the most important measurement, and this amp does not have that much power...

Why not get an NC252 based amp for the same price and get much higher power output at equally-transparent SINAD?
Lol...power is NOT the most important variable.
The NC 252 Sinad is 92 compared to this one at 120...not even close.
 

Jimster480

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I doubt anyone can hear the difference between 92dB and 120dB
I beg to differ. The real world performance is often much lower than the measured performance. Especially because even with the 50 millivolt output that Amir has been checking this is not the only output people use and performance can vary based on how much power your headphones need. So if one side is 92 DB unloaded and the other is 120 DB unloaded then I would say that most likely you are able to hear the difference with good quality headphones.
 

CyBorek

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Apr 27, 2021
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Could I drive my Dali Oberon 7s with this AMP? I am not sure if stereo mode would have enough power and with bridge mode 8Ohm is minimum load (Dali Oberon 7s are 6 Ohm). Anyone have the idea if it would work (in stereo or bridged)?
 

edwardgrey

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Jul 14, 2022
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I purchased and have been running 2 x LA90's in Bridged mode for the last few days. They are powering Focal 948's, connected via XLR to Pre90, XLR again to D90SE (5v). Fed music through USB to an Rpi4 running Ropieee XL which is connected via ethernet to the network. (Any advice on running 5v vs 4v XLR with the D90SE?)

No issues so far, crystal clear sound, no audible hiss, very happy with the purchase so far!

I was initially worried as the speakers had a minimum impedance of 2.5ohm (nominal 8ohm), but no issues as of yet and it gets as loud as I need.
 
Last edited:

peng

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I purchased and have been running 2 x LA90's in Bridged mode for the last few days. They are powering Focal 948's, connected via XLR to Pre90, XLR again to D90SE (5v). Fed music through USB to an Rpi4 running Ropieee XL which is connected via ethernet to the network. (Any advice on running 5v vs 4v XLR with the D90SE?)

No issues so far, crystal clear sound, no audible hiss, very happy with the purchase so far!

That's great!

4 v or 5 v doesn't matter, for the LS90s bridged, even 2 v is more than you need for the highest peak in music. Most of the time the Pre90 output would likely be very low depending on the contents, especially if the gain is set to high.

What was the higest volume setting so far? I bet it will be lower than -10, but I am guessing.
 
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