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Topping MX5, A new device?

Smitty2k1

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So for $300 should I do a Topping DX3 Pro+ and Topping PA3, the Topping MX5, or something else?

USB audio from PC and eventually input from a WIIM Mini. Already have Sennheiser HD598se headphone and speakers are TBD. Desktop/nearfield listening.
 

Witterings

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USB audio from PC and eventually input from a WIIM Mini. Already have Sennheiser HD598se headphone and speakers are TBD. Desktop/nearfield listening.

I'm considering the exact same set up (already have the Wiim) .... main reason for considering one is the auto on / off.

I use the PC for playing music on the drive and music videos from youtube but I use Alexa for work alarms and radio / Amazon music and can set the WiiM as the speaker for music.

This set up will create an auto switch from the PC or Alexa so I won't miss important work reminders because the amp's on the wrong input.
 

Sound86

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So for $300 should I do a Topping DX3 Pro+ and Topping PA3, the Topping MX5, or something else?

USB audio from PC and eventually input from a WIIM Mini. Already have Sennheiser HD598se headphone and speakers are TBD. Desktop/nearfield listening.
Topping PA3 was a really bad device sadly.
 

Vik

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See the comment I'm replying to: it's better on paper for headphones.
I guess the confusing part is the confusion that arises from mixing up 'better' and 'better on paper'.
'Better', if it only refers to 'better on paper', has no relevance for me. I was there was an overview that only listed 'better', and ignored everything that only was 'better on paper'! :)
 

murc

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I registered here to report that I received my Topping MX5 just a couple of days ago from a seller on amazon Germany (in the wrong colour - ordered black and received silver) and I too am experiencing the high pitched noise issue. However in my case I have only been using it as a speaker amp and so have the output set to speaker only. The noise is present - on all inputs - while muted and while in the unit is in standby :( but this only occurs if I have the 'auto-on' feature enabled. With that setting at default no noise is audible. One of the reasons I chose this amp was because of its auto-sensing ability on analog inputs so I'm very disappointed.
 

Witterings

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I registered here to report that I received my Topping MX5 just a couple of days ago from a seller on amazon Germany (in the wrong colour - ordered black and received silver) and I too am experiencing the high pitched noise issue. However in my case I have only been using it as a speaker amp and so have the output set to speaker only. The noise is present - on all inputs - while muted and while in the unit is in standby :( but this only occurs if I have the 'auto-on' feature enabled. With that setting at default no noise is audible. One of the reasons I chose this amp was because of its auto-sensing ability on analog inputs so I'm very disappointed.

Really sorry to hear that especially as I was about to order one for the exact same reasons and use as yourself ... the auto on and speakers only. I'm guessing where you say "With that setting at default no noise is audible" the default is for the auto on to be switched off??

Have you tried it with speakers on and headphones on but none plugged in .... just in case?

Post #100 on page 5 mentions there maybe a software update / fix, have you had a look to see if you can find one?
 

murc

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Really sorry to hear that especially as I was about to order one for the exact same reasons and use as yourself ... the auto on and speakers only. I'm guessing where you say "With that setting at default no noise is audible" the default is for the auto on to be switched off??
Yes, the default for the RCA and balanced inputs (which are grouped together under the settings) appears to be for the "auto-on" setting to be disengaged. At least that's how my unit arrived.

I've tried all the output settings - speakers only, headphones only and both together, I've toggled the input gain from high to low, adjusted the input sensitivity, changed the display brightness settings and turned off Bluetooth just in case any were having a bearing. I've even disconnected my input device (analog from pi+dac HAT). The only thing I haven't done is try different speakers or speaker cable but it is wired up correctly and I'd have thought that any issue with the speaker cabling would be noticeable while the unit is powered on and the input device either playing or paused. As it is the only time I hear the high frequency noise is when the amp is in standby or muted and the only thing which eliminated that noise was setting 'auto-on' to off.

For pig-iron I tried turning the volume right down to see if it would affect the audibility of the noise but it didn't, needless to remark. I might be overly sensitive to particular noises - slightly dodgy transformers on Christmas lights drive me bonkers for example! - so this noise may be tolerable for some users. I'd be reasonably ok with it if it was only present while the unit was switched on.

I saw the firmware update posted on March 11th 2022 but it didn't mention anything about noise. I've contacted Topping to see if they have any advice and will post here if I hear anything useful. I'm not very hopeful :|
 

gr-e

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I saw the firmware update posted on March 11th 2022 but it didn't mention anything about noise. I've contacted Topping to see if they have any advice and will post here if I hear anything useful. I'm not very hopeful :|
The noise issue was partially fixed in v1.03, that's why it's not mentioned in v1.04 changelog. It's only audible when using headphone out now, so it shouldn't be a problem for you.
That said, it's weird that you hear noise when in standby, that wasn't the case for me even on the old firmware.
 

murc

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The noise issue was partially fixed in v1.03, that's why it's not mentioned in v1.04 changelog. It's only audible when using headphone out now, so it shouldn't be a problem for you.
That said, it's weird that you hear noise when in standby, that wasn't the case for me even on the old firmware.
Oh interesting! Thanks. I couldn't see any other MX5 firmware updates on the Topping download page. I might flash v1.04 in that case. Does the flash tool (I'm on Mac) display the current firmware? I'm not seeing that anywhere in the device settings.
 

gr-e

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Does the flash tool (I'm on Mac) display the current firmware? I'm not seeing that anywhere in the device settings.
Yes it does (at least on windows).

Btw, if anyone wants to know the hardware version of their unit, you can see it if you look through this hole:

3J0apC4.png


"210926_MX5_V1.6(LYF)" for me.
 

murc

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Yes it does (at least on windows).
Thanks again. Unfortunately the DFU app won't run on my machine (macOS Monterey). I thought it might be a corrupt archive I downloaded but I've re-downloaded it 5 times and no dice. Even tried one from another Topping product line and same issue. I'm seeing some threads about software licensing issues (?). But that could be old news related to a different product. I've no windows machines, Linux only and one Mac. Sigh.
 

murc

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I was able to access a Windows PC and updated my MX5 to firmware version 1.04 (Topping also responded and suggested this.) Unfortunately the problem is still there for me - a high frequency whine from the speakers while the unit is in standby or muted, and analog 'auto-on' is enabled. I have now tried different speaker cable and different speakers with the same results. Interestingly, if I power cycle the MX5 the noise is not present until I turn it on and then put it into standby (or mute it). The problem does not appear to be present on the digital inputs with 'auto-on enabled but I have no wired digital sources to try.
Another thing I noticed is that if I choose a digital input while the unit is on (and analog auto-on is enabled) and then put it into standby, playing my analog source does not cause the unit to switch on to the analog input. I need to manually power it up and change source in that scenario. If put into standby while on the analog source then it will power up on playing the source.
The Bluetooth digital auto-on feature works contrary to my expectations too in that it will automatically power on the unit only when the BT connection is established, and the unit will enter standby a minute or so after the BT connection is closed, but neither event will occur only when an audio signal is detected/undetected on that input.
 

gr-e

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I was able to access a Windows PC and updated my MX5 to firmware version 1.04 (Topping also responded and suggested this.) Unfortunately the problem is still there for me - a high frequency whine from the speakers while the unit is in standby or muted, and analog 'auto-on' is enabled. I have now tried different speaker cable and different speakers with the same results. Interestingly, if I power cycle the MX5 the noise is not present until I turn it on and then put it into standby (or mute it). The problem does not appear to be present on the digital inputs with 'auto-on enabled but I have no wired digital sources to try.
Another thing I noticed is that if I choose a digital input while the unit is on (and analog auto-on is enabled) and then put it into standby, playing my analog source does not cause the unit to switch on to the analog input. I need to manually power it up and change source in that scenario. If put into standby while on the analog source then it will power up on playing the source.
The Bluetooth digital auto-on feature works contrary to my expectations too in that it will automatically power on the unit only when the BT connection is established, and the unit will enter standby a minute or so after the BT connection is closed, but neither event will occur only when an audio signal is detected/undetected on that input.
I forgot that the auto on feature is separate for digital and analog inputs. I enabled it for both and now can hear the noise in standby mode too. Although still no noise when muted.
Firmware 1.03
 

murc

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I forgot that the auto on feature is separate for digital and analog inputs. I enabled it for both and now can hear the noise in standby mode too. Although still no noise when muted.
Firmware 1.03
You're right, no sound while muted. I mustn't have tested that since upgrading the firmware. My bad.
 

BionicJay

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I just received mine day before yesterday and thought I would explain my use case and findings so far. I have a medium living room (15x20ish) I ordered to see if it could drive my towers. I have Klipsch RP-280F (Go ahead and roast me. I love them.) I have a SVS sub I hooked up at speaker level as well. I use a ras pi for my flac files and an auris blume pro when I'm feeling lazy and for audio books/podcasts. I have my TV hooked up via optical. I'm attempting to use it to replace a nova150 because the highs took a nose dive around 12k and just disappeared.

I have had no issues whatsoever with whine, noise or any other issues so far. In fact, it sounds exactly like I always wanted the Peachtree to sound like. Tight bass, clean highs and slightly recessed mids. It gives me the exact sonic signature Klipsch goes for and adds no craziness to fight against in the FR. It drives them with plenty of headroom left. When I tried to go to max volume to see if it would break up, I had to stop at 85 to keep from damaging my hearing. Color me impressed.

I'm definitely keeping it until Topping or SMSL put out a piece that motivates me to donate it to my daughter. JM2C
 

Sound86

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Alright, I pulled the trigger on an MX5 from Amazon. I hope it lives up to expectations and the mentioned problems wont bother me. On paper its quite an amazing unit. Will be paired with SMSL Tabebuia in my RV.
 

dsnyder0cnn

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Alright, I pulled the trigger on an MX5 from Amazon. I hope it lives up to expectations and the mentioned problems wont bother me. On paper its quite an amazing unit. Will be paired with SMSL Tabebuia in my RV.
Please keep us posted. I'm surprised that Amir has not gotten around to measuring this one…or did I miss it somehow…
 

skjalg

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I got mine 2 days ago and I'm very happy with it so far. It does have the high pitch noise when muted, but I won't be using that feature anyway.'

I drive a pair of KEF LS50 Meta with the MX5, for nearfield use at my PC desk via TOSLINK. It is just ever so slightly warm, so cooling doesn't seem to be an issue. The power brick is even cooler. The only feature I noticed that it lacks compared to Topping's standalone DACs, is a filter section option. The MX5 have none, so I guess they use the default filter from their other DACs.
 
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Sound86

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Alright I received mine a few days ago and got a a couple of hours listening in. The sound quality overall is quite satisfactory and the MX5 pairs well with the SMSL Tabebuia. I mostly used Tidal Hifi over Bluetooth for convenience, but also a few hours HDTracks over USB cable with USB Audio Player Pro. Both worked fine, no issues there.
But yeah there is the hissing noise. Its not loud, but it is there. Since I have the unit in my sleeping area, I will probably wait the 30-day return period on amazon before I have a final verdict. Maybe Topping will come up with another patch in the meantime, I would expect it to be a software issue. It happens both in headphone mode and when you have auto-on (units starts upon input recognition).
Also Im rather sad they did not enable LDAC support. So if I dont keep it, I might go for PA3s and DX3Pro+ (which has LDAC, but no balanced out), even though I would prefer an all-in-one solution.
Gee, can a 300$ unit not simply do all you want, no problems? :D
 
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