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Topping MX5, A new device?

bengarton

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Hi all. First post.

I received mine from Amazon 24 hours ago. So far I am very impressed. I am not an audiophile, just a guy who has been seriously listening to music for over 40 years on all sorts of devices.

First time I have had a desktop amp that does well on *both* headphones and speakers. For the last 3 years I have been using a SMSL AD18 - which the MX5 has just replaced. I was never impressed with the USB DAC on the AD18... It did a fine job of amplifying analogue signals but I found it quite poor when decoding audio from USB at any resolution. The real killer was I had begun experiencing loud random white noise episodes at 96Khz. I thought this may be an issue with my new laptop and/or Windows 11 but apparently it is known thing with the AD18 on prior versions of Windows too. Guess I had not used the USB interface at high resolution much.

But back to the MX5, needless to say no white noise at hires bit rates. Right now I am listening to Amazon HD Music on Audio Technica AD700 open backs and everything sounds as it should for the first time in years. No EQ needed. No additional bass, its all there. No high frequency noise either. Not that I can hear anyway.

For desktop speakers, I have some very old Krix Brix (yes the originals from the 1990s) and this little box powers them in a a way I have never heard. My ears are only a metre away but at 70/100 (high gain) the bass is rich, the mids all there and the high end (well my 54 year old high end anyway) seems good to me. And these are really small, old speakers.

Remote works as expected. USB config is automatic on Windows 11, no drivers needed. I have mine configured for default at 192/24 but of course it goes way higher. Tidal adjusts the bit rate post MQA unfold as needed, Amazon music HD does not - but at least its lossless FLAC. Display shows briefly when the bit rate changes - nice touch. I have used a Chromecast Audio for testing the optical and it works as expected at 44.1 kHz. I got bluetooth working at 48KHz from my phone after a few tries. I have not tried the coax or balanced inputs. Its cool having treble and bass controls and 2 configs to save to. Its also cool the device can service headphones or speakers or both (and remembers the settings for both). Display is big and bright.

The only problem I have noticed is that the amp gives out *lots* of RFI over the speaker cables whenever they are in use. No problem when in headphone only mode. Surprisingly the big power supply seems OK. I am a ham radio operator and I could see so much RFI on 40m and 20m that I could actually hear the song being played in AM mode. Some hefty torriods on both speaker cables fixed that mostly. The carrier is still there but the modulation is all but gone so if I want serious DX I need the turn the amp off - or get more torroids.

Desktop audio nirvana? Maybe, just maybe... but nirvana does not come cheap in Australia at AU$469 delivered from Amazon. My son was happy to walk away with the hand me down AD18. It will find a good home with his TV.

Cheers
 

dsnyder0cnn

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Gee, can a 300$ unit not simply do all you want, no problems? :D
Let us know how the PA3s + DX3 Pro+ works out for you. I can tell you that the PA5 is dead silent, so that's an option too, although the cosmetic match will not be as nice.

I was considering that stack for my desktop system, but since I don't use Bluetooth, I decided to swing for the fences and go with E50 + L50 + PA5 instead. My only disappointment so far is that, unlike the DX3 Pro+, the E50 does not "remember" separate volume settings for each output.
 

Sound86

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Let us know how the PA3s + DX3 Pro+ works out for you. I can tell you that the PA5 is dead silent, so that's an option too, although the cosmetic match will not be as nice.

I was considering that stack for my desktop system, but since I don't use Bluetooth, I decided to swing for the fences and go with E50 + L50 + PA5 instead. My only disappointment so far is that, unlike the DX3 Pro+, the E50 does not "remember" separate volume settings for each output.
Yeah the PA5 seems a no-brainer with the outstanding test results here at ASR, but its more expansive than the MX5 (with DAC and headphone amp included). I might consider the PA5 for the main system though in the future.
PA3s and DX3Pro+ could be an alternative, because its almost the same price...
Dunno... I might also keep the MX5, if the shortfalls dont annoy me too much :D
 

tvih

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How had I missed this previously?! I must've seen the MX5 when I was browsing Topping in the website where I noticed and subsequently ordered the DX3 Pro+, but must've mentally conflated the MX5 with MX3 and thus dismissed it (thanks to Amir's review) without checking :facepalm: The MX5 would've made for a more complete replacement of my ol' TP30, instead of possibly getting a PA3s later to stack with the DX3P+. The MX5 would also have one less power brick to worry about while also being 50€ cheaper - and "within spec" I reckon I certainly wouldn't hear any difference at all. The only "real" benefit for the two-stack would be LDAC future-proofing in case I ever ended up needing that. Well, assuming more detailed testing didn't dig up something nasty about the MX5, anyway.

But speaking of nasty, admittedly the hissing/noise problems at least some seem to be still having aren't entirely reassuring. It would be a no-go if such a thing was present. Regardless, this does put a slight damper on the DX3P+ - I haven't even received it yet with the delivery chain being slowpokes, with which the easter weekend isn't helping either since parcels don't move for four days. Sigh, shouldn't have wandered back to the forums - at least some level of ignorance is bliss! :p
 

dsnyder0cnn

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How had I missed this previously?! I must've seen the MX5 when I was browsing Topping in the website where I noticed and subsequently ordered the DX3 Pro+, but must've mentally conflated the MX5 with MX3 and thus dismissed it (thanks to Amir's review) without checking :facepalm: The MX5 would've made for a more complete replacement of my ol' TP30, instead of possibly getting a PA3s later to stack with the DX3P+. The MX5 would also have one less power brick to worry about while also being 50€ cheaper - and "within spec" I reckon I certainly wouldn't hear any difference at all. The only "real" benefit for the two-stack would be LDAC future-proofing in case I ever ended up needing that. Well, assuming more detailed testing didn't dig up something nasty about the MX5, anyway.

But speaking of nasty, admittedly the hissing/noise problems at least some seem to be still having aren't entirely reassuring. It would be a no-go if such a thing was present. Regardless, this does put a slight damper on the DX3P+ - I haven't even received it yet with the delivery chain being slowpokes, with which the easter weekend isn't helping either since parcels don't move for four days. Sigh, shouldn't have wandered back to the forums - at least some level of ignorance is bliss! :p
I think you'll really enjoy the DX3 Pro+. It took a long time for mine to arrive too, but it was worth the wait.
 

tvih

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I think you'll really enjoy the DX3 Pro+. It took a long time for mine to arrive too, but it was worth the wait.
I'm sure I will. I could return it of course at my expense to swap it, but with the MX5 having question marks I guess it's better to go with the more proven one. Could've put the speaker amplification to use, but I suppose I'll just add the PA3s later if it comes to that. I will say though that the MX5 has a very nice look to it. Not that DX3P+/PA3s look bad by any means, mind.

I guess I'm mostly just annoyed that this is just the most recent link in an eternal chain of the same pattern. Research for forever (with headphone amps it's been sporadically for a some years now at least), finally pull the trigger, then right away notice something you missed before. Haha.
 

justilew

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Thought I would chime in. I bought mine on Amazon and I immediately noticed the whining others were experiencing. After updating the firmware to v1.04 things improved. Unfortunately just today there is heavy static coming from the left channel whenever the device is powered on. Thankfully still in the return window. I bought this as an all in one solution but I suppose I will have to try a Topping stack now ‍♂️
 

Murkas

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After returning the MX5 because of the noise issues, I am still looking for an alternative. Is DX3 pro+ & PA3s a good alternative?
What have you guys that returned it been buying instead?
 

dsnyder0cnn

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Is DX3 pro+ & PA3s a good alternative?
I have the DX3 Pro+ and love it. I considered adding the PA3s to drive passive speakers at my desk, but the stellar objective performance of the PA5 was just too appealing, so I went with it instead. It would be more convenient if the PA5 had RCA inputs (like the PA3s), but RCA to TS adapters are inexpensive seem to work.
 

gr-e

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Some pics of my mx5's insides:

1.jpg


A closer look:
2.jpg 3.jpg 4.jpg 5.jpg 6.jpg 7.jpg

There's a decenly sized heatsink and a thick backplate for the power amplifier, both using thermal compound:
8.jpg 9.jpg 10.jpg

Too bad the heatsink doesn't even touch the IC :facepalm:
11.jpg
 

myoho81

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I sent my MX5 back due to the annoying noise already mentioned... Cambridge CXA61 is on the road :)
 

justilew

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After returning the MX5 because of the noise issues, I am still looking for an alternative. Is DX3 pro+ & PA3s a good alternative?
What have you guys that returned it been buying instead?
I used mine to power some speakers I already had as computer speakers. I ended up going with the Vanatoo Transparent Zero and couldn't be happier, cleaned up a mess of wiring too. Just need to find a use for those speakers now
 

NewbieAudiophileExpert

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Considering that there has not been an 'offical ASR review' of this product and it's May 2022, would it be safe to assume that the company doesn't want there to be one?
 

clearnfc

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I have an MX-5 in the garage.

Haha!! Good one!! For a moment i was also thinking about the mazda mx5 when i saw the thread. I was thinking huh?? New mx5?? You sure? Then i was also wondering why is the new mx5 called topping??
 

Ykar

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Quick question on the MX5 auto on feature. When that feature is on for digital inputs, does it automatically switch to the appropriate digital source (USB, Optical, Coax) it detected incoming audio from ?
Lets say MX5 was last used on USB input before entering standby, then signal is provided on optical input, I understand MX5 will turn on automatically but will it switch to optical or do you have to switch source manually from last used (USB) to the one currently providing signal (Optical) ?
Thanks
 

murc

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Quick question on the MX5 auto on feature. When that feature is on for digital inputs, does it automatically switch to the appropriate digital source (USB, Optical, Coax) it detected incoming audio from ?
Lets say MX5 was last used on USB input before entering standby, then signal is provided on optical input, I understand MX5 will turn on automatically but will it switch to optical or do you have to switch source manually from last used (USB) to the one currently providing signal (Optical) ?
Thanks
It will switch to the source it detects signal so if I turn it off on an analog input or BT and power on my computer (which is connected via USB) it will switch to USB input. Likewise if I connect a BT device. I may have interpreted the feature description incorrectly but it doesn't detect audio as such, just connectivity or power events. If I turn on my computer the MX5 powers up on the USB input as expected but if I turn the amp off and later start playing some music on the computer, the amp won't turn back on. Similarly with BT. These are the only two digital inputs I currently use.
 

Skippy2000

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Quick question - I've been considering either the Topping ex5 or mx5, and have narrowed it down for a few reasons:

1. The ex5 has RCA outputs (benefit for myself) and slightly better specs on paper (kHz, DSD, THD etc.)
2. The mx5 is slightly newer, looks more attractive, has more features like memory and treble/bass adjustment, but doesn't have the right speaker outputs that I need

At the moment, I'm trying to determine whether the speaker outputs at the rear of the mx5 are able to be converted to a single female 3.5mm which I can plug a number of devices that I own into. Is this possible? or am I better off getting the ex5 and using the native RCA outputs.

(for reference, both combos are in stock and the same price where I'm located)
 

tvih

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The EX5 is normally higher price than the MX5. If you can have them at the same price, the EX5 would probably be the safer bet due to the noise issues and such many are having with the MX5. Otherwise sound quality should be great with both. The limited kind of tone controls stereo amps have never appealed to me, but that's of course subjective.

However I'm a bit confused when you're talking about the speaker outputs. What exactly are you trying to connect to? If it's active speakers or other amplifiers, then the EX5 would make more sense, since it has the pre-amp RCA output (although EX5 doesn't have RCA source inputs like the MX5 has, if that's a consideration). In the past I've used normal speaker terminals such as what the MX5 has to pass a line-level signal to a subwoofer via an adapter, but that was when I had normal speakers cables connected at the same time. I don't think it'd work on its own without an actual speaker load, but I could be wrong. In any case simultaneous connection with passive speakers doesn't sound like what you're trying to achieve.

Though if you're not planning on using the device to power speakers directly, why a device with the speaker amp section?
 

Skippy2000

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The EX5 is normally higher price than the MX5. If you can have them at the same price, the EX5 would probably be the safer bet due to the noise issues and such many are having with the MX5. Otherwise sound quality should be great with both. The limited kind of tone controls stereo amps have never appealed to me, but that's of course subjective.

However I'm a bit confused when you're talking about the speaker outputs. What exactly are you trying to connect to? If it's active speakers or other amplifiers, then the EX5 would make more sense, since it has the pre-amp RCA output (although EX5 doesn't have RCA source inputs like the MX5 has, if that's a consideration). In the past I've used normal speaker terminals such as what the MX5 has to pass a line-level signal to a subwoofer via an adapter, but that was when I had normal speakers cables connected at the same time. I don't think it'd work on its own without an actual speaker load, but I could be wrong. In any case simultaneous connection with passive speakers doesn't sound like what you're trying to achieve.

Though if you're not planning on using the device to power speakers directly, why a device with the speaker amp section?
Okay, interesting. I see what you mean around the speaker output section and hadn't researched far enough into it. The ex5 seems like a more sensible decision to make.

One further question - how would the ex5 compare to say the E30/L30? Obviously the x5 has a number of extra features such as bluetooth, balanced input and outputs, digital volume etc., however I'm more asking around DAC and amplification quality. Would this seem like a step up from those two devices?

Appreciate the input :D
 

tvih

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Someone correct me if I'm wrong but I think the general consensus here at ASR would be that in terms of DAC & amp quality the differences shouldn't really be audible since both measure with noise, distortion etc. in the inaudible to human ear range. So going for the more suitable feature set would seem to make sense.

I do wonder why on earth they went with XLR as the headphone connector on the EX5. Kinda like the 3.5mm on my DX3 Pro+. Would've thought that 6.3mm would be the safest bet for a quality headphone amp, but I guess I could be wrong on that too.
 
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