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Topping PA5 II Stereo Amplifier Review

Rate this stereo amplifier:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 14 4.7%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 16 5.4%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 88 29.4%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 181 60.5%

  • Total voters
    299

Roland68

Major Contributor
Joined
Jan 31, 2020
Messages
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1,035
Location
Cologne, Germany
Who issued this certificate Roland68? Can you tell me what country that on the face of this document, certified the product is based on? Do you have a case citation or case that states what you are saying is true that, quote, "This is misleading and forbidden. "Certificate of Compliance" is roughly equivalent to "ISO"."? What is it that you are trying to say here, that using the term "certificate" is misleading? Are you stating that BST is committing fraud by issuing this certificate, because that is a serious allegation? How do you define qualified representative? (Please reference the legal definition of this you are referring to.) If you're making such serious allegations please supply us this information.
I have not made any accusations at all, just quoting current CE regulations.

Please just look at the EU regulations for this, or at a simplified summary.
The fact is, there is only one "CE declaration of conformity".
Excerpt from the official regulations: "There is no body that may or can issue a CE mark. The legislators expressly state that the CE mark is the responsibility of the manufacturer or his authorized representative (must be based in the EU) Alternatively, the importer into the EU or the distributor is responsible for everything."
This is exactly why there can be no certificate at all, least of all from an external body.

And just as an example, it has been expressly forbidden by the courts to use the term CE-approved for a device or for advertising! In the event of an infringement, the penalty is € 250,000.
Here is an excerpt from the testimony of the court:
Therefore a "CE-approved" is not permitted
@amirm
The following is the original summary of the verdict.
The central statements of the court correspond to the legal opinions already expressed in similar cases. These are summarized as follows:
The CE mark is not a test mark in the true sense. The CE mark is merely a manufacturer's declaration. The manufacturer thus shows that he assumes responsibility for the conformity of his product with all European standard requirements for safety and health protection that apply to the product.
The affixing of the CE marking is legally obligatory. The presence of the CE mark is therefore not misleading, not even under the aspect of "advertising with a matter of course".
However, any other advertising statement beyond the affixing of the CE mark is not permitted. Because this can deceive the consumer by suggesting that the CE mark is a special quality feature.
This deception of consumers occurs in particular because the CE mark in particular is largely unknown to the general public and can therefore easily be misunderstood as an actual seal of quality.
Conclusion: The CE mark is not a test seal and not a test certificate. Therefore, it must not be used in any way that could create such an impression on the consumer. Because the CE marking is not intended to serve commercial interests and to promote the sale of a product.

@jdjung
Addendum: Please apply the conclusion of the court judgment to the BST certificate, what will be the result?
Incidentally, the verdict is final and only confirms what has been in the CE regulations of the EU for years. It contains no innovations.
 
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Roland68

Major Contributor
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Location
Cologne, Germany
Roland68, I'm also curious looking at your past posts that you seem to have some experience in the field of engineering and manufacturing. Some of the comment's seem negative to Topping, yet you stated you purchased over 10 Topping products. Why did you purchase over 10 Topping products for?
I'm definitely a big fan of topping and the topping products.
They brought their own innovations to their products very early on and thus pushed both the ASR leaderboard and their competitors forward. And you've shot across the bows of the long-established hi-fi manufacturers in their slumber, and not just once.
I also often see technical solutions or real further developments in your devices for the first time.

But, and this is clearly a character weakness of mine, it hurts my soul how absolutely stupid Topping deals with problems and with their customers and thus keeps their own great potential so small.
Instead of dealing with problems in an open, honest and solution-oriented manner and using exactly these problems to increase and consolidate your value and acceptance in the market, you do the opposite and take the absolutely worst and stupidest way.
With the correct handling of the problem with the PA5, you would not only have achieved incredible customer loyalty and acceptance, not to mention being considered an absolutely reliable manufacturer, the sales figures for the current PA5 II / Plus would also be x times higher. Even a possible problem would not matter with trust because it is not a problem.

Personally, I also find the approach to the introduction of the new PA5 II / Plus very modest.
Two designations for the same device with no changes?
In Germany at Amazon, the PA5 II costs €249 and the PA5 II Plus €329. topping? Hello? € 80 surcharge for approx. 30 watts?
I really don't have the words for this. We're only talking about a surcharge for 0.8 Ah power, not about a whole power supply.

I believe that an approach to marketing only one PA5 II with 3 configurations would have been much better.
- PA5 II for € 249,- without power supply, only with the plug for that (DIY market)
- PA5 II for € 289,- with small power supply
- PA5 II for € 329,- with large power supply
I think that Topping extremely underestimates the disregard of the DIY market.
1. Many DIYers already buy topping products because of the prices.
2. The high-quality TPA325x DIY products cost without connections, without volume control and without housing as a finished circuit board between approx. € 130 and over € 300, topping is absolutely competitive.
3. The sales figures for the AIYIMA A07 and the Fosi V3 without power supplies are very high.
4. Topping also absolutely underestimates the original drive in the hobby HiFi. Wiring a power supply yourself, or ordering a power supply separately, means adding something of your own to the product. That fills the owner with pride, is priceless and cannot be bought with money. It's the same as with cable, OPAmp rolling, etc, only more honest.
 
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Klirren

Member
Joined
Sep 7, 2021
Messages
10
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5
Location
Rhineland, Germany
XLR seems not connected, right?
 

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Roland68

Major Contributor
Joined
Jan 31, 2020
Messages
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1,035
Location
Cologne, Germany
I do not need XLR. I am just wondering about the two black wholes.
Plug in the TRS/jack plug and it explains itself.
These long plugs have to go somewhere... ;o)
Übrigens, hallo Nachbar
 

Roland68

Major Contributor
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1,035
Location
Cologne, Germany
Hier sind so einige Nachbarn unterwegs. ;)

I hope the CE-related discussion ends with your posts. I hope the discussion drifts back to the device.
Hi, nice to see someone from Cologne here.

For me, this was not a discussion, just a clarification of facts, and for me absolutely unemotional.
I just don't believe in spreading absolutely wrong information, especially in this forum that shouldn't happen.
But the most important thing is that the CE mark does not and cannot say anything about the quality of a device.

I didn't just get the PA5 II for fun, but because I know it's a really good device.
First, good quality components.
Secondly, they have reduced the number of components to the absolutely necessary minimum. I am not a friend of component graves.
Third plus point, an external power supply.
Fourth, a very thoughtful layout, especially in the small area.
Fifth, a very well-functioning thermal design with a very stable operating temperature.
Sixth, readings that are in a much higher price range.
 

antcollinet

Master Contributor
Joined
Sep 4, 2021
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7,213
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11,960
Location
UK/Cheshire
But the most important thing is that the CE mark does not and cannot say anything about the quality of a device.
Surely a correctly done declaration should at least (for this class of device) demonstrate tests (and/or inspections) have been done to show compliance with the low voltage and EMC directives.

IE that it is electrically safe, is environmentally protected to the appropriate level, that it is not susceptible to electro magnetic interference, and that it does not emit excessive EMI.

For me, those are aspects of a products quality.
 

alexk8y

Member
Joined
Aug 15, 2023
Messages
7
Likes
4
Another pa5 ii is on the way to Cologne :)
After an internal debate of simplifying things with an all-in-one mx3s I decided to upgrade from e30/a07 to e50/pa5 ii to drive my Dali Opticon 1 mkII on the desktop.
 

jdjung

Active Member
Joined
Apr 28, 2023
Messages
131
Likes
68
And you've shot across the bows of the long-established hi-fi manufacturers in their slumber, and not just once.
I also often see technical solutions or real further developments in your devices for the first

Instead of dealing with problems in an open, honest and solution-oriented manner and using exactly these problems to increase and consolidate your value and acceptance in the market, you do the opposite and take the absolutely worst and stupidest way.
With the correct handling of the problem with the PA5, you would not only have achieved incredible customer loyalty and acceptance, not to mention being considered an absolutely reliable manufacturer, the sales figures for the current PA5 II / Plus would also be x times higher. Even a possible problem would not matter with trust because it is not a problem.
Why do you state you're and your in your response to me? I'm not Topping or associated with Topping in anyway except as purchasing my first Topping product last week. I have no association with any audio manufacturer, except as as someone who likes audio gear and electronics.

If you read my posts I made some negative comments and posted some unflattering photos of the PA5 II along with some positive comments. I also don't jump to conclusions that the vents are not "good enough" as some members here seem to imply. There are many applications of incredibly high voltage products (which the PA50 II is in my opinion not) and equipment that have no vents (venting sometimes being impossible in some equipment) that run as designed, safe and have a high longevity of life.
 

bboris77

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 23, 2018
Messages
437
Likes
925
The good news is that there have been no further reports of failures as this new revision is slowly making its way to people’s homes. Perhaps that one failure was just an outlier and the underlying issue that plagued the V1 had been resolved.

I sincerely hope so, because competition between different companies is always good for consumers. I have always been a huge proponent of value-based products like this one rather than products that appeal to the luxury market.
 

jdjung

Active Member
Joined
Apr 28, 2023
Messages
131
Likes
68
I have not made any accusations at all, just quoting current CE regulations.

Please just look at the EU regulations for this, or at a simplified summary.
The fact is, there is only one "CE declaration of conformity".
Excerpt from the official regulations: "There is no body that may or can issue a CE mark. The legislators expressly state that the CE mark is the responsibility of the manufacturer or his authorized representative (must be based in the EU) Alternatively, the importer into the EU or the distributor is responsible for everything."
This is exactly why there can be no certificate at all, least of all from an external body.

And just as an example, it has been expressly forbidden by the courts to use the term CE-approved for a device or for advertising! In the event of an infringement, the penalty is € 250,000.
Here is an excerpt from the testimony of the court:
Therefore a "CE-approved" is not permitted
@amirm
The following is the original summary of the verdict.
The central statements of the court correspond to the legal opinions already expressed in similar cases. These are summarized as follows:
The CE mark is not a test mark in the true sense. The CE mark is merely a manufacturer's declaration. The manufacturer thus shows that he assumes responsibility for the conformity of his product with all European standard requirements for safety and health protection that apply to the product.
The affixing of the CE marking is legally obligatory. The presence of the CE mark is therefore not misleading, not even under the aspect of "advertising with a matter of course".
However, any other advertising statement beyond the affixing of the CE mark is not permitted. Because this can deceive the consumer by suggesting that the CE mark is a special quality feature.
This deception of consumers occurs in particular because the CE mark in particular is largely unknown to the general public and can therefore easily be misunderstood as an actual seal of quality.
Conclusion: The CE mark is not a test seal and not a test certificate. Therefore, it must not be used in any way that could create such an impression on the consumer. Because the CE marking is not intended to serve commercial interests and to promote the sale of a product.

@jdjung
Addendum: Please apply the conclusion of the court judgment to the BST certificate, what will be the result?
Incidentally, the verdict is final and only confirms what has been in the CE regulations of the EU for years. It contains no innovations.
Topping hasn't advertised in this way that I've seen. Topping has simply used the CE logo which is mandatory. What is your point here? If you have "beef" with someone it might be with BST. But then again, BST can post this anywhere they want since it's not advertising for BST. This only applies if TOPPING controls and puts into place advertising their products in the way you describe. Topping has no control over what other people say about their products being CE certified or not and thus would not be liable. I'm so confused why this is even being brought up by you, unless your trying to say all CE marks mean nothing. If that's the case you're then conflating and implying that simply because a legal statue says that you can't use a required certification by a governmental agency as a way to advertise a product is equivalent to that certification being meaningless, is nonsensical. There could be a underlying policy rationale for this such as to make sure consumer don't rely on a required governmental marking for safety, since consumers may take such marking as a guarantee approved by the government and thus have a way to hold the government liable. In other words, if a product malfunctions and injuries someone and that person states based on advertising they believed the product was safe due to what they perceived was a governments stamp of approval, and they find the government certification process was flawed, well they could have a claim against the government based on if that country allows such lawsuits against it. However a government doesn't want unsafe products to be sold in their country so they have to have some regulation that means it has to be tested by declaration. So what do they do? Exactly what you describe, distancing the safety requirements but making sure it's not tied to the government by making sure they don't advertise in anyway that the CE marker is a guarantee.

(Addendum) Sorry got a phone call in the middle of writing this. Additionally, the CE marking in essence being a declaration from Topping makes it impossible for Topping to state they don't or didn't know they had to meet these specific requirements which could then be used to hold them liable if that requirement is not met. This is very powerful legally as it will hold Topping liable and with knowledge of violation of a requirment they state they met, opening a claim for punitive damages since malice can be shown. In the U.S. such a claim unlocks the limit of damages from purely economic to punitive which could become millions if not billions depending on the size of the company. The risk for such a company in that regard would be catastrophic. Since a company would then hold the company certifying the claim for making the mistake and if that certifying company is found to act maliciously, the certifying company will be exposed to punitive damages as well. This declaration legally is very meaningful. In other words it would be foolish too put a fake CE marking and it would be equally foolish for the certifying company to do a bad job in certifying the product.
 
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viperxp

Member
Joined
Jun 14, 2021
Messages
12
Likes
11
Got my PA05 II Plus today. Reporting initial impressions:

1. The external power adapter is lighter then I thought, arrived with some scratches on it's label for some reason.
2. The connector between the power supply and the main unit reminded be of my army service, I don't recall using a screwing in power connector in civil life.
3. The amplifier is replacing 90's mini system I've been using ( Sony MHC-GR7 rated at 70W x 2 @ 6 Ohm) connected to Klipsch R-40M speakers. Initially I connected one channel to the old amplifier, and one to the new one. On a low volume I could not easily distinguish a difference, but as I raised the volume the difference in distortion became very obvious. Topping control of the low and mid frequencies is much better.
4. The temperature of the unit does not differ much from L30 II and E30 II, it is lightly warm.
5. Less related to the amplifier, but still an observation. I have Audio pro A48 in my living room (2 x 130 W + 2 x 30 W) floor standing active speakers, that I am not sure that I like the sound of them. Tried the Klipsch R-40M + Topping pair - the bass and sound pressure difference is massive, in favor of the Audio pro.
6. Listened to PA05 for some time now. The sound feels "crisper", more lifelike and 3D.

If there are more questions or you'd like me to test/check something - I will be happy to assist.
 

viperxp

Member
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Jun 14, 2021
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What is surprising is people regularly getting surprised that larger speakers/drivers sound larger..
I wanted to be surprised, but wasn't. I guess that for that punchy crisp Klipsch sound in living room I will have to get much bigger speakers.
As for PA5 - for now - completely happy with the purchase.
 

totti1965

Active Member
Joined
Apr 7, 2023
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Location
Bonn / Germany
Do you have data for the failure rate for the NAD D 3020 (v2)?
Ha ha ha - got mine NAD 302 (not the digital one) in 1995 used. Switched it on - and never switched it off (perhaps it is silly - but less Stress for the Capacitors to run with the same temperature for 28 years).
No problems so far..... Was also much to lazy to switch it off because the TV Set is hanging on the NAD 302 (Living room).
But I am a modern person, ha ha ha :). So I puchased a Fosi V3 just for listening music on passive Speakers (Bedroom - Replacement for the Sonos Play one) and I am hoping it
won´t fail for the next 28 years........ When the NAD is 56 years online then..... :)
Cross your fingers for me folks!
 

daniboun

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France (Lyon)
If you are fed up with the reliability of Topping, take a look here, an alternative to the RA3 / PA5 / PA5 II, the measurements are available here:

 
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