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Topping PA5 Review (Amplifier)

Rafaille

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Dec 5, 2021
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Although suffering from the cracking/popping issue, mine never gets hot, not even warmish.
I don't think the two phenomena are correlated
 

Billy Budapest

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Whatever it is, it could be a design defect or QC issue. Topping has been good about fixing these types of things in the past. Just be aware they are a small company and there are global supply chain issues, so everything is taking longer.
 

AudioArchitech

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aaarrgghhhh.... it's getting worse. now the static is overpowering the audio. I have no choice but to send it back for warranty asap, this is not useable anymore.
 

777

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A new Topping amplifier.
 

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genfreeciv

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aaarrgghhhh.... it's getting worse. now the static is overpowering the audio. I have no choice but to send it back for warranty asap, this is not useable anymore.
I have had PA5 replaced twice at no charge.
The first time was because there was a 2x difference between the volume via balanced input 2 and the volume via 1. The second time was because I started getting white noise from the L out.
I purchased from SHENZHENAUDIO and both times they promptly replaced them.
The third PA5 (V 1.12?) has been quite good so far.
I have some doubts about the quality control of the PA5s, but SHENZHENAUDIO has been very responsive and helpful.
And if there are no glitches, PA5 is great.
 

AudioArchitech

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I have had PA5 replaced twice at no charge.
The first time was because there was a 2x difference between the volume via balanced input 2 and the volume via 1. The second time was because I started getting white noise from the L out.
I purchased from SHENZHENAUDIO and both times they promptly replaced them.
The third PA5 (V 1.12?) has been quite good so far.
I have some doubts about the quality control of the PA5s, but SHENZHENAUDIO has been very responsive and helpful.
And if there are no glitches, PA5 is great.
Did they cover the all the shipping charges as well?
 

ENG

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I bought a Topping PA5 from Audiophonics recently. It's working like a charm. No pops og it's not getting warm and the sound is clear and strong (subjectively). I have other Topping DACs - and there is no problems at all.
 

dsnyder0cnn

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Dec 14, 2019
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I have had PA5 replaced twice at no charge.
The first time was because there was a 2x difference between the volume via balanced input 2 and the volume via 1. The second time was because I started getting white noise from the L out.
I purchased from SHENZHENAUDIO and both times they promptly replaced them.
The third PA5 (V 1.12?) has been quite good so far.
I have some doubts about the quality control of the PA5s, but SHENZHENAUDIO has been very responsive and helpful.
And if there are no glitches, PA5 is great.
Sorry to hear that you've had trouble. I've not tried input 2. I should check mine out. By "2x difference", would you say about 10 dB? That should be easy for me to hear, but I may measure to be sure.
 

ModDIY

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If we rely on the comments of some who have bought the PA5, the reliability problems make me say that the SINAD is not everything. I prefer to have a worse SINAD but good reliability.
 

dsnyder0cnn

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If we rely on the comments of some who have bought the PA5, the reliability problems make me say that the SINAD is not everything. I prefer to have a worse SINAD but good reliability.
I don't think there's anything wrong with expecting both. Keep in mind that owners with reliability issues are more likely to post about them, so the ratio of negative to positive experiences in this thread is likely higher than what's in the field.

I'm not excusing the issues, but if someone wants a PA5, I would say go for it…just be sure to buy from a retailer with a good support track record.
 

genfreeciv

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Sorry to hear that you've had trouble. I've not tried input 2. I should check mine out. By "2x difference", would you say about 10 dB? That should be easy for me to hear, but I may measure to be sure.
As for the difference in volume, I was able to hear it immediately by ear.
I measured the difference to be about 6 dB across all frequencies.

I have other TOPPING products, such as the E50 and L50, and they have been perfectly fine from the beginning.
In the case of my PA5, I think it was a combination of being a very early lot and bad luck.
TOPPING (SHENZENAUDIO?) claims a 2-year product warranty, and they certainly have taken care of my PA5 problems
The PA5 that I have now is performing great so far without any problems and has made my life somewhat happier.

For those who are wondering whether to purchase a PA5, I would personally highly recommend going for it.
 

DSJR

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Maybe not the place, but bearing in mind the PA5 is seemingly hobbled by use of a single ended non-balanced source. I've spotted one of these from a UK online supplier BK Electronics (which also makes well received inexpensive subs apparently). It uses a two channel European chip amp board I gather which was used in a once popular small active speaker that some liked. The spec is around 40 - 50WPC at 8 ohms and at reasonable distortion. This for £210 or so. No idea otherwise, but an internal picture of an early one I have looks very sensible, well insulated and carefully laid out

 
Last edited:

nagster

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Jan 24, 2021
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How long have you had yours?
I have been using my PA5 since mid-December. I have never heard any noise.
I use it on my desktop for about 1 to 3 hours a day. The top plate of the PA5 in use is slightly warm.
The speaker is 6.5 "woofer two-way 8ohm 86dB/2.83V/m. The distance to the speaker is about 1m. Approximately 85 dBSPL (pk/no-wt) at the ear position.
 

mike70

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May 9, 2021
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If we rely on the comments of some who have bought the PA5, the reliability problems make me say that the SINAD is not everything. I prefer to have a worse SINAD but good reliability.

Many (including me) said that ... a 90 SINAD is more than enough for our recordings/room floor noise/speakers distortion/aging ears/blah blah

A reliable known good class ab project can be indistinguishable in your system ... and i pay double to have peace of mind. The class D is becoming more and more reliable, but i only would buy the last iterations of hypex or purifi.
 

ModDIY

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Many (including me) said that ... a 90 SINAD is more than enough for our recordings/room floor noise/speakers distortion/aging ears/blah blah

A reliable known good class ab project can be indistinguishable in your system ... and i pay double to have peace of mind. The class D is becoming more and more reliable, but i only would buy the last iterations of hypex or purifi.

It's not just hypex and purifi. There is the MA12070 (as in the Topping PA3S, a friend has it), which is excellent.

I have class AB amplifiers and also a double MA12070 from Sabaj, and the sound is excellent.
 
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