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Topping PA7 Plus Amplifier Review

Rate this stereo amplifier:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 14 4.1%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 35 10.3%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 140 41.2%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 151 44.4%

  • Total voters
    340

ampguy

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The Schiit SYS is a passive RCA switcher. I wouldn't need it in the system anymore since the PA7 has the ability to switch between RCA and XLR.
I see, I guess I meant why change DACs, but possibly you want the Trigger functionality for 1 button power on. What phono preamp do you use? My phono preamps all have grounding plugs on them so I don't need to go to amp or preamp for a ground.
 

TurtlePaul

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May 19, 2020
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I'd like to get a PA7, or PA7 Plus, but the measurements and marketing are confusing to me. I get that the new chipset doesn't quite meet the old PA5 measurements, although both have more power, and design should fix reliability, but why give power #'s at 10% THD? And why is the PA7 a better value than the Plus? I just can't imagine anyone who could hear the difference between a PA7 or PA7 Plus? Am I missing something here?
The literature gives the power at 10% and 1% THD. It looks like the point off the PA7 Plus is that the power supply has a higher hard clipping point even though the architecture of the underlying chip seems to have distortion rise as it reaches these levels. I would expect the Plus has high voltages on the power supply rails and high power supply capacitance to achieve this.
 

ampguy

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The literature gives the power at 10% and 1% THD. It looks like the point off the PA7 Plus is that the power supply has a higher hard clipping point even though the architecture of the underlying chip seems to have distortion rise as it reaches these levels. I would expect the Plus has high voltages on the power supply rails and high power supply capacitance to achieve this.

The slope and THD peak just over 6K for both doesn't bother me, though it is interesting, and I see the ~10W increase of the Plus, it's just I'm stuck with options paralysis at which one to purchase as both have enough power for what I need, but if I'm missing anything that might be audible on the Plus, I'd certainly consider it. (attachment is from Apos website)
 

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Namesbuck

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Mar 8, 2021
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I see, I guess I meant why change DACs, but possibly you want the Trigger functionality for 1 button power on. What phono preamp do you use? My phono preamps all have grounding plugs on them so I don't need to go to amp or preamp for a ground.
Trigger support is a nice feature. Also topping E30 does not support XLR output. DACs have been solved for a while now but the Topping stack form factor combined with a desire to switch to XLR are two primary drivers for upgrading the DAC when moving to PA7.

I use a Schiit mani 2 phono pre. My fluance turntable recommends grounding to the phono pre and then continuing to the power amp. Noise seemed reduced when I tried it. I don't expect the PA7 to fix vinyl distortion issues but can't hurt right.
 

ampguy

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Trigger support is a nice feature. Also topping E30 does not support XLR output. DACs have been solved for a while now but the Topping stack form factor combined with a desire to switch to XLR are two primary drivers for upgrading the DAC when moving to PA7.

I use a Schiit mani 2 phono pre. My fluance turntable recommends grounding to the phono pre and then continuing to the power amp. Noise seemed reduced when I tried it. I don't expect the PA7 to fix vinyl distortion issues but can't hurt right.
I have a Mani, and a Parks puffin, both are dead silent when cart is grounded to the phono pres. deck is marantz tt15s2 w clearaudio wood mm cart.
 

Namesbuck

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I have a Mani, and a Parks puffin, both are dead silent when cart is grounded to the phono pres. deck is marantz tt15s2 w clearaudio wood mm cart.
Good to know. Mani2 has a bunch of gain setting options. I might try reducing gain at the mani and see how it does with PA7 when it arrives. It's not a problem really when playing music but a far cry from "dead silent".

My quick and dirty distortion test for phonos is to stick my ear up to the speaker before the music starts.
 

restorer-john

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So it simply fails as a “preamp” introduced in 2023. Maybe in 1985 it would’ve been awesome…

In 1985 it would have been laughed out of the room as a 'preamp' or an 'integrated' amp.
 

theREALdotnet

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Namesbuck

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Happy to report that after a week of use I am enjoying the PA7 and E70 combo. My only nitpick would have been a scratchy pot on the PA7 but that seems to have mostly resolved itself with use. Turntable/phono noise has been greatly reduced and digital inputs including a wiim, RPI4, and cd player are all playing nice and sound good. I noticed a little bass impact reduction but nothing that can't be fixed by turning up the sub volume (high level connection).
20230519_231026.jpg
 

Le-Duk

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Apr 20, 2023
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Happy to report that after a week of use I am enjoying the PA7 and E70 combo. My only nitpick would have been a scratchy pot on the PA7 but that seems to have mostly resolved itself with use. Turntable/phono noise has been greatly reduced and digital inputs including a wiim, RPI4, and cd player are all playing nice and sound good. I noticed a little bass impact reduction but nothing that can't be fixed by turning up the sub volume (high level connection). View attachment 287598
How are you with PA7 heating with this use?
My PA5 needed a radiator and cooler (now it's barely warm, but it used to be very hot).

P.S. The vinyl player, in my opinion, on the same shelf with acoustics is subject to vibrations.
 
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Namesbuck

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How are you with PA7 heating with this use?
My PA5 needed a radiator and cooler (now it's barely warm, but it used to be very hot).

P.S. The vinyl player, in my opinion, on the same shelf with acoustics is subject to vibrations.
PA7 does get a little warm but nothing notable. I built the wooden shelf in the photo to keep the two toppings from sitting directly on each other just in case. Also helps to keep the E70 on top for the remote to be useable. I think the issue with PA5 was a mistake that topping took the time to understand and not repeat here.

Re: the record player proximity, I knew I would get that response when I posted the pic. Ample sorbathane and the Ikea cutting board seem to be working out fine to reduce/eliminate the issue.
 

Rottmannash

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Happy to report that after a week of use I am enjoying the PA7 and E70 combo. My only nitpick would have been a scratchy pot on the PA7 but that seems to have mostly resolved itself with use. Turntable/phono noise has been greatly reduced and digital inputs including a wiim, RPI4, and cd player are all playing nice and sound good. I noticed a little bass impact reduction but nothing that can't be fixed by turning up the sub volume (high level connection). View attachment 287598
How could a brand new amp have a scratchy pot??
 

Toku

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Apr 4, 2018
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My only nitpick would have been a scratchy pot on the PA7 but that seems to have mostly resolved itself with use.
what kind of symptoms is this?
Do you mean that the knob rubs against the panel when you turn the volume knob?
 

Namesbuck

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what kind of symptoms is this?
Do you mean that the knob rubs against the panel when you turn the volume knob?
I purchased from Apos. The E70 came with plastic on the box but the PA7 did not. Wonder if it was opened/tested but both had plastic on the oled screens and were otherwise new in appearance and packaging.

The pot rubs a little at 9 o'clock but if I turn it a few times quick the rub stops only to occasionally reappear at a later time. I'm hoping it will go away with use. If it doesn't that's okay too I suppose since I tend to set the PA7 volume to 11 o'clock and use the E70 for volume for digital sources which is 80% of my listening.
 

Toku

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I purchased from Apos. The E70 came with plastic on the box but the PA7 did not. Wonder if it was opened/tested but both had plastic on the oled screens and were otherwise new in appearance and packaging.

The pot rubs a little at 9 o'clock but if I turn it a few times quick the rub stops only to occasionally reappear at a later time. I'm hoping it will go away with use. If it doesn't that's okay too I suppose since I tend to set the PA7 volume to 11 o'clock and use the E70 for volume for digital sources which is 80% of my listening.
thank you. I understand the symptoms.
It is sometimes experienced with Chinese products. To solve this problem, pull the dial knob forward a little.
The dial knob is simply pushed into the shaft, so if you pull it forward just a little, it will no longer touch the panel.
 

Namesbuck

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thank you. I understand the symptoms.
It is sometimes experienced with Chinese products. To solve this problem, pull the dial knob forward a little.
The dial knob is simply pushed into the shaft, so if you pull it forward just a little, it will no longer touch the panel.
Thank you. Your tip worked. I'll try it out on my Viking stove in the morning :)
 

kazsud

Member
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Jun 10, 2019
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Location
Philadelphia, PA
I recieved mine a few days ago. Apon turning it on, no music came out of my speakers. I turned it off and reconnected everything then it worked. It wasn't powerful enought for my kef refference 1s and when I turned it on again the next day, no sound again.... So I put in a return request a day or so ago and haven't recieved anything from apos except an automated email stating someome would get in contact with me. This thing runs really hot.
 
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