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Topping RD3 TP Balanced DAC Review

Rate this DAC:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 5 2.2%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 14 6.1%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 89 39.0%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 120 52.6%

  • Total voters
    228

amirm

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This is a review and detailed measurements of the Topping "TP" RD3 balanced stereo USB rackmount DAC with Bluetooth. It was sent to me by the company and costs US $229.
Topping RD3 Stereo USB DAC Balanced Bluetooth Rackmount Review.jpg

The unit sports a gorgeous, white segmented display with highly responsive control. It is a joy to use. A remote control is provided as well. Back panel shows what we expect including the now standard trigger support on Topping products:
Topping RD3 Stereo USB DAC Balanced Bluetooth Rackmount back panel Review.jpg

Power supply is built-in which is very nice as well.

I prefer this form factor to desktop products as it looks more "serious."

Topping RD3 TP Measurements
As usual we start with our dashboard:
Topping RD3 Stereo USB DAC Balanced Bluetooth Rackmount Measurement.png

This is excellent performance and just a step below state of the art.
Best rackmount stereo dac review.png


Best rackmount stereo dac zoom review.png


RCA output gives up just a bit of performance:
Topping RD3 Stereo USB DAC RCA Bluetooth Rackmount Measurement.png

But still fully transparent as evidenced by superb dynamic range:

Topping RD3 Stereo USB DAC Balanced Bluetooth Rackmount DNR Measurement.png


Linearity is excellent:
Topping RD3 Stereo USB DAC Balanced Bluetooth Rackmount LInearity Measurement.png


As is Jitter over USB:
Topping RD3 Stereo USB DAC Balanced Bluetooth Rackmount Jitter Measurement.png


There is however good bit of jitter over Coax/Toslink:
Topping RD3 Stereo USB DAC Balanced Bluetooth Rackmount Jitter Coax USB Measurement.png


Fortunately their levels don't reach audibility.

IMD is excellent and just limited by noise:
Topping RD3 Stereo USB DAC Balanced Bluetooth Rackmount IMD Measurement.png


If we eliminate that and just look at distortion floor, we can see superb performance:
Topping RD3 Stereo USB DAC Balanced Bluetooth Rackmount Multitone Measurement.png


We have our usual set of filters:
Topping RD3 Stereo USB DAC Balanced Bluetooth Rackmount Filter Measurement.png

Topping RD3 Stereo USB DAC Balanced Bluetooth Rackmount Filter Frequency Response Measurement.png


Even though attenuation is good we still get a bit of degradation in wideband THD+N vs frequency:
Topping RD3 Stereo USB DAC Balanced Bluetooth Rackmount THD vs Frequency Measurement.png


Conclusions
The performance of RD3 can be summed up as one step below perfection. In exchange for that, you get a very high value DAC with gorgeous display and in my opinion, highly usable rackmount form factor. As I noted in the review, I rather put an RD3 in my main system than a desktop DAC.

I am going to recommend the Topping "TP" RD3 balanced DAC.

Specifications​

  • Dimensions (W x H x D)
    48.3X15.5X5.2cm
    Bluetooth
    Yes
  • D/A Converter
    AK4493S
    Model Number
    RD3
  • Material
    Metal
    DSD Sampling Frequencies
    2.8224 MHz (DSD64),5.6448 MHz (DSD128),11.2896 MHz (DSD256),22.5792 MHz (DSD512)
  • PCM Word Length
    16-bit,24-bit,32-bit
    PCM Sampling Frequencies
    44.1 kHz,48 kHz,88.2 kHz,96 kHz,176.4 kHz,352.8 kHz,384 kHz,705.6 kHz,768 kHz
  • Outputs
    RCA,XLR
    Inputs
    USB Type-B,Optical (SPDIF),Coaxial
  • Type
    Desktop
    Brand Name
    TOPPING
  • Origin
    Mainland China

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Last edited:

frabor

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More metal , bigger packing and a lot of wasted space. With all the millions of tons of ewaste and packaging manufacturers should not sell empty cases for the feel good look. Yes, it provides the same functionality as a rack tray and a desktop DAC. At least that tray will can be used for decades.

It would be awesome that manufacturers would offer upgraded boards to replace what is inside the units. Even my small d50s has some extra space inside the case..

And congrats to topping on another high performance prodicy
 

TonyJZX

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smsl d6 is cheaper, prettier and measures the same.
i'm heavily in the SMSL camp but this is hard to justify

i'd prefer XLR over TRS, the display on the Topping miles better than whatever segment display SMSL stole off a $10 clock radio

I do agree the topping twins are fashion over form... they dont need to be 19" wide... i'd rather they did two 9.5" wide units and gave you the option to stack or side by side

and yeah i think sub $500 usd for both of the toppings is amazing for what you get

let's see if they are durable long term
 

DSJR

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I like the full width form factor, rack 'ears' and all :D Unlike a little rinky-dinky box getting lost 'round the back,' this one could fit into my rig really well and not look out of place.

The ASR 'disease' has got me though, as the 'technically' inferior jitter, if totally inaudible to me, lets the otherwise excellent performance down and I hope it can be sorted to make a true all-round-sota model for around this price.
 

Grotti

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I would like to see additional analog input(s) or ADC. I think most developers nowadays underestimate the number of people who like to listen to vinyl every now and then. There seems to be enough unused space internally and on the back: so why not charge a little more and make it a real Preamplifier?
 

Matias

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Except Toslink it has excellent performance and looks good too. Very nice from Topping.
 

Sokel

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It would be a thousand times better with removable ears (like Behringer for example) as it would fit in more environments.
Optical's and SPDIF's jitter is disapointing (for the ones who use them) ,otherwise good performance.
 

Sokel

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you only have logs on the female part of xlr.
Yep.
And even then quality of the sockets is crucial,the horrible ones that the mechanism is very extruded can easily short outputs if not pay attention plugging it.

@amirm ,in jitter measurement you write USB instead of coax.
 

CleanSound

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I wonder what market segment this TP line is meant for. They are rack mount, but the RA3 is only 50ish wpc at 8 ohms before the knee, which is no where near enough power for public space applications.
 
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