• WANTED: Happy members who like to discuss audio and other topics related to our interest. Desire to learn and share knowledge of science required. There are many reviews of audio hardware and expert members to help answer your questions. Click here to have your audio equipment measured for free!

Topping told me E70 variants sound the same.

imdamo

Member
Joined
Mar 15, 2024
Messages
11
Likes
14
None of the following will be news to you folk. But I'm new here. This is a short story of my beginner journey.

I was building a hi-fi system and liked the look of the Topping E70. Turns out there are two variants, so like anyone starting out would, I began reading reviews.
The first thing I noticed is that many reviewers contradict each other. Some will say one is bass light compared to the other, while some say its bass heavy, for example.
Some will say one is faster and more dynamic or airy, but none would explain what any of these terms mean. Many will speak as if these differences are night and day, while some (but few) will say these differences are slight, and some argue that there is no difference at all. I came out of the review rabbit hole thinking 'Great, now I have even less idea'.

I then learned about the great war between subjective and objective audio folk. I've always been a logic and science type of person, and suspicious of marketing hype not just in audio but generally, so the objective side was convincing to me. But I still wasn't sure. Are there really that many people out there fooling themselves? Or lying? Seemingly an entire industry worth? Even big names like Paul from PS Audio is out here making regular videos about subjective differences (not calling him out specifically, just an example). Can the head of a major audio company really be fooling himself? Is he lying to appeal to the subjective crowd? I struggle to conclude that man is stupid or malicious, especially when many other big names are singing the same tune. Can they really all be wrong?

I saw that there were graphs and measurements that seem to categorically state what's really going on. But at the time I didn't know how to interpret them, and I felt like it wouldn't be scientific of me to accept graphs I don't understand as proof of anything. So I decided to ask Topping themselves. If anyone knows if these dacs sound different, it should be them right?

It took some pestering to get a straight answer, but here's how it went:

Me:
Hi team!
I'm trying to decide between e70 and e70v.
What are the differences in sound signature? Is one warmer or brighter?
Thanks for your help!

Topping Sales:
Dear Damian,
I am glad to have your mail.
Everyone has a different and subjective perception of what they hear, so we recommend that you buy them back and listen to them, and just leave the one you like.
Best Regards!

Me:
Thanks for your reply.
Unfortunately I can't afford to buy them both. Which one is better for bass?
Thanks again.

Sales:
As far as bass is concerned, there is no much difference between these two models.

Me:
Thank you so much!
So where are the differences?

Me (a day later):
Hello again..
I guess the difference between the e70 and e70v is in the trebble then. Can you tell me which one has more?
Just need to know which one to buy.
Thanks so much!

Me (3 days later):
Hi.
Just wondering, between the e70 and e70v which one is brighter or has more trebble?
Thanks.

Sales:
Dear Damian,
As you can see the chart in our user manual, the frequency response is almost flat, our decoders are all highly restored and unbiased, and will not deliberately emphasize bass or treble.

Me:
Thank you for this.
So they both sound the same?

Sales:
I think so.

Me:
Thanks for all your help!

----

I have since found the thread explainig how to read the measurments, and am now waiting on my orders of a topping E70 (not V) and a boxem 4215/E2 to compliment my KLH Model 5's that I already had (and are the reason I was going on this journey).
I'm quite sure that if it wasn't for ASR I would have spent a lot more money and been rewared with a lower quality system as a result.
So thank you all for being the voice of reason in this crazy world. I'm happy to be here!
 

Roland68

Major Contributor
Joined
Jan 31, 2020
Messages
1,512
Likes
1,321
Location
Cologne, Germany
None of the following will be news to you folk. But I'm new here. This is a short story of my beginner journey.

I was building a hi-fi system and liked the look of the Topping E70. Turns out there are two variants, so like anyone starting out would, I began reading reviews.
The first thing I noticed is that many reviewers contradict each other. Some will say one is bass light compared to the other, while some say its bass heavy, for example.
Some will say one is faster and more dynamic or airy, but none would explain what any of these terms mean. Many will speak as if these differences are night and day, while some (but few) will say these differences are slight, and some argue that there is no difference at all. I came out of the review rabbit hole thinking 'Great, now I have even less idea'.

I then learned about the great war between subjective and objective audio folk. I've always been a logic and science type of person, and suspicious of marketing hype not just in audio but generally, so the objective side was convincing to me. But I still wasn't sure. Are there really that many people out there fooling themselves? Or lying? Seemingly an entire industry worth? Even big names like Paul from PS Audio is out here making regular videos about subjective differences (not calling him out specifically, just an example). Can the head of a major audio company really be fooling himself? Is he lying to appeal to the subjective crowd? I struggle to conclude that man is stupid or malicious, especially when many other big names are singing the same tune. Can they really all be wrong?

I saw that there were graphs and measurements that seem to categorically state what's really going on. But at the time I didn't know how to interpret them, and I felt like it wouldn't be scientific of me to accept graphs I don't understand as proof of anything. So I decided to ask Topping themselves. If anyone knows if these dacs sound different, it should be them right?

It took some pestering to get a straight answer, but here's how it went:

Me:
Hi team!
I'm trying to decide between e70 and e70v.
What are the differences in sound signature? Is one warmer or brighter?
Thanks for your help!

Topping Sales:
Dear Damian,
I am glad to have your mail.
Everyone has a different and subjective perception of what they hear, so we recommend that you buy them back and listen to them, and just leave the one you like.
Best Regards!

Me:
Thanks for your reply.
Unfortunately I can't afford to buy them both. Which one is better for bass?
Thanks again.

Sales:
As far as bass is concerned, there is no much difference between these two models.

Me:
Thank you so much!
So where are the differences?

Me (a day later):
Hello again..
I guess the difference between the e70 and e70v is in the trebble then. Can you tell me which one has more?
Just need to know which one to buy.
Thanks so much!

Me (3 days later):
Hi.
Just wondering, between the e70 and e70v which one is brighter or has more trebble?
Thanks.

Sales:
Dear Damian,
As you can see the chart in our user manual, the frequency response is almost flat, our decoders are all highly restored and unbiased, and will not deliberately emphasize bass or treble.

Me:
Thank you for this.
So they both sound the same?

Sales:
I think so.

Me:
Thanks for all your help!

----

I have since found the thread explainig how to read the measurments, and am now waiting on my orders of a topping E70 (not V) and a boxem 4215/E2 to compliment my KLH Model 5's that I already had (and are the reason I was going on this journey).
I'm quite sure that if it wasn't for ASR I would have spent a lot more money and been rewared with a lower quality system as a result.
So thank you all for being the voice of reason in this crazy world. I'm happy to be here!
It will be very difficult to see any marginal differences between the two devices, even with very high-quality components, whether headphones or speakers.
In recent years I have had many different DACs on the table that measure well on ASR and also compared them, but what you are looking for is not available in these devices.
Be happy that these devices are transparent and do not affect the original music signal in any way.
 

SIY

Grand Contributor
Technical Expert
Joined
Apr 6, 2018
Messages
10,659
Likes
25,637
Location
Alfred, NY
so like anyone starting out would, I began reading reviews.
The first thing I noticed is that many reviewers contradict each other. Some will say one is bass light compared to the other, while some say its bass heavy, for example.
Some will say one is faster and more dynamic or airy, but none would explain what any of these terms mean. Many will speak as if these differences are night and day, while some (but few) will say these differences are slight, and some argue that there is no difference at all. I came out of the review rabbit hole thinking 'Great, now I have even less idea'.
Lesson: most reviewers are absolutely worthless. And even more so when it's electronics involved.
 

BDWoody

Chief Cat Herder
Moderator
Forum Donor
Joined
Jan 9, 2019
Messages
7,116
Likes
23,753
Location
Mid-Atlantic, USA. (Maryland)
Are there really that many people out there fooling themselves? Or lying? Seemingly an entire industry worth?

Yes, yes there are.

Even big names like Paul from PS Audio is out here making regular videos about subjective differences (not calling him out specifically, just an example). Can the head of a major audio company really be fooling himself? Is he lying to appeal to the subjective crowd? I struggle to conclude that man is stupid or malicious, especially when many other big names are singing the same tune. Can they really all be wrong?

Yes, yes they can.

So thank you all for being the voice of reason in this crazy world. I'm happy to be here!

Happy for you to be here!
 

Doodski

Grand Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Dec 9, 2019
Messages
21,914
Likes
22,186
Location
Canada
Are there really that many people out there fooling themselves? Or lying? Seemingly an entire industry worth?
Can the head of a major audio company really be fooling himself? Is he lying to appeal to the subjective crowd?
Can they really all be wrong?
There is so much money involved in the home audio industry that it was inevitable that the schemers and scammers infiltrated the industry so they can get a piece of the multi billion dollar cash flow that the audio industry represents. I've seen several schemes and scams even at the point of retail performed by peeps that I never imagined would become criminals and commit theft, fraud, misrepresentation and other stuff.

Imagine this, a manager of a video department at a huge AV chain has a position that pays him >CDN $100K per year in the early 1990s and he decides that he can after the staff have left the building on multiple nights can adjust the cash room books and slowly take ~$24K in cash for the purpose of paying for extended dental care for for his toddler aged daughter. He was caught, charged and fired etc.

Then there was a store manager that was incredible, she was a popular & beautiful leader in the business community, she was very successful, she made heaps of money as the AV store manager and owned 2 identical BMW convertible models but of different colors because she wanted them for different outfits and such. She was using her business expense account credit card which had a hefty maximum limit to slowly siphon from the company ~several tens of thousands of dollars for all sorts of things she wanted for herself that had nothing to do with the position she held in the company. She was fired, charged and brought before the courts in effort to recuperate the money.

There was a well paid commissioned sales person that would often sell a specific model of speakers @ an inflated price to customers but substitute that model for a lesser model that looked near identical but cost much less. The end result was that he would earn absurd commission amounts due to the total profit on the sale being extremely high. The accountants questioned his very very high profit margins, he was investigated, monitored and caught red handed. He was fired for fraud.

That is the small potatoes stuff but it shows the stupidity of these types of people and how they apparently think they will not be caught.

Now imagine a corporation owner that has access to the public and can teach, train and groom the public to do his bidding in that he makes more money by lying to them and becomes so absurdly wealthy and is never made to account for his fraud because it either can't be proved or nobody important cares enough to bother with the situation. This occurs very often.

I had a man and woman scammer team/customers that applied for financing and where approved so they could take home ~CDN $15K of AV gear. Months later word came down that they where fraudulent scammers and had taken home AV gear from many retailers and did that by scamming the finance corporations. They claimed to be the owners of a profitable established business when they where actually the manager and employee. They used their positions to accept telephone calls from the finance companies and lied about their total income levels and their responsibilities at the business. The finance companies thought this is great and approved them for financing. They purchased hundreds of thousands of dollars of gear before they where caught and charged. I have no idea why the finance companies or credit reporting bureau where never able to figure out how they where flooded with credit financing applications and predict this was occurring until it was too late.

These sorts of stealing, fraudulent and scamming people would steal your wallet, cash and your jewelry off your neck before you even suspect it. So watch yourself. They are inventive, diabolical and merciless and more common than many people think.
 

Roland68

Major Contributor
Joined
Jan 31, 2020
Messages
1,512
Likes
1,321
Location
Cologne, Germany
There is so much money involved in the home audio industry that it was inevitable that the schemers and scammers infiltrated the industry so they can get a piece of the multi billion dollar cash flow that the audio industry represents. I've seen several schemes and scams even at the point of retail performed by peeps that I never imagined would become criminals and commit theft, fraud, misrepresentation and other stuff.

Imagine this, a manager of a video department at a huge AV chain has a position that pays him >CDN $100K per year in the early 1990s and he decides that he can after the staff have left the building on multiple nights can adjust the cash room books and slowly take ~$24K in cash for the purpose of paying for extended dental care for for his toddler aged daughter. He was caught, charged and fired etc.

Then there was a store manager that was incredible, she was a popular & beautiful leader in the business community, she was very successful, she made heaps of money as the AV store manager and owned 2 identical BMW convertible models but of different colors because she wanted them for different outfits and such. She was using her business expense account credit card which had a hefty maximum limit to slowly siphon from the company ~several tens of thousands of dollars for all sorts of things she wanted for herself that had nothing to do with the position she held in the company. She was fired, charged and brought before the courts in effort to recuperate the money.

There was a well paid commissioned sales person that would often sell a specific model of speakers @ an inflated price to customers but substitute that model for a lesser model that looked near identical but cost much less. The end result was that he would earn absurd commission amounts due to the total profit on the sale being extremely high. The accountants questioned his very very high profit margins, he was investigated, monitored and caught red handed. He was fired for fraud.

That is the small potatoes stuff but it shows the stupidity of these types of people and how they apparently think they will not be caught.

Now imagine a corporation owner that has access to the public and can teach, train and groom the public to do his bidding in that he makes more money by lying to them and becomes so absurdly wealthy and is never made to account for his fraud because it either can't be proved or nobody important cares enough to bother with the situation. This occurs very often.

I had a man and woman scammer team/customers that applied for financing and where approved so they could take home ~CDN $15K of AV gear. Months later word came down that they where fraudulent scammers and had taken home AV gear from many retailers and did that by scamming the finance corporations. They claimed to be the owners of a profitable established business when they where actually the manager and employee. They used their positions to accept telephone calls from the finance companies and lied about their total income levels and their responsibilities at the business. The finance companies thought this is great and approved them for financing. They purchased hundreds of thousands of dollars of gear before they where caught and charged. I have no idea why the finance companies or credit reporting bureau where never able to figure out how they where flooded with credit financing applications and predict this was occurring until it was too late.

These sorts of stealing, fraudulent and scamming people would steal your wallet, cash and your jewelry off your neck before you even suspect it. So watch yourself. They are inventive, diabolical and merciless and more common than many people think.
But there are also dealers and sellers who have a certain criminal energy.
Over 20 years ago, I received a very dubious offer from a large hi-fi dealer to train their salespeople in how to manipulate demonstrations so that the customer preferred a certain device.
I don't even want to talk about Lapp cables in net hoses for 1000-3000 per meter in the 90s.
 
OP
I

imdamo

Member
Joined
Mar 15, 2024
Messages
11
Likes
14
Now imagine a corporation owner that has access to the public and can teach, train and groom the public to do his bidding in that he makes more money by lying to them and becomes so absurdly wealthy and is never made to account for his fraud because it either can't be proved or nobody important cares enough to bother with the situation. This occurs very often.

The audio world does feel weirdly polarised. Even my conversation with topping, a company who's entire goal seems to be perfecting transparency, was very carefully choosing their words when asked to clarify if their products are transparent. Why not stand up proudly and say yes! Do they fear the wrath of subjectivists? Are they afraid to contradict the reviewers pushing their gear with terms like warm, punchy etc? I just don't get it.
 

Killingbeans

Major Contributor
Joined
Oct 23, 2018
Messages
4,105
Likes
7,623
Location
Bjerringbro, Denmark.
Now imagine a corporation owner that has access to the public and can teach, train and groom the public to do his bidding in that he makes more money by lying to them and becomes so absurdly wealthy and is never made to account for his fraud because it either can't be proved or nobody important cares enough to bother with the situation. This occurs very often.

I imagine it's extremely tempting.

I often toy with the idea of starting an electronics manufacturing company having home audio as part of my portfolio, and seeing how prevalent placebo is in the industry and how happily the customers embrace it in the name of "emotions", I'd really have to muster every single bit of conscience and integrity in my body to keep myself from diving into that circus and begin shovelling profit.

Must be a tad risky though. All it takes is a few highly esteemed gurus to start spreading nasty rumors for whatever silly reason, and you're done for :D
 

Roland68

Major Contributor
Joined
Jan 31, 2020
Messages
1,512
Likes
1,321
Location
Cologne, Germany
The audio world does feel weirdly polarised. Even my conversation with topping, a company who's entire goal seems to be perfecting transparency, was very carefully choosing their words when asked to clarify if their products are transparent. Why not stand up proudly and say yes! Do they fear the wrath of subjectivists? Are they afraid to contradict the reviewers pushing their gear with terms like warm, punchy etc? I just don't get it.
It's very easy. Just look at the countless reviews on YouTube and in blogs. None of them would be able to verify their statements in a real and fair (for the devices) blind test.
But the fact is, these reviews sell many more devices than the ASR tests.
It is also a fact that people want to be cheated on. And like my father always said, every morning a stupid person gets up.

I imagine it's extremely tempting.

I often toy with the idea of starting an electronics manufacturing company having home audio as part of my portfolio, and seeing how prevalent placebo is in the industry and how happily the customers embrace it in the name of "emotions", I'd really have to muster every single bit of conscience and integrity in my body to keep myself from diving into that circus and begin shovelling profit.

Must be a tad risky though. All it takes is a few highly esteemed gurus to start spreading nasty rumors for whatever silly reason, and you're done for :D
Exactly my problem for 25 years... :facepalm:
 

DLS79

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Forum Donor
Joined
Dec 31, 2019
Messages
811
Likes
1,050
Location
United States
Even my conversation with topping, a company who's entire goal seems to be perfecting transparency, was very carefully choosing their words when asked to clarify if their products are transparent. Why not stand up proudly and say yes! Do they fear the wrath of subjectivists? Are they afraid to contradict the reviewers pushing their gear with terms like warm, punchy etc? I just don't get it.

Depending on who you were talking with that's not surprising. In my experience a lot of sales and customer support type people can be noncommittal when it comes to technical or semi-technical topics. For example in the company that I work for, they are not nearly as well versed as the developers and engineers, so they generally speak in more general terms.
 
Last edited:
OP
I

imdamo

Member
Joined
Mar 15, 2024
Messages
11
Likes
14
Depending on who you were talking with that's not surprising. In my experience a lot of sales and customer support type people can be noncommittal when it comes to technical or semi-technical topics. For example in the company that I work for, they are not nearly as well versed as the developers and engineers, so they generally speak in more general terms.
Yeah, that makes sense.
It was just whoever answers the sales email on their website.
 
Top Bottom