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TP RA3 Rackmount Amplifier Review

Rate this amplifier:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 7 2.5%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 12 4.3%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 94 33.8%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 165 59.4%

  • Total voters
    278

sarieri

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Did you get any contact from @JohnYang1997 or anyone at Topping?
Yep. And JohnYoung said I’m born without the luck to buy Topping. He said I need to purchase more Topping to be luckier. Even though I already got more than like ten Topping devices.

I’m not taking his casual words seriously but he obviously isn’t the one for customer service. Thankfully Topping is not having him in the customer service team anyway.

He left that group chat few days later cuz someone else (Topping customer) talked about something that’s stupid enough and he could not live with it.

That group chat is more of a casual group. So I guess he could do whatever he wanted. But that arrogance of seeing anyone who is not EE oriented as utterly stupid. EWW….

Now, their aftersales told me I could send the modules instead of the whole device back which is a lot less chunky. That I admired. Module amps should be easier to be fixed. But, that being said. I’m pretty convinced that it’s the module that failed. And I’m not buying a word that this is due to bad luck. How many bad lucks does a company need to actually fked up their first gen PA5 pretty much all of them due to fried module and awkwardly releasing their second gen PA5 only finding out the exact same issue???

Sloppy is all I can think of looking at a Topping amp. There are too many other offerings from Hypex and Purifi with more power and just slightly lower SINAD that I think I can live my life forever without Topping. I find LA90D lack of power in stereo mode anyway. It only takes around 2.2volt input at high gain and anything higher will clip it. So output is maxed at around 20 volts. I picked up two NCx500 later and never had a problem.
 

TonyJZX

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i think their attitude makes no sense

they have some competitors here who dont seem to have the same issues.. in fact competitors who are not in the same category but somehow have a much better track record

i cannot see any reason to patronise this company if their attitude to customers is like this

one can expect an attitude like this if they are truly saught after like a luxury product like Ferrari or Omega but they arent there
 

Music1969

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So far I am prefer SMSL - their biggest controversy was only output impedance measurement for a DAC lol

Not heard of major issues with any amps

Having said that I own Topping PA3S amps - no reported issues for 3 years now and none for me either.
 

MAB

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And a tear down shows a bump on one of the module on amp board.
Good grief. :facepalm:
Classic fail.
This is predicted from their earlier efforts.
Self-inflicted.
Will be interesting to see how the after sales team deals with this.
 

MAB

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i think their attitude makes no sense

they have some competitors here who dont seem to have the same issues.. in fact competitors who are not in the same category but somehow have a much better track record

i cannot see any reason to patronise this company if their attitude to customers is like this

one can expect an attitude like this if they are truly saught after like a luxury product like Ferrari or Omega but they arent there
Topping’s resellers had me ship my PA5 to them for warranty service, or whatever. Cost me $85. And they never fixed it!
I wonder how much more it will cost to ship defective RA3. This should be interesting if Topping’s self-inflicted reliability problems and customer disservice from their con-artist resellers continue.
Maybe they should stick to small form factor devices, easier to return ship defective units. Also better for recycling. :p
 

sarieri

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Topping’s resellers had me ship my PA5 to them for warranty service, or whatever. Cost me $85. And they never fixed it!
I wonder how much more it will cost to ship defective RA3. This should be interesting if Topping’s self-inflicted reliability problems and customer disservice from their con-artist resellers continue.
Maybe they should stick to small form factor devices, easier to return ship defective units. Also better for recycling. :p
I’m Chinese, so I got friends that travels between U.S. and China. Shipping is not too much of a hassle to me, but it still takes lots of time. Once the amp is blown up, it most likely will take me four months to get it fixed. I also know DHL offers $12/kg shipping from China to U.S.
 
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MAB

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I’m Chinese, so I got friends that travels between U.S. and China. Shipping is not too much of a hassle to me, but it still takes lots of time. Once the amp is blown up, it most likely will take me four months to get it fixed. I also know DHL offers $12/kg shipping from China to U.S.
I lived and worked in China. I still have so many friends in Dalian, Shanghai, Chengdu, to name a few. The company I work for does much if our semiconductor assembly-manufacturing in China, including advanced bonding and circuit encapsulation. Our parts have to be both hermetically sealed and have high thermal conductivity, for example. The product coming out of our facilities in China is incredibly high quality (automotive/medical defect rates, to be clear). So it's pretty difficult for me to see Topping playing at the encapsulation game for no good reason and failing. And then trying again without learning anything.

The unhelpful people at Shenzhen Audio were very clear:
  1. Ship it back USPS
  2. Declare the value under $20.
  3. Mark it as an 'earphone'
  4. Don't include the brand name
An excerpt from one of the many dozens of emails they sent me from multiple people at Shenzhen, round and round:

1695780921096.png


Any ideas why they don't want the package marked Topping?;)
I would love to sarcastically say that this is to prevent embarrassing association with Topping. I think they just haven't thought through doing business overseas and can't afford the duty fees on repair items, heck they probably never anticipated they would need to support repair and warranty. It's not the first time this lack of long-range plan has happened to a company that has dreams of selling across the globe.

My treatment is no different than other people who got robbed. I paid $85 to ship, even though I know there are cheaper and more sure options to China, but I do try to follow the rules, even if the rules are unfair and brain-dead. Shenzhen lost the unit anyway, or at least said they did. To be honest, the $85 shipping isn't the worst part, its the electrical defect, followed in close-second by the defective after-sales service.

I also try to not get fooled the same way twice. So when my A30 Pro that I bought from Aoshida USA gave up (cold and partial solder joints), and the people at Aoshida cheerfully tried the same playbook on me (ship at my own expense, declare as $20 earphone, etc.), I just went full-humiliation on them from the beginning. They refunded me the entire purchase price. Sad to say, only aggression got me my money back.
 

Grael

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Running fine here since october.
Perfect integrated amp with remote for my use case and the price I paid, YMMV
 

Roland68

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MAB

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Sorry, but as far as I know, the TP RA3 cannot be bridged any further. In stereo operation, the TPA3255 already runs in BTL mode.
If I'm wrong and the TP RA3 can be operated bridged in mono mode, then please post this information, it would be interesting for many.
This is my understanding too.
I think the wording in the specs is slightly vague and infers BTL-ability, when it is actually talking about how the implemented the amp.
I always love it when manufacturers talk about their circuit, like it matters. It's typically a word salad of terms and acronyms, mostly misleading.
 

Roland68

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This is my understanding too.
I think the wording in the specs is slightly vague and infers BTL-ability, when it is actually talking about how the implemented the amp.
I always love it when manufacturers talk about their circuit, like it matters. It's typically a word salad of terms and acronyms, mostly misleading.
Yes, it's really nonsense for Topping to mention this in the technical data.
From the TI data sheet for the TPA3255:

Bildschirmfoto 2024-01-22 um 20.11.39.png
 
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