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(Unofficial) Topping D50 III DAC review and measurements

CedarX

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Not sure that many would care (I wouldn’t), but I assume PEQ doesn’t work with DSD files, correct?
 

welwynnick

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Not sure that many would care (I wouldn’t), but I assume PEQ doesn’t work with DSD files, correct?
I don't believe you can usually perform DSP on DSD. DSP is usually performed by either a processor or FPGA using LPCM data, typically over an I2C interface.
 
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Haskil

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As you seen on the app screenshot, there is only one set of controls.
So it's the same correction for both channels.
At least for now.
Thank you !

This therefore only makes this parametric equalizer usable to correct the speakers according to the data that we find after each test carried out by Amir, but in no case use it to correct the speakers by measuring them from the listening point... except in the exceptional case where the two speakers are placed strictly in the same way in a room with a completely symmetrical layout... in short, this equalizer is very, very limited...
 

Sokel

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Thank you !

This therefore only makes this parametric equalizer usable to correct the speakers according to the data that we find after each test carried out by Amir, but in no case use it to correct the speakers by measuring them from the listening point... except in the exceptional case where the two speakers are placed strictly in the same way in a room with a completely symmetrical layout... in short, this equalizer is very, very limited...
It's probably destined for headphone users as for speakers the most important correction is room.
 

Morpheus

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This is great value in the scheme of current audio affairs, functionality and technically wise leaps and bounds ahead of 99,8% of hifi DACs.
USB and one setting for both channels is better than nothing, but PEQ to be really usefull has to be available separately to each right and left channel, and to all inputs, so that is a big miss.
Many of us have their speakers in slightly different acoustic environments ( like me, where my left speaker is closer to a side wall than the right one ), and most of us want to use at least two sources, and want the best sound quality for all. We also need to have different PEQ memory settings for each input, desirably a couple for each, like, just for TV I may have a setting for speech, (news and series) and different ones for movies or concerts..
Now, everybody is shouting rightly so, "We want PEQ!", but EQ is not in my opinion the only thing you need on a DAC ( I will leave DRC out here..),

You absolutely need volume corrected variable, adjustable loudness baked in, if you don't listen at the same volume every time....
The one thing no one else other than RME to my knowledge has come up with, is a completely user programable and tunable Loudness feature like their
ADI Dacs. It lets you program how much of it, the tapering down of the effect as volume goes up, and at volume the compensantion is maximum and when it finishes, wich is essencial for it to work correctly with different source, program and amp and loudspeakers gains, and give you its benefits.

This is in my opinion almost if not as usefull as EQ, as the magnitude of the effect this has on sound perception is easily as notable as a PEQ corrected speaker in an actual listening space, if you vary somewhat your listening level like I do (super low working, low, eating or background, lowish in the evening ,normal during the day, all hell breaks loose here and there for a bit..).

Plus, not just some, but All speakers and rooms benefit, wether lousy or those already with actual textbook in-room response, because this psicoacoustic volume dependent frequency perception effect is always present and only has to do withthe actual listening volume spl (see Fletcher-Munsoon curves).
However, no one seems to ask for this features... I think that unwillingness it has to do with the old, bad reputation, too heavy handed on and off and fixed implementations, and the straight path, no editing audiophile snobbery..If lthey heard it properly done like the old Yamaha (limited flexibility, but better than nothing) and especially the fully programable and variable kind like RME does in their DACs, they would never want to go without. ...Instead, everyone EQs their system to a set volume, the one they listen the most, effectevelly baking in some loudness corretion, so their system only sounds correct at that spl, and listen in dissatisfaction when their program changes, they change the volume , or switch to a source with different gain or overall playback level.

This feature single-handledly secured an immovable status of the RME as the center piece of my system,as for now I can't get that anywhere, not in DACs, Roon, Streamers EQ or DRC software that I know of.

Topping has done a stellar job ,pushing the envelope and at a very good price (the reliability and political considerations I will leave up to you)
I hope manufacturers in general go down this path too with the PEQ, but someone else than RME must implement the programable loudness feature.j
Just as EQ, it needs to be baked in if you want correct reprodution, any time , at all listening levels.
 
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kchap

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With USB your don't really need and PEQ as there is a lot of software that you can use being your PC (apo) or streamer (Roon)

But not being able to use PEQ using toslink with my tv..... Not good
Agree, but my focus is on a small streamer using a cheap SBC with DAC/HPA all sitting on a side table. Rather than run CamillaDSP of similar on the SBC, I would prefer to do the DSP on the DAC.

An SBC like the Rasberry PI 4 should be ok for DSP, but I am not confident about running at 96 or 192k.
 

DLS79

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It's probably destined for headphone users as for speakers the most important correction is room.

To an extent you can deal with speaker issues as well, you just can't correct for everything.
 

DLS79

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Agree, but my focus is on a small streamer using a cheap SBC with DAC/HPA all sitting on a side table. Rather than run CamillaDSP of similar on the SBC, I would prefer to do the DSP on the DAC.

An SBC like the Rasberry PI 4 should be ok for DSP, but I am not confident about running at 96 or 192k.

Sometimes I think members here get to focused on PCs being the only usb source.
 

CedarX

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I've done a quick test to check how it matches RME EQ, as an example

Some anecdotal comments about the EQ comparison FR:
index.php


Assuming Topping implemented biquad-based filters (very likely with the XMOS chip), and based upon the above response, I believe the filters are calculated with a 48 kHz Fs: for a PK Fc 10,000 Hz Gain 12 dB Q 0.6, the approximate calculated response at 20 kHz is +1.65 dB, which seems to match the FR graph. If they had calculated the filters at 44.1 kHz, the response at 20 kHz would be around +0.66 dB; at 96 kHz, it would be +5.55 dB; and at 192 kHz, it would jump to +6.31 dB.

Also it is possible that the shifted response of the 100 Hz filter (~105 Hz) is caused by rounding issues in the app itself when they are calculating the biquad coefficients.
I don't think it has any practical consequence, but I find this stuff interesting! :cool::cool::cool:
 
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Rja4000

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Some anecdotal comments about the EQ comparison FR:
index.php


Assuming Topping implemented biquad-based filters (very likely with the XMOS chip), and based upon the above response, I believe the filters are calculated with a 48 kHz Fs: for a PK Fc 10,000 Hz Gain 12 dB Q 0.6, the approximate calculated response at 20 kHz is +1.65 dB, which seems to match the FR graph. If they had calculated the filters at 44.1 kHz, the response at 20 kHz would be around +0.66 dB; at 96 kHz, it would be +5.55 dB; and at +192 kHz, it would jump to +6.31 dB.

Also it is possible that the shifted response of the 100 Hz filter (~105 Hz) is caused by rounding issues in the app itself when they are calculating the biquad coefficients.
I don't think it has any practical consequence, but I find this stuff interesting! :cool::cool::cool:
My goal with this quick check was mainly to verify if the corrections are coherent with the RME for the same parameter values.
There are indeed various formula for Q and the filters for a parametric EQ.
A quick look at this page from REW just shows part of this complexity.

The important question for an end user is: May I just apply the correction parameters from Amir of from AutoEQ or from REW ?
It's therefore important to know that the EQ we are looking at matches a known model.
 
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Sokel

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My goal with this quick check was mainly to verify if the corrections are coherent with the RME for the same parameter values.
There are indeed various formula for Q and the filters for a parametric EQ.
A quick look at this page from REW just shows part of this complexity.

The important question for an end user is: May I just apply the correction parameters from Amir of from AutoEQ or from REW ?
It's therefore important to know that the EQ we are looking at matches a known model.
Amir's measurements are the best for the speaker,anechoic correction if the speaker is EQable up mid/high,that's the only good way.
REW's AutoEQ is good to correct room,up to 300Hz or so.
So one does not exclude the other,both are useful but the anechoic data is invaluable as it's not easy to get.
 

DWPress

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Awesome product progression. It's a shame that the PEQ only works for USB input, hopefully there's a fix for future firmware updates or at least in future products from Topping.
 

DLS79

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Awesome product progression. It's a shame that the PEQ only works for USB input, hopefully there's a fix for future firmware updates or at least in future products from Topping.

several of us think they are probably pulling this of buy using the capabilities of the XU316.

If memory serves this methodology will only work with usb data. However I do expect on higher tier models they will incorporate a more general methodology.
 

CedarX

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several of us think they are probably pulling this of buy using the capabilities of the XU316.

If memory serves this methodology will only work with usb data. However I do expect on higher tier models they will incorporate a more general methodology.
I believe FiiO does the same thing with their HP DAC/Amp... with the same XU316 limitations. For example, the FiiO BTR15 offers PEQ on both USB and Bluetooth inputs but it involves two different chips: the XU316 USB bridge handles the USB PEQ, and the QCC5125 Bluetooth chip handles the BT PEQ. The PEQ are supposed to be sync'ed--you should be able to apply USB/BT "global" PEQ from a phone through BT, or from a PC through USB, but the two separate firmware have caused sync problems....

Starting with some relatively simple PEQ capability may be the right approach for Topping.
 

Billy Budapest

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I don't believe you can usually perform DSP on DSD. DSP is usually performed by either a processor or FPGA using LPCM data, typically over an I2C interface.
Sonoma workstations can perform some kinds of DSP on DSD signals, such as fades, but yes, that is very specialized pro audio equipment.
 
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DLS79

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It allows configuration of parametric EQ
Apparently, you may store various configurations locally (on your computer) or on the device.
You may have up to 10 bands in each Parametric EQ configuration.
And you may store up to 5 different configs in the device.

How do you switch between the 5 configs in the devise? Do you need to use topping tune do that, or can it be done with the front panel joystick or remote?
 

Calypso1

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It's probably destined for headphone users as for speakers the most important correction is room.
I am planning on using the PEQ for my headphones only and I use a flat preset to pass through to the MiniDSP for room correction when using my 2.1. Planning because it’s on order but that’s my use case.
 

Haruko

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Now imagine this, crossover with delay Between balanced and unbalanced for 2.1, storable EQ for every input not only usb. We get it, this unit measures well, but it is the same thing over again. I think this unit sounds the same as smsl su1
 
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