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(Unusual) Source for Topping D90 III + LA90

Noob101

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Building a new home audio setup, so far I like...
DAC: Topping D90 III
Amp: Topping LA90

I wish to have my TV as a source but am unsure how to best do this; I read in the forums that digital outs / TOSLINK skip internal DACs, so...

Will using the TVs optical out be as good as using a WiiM Pro / Bluesound Node connected to the TV (via eARC) and using their digital outs (in which case I could save money)?

Any help is appreciated!
 
Building a new home audio setup, so far I like...
DAC: Topping D90 III
Amp: Topping LA90

I wish to have my TV as a source but am unsure how to best do this; I read in the forums that digital outs / TOSLINK skip internal DACs, so...

Will using the TVs optical out be as good as using a WiiM Pro / Bluesound Node connected to the TV (via eARC) and using their digital outs (in which case I could save money)?

Any help is appreciated!
Welcome to ASR, and this is a reasonable question.

Since the Topping is a stereo DAC, using the TV's optical out *should* be equivalent to using HDMI. There is some convenience factor depending on how well the TV behaves with each output, but the audio quality will be the same. You can get higher-res audio out of HDMI but it won't make an audible difference. If you want to do surround with lossless audio, then you need to use the HDMI.

The caveat is that apparently some TVs (apparently certain LGs in particular) have badly behaved TOSLINK outs that might induce some issues.

FWIW I used a cheap Creative G3 DAC as an optical input to a PC with my Topping D90, from my LG CX TV, and it worked fine. So if I were you, I would not expect any issues just using the optical out from the TV.
 
Welcome to ASR, and this is a reasonable question.

Since the Topping is a stereo DAC, using the TV's optical out *should* be equivalent to using HDMI. There is some convenience factor depending on how well the TV behaves with each output, but the audio quality will be the same. You can get higher-res audio out of HDMI but it won't make an audible difference. If you want to do surround with lossless audio, then you need to use the HDMI.

The caveat is that apparently some TVs (apparently certain LGs in particular) have badly behaved TOSLINK outs that might induce some issues.

FWIW I used a cheap Creative G3 DAC as an optical input to a PC with my Topping D90, from my LG CX TV, and it worked fine. So if I were you, I would not expect any issues just using the optical out from the TV.
Appreciate the welcome! Thank you

This is the simple and straight answer I was looking for. I have donated to the forum as a thanks
 
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Welcome to ASR, and this is a reasonable question.

Since the Topping is a stereo DAC, using the TV's optical out *should* be equivalent to using HDMI. There is some convenience factor depending on how well the TV behaves with each output, but the audio quality will be the same. You can get higher-res audio out of HDMI but it won't make an audible difference. If you want to do surround with lossless audio, then you need to use the HDMI.

The caveat is that apparently some TVs (apparently certain LGs in particular) have badly behaved TOSLINK outs that might induce some issues.

FWIW I used a cheap Creative G3 DAC as an optical input to a PC with my Topping D90, from my LG CX TV, and it worked fine. So if I were you, I would not expect any issues just using the optical out from the TV.
I'm one of those people with a badly behaving LG C2 toslink output. I solved it by using an eARC audio extractor, which has proper toslink out, feeding the dac of my Peachtree Audio decco65. That's a stereo setup but the audio quality is good in this way.

But depending on your TV brand I would first try its optical out connected to the dac and see if you have dropouts etc (typical poor implementation behaviour). If not, then you should be good to go.
 
I have donated to the forum as a thanks
@Noob101, Welcome Aboard and thank you kindly for becoming a “Donor” for ASR. We very much appreciate your support and hope you find the place informative and helpful. To get started with understanding all the graphs and charts used in all the Product “Reviews”. Allow me to suggest that you peruse our Learning Video Library. :cool:

 
@Noob101, Welcome Aboard and thank you kindly for becoming a “Donor” for ASR. We very much appreciate your support and hope you find the place informative and helpful. To get started with understanding all the graphs and charts used in all the Product “Reviews”. Allow me to suggest that you peruse our Learning Video Library. :cool:

Thanks for this,... its those videos that have gotten me glued to this forum and made it a no brainer to donate.
 
With the toslink challenges (some have) and the convenience of auto-on sensing, in case others around me want to watch TV, I am now thinking

AMP: Topping LA90D
DAC + eARC + Streamer(BlueOS): Node X (DAC not as "good" as the D90 but brings streamer and eArc)

Any thoughts or guidance? I worry the LA90D cant power my B&W 606 speakers sufficiently for louder TV viewing or a small party in my living room :)
 
I was doing the whole thing so I could run EQAPO on it. Cheaper than a MiniDSP with just as much capability I think.
That's great! :)
Theoretically I guess it shall work with Jriver too (never tried it but it would be cool to apply its DSP engine on the incoming spdif signal then output it to the DAC)
 
With the toslink challenges (some have) and the convenience of auto-on sensing, in case others around me want to watch TV, I am now thinking

AMP: Topping LA90D
DAC + eARC + Streamer(BlueOS): Node X (DAC not as "good" as the D90 but brings streamer and eArc)

Any thoughts or guidance? I worry the LA90D cant power my B&W 606 speakers sufficiently for louder TV viewing or a small party in my living room :)
The Node X should work, but you should consider the WiiM Amp for this application also. It's got eARC in, plus almost as much power on tap as the Topping unit. Plus it's a streamer, plus it has PEQ on board so you can do a bit of room correction if you so choose.

The 606s are rated at 88dB sensitivity, which is pretty good, so you can hit >100dB at 10 feet away with 60w. http://www.hometheaterengineering.com/splcalculator.html - 100dB is usually a "too loud, turn it down" kind of volume so you should be OK, but I wouldn't argue if you thought you wanted more power on tap. In which case you might go with the WiiM or Node X and a beefier amp.

The LA90D delivers a moderate amount of extremely clean power, at a premium. But you can get more very clean power for less money. Check out the Fosi monoblock review from a few weeks ago... not quite at stratospheric performance levels like the Topping but you get a lot of (clean) oomph for the money.
 
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That's great! :)
Theoretically I guess it shall work with Jriver too (never tried it but it would be cool to apply its DSP engine on the incoming spdif signal then output it to the DAC)
Haven't used Jriver, but quite possibly. I also used Voicemeeter Banana to make sure all the audio coming in was routed properly. But it's a good setup considering all it takes is a $100 mini-PC and some free software.
 
But it's a good setup considering all it takes is a $100 mini-PC and some free software.
Couldn't agree more!
I have been using computer as a source since 1997 and as full DSP too since 2018
I really can't think of a more powerful/versatile/cost efficient solution...
 
The Node X should work, but you should consider the WiiM Amp for this application also. It's got eARC in, plus almost as much power on tap as the Topping unit. Plus it's a streamer, plus it has PEQ on board so you can do a bit of room correction if you so choose.

The 606s are rated at 88dB sensitivity, which is pretty good, so you can hit >100dB at 10 feet away with 60w. http://www.hometheaterengineering.com/splcalculator.html - 100dB is usually a "too loud, turn it down" kind of volume so you should be OK, but I wouldn't argue if you thought you wanted more power on tap. In which case you might go with the WiiM or Node X and a beefier amp.

The LA90D delivers a moderate amount of extremely clean power, at a premium. But you can get more very clean power for less money. Check out the Fosi monoblock review from a few weeks ago... not quite at stratospheric performance levels like the Topping but you get a lot of (clean) oomph for the money.
Thanks for this,... appreciate it.

Besides the Fosi Monoblock, any other Amp recommendations from your side (please)?
 
Thanks for this,... appreciate it.

Besides the Fosi Monoblock, any other Amp recommendations from your side (please)?
I think it really depends on how loud you need to go and how unreasonably clean you need the power to be. If you want a lot more power then I would say anything incorporating Hypex modules would work, e.g. Buckeye, VTV, Nord, etc. Otherwise I think Fosi stuff is actually just fine. I run some B&W 602s on an older, worse Fosi unit (BT20) and haven't noticed any problems.

You might also check out the Schiit Vidar 2 review that just came out. It's about the same price as the Topping amp, and it's also a Class AB, but it has way more power at the cost of somewhat higher noise and distortion. For all of the amps in question though, the noise/distortion is low enough to be considered transparent for 16-bit playback.
 
I think it really depends on how loud you need to go and how unreasonably clean you need the power to be. If you want a lot more power then I would say anything incorporating Hypex modules would work, e.g. Buckeye, VTV, Nord, etc. Otherwise I think Fosi stuff is actually just fine. I run some B&W 602s on an older, worse Fosi unit (BT20) and haven't noticed any problems.

You might also check out the Schiit Vidar 2 review that just came out. It's about the same price as the Topping amp, and it's also a Class AB, but it has way more power at the cost of somewhat higher noise and distortion. For all of the amps in question though, the noise/distortion is low enough to be considered transparent for 16-bit playback.
Was not convinced with Fosi, but based on your recommendation research them a little and was blown away from what I read up on the V3 monoblocks. Ordered them and hope they sound as good as I hope (given I cant test them anywhere). Taking a risk :)

Amp: Fosi V3 Monoblock x3 (Ordered)
DAC: Wiim Ultra (Awaiting release)

@kemmler3D - Tons of thanks to you! Appreciate the guidance.
 
Was not convinced with Fosi, but based on your recommendation research them a little and was blown away from what I read up on the V3 monoblocks. Ordered them and hope they sound as good as I hope (given I cant test them anywhere). Taking a risk :)

Amp: Fosi V3 Monoblock x3 (Ordered)
DAC: Wiim Ultra (Awaiting release)

@kemmler3D - Tons of thanks to you! Appreciate the guidance.
Glad I could help, and hopefully the Fosi amps work out for you! I think as long as you don't fry them somehow (very unlikely) you'll be A-Ok with them.
 
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