Topping DACs?

Discussion in 'Digital: DACs, USB converters, decrapifiers' started by etane, May 6, 2020.

  1. etane

    etane Rando

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    Curious as to SBAF's opinion of DACs from this manufacturer. On and off, I've been on the DAC carousel and recently landed on what I think will be my last DAC for the foreseeable future which is the D90 MQA.

    I was pretty set with my system about 6mos ago with the Metrum Amethyst but wanted to downgrade to a bluetooth DAC to declutter my living room as we're anticipating a little one. The D50S just came out so bought one out of curiousity. At this point, I had already sold the Metrum so can't do head to head but off memory the D50S doesn't make me miss the Amethyst at all even when using bluetooth via Essential PH1 or Samsung S5e while streaming Tidal or playing flac files via an app called Pulsar.

    This is about the time when D90 was being introduced. So, my downgrade venture became an upward migration. And, I am absolutely loving the D90. It is the missing link. The rosseta stone that connects technology to emotional enjoyment. Then, almost a month goes by, I hear the D90 MQA was coming. So, I returned the D90. Then, the Covid19 thing happened, so I waited 2 months longer than anticipated.

    During my wait, I got the E30 which is an AKM DAC that sells for $130. It's good. Probably closer to Amethyst than it is to D90. Maybe a bit more bland than Amethyst. Then, D90 MQA preorder happened and I returned the E30. I received the D90 MQA last week. Honestly, I don't think I can hear the diff between software and hardware MQA unfold. But, it's my "last DAC" so might as well kill the curiosity.

    Anyways, SBAF has its own flavor and, for the most part, I share the same inklings. However, SBAF doesn't seem to have any Topping experience. Or, at least, none that is of recent vintage. So, curious to hear from those on here platform who has recent experiences with Topping DACs particular the ones with AKM chips. (I do have bias against Sabre chips but D50s I liked)
     
  2. dark_energy

    dark_energy Friend

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    Maybe this helps.

    [​IMG]
     
  3. Vtory

    Vtory Illogical Spock

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    I still have dx3 sitting around me, but I can say at best it's $100 good. Does some things better than modi 3 and others worse. d50 (not sure if it was s or not) was much worse. Not to mention earlier products.

    This company has not convinced me (or us) to spend more. There are already some marvelous and proven products on the market around D90 price range.

    My 2 cent is if you really like the sound of your dac, that's totally fine. But just walk away instead of starting a new thread.
     
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  4. squishware

    squishware Friend

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    Topping on Pizza = Good
    Topping for DAC = Less Good
     
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  5. lagadu

    lagadu Acquaintance

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    Well I never heard a Topping AKM dac so I can't speak for those but I live in the camp that believes that implementation and the analog stage matters more than the DA converter. I have heard two Sabre-based ones (d10 and dx7s), the dx7s I had for a few months; I'll be gentle and say that I'm now skeptical of their products.
    That said, if the d90 is perfect for your taste then great! No more throwing money at the potentially botomless sink that is dacs :)

    I would welcome reading some impressions about the d90 from some of the other regulars though. More information is good.
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2020
  6. neogeosnk

    neogeosnk Friend

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    Best way to describe Topping: Ugraded ODAC that measures well and is transparent but sounds mostly meh. Not bad, not great. Kinda like pizza hut, its meh but hey it's pizza!
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2020
  7. YMO

    YMO it's not drinking alone if you're on Zoom

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    Butt sex?
     
  8. etane

    etane Rando

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    Honestly that doesn't help at all.

     
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  9. dark_energy

    dark_energy Friend

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  10. etane

    etane Rando

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    i can say the same about your comment? not saying i don't want you to contribute. i am glad you did. but walk the walk.
     
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  11. etane

    etane Rando

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    so many pizza references. topping must not have a marketing dept except for that one guy who responds on their fb page once a week.
     
  12. RatSalad

    RatSalad Friend

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    I don't understand why people buy hardware with MQA, it needs to go away not be supported.
     
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  13. coatessey

    coatessey Rando

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    I wasn't all that impressed with the e30, sent it back and kept my modi 3.
     
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  14. etane

    etane Rando

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    if i get to do it over again, i'd keep the original d90 and not upgrade/sidegrade to the D90 MQA.
     
  15. dark_energy

    dark_energy Friend

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    lol. It seems no one can help you here.
     
  16. etane

    etane Rando

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    i liked the e30 in that it does nothing wrong. it sounded like the cuinas dac but better. but, long term listening wise, it's boring.
     
  17. etane

    etane Rando

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    who said i needed help? = P
     
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  18. ChaChaRealSmooth

    ChaChaRealSmooth SBAF Gearmaster

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    I've said this in other posts in other iterations: while SBAF hasn't heard everything, there are lots of times where our silence on something speaks louder than our words. This is one of them.

    I advise you lurk more, familiarize yourself with the community, and understand the metric we use to determine good sound.
     
  19. dark_energy

    dark_energy Friend

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    There is a separate thread called Sbaf DAC talk. Usually people dislike useless new threads here. Nevertheless enjoy your stay.
     
  20. etane

    etane Rando

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    your lack of silence means....?
     

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