Topping DACs?

MikeyFresh

Moderator
Staff member
On both my Berkeley Alpha and BMC it’s a particular level that’s not all the way up. But mostly what I’m concerned about is that both of those DACs revert to a low volume when turned off. I hate adjusting volume to a particular level every time I turn it on.
Hmm, I've never owned any DAC that had a power switch! So they were just left on at all times out of convenience even if that was a small waste of electricity.

The ones with digital volume control did remember their last setting even if I pulled the power cord, but I don't think any of them had a setting for start-up at a particular level, they just remembered their last setting.

Something with vacuum tubes would of course need an on/off switch.
 

JohnVF

Administrator
Staff member
The Berkeley stays on unless I’m out of town. The BMC runs a bit hot and rarely gets used so I turn it off. This one? I’m kinda nervous about the build quality of Chinese gear to be totally honest. Not that I don’t think they can make excellent gear (Line Magnetic). I’ve just seen some horror story shots of some of the build quality of gear that wasn’t watched over by a contracting company.
 

airdronian

Junior Member
The Berkeley stays on unless I’m out of town. The BMC runs a bit hot and rarely gets used so I turn it off. This one? I’m kinda nervous about the build quality of Chinese gear to be totally honest. Not that I don’t think they can make excellent gear (Line Magnetic). I’ve just seen some horror story shots of some of the build quality of gear that wasn’t watched over by a contracting company.
Somewhere here in the Haven @MikeyFresh posted nudies of his Topping DAC. Very clean and tidy.
 

JohnVF

Administrator
Staff member
I guess it has a full set of safety and emissions regulations certifications. That's good to know. I'm possibly forever haunted by Paulbottlehead's study of one of those cheap Chinese tube amps here. It looked more like "how to burn your house down while saving some $$".
 

airdronian

Junior Member
I guess it has a full set of safety and emissions regulations certifications. That's good to know. I'm possibly forever haunted by Paulbottlehead's study of one of those cheap Chinese tube amps here. It looked more like "how to burn your house down while saving some $$".
There is that. Nothing like tube amps made as cheaply as possible with counterfeit parts. That was an illuminating thread.

Here's the link showing a D10, the entry level DAC. I have one as well.

 

JohnVF

Administrator
Staff member
There is that. Nothing like tube amps made as cheaply as possible with counterfeit parts. That was an illuminating thread.

Here's the link showing a D10, the entry level DAC. I have one as well.

That looks well thought out. I think it was the D30 that got me to notice Topping. It, or one of the other Topping DACs, kept coming up as a great buy for a budget DAC. And with the drop on this one, it just seemed like an interesting experiment and I need another DAC anyways. Well, need is relative...I"m 'slumming' it by running my BlueSound Node2 without a separate DAC in my main system, and it sounds pretty excellent. This may or may not be a step up but if not, I'll use it in the bedroom where I need digital input switching, and move the bedroom system's fancy Berkeley DAC back to the main setup...
 

Ilusndweller

Junior Member
As always, Bob is sounding quite irie through the D30. :smoke The way I see it (I tend to think of stereo equipment as “levels”) is Poultry (whose opinion I trust very much) said the D50 was a noticeable improvement over the D30. I figure (at more than twice the cost of the D50) the one you are getting is a level above the D50. So you will be “2 next levels” above me and my lowly D30. That is, until I get my bad azz plinear power supply. :jump
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JohnVF

Administrator
Staff member
I'll just add that I've now spent enough time reading on the Audiosciencereview website that I think I want to partake in a different hobby. My God, man, talk about losing the forest for the trees.
 

JohnVF

Administrator
Staff member
As always, Bob is sounding quite irie through the D30. :smoke The way I see it (I tend to think of stereo equipment as “levels”) is Poultry (whose opinion I trust very much) said the D50 was a noticeable improvement over the D30. I figure (at more than twice the cost of the D50) the one you are getting is a level above the D50. So you will be “2 next levels” above me and my lowly D30. That is, until I get my bad azz plinear power supply. :jump
Well if you have the D30 and I have the D70, mine is 40 better. Thhhhppppppt!
 

airdronian

Junior Member
I'll just add that I've now spent enough time reading on the Audiosciencereview website that I think I want to partake in a different hobby. My God, man, talk about losing the forest for the trees.
Completely agree. Any search on Topping generally gets you there at some point.
 

JohnVF

Administrator
Staff member
I appreciate that they exist while also being kind of bewildered at the same time. I just am not wired in a way to get fun out of comparing DAC measurements but... yay for them. It did work to get me curious about these DACs.
 

MikeT.

Senior Member
DACs continue to change/improve at an incredible pace. Earlier this year, maybe two months ago, I was looking at the “Top 10 or 15 DACs” trying to get a feel for what’s out there. Now I realize there is a certain advertising/marketing component to these lists BUT really? Benchmark, which was at the top of every list, is nowhere to be found two months later. Not quite true, one list out and out states the Benchmark 2 is absolutely not on their list and one would be better served buying it used.

I don’t doubt a company like Toppings has improved dramatically, which is why I really appreciate the trusted opinions of this forum’s members. I sold a $1500 Wyred4Sound three+ year old DSD capable DAC and bought an iFi for under $400 which IMO sounds much better and is 10x more flexible. After all the MQA fuss and ado, after listening to MQA selections for a few months, I’m not sure I care any more. I’m looking for a high quality DAC with DSD capabilities that actually sounds great! I really like my iFi but figure there’s a unit out there <$1,000 (Gustard, Toppings and maybe others) that just sound really good.
I’m on board with @JohnVF and his opinion.

I'm so annoyed that all the comments out there about it are about how well it measures or people caring about minuscule differences in THD between it and whatever else, while seemingly not one owner has actually listened to it in comparison to anything.
 

S0und Dragon

Junior Member
I really love my Mytek Brooklyn+. It has allowed me to stop looking at DACs. I appreciate that very much. I can see me sticking with them for my Dac needs unless something truly revolutionary emerges on the market that just cannot be ignored. I appreciate Myteks holistic approach to design and implementation. And the support and service is top notch. As to the Topping, I loved the D30 and for the price cannot fault one for buying the D70. If I were in need of another DAC. I would consider it for sure. It checks off a lot of boxes.
 

JohnVF

Administrator
Staff member
I go back to what ultimately caused this purchase. My curiosity over how it sounds. I cannot find one comment on sound quality, only discussions on how it measures compared to other DACs. The assumption being, I guess, the perfect measurement equates to perfect sound. And I’m of the opinion that objective competency in a piece is crucial but doesn’t tell the whole story. At least that’s been my take away in my own listening. So I want the Paul Harvey part... the rest of the story.

I first became aware of that site when I was researching possibly buying the Schiit Yggdrasil DAC... which that site measured and declared to be inferior because it didn’t measure well, according to their criteria. Yet I know a few people who own one and say it’s the only DAC that they think sounds truly “analog”. Which is of course a subjective observation. But this being ultimately about music, not sound... a possibly important distinction.

Basically I’m super curious about the place where the objective and subjective meet. And right now this DAC seems to entirely exist in the objective world. To the point where I don’t know that it matters to certain people how it sounds because they’d claim any deviation from perfection was due to some form of bias. So I wouldn’t post my remarks on it there, as that sort of subjective impression seems entirely unwelcome. So it’s going to be here... and hopefully, good or bad, it helps fill in the rest of the story. I really hope it sounds as good as it measured. Plenty of things, to my ears, don’t.
 

Ilusndweller

Junior Member
“My curiosity of how it sounds.”

Science needs more people like you. That is as good a reason as any and a big reason why this hobby is enjoyable to me. It is why I bought my last amp that I didnt need. Always trying to get a deeper understanding/appreciation of gear by experiencing it. Also if it doesnt work out (which i think it will), you can sell it for slightly less and chalk up the cost to “education”. Then go stir things up on the web....;)
 
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