Topping DACs. The D50 in use.

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Ianmac
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Topping DACs. The D50 in use.

Postby Ianmac » Wed Jul 17, 2019 9:10 pm

A few months ago I was revamping my office system, I gave my Hypex N Core and Benchmark DAC1 HDR to a family member and proceeded to look for cheaper alternatives. Bought a Cyrus amp and a Dacmagic - but ouch. That didnt work for me.
Started looking for a S/H quality DAC but nothing came up that satisfied my budget. I came across a good forum that reviewed equipment based largely on measured technical performance.
https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php

Not everyones cup ot tea but with respect to the DACs they provide a performance table that is easily understandable
https://www.audiosciencereview.com/foru ... dacs.4814/

I looked at this table and started researching further to optimise the facilities, performance and price of the DACs . Looking to better my Benchmark DAC1 I concentrated at the top end of the table.
I ended up homing in on a Topping D50
https://www.audiosciencereview.com/foru ... -dac.2403/
It was difficult to comprehend the measured performance of this DACs electronics against its market price but I went for it, £176 from Amazon, so if I was wrong in my expectations I could return it !
It arrived and I have been using it for 4 months now.
I was impressed with its performance on first run using the old Cyrus amp, to delve deeper and hooked it into my main system with my Ncores and ATC's.
I was gobsmacked, this little unit closely matched my DAC2 and certainly had the egde on my older DAC1, exactly where it stood in the aformentioned performance tables.

Its a basic no frills DAC beautifully built in a CNC machined case that is heavy enough to make sure the cables dont take over.
No remote . Front panel gain and source selection and a first press of the power button takes one to the basic settings including filter selection. Mini FP screen display, USB SPDIF and optical input.Unbalanced outputs.
Power supply is 5v via a USB cable from ones own USB socket. It works fine from this but I would recommend a linear 5v supply. I built my own but these are about £60 from Ebay
Topping are at https://www.tpdz.net
I can thoroughly recommend this DAC to anyone looking for a high performance low cost unit. Bear in mind the basic operational facilities but not many of us need more. I read Topping are upgrading this to a D50S, as above plus a headphone amp.
Quite impressed with Topping, I have just bought an MX3 DAC /Amp for use with our TV. Remote Gain Bass and Treble, USB optical SPDIF and Bluetooth. 2*38 Watt Class D. its shaping up well with a performance that is certainly adequate for my application

My revamp backfired on me. I found I had to have better amplification after being used to N Cores so ended up building another pair! Consoled myself that I had a DAC that outperformed my Benchmark DAC1 and cost less than half the price of a S/H DAC1.
System is now Topping D50, Hypex NCores and KEF ref 1.2
Sytem 1.
Engineered SA-NMR Renderer (Ianmac PSU) :BelCanto CD-2: Technics 1200 (Ianmac Bearing + Ianmac PSU+Ianmac arm): DACT-Ianmac phono pre >Benchmark DAC2 HGC>2*Ianmac-Hypex NCore monos> ATCSCM40 : Ianmac filters
System 2
Engineered SA-NMR Renderer (Ianmac PSU) :Topping D50 DAC.Sony CDP D11 pro: 2*-Hypex Ncore monos: Kef ref1-2.
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RichardLowe
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Re: Topping DACs. The D50 in use.

Postby RichardLowe » Thu Jul 18, 2019 6:13 am

Very interesting Ian, thank you for the review. DAC technology is moving so quickly that your approach is very sensible. Thanks also for the audiosciencereview site, I'll take a better look with more time.
[(NAS > LAN network) + (oppo 203 > ml binary star i/c) + (RoonCore on Intel NUC > LAN network)] > primare pre60 > tellurium q black xlr > primare a60 > tellurium q black 2.0 > boenicke w13 se

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Re: Topping DACs. The D50 in use.

Postby callen24 » Thu Jul 18, 2019 3:19 pm

currently £143 on amazon
cyrus stream X2, Oppo HA-1SE, IMFs, NORD OneUP, VA Beethoven Baby Grand
ML binarystar digital, DenchXLR, RFCneptune RCA, VanDamme OFC spk cable. AG 500 ac regenerator and Townsend Seismic sink stand, sonority roller platform
rega RP6, AT95e/paratrace, Clearaudio nano, sub-platter upgrade
Former owner of 20 Cyrus boxes

Ianmac
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Re: Topping DACs. The D50 in use.

Postby Ianmac » Thu Jul 18, 2019 5:29 pm

At £143 its a steal.
Anyone looking for a DAC wont be disappointed with its technical performance.
Sytem 1.
Engineered SA-NMR Renderer (Ianmac PSU) :BelCanto CD-2: Technics 1200 (Ianmac Bearing + Ianmac PSU+Ianmac arm): DACT-Ianmac phono pre >Benchmark DAC2 HGC>2*Ianmac-Hypex NCore monos> ATCSCM40 : Ianmac filters
System 2
Engineered SA-NMR Renderer (Ianmac PSU) :Topping D50 DAC.Sony CDP D11 pro: 2*-Hypex Ncore monos: Kef ref1-2.
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Re: Topping DACs. The D50 in use.

Postby angelface » Fri Jul 19, 2019 7:33 am

It is a pity that there are no DACs from Cyrus or Bel Canto in list. The Chord DACs tested are not the latest and greatest either.
CDXTSE2/PSX-R(Nordost Silver Line)BC DAC3.7/VBL(Atlas Navigator)MF Baby Mk2(Atlas Navigator)2xMonoX300Sigs(Coherent 4D)WB Arc
HUMAX Freesat+/Sony BDPS280>AVMaster8 and SP+>Spendor C5e>> Monitor Audio RXW12 sub>>4xSpendor SR5

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Re: Topping DACs. The D50 in use.

Postby Ianmac » Fri Jul 19, 2019 12:38 pm

Remember its a forum. The measurement work is done by a few who have or have access to the equipment needed.
The manufacturers who are interested in having their gear openly tested supply units for test, or its units bought by members.
I conclude that these are the manufacturers interested in selling their gear.
I cannot comment re Cyrus or Bel Canto or Chord.
Nord are included in the amp section tests, they supplied an amp.

The point made to me from my exercise is there is no longer the need to pay a high price for good technical performance and construction and increasingly the information is becoming available to enable one to search this out.

Richard mentioned that DAC technology is moving fast.
I think we can say that for most sectors of Hi Fi. Class D amps are now the norm ?
We are now moving into the nano technology age, items like these small DACs and Amps are very cheap to build and manufacturers want to access a large market to maintain profitability.
This subject could start another thread!
Sytem 1.
Engineered SA-NMR Renderer (Ianmac PSU) :BelCanto CD-2: Technics 1200 (Ianmac Bearing + Ianmac PSU+Ianmac arm): DACT-Ianmac phono pre >Benchmark DAC2 HGC>2*Ianmac-Hypex NCore monos> ATCSCM40 : Ianmac filters
System 2
Engineered SA-NMR Renderer (Ianmac PSU) :Topping D50 DAC.Sony CDP D11 pro: 2*-Hypex Ncore monos: Kef ref1-2.
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Re: Topping DACs. The D50 in use.

Postby Joe » Fri Jul 19, 2019 12:51 pm

The Soundkey is on there FWIW, and it measures poorly.
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Re: Topping DACs. The D50 in use.

Postby julianh » Fri Jul 19, 2019 6:10 pm

Joe wrote:The Soundkey is on there FWIW, and it measures poorly.


Personally I would take any measurements on ASR with an extreme pinch of salt. In my opinion Amir has a manufacturer bias. He dislikes some manufacturers because they test badly and they test badly because he doesn’t understand how their DACs are designed. Therefore his standard tests are inappropriate. If it’s a simple delta sigma design he seems to manage reasonably ok but if it’s not a standard ds design he struggles. His test of the Schiit Yggdrasil is a good example. Both Stereophile and Darko rate it yet he doesn’t. It’s not a ds DAC so it cannot be tested using the standard methods.
Sources: Cyrus CDXT Signature, Cyrus Stream X Signature, Linn Sondek LP12 (Basik Plus, AT440MLa, Khan, Lingo 2, Trichord Dino Mk3 & Dino+)
DAC: Schiit Gungnir Multibit
Pre: Stevens & Billington Baby Classic
Power: Hypex nCore NC400
Speakers: Focal 1008Be + BK XLS200
Cables etc: ML Cryo Ref, Kimber 8TC, IanMac filters, Black Ravioli Pads, VPI 16.5