Topping E30 Digital to Analogue Converter Review & Comments

unground

Active Member
Request for help please. In my office I have a pair of studio monitor actives connected to my PC by way of a cheapish USB pre-amp (M-Audio MobilePre, no longer made). I listen to spotify or whatever a bit while working, and a few games.

I've not really paid much attention to sound quality as I don't use it for critical listening but it seems like this DAC could be a big bang for buck improvement.

Would this work? What other bits might I need? The monitors have XLR inputs obviously so balanced connections ideal but I guess not essential (unless ground hum is an issue?)
 

coyrls

Standard Member
Great review,

quick question Ed (or owners), can the display be switched off?

Kind regards

Rob
No, there are three brightness levels but the display can't be switched off. The lowest brightness level is not very low although the orange colour reduces the glare.
 

acgingersnaps

Active Member
Now, assuming your X1 has the cartridge it was supplied with (your signature doesn't specify), it is slightly 'undercartridged'.
It does. Saving for a 2M Bronze. Would look at non-Ortofon, but the arm weight of the X1 limits my options. It's the only minus of, to my mind, an excellent machine.

Thanks for taking the time to reply by the way. I should point out that I always enjoy your reviews.
 

dannnielll

Well-known Member
"We are fortunate enough to be living in these times where very high end sound quality is within reach of the masses. I am just glad that being a reviewer you agreed to review this and share your thoughts."

.. That is a very true comment. These times are in that regard fortunate. It is particularly true in the digital world where the cost per unit is trivial after the setup engineering costs are paid. I think that is what Ed was referring to. The mechanical engineering and manufacturing of a cartridge or speakers or headphones means that the better quality costs more. However that is not true for digital. Once the chip is designed, it only matters how many are made.
 

Ed Selley

AVF Reviewer
However that is not true for digital. Once the chip is designed, it only matters how many are made.

...up to a point. Some of the most interesting and capable decoding isn't being done via off the shelf silicone so there are some variations there. Then there's components in the output stage, power supply and the casework itself (which is not entirely decorative) to factor in too.

It's fair to say that the difference between a Topping E30 and Chord DAVE are significantly smaller than the difference between a Pro-Ject Primary E and a Vertere MG-1 (a roughly equivalent spread) or Mission LX-2 MkII and the Titan 505 (which I've compared in this room) however.
 

vkvedam

Active Member
...up to a point. Some of the most interesting and capable decoding isn't being done via off the shelf silicone so there are some variations there. Then there's components in the output stage, power supply and the casework itself (which is not entirely decorative) to factor in too.

It's fair to say that the difference between a Topping E30 and Chord DAVE are significantly smaller than the difference between a Pro-Ject Primary E and a Vertere MG-1 (a roughly equivalent spread) or Mission LX-2 MkII and the Titan 505 (which I've compared in this room) however.
Well said!
 

unground

Active Member
Do you care to? If yes, then yeah. But if you don't then it might prove to be a wasted investment.
Thanks, that is the killer question, very well put. For a hundred quid or so to get a good improvement? Yes it's worth it. For lots more than that, probably not.

If I did buy the Topping, or indeed the iFi DAC, how would I connect? Do I even need a pre-amp in the chain? I know for example that in theory the iFi can output balanced to twin XLR using the pentaconn connector but I couldn't find a suitable cable.

Anyone have experience of using the Topping or other DAC to get from PC to a pair of actives, ideally I guess using balanced connections?
 
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dollag

Well-known Member
Thanks, that is the killer question, very well put. For a hundred quid or so to get a good improvement? Yes it's worth it. For lots more than that, probably not.

If I did buy the Topping, or indeed the iFi DAC, how would I connect? Do I even need a pre-amp in the chain? I know for example that in theory the iFi can output balanced to twin XLR using the pentaconn connector but I couldn't find a suitable cable.

Anyone have experience of using the Topping or other DAC to get from PC to a pair of actives, ideally I guess using balanced connections?

smsl has numerous dacs, even with remote control that can act like a preamp. the smsl su8 for example
 

Phildick

Active Member
You could just connect digital out from your pc to the E30. Then phono to XLR cables to the speakers. The DAC can operate in preamp mode and comes with a remote from which the volume can be altered.
 

Devil On Your S

Well-known Member
This DAC does have a loud pop when directly connected to a power amp/active speakers so just beware of that.

I owned one but had to return it to Amazon when it stopped outputting sound. It vibrated when touched when on as well which was a bit disconcerting to say the least.
 

muljao

Well-known Member
Request for help please. In my office I have a pair of studio monitor actives connected to my PC by way of a cheapish USB pre-amp (M-Audio MobilePre, no longer made). I listen to spotify or whatever a bit while working, and a few games.

I've not really paid much attention to sound quality as I don't use it for critical listening but it seems like this DAC could be a big bang for buck improvement.

Would this work? What other bits might I need? The monitors have XLR inputs obviously so balanced connections ideal but I guess not essential (unless ground hum is an issue?)
This would work perfectly, it's pretty much an exact purpose for this unit. You just need a rca to xlr cable, ground hum will unlikely be an issue unless your speakers are 60 feet from your pc with extension leads and a tv broadcasting station in same room

Amazon product
 

mindforge

Active Member
Thanks, that is the killer question, very well put. For a hundred quid or so to get a good improvement? Yes it's worth it. For lots more than that, probably not.

If I did buy the Topping, or indeed the iFi DAC, how would I connect? Do I even need a pre-amp in the chain? I know for example that in theory the iFi can output balanced to twin XLR using the pentaconn connector but I couldn't find a suitable cable.

Anyone have experience of using the Topping or other DAC to get from PC to a pair of actives, ideally I guess using balanced connections?
I have the Ifi Zen DAC and Genelec monitors but have never managed to connect using the Pentaconn to XLR connection with out a loud buzz when I turn the laptop off. Tried the Ifi mains power conditioner and USB cleaner but it didn't make any difference. To my ears it sounds better though otherwise or at least a higher gain. Have considered the Topping DAC with the XLR outputs but it's pretty expensive as is the Ifi Neo equivalent. The Cambridge DAC magic 200 looks like a better price but no idea if it's any good.
 

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