Topping NX1 Australian Tour - DJScope
Firstly I'd like to thank @DMax99
for sending this awesome little portable headphone amplifier on a tour of Australia, and @H20Fidelity
for helping out organise the event.
After waiting for almost a week to get this thing, it finally arrived today. It looks much smaller than what I imagined it and feels rock solid in my hand, about the same as the C&C BH.
So me and a mate from where I work sat down and had a musical intermission from doing what we were supposed to be doing, i.e. work. We took some notes on paper as we had our first impressions.
Setup (everything is played at high gain)
- Motorola RAZR HD and Moto G > Topping NX1 > Takstar Pro 80
- Listening to "Sundream" by RUFUS (FLAC 16/44.1), "Desert Night" by RUFUS (FLAC 16/44.1) and "Machines Do Care" by Phonat (24/48)
- High Extension/Air
- Punchy bass - can be overwhelming
- Some interference and fuzz
- Volume pot noise
- Crisp and forward highs
- V Shaped
- Punchy lows
- Mids a bit suppressed
After this I went on to listen to the NX1 for the rest of my work day and more when I got home.
Initially I did hear some intermittent interference or short buzzing randomly and noise when turning the volume pot but as the day progressed, the circuit got warm, the volume pot got looser and the buzzing and noise stopped. I haven't experience it since.
This amp most definitely needs a burn in minimum of 1 hour before it starts to sound good. Either that, or my ears needed to adjust to it. It first sounds a bit rough in the highs and floppy in the lows, but after that the lows tighten up and the highs become much smoother. Once you get that out of the way you can actually get to know the amp and it's very transparent. So transparent that I could actually hear the background of the effects of some of RUFUS's samples. High's and lows are very forward and the mid's are not recessed but what it seems like is is that the signature is a tiny bit V shaped, not a lot, maybe 2-3db on both ends. Switching the gain to low setting feels like the frequency response is flattened out but become a little boring. All-in-all the NX1 is a pretty fun amp.
The sound stage is good. It makes it maybe 10% wider than originally. But it suffers a bit from the highs and lows being a bit forward and some of the percussive elements which are put behind you are drowned out. You can hear them, but only if you listen for them specifically. But you cannot hear them at all without an amp. I picked this up by doing an A-B comparison with my Fiio E17 (using only the AUX in, EQ off, 6db gain setting). With the E17 the staging is noticeably wider but the sound signatures a worlds apart, E17 being warm and fun and the NX1 being cold and clear.
This is what I have for now. I'll add more as the journey with the Topping NX1 continues over the next 6 days.
To be continued...
Thanks for the impression. Interesting how you find it sounds v-shaped.
Btw, do you have a dac or dap that has a line out? Because if you connect the NX1 straight to your phone's headphone out, you're "double" amping the sound. The internal amp of the Motorola can have some effect on the final sound out from the NX1.