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Topping A30 Headphone Amplifier

Discussion in 'Headphone Amps (full-size)' started by jimster480, Mar 20, 2017.
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  1. Oscar-HiFi
    The Op-amps in the A30 are indeed socketed :)
  2. Jimster480
    Yea thats what I thought.
    IT comes stock with some TI ones I believe, and those are also of good quality.
  3. ostewart
  4. Jimster480
    Nice Review here, for the A30 I think I might try getting these other OPAmps to test it like you suggested.

    Which ones did you swap it to?
  5. ostewart
    I've only tried one other which are not cheap, the Burson V5i Duals, but they are well worth it, was not expecting such a jump in sound quality.
    D Rob likes this.
  6. Jimster480
    I just ordered a bunch of other OpAmps based on NavAWGuy's findings.
    I can't find many graphs from the Burson's but they seem to be very fast, which causes more distortion typically.
  7. Jimster480
    So I have rolled my A30 to a OPA2227 from the OPA2134, am testing it now to see how the sound changes.
    It shouldn't make too much of a difference but the 2227 is said to be better than the 2134 in many aspects.
  8. Jimster480
    As another update, I have just taken the TI OPA2227 out after some A/B testing (I have 2x A30's one is stock) the 2227 results in a slightly "harsher" sound, I think this is due to the low slew rate which doesn't curb all the artifacts.
    Some might argue that it is more "natural" but sometimes "natural" isn't good if its harsh. I listened to about 30 hours of music on the 2227's and most songs were fine, but then I came to a couple songs with some some Cymbals and they really came through with a harsh tone that made my ears start to hurt due to overwhelming sharpness.

    I tested the stock A30 and while its still sharp, its not harsh.
    After going over the track about 5 times in a/b I concluded that the 2227 is infact not a good option to roll to unless you like your music more "raw".

    I have now rolled it to a LM4562NA and will report back on my findings.

    In my last couple minutes of testing, upon testing the rolled A30 with the LM4562NA the harshness was gone (from the 2227). Additionally it has cleaner than the stock A30 (OPA 2134), I would say what sounds like slightly more depth but it is tapered from harshness.
    This is more in line with NwAvGuys findings where the LM4562 is better performing vs the 2134.
    I will report back more information though because I have only tested 2 specific songs.

    THe first is "This Joint" by Slightly Stoopid and the second is "3:16AM" by Jhene Aiko
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2017
  9. ostewart
    Yep LM4562 is a nice little opamp, if you can get hold of LM49990's (best to buy the adaptors and opamps separate and solder yourself) would be interested to hear your opinion.
  10. Jimster480
    They seem hard to find and it only comes in SOIC meaning that I would have to solder it onto a DIP converter package.

    If I do happen to find some I can easily solder it with my buddies solder. We have soldered plenty of things for cars over the years so this would be pretty easy.

    The Slew rate looks good, and it has good distortion properties.
    It only operates upto 18V though, but the A30 maxes out at 14V input.
    The thing is though that its a single channel OPAmp vs Dual channel like the LM4562. Meaning that I would need 4 of them for the A30. Additionally its graphs do look weird in some cases especially above 10k.

    I'd be down to try it out but based on the technical specs which apply to audio it doesn't look like it would make much of a difference if any vs the LM4562. Maybe only at very high loads because the power handling capability is a bit better.

    Do you know of any place to buy it? I looked at the suppliers and its literally not anywhere I can find.

    With further research it seems to have been discontinued last year some time. This is because the process technology they were based on was phased out.


    http://www.ti.com/product/OPA1611 This is what they claim the replacement is.

    Even better as per http://www.tpdz.net.img.800cdn.com/en/products/a30/a30-14.jpg

    this is the base Amplifier of the D30 already.

    So it seems that based on the specs of both that the OPA1611 is indeed similar to the 49990 and it is infact better in some ways, but the slew rate is indeed higher.

    I wonder if I got a 1612 and soldered it on a DIP board how it would actually sound lol....
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2017
    ostewart likes this.
  11. NTK1
    Hey all,

    The Topping stack just showed up on Massdrop again and been looking into upgrading my DAC. Currently have a Dragonfly Black and Magni 2. I was planning on getting the Modi 2 Multibit but should I hold off on the Schiit DAC or would the Topping stack be better combo?
  12. Jimster480
    This depends on what you listen to and what your gear is.
    The topping stack is more reference. My Schiit stuff doesn't sound reference at all and I am looking to sell my modi 2 multibit actually.
    It doesn't really sound very good and plenty of different music has artifacts with it.
    Its because it doesn't have proper filters like DS dacs and most ADC these days are also DS.
    I Daily my A30 and swap the dac around sometimes.

    BUT I use the D30 most of the time.
  13. NTK1
    I am using the M1060s as my daily headphones. I also listen to a little bit of everything but mostly all flavors of rock/metal. I want to use the dragonfly as my mobile dac since I joined the hd6xx drop.
  14. Jimster480
    Then you should be fine with the A30, it can drive basically everything. I see those are planar headphones, they have higher power requirements but the Topping has high power mode aswell as a larger jack for bigger headphones.

    But definitely for the DAC stay away from the Modi Multibit unless you like things like tube amps that alter the sound. Because it really was a disappointment with any modern music especially.
  15. NTK1
    They are only 50ohm but not power hungry like Fostex. If I run straight to my DAC, I have the volume at 20% for comfortable listening. 100% turns them into speakers lol. With the Schiit and the DAC at 100% it usually sits at 12 o clock.
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