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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. thebkt
    I don't have specs for you, but I can confirm that it powered my 250 ohm dt770' and he-560 just fine. It has a high/low voltage switch and multiple gain levels, so I'm sure you'll be fine with the hd600.
  2. GirgleMirt
    The A30 can pretty much drive anything out there... From Grados to hifiman 400i to Beyer 990s 600 ohms, etc... FWIW, I compared mine to the Schiit Magni (1) and... It appears I never posted my thoughts... Here's a quick comparison with some new flacs I stumbled on. 400i, volume 1am for Magni and A30 is Hi, +9dB gain and 3am volume for same SPL.

    Souls to fight: Extremely similar, if anything the Magni seems a tad warmer and there is slight imaging difference; can't really tell which is better, maybe the A30 is a bit 'sharper'.

    Knight of Rebellion: Here the differences are more pronounced. The track is quite dynamic, with a strings & drum playing in quite a rhythmic fashion, with lots of fast high energy fast strumming & drums, but lots of short rests in between. Here the A30 really seems to have better dynamics; sounds have more impact, the initial 'attack' of the note and the 'end' seem much better defined, and you can definitely hear more 'detail' 'between' the sounds. Anyway, hard to describe, I'd just say better detail, more precise sound. The Magni seems a bit more like it's smearing the sounds in comparison. It's subtle, but unless it's placebo, quite audible.

    Don ross slow burn; here you have a single guitar and again the difference between both is quite noticeable. Again, the A30 is more detailed and has a sharper imaging.

    Anyway, pretty much as I remember. IMHO, the A30 is a better amp; seems to bring out more of what the headphones are capable of, but it's definitely not night and day. For instance the difference seem quite apparent when alternating between one another but if tomorrow they plugged either Magni/A30 and I had to guess which one I was listening to, let's just say I wouldn't bet 100 bucks that I'd get it right. I'd probably bet 100 times that though if I could alternate between them!

    With the beyer 600 ohms 990s I'd have to increase the volume, but too lazy to level match, anyway, pretty much the same as the above. Quickly listening to some Grados SR80s with those humongous I don't know what Grado pads, again I'd say it's pretty similar to the above. Again with Knight of Rebellion, The A30 just seem to drive the headphones better, for instance, just listening to the reverberation of the notes, you can definitely perceive more 'information' than on Magni. Just sounds 'tighter', more in control. But anyway, this isn't the latest modded upgraded Magni 3 uber duper super crap, just the good old original Magni, so maybe the latest versions improve on it!

    I'm also in Canuckistan (Canada), got my A30 from ali express, less than 100$ shipped from china I think it was, no brokerage fees, no taxes, so ironically, it's much cheaper in terms of shipping and fees at the border to buy from China than it is from the USA. Let that sink in...! Ain't that ridiculous? So yeah, for Canada, imho definitely go for... Ugh what's the name... Oh yeah Topping... Topping A30... :wink:
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2018
    TERMiNAL_ likes this.
  3. TERMiNAL_
    Awesome little review man! I don't know how you got it for $100 shipped...I live in Canada also and the lowest it shows for CDN dollars is $142 shipped just for the A30 amp.
  4. thebkt
    I too am in the chilly North country. Got mine from massdrop last year for $215 shipped (with the d30). I can't recall the customs fees.
  5. GirgleMirt
    Thanks! :) Yeah the price was USD, $ 98.99 X1 to be exact, often sales and 10% off isn't too rare. But still, that's shipped, and with luck you'd also have $0 to pay upon delivery. Normally from the US if it's shipped via USPS there'll likely be 10$ brokerage fees from canada customs, and then there's taxes. From Ali they very rarely charge anything!

    btw (unless it specifies 'special' shipping with brokerage included and *no extra fees*) never ship anything from US other than by USPS, ex; fedex, UPS, DHL, etc., these guys will rip you a new one with all kinds of nasty fees; for 100$ likely around 40-50$ extra at the border... :\ And that's on top of the $20 or whatever the original shipping costs were! And to add insult to injury, they'll also tax you those fees...

    Ex; for UPS, for Magni CDN ~$125cdn
    $26.60 "Entry Preparation Charges"
    $6.00 "Bond fees **minimum $6.00 on UPS Standard"
    $4.25 Import Charge Processing fee
    $24 fed & prov taxes

    So total for schiit assuming $20 shipping by UPS would cost you over $200...! Looking at my 2013 modi order it was $38 US for modi+magni by USPS... Ouch... Still way cheaper than UPS/fedex/other considering lack of border fees. But anyway, just adding the best case $20 shipping, $10 brokerage fees and taxes, even though both amps are the same price, the american amp ends up almost 50% more expensive. Not complaining, likely a hole which will eventually be closed, just effectively makes the A30 significantly cheaper!

    Thebkt: you must have been very lucky with massdrop shipping!
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2018
  6. TERMiNAL_

    What about "Free Shipping from Amazon.com???​
  7. GirgleMirt
    Sadly, the only thing we get for free from the US are illegal immigrants... Although amazon.ca does offer free shipping in Canada, .com definitely does not. Even half the time when you're willing to pay shipping and buy something from .com because it's not on .ca, you add everything to your cart, then during checkout you get a nice little message: "Sorry, this item does not ship to Canada, but to compensate the US is sending you a free Nigerian illegal immigrant you Canadian tax payers will be happy to feed, house and clothe!". Ahem, I meant 'refugee', because... of the obvious American oppression, persecution and Trump and all, but I digress... :wink:
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2018
  8. GaToMaLaCo

    Yeah tell that to the aboriginal canadians like the Inuits and Metis...
  9. GirgleMirt
    Hehe sorry maybe I should have put the emphasis on illegal. And again I just want to emphasis that there is absolutely nothing illegal about ordering an item from china. The items arriving from China passes through Canada customs in the exact same way as items arriving from the states. It's really the Canadian border agents who determine what is taxed and what is charged brokerage fees. (Or UPS ripping off people with bs fees..) It's not like the Chinese packages illegally enter Canada to avoid customs...

    But I don't think it's fair or normal that American companies are put at a disavantage vs Chinese brands and companies. In the same way, I don't think it's fair to have some people breaking the law and bypassing legal immigration. It's a disservice to potential honest immigrants and even worse for genuine potential refugees in dire need of refugee status, who would be escaping real wars, persecution, etc. Canadian funds being limited, any money dedicated to illegal immigrants is money taken away from real deserving immigrants or refugees. But yeah, nothing is 'free'.

    And as it is, it is definitely advantageous economically for Canadians to go for a Chinese brand like Topping rather than American... Sad... But that's how things are. If the roles were reversed and it was cheaper to go American, as likely it is for Americans, assuming the Schiit Uber Magni 3 improve upon the original 2013 version and is at least equal to the Topping, I'd recommend the opposite!
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2018
  10. TERMiNAL_
    Made in USA means nothing, so many other countries can make the same product the same if not better.

    Take Japan for instance, they take whatever USA can make...and improves it,,,same with Germany.

    Buying a product made in USA does not mean I'm getting a high quality product, I'm starting to think the opposit.
  11. GaToMaLaCo
    Also the correct term would be "Assembled" in USA. :darthsmile:
    ostewart and TERMiNAL_ like this.
  12. Technopiper
    Question: Can I feed signal to the A30 from my Topping D3? They aren't made for each other like the D30, but signals are just signals, right? I'm thinking of getting DT880 600 ohm and worried that the D3 wouldn't be able to drive them.
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2018
  13. Oscar-HiFi
    The D3 should output a standard line-level signal, which will go into the A30 no problem.
    Technopiper likes this.
  14. Technopiper
    Good to know that, thanks! Next I'll need to find a really short RCA cable as a pass-through link.
  15. TERMiNAL_
    Technopiper likes this.
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