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Topping DX7 - DAC and balanced headphone amplifier

Discussion in 'Dedicated Source Components' started by faber65, Mar 16, 2017.
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  1. Justin0505
    I don't know about the internals beyond the chips, but the DX7/DX7s has balanced xlr line output, which is why I purchased it.

    However, according to Amir, the D50 measures even better than the DX7s:
    -worth noting from Amir's review though is that if you intend to use S/PDIF, then you need to supply your own power-supply.
    If all you need is SE RCA out, then the D50 looks to be even more of a bargain than the DX7
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2018
    newtophones07 and dwaleke like this.
  2. dwaleke
    The D50 measured slightly better than the DX7S IIRC. D50 has volume control, but the knob on the DX7S is likely easier and faster to adjust.
    newtophones07 likes this.
  3. crabdog
    The DX7 has a fixed-level line out so it can't be used for preamp volume control. Whether that has changed with the DX7S I don't know. Hopefully, someone can clarify.
    newtophones07 likes this.
  4. UNOE
    I'm using my dx7 with my studio monitors right now this has always been a feature.
  5. crabdog
    Do you mean powered/active studio monitors? Obviously, the DX7 can be connected to active speakers or an amp but the line out volume cannot be adjusted.
  6. UNOE
    Do you own either? I have Dx7 and D50. My DX7 is connected to JBL 305's with no preamp between. I use the remote from Dx7 or volume knob on DX7 to adjust volume on the speakers. They are connect with XLR to XLR directly to dx7. Dx7 has button on remote that will change it to fixed line out signal. I have pushed it and speakers gradually increase to full volume. (luckly it gradually goes up and you have enough time to click off of it). I use the HP + Line out button most the time. This allows you to control volume on both line out and headphones at same time. It will play though headphone built in amp and JBL's at same time.
    Before my XLR connectors arrived I also used the JBL's on the RCA outs with same results.

    The D50 also can adjust volume to speakers but not as easy as knob.
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2018
  7. crabdog
    Okay, I just checked and you're right. Not sure how I missed that - probably because I usually use IEMs with the HP out so the volume is around -30dB. So when I pressed the button I wasn't hearing anything out of the speakers. Using the HP+Line Out button on the remote does change to variable level.

    EDIT: Actually I just checked the review on my blog and I answered someone's question there in Sep 2017 saying it can be used as a preamp so I did know about it but just forgot. I must have got it mixed up with one of the other 3 dac/amps I have reviewed since then. :p
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2018
  8. UNOE
  9. BuddhaBruce
    Has anyone paired this with a hifiman edition x v2?
  10. franz12
    It is on massdrop again. anyone has any updates on this?
  11. Justin0505
    TLDR: Even at the $480 Ali Express price I think the DX7s is a bargain. At the $380 Massdrop price it's an absolute steal.

    At that price it could very realistically be an "entry level" all-in-one, but it's also not something that you'd need to sell when upgrading to better cans or moving to stand-alone external amp.

    I've used a handful of entry-level dac/amps ranging from the O2/ODAC to the IDSD BL and I found the DX7s to bet significantly better than all of them: sound stage, positional accuracy, speed and detail resolution are the areas where it really jumped out at me as being on another level from anything else I'd heard.

    IMO, it's not sufficient to say that this is the best balanced DAC/amp under $500, because it has no competitors anywhere close to that price. I have serious doubts that there's anything that comes close to the specs and performance within $1000 or more.

    Honestly, just based on thick, machined aluminium chassis, premium switches and connectors, and not-inexpensive guts, I don't see how any company outside of China could ever hope to deliver this much quality an not have their COSTS be close to the MSRP for this thing.

    I was honestly prepared for the DX7s to come with a "catch" some issue or glaring flaw that would make me say "ahh, I see why this was only $480, and a Benchmark DAC3 cost $2200".... but that moment has yet to happen.

    There are some very minor UI niggles:
    it's sort of a pain to have to push the knob to cycle through input modes, especially when "double clicking" the knob cycles output modes (HP, DAC, HP+DAC), you have to cycle inputs slowly to avoid accidentally switching out put modes. Accessing any of the filter modes also requires some complex maneuver that requires powering the unit off, then holding down the knob button while it powering on. I don't mind the design (and cost saving) decision to have a very minimal UI on the unit, and to provide a more robust UI via a remote . However, the remote is not included nor is it even available for purchases as an accessory because Topping hasn't finished it yet.
    To me it's a minor issue, but I can understand some people being annoyed with it.

    I've been meaning / still intend to write a more extensive review but wanted to at least get this quick update out for anyone on the fence about the Massdrop deal.

    I'll also note that my experience both with Ali-Express and the seller "TakstarAudio Store" has been beyond excellent.
    I literally had a package shipped direct from China in my hands within 5 days of ordering it ... that not 5days of shipping, its 5days TOTAL from the time between when I clicked "buy" and when it was sitting on my desk playing music.
    I had a personal message including pictures from a real person at "TakstarAudio Store" within minutes of placing the order and the same person updated me every step of the way, as well as provided support and answered my questions long after I received the order.
    I don't know what Massdrop is charging for shipping, but the TAS price was $100 more, but included free super fast shipping. So, if you wanna pay a little more to avoid the Massdrop waiting game, I can't recommend Ali-Express and TAS enough.
    franz12 likes this.
  12. chungjun
    Just hoping to get a bit of perspective... do you have a Benchmark DAC3 to compare with DX7s? Don't get me wrong, I'm just wondering if you've had the chance to compare them (i.e. DAC3 vs DX7s) or is this just a figurative statement?

    I have my eye on DX7 / DX7s too..
  13. UNOE
    The Gustard A20H and the Schitt multibit version Jot and Lyr would compete for under $1K.
    I actually love my DX7 though. I bought a D50 recently as well. The auto on/off feature is something I use that none of the competion has.
  14. Justin0505
    I should have been more clear: it was purely figurative. I do NOT own a DAC3.
    The idea I was trying to convey was that I was expecting the DX7s specs and hype to be too good to be true. I was expecting to fine some part of it (either sound or build) lacking in a way that I could justify the expense of upgrading to something like a DAC3.

    The most recent high-end DAC that I had experience with prior to DX7s was a McIntosh MHA150. MHA150 vs DX7s I preferred the HP amp on the MHA150. However, DX7s>GS-X mk2 VS MHA150 I prefer the sound of the DX7s+GSX which tells me that the MHA has a better HP amp / analoge stage than the DX7s, but when paired with a awesome amp, the full capability of the DX7's DAC section shines through.

    Prior to the DX7s, I had only heard the GSX driven SE (over RCA). The biggest change that I noticed with the DX7s is that it made everything that I loved about the GSX even better. Sound stage expanded wider and deeper to the point where it feels as good or better than than some implementations of simulated 3D like I've heard from DOLBY and IFI. When paired with my LCD-4's, the GSX also adds a physicality to the sound that I've never heard before. It's not just the "SLAM" that some bass heads talk about, but a physical sense of movement and vibration that's there with many instruments. For example its beyond the level of simply hearing individual strings on a guitar being plucked, but almost feeling a tickle like there's a real physical string vibrating next to my ear.
  15. Justin0505
    I dont agree that the Jot or Lyr compete as they dont offer the same functionality. They just have a small USB add-on and dont offer any of the other connectivity that the DX7s does. They are Amps, with a small, tacked-on USB DAC, where as the DX7s is a DAC first, that also happens to have a HP amp. The Lyr is also not balanced.

    I agree the Gustard is much closer in specs and connectivity, but it's also from China and while not over the $1000 mark, it is much much closer. It also doesn't quite match the maximum bitrate of the DX7s and requires the much less common I2S connection to get to peak rates.
    Unless you really needed I2S, I think it's a very difficult argument to advocate for the $400+ price increase needed to chose the A20H over then DX7s based on specs. However, I also haven't heard the A20H, perhaps the analog end is better if you're also using it as a HP amp instead of just a dac/pre.
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