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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. Voxata
    No credit need be cited, I'm just happy I stumbled across it to maybe help others who own this unit. Happy listening all :)
    06S2k07Si likes this.
  2. Toshu
    Thanks guys for the info. Order placed on Massdrop.
    Will report back what I find when I get the unit.
  3. jsmiller58
    I disassembled my DX7S this evening. The heatsinks, in my case (wow, an unintended pun), were tight and making good contact to the 4 components. However, as Voxata has noted, there was nothing to actually ensure a good thermal connection like thermal paste or a thermal pad. I went ahead and applied a thermal pad to the 4 components.

    I did get mine from Massdrop, as part of the August drop (not sure the vintage of other units that had poorer assembly quality).

    By the way, for anyone thinking that this is a daunting task, don't panic. 20 minutes should be more than enough. Unless you are a clueless klutz like me. An hour will be required then... :)
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2018
    Alcophone, Voxata and kukkurovaca like this.
  4. Toshu
    Folks on Massdrop assume that there is only a 30 day warranty....thats not true. I contacted Topping directly about purchases made from MD and they said that after 30 days they would honor the warranty. Its one of the reasons, in addition to Voxata's and your information and pictures that made me feel comfortable ordering one of these.....besides after breaking my back earlier this year, I need to keep my mind busy.
  5. CrispApple
    I'm planning on buying the DX7s and using the two big outputs on the back(XLR?) to connect to a STAX SRM-353X.
    If I do this will the device just work as a DAC for the Stax while still being an Amp/DAC for the headphone outputs on the front of the unit?
  6. jsmiller58
    Hi Toshu,

    I am thrilled that Topping will cover the DX7S bought on Massdrop, despite the drop page not mentioning a manufacturer warranty. Makes me feel better about my own purchase! But keep in mind that this may not be a universal practice.

    This is the response I got from Massdrop with respect to a different product:

    "Regrettably, your order of the Headphone Amp did not come with a manufacturers warranty. The warranty would be stated on the Amp's drop page that you can find here:"

    In this case there is no manufacturer's warranty mentioned on the DX7S drop page. I am glad that despite this Topping is standing behind a Massdrop purchase, but given my experience and the MD FAQ on the subject I am not sure that will be the case for all Massdrop purchased products that don't specifically call out a manufacturer warranty on the drop page. As always, all purchasers should keep in mind the old maxim - caveat emptor.
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2018
  7. Alcophone
    Thank you for bringing up the issue and posting instructions! I opened mine up and the heatsinks looked firmly attached, but at the right angle I could still see a bit of a gap because the chips aren't all completely parallel to the heatsinks, so I figured I'll add the thermal pads anyway. I put it all back together and am relieved that it's still working.

    P_20181113_232109_vHDR_On.jpg P_20181113_233812_vHDR_On.jpg

    Before sliding out the board, the four side mounted screws in the back have to be removed as well.
    One of the standoff screws was loose, luckily in the rear, so I could hold it in place with pliers.

    I am truly amazed that the main case is one solid, hollow, thick piece of aluminum. I would have expected that to be too expensive to manufacture for the price point.

    I got mine from Massdrop as well, ordered on April 13th, 2018, and received on June 11th, 2018.

    19 screws in total requiring three different tools, and it's not clear how to start. Next time I could do it in 20 minutes easily, too, but not the first time. :-D I have quite the collection of allen wrenches from various pieces of furniture and other equipment, but didn't have the right ones handy. Luckily I have a Leatherman Wave and the matching bit sets, that included everything I needed.

    I do recommend using an anti-static mat to prevent damage to the device while it's open.
    This field kit came in handy several times by now: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004XZQ30Y/
    I use it in conjunction with this ground plug adapter: https://www.digikey.com/product-detail/en/desco/09838/16-1158-ND/3043259

    Here are some bonus shots of the solder job on the back of the board:

    P_20181113_215659_vHDR_On.jpg P_20181113_215706_vHDR_On.jpg P_20181113_215714_vHDR_On.jpg P_20181113_215725_vHDR_On.jpg P_20181113_215739_vHDR_On.jpg
    06S2k07Si and jsmiller58 like this.
  8. jsmiller58
    On behalf of everyone else that hasn't yet done the mod, awesome photos to put it all in perspective with Voxata's instructions!

    The antistatic mat seems like a great idea to protect valuable electronics - no need to do a real world ESD test on your own gear!

    That soldering work looks positively aweful... I would take mine apart to look at the bottom side of the PCB, but not sure what I would do about it without the proper gear...
    Alcophone likes this.
  9. carlmart
    First of all you should clean the area around the solder pads with alcohol, perhaps retouch some of them and look for solder bridges that you may cause.
  10. jsmiller58
    Oh, I know what I would do with the proper gear, just that I don't have the proper gear so touching up anything is out of the question at the moment (but thinking about buying a simple solder station solution).

    The photos just scream solder bridges galore! :)
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2018
  11. carlmart
    EzequielFriscia and jsmiller58 like this.
  12. Joong
    Those loose heat sinks are found in the latest production or in the specific production lot?
    There are some convenient way to find the faulty one by S/N number?
    Sorry I did not read through carefully.
  13. jsmiller58
    No way to tell, really. This was not a Topping identified issue. It was identified by @Voxata (and possibly others). The issue ranges from the possibly benign but certainly bad practice of tightly attached heatsinks but no thermal pad or paste (as in my unit), to very loose heatsinks making virtually no contact (like in the case of @Voxata). We haven’t tried to identify manufacturing dates or lots to correlate what we see.

    It can safely be said that Topping may have excellent design skills resulting in well measured gear, but they need to work on their assembly (heatsinks without pads or paste) and QA practices and standards (how could the situations of poorly attached heatsinks get through inspection?).

    My suggestion is if you have or get a DX7S, follow the steps to take it apart and inspect it. At minimum add thermal pads or paste even if you find the heat sinks are securely attached.
    Joong likes this.
  14. Toshu
    I agree that its a product by product situation on Massdrop.....thats why as a noobie, after asking around, I wrote directly to Topping and got the info direct from the horses mouth. Hopefully will never need to use that info!!
  15. Voxata
    Topping has stated they are covering all massdrop purchases for a full 1 year warranty. Rest assured.
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