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Review and Measurements of Topping D10 DAC

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#21
What do you guys suggest as alternatives? I don't keep up with the latest in DIY circles on what the "in opamp is" these days. :)
The most popular from what I've read about (although from subjective sources) seems to be the burson op amps. I am not sure which models would be compatible. I'll do some more research :)

There are many boutique discrete opamps these day: Burson V lineup, Orange opamps, Sparkos are a few that come to my mind, and even integrated one like muses series from NJR. Nevertheless, I think that opamp is heavily dependent on the circuit around it to even work properly anyway, so I think it's safe to start from TI suggestion. Here's a verified upgrade path for opamp from TI themselves:
https://e2e.ti.com/support/amplifie...gn_notes/upgrading-op-amps-in-audio-equipment
Thanks for the info. This is a good start for possible candidates. Hopefully others can chime in too.

IIRC that's the same chip used in the topping A30. Does the D10 use two op amps like the A30 does? Or is it one chip you need to switch?
 
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Guermantes

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#22
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#24
Amir, if you want an lme49720 op-amp or two let me know and I will mail them to you.

It measures quite a bit better than the opa2134 in a variety of areas and has the same pin configuration, which means they are directly swappable. Might be interesting to do op-amp comparisons in the future on various products (the FX Audio DAC-X6 is also swappable, for instance ), if you’ve got time.

I bought a bunch a while back, so I have spares. Can’t speak for the other boutique brands mentioned but this is one of TI’s better DIP8 op-amps ... supposedly.
 

LarsS

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#26
What do you guys suggest as alternatives? I don't keep up with the latest in DIY circles on what the "in opamp is" these days. :)
I have these in my Norma integrated amp phono stage http://www.sonicimagerylabs.com/home.htm and had them in my now bricked Ami Musik DS5 DAC. Highly recommended if you'd like to test discrete opamps and they're located not far from where you live.
 

Jerry Sobel

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#29
Amir,

after you test the DACs do you ever just sit back and listen to them with your favorite tracks? It would be cool to also get your subjective listening perspective on these units.
 

Jimster480

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#30
What do you guys suggest as alternatives? I don't keep up with the latest in DIY circles on what the "in opamp is" these days. :)
LM4562, thats the best performing "cheap" Op-Amp I have found.
Not sure what else there is to test, maybe with some of the burson ones with insane slew rates.... but I think we all know how that would go.
Just popped in the OPA2227 but haven't listened yet. I've been running the LM4562 because of subjective preference and I may go back to that.
That's what I put into my A30.
 
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#31
What do you guys suggest as alternatives? I don't keep up with the latest in DIY circles on what the "in opamp is" these days. :)
It looks like TI recommends the OPA1642 as a replacement for the OPA2134. It needs to be mounted on a SOIC to PDIP adapter to use unless you can find one that's already been put together.
 
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#32
Ok, can someone explain me:
a) Why swapping the amp module
b) It seems that Topping is rating the output with 2 Vrms
c) How easy is it to swap the amp? Do I have to desolder and solder something?
 
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#33
Ok, can someone explain me:
a) Why swapping the amp module
b) It seems that Topping is rating the output with 2 Vrms
c) How easy is it to swap the amp? Do I have to desolder and solder something?
Changing the opamp can change the character of the sound. It shouldn't have much effect if the circuit was properly designed and the parts were spec'd correctly.

The opamp on the D10 is in a socket and can be easily swapped with any PDIP part with the same pin-outs.
 
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#34
Sure, love to have it. :) Hate ordering one or two items from mouser/digikey.....
OK, I'm going to send you an lme49720, but I also found some more that I forgot I had. :D

I have a Muses 8820 and 8920 that came with my sound card, so I'll put them in as well.

I am also sending you an OPA1612 SOIC mounted to a PDIP adapter. It is a little bigger than a standard op-amp because of the adapter, so be careful when fitting it. It has some of the best numbers in the industry.

The Muses 8920 is a J-Fet op-amp though and I really don't understand the implications behind that. If someone knows, I would appreciate clarification between J-Fet and bipolar (8820) op-amps. Thanks :).

This is not to pressure you into testing different op-amps right away Amir, just want you to have a selection to pick from whenever that day comes.

EDIT: To be clear, you don't have to return these.
 

amirm

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#35
Amir,

after you test the DACs do you ever just sit back and listen to them with your favorite tracks? It would be cool to also get your subjective listening perspective on these units.
I use some of them that way when I am doing work. But with some 20 to 30 DACs, no in general they are collecting dust. At some point I need to start to get rid of them.

The DAC in my main system (Mark Levinson) has not been replaced so for serious listening, that is what is getting used right now.
 

amirm

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#36
EDIT: To be clear, you don't have to return these.
Ah, that is most excellent. :) Thank you so much. I will do a round-up review and measurements for them all so that there is benefit to membership at large.
 
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#37
The Muses 8920 is a J-Fet op-amp though and I really don't understand the implications behind that. If someone knows, I would appreciate clarification between J-Fet and bipolar (8820) op-amps. Thanks :).
Here's some information I found on BJT vs FET:
https://www.quora.com/What-are-the-pros-and-cons-of-BJT-versus-FET-transistor
https://nwavguy.blogspot.com/2011/08/op-amp-measurements.html
Basically it's a trade-off, but BJT should be superior in performance if it is properly designed (and not just pop into some random circuit) while FET is easier to work with. The OPA1612 is BJT, I'm using 2 equivalent OPA1611 for my amp atm.
 
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#38
Here's some information I found on BJT vs FET:
https://www.quora.com/What-are-the-pros-and-cons-of-BJT-versus-FET-transistor
https://nwavguy.blogspot.com/2011/08/op-amp-measurements.html
Basically it's a trade-off, but BJT should be superior in performance if it is properly designed (and not just pop into some random circuit) while FET is easier to work with. The OPA1612 is BJT, I'm using 2 equivalent OPA1611 for my amp atm.
Thanks for the info!

Sounds like FET would be better for just dropping into existing designs then? Although I'm sure that the engineering is good enough now that if a similar op-amp is used, it shouldn't be too much of a problem. The existing OPA2134 is FET though, so it would be interesting if we saw a significant change using the bi-polar ones.

Most of my op-amp swapping has been relatively painless, although my Millett Butte I built simply won't accept the OPA552. I have to use the unity-gain stable OPA551 or I get oscillations... despite the fact that the amp was designed for the OPA552. This is the only instance where I've run into problems.
 

Wombat

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#39
Check that a substituted opamp doesn't run hot.
 
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#40
Check that a substituted opamp doesn't run hot.
I've got one of those temperature guns for this purpose. It's not great but it works. My DAC-X6 never made the opa1612 too hot. In general the low-pass op-amp never got that hot, despite whatever op-amp was there.

I think Amir actually has access to a thermal imager for his phone though.
 
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