Topping A90 Headphone Amplifier
Topping A90 Headphone Amplifier
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Product Description
At the top of Topping’s highly regarded A-series, the A90 is a headphone amplifier with few rivals. Capable of functioning as both a headphone amp and a preamp, this flagship unit is outfitted with NFCA (Nested Feedback Composite Amplifier) modules, which work together with ultra-high-gain feedback technology for impressive AC and DC control Read More

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Rowdy2026
248
Oct 22, 2020
but why is this so expensive when Drop sent me an email yesterday for a $90 tube amp?? */sarcasm
ciber
128
Oct 22, 2020
WOW, 5000 reward points, is it mistake, I thought it should be 500 points. By the way, I notice Drop charge tax before discount, which is not right. They are overcharging tax, the tax should be based on 'after discount'.
ciber
128
Oct 23, 2020
https://drop.com/help/rewardsprogram, the official statement: Once you have your Drop Credits, they’ll automatically be applied as a discount against your next purchase. By the way, Drop used to charge tax after discount. However, since August they suddenly charge tax before discount.
Check for any change in your states sales tax laws, that is usually where that type of change comes from. If Drop has no physical presence in your state they may bypass sales tax all together.
FuckHead-Fi
416
Aug 26, 2020
the normal price, facepalm
Elzizo
521
Aug 25, 2020
This is the kind of amp I wished the Schiit Jotunheim or the DX7 (not DX7s) had. This looks pretty stellar for my balanced needs powering some hungry 600 ohm cans!
verifonix
981
Oct 23, 2020
It's a great amp.
gonzoznog
47
Aug 21, 2020
Be aware some folks are having distortion issues when feeding the A90 with an RCA connection. Search for a video on YT where someone gives a review and brief overview of his issues. This is also discussed on Head-Fi and Audio Science Review. However, I personally own one of these and do not have any issues whatsoever. I use both the XLR and RCA inputs w/o any distortion. Someone said there is a design flaw, but like I said, it doesn't affect me. If you're prone to ground loops, better to stick with only XLR. The video clearly demonstrates that this is a verifiable issue though. Read up on it before deciding. But...I will say - If you can avoid the distortion issue, this amp is sweet! Very clean, lots of power. I use it as hpa and pre-amp to JBL LSR305s. One suggestion is to look elsewhere for faster shipping and a better warranty. I got this through Apos Audio. They shipped next day and I received them within 3 days. Apos Audio also give an extra year on the normal 1 year warranty. And their customer service is 1000000% better than Drop's. Just sayin'.
(Edited)
racheski
93
Aug 24, 2020
It is not distortion, it is noise.
The4thaggie
49
Aug 20, 2020
Just buy on Amazon for the same price or Apos Audio. This is not a deal.
Elzizo
521
Aug 25, 2020
Drop is offering a $50 reward in 'points' as an incentive for Drop members: 5000 points $5 for every 500 points = $50 towards a future purchase on Drop
Went
5
Oct 23, 2020
You also get drop's excellent warranty /s
HamishtheDog
65
Aug 19, 2020
I’ve never been so tempted to buy something I don’t actually need. Word has it that this is pretty much as good as it gets. Audibly transparent, tons of power, balance inputs and outputs, and all the headphone connections I’d ever need. I’ve seen this trend with the Topping products on drop, where it is at retail but they give you the larger amount points/credit on the back end. I guess that is good if you plan on future drop purchases. Obligatory link to measurements: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/topping-a90-headphone-amplifier-review.13592/

gonzoznog
47
Aug 21, 2020
Be aware some folks are having distortion issues when feeding the A90 with an RCA connection. Search for a video on YT where someone gives a review and brief overview of his issues. This is also discussed on Head-Fi and Audio Science Review. However, I personally own one of these and do not have any issues whatsoever. I use both the XLR and RCA inputs w/o any distortion. Someone said there is a design flaw, but like I said, it doesn't affect me. If you're prone to ground loops, better to stick with only XLR. The video clearly demonstrates that this is a verifiable issue though. Read up on it before deciding. But...I will say - If you can avoid the distortion issue, this amp is sweet! Very clean, lots of power. I use it as hpa and pre-amp to JBL LSR305s. One suggestion is to look elsewhere for faster shipping and a better warranty. I got this through Apos Audio. They shipped next day and I received them within 3 days. Apos Audio also give an extra year on the normal 1 year warranty. And their customer service is 1000000% better than Drop's. Just sayin'.
(Edited)
HamishtheDog
65
Aug 21, 2020
Thanks for the insight. That is definitely great info to share, especially with so many DACs having only SE outputs. I have indeed read some user remarks about experiencing ground loop issues with rca cables, whilst others don’t have any issue at all. For my purposes, that would be less of a concern as I would run balanced out of my DAC. It always comes down to that choice of savings for delayed gratification vs paying more for more immediate gratification. I like to think that drop is teaching me the value of patience... but then again sometimes the wait is pretty rough *cough pandas cough*
SpeleoFool
531
Aug 19, 2020
The A90 is one of my most recent amp acquisitions, and it's truly excellent. I'm not a huge fan of the switches (prefer dial controls), but that's a serious nitpick. More to the point is that this capable little amp will drive a wide range of headphones well, including Susvaras, which people have been pairing with very high-dollar headphone amps or even speaker amps. It took balanced out on high gain and volume at 1-2:00, but the A90 stays clean at this range and Susvaras are detailed and well-controlled with astoundingly good bass (quantity and quality). Where this amp runs out of steam a little is with 600 ohm SE headphones. It drives my Beyer 880s OK and they sound decent, but with V280, for example, which puts out a maximum of well over 1W at 600 ohms, the 880s become amazingly detailed and fluid--much more than one would expect from a sub-$200 headphone. Of course, this is a pretty narrow corner case to be concerned about, and if you happen to be someone who can't live without your 600-ohm 880s, there's a cheaper solution than spending hundreds more on a beefier amp: just mod them to use a balanced cable so you can take advantage of the extra power output, which ought to be enough to get them singing.
rslatara
277
Oct 23, 2020
Matrix Audio HPA-3B, now that will run 600 Ohms. :-0
SpeleoFool
531
Oct 23, 2020
Yeah, i believe you—specs suggest SE power is getting into the range where DT 880 600 ohms seem to open up. T1.2s are somewhat more sensitive than 880s and therefore somewhat easier to drive / less picky about amps. It has been really interesting to listen to these two 600 ohm headphones on a variety of sources and see where the tipping points seem to be. Some numbers: DT 880 “Edition” 600 ohms have a sensitivity of 96dB/mW. T1.2s have a sensitivity of 102dB/mW. Since doubling power results in +3dB gain, per the specs T 1.2s require a quarter of the power as 880s to drive, but both scale at the same rate. Plenty of amps can drive both of these headphones loudly enough, but 880s seem to like a little more headroom to really sing. Anecdotally, the T1.2s sound like a significantly better headphone on something like the 789 (100mW @ 600 ohms, SE). 880s improve somewhat on A90 (125mW @ 600 ohms, SE). And by the time you get to V280, 880s sound amazingly refined; I like them better than T1.2s on powerful amps. Although V280 doesn't list a convenient SE number, its maximum power output @ 600 ohms is a staggeting 1800mW. That’s no doubt for balanced out, so assume half of that for SE. And although maximum pre-gain on V280 is +12dB, I found +6dB sufficient. Take a quarter of 900mW, and V280 is still at a maximum 225mW at this range. The spec sheet for the Matrix HP-3B says it will do 220mW @ 600 ohms, SE. That’s about the same as V280, and although I haven’t seen measurements on this amp, Matrix seems to make well-engineered products. So my expectation is that you’re right—880s should really sing on that amp. Standard disclaimers about grains of salt when trusting manufacturer specs apply, of course, but that’s about how my own listening experiences correlate with back-of-the-napkin math. Afterthought: alternately, modding an 880 to use a balanced cable would enable it to take advantage of the higher power outputs of balanced amps. From speaking to people who have done this mod, it does seem to open up the 880s in a similar fashion to feeding it gobs of clean SE power from a beefy amp. Even 789 is rated for 400mW at 600 ohms, balanced.
(Edited)
jackbkmp
57
Aug 19, 2020
Ugh I really do wish the Topping D70 were the same chassis size to match this, or vice versa. How does this amp compare the the THX789?
gonzoznog
47
Aug 21, 2020
I had both the 789 and SP200 and although very clean, I found them to be "sterile" and boring. I really like the A90. While it is still very clean, it has a warmth that I really enjoy. I love my A90!
elau
68
Oct 22, 2020
789 is true balanced out, but the balanced input gets converted to single ended first and back to balanced; the output signal is true balanced -- it's just not a dual-mono topology, where each channel's input, processing/amping, and output are completely independently from the other and having double of each part for processing/amping. This is usually for lowering thd by another 3db but in the 789's case it's already so low they didn't feel the need, in order to meet the price point.
(Edited)
Pfgiv
12
Aug 19, 2020
(also posted in the d90 thread as I’m referring to the stack) I literally said out loud WTF when I saw a drop email that said topping D90 topping A90, seeing as I bought them both already a few months back. then when I opened the email, clicked the link, and saw the standard price I said WTF again. What kind of drop is MSRP? I’ll take my 1% ebay bucks and 24 months interest free through PayPal credit. that being said, the stack is awesome. I have the MQA version, and it’s great. Previously I had the massdrop run 789, with D70. Detail monster but not as musical to me. As soon as I hooked up the 90 stack, there was a level of warmth that was lacking in the 789. This could also be due to the 90 MQA, vs 70 and I did not a/b them, so take this for what’s its worth. I also posted a similar review on head-fi. How is MSRP a “drop”? Buy this unit and you will be hard pressed to find anything better (dare I say it’s not possible) in this price range. It can power very demanding headphones with ease. My main headphones are focal clear but have run sensitive iems through them (which on low gain makes my CA andromedas sound amazing) as well as 600ohm T1s. Waiting impatiently for the Pre90 release...
elau
68
Oct 22, 2020
When I compared them, I felt the a90's treble seemed more subdued compared to the 789's. I also initially felt the 789 was thin sounding, but gain 3 (even at the expense of lowering system volume to make it work) brought warmth/low-end power back. I can definitely hear more details on the 789 due to the less subdued treble imo.
rslatara
277
Oct 23, 2020
Interesting, would like to hear it now.
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