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After a month of switching back and forth with the Schiit stack (Magni V1 and Modi V1) and the Topping Stack (A30 and D30). I have decided to stick with Topping. The Topping is a bit larger than the Schiit stack and should be too much of a problem if you are space constrained.
Rock solid construction and the volume knob is smooth. Comprised of white LEDs that shows power on state.
Solid construction with a brushed aluminium feel. Blue circular LED in the volume knob.
Both the Schiit and Topping fall into the affordable category. Which ever you go with will be down to preference.
The Schiit has been with me since it’s release. I mostly game and watch movies with my system. At the time Schiit had made HiFi components and great build quality affordable. Comparing them I am able to have better separation, better highs and bass response with the Topping stack over the Schiit stack. Battlefield 1 feels much more impressive and I able to pinpoint the position the enemy with ease. Tanks boom as they shell infantry and planes fly over with audible engine noise. Music from hip hop, rock, classical all come alive when using the Topping. I also played the Witcher 3, Jedi Knight games and Battlefront. They all sound great.
The Schiit uses the AKM4396 which is showing it’s age while CS4398 used in the Topping still shines. Cirrus Logic knows audio and many mobile and car manufacturer’s trust them.
I could not tell the sound differences in the amplifier. They are both able to drive my headphones no problem. The only difference is the A30 multiple inputs compared to Schiit usb only input.
In conclusion, if you are still using the V1 Schiit Stack, get the Topping D30 or look into getting the V2 Schiit. The amplifier isn’t a must if you have a Schiit amplifier around. Topping did a great job with build and using Japanese components. Either company offers great value for money. I’ve dealt with Schiit support and getting my questions answered where fast and responsive. Schiit values their customer and their products and are a great company. Since Topping is a Chinese company I would advise caution since I have no experience with them.
With all things HiFi these are my opinions and whatever is your preference is fine by me.
Headphones: AKG K7xx
SONY MDR V6
Sennheiser HD 202
This is the only A30, let alone Topping Stack review that I have found. You are amazing.
"uses the AKM4396 which is showing it’s age" roflmao please piss off the dac chip barely matters, it's the implementation that makes the difference.Stereo audio is a solved engineering problem has been for a while, so please stop spreading bs about old chip this new chip that.
that being said, this stack rocks.
All thing being equal and lets be honest they are both budget dacs, The dac chips do make a difference.
Sure it does, it's the linchpin of good audio, that's why this 2000$ Astell & Kern - AK240 dap uses the same one
as a $100 topping d3 ;P
I'm telling you it doesn't matter what dac chip you use at this point pretty much every one released in the last 8 years sounds transparent, implementation matters allot more. You should focus more on the analog output section and power supply.