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I'm currently deciding between this, and the Schiit stack (Modi and Magni 2) Non Uber versions.
How do they compare? And what should i take into consideration?
This will be my first big step into the audiophile world. Any advice will be appreciated!
I can't say much about the sound quality but I like the feature and versatility on the topping more. I have a desktop and laptop that I want to get connected up to the D30 and I want output to both headphone and speakers. I think with the A30, you can adjust the output to accommodate for headphone with varying resistance so I think that is useful.
For me, I doubt I can tell the difference between the two unless I listen to both at the same time. Since I need the versatility, picking the Topping would save me more money compared to the Schitt Uber, which I can use on better headphone.
The downside of picking Topping is that you can't make Schitt jokes with it.
From reading the official specs just within the past few hours, I think the Toppings are the better buy. I don't own any Schiit's though. Prior to my purchase, I did read, watch, and listen to various reviews across the web and thought the Schiit Uber's were better in sound quality but I don't have enough technical knowledge to understand the different sound processors used in each device. I ultimately picked up the Topping stack through Ebay after assessing the following points:
The Schiit Uber stack will cost at least $100 more but has the option of arriving sooner than this drop. I would not recommend non-Uber Schiit versions due to limited input and output options unless you don't plan to expand your audio repertoire or like purchasing another stack when an input and/or output dies.
The Topping stack has ALL important switches on the front vs the Schiit's rear switches. Rear switches look cleaner but are less convenient.
The Topping D30 also has a higher SNR (Optical 113.2 dB vs unspecified 104 dB , wider frequency range even though most humans can't hear the extra low range (10 Hz vs 20 Hz), and comes with a USB cable (Schiit doesn't come with it).
The A30 has less power output (1/4" 152 mW vs 160 mW with 600 ohms), better SNR (0 gain 126dB vs 104dB), more gain levels (0 , 9, 18 dB vs 3 or 15.6 dB only), has 2 dedicated headphone outputs (1/8" and 1/4" vs only 1/4") that can both be on or auto detected via first plugged in, doesn't have pre-amp RCA outputs, and has 2 power impedance switches (Topping's site doesn't mention any specs about the low power and I hear no difference with the AKG K7XX's or Sony MDRXB50AP IEM's).
Only the D30 has a small wall-wart AC adapter (DC 15V 1A) and it's oriented downwards. The A30 has a mid-cord wart with unlisted voltages on the site (14V x2 900mA for 2 headphones and 6V 800mA for a single, taken from my unit). The Schiit's are both wall-warts but I don't know about their sizes, orientations, or exact voltages/amps since they're not listed entirely.
Dimensions (width x height x depth)
*(I think the depth is an print error since my D30 is the same depth as the A30 minus knobs, switches, and ports at 6.5"/16.51 cm but I will list the official specs regardless)
A30: 4.80" x 1.50" x 6.70" (12.2 cm x 3.800 cm x 17.0 cm)
D30: 4.80" x 1.50" x 6.97" (12.2 cm x 3.800 cm x 17.7 cm)
Magni 2 Uber: 5.00" x 1.25" x 3.50" (12.7 cm x 3.175 cm x 8.89 cm)
Modi 2 Uber: 5.00" x 1.25" x 3.50" (12.7 cm x 3.175 cm x 8.89 cm)
I have both stacks (Shiit - Uber) and I prefer the Topping stack by quite a bit. I love having the 1/4 and 1/8 inch options, the volume knob is nicer, and the build quality just feels better. Sound wise, they both sound great and nicely drive my wide array of headphones.