New Topping D90SE DAC

I was planning of ordering the brand new DAC from Topping as their previous units have always measured well and many found they really liked the balanced sound. 

I read the audioscience review but measures don't always translate into pleasant sound quality. 

Does anyone have any experience with the new unit? 
They changed from AKM becuz of the fire. Only you know what you like.
audioscience don’t do SQ. 
A lot of persons here prefer colored tube and/or resistor ladder sound.
I am really impressed by Topping. The pre90 that I received a few days ago is incredible and a component (a preamp) where specs rule for me. I do not want my preamp to add any color.

You can buy a Topping on a 30 day home trial. You can send a unit back by USPS for about $120. 
If you like a neutral presentation of the source any well measuring DAC will do the job. Speakers would drown DAC distortion or noise unless they’re really really lousy designed DACs.
I have a Topping DX3 they highly rated.  It spends all of it's time in a box.  Just never got into it.  My Mytek and NAD integrated's built in DAC just sound better to me. 

Kind of odd I wasn't more fond of it as I tend to like units with AKM DACs in them.
The new topping dual AKM D70S mqa great R2R like sound for  $650 
better then topping d90 mqa dac  IMO  ,good dacs if  you can’t afford over a grand .
I own the Gustard X26 Pro ($1500) that is mentioned in the Topping D90SE review that I linked above. The Gustard is incredible and also preferred over the Topping D90SE by the reviewer. It is both detailed and warm. Maybe not as detailed as my Benchmark DAC3B (and likely Topping D90SE) but that is a matter of minor differences. The warmth of the Gustard makes it suitable for many setups. Along with the NOS/OS mode and 3 custom filters.
Topping. IFI. Hidizs — all rated highly by measurements. All sound mediocre to me. 
Schiit does neutral very well. If that’s what you want. Otherwise RME, Chord Qutest, Mytek. In that order. 
You nailed it — measurements mean little.
And the one that beats these for the most analog sound is the Wyred for sound 10th anniversary dac. These other dacs here are not even in the same league.
I owned a Topping D90 a couple of years ago. Neutral, clear, precise, sterile, boring! I bought it based on the glowing reviews by the likes of ASR and really tried to like it. Eventually sold it to a friend who is still enjoying it. 
If you’re in the market for a new DAC it’s worthwhile considering a Denafrips Ares II, it’s definitely a DAC that has had hugely positive reviews so much so I bought one and it’s very very good and the build quality is amazing. 
@vanson1 Do you like a detailed neutral sound or some warmth?  That should help you decide if you get the Topping D90SE. What else is in your system. Any warm components?

I have a CODA 07x preamp and that is a sonically warm preamp and likely mate well with the Topping D90SE because it sounds great with my similar measured Benchmark DAC3B. So a neutral DAC and warm preamp.

With regards to measurements, In my case, measurements do mean a lot. Today, I am listening to a classic 20 year old Sony SCD-1 SACD/CD player modified by Vacuum State to Level 5+. This is a warm player and has a great sound. The best sound I ever got from it were with 2 preamps that currently have the best measurements of any gear I have seen published. They are the Topping pre90 and the Benchmark HPA4. I have been saying the HPA4 is the best preamp I have "not heard" and now the Topping pre90 is in the same class for me. They measure almost the same and these measurements indicate that they do not impart a sound on things connected to them. Measurements matter in this case where I want the exact sound of the source.

I do not like the SONY SCD-1 paired with the CODA 07x. Warmth on top of warmth not fun for me. So measurements mean a lot when used for specific purposes.

The more expensive the DAC the more "expectation bias" comes into play! When someone spends four and five-figures they must convince themselves that their shiny new toy is somehow "better" than a cheaper DAC! This psychological "bias" factor is used by companies to market ever more expensive "high end" audio products!
I did order the new D90SE and now recieved the FedEx shipping information. 

When I complete a review I will post my impressions. 

BTW i am listening thru B&W 803d3 and mc452 amplifier for the mid to upper frequencies. 
First of all, pay no attention to Audioscience review, the guy seldom likes anything...measurements mean crap. Second of all, buy the Border Patrol dac R2R. It measures poorly, according to stereophile’s John Atkinson. However, according to Herb Reichert, it sounds terrific. I own it and it is a great dac.
People on here like R2R and/or tubes.  I bought a D90 some time ago.  It is detaled, clear, dynamic.  The SE has beefed up parts with Sabre instead of AKM.  One of these days, i might have to try a Denafrips, Audio Mirror or something but not into buying, returning, etc.  I haven't seen that many Topping DAC for sale, makes me think they are OK

Topping D90SE arrived at hooked up. 

Initial impressions.....Clear, Open, Detailed.

Loving it so far. 
arafiq753 posts 

"I owned a Topping D90 a couple of years ago. Neutral, clear, precise, sterile, boring! I bought it based on the glowing reviews by the likes of ASR and really tried to like it. Eventually sold it to a friend who is still enjoying it."

With Solid State Amps and Harbeths, no wonder you found it boring! ---

I like my D50s. I power it with 5V battery pack and backgroud is very dark. I like the sound quality of D50s.
I owned many dacs, from audio note , Lampizator, metrum acoustics and chord. Recently I ordered a topping pre90 and the toppingd90se , to go with my Coda continuum n8 power amplifier (speakers Dynaudio Heritage special). I am seriously impressed by this dac, which is also the cheapest dac I owned sofar. The metrum acoustics onyx dac, had perhaps a slight better sound staging, but as far as details and dynamics this toppingd90 se is just the next level. Also compared it with the dac in my Accuphase dp430 , it just sounds better. Very impressed with topping sofar. Greetings from Holland. 
So have now spent a full month living with the new topping D90SE. 

It truly a step above all other DACS i have owned.  Zero noise, clear details and you can hear every detail of the voice and the decays of the instruments.

Sounds great on jazz and other recordings that are well done. 

The biggest difference has always been the quality of the recording and the D90SE will expose that.  It doesn't cover up bad recordings,  that tells me it's not coloring the sound. 
Sounds like my Benchmark DAC3B. I use the Topping pre90 and D90SE with Benchmark AHB2, The DAC3B is used in another system.

The Topping D90SE is a clear, detailed, and a neutral DAC. It will not add any flavour to the sound. My Gustard X26 Pro is unlike the DAC3B and D90SE. That DAC is warmer and slightly less detailed. I like all 3 of them with the right match of gear.
Thanks to everyone for their comments and impressions. 

I'm still very happy with my D90SE. 

I have stopped spending money on upgrades,  at least for now. 

Mc452 took a few dollars out of the audio budget for sure. 

Just kicking back and finding more music that sounds enjoyable to listen to. 

It's a lot cheaper than constantly buying and selling equipment too.😁
DACs are weird beasts. You can have a perfectly measuring one at $899 and devices that cost $25K or $80K that may not measure as well. Expectation biases do come into play, which in turn affect how we actually hear things. Having said all that I do prefer r2r dacs, as they sound pleasant, knowing fully well they attenuate high frequencies.

This D90SE is affordable enough to buy and try but I am always unsure if I will like delta sigma dacs, as previously I didn't like the ones I purchased.

Ultimately, the whole system including the room itself also matters. People do tend to think delta-sigma or well measuring DACs are "sterile", but I wonder if speaker placement and room reflections were taken into account during these experiences, as well expectation biases from too much forum topics. Ultimately we are tribal, so we align with certain groupthink and personas. So D-S dacs will always seem "sterile" and so on.

Sorry folks, but I just don’t agree on the discounting of measurements here. For headphones, measurements can be inaccurate due to placement on instruments. With amps, measurements don’t take into account subjective, analog benchmarks such as tone, soundstage, warmth, etc. But with DACs, and by that I mean pure DACs like the Topping D90se, the goal is the most accurate reproduction of the digital source material, and for that measurements tell the whole story, full stop.

They offer validated endpoints such as SINAD, linearity and multi tone, all designed to assess how accurately the DAC is outputting a reproduction of the original analog master with the least possible distortion, noise, error, or jitter—as it was encoded by an ADC during the sampling process. That is the definition of what DACs are designed to do. Any discussion of how well a DAC “sounds” is a ruse—subjective factors such as tonality, warmth, soundstage etc are the responsibilities of circuits involved in the post-DA process—filters, DSPs, preamps and amps, and other elements in the analog stages before the signal is output to headphones and speakers (and those provide a substantial contribution to the sound signature as well). 

All well-designed DACs should sound exactly the same. Anything you have read otherwise is in the service of marketing high-priced gear to susceptible buyers. 

Thanks for your thoughts SRKBEAR.

I agree that with a DAC that should be the case.  But some people might differ and I do respect their opinion. The chain of source to ear has many steps and each one tweeks the sound a bit. 


Pretty complicated really and people have fun researching and trying different things. 


Otherwise it wouldn't be a hobby.