A cute little amp that’s topping in measurements

jls001

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The gospel according to St. ASR seems to be quite divisive, evoking rather extreme reactions.

Also the term "transparent" is bandied about with gay abandon on this thread. Would someone care to define it, please?
 

square_wave

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This is probably swinging to another extreme.

PS: Taking it to a completely ridiculous extreme, let's say I am someone who likes distorted low end - And I figure out that I can achieve that by undervolting my uber powerful traditional amp - so instead of feeding 220V to the primary, I feed it 180V instead - and the low end distortion that it results in is something that appeals to my subjective assessment.

and so now, can I start talking about how good the synergy between my Amp, speakers and step down voltage transformer is? :)
You may want to look at this statement in my reply " Most subjectivists believe measurements are the bedrock upon which you build on. It is not the end. That is the beginning of the design journey. I belong to that camp. "

Pretty much all successful designers work this way when they finalise design and then they further refine for many more years as their product line matures. Many such excursions of fine refinement are conscious endeavours done with great care and thoroughness to take the basic engineering to a fine art. The final "art + science" device may not suit the sensibilities of people at ASR. I also acknowledge that there are charlatans out there who make use of this grey area in audio to sell you lemons that look like fine jewellery. This is where your ears will help you. If you do not want to trust your own ears, you better buy an ASR approved device. At least the basic engineering will be good :)

You can find a cheap class d or pro amp that may measure better than an Accuphase, Gryphon or some other high end amp of whatever topology. Why do people pay so much more to own the high end amp ? If you argue that they are all fools, I rest my case.
 
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raghupb

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Guys, measurements are taken and published one component at a time.
Is it possible to measure the entire system + room, .... involved, but YES.
Is it practical for someone to do so for all possible combination of components, .... hmmm, NO.
So use component specs, measurements as one data point and extrapolate if it would fit into your rig or not.
If you have the chance to hear it/them out nothing like it.

ASR really brings out the best in us :D
There are many amps, preamps and DACs that don't make their cut-off.
So be it. I have heard some of them and they are not bad sounding.

This little power amp (topping), shows promise though.
Maybe someone on the forum will buy and let us know.

Cheers,
Raghu
 

arj

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This is oversimplification.
Of course it is and was intended to make the point.

To me, this is a gross misrepresentation of subjectivists in audio. Most subjectivists believe measurements are the bedrock upon which you build on. It is not the end. That is the beginning of the design journey. I belong to that camp.

It is very easy to choose a television or another video device purely based on specifications and measurements. You will never see people argue about this on a high end video forum.

If you try to do the above approach in audio, there is a big chance you will not like what you hear. Or you may go to a friend's home and realize how much better that system sounds although it is not "ASR approved ".

So, where do you go from here ? One option is to assemble a ASR approved music system and believe it is the holy grail although it does not satisfy you. I am definitely not going down that path :)

Perfectly summed up and ditto.

Been there done that with specs before realizing thats not my joy. I dont listen to music for science..have other hobbies for that where science works perfectly
 

keith_correa

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It is very easy to choose a television or another video device purely based on specifications and measurements. You will never see people argue about this on a high end video forum.
You very apparently haven't visited the "down the toilet" thread where HDR was dissed. Or was it LDR. Whatever, it was hilarious to say the least! Anything sensory will be subjectively assessed by some and dissed by others. Same for objectivity. This is a known fact. Yet all of us persist on going down this path over and over again. It is getting tiring and repetitive. :rolleyes:
So, where do you go from here ? One option is to assemble a ASR approved music system and believe it is the holy grail although it does not satisfy you. I am definitely not going down that path :)
Why are most of us automatically ASSUMING that just because something measures well it will not sound good? And if coming from Amir it most definitely will not sound good. That presumption and blinkered vision clouds our thinking and it also beggars belief.
Also the term "transparent" is bandied about with gay abandon on this thread. Would someone care to define it, please?
The opposite of "colored".
 
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superczar

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You may want to look at this statement in my reply " Most subjectivists believe measurements are the bedrock upon which you build on. It is not the end. That is the beginning of the design journey. I belong to that camp. "

Pretty much all successful designers work this way when they finalise design and then they further refine for many more years as their product line matures. Many such excursions of fine refinement are conscious endeavours done with great care and thoroughness to take the basic engineering to a fine art. The final "art + science" device may not suit the sensibilities of people at ASR. I also acknowledge that there are charlatans out there who make use of this grey area in audio to sell you lemons that look like fine jewellery. This is where your ears will help you. If you do not want to trust your own ears, you better buy an ASR approved device. At least the basic engineering will be good :)

You can find a cheap class d or pro amp that may measure better than an Accuphase, Gryphon or some other high end amp of whatever topology. Why do people pay so much more to own the high end amp ? If you argue that they are all fools, I rest my case.
Hey, never argued that people who buy high end amps are fools :)

A lot of people are passionate about car engines and handling dynamics and a large subset among them are also keenly interested in the overall aesthetics as well as the undefinable soul of a car marquee.
So when someone buys say a Jag XF paying a decent premium over say a 5 series, no one would say that he/she made a foolish choice.


At the other end of spectrum is the choice of say a CPU for a new general purpose system one is building - A user could easily spend a fair amount on a x64 system when a much cheaper ARM system could have been faster/better/whatever for the given use case.
The measurements for the most part can be fully objective in this case but the user may have a strong bias for x64 given his/her familiarity and comfort and long standing history with it- and that is fine too.

The problem arises when the user directly states (or indirectly alludes ) that ARM architecture can never match up with x64 and the measurements must be hogwash.

I guess audio debates of this nature fall somewhere between these two scenarios on the said spectrum
 

square_wave

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A lot of people are passionate about car engines and handling dynamics and a large subset among them are also keenly interested in the overall aesthetics as well as the undefinable soul of a car marquee.
So when someone buys say a Jag XF paying a decent premium over say a 5 series, no one would say that he/she made a foolish choice.


At the other end of spectrum is the choice of say a CPU for a new general purpose system one is building - A user could easily spend a fair amount on a x64 system when a much cheaper ARM system could have been faster/better/whatever for the given use case.
The measurements for the most part can be fully objective in this case but the user may have a strong bias for x64 given his/her familiarity and comfort and long standing history with it- and that is fine too.

The problem arises when the user directly states (or indirectly alludes ) that ARM architecture can never match up with x64 and the measurements must be hogwash.

I guess audio debates of this nature fall somewhere between these two scenarios on the said spectrum

Both the above mentioned examples does not correlate if we are talking about genuine audio design that goes beyond measurements into fine art. It is higher performance that you get with such designs. Not sure if ASR peeps can measure it though.
 

keith_correa

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The problem arises when the user directly states (or indirectly alludes) that ARM architecture can never match up with x64 and the measurements must be hogwash.
Precisely! Actually, it is not so much a problem as it is downright juvenile. The basic presumption is that the objectivists buy equipment solely based on ASR measurements. That's nonsense! We need to grow up.
 

venkatcr

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You can find a cheap class d or pro amp that may measure better than an Accuphase, Gryphon or some other high end amp of whatever topology. Why do people pay so much more to own the high end amp ? If you argue that they are all fools, I rest my case.
Obviously you have to compare Apple with Apple. You certainly cannot take a sub 200$ amp and compare it with a $3000+ amp.

At the same time the points that come to my mind are these:

1. Class D enables manufacturers to deliver amps that measure and sound good at reasonable prices. Consequently, people who cannot afford the Accuphases can listen to music as close to that as possible.
2. Because of mass manufacturing, such amps can be made available to a larger audience, not to just those who can afford the expensive ones.
3. Manufacturers such as Parasound, NAD and others do see both the threat and the attractiveness of less expensive products. In their New Classic 200, Parasound has simply taken a Class D board from Pascal and designed their integration around that. In the beginning, they were objective, They measured all the available boards, and took one that they thought was the best. They then designed the preamp and other sections around it. How successful they were is defined by just one of many reviews - "Typically, I would hear such composure and realism with more expensive systems, so it is very impressive that Parasound can present such a sound with their budget-priced integrated."

In a way, our arguments remind me of what is happening in the car industry. Established companies were reluctant to enter the EV era. Then came Tesla. Now everyone is running to catch up with him. To add to their misery, Croatia's Rimac delivers a super car that is completely electric - the Nevera - that is one of the fastest car in the world.

It is a brave new world out there, my friends.

Cheers
 

square_wave

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Obviously you have to compare Apple with Apple. You certainly cannot take a sub 200$ amp and compare it with a $3000+ amp.

At the same time the points that come to my mind are these:

1. Class D enables manufacturers to deliver amps that measure and sound good at reasonable prices. Consequently, people who cannot afford the Accuphases can listen to music as close to that as possible.
2. Because of mass manufacturing, such amps can be made available to a larger audience, not to just those who can afford the expensive ones.
3. Manufacturers such as Parasound, NAD and others do see both the threat and the attractiveness of less expensive products. In their New Classic 200, Parasound has simply taken a Class D board from Pascal and designed their integration around that. In the beginning, they were objective, They measured all the available boards, and took one that they thought was the best. They then designed the preamp and other sections around it. How successful they were is defined by just one of many reviews - "Typically, I would hear such composure and realism with more expensive systems, so it is very impressive that Parasound can present such a sound with their budget-priced integrated."

In a way, our arguments remind me of what is happening in the car industry. Established companies were reluctant to enter the EV era. Then came Tesla. Now everyone is running to catch up with him. To add to their misery, Croatia's Rimac delivers a super car that is completely electric - the Nevera - that is one of the fastest car in the world.

It is a brave new world out there, my friends.

Cheers
I totally agree with your points. My problem is with people correlating quality only with " ASR approved measurements ". It is diverse world out there.
 

superczar

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Both the above mentioned examples does not correlate if we are talking about genuine audio design that goes beyond measurements into fine art. It is higher performance that you get with such designs. Not sure if ASR peeps can measure it though.
They actually exactly correlate.
A great car is more than just the engine specs or handling dynamics. However No car enthusiast would ever argue that the quality of leather used in an Aston Martin Volante (or a XUV500) helps with the performance.

Similarly, PC enthusiasts spend tonnes on expensive cases and hell, even RGB lightning - However you will find a sum total of zero who would argue any of that would make a difference to the performance.

I don't understand why or how audio amplification is somehow different from anything else that science was used to create?
 

square_wave

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They actually exactly correlate.
A great car is more than just the engine specs or handling dynamics. However No car enthusiast would ever argue that the quality of leather used in an Aston Martin Volante (or a XUV500) helps with the performance.

Similarly, PC enthusiasts spend tonnes on expensive cases and hell, even RGB lightning - However you will find a sum total of zero who would argue any of that would make a difference to the performance.

I don't understand why or how audio amplification is somehow different from anything else that science was used to create?
It does not correlate at all in my experience. A " built to budget amp " with great specs will not sound anywhere as good as....I can give many examples. You forget that it is "science + art" that is the science of audio. There are r&d, engineering, logistics and production challenges and costs involved when you go into such elaborate and detailed endeavours. Anyways, it is your life. What ever floats your boat :) Peace !
 
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aarmath

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Time to bring up that owesie with my cuz and get this powerful baby poweramp along with the JDS Atom preamp.
Good times in the realm of Class D, indeed!
 

Hari Iyer

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ASR founder is against tube gear and he belives tubes only play tons of distortion. He may also prove that with fancy graph and measurements. Flasback 35 years ago I had a Sony TAAX-44 Amplifier with a S/N ratio of 108 dB and THD of 0.0008% and resuidal noise of 36uV. Frequency response of DC to 120 kHz and all good spec. But it could not outperform the humble Cosmic CO-60 transistor amplifier with tons of distortion in subjetive listening test. Everyone will tell me the Cosmic sounds nice and real than the Sony.

Imo for amplifier there is no substitute other than listening. These specs and measurements are only to feast your eyes.
 

Yelamanchili manohar

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View attachment 64659 View attachment 64660 View attachment 64661 View attachment 64657 Yes…I know.

Some of you FMs will be facepalming. And even insinuate that I am an objectivist with a score against subjectivist. (I am not btw)

But ……man, after so many months, it brings a lots of enthusiastic joy to me to share this info (apology I have to share an ASR link again. And I know I will get the usual snide remarks from some expectant quarters. Anyway take this as a share to balanced out …..I still feel some amount of indebtedness to this forum.).

We now have very good measuring amps……much like the dacs.

……and it’s damn exciting. Especially at good price points.



And yes it’s from Topping. Even if you have some aversion to these companies……the graphs and charts are astounding. It’s a big change in the industry (I feel). And maybe this could harbinger more better measuring amps/power amps.


So what’s are your thoughts? I am very much tempted to buy this amp. But not yet.

Personally I will wait for their PA9 flagship amp/power amp…..which will obviously have more power.

Btw feedbacks on the topic…. View attachment 64662 no personal snides…:)
Not with standing my earlier post of today, that listening is more important than measurements. I would be delighted if these amps deliver what they promise sound wise. I've been looking for cool running amps for sometime, and these fit the bill perfectly. I don't and can't have a AC in my room, and running my present amps, even sitting in a underwear, is like sitting in a sauna. So I'd gladly make the jump, once the listening verdict is out :)

And iam not snobbish about the implementation, doesn't matter if it is class D to me. Infact class D is the most progressing technology right now. And from my listening experience, it has moved miles in the last few years, with investments driving innovation, motivated by a huge market demand.
 

Decadent_Spectre

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Hey, never argued that people who buy high end amps are fools :)

A lot of people are passionate about car engines and handling dynamics and a large subset among them are also keenly interested in the overall aesthetics as well as the undefinable soul of a car marquee.
So when someone buys say a Jag XF paying a decent premium over say a 5 series, no one would say that he/she made a foolish choice.


At the other end of spectrum is the choice of say a CPU for a new general purpose system one is building - A user could easily spend a fair amount on a x64 system when a much cheaper ARM system could have been faster/better/whatever for the given use case.
The measurements for the most part can be fully objective in this case but the user may have a strong bias for x64 given his/her familiarity and comfort and long standing history with it- and that is fine too.

The problem arises when the user directly states (or indirectly alludes ) that ARM architecture can never match up with x64 and the measurements must be hogwash.

I guess audio debates of this nature fall somewhere between these two scenarios on the said spectrum

I'd say they made a foolish choice. Branding is just a scam (consumerist society to be more precise) to take money from the consumer, it doesn't matter if you call it a "soulful marquee", its still a brand that commands a premium for no practical gain in most usage scenarios and is only pure business. It also doesn't matter if your talking about cars or furniture or clothing, branding is the same across the board. It only makes sense to buy expensive branded products when it has practical value for your intended usage.

Cars are straightforward buys, they get you from point A to point B in comfort, that is their express purpose. Anything else is just people's passion (read show off needs). Lets be honest, these days anyone buying a jaguar or something similar is only doing it for show off value. If everyone had a jaguar like people have marutis then it would loose all value.

I find it strange you think an amp is not subjective but a car is, the only conclusion I can draw from that is you like cars far more than you like audio.
 

superczar

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I'd say they made a foolish choice. Branding is just a scam (consumerist society to be more precise) to take money from the consumer, it doesn't matter if you call it a "soulful marquee", its still a brand that commands a premium for no practical gain in most usage scenarios and is only pure business. It also doesn't matter if your talking about cars or furniture or clothing, branding is the same across the board. It only makes sense to buy expensive branded products when it has practical value for your intended usage.

Cars are straightforward buys, they get you from point A to point B in comfort, that is their express purpose. Anything else is just people's passion (read show off needs). Lets be honest, these days anyone buying a jaguar or something similar is only doing it for show off value. If everyone had a jaguar like people have marutis then it would loose all value.

I find it strange you think an amp is not subjective but a car is, the only conclusion I can draw from that is you like cars far more than you like audio.
I like good cars, I like good audio .
Hell, I love good gizmos too :):)

The soul part is simply an oversimplified way of stating that more variables are at play in the end user experience of a car vs an audio setup .
Pure Specs aside, the UX of Cars can also be objectively compared too if one is so inclined.

As for Your statement on cars being point A to point B machines - and any further differentiation being only in the show-off value
It would have been a valid counterpoint if I would have alluded to all amps or speakers being the same - but a Tannoy buyer does not get it over I dunno, say Micca so that he/she can showcase it the world..no? :)
 
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Decadent_Spectre

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I like good cars, I like good audio .
Hell, I love good gizmos too :):)

The soul part is simply an oversimplified way of stating that more variables are at play in the end user experience of a car vs an audio setup .
Pure Specs aside, the UX of Cars can also be objectively compared too if one is so inclined.

As for Your statement on cars being point A to point B machines - and any further differentiation being only in the show-off value
It would have been a valid counterpoint if I would have alluded to all amps or speakers being the same - but a Tannoy buyer does not get it over I dunno, say Micca so that he/she can showcase it the world..no? :)

I don't think theres many variables involved, as I said a car is a simple transport, it is not inherent entertainment like tv/movies or music. It's purpose is simple transport in comfort. I don't know what UX means.

Branding exists everywhere, that includes audio, many people do buy audio to show off as well but not nearly as much as car buyers. In the end you do get different sound with expensive speakers, this does not mean it is better, only different and the end user will decide if they like the sound. With an expensive car typically people get a lot of "extras" that are useless, including a powerful engine that is useless in most cases.

In any case my point was just that cars are simple devices when it comes to their purpose, and subjectivity is not really a criteria. Practicality is but subjectivity is not.
 

Enkay78

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Would I buy an accuphase amp for sound fidelity? Maybe if it measures well

Would I buy an accuphase for bragging rights? Oh yes

Can I spend that price for accuphase ? Yeah off course

But would I buy an accuphase, which may measure less than PA5 , which costs >20x/30x ? No...if for sonic purpose, but yes for aesthetic/bragging purpose :D :D :D :D

Why there is an inherent notion in boutique industry that a very high end "audiophile grade" amps/dacs/speakers should cost in lakhs of rupees? (Yeah yeah I know it's human nature.....what with the examples of cars/watch .....all those luxury items. And yeah for the snobbery :D :D :D )

How one do respect the diverging views. Afterall it's ONE'S money and ONE'S hobby/passion.

Maybe some of us like the engineering aspect and measurements parameters for profoundly significant in the journey of this subjective passion. (And also I had to justify my costly hobby to wife :D )

And just to clarify, my share is not a validation of ASR nor an advertisement of the website. It's just a share. Much like I used to sing paeans of avsforums, audiogon etc (now much wiser to see the marketing and commercial interest there), it is just that the ASR and it's scientific perspective is a breath of fresh air in my not so long audio journey. The ASR list is not complete....amir has not tested "high end" audiophile gear YET. And yes personally I find it hard to find any sonic difference, when I used my Sundara/AKG 371, between my ipad/NX4 DSD/Sabaz D5/Topping A90/Denon x2500.


Never thought this thread will generate such engagement......I should have skipped the measurements charts, and wrote more on the cute form factor

Topping PA5 Review Desktop Stereo Amplifier.jpg

I mean I can carry this amp in my pocket. Now I dare the Class AB fellows to brag that :D :D :D :D

Guys let's not forget the fun part of this discussion.
 
A beautiful, well-constructed speaker with class-leading soundstage, imaging and bass that is fast, deep, and precise.
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