grannyring - don't know what you are reading about " Many units just don’t work or work properly. DOA or after a week or so."
Amazon compilation summary from 2 smaller groups of review :
Impressive - 5 stars
computer audio bliss - 5 stars
Great DAC for a PC based audio system - 5 stars
Took my listening to a different level - 5 stars
Really, really clean audio - 5 stars
I love this little thing. - 5 stars
Blew my mind - 5 stars
Five Stars - - 5 stars
very digital- flare esc sound - 1 star
Hit's above it's weight - 5 stars
Fantastic and versatile DAC 5 stars
Sounds great - 4 stars
Great Value Dac 5 stars
Distorted broken sound 1 star
Excellent sound quality 5 stars
USB works with PC, but no joy with iOS - 3 stars
Another group of reviews -
****95 reviews 4 out of 5 star total average***
Yes I own one and think its a steal......WOW biased against it??
”what does sound have to do with anything, i was talking about the build quality”
This comment might be construed by some as a bit of a disconnect. I’m not trying to be inconsiderate but how can you possibly make a determination on build quality? You haven’t heard the dacs you mention and you are passing judgement on build quality based on internet photos or the opinions of others on the net? Are you saying dacs made only of milled aluminum cases can be good?
Read all the different Amazon Topping listings with a 1 rating and you will see exactly what I said. That’s all. I was going to order one, but decided against it. From units buzzing, not working as they should, DOA etc....it’s all there. One listing here....
Virtually all the bad 13 reviews you reference are from 2013 - 2107 with but 1 in 2018.....I had forgotten but researched it again the D%) as currently sold was released in March of 2018.....thus all the 2013, 2014 201 etc reviews that bother you are NOT relevant to this current unit....have a good day anyway..... http://www.tpdz.net/news_detail/newsId=79.html
Typo above meant D50 - another review just after release in March 2018 - https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/review-and-measurements-of-topping-d50-dac.2403/ - again whatever Amazon was calling a D50 back then was not the current unit - also 2 of the bad reviews are referencing SMSL Model 8 so they have the wrong unit completely...misposted
@grannyring was merely pointing out the fact that some past Topping products received some less than stellar reviews by some who purchased and likely returned their units. There are indeed some excellent reviews as well and with the Amazon no hassle return policy, there is little initial risk to a potential purchaser. @grannyring has a stellar reputation here and further has no pattern of "falsely dumping" on anything. I’m sure the D50 is terrific value for the money as I’m sure @grannyring thinks so as well.
Your post though seems as if you had rolled your sleeves up and were disappointed to roll them back down. Enjoy the dac in good health. Peace.
Thanks @ghasley. You are correct that I am pointing out the fact that the company makes products with higher than usual in use problems and failures from the perspective of these Amazon reviews. Not making it up and one just needs to read. Many also liked the units very much. Anyway, I bet they do sound great for the money thus my curiosity was peaked. Perhaps I will try one out for my office system soon.
Not making any comments about the quality or sound quality of the Topping, but the ESS SABRE ES9038Q2M is a $13.80 part in quantities of 1000. The ES9038Pros, which is used in the Sonica DAC, is $74.80 in quantity.
I have an LG V50 which has an ESS ES9218P DAC, which is $12.60 in quantity. It's a decent DAC for a phone. I think, in my opinion, that the Chord MOJO, a 4 year old design, is better. But that's comparing a cell phone to a dedicated DAC; not really fair. Also, the MOJO costs about half of the V50's price.
Seemed like the OP asked a legit question that devolved into a discussion about the veracity of Amazon reviews and Chi-Fi QC vs SQ.
Has anyone listened to a D50 vs something more expensive? Or any of the Topping/SMSL type DACs vs the Chords, Myteks, Schiits, etc for that matter?
What did you think of the performance?