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AOSHIDA SMSL C200 Review (DAC & Amp)

Rate this DAC & HP Amp

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 7 2.9%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 1 0.4%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther

    Votes: 45 18.8%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 187 77.9%

  • Total voters
    240

staticV3

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@joanesinu Amir's THD+N vs Power sweeps show that the headphone Amp inside the C200 can deliver about 6.8Vrms to both 33Ω and 300Ω loads before clipping:
Screenshot_20220924-104931.jpg
sqrt(0.1526W*300Ω)=6.766Vrms
sqrt(1.45W*33Ω)=6.917Vrms

Therefore, at 65Ω, the Amp will clip at around 6.8Vrms as well.

To convert that to Watts, you do:
6.8Vrms²/65Ω=0.711W

If you tell me the exact headphone model that you have, then I can also show you how to calculate the peak SPL that you can achieve with the C200.
 

joanesinu

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@joanesinu Amir's THD+N vs Power sweeps show that the headphone Amp inside the C200 can deliver about 6.8Vrms to both 33Ω and 300Ω loads before clipping:
View attachment 233003
sqrt(0.1526W*300Ω)=6.766Vrms
sqrt(1.45W*33Ω)=6.917Vrms

Therefore, at 65Ω, the Amp will clip at around 6.8Vrms as well.

To convert that to Watts, you do:
6.8Vrms²/65Ω=0.711W

If you tell me the exact headphone model that you have, then I can also show you how to calculate the peak SPL that you can achieve with the C200.
That 0,711W is in total or per channel? My headphones are the Shure 1840, it can handle 1000mW max. I found this:


Captura.JPG


Also, I have another models of headphones such as Beyer DT880 600 Ohm. I found the data for DT770 600 Ohm which I think has the same driver:

1664018599494.png


But all the doubts came because I already have a Focusrite Clarett 4Pre and a Beyerdynamic A20 amp, and don't know if the C200 would be an upgrade or not.

Anyways, thank you for your help and knowlegde.
 

staticV3

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That 0,711W is in total or per channel?
per channel.
My headphones are the Shure 1840
Here is the sensitivity of the SRH1840:
Screenshot 2022-09-24 at 14.16.37.png
Let's use 107dB/Vrms.

With 1Vrms signal amplitude, the SRH1840 will output about 107dB SPL.
The C200 can output 6.8Vrms at 65Ω.
6.8Vrms is 6.8x higher than 1Vrms.
6.8x higher voltage will result in 20*log10(6.8)=16.65dB higher SPL.
107+16.65=123.65dB SPL.
For reference, 120dB SPL is already painfully loud.
 

xnor

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@joanesinu

And you shouldn't get anywhere near those levels for two reasons: permanent hearing loss and damage to the drivers.
Note: the "max input power" spec is likely a completely useless peak number used for marketing.

Keep it below 85 dB SPL. 85 dB SPL is considered borderline when exposed to it for less than 2 hours (and no additional noise exposure during the day). With uncompressed (like classical) music you'd need about 0.2 V and roughly 1.1 V for highly dynamically compressed music.

Since the Shure's aren't known for ultra low distortion either, there's no need for an amp like this.

For the 600 ohm Beyers it's 0.6V and 3.5V respectively.

Also note that Beyerdynamic specifies a more reasonable nominal max power of 0.1W, which is already reached at 116 dB SPL. (Driver may be damaged beyond this point.)


edit: I've adjusted the number using the exact sensitivity and more accurate RMS amplitudes for music (-10 dB for highly compressed, -25 dB for uncompressed)
edit2: I've corrected the hearing damage note and numbers
 
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waKaka

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How about the jitter of Coax input, Which gentleman could tell me : )
 

nsfgp

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Just FYI the Dramamine Channel (Z Reviews) has a new video up for 3 DACs (D-6 // C200 // M500Mk3).
 

Ostanin

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Hello! I need a device with which I can listen to my favorite music through Audio Pro Addon T14 active speakers and my 6 pairs of IEM headphones (I don't like full size headphones). Headphone impedance from 8 to 64 ohms. Is this device right for me? Will I be disturbed by spurious noises due to the high sensitivity of the IEM headphones? Thank you!
 

jackdanyal

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Oct 9, 2021
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Starting to become boring all these dacs. I have one, I don’t need a new one every month.
My tip to topping/smsl/other excellent companies, please come with an aforadable roon ready streamer.
Then I am interested again.
that companies don't care what we want. they just produce new items every 2-3 month with the exactly the same specs but in different cases. it's no a joke, they are putting the same components with the same arch into different cases and put different names on them and just sell to earn more money. they all sound the same.
 

joanesinu

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I don't think it's a true "balanced" headphone output. It's just there for convenience.
I have the unit. It's the same output volume on both outputs. However, I don't know what it is but the same headphones with balanced cable sound more punchy...
 

xnor

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However, I don't know what it is but the same headphones with balanced cable sound more punchy...
Either the effect of doubling the output impedance (the main difference with bridged amplification) or imagination.
It's not the former if you were talking about the C200.
 
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solderdude

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I have the unit. It's the same output volume on both outputs. However, I don't know what it is but the same headphones with balanced cable sound more punchy...

Internally the sockets are tied together. The Pentaconn connector is only there for convenience (C200) and is the same signal as on the 6.3mm so there is no difference.
The C200 only has balanced TRS line outputs, not balanced HP out.
There can be a difference in the used cable but that too is not reaching audible levels. Pentaconn can be used both in balanced and SE mode depending on how the cable is wired internally and in the socket.
I would chalk it up to 'bias'.

When the output is truly balanced there is a noticeable difference in level (+6dB) but not double the perceived loudness.

You could try to find out if differences are real but this requires a lot of effort, someone to help, you not knowing which cable/output is used etc, and crushes dreams you once had. When you feel it sounds more 'punchy' I would keep using that cable/output anyway. Regardless where the 'differences' come from.
 

strauss2

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Oct 14, 2022
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Just received my c200. It sounds awesome, shipping was quick from Aoshida-audio. Thanks for the recommendation/ review Amir!

Edit: Is there any way to make the display show the volume level instead of the sample rate all the time? Amir mentioned it was possible in the review but I didn't see anything else in the thread or manual.
 
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DantonIzzo

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Either the effect of doubling the output impedance (the main difference with bridged amplification) or imagination.
It's not the former if you were talking about the C200.
Agreed. Likely placebo. But if he "hears" a difference, then that's great because that is all that matters.
 

jdg78

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Edit: Is there any way to make the display show the volume level instead of the sample rate all the time? Amir mentioned it was possible in the review but I didn't see anything else in the thread or manual.

I’ve been wondering the same thing. It’s a bit strange to have the screen default to the sample rate all the time.

Overall, I’ve been quite impressed with the sonic performance of recent SMSL products, especially given the price, but they don’t seem to put any real thought into the digital interfaces.

The displays have all the sophistication of a 1980’s era Casio watch, and are about as awkward to program.
 

IAmAgainst

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Is there any way to make the display show the volume level instead of the sample rate all the time? Amir mentioned it was possible in the review but I didn't see anything else in the thread or manual.

"sadly displays the sample rate rather than volume (until you change that)."
I think he meant until you change the volume, in which case the display shows the volume for two seconds and then goes back to showing the sample rate. It's a ridiculous design choice and I hope they change it in a firmware update, although I don't expect for that to ever happen.
 

tomat

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I got the C200 hooked up for now to my speakers via RCA. When turning music on there is slight 'tick' sound, and when turning off 2 seconds after another 'tick.
This is annoying as hell. My Dx3pro didn't do that.
Also when turning music off the display with flicker from rate to 3 dashed lines and then back to rate, but not every time.

Solution:
If anyone has a problem with that faint click, I found solution for SMSL D6 dac and same procedure applies for C200, and I would imagine a few other SMSL dacs.
https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...msl-d-6-dac-review.36235/page-10#post-1288101
Thanks, this was a god send! I've had this DAC/amp a couple of days now and while I had no issues anywhere else, the constant double click of the audio seeming to rapidly cut out and back in was beginning to drive me nuts, this solution completely cleared the issue.
 

ELOJR

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I replaced my iFi nano with the C200 and couldn't be happier. After just two years, the iFi started randomly losing a channel or outputted no audio, possibly due to a problem with the small toggle switch (which I rarely used). Also, it had a ground loop issue with my new monitors and that disappeared with the C200, even when using the unbalanced RCA outs.

Question: the C200 offers a choice of six filters. Is there a preferred one? I listen to CDs, wav files, and Spotify?

Also, I, too, wish the display defaulted to volume.
 
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