• WANTED: Happy members who like to discuss audio and other topics related to our interest. Desire to learn and share knowledge of science required as is 20 years of participation in forums (not all true). There are daily reviews of audio hardware and expert members to help answer your questions. Click here to have your audio equipment measured for free!

Can SMSL Su-9n pair well with Topping A30Pro

g0bu

New Member
Joined
Sep 23, 2022
Messages
3
Likes
0
Hello everyone,
I have seen that a lot of times both SMSL and Topping bring out stacks of their DAC and Amp that apparently work well with each other. Can interchanging DACs and Amps from different stacks work? Will the SMSL SU-9n be a decent fit for the Topping A30 pro.

I recently bought the A30 pro and have been enjoying the sound but have been running it on SE RCA input from an ifi Zen DAC V2. I want to try using its balanced input and power and started looking into DACs with balanced outputs. Given the availability of DACs in my country I am currently looking at Topping D10 balanced, SMSL D300, SMSL SU -9n and topping D30 pro. After looking at the SU-9n review I felt more pushed to spend the extra, instead of the d10 balanced and calling it a day. Xduoo released its mu 604 but I am skeptical since I have not seen many reviews of it yet.

My use case for the stack will be listening to music, and headphones are Sennheiser HD 6xx and Hifiman Edition XS, both with cables terminating in 4.4 pentacon connector. I enjoy the 6xx more on my Xduoo mt602 and I understand that even right now the A30 pro is powering both of my headphones well enough, but having balanced inputs is tempting me to try building a balanced system. New to the hobby so want to try new things but also make good decisions in terms of gear longevity. Resale market is not great where I am.

All inputs and suggestions are welcome, thank you!
 

Dunring

Senior Member
Forum Donor
Joined
Feb 7, 2021
Messages
338
Likes
389
I've had the a30pro and would recommend DAC with filters like the AK4497 or others to give some sound options with it. The presentation to me sounded linear but not dry like the L30, but color and filters helped make it more lively.
The balanced DAC just helps if it keeps you from going into high gain mode. If it detects 250 ohm or higher it goes into class A mode automatically. With something like the SMSL M300 it was fun to change the colors and filters, and usually staying in medium gain gives a measurable reduction in distortion (but probably not audible, I didn't notice any).
 
OP
G

g0bu

New Member
Joined
Sep 23, 2022
Messages
3
Likes
0
Thanks for the suggestion. I do not have M300 available around me sadly, but will look into this. I didn't know of the automatic switch for high impedance! Also, did you feel like more power from balanced input/output made any impact on the soundstage or musicality?
 

Jimbob54

Master Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Oct 25, 2019
Messages
9,354
Likes
12,121
Can you not get an adapter for the balanced out of the zen dac?

PS, you shouldn't really notice any meaningful difference other than a balanced input will be louder for any given point on your volume dial
 
OP
G

g0bu

New Member
Joined
Sep 23, 2022
Messages
3
Likes
0
The 4.4mm balanced to 3 pin TRS? I read somewhere that it may not be an exact implementation since the 3 pin TRS would require separate hot and cold and ground for each channel or something along those lines.

Also if its just louder spending a lot just for a true balanced system feels like overkill. I can probably get a topping d10 balanced in that case. Thanks for the reply.
 

Jimbob54

Master Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Oct 25, 2019
Messages
9,354
Likes
12,121
The 4.4mm balanced to 3 pin TRS? I read somewhere that it may not be an exact implementation since the 3 pin TRS would require separate hot and cold and ground for each channel or something along those lines.

Also if its just louder spending a lot just for a true balanced system feels like overkill. I can probably get a topping d10 balanced in that case. Thanks for the reply.
4.4 male to 2 x 3 pin xlr.
 

djtetei

Active Member
Joined
Jul 5, 2022
Messages
137
Likes
62
Location
România
@g0bu
Get the SMSL Su-9 and you won't regret it.
If there's a will and it seems that you have it, take advantage of the balanced connections at any time and you will have a smile on your face every time you have to drive a pair of headphones with medium efficiency, like Sennheiser HD600 series. All that voltage available from the DAC balanced outputs will be put to good use by the Topping A30 Pro headphone amplifier in order to drive the headphones to their maximum power capacity, with additional power reserve for audio peaks and for good thermal efficiency of the amplifier. Also the same voltage output from the DAC can be used via the "passtrrough" feature of the Topping A30 Pro.
If you can, don't settle for "enough" and go for "optimum" with additional headroom to serve you well both with your existing equipment and with future upgrades.
 
Last edited:
Top Bottom