Advice please on which SMSL DAC / Preamp to choose. The SU10, or the D400EX, or the D400ES, or other of similar capability. Great XLR output quality (power & SINAD) highest priority. LDAC is desireable but not essential. Two Topping failures in less than 8 months makes me nervous, so a company with great reliability also desired. Amp is Audiophonics HPA400ET, which was a revelation.
My very much loved Topping D90SE was 82 days old when it just stopped powering up. It replaced my Topping E50 which packed up after 2 months. My long lived E30 is now on secondment from the spare room.
Also consider Gustard, eg the X18 or even an "old" A18 with MQA (not because of MQA but because of the XU216 chip). It is really very rare to hear about defective devices, even if they are 5 years or older, like mine. My youngest Gustard DAC is 2 years old.
For me, the overall quality of the Gustard devices is amazing, even for the price, regardless of whether the quality of the circuit board, components, processing or engineering/development.
I have the same opinion about Xingxer, but I only own the headphone amplifier SA-1, but there are a lot of DACs and DDCs in my circle of acquaintances.
I would hesitate to spend more than € 200 with other companies, because I know where savings are made. The only device I kept after testing was an SMSL SP400 HPA, which performs great but falls short on all of the quality points listed above.
At Violectric / Lake People or RME I would not hesitate for a second to spend 4-digit amounts.