• 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). Come here to have fun, be ready to be teased and not take online life too seriously. We now measure and review equipment for free! Click here for details.

Gustard X16 vs SMSL SU-9

dsnyder0cnn

Active Member
Joined
Dec 14, 2019
Messages
100
Likes
95
#21
? As far as I know it most certainly can do that. Over in the X16 thread people are using the NODE 2i streamer for example to do just that..
I hope to verify this weekend, but according to the X16's manual, the DAC won't do the first unfold for the S/PDIF inputs:

USB supports MQA full expansion decoding. C0AX/ AES/OPT/IIS supports MQA hardware rendering. Automatically recognize and render the MQA digital stream after the first level is expanded.
Edit: I dragged out my Allo DigiOne Player and a 75Ω COAX S/PDIF cable. I can confirm that DSD64 (DoP) works great on the COAX input of the Gustard X16. MQA Rendering works as advertised as well, however, if I send an MQA stream without doing Core Decoding (first unfold) in Roon, the X16 reports 44.1 or 48 kHz PCM instead of "MQA", "MQA ." or "OFS".

So, if you bought a few of those MQA CDs from Chesky Records or one of the 200+ "UHQCD" discs from CD Japan, the Gustard X16 won't decode them when being fed over COAX S/PDIF from a standard CD transport. You'll have to rip them to FLAC and stream over USB (or buy the NEO iDSD from iFi Audio instead). Hey, what do you want for $499??! :p
 
Last edited:
Joined
May 26, 2020
Messages
27
Likes
9
#24
I recently bought a x16 after owning an SMSL M500, I had several problems:
  1. Initially the M500 could not reproduce 768 khz, I know this was not a very big problem but personally I found it annoying because the DAC was sold by SMSL as a 768 khz dac,
  2. a pair of firmware releases fixed this issue but many users bricked the dac during update (see the dedicated topic in this forum ..), for sure the M500 started very badly!
  3. Some weeks ago another issue was found regarding hight third amonic distortion on a channel see https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...ds/strange-smsl-m500-high-3rd-harmonic.22710/
  4. Another annoying thing is the fact that in the latest M500s the operational amp opa1612 have been replaced by the cheaper LME49720 without any specs being changed

All these problems ruined my feeling about the product so much that I returned it to Amazon which gave me my money back after almost a year of use (Great Amazzon, let me say ..) and I bought an X16 of which I am very satisfied, it may be that the SMSL SU-9 is a great machine but for some time I will not buy SMSL.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Apr 14, 2021
Messages
14
Likes
2
#29
I've been super happy with the THX AAA 789, although if I was buying again, I might consider the Topping A90 or matching Gustard H16 amp.

Interesting.....I had just narrowed it down to the 789 as I thought the H16 amp reviews were lukewarm......Interested in why you say that.
 

dsnyder0cnn

Active Member
Joined
Dec 14, 2019
Messages
100
Likes
95
#30
Interested in why you say that.
Don't get me wrong. The THX AAA 789 is excellent. Just not a great cosmetic match to the Gustard X16. The X16 is wider and not as deep as the 789, so they don't stack as nicely as I would like.



The Gustard stacks much better with the Topping format (here's my Topping Pre90/Ext90 with the Gustard X16):

 
Joined
May 26, 2020
Messages
27
Likes
9
#34
I recently bought a x16 after owning an SMSL M500, I had several problems:
  1. Initially the M500 could not reproduce 768 khz, I know this was not a very big problem but personally I found it annoying because the DAC was sold by SMSL as a 768 khz dac,
  2. a pair of firmware releases fixed this issue but many users bricked the dac during update (see the dedicated topic in this forum ..), for sure the M500 started very badly!
  3. Some weeks ago another issue was found regarding hight third amonic distortion on a channel see https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...ds/strange-smsl-m500-high-3rd-harmonic.22710/
  4. Another annoying thing is the fact that in the latest M500s the operational amp opa1612 have been replaced by the cheaper LME49720 without any specs being changed

All these problems ruined my feeling about the product so much that I returned it to Amazon which gave me my money back after almost a year of use (Great Amazzon, let me say ..) and I bought an X16 of which I am very satisfied, it may be that the SMSL SU-9 is a great machine but for some time I will not buy SMSL.
UPDATE: it seem SU-9 has the same distorsion problem M500 https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...0-high-3rd-harmonic.22710/page-10#post-777881
 
Last edited:
Top Bottom