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I need help : smsl sp200 + ifi zen dac ?

Joined
Feb 7, 2020
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#1
It's been two days since I bought the smsl sp200 amp for my akg k712 + sennheiser gsp500 and I paired it with my ifi zen dac by the rca output. My problem is that during my listening to the test I noticed that the treble and bass are more detailed on the zen dac headphone output compared to the sp200, at the same time the output of sp200 is cleaner with good separation of the instruments and more power.
-1) is it normal that the ifi zen is more detailed on the treble and bass than the sp200?
-2) is zen dac not the ideal solution to power the sp200?
-3) does the smsl sp200 amp require a burn-in ?
-4) do I have to change the Zen dac with a better dac like topping d50s to take advantage of the performance of the sp200 amp?
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frogmeat69

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#3
Is the output on the back of Zen set to fixed? That might be a problem if you don't.
Why are you running the SP200 on high gain? Only headphones I have that needs high gain on it are the HiFiMan HE-6se, and even on low gain they sound good.
 
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Thread Starter #4
Is the output on the back of Zen set to fixed? That might be a problem if you don't.
Why are you running the SP200 on high gain? Only headphones I have that needs high gain on it are the HiFiMan HE-6se, and even on low gain they sound good.
Yes,the output on the back of Zen set to fixed.I use the sp200 on high gain because the bass is better than the low gain for my akg k712.
 
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#5
i was thinking of getting the SMSL SP200 for my IFI Zen and then i found this, so.. has it been resolved?
 
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#6
i was thinking of getting the SMSL SP200 for my IFI Zen and then i found this, so.. has it been resolved?
I don't recommend the SP200, try the Schiit Magni 3+ or Asgard 3 it's much better.
The SP200 have problems with the volume pot and could cause fatigue in prolongated sessions.
 
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#11
Hi , newbie here ;
I am a car audio listener, Trying to get the best signal to my DSP/Preamp
I have a DAP ( fiio m11 ) and can also use its coax out directly to my Premap/DSP.

I was looking at ifi zen DAC , how is the pre out ? is it worth to buy if I can feed it with the linear psu by spending almost the same cost as ifi zendac ?
Do I steel need to control the volume knob if I use its RCA pre outs ?
 
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#13
@tripanazomi

Just toss your dsp and use a miniDSP. Then you don't have to worry about a decent DAC.
Thx for the reply.

Sorry to say , some think my dsp is a bit better compared to mini dsp :)
https://www.audiotec-fischer.de/en/brax/processors/dsp

But in car its always about the good signal to be presented to the DSP so , its the best signal possible which we are after all to be presented to the DSP.
I have usb /coax/rca signal path to dsp.
I already installed wiring decent cables via usb and coax to dsp from my DAP ( fiio M11 in this case )
Looking for best rca signal alternative to be as close as possible to dsp with a short rca cable.

I have seen alot of dacs in the need of network electric which is 220 v in EU. ZenDAC looks portable and easy to be feed in car audio enviroment. Maybe there are other DACs better then ZenDAC in 5V 9V 12V which sounds better but dont know them so to say.
 
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#14
You already have an AK4490 in that Brax processor. If it's a decent implementation, it's already near enough to acoustically transparent.
Even if you are doing SQ competitions with your engine off, your install and cabin treatment are not going to be good enough to hear a difference upgrading to something like that Topping E30.
 
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#15
Thank you Jesh, you are correct , the car install does matter a lot and The car environment is not the best place to listen music. However its the only place for me to listen music as I am mostly travelling and can do engine off listening alot.
Can you compare SMSL M500 to ZenDAc pre outs if you have tested ? which is better for the sound quality ( not considering car usage)
 

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