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New SMSL M300

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I see M500’s price that I didn’t see before at the link above. $259! So far so good. The only thing missing is a review by amir...
 

SMSL-Mandy

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I see M500’s price that I didn’t see before at the link above. $259! So far so good. The only thing missing is a review by amir...
Until now. I have not received accurate pricing notice for M500. I don't think this is an accurate price. Where did you saw the price?
 
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I see M500’s price that I didn’t see before at the link above. $259! So far so good. The only thing missing is a review by amir...

Nope ! The price is like over 425 usd! This is twice as expensive as M300’s. Of course, it is not a final price. Hope to see it has a competitive price tag, and is in european stock soon.

69B46A6D-4627-45CB-8E76-3F661A073EE5.png
 
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Considering D5 and D70, this cannot be as expensive as them to compete well and make S.M.S.L money. Otherwise, this design will be dead like M300!

please bear in mind, neither has it balance headphones output and iis input like D5 has, nor expensive components like ACCUSILICON femtosecond crystal will be available on the board as D70.

Maybe, we will be seeing pre-sell for less. Lets see!
 
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It's $499 at aliexpress right now. This is the upper end of what I thought. I would have jumped in at $350ish. I get that MQA license costs money, but it also looks like a single-chip unit (because it doesn't say it's dual). I have no clue which should work better, dual Q2M or single PRO? It looks like amir is getting a test unit, so I will wait.
 
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I find it remarkable, though, SMSL will be rubbing elbows with Western and Japanese brands at the MQA licensing site. I think their brand image will change, for better or worse.
 

Hugo9000

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I am guessing that SMSL decided to make at least one model that can process MQA due to Alibaba choosing to use MQA in their Xiami streaming service in China. This way Xiami customers can buy from a known Chinese brand instead of these other odd or extremely expensive (e.g. dCS) brands that support MQA.

Edited to add: it's possible that Alibaba gave them an incentive, or it could just be SMSL thinking it could be useful to get a few extra customers in case that streaming service's numbers improve. At any rate, I'm sure it was a simple enough "feature" to add, since they are probably just using the onboard MQA from the ESS chip. Most of the other recent SMSL DACs have been using AKM, which doesn't have a deal with MQA. Anywho, I guess we'll see if it has any market impact. Doubtful, I suspect, since Tidal is a dud numbers-wise, unless Xiami does a significantly better job of marketing itself to audiophiles and the general listening public.
 
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I like the integration of MQA decoding process on DACs as a heavy Tidal user. I actually plan to put a streamer on my hifi chain. That is, a dac with MQA decoder ability will be so handy.
 

JohnYang1997

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I am guessing that SMSL decided to make at least one model that can process MQA due to Alibaba choosing to use MQA in their Xiami streaming service in China. This way Xiami customers can buy from a known Chinese brand instead of these other odd or extremely expensive (e.g. dCS) brands that support MQA.
MQA is mainly as a good looking feature and supposedly for oversea users. Chinese don't give a flying fuck about MQA. They use 384khz/352.8khz, DSD256, or simply CD quality/FLAC. Xiami and mqa only made the agreement very recently. And majority audiophiles in China don't even understand MQA. Well, that being said there are people using MQA, those people mainly use TIDAL(yeah in China). But that's really minority.
 

Hugo9000

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MQA is mainly as a good looking feature and supposedly for oversea users. Chinese don't give a flying fuck about MQA. They use 384khz/352.8khz, DSD256, or simply CD quality/FLAC. Xiami and mqa only made the agreement very recently. And majority audiophiles in China don't even understand MQA. Well, that being said there are people using MQA, those people mainly use TIDAL(yeah in China). But that's really minority.
I don't know if you're trying to argue with my post or not, and if so, why. I never suggested the Chinese people give a _______ ______ about MQA. I have nothing but the highest respect for Chinese culture throughout history. I know the agreement is recent, and this is a brand new product, so what is your point? I was merely pointing out a possible connection between the timing of this product and Alibaba's Xiami service agreement with MQA. Without that, I personally doubt that SMSL would have bothered, and would have continued their recent trend of using AKM chips in all new models. My iDEA uses an ESS chip, but that's an older model DAC.

Good grief.
 

Veri

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I was merely pointing out a possible connection between the timing of this product and Alibaba's Xiami service agreement with MQA. Without that, I personally doubt that SMSL would have bothered, and would have continued their recent trend of using AKM chips in all new models. My iDEA uses an ESS chip, but that's an older model DAC.

Good grief.
Wait what does AKM/ESS have to do with this? This thing is just using an ESS9038Pro right? The MQA decoding must come from the xmos microcontroller..

https://hifipig.com/smsl-announce-launch-date-of-m500-dac/
 

Hugo9000

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Wait what does AKM/ESS have to do with this? This thing is just using an ESS9038Pro right? The MQA decoding must come from the xmos microcontroller..

https://hifipig.com/smsl-announce-launch-date-of-m500-dac/
http://www.esstech.com/index.php/en/news/newsroom/sabre-dacs/

ESS Technology, the industry leader in audio and analog design, announced today that they will introduce versions of their SABRE®audio DACs that feature integrated MQA rendering.
Just guessing based on that. The whole point was supposed to be easy integration by manufacturers of consumer hardware. Otherwise SMSL could have continued their trend of using AKM chips in recent products. ESS announced integrated MQA, AKM has not as far as I'm aware. I don't have inside information, it's just speculation based on the little information we have. The price point of the SMSL M500 is rather low for them to use anything other than an easy and integrated solution, I'd have thought. I guess we'll see once the product is in the field or @amirm receives one to test as @SMSL-Mandy has promised.
 
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Tidal is a dud numbers-wise.
Maybe so, but the number of people who consider buying $200+ external DAC is even smaller, yet there is an overlap between TIDAL subscribers and audiophile, I bet. The inclusion of MQA will appeal to this targeted population. Yeah, I’m talking about people in the US.
 
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SMSL-Mandy

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Nope ! The price is like over 425 usd! This is twice as expensive as M300’s. Of course, it is not a final price. Hope to see it has a competitive price tag, and is in european stock soon.

View attachment 31236
This is not an accurate price. This item will be released on 20th August. I will announce the price for the first time.
 
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