• 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!

New SMSL M500 MKIII, A new device again?

Jimster480

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Jan 26, 2018
Messages
2,263
Likes
1,560
Location
Tampa Bay
My friend just told me about this device;
I thought it wasn't real but it is...



Seems to be pretty similar to last years (Dec 2021!) model but with an XMOS-XU316 instead of XU-216... Can't really spot other changes except maybe more headphone power per channel?

Here is a picture from one of the stores that has it in stock. Wonder if @amirm has one for testing already in his lab.


1660075629693.png
 

audiofun

Active Member
Joined
Jul 4, 2021
Messages
194
Likes
179
if you get the circuit of all previous SMSL ES9038Pro products, you'll find they only used 2 channels of the 8.
This product has a Okto research / Topping D90SE / Matrix Audio -like summing that does independent IV for the 8 channels then sum into 2.
So it can reach D90SE level SINAD.
 
OP
Jimster480

Jimster480

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Jan 26, 2018
Messages
2,263
Likes
1,560
Location
Tampa Bay
if you get the circuit of all previous SMSL ES9038Pro products, you'll find they only used 2 channels of the 8.
This product has a Okto research / Topping D90SE / Matrix Audio -like summing that does independent IV for the 8 channels then sum into 2.
So it can reach D90SE level SINAD.
I did not realize that the previous versions only used two of the eight channels. That seems pretty pointless. So I guess that this also includes the smsl su-9 because that one also has a 9038?
They have quite a few products with the 9038.
Some of them which go all the way up to $800. So this is the only smsl product that will use all eight channels?

Also where do they disclose this information? Because I did not see this on the product page.
 

audiofun

Active Member
Joined
Jul 4, 2021
Messages
194
Likes
179
> That seems pretty pointless. So I guess that this also includes the smsl su-9 because that one also has a 9038?

True. I used multimeter to get the circuit out.


> They have quite a few products with the 9038. Some of them which go all the way up to $800. So this is the only smsl product that will use all eight channels?

True


> Also where do they disclose this information? Because I did not see this on the product page.

it's in the product page you posted


Notice it uses 8 vs 2 channels, and way more opa1612 (iv for each channels) than previous products. thus the price increase.
 
OP
Jimster480

Jimster480

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Jan 26, 2018
Messages
2,263
Likes
1,560
Location
Tampa Bay
> That seems pretty pointless. So I guess that this also includes the smsl su-9 because that one also has a 9038?

True. I used multimeter to get the circuit out.


> They have quite a few products with the 9038. Some of them which go all the way up to $800. So this is the only smsl product that will use all eight channels?

True


> Also where do they disclose this information? Because I did not see this on the product page.

it's in the product page you posted


Notice it uses 8 vs 2 channels, and way more opa1612 (iv for each channels) than previous products. thus the price increase.
1660121541741.png


This is the graphic, I missed it. Scrolled right past it haha, didn't mention it anywhere else.
 
OP
Jimster480

Jimster480

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Jan 26, 2018
Messages
2,263
Likes
1,560
Location
Tampa Bay
@SHENZHENAUDIO, why announce this at Headfi and not here? :)


JSmith
Yea exactly.
seems equivalent to topping's upcoming dx7 pro+ : https://apos.audio/products/topping-dx7-pro-plus-dac-amp

SMSL has better DSD implementation than topping though. Topping's noise floor for ESS chip products rise significantly for DSD 128 and 256. SMSL does not have that bug.
Hard to say that it is equiv to the DX7 though because we don't know many details on the DX7 Pro+. Additionally the DX7 doesn't have MQA.
However the price is going to be similar if the DX7 isn't actually more expensive.
 

audiofun

Active Member
Joined
Jul 4, 2021
Messages
194
Likes
179
> Hard to say that it is equiv to the DX7 though because we don't know many details on the DX7 Pro+. Additionally the DX7 doesn't have MQA.

based on the introduction dx7 pro+ and m500 mkiii are very similar in analog portion --- 8 i/v summing pair, opa1612 + tpa6120a2 configured in a transitional miller compensation topology.

MQA is just garbage. Let's ignore this...

> However the price is going to be similar if the DX7 isn't actually more expensive.

Topping's will be surely more expensive. DX5 is $450. DX7 Pro+ will cost much more than that if you simply add the BOM (9038Pro, much more OPA1612).
 

raif71

Major Contributor
Joined
Sep 7, 2019
Messages
1,936
Likes
1,925
just look around, pro gears have that for ages... Buy the motu ultralite mk5, it has more channels, inputs, micpres, at the same price!
I googled it. Using another ESS Sabre DAC with different model, 9260Pro. Looks like a lower model than the 9380Pro. Perhaps explain why it's cheaper.
 
OP
Jimster480

Jimster480

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Jan 26, 2018
Messages
2,263
Likes
1,560
Location
Tampa Bay
We need DSP! Not the millionth variation on regular stereo D/A conversion.

Sorry for the rant.
Pretty true, there are so many DACs with basically 0 variation. Really surprised to not see stuff with DSP yet.
> Hard to say that it is equiv to the DX7 though because we don't know many details on the DX7 Pro+. Additionally the DX7 doesn't have MQA.

based on the introduction dx7 pro+ and m500 mkiii are very similar in analog portion --- 8 i/v summing pair, opa1612 + tpa6120a2 configured in a transitional miller compensation topology.

MQA is just garbage. Let's ignore this...

> However the price is going to be similar if the DX7 isn't actually more expensive.

Topping's will be surely more expensive. DX5 is $450. DX7 Pro+ will cost much more than that if you simply add the BOM (9038Pro, much more OPA1612).
I have been enjoying certain MQA tracks via Tidal... if you are paying so much; might as well have all the features.
I was mentioning though that MQA (which has a licensing fee) is included in that cost but yet the DX7 Pro + (which won't have it) will still cost more.
When I bought my DX7 I paid $250 but the normal price was supposed to be $350.... now the EX5 is $350 and the DX5 is $450 so... the DX7 will be like $600-700? Too much.
 

AdamG247

Coadjutor Miscreant and general Scalawag
Moderator
Forum Donor
Joined
Jan 3, 2021
Messages
2,961
Likes
7,759

boXem | audio

Major Contributor
Manufacturer
Joined
Jun 19, 2019
Messages
1,555
Likes
3,197
Location
Europe
if you get the circuit of all previous SMSL ES9038Pro products, you'll find they only used 2 channels of the 8.
This product has a Okto research / Topping D90SE / Matrix Audio -like summing that does independent IV for the 8 channels then sum into 2.
So it can reach D90SE level SINAD.
The classical implementation sums the channels before the I/V, not after like the products you mentioned. Unless I missed it, I don't see anything telling that there are 8 I/V implemented.
 
Top Bottom