• 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.

Review and Measurements of SMSL M8 DAC

Joined
Mar 18, 2018
Messages
11
Likes
11
Location
Australia
#21
Correct, I tested it with the supply that came with it. I don't see any mains related contributions so I doubt that a linear supply makes a difference. If I get a chance, I will test it with my lab supply.
Thanks. I actually have an aftermarket LPS connected to my SMSL Sanskrit Pro DAC. I feel that the bass sounds cleaner and tighter, but I know the power of placebo, and it could very well just be a result of sighted gear. Given evidence that the LPS makes no difference, I would rather declutter, save space and have a cleaner desk setup.
 
Last edited:

Jimster480

Major Contributor
Patreon Donor
Joined
Jan 26, 2018
Messages
1,217
Likes
704
Location
Miami
#22
Thanks. I actually have an aftermarket LPS connected to my SMSL Sanskrit Pro DAC. I feel that the bass sounds cleaner and tighter, but I know the power of placebo, and it could very well just be a result of sighted gear. Given evidence that the LPS makes no difference, I would rather declutter, save space and have a cleaner desk setup.
Usually LPS can be seen in the output at 2x frequency I believe.
 

trl

Addicted to Fun and Learning
King of Mods
Joined
Feb 28, 2018
Messages
795
Likes
693
Location
Iasi, RO
#23
There's an SMPS anyway on most SMSL, TOPPNG a.s.o. devices to increase the inside voltage rails and re-create the virtual ground. Google about the SMSL M8 and take a good look at the naked pictures and you'll see the rail splitter to +/-12V.

I wonder if anyone who has this DAC can put a scope on it to measure the AC RMS + noise across GND and both +/-12V rails, thank you.
 

Jimster480

Major Contributor
Patreon Donor
Joined
Jan 26, 2018
Messages
1,217
Likes
704
Location
Miami
#24
There's an SMPS anyway on most SMSL, TOPPNG a.s.o. devices to increase the inside voltage rails and re-create the virtual ground. Google about the SMSL M8 and take a good look at the naked pictures and you'll see the rail splitter to +/-12V.

I wonder if anyone who has this DAC can put a scope on it to measure the AC RMS + noise across GND and both +/-12V rails, thank you.
I have this but no Scope
 

amirm

Founder/Admin
Staff Member
CFO (Chief Fun Officer)
Joined
Feb 13, 2016
Messages
22,741
Likes
35,672
Location
Seattle Area
#27
The Q&A on Amazon cracks me up:

1527265773802.png


XLR connectors? Analog inputs? No DAC?

It is just a simple DAC with RCA output. Not sure if it has S/PDIF output or input per this picture:
1527265907829.jpeg
 

FireLion

Active Member
Joined
May 25, 2018
Messages
133
Likes
30
#29

amirm

Founder/Admin
Staff Member
CFO (Chief Fun Officer)
Joined
Feb 13, 2016
Messages
22,741
Likes
35,672
Location
Seattle Area
#30
Joined
Jun 13, 2018
Messages
8
Likes
1
#31
Hi,

After the M8a with 9028q2m, SMSL made a new version of the M8 : the M8a V2 with one 9038eqm.
https://www.audiophonics.fr/fr/dac-...t-768khz-dsd-xmos-xcore200-xu208-p-12934.html

I plugded it on my system this morning and will see this evening what it will play.
Amirm, if you find one, I'm relly interest by measurements of this new smsl.
There's already something wrong for me : I don't know why, but i can't unplugged anymore the USBwire. It's not a joke, my old cable is prisonier of the USB socket...
 

Veri

Major Contributor
Patreon Donor
Joined
Feb 6, 2018
Messages
3,004
Likes
2,968
#32
Hi,

After the M8a with 9028q2m, SMSL made a new version of the M8 : the M8a V2 with one 9038eqm.
https://www.audiophonics.fr/fr/dac-...t-768khz-dsd-xmos-xcore200-xu208-p-12934.html

I plugded it on my system this morning and will see this evening what it will play.
Amirm, if you find one, I'm relly interest by measurements of this new smsl.
There's already something wrong for me : I don't know why, but i can't unplugged anymore the USBwire. It's not a joke, my old cable is prisonier of the USB socket...
Doesn't really make sense to measure it again, it's the same design with newer generation chip, should be very very similar. Difference most likely comparable to Topping DX7 vs Topping DX7s.

About the USB you should mail the seller/manufacturer lol.
 
Joined
Jun 20, 2018
Messages
352
Likes
140
#33
Did you by any chance also measure channel imbalance and channel crosstalk of the SMSL M8?

I'm asking because I'm trying to decide whether to get the topping D50 or the SMSL M8A v2 (stated to even have about 3dB less distortion than the M8), and the SMSL M8 measured here seems to measure slightly better overall than the D50 because of the better SMPTE intermodulation distortion (up to 12dB less in the mid levels, may well be slightly audible?). But the D50 design with two ES9038q2m chips may well have much less channel crosstalk (stated as -116dB by Topping).
 

Jimster480

Major Contributor
Patreon Donor
Joined
Jan 26, 2018
Messages
1,217
Likes
704
Location
Miami
#34
Did you by any chance also measure channel imbalance and channel crosstalk of the SMSL M8?

I'm asking because I'm trying to decide whether to get the topping D50 or the SMSL M8A v2 (stated to even have about 3dB less distortion than the M8), and the SMSL M8 measured here seems to measure slightly better overall than the D50 because of the better SMPTE intermodulation distortion (up to 12dB less in the mid levels, may well be slightly audible?). But the D50 design with two ES9038q2m chips may well have much less channel crosstalk (stated as -116dB by Topping).
Very interesting observation there. He does still have my M8 so he could run whatever tests even on his new analyzer.
 
Joined
Aug 25, 2018
Messages
8
Likes
9
Location
Cheshire, UK
#36
Have been looking at the Topping D50 and JDS Labs EL DAC, but eventually bought the M8A v2 because of availability/price in the UK... Mine's arriving tomorrow, so I'm looking forward to hearing any differences from the ODAC currently used.

Any reason to buy/make a 5v low noise linear power supply for the M8A?
 
Joined
Jun 20, 2018
Messages
352
Likes
140
#38
Have been looking at the Topping D50 and JDS Labs EL DAC, but eventually bought the M8A v2 because of availability/price in the UK... Mine's arriving tomorrow, so I'm looking forward to hearing any differences from the ODAC currently used.

Any reason to buy/make a 5v low noise linear power supply for the M8A?
Is the M8A v2 the one with the ES9038q2m or ES9028q2m DAC chip? Probably with the ES9038q2m chip?
Bit confusing the names. M8 is the one with ES9018q2m chip, M8A with ES9028Q2m and M8A v2 with ES9038q2m (which I've been calling the M8A v3 in this thread in error).
Curious what you think of it!
As far as I can tell there's no reason to use another power supply with it. Btw if I remember correctly it comes with both a power supply and an extra USB cable to power it through USB from the computer.
 
Joined
Aug 25, 2018
Messages
8
Likes
9
Location
Cheshire, UK
#39
Can only presume the one with the ES9038q2m is v2 of the M8A ... the limited-view PCB images from SMSL are stamped v2.2 above the ES9038q2m. Amazon.UK list it as the 2017 model, and Audiophonics list it as M8A v3, but then call it an M8A v2 in the description.

Once it arrives and I know it's working OK, I'll open it up and take a few pictures.
 
Joined
Jun 20, 2018
Messages
352
Likes
140
#40
Can only presume the one with the ES9038q2m is v2 of the M8A ... the limited-view PCB images from SMSL are stamped v2.2 above the ES9038q2m. Amazon.UK list it as the 2017 model, and Audiophonics list it as M8A v3, but then call it an M8A v2 in the description.

Once it arrives and I know it's working OK, I'll open it up and take a few pictures.
You don't have to open it up to know which version it is.
If you download the driver (latest version, smsl xmos, is the one at the top of this page: http://www.smsl-audio.com/download.asp ) and connect the M8A through USB you can see in the driver window which version it is.
 
Top Bottom