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Review and Measurements of SMSL SU-8 DAC

Pillars

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I believe someone mentioning that range is where it starts to saturate. I'd mod your unit if you are comfortable with an iron. On the part you heat up, loosen and swivel off of the 5v line be sure to have it facing the right way just in case it comes off.. in the v2 thread it shows the writing on it as a reference to which direction is correct.

Krunok, it was harsher maxed out IMO. With volumes lower, it was fine.
 

Krunok

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I believe someone mentioning that range is where it starts to saturate. I'd mod your unit if you are comfortable with an iron. On the part you heat up, loosen and swivel off of the 5v line be sure to have it facing the right way just in case it comes off.. in the v2 thread it shows the writing on it as a reference to which direction is correct.

Krunok, it was harsher maxed out IMO. With volumes lower, it was fine.
Just kidding M8, -6dB for sure is more reasonable and can probably impact the sound. :)
 
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Returning it to Massdrop would be a hassle, because I live in Serbia. It traveled for almost a month including customs checks etc.

I'm quite happy with the sound though, I mean, I wouldn't return it/mod it unless it's a night and day type of thing. Just wanted to ask for your opinion on the differences. I use mine with Adam audio T7v monitors, connected via balanced cables. I use the inner volume control. For most cases, I don't go over 32-34.
I'm feeding a set of A7x's with one of these. I just increased the gain on the monitors after seeing this issue. The Adam monitors are tops, they don't seem to suffer from the higher gain, your mileage may vary.

If you do the mod, I'd be interested in your opinion. If I had another dac/pre combo in the house, I would most likely be have attempted it already. Amir has my only other sevicable dac/pre for testing (NuForce DAC-80)
 

Pillars

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I'm feeding a set of A7x's with one of these. I just increased the gain on the monitors after seeing this issue. The Adam monitors are tops, they don't seem to suffer from the higher gain, your mileage may vary.

If you do the mod, I'd be interested in your opinion. If I had another dac/pre combo in the house, I would most likely be have attempted it already. Amir has my only other sevicable dac/pre for testing (NuForce DAC-80)
After the mod all seems well, if comfortable do it. It's easy.
 

Pillars

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Temptation usually wins out in the end. I'm 80% sure it would be no problem, but that leaves a 1/5 chance I have no way to volume control my TV lol. The internal struggle is real.
Well, I adjusted my power amp gain so that the max on my SU-8 is the max I'd ever listen to out of my system. It's nice to know I can max my DAC volume via the remote comfortably without sound degradation issues instead of keeping it below 30 (or 33, whatever it is) and fiddling with it.

Plus, since I bought it from Massdrop I didn't void my warranty because SMSL didn't offer one in the first place. Big contrast to Topping.. they outright said they'd cover their products no matter if you purchased it through Massdrop or not. I'll be going that route in the future despite the SU-8 being what I'd consider the better value. It sounds rather nice, really. If someone is able to get a V2 unit for $200 it's hard not to recommend based on the performance alone.
 
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Well, I adjusted my power amp gain so that the max on my SU-8 is the max I'd ever listen to out of my system. It's nice to know I can max my DAC volume via the remote comfortably without sound degradation issues instead of keeping it below 30 (or 33, whatever it is) and fiddling with it.

Plus, since I bought it from Massdrop I didn't void my warranty because SMSL didn't offer one in the first place. Big contrast to Topping.. they outright said they'd cover their products no matter if you purchased it through Massdrop or not. I'll be going that route in the future despite the SU-8 being what I'd consider the better value. It sounds rather nice, really. If someone is able to get a V2 unit for $200 it's hard not to recommend based on the performance alone.
I did the same just with the max volume I'd listen to in the mid to upper 20's. I don't have my stereo set up as a weapon like some other forum members, so if something jacks the volume up, at least no one is getting "seriously injured".

I've had my own issues with Massdrop that makes me less than enthusiastic about them. Some of their practices seem extremely sketchy, like the no-warranty situation, charging regular shipping prices and shipping 3rd rate services that use USPS for last mile delivery, the issues with the SDAC + O2 QA failures, and not issuing my refund on a recieved return until I contacted them when I saw it had been delivered several days before. I've also gotten some good gear and deals from them as well, like my HD6XX, and some kitchen knives.

At this point, I'd rather spend a few extra dollars and buy from another vendor when available, and I'm always sure to purchase on my Amex for the extra protection when I do buy from them. I'd also avoid buying a first run of any of their branded gear, but that's probably true for most manufacturers (at least topping released a DX3 firmware update to address its issues).

The SU-8 fills a very specific niche for me: A DAC/Pre with remote that has balanced outs for my monitors and unbalanced for my sub. Its like it was made specifically for my living room. So once again, I find myself giving SMSL some extra slack on their QA for their excellent features and price/performance.
 

vt5c

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Both units show 60Hz and 120Hz noise, plus higher order harmonics. Is it audible?
The "power Supply Noise" graph has harmonics unrelated to 120Hz on the D50, (1 KHz apart) but the sub 500Hz range has some noise from rectifiers etc as you would expect. The D50 looks 30dB better than the other at low frequency noise. Those 1KHz periodic spikes above the noise floor could be sampling artifacts?
The power supply noise will of course intermod with every other signal. The D50 has an external "+5V" DC input. Typical wall-warts has poor noise performance. Will the 60Hz noise go away with a battery source? A 6V lead acid batter could work, or something else, DC.
 
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frogmeat69

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I ain't modding nuthin', I will bugger it up. Anyone ever see the game Hand Simulator? That would be me with a soldering iron, lol.
With the volume set at 32 it sounds fantastic through my iCan Pro balanced anyways, so no biggie. Only thing bugging me is the slight clicking I hear when changing different files, say from PCM to DSD or high res to CD quality. Any idea to fix that? I haven't done any firmware or driver upgrades since getting the unit.

EDIT: Just updated to what I think is the latest driver, 4.47.0, and the clicking sound is gone, but still get a slight fade in, so a little better.
 
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Hi all SMSL SU8 owners, I am interested to get this dac can recommend which seller and also that they are selling the latest version.
Tks for reading.
 

graz_lag

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Hi all SMSL SU8 owners, I am interested to get this dac can recommend which seller and also that they are selling the latest version.
Tks for reading.
Shenzhen Audio dot com !
They ship the latest version ! (v2)
 

Jaimo

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Hi all SMSL SU8 owners, I am interested to get this dac can recommend which seller and also that they are selling the latest version.
Tks for reading.
You can also go to Amazon and purchase from the Shenzhen Audio store. Delivery will be quicker and you get the no quibbles Amazon return period if things don’t work out.
 
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