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S.M.S.L. SD-9 Set-Up and Basic Review

0ldSchool

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As a noob, if I posted to the wrong place, let me know and I will delete and repost.

All I wanted from the SD-9 was to be able to stream bit-perfect music from TIDAL (over Ethernet) with control similar to what I have enjoyed via TIDAL Connect, BUT NOT using WiFi or Airplay2!

I ordered this unit from APOS Audio because I could not find it on Amazon at the time I knew the units had begun shipping from China. It turns out that S.M.S.L. equipment is usually listed with the periods on Amazon (NOT as "SMSL").

Ordered June 21, 2021. Delivered July 6, 2021. Fifteen days with APOS customer suppprt giving me three updates on expected delivery. DHL International gave detailed updates as soon as the unit was in their hands in Shenzhen China. Normally, I suspect the unit would have been delivered in 7-9 days, but it went on back order just as I ordered it. APOS has been a wonderful vendor. I would order from them again.

Since I was so concerned that everything come via Ethernet to be sent to my Gustard X-16 I turned off Bluetooth before I began the setup.

I won't make a long story longer by detailing my mistakes during setup. Instead I will list step by step how I would set up the SD-9 IF I had a do over.

[Nota bene: after two days spent with the unit, I am beginning to search for how to play songs from my phone via the unit to my DAC. At 258kbps (Apple Music File) versus generally 1700kbps HiFi or MQA, I doubt I will be playing anything from Apple Music. But I want to know all the interoperability of this unit - in the meantime, this initial review is for my TIDAL music, via Internet direct, over I2S to Gustard X16 DAC, via XLR into Yamaha RX-A 3080 integrated amplifier.]

BEFORE the S.M.S.L. SD-9 comes in you will need:
  • 2 AAA batteries for remote
  • Ethernet patch cable, Cat. 5e or better speed
  • The cabling to run from the SD-9 to your DAC (I ordered a 1 foot 8K HDMI cable for the I2S interface)
  • Access to 120 or 240 Volt AC
  • The full paid "mconnect Player" App by ConversDigital Co. Ltd., installed on your Android or iPhone. DO NOT install the "Lite" version. You don't want vestiges of the free program to interfere with the paid app which is what you will use for full functionality.
STEPS to take getting ready:
  • Update your phone to the latest operating system.
  • Cold boot your phone and then install "mconnect Player."
  • Flip SD-9 switch to select 120 or 240 Volts
  • Hook up cabling to the SD-9: I2S (or USB), Ethernet, and AC power.
  • Put batteries into the remote
  • FIRST (before pressing any other buttons) PRESS THE "B" button on the remote control.
  • Press the remote ON button to turn the SD-9 on.
  • Press the remote DOWN button and go to Settings (You MAY have to EXIT DLNA mode first to get to the GEAR icon.) The DOWN arrow functions as the "BACK" button, or LEFT pointing "RETURN" button on US remote controls. When you are finally in the "MENU" function on the screen, use the right or left cursor remote buttons to page through Settings (NET, NOW PLAYING, MY MUSIC, EXPLORER, PLAY SETTINGS, SYSTEM SETTINGS) and choose "System Settings." Press the center cursor control button and then the down cursor control button 12 times. You should now be at "RESTORE FACTORY SETTINGS," so press center button to SELECT it. Confirm your choice, and it will perform a factory reset, which clears any settings set up for unit testing before it left the factory!
  • Power cycle the SD-9.
  • Go back into SYSTEM "SETTINGS" and begin to go down the choices. You are looking for 1) Change I2S/SPDIF to whatever output you will use, back out and 2) turn "Fix Sample Rate OFF, 3) DSD Output Mode "Native," 4) USB mode "DAC," 5) EQ "close."
  • Turn the SD-9 off and use the I2S or USB cable to connect to your DAC
  • TO AVOID SPEAKER POP, turn amp off or volume all the way down. NOTE - MUTE on my Yamaha amp did not stop speaker pop while turning the SD-9 on or off while XLR input was selected on the amp.
  • Turn the SD-9 back on. IF you are using WiFi, check and setup the "NET" Settings on the SD-9 to insure you are connected to your network.
  • With the SD-9 on, take your phone and load the "mconnect Player."
  • Bottom far right of the app, press "Play through" and select the SD-9.
  • Go to "Browser" and put in your credentials for TIDAL, Qobuz, etc. Or select your NAS, SD Card, etc.
  • Adjust your "Settings" on your streaming service(s) for "Master" or "HiFi."
  • Select and play music, slowly turn up your amp volume, look at your DAC display and confirm that MQA, the green dot, and the bit rate show you are playing high res music.
  • Congratulate yourself!
PROS: outstanding soundstage, depth, dynamic range, price for a clean clear sounding streamer. NO USB Cable running across the floor to my DAC (FINALLY!!). Compared to the Pro-Ject Stream Box S2 Ultra at US $849, this S.M.S.L. SD-9 streamer running mconnect and not needing Roon or Volumio is a bargain.

CONS: Speaker POP; 4 out of now about 150 songs exhibited a half-second digital noise burst as a song began to play; crude interface with mconnect. The mconnect queue is terrible - hard to set it up and make songs "stick." When they do "stick" in the queue, they don't play in the expected order. TIDAL now supports Folders in the Playlists - mconnect doesn't see folders. Mconnect has crashed at least four times on my iPhone 11 running iOS 14.6. Crashing apps on this phone NEVER happen. I leave my equipment ON. The SD-9 screen will probably burn-in as there is no screen auto-off feature, and even the dimmest setting (#1) is still VERY BRIGHT. I sometimes still get digital noise between cuts of music and mconnect can't yet do gapless playback. The R/L Channels are reversed when using the I2S interface to my DAC. This is corrected by using the I2S "inverse" switch in the SD-9 settings. This error is reported by other users. Some might consider US $400 too expensive for a bleeding edge box which is essentially just a streamer, USB drive, and NAS manager. The RPi I was considering building would have been $200-250 (with touchscreen interface), no remote, and no mconnect! Just a few years ago NAS setups were $800-1600+. This SD-9 offered reasonable value for me.
 
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threni

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I love how technology has made listening to music so much more simple than it was 20 years ago.
 

Katji

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:oops:

NO USB Cable running across the floor to my DAC (FINALLY!!)
That is my one problem. Although not really, I just made it part of my morning routine...and this post sort of shows why it's not really a problem. ... :) So, thanks for that.
 
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0ldSchool

0ldSchool

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:oops:


That is my one problem. Although not really, I just made it part of my morning routine...and this post sort of shows why it's not really a problem. ... :) So, thanks for that.
As you approach more than 60 years old and see many of your friends taken out by tripping and falling, your priorities may change concerning cables and flooring. Or your significant other who put up with your LessLoss power cables and 12 gauge speaker wire openly exposed may suddenly say ENOUGH! Plus - it wasn't really HiFi to have a 25' USB, via camera adapter running from phone to DAC. I could hear the difference.
 

misterdog

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it wasn't really HiFi to have a 25' USB, via camera adapter running from phone to DAC.

Why would anyone even consider such a set up ?

A Raspberry Pi with attached 1TB SSD provides all the local storage and is controlled by Volumio or Moode from your phone or laptop.
 
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0ldSchool

0ldSchool

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Because of experience: MQA doesn't play off an SSD - my nephew went the RPi 4 route. Volumio not up to the task based on our expectations built from using TIDAL Connect - and after eliminating Volumio, I was not going to run a Roon endpoint. The SD-9 offered me what I wanted at only $150 (US$) more than a nice case enclosed, super cooled, RPi4 with only USB out [no hats thank you]. Damn happy with the SD-9 & X-16 partially due to I2S from streamer into DAC, XLR from DAC into Yamaha. Clean clean clean super quiet sound.
 

PDAMan

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As a noob, if I posted to the wrong place, let me know and I will delete and repost.

All I wanted from the SD-9 was to be able to stream bit-perfect music from TIDAL (over Ethernet) with control similar to what I have enjoyed via TIDAL Connect, BUT NOT using WiFi or Airplay2!

I ordered this unit from APOS Audio because I could not find it on Amazon at the time I knew the units had begun shipping from China. It turns out that S.M.S.L. equipment is usually listed with the periods on Amazon (NOT as "SMSL").

Ordered June 21, 2021. Delivered July 6, 2021. Fifteen days with APOS customer suppprt giving me three updates on expected delivery. DHL International gave detailed updates as soon as the unit was in their hands in Shenzhen China. Normally, I suspect the unit would have been delivered in 7-9 days, but it went on back order just as I ordered it. APOS has been a wonderful vendor. I would order from them again.

Since I was so concerned that everything come via Ethernet to be sent to my Gustard X-16 I turned off Bluetooth before I began the setup.

I won't make a long story longer by detailing my mistakes during setup. Instead I will list step by step how I would set up the SD-9 IF I had a do over.

[Nota bene: after two days spent with the unit, I am beginning to search for how to play songs from my phone via the unit to my DAC. At 258kbps (Apple Music File) versus generally 1700kbps HiFi or MQA, I doubt I will be playing anything from Apple Music. But I want to know all the interoperability of this unit - in the meantime, this initial review is for my TIDAL music, via Internet direct, over I2S to Gustard X16 DAC, via XLR into Yamaha RX-A 3080 integrated amplifier.]

BEFORE the S.M.S.L. SD-9 comes in you will need:
  • 2 AAA batteries for remote
  • Ethernet patch cable, Cat. 5e or better speed
  • The cabling to run from the SD-9 to your DAC (I ordered a 1 foot 8K HDMI cable for the I2S interface)
  • Access to 120 or 240 Volt AC
  • The full paid "mconnect Player" App by ConversDigital Co. Ltd., installed on your Android or iPhone. DO NOT install the "Lite" version. You don't want vestiges of the free program to interfere with the paid app which is what you will use for full functionality.
STEPS to take getting ready:
  • Update your phone to the latest operating system.
  • Cold boot your phone and then install "mconnect Player."
  • Flip SD-9 switch to select 120 or 240 Volts
  • Hook up cabling to the SD-9: I2S (or USB), Ethernet, and AC power.
  • Put batteries into the remote
  • FIRST (before pressing any other buttons) PRESS THE "B" button on the remote control.
  • Press the remote ON button to turn the SD-9 on.
  • Press the remote DOWN button and go to Settings (You MAY have to EXIT DLNA mode first to get to the GEAR icon.) The DOWN arrow functions as the "BACK" button, or LEFT pointing "RETURN" button on US remote controls. When you are finally in the "MENU" function on the screen, use the right or left cursor remote buttons to page through Settings (NET, NOW PLAYING, MY MUSIC, EXPLORER, PLAY SETTINGS, SYSTEM SETTINGS) and choose "System Settings." Press the center cursor control button and then the down cursor control button 12 times. You should now be at "RESTORE FACTORY SETTINGS," so press center button to SELECT it. Confirm your choice, and it will perform a factory reset, which clears any settings set up for unit testing before it left the factory!
  • Power cycle the SD-9.
  • Go back into SYSTEM "SETTINGS" and begin to go down the choices. You are looking for 1) Change I2S/SPDIF to whatever output you will use, back out and 2) turn "Fix Sample Rate OFF, 3) DSD Output Mode "Native," 4) USB mode "DAC," 5) EQ "close."
  • Turn the SD-9 off and use the I2S or USB cable to connect to your DAC
  • TO AVOID SPEAKER POP, turn amp off or volume all the way down. NOTE - MUTE on my Yamaha amp did not stop speaker pop while turning the SD-9 on or off while XLR input was selected on the amp.
  • Turn the SD-9 back on. IF you are using WiFi, check and setup the "NET" Settings on the SD-9 to insure you are connected to your network.
  • With the SD-9 on, take your phone and load the "mconnect Player."
  • Bottom far right of the app, press "Play through" and select the SD-9.
  • Go to "Browser" and put in your credentials for TIDAL, Qobuz, etc. Or select your NAS, SD Card, etc.
  • Adjust your "Settings" on your streaming service(s) for "Master" or "HiFi."
  • Select and play music, slowly turn up your amp volume, look at your DAC display and confirm that MQA, the green dot, and the bit rate show you are playing high res music.
  • Congratulate yourself!
PROS: outstanding soundstage, depth, dynamic range, price for a clean clear sounding streamer. NO USB Cable running across the floor to my DAC (FINALLY!!)

CONS: Speaker POP; 4 out of now about 150 songs exhibited a half-second digital noise burst as a song began to play; crude interface with mconnect. The mconnect queue is terrible - hard to set it up and make songs "stick." TIDAL now supports Folders in the Playlists - mconnect doesn't see folders. Mconnect has crashed at least four times on my iPhone 11 running iOS 14.6. Crashing apps on this phone NEVER happen. I leave my equipment ON. The SD-9 screen will probably burn-in as there is no screen auto-off feature, and even the dimmest setting (1) is still VERY BRIGHT.

Thanks for the extensive instructions. This could have saved me some aggrevation.

I received my SD-9 last week and after one day of fiddling with settings I sent it back to the retailer who swapped it over with another unit. Unfortunately, it had the same issue.

1. It repeatedly restores the faculty setting on reboot and losing all the saved settings. Sometimes it hangs and a reboot is necessary and when it reboots, all the saved setting is gone, including NAS login details. However, after playing a song from an SD card, somehow this problem is less severe and is not tolerable.

2. IIS connection to Gustard X16 and Topping D90 works. BUT, the left and right channels are reversed. When the invert IIS option is enabled, correct L/R channel is restored for non-DSD files. For DSD files changing this setting has no effect and the L/R channel is reversed no matter what. I looked at the IIS pin setting on the manual and compared it to those for the two DACs and they are identical for all the sound signal pins. Perhaps one is meant to use only SMSL DACs. I am now using USB output.

3. Rather loud pops when starting, pausing/playing. This happens for DSD file playback and the DSD setting is 'Native'. I changed it to 'DoP' and the pops disappear or much less so as not noticeable. As long as DACs can handle a higher bit rate (700khz+) PCMs, DoP will work fine for DSD files upto 4xDSD (=DSD256). Both Gustard X16 and Topping D90 handle DSD256 via DoP with no issues and they display them as DSD 11mHz. So all fine with no POPs.

Could you see if you have the same problems I experienced (1 and 2 above) and comment?

Thank you.

PS.

I listened to PCM to DSD files via

1. DNLA using mconnect - Yes DSD256 works fine over DLNA with no speed issues at all.
2. SMB - NAS
3. SD card and ONG hard drive, controlled by Hibymusic app on iPhone Xs - the app works but it loses connection everytime the phone goes to sleep.
 
Last edited:

prateek

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Because of experience: MQA doesn't play off an SSD - my nephew went the RPi 4 route. Volumio not up to the task based on our expectations built from using TIDAL Connect - and after eliminating Volumio, I was not going to run a Roon endpoint. The SD-9 offered me what I wanted at only $150 (US$) more than a nice case enclosed, super cooled, RPi4 with only USB out [no hats thank you]. Damn happy with the SD-9 & X-16 partially due to I2S from streamer into DAC, XLR from DAC into Yamaha. Clean clean clean super quiet sound.
Congratulations on the nice acquisition! Appreciate if you could share some pcb pics. Thanks.
Curious... what clocks does it use.
 

jeroboam

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I love how technology has made listening to music so much more simple than it was 20 years ago.
Yeah taking the cd out of its case and placing it in the player was very complicated. How on earth did we manage compared to the simplicity of setting up an SD 9. Nice one threni :D.
 

Katji

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I must say, I'm glad my SMSL M8 is not like any of these stories here. 2015. I just connected it - USB and power supply cable, switched it on, and that's that. It never did anything weird. It has no volume control or headphone amp...it's just a DAC.
...There was a firmware update to enable display time-out.
End of.
The SINAD and so on is not quite up to the latest DACs at the top of the chart but...???? - you know the story.
 
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0ldSchool

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Yeah taking the cd out of its case and placing it in the player was very complicated. How on earth did we manage compared to the simplicity of setting up an SD 9. Nice one threni :D.

Most of us in this forum may not need these extensive instructions. As a guy doing tech support informally for decades and then as a career the last 6 years of my working life, and now again informally for friends and neighbors, I attempted to answer the many questions someone less skilled might have as they attempt to get into high fidelity listening at a reasonable price.

i assume the two snarky comments (so far) are from people who don't understand, don't empathize with others, have no idea what some of us hear with high resolution reproduction of high resolution music files, are satisfied with their Bose radios/CD players, love their MP3s, or are happy with music via their Alexa one inch speakers.

Snark pollutes the thread with no redeeming value. Please take it to a forum where snark is appreciated.
 
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0ldSchool

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Congratulations on the nice acquisition! Appreciate if you could share some pcb pics. Thanks.
Curious... what clocks does it use.
One of the Torx screws on the bottom of my unit was inserted crooked (maybe cross-threaded), so I am going to leave it intact, unless someone can send me to a site which shows an easy tear-down of the SU-9. As far as clocks - I can't find this anywhere. It does use two clocks at 22.5792 & 24.576 MHz frequencies.
 
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0ldSchool

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1. It repeatedly restores the faculty setting on reboot and losing all the saved settings. Sometimes it hangs and a reboot is necessary and when it reboots, all the saved setting is gone, including NAS login details. However, after playing a song from an SD card, somehow this problem is less severe and is not tolerable.
So one at a time (meaning multiple posts, as time permits). Assuming faculty=factory above, depending on HOW the unit is shut down, it will retain the user settings or reset to factory settings. *See first photo, below, from manual - the manual seems to be saying if power is removed while ON, the next boot will be back at initial factory settings, but using ON/OFF button on remote or by wheel on front of cabinet, user settings will be retained. So what has caused your reboot? Loss of power, or an internal problem perhaps also implying loss of power?

I have seen a spontaneous reboot only twice in a week of use (perhaps 300 songs, with listening sessions lasting up to 90 minutes) and my settings were retained. Of course spontaneous reboots are NO GOOD, so I am attentive to this, and if I experience them another few times, I will return the unit. I leave my equipment on continuously (to avoid contraction and expansion of components, especially silicon), so I haven't pressed the limits of on/off reboots. My unit has been power cycled perhaps 10 times. I have not yet formatted my SD card, so will report on that in a later post.

My current (and original) settings are:
Update Music MODE: Auto-Shutdown
Update Music - skip
I2S/SPDIF: I2S
I2S Inverting: OFF (switch)
Fix sample rate: OFF
DSD Output Mode: Native
USB Mode: DAC (not currently using, but set to DAC)
EQ: close (not used)
MSEB: close (not used)
Backlight Brightness: 1 (too damn bright - needs auto shutoff)
Language: English
About Device: (see 2nd photo below)
F97669D6-8F89-437E-BB74-E7CCB9ACD583.jpeg
F2B126FE-AAF8-4606-A20F-9425CEC16ED7.jpeg
 

PDAMan

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So one at a time (meaning multiple posts, as time permits). Assuming faculty=factory above, depending on HOW the unit is shut down, it will retain the user settings or reset to factory settings. *See first photo, below, from manual - the manual seems to be saying if power is removed while ON, the next boot will be back at initial factory settings, but using ON/OFF button on remote or by wheel on front of cabinet, user settings will be retained. So what has caused your reboot? Loss of power, or an internal problem perhaps also implying loss of power?

I have seen a spontaneous reboot only twice in a week of use (perhaps 300 songs, with listening sessions lasting up to 90 minutes) and my settings were retained. Of course spontaneous reboots are NO GOOD, so I am attentive to this, and if I experience them another few times, I will return the unit. I leave my equipment on continuously (to avoid contraction and expansion of components, especially silicon), so I haven't pressed the limits of on/off reboots. My unit has been power cycled perhaps 10 times. I have not yet formatted my SD card, so will report on that in a later post.

My current (and original) settings are:
Update Music MODE: Auto-Shutdown
Update Music - skip
I2S/SPDIF: I2S
I2S Inverting: OFF (switch)
Fix sample rate: OFF
DSD Output Mode: Native
USB Mode: DAC (not currently using, but set to DAC)
EQ: close (not used)
MSEB: close (not used)
Backlight Brightness: 1 (too damn bright - needs auto shutoff)
Language: English
About Device: (see 2nd photo below)View attachment 141135View attachment 141136
Hi OldSchool

Thanks for replying to my post.

My understanding of that section of the manual is that.

1. when the power is disconnected by pulling the power code (hard power off), the unit goes back to the menu state (showing the various menu icons) when plugged back in
2. when using the remote or the knob to power off (soft power off) and then unplug the power code, it will not automatically start and show the menu state when the power code is plugged back in.

Irrespective of which method is used to power off, the factory reset (yes not faculty) occurs on occasional reboots which is very annoying. And sometimes when this happens SMB can not be connected. But the SD method restores functionality. Very annoying and hopefully a firmware update can fix this. BUT I am not hopeful since on their website, SMSL shows no firmware downloads for their previous streamer (DP5) which has been out for about a year I think.

How about the IIS connection reversing L/R channels? The inverse OOS option only fixes non-DSD files. Have your experienced the same channel swap issue?

Regards
 
Last edited:

jeroboam

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Most of us in this forum may not need these extensive instructions. As a guy doing tech support informally for decades and then as a career the last 6 years of my working life, and now again informally for friends and neighbors, I attempted to answer the many questions someone less skilled might have as they attempt to get into high fidelity listening at a reasonable price.

i assume the two snarky comments (so far) are from people who don't understand, don't empathize with others, have no idea what some of us hear with high resolution reproduction of high resolution music files, are satisfied with their Bose radios/CD players, love their MP3s, or are happy with music via their Alexa one inch speakers.

No need to get your knickers in a twist. I was merely agreeing with threni's observation that advances in technology don't necessarily lead to an easier lifestyle as it generally is purported to. No sarcasm was intended. Of course listening to music can be as simple or as complicated as one wants it to be. Enjoy your new toy.

Snark pollutes the thread with no redeeming value. Please take it to a forum where snark is appreciated.
 

0mega0

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I purchased this device, S.M.S.L. SD-9, a few weeks ago.

One thing that I have noticed is that it will produce audible distortion in some music. Where I have noticed this the most is in a song titled "Your Betrayal" by Bullet for My Valentine, from the album Fever. The noticeable distortion starts after the first four bars. It sounds like a crackling noise, like it is coming from outside the music, near the edge of the soundstage, if that makes sense. The problem is that distortion is not present when I have my DAC connected directly to my computer via USB, or if I use a different streaming device other than the SD-9 plugged into my DAC. I have tried this on all outputs of the SD-9 (USB, I2S, Optical, Coax) except AES. I have also tried multiple sources to the SD-9 (USB, DLNA, SMB). All produce the same result.

Would someone that also has the SD-9 be able to listen to that song and see if they also notice the distortion? I am curious if it is a fault with my particular unit, or if it is inherent to the units design.

Also the SD-9 does not support gapless playback over DLNA, at all. I have tried multiple sources of DLNA servers and Qobuz using mconnect, there is always a gap between tracks when using DLNA on the SD-9. While playing from USB or SMB gapless works fine of course.

Thank You
 
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0ldSchool

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Hi OldSchool
Thanks for replying to my post.
How about the IIS connection reversing L/R channels? The inverse OOS option only fixes non-DSD files. Have your experienced the same channel swap issue?
Regards
I have not gotten into acquiring or playing DSD files yet - so will have to wait for another member to reply to that. I can confirm that somehow, the I2S output when streaming TIDAL has the channels reversed on my unit, just like you have reported.
 
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0ldSchool

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I must say, I'm glad my SMSL M8 is not like any of these stories here. 2015. I just connected it - USB and power supply cable, switched it on, and that's that. It never did anything weird. It has no volume control or headphone amp...it's just a DAC.
...There was a firmware update to enable display time-out.
End of.
The SINAD and so on is not quite up to the latest DACs at the top of the chart but...???? - you know the story.
For clarity, this review covers the S.M.S.L. SD-9 Music Streamer. While the SD-9 does have a rudimentary DAC, I will never use the DAC function as my DAC is the Gustard X-16.

I purchased the SD-9 to be able to stream TIDAL or Qobuz from the Internet, via Ethernet to my DAC. Why that functionality is hard to purchase is beyond me, but this was the first workable (for me) solution that I or two HiFi buddies have seen at a halfway reasonable price.

YES - it has problems, but it answers a need that I have.
 
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0ldSchool

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I purchased this device, S.M.S.L. SD-9, a few weeks ago.

One thing that I have noticed is that it will produce audible distortion in some music. Where I have noticed this the most is in a song titled "Your Betrayal" by Bullet for My Valentine, from the album Fever. The noticeable distortion starts after the first four bars. It sounds like a crackling noise, like it is coming from outside the music, near the edge of the soundstage, if that makes sense. The problem is that distortion is not present when I have my DAC connected directly to my computer via USB, or if I use a different streaming device other than the SD-9 plugged into my DAC. I have tried this on all outputs of the SD-9 (USB, I2S, Optical, Coax) except AES. I have also tried multiple sources to the SD-9 (USB, DLNA, SMB). All produce the same result.

Would someone that also has the SD-9 be able to listen to that song and see if they also notice the distortion? I am curious if it is a fault with my particular unit, or if it is inherent to the units design.

Also the SD-9 does not support gapless playback over DLNA, at all. I have tried multiple sources of DLNA servers and Qobuz using mconnect, there is always a gap between tracks when using DLNA on the SD-9. While playing from USB or SMB gapless works fine of course.

Thank You
Hmmm - First I tried the cut you asked about: https://tidal.com/track/3650032 . It has the same clarity from the beginning and specifically 1:19 into the song, the whisper, percussion, and second voice coming in is spectacular. The stats mconnect is showing: 1058 kbps; FLAC; 44.1; 16 bit.

Second, when I am streaming, my TIDAL stream plays via DLNA. I agree - there is NO GAPLESS PLAY. It is like using the TIDAL app from 3 years ago. I suspect this is a limitation of HIBY mconnect, rather than a limitation of the SD-9.

I will say the gap is minimized when I turn on "Gapless to renderer" and leave "Gapless by app" turned off. Regardless - the gap is still at least 1/2 second on my equipment. (See I pic of mconnect interface, below.)

Just to check that the MQA, Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, Cuts 1 and 2 (album title cut and a Little Help...), I tried them via the iOS TIDAL APP and Airplay direct to my amp, and yep - still gapless when playing directly from TIDAL Connect.
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0ldSchool

0ldSchool

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Thanks for the extensive instructions. This could have saved me some aggrevation.

I received my SD-9 last week and after one day of fiddling with settings I sent it back to the retailer who swapped it over with another unit. Unfortunately, it had the same issue.

1. It repeatedly restores the faculty setting on reboot and losing all the saved settings. Sometimes it hangs and a reboot is necessary and when it reboots, all the saved setting is gone, including NAS login details. However, after playing a song from an SD card, somehow this problem is less severe and is not tolerable.

2. IIS connection to Gustard X16 and Topping D90 works. BUT, the left and right channels are reversed. When the invert IIS option is enabled, correct L/R channel is restored for non-DSD files. For DSD files changing this setting has no effect and the L/R channel is reversed no matter what. I looked at the IIS pin setting on the manual and compared it to those for the two DACs and they are identical for all the sound signal pins. Perhaps one is meant to use only SMSL DACs. I am now using USB output.

3. Rather loud pops when starting, pausing/playing. This happens for DSD file playback and the DSD setting is 'Native'. I changed it to 'DoP' and the pops disappear or much less so as not noticeable. As long as DACs can handle a higher bit rate (700khz+) PCMs, DoP will work fine for DSD files upto 4xDSD (=DSD256). Both Gustard X16 and Topping D90 handle DSD256 via DoP with no issues and they display them as DSD 11mHz. So all fine with no POPs.

Could you see if you have the same problems I experienced (1 and 2 above) and comment?




P.S.
1. DNLA using mconnect - Yes DSD256 works fine over DLNA with no speed issues at all.
2. SMB - NAS
3. SD card and ONG hard drive, controlled by Hibymusic app on iPhone Xs - the app works but it loses connection everytime the phone goes to sleep

Regarding #1, I never lost my personal settings and have not had spontaneous reboots in the past 7-9 days.
#2. YES - my I2S output to DAC reverses L/R channels. The "invert" switch in SD-9 (or via mconnect) settings corrects the L/R channel reversal.
#3. After the first two hours of using the SD-9, with free mconnect lite, I have streamed using ONLY the mconnect paid (US $6.99) app. My clicks and pops came with changing inputs on my amp from anything to XLR (my DAC output goes into the amp's XLR) OR when switching the SD-9 on or off. I have now gotten used to turning amp volume down to less than -80dB. No clicks and pops since practicing this "safe switching."
 
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