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S.M.S.L SU-9n issue

archerious

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Recently my SMSL SU9N has started making this awful static noise. It doesn't matter if I use my NC252 or a headphone amp, as long as it's on XLR it makes that awful noise.

-Tried different power cord
-Tried with and without UPS/surge protector
-Tried different interconnects
-Tried using both NC252 and Schiit Jotunheim 2

The issue has persisted.

It's extremely annoying, below is a clip of what it sounds like.

I contacted Apos Audio since the DAC is under a year old so should be under warranty still, but didn't know if anyone else had experienced this and possibly knew a fix.

 
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archerious

archerious

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Still awaiting response from Apos Audio.
 

AdamG247

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That sounded horrible and I personally would never trust plugging that in again. Could very easily cause damage to your fine speakers. Not certain what that sound means but I will guess it was some sort of short circuit or super loud interference. You just walked in there all casual. I would have been tripping over everything trying to levitate in there as fast as possible to pull that plug!
 
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archerious

archerious

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That sounded horrible and I personally would never trust plugging that in again. Could very easily cause damage to your fine speakers. Not certain what that sound means but I will guess it was some sort of short circuit or super loud interference. You just walked in there all casual. I would have been tripping over everything trying to levitate in there as fast as possible to pull that plug!
It’s been doing this for a few days it just got extremely loud this time. Honestly if it does ruin my speakers then it’ll be time to look for an attorney.

I’m honestly a bit annoyed with Apos. When I had questions about Gustard x16 DSD issue a while back Aoshida Audio replied to me quickly. But Apos has left me without any “hey we’re looking in to it” or any kind of update for some time now.

What good is a two year warranty if there is no assistance or communication?
 

REK2575

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@archerious How long have you had the su-9n?

I actually just got mine delivered today. Hooking it up, it seemed like there was some issue with the power cord. I kind of jostled it fitting it into the unit's receptacle, and it cut the power and turned the unit off - ! I haven't been able to replicate the problem but it does have me a little worried that something may be loose or defective with the power supply...
 
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archerious

archerious

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@archerious How long have you had the su-9n?

I actually just got mine delivered today. Hooking it up, it seemed like there was some issue with the power cord. I kind of jostled it fitting it into the unit's receptacle, and it cut the power and turned the unit off - ! I haven't been able to replicate the problem but it does have me a little worried that something may be loose or defective with the power supply...
I’ve had it since November.
 
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archerious

archerious

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Just an update, Apos replied on Friday evening (yesterday) they assigned my ticket to a team member. Awaiting reply still.
 

Tej

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So I have the exact same problem. Started yesturday. Did you resolve your issue?
 
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archerious

archerious

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So I have the exact same problem. Started yesturday. Did you resolve your issue?
Apos Audio finally gave me a RMA label today.

So it'll be a while until I update the thread. But the RMA states defective so I don't think we are the first to have this issue.
 

REK2575

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Sorry to hear about these unit failures -- I hope the vendors do right by you and take care of the problem.

Does anyone know if this is a 'known problem' with the SU-9n ? (For ex., the way the Topping PA-5 has by now established a pretty terrible track-record of failures; hopefully the SU-9n isn't on that level of unreliability...)
 

5mall5nail5

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Interested to see how they replace it. Whether you have to send it back to China or some place else.
 

REK2575

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I just noticed this Review of the SMSL DO100 Dac in Amazon:

4.0 out of 5 stars Work well for 30 days, had to be replaced
Reviewed in the United States on June 29, 2022
Verified Purchase
Worked great for 30 days, after that the DAC became totally unusable, audio cutting in and out, extreme levels of distortion, and no audio output at all. Spoke with Aoshida HiFi and they've agreed to replace the unit at no additional cost.

Of course, not the same as the SU-9n, but another recently released SMSL Dac that appears to be having problems similar to what's been reported in this thread.

I increasingly wonder if it's even worth it to buy from SMSL, Topping, Sabaj, Loxjie, etc. etc. If you buy from Amazon, you have a 30-day window. But if the unit runs into trouble any time after that, getting it back to China becomes a major headache.

I guess I hope if my SU-9n is going to fail, it does so in the next 30 days.... Or I may just return preemptively, like I did with the Topping PA-5
 

Tej

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So it'll be a while until I update the thread. But the RMA states defective so I don't think we are the first to have this issue.
I am dealing with shenzhenaudio directly... and they sending me questions that gives me an impression that I am not the first one to contact them on this issue.


I increasingly wonder if it's even worth it to buy from SMSL, Topping, Sabaj, Loxjie,
After the way my dac failed... I wonder the same also. But in their price category, is there anything on par that is not made in China?
 
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archerious

archerious

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I am dealing with shenzhenaudio directly... and they sending me questions that gives me an impression that I am not the first one to contact them on this issue.



After the way my dac failed... I wonder the same also. But in their price category, is there anything on par that is not made in China?
To be honest the Schiit Modius isn't bad or one of JDSLabs products if you want made in USA.

But frankly Topping, Gustard, Sobaj, Soncoz are all Chinese brands that generally haven't had major DAC issues to my understanding. Well other than Gustard x16 DSD issue, but again nothing like the unit killing itself or potentially the gear (Topping L30 headphones Amp was the one time they had an issue like that).

Usually DACs don't cause this much hassle in my experience.
 

REK2575

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@Tej I hear what you're saying about the pricing of these Chinese DACs. They're very attractive, esp. when you consider some of the higher-end brand DACs going for thousands of dollars that don't out-compete the Chinese models in terms of performance (and in many cases can't even match them).

But more and more, I feel like these low prices are an illusion. What good is an outstanding performance DAC that only lasts you 6 months? The Topping PA-5 has really started to sour me on these brands that get such stellar reviews from Amir, but which very quickly turn out to be highly unreliable and very probably defective. (Check out the PA5 threads in ASR if you're not aware of this ongoing saga.)

I agree with you @archerious that the Chinese DACs seem to fare pretty well compared with the desktop and headphone amps. But reports from you and others of SMSL DACs not only failing but causing scary static/pops/distortion... the $400 I paid for the Su-9n suddenly doesn't seem like such a great deal. I'd rather pay more for a solid, reliable product, even if it doesn't have the 'state of the art' SINAD that ASR reviews always seem to swoon over.
 

Doodski

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@Tej I hear what you're saying about the pricing of these Chinese DACs. They're very attractive, esp. when you consider some of the higher-end brand DACs going for thousands of dollars that don't out-compete the Chinese models in terms of performance (and in many cases can't even match them).

But more and more, I feel like these low prices are an illusion. What good is an outstanding performance DAC that only lasts you 6 months? The Topping PA-5 has really started to sour me on these brands that get such stellar reviews from Amir, but which very quickly turn out to be highly unreliable and very probably defective. (Check out the PA5 threads in ASR if you're not aware of this ongoing saga.)

I agree with you @archerious that the Chinese DACs seem to fare pretty well compared with the desktop and headphone amps. But reports from you and others of SMSL DACs not only failing but causing scary static/pops/distortion... the $400 I paid for the Su-9n suddenly doesn't seem like such a great deal. I'd rather pay more for a solid, reliable product, even if it doesn't have the 'state of the art' SINAD that ASR reviews always seem to swoon over.
I'm on the same page as you are regarding the DACs. I am fully 100% committed to a USA made product with USA product support in the near future.
 

5mall5nail5

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I'm on the same page as you are regarding the DACs. I am fully 100% committed to a USA made product with USA product support in the near future.
But are there any that support DSD512, balanced, etc., that aren't $3,000?
 

Glint

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It does that without anything being played through it? I wouldn't connect it up again, those are some nice speakers you have...no idea what it's sending out for the amplifier to munch on.
 

norcalscott

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Having worked for several electronics manufacturers over the years, I would say the big problem with these kinds of products is that the Chinese move so fast with design and production, that they do not always spend a nominal amount of time with testing prototypes, or with burning in production units (you do a lot more burn in with the first 1,000 or so to weed out quality issues). Don't get me wrong, companies like SMSL and Topping are producing phenomenal devices at very attractive price points (I own products from both companies).

However, I try to never purchase v1 of any of these products, and maybe I have been lucky, but I have not had any issues like we are seeing here, or with for example the PA-5. My SU-9 was purchased after it had been out for over a year, and there were firmware and other issues addressed. I applaud these companies for what they do, but I am not wanting to be their QA department, so will wait for others to do that and then I'll purchase the corrected version a little later. The SU-9n will probably be rock solid in 4 or 5 months, but I know that is of little comfort to the early adopters...
 

5mall5nail5

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Having worked for several electronics manufacturers over the years, I would say the big problem with these kinds of products is that the Chinese move so fast with design and production, that they do not always spend a nominal amount of time with testing prototypes, or with burning in production units (you do a lot more burn in with the first 1,000 or so to weed out quality issues). Don't get me wrong, companies like SMSL and Topping are producing phenomenal devices at very attractive price points (I own products from both companies).

However, I try to never purchase v1 of any of these products, and maybe I have been lucky, but I have not had any issues like we are seeing here, or with for example the PA-5. My SU-9 was purchased after it had been out for over a year, and there were firmware and other issues addressed. I applaud these companies for what they do, but I am not wanting to be their QA department, so will wait for others to do that and then I'll purchase the corrected version a little later. The SU-9n will probably be rock solid in 4 or 5 months, but I know that is of little comfort to the early adopters...
But you would think that the SU-9N is 98% identical to the SU-9. I happened to return my SU-9N only because I decided to get a Gustard X18, but that's probably victim to the same issues.
 
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