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Shanling M1s DAP to Aiyima A07 via USB-C to RCA cable

carpman

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Hi all (first post)

Have spent most of my audio forum time over at Hydrogen Audio but since looking into Class D amps and DACs and the like I found I was coming back to ASR all the time, so thought I'd better join.

I'm looking at making a mini system for a small room with a dedicated player and Class D amp to drive a pair of Monitor Audio "Monitor 50s". The Shanling offers a few things that may be useful: a large capacity (micro SD) a decent DAC (?) and if I've understood correctly a "line out" via USB-C.

Would I be correct to assume I can simply output from the Shanling M1s with a USB-C > RCA audio cable into a Aiyima A07?

Any help and thoughts (especially experience with the M1s etc ...) much appreciated.

Cheers,
C.
 

staticV3

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Hi @carpman! Welcome to ASR.

As per the user manual, the M1s cannot output audio via its Type-C port. Neither in digital nor in analog form.

However, you can use the 3.5mm jack as Line out:
Screenshot_20230610-123646_Drive.png

So with an adapter cable like this, you can plug the M1s into an Aiyima A07:
61UDD4VGEmL.jpg
 
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carpman

carpman

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Thanks staticV3 .

I guess I should RTFM ! I'd read that this item was released originally only in China and Japan and when I looked at the manual it was all in Chinese -- should have scrolled down a little further.

So the USB-C is for, as you say data transmission and for DAC duties:
Digital audio signal transmission
a. After booting up the device and entering the
interface, select the "USB Mode" option and set to the "DAC" status.

1) So, regarding the 3.5mm jack being a headphone / line out / coaxial SPDIF. Do you know if this is something set in the settings or do players like this determine this automatically depending on what it's plugged into? Probably a dumb question - but I'd like to know and didn't see this in the manual.

2) About the DAC mode (I'm new to the idea of using DAPs as DACs). If I wanted to use the Shanling M1s as a DAC for my laptop (which doesn't have USB-C ports), can I do the following: Laptop > USB A to C adapter cable > M1s (in USB Mode / DAC) > Line out via 3.5mm to RCA > Amplifier.

Would that be the correct chain?

Many thanks,
C.
 

staticV3

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So, regarding the 3.5mm jack being a headphone / line out / coaxial SPDIF. Do you know if this is something set in the settings or do players like this determine this automatically depending on what it's plugged into?
I'm fairly certain you have to go into the settings to set the 3.5mm out to either Analog out or Digital out.

If I wanted to use the Shanling M1s as a DAC for my laptop (which doesn't have USB-C ports), can I do the following: Laptop > USB A to C adapter cable > M1s (in USB Mode / DAC) > Line out via 3.5mm to RCA > Amplifier.

Would that be the correct chain?
Yes.
 
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carpman

carpman

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Recently got the M1S and it's interesting. staticV3 is quite correct about the Line Out option being set in the system menu. But, there's certainly quite a bit missing from the manual. I noticed Shanling seem to be active over at Head-Fi and so I thought I'd ask over there and see if I can get more info. I'll update this thread when I have something useful to add. In the meantime, my question regarding the USB Audio option is here.

C.
 
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carpman

carpman

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Okay, I think I've got (some of) my head round this. Hopefully this may be helpful to someone as clueless as me:

The Shanling M1s can act as a DAC (for say a laptop output) via USB A (laptop) > USB-C (M1s) > 3.5mm Line Out > RCA > Amplifier.

Or it can act as an audio source but bypass its own DAC and pass a digital audio signal to an external DAC / amp for processing via its USB-C output and this is the "USB Audio" option. This mode offers two ancillary options:
  1. "Volume Fixed" (which at present I assume is bypassing both the M1s' DAC and signal amplification and is passing "untouched" digital data to be handled by external DACs / amps with digital inputs)
  2. "Volume Variable" which I assume means the M1s amplifies the signal and kind of acts as a digital pre-amp.
Shanling just provided the following clarification:
On digital out it always bypasses analog circuit on M1s. But some USB devices needs the M1s to control the volume in digital space (For example headphone with USB-C connector, small USB dongles, etc), that's why there is switch between variable and fixed volume.

So, I think I've got that about right.

If I've got any of this completely or slightly wrong ... please correct me.

Cheers,
C.
 
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carpman

carpman

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I have a final question (regarding gain) after a chance for some extended playing around with the Shanling M1s.

I noticed that both volume control and channel balance have no effect when the Line Out mode is selected. This review of the Shanling Q1 suggests something similar:
[...] after switching headphone output to LO. Once in Line Out mode, the volume is set to the max, and you can control it from your amplifier. The Line Out is not a true output of the DAC which bypasses the amplification stage, but the sound was still clear and undistorted, making Q1 convenient to use with external amplifier to boost the output power or to color the sound.

I'm assuming the M1s has the same /similar implementation.

I asked the guy from Shanlling about gain in the Head-Fi thread:
Thanks for the quick reply. I'll be mostly running these small Monitor Audio Monitor 50 speakers via an Aiyima A07 or at most some Elac Debut B5.2 bookshelf speakers. Does that warrant High Gain in your opinion?

The reply was:
If your Aiyima is normal decent amp, definitely run it in high-gain on M1s. By small desktop speaker I'm talking more about these tiny plastic self-powered "toys" that are made for use with smartphones. There the full line-out voltage can cause issues.

The M1s seems to provide quite a high powered signal. The Aiyima volume knob at 9 o'clock is pretty loud through the Monitor 50 speakers.

Is there such a thing as an overly juiced line out and should I be concerned given the specs of the Shanling M1s > Aiyima A07 > Monitor 50 (8 ohm)
Is there something in the chain that would suggest clipping / distortion potential.

Monitor Audio Monitor 50 specs:
Frequency Response: 55 Hz – 30 kHz
Sensitivity (1W@1M): 87 dB
Nominal Impedance: 8 ohms
Maximum SPL: 109 dBA
Power Handling (RMS): 70 W
Recommended Amplifier Requirements: 15 – 70 W

I'll listen more at Low Gain and see what happens, but from a theoretical perspective I'd be interested in people's views on this and experience.

Many thanks,

C.

UPDATE:
from the Head-Fi thread:
Q: Anyone knows how much voltage does m1s pump out?
A: Around 2V in SE (3.5mm Line Out) and 2.8V in Balanced (4.4mm Line Out).
 
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