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SMSL D-6 DAC Review

Rate this DAC:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 4 1.6%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 8 3.2%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther

    Votes: 80 31.9%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 159 63.3%

  • Total voters
    251

E_Majluf

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Oct 14, 2019
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Hello everyone in the forum, I want to discuss this DAC that arrived in Chile last week. From AliExpress.

This post is a translation of Google Translate.

I wanted a bluetooth DAC as part of my second system for my terrace and living room, to liven up meetings with friends and family, but before I tried it in my dedicated home theater system, which is made up of B&W 603 s2 speakers, one sub JL e-sub e112, a Bryston 9B SST 5-channel amplifier, a Bryston SP2 preamp and processor, a Bryston BDA-3 stereo DAC, an OPPO UDP-203 Bluray, among other components. (not bad, don't you think?), Also, where I listen is a large room with approximate golden dimensions (Fibonacci) (8.15 * 5.24 * 2.95 meters)

I mention all this, to indicate that it is not just any system and that low frequencies are heard up to 20 herzt, for the measurements I obtained by replacing the Bryston DAC with the SMSL D-6.

First, I listened to it with various types of music and it all felt clearer and cleaner than the Briston BDA-3 which also has AKM dual DACs.

But when I put the Bryston on I realized that I was lacking in bass, so I did a quick test with Sterophile's TEST CD 3 track 17 (250Hz down to 20Hz), which I clearly verified from certain low frequencies being It has a drastic sharp roll off, I think around 80hz.

So the questions are: Is my particular DAC defective?
Otherwise, how can it be that they manufacture this DAC without converting these frequencies?

Anything to say about the manufacturer?
And those who have this DAC?
This weekend I will make a video for those who are interested and I could upload it to this forum. Anyone interested?

Thanks for reading me.
 

VintageFlanker

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my dedicated home theater system, which is made up of B&W 603 s2 speakers, one sub JL e-sub e112, a Bryston 9B SST 5-channel amplifier, a Bryston SP2 preamp and processor, a Bryston BDA-3 stereo DAC, an OPPO UDP-203 Bluray, among other components. (not bad, don't you think?)
Wow. That's a lot of money spent into electronics for such speakers...

Anyway, what @staticV3 said: show us measurements.;)
 

E_Majluf

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Wow. That's a lot of money spent into electronics for such speakers...
1667492813916.png

They can't be that bad.
 

E_Majluf

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Hello VintageFlanker, I perfectly understand the point and totally agree in relation to the prices of one and the other. Here in Chile one buys blind, that's why I base myself on the reviews that are published. Besides, it was what I could spend at the time, and well, it's a respectable and well-known company. For example, I had a Velodyne sub (FSR-15) since 1995. It was spectacular, totally musical, until it burned down a couple of years ago. And I bought the JL that was in vogue at the time. It has totally disappointed me. I long to return to Velodyne, but no one represents them around here anymore.
 

yllanos

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Hello VintageFlanker, I perfectly understand the point and totally agree in relation to the prices of one and the other. Here in Chile one buys blind, that's why I base myself on the reviews that are published. Besides, it was what I could spend at the time, and well, it's a respectable and well-known company. For example, I had a Velodyne sub (FSR-15) since 1995. It was spectacular, totally musical, until it burned down a couple of years ago. And I bought the JL that was in vogue at the time. It has totally disappointed me. I long to return to Velodyne, but no one represents them around here anymore.

As a Colombian, I totally get what you men. Buying blind is real, but you get to the point of just taking a decision and move on.

If you like servo subs, have a look at Rythmik. I own two of their subs with great results.
 

GPJ

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The D6 looks great. I have the DO100 and very happy with it, however, it has no ability to have DAC or PRE mode (just PRE mode) and is about $90 more. I am not sure if it's an AKM vs ESS deal or what??? Would be nice if SMSL could enable DAC only mode through a firmware update but not sure that is possible.
 

GPJ

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The DO100 is less noisy than the D6 even with the very slight hump "feature" and has dual ES9038Q2M. It's interesting the ancient DX3 Pro hangs with the D6 from -60 to -27.

In the real world use, both of those SMSL DAC's would be indistinguishable. Both fantastic pieces, nearly identical performers.

I have an ancient DX3 Pro, a D30 Pro, an E50, and a DO100 ...... I would consider them equally transparent IME ... a DAC is the last thing I care about improving in my system these days.
 

Music1969

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D-6 is 50% cheaper where I am and without ESS hump 'feature'.

It's a no-brainer for me ! :D
 

pbc

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Looking to potentially set up a 2.1 channel system in my Office for streaming off of sources like Tidal/Amazon music. Already have a pair of JBL 308MKII and a sealed sub.

Would this unit paired with a Bluesound Node 2i be a way to get a decent sounding system and could I use the remote to adjust volume?
 

GPJ

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D-6 is 50% cheaper where I am and without ESS hump 'feature'.

It's a no-brainer for me ! :D

Inferior and noisier DAC's are usually cheaper. No suprise there. SMSL obviously agrees.
 

GPJ

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In practical terms, noise is completely at inaudible levels

So in practical terms, not inferior but 50% cheaper

Noisier is inferior and the D6 price reflects that. Data don't lie .....

The DO100 can be bought for $200 shipped. Where do you see a D6 for $100 shipped? I'd buy it with all its' inferiorness for a hundred bones.
 
Last edited:

oso

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The D6 looks great. I have the DO100 and very happy with it, however, it has no ability to have DAC or PRE mode (just PRE mode) and is about $90 more. I am not sure if it's an AKM vs ESS deal or what??? Would be nice if SMSL could enable DAC only mode through a firmware update but not sure that is possible.
Do you have the popping issues when changing sample rates to the DO100?
 

oso

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Sorry for asking a question, I just bought this dac, I have read that the trs output is 6.35mm but I can't find any cable to connect it to the rca input of my amplifier. At the moment I have it connected from rca to rca. Do you know if there is any cable trs 6,35 to rca? Thanks
AFAIK, it is possible to adapt balanced cables to an unbalanced connector. I use XLR to RCA cables in my system (not with this dac) and it works fine, but I don't know if you'll easily find adapters for TRS. However, if your amplifier is unbalanced, you won't get any benefit anyway. I use adapters because I have a device that only accepts XLR inputs.
 

pbc

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How would this unit compare to the SMSL SU-8 v2/10th Anni edition? Can get the latter for a bit cheaper, though it looks like it has slightly slower SINAD. Looking to use it with a Node 2i / JBL MKII powered bookshelf set up + subwoofer.
 

WILL

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How would this unit compare to the SMSL SU-8 v2/10th Anni edition? Can get the latter for a bit cheaper, though it looks like it has slightly slower SINAD. Looking to use it with a Node 2i / JBL MKII powered bookshelf set up + subwoofer.
I had SU8 V2 compared to D-6.
SU8 sounds more raw and direct than D-6.
D-6 has the AKM Velvet sound signature, sound smooth and still dynamic.
It’s better than old 4490 dac I had before.
I like AKM sound more so I kept D-6 and sold SU8.
 

E_Majluf

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Ok, promised.

from 80 hz the roll off occurs.
First video is for Bryston BDA-3 and second video is SMSL D-6

Comments?
 

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