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SMSL D-6 DAC Review

Rate this DAC:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 4 1.4%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 10 3.4%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther

    Votes: 90 30.8%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 188 64.4%

  • Total voters
    292

linuxfan

Active Member
Joined
Mar 18, 2019
Messages
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176
In the Volumio DAC settings
...
with the SMSL d-6 the HW mixer is not visible.
You have Volumio on rPi4 right? And you connect to the D-6 DAC via USB, right? I suspect it may be a firmware limitation of the D-6's XMOS USB interface, or simply that the XMOS USB interface has a USB vendor/product ID which Linux (and Volumio) does not recognise as being compatible with hardware volume control. The best way to find out is to go to the Volumio forum - quite frankly, that should have been your first point of contact, not audiosciencereview.
In the meantime, there's a simple solution - configure Volumio for NO volume control, and use the D-6's remote control for volume adjustment.
if you're super serious about SQ you should install the drivers which enables ASIO ...
I'm fairly sure welder911 is using Volumio under Linux, so Windows drivers are not relevant to his situation. Rest assured that Volumio setups, if properly configured, may be considered "super serious about SQ".
 

welder911

Member
Joined
Nov 17, 2020
Messages
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1
You have Volumio on rPi4 right? And you connect to the D-6 DAC via USB, right? I suspect it may be a firmware limitation of the D-6's XMOS USB interface, or simply that the XMOS USB interface has a USB vendor/product ID which Linux (and Volumio) does not recognise as being compatible with hardware volume control. The best way to find out is to go to the Volumio forum - quite frankly, that should have been your first point of contact, not audiosciencereview.
In the meantime, there's a simple solution - configure Volumio for NO volume control, and use the D-6's remote control for volume adjustment.

I'm fairly sure welder911 is using Volumio under Linux, so Windows drivers are not relevant to his situation. Rest assured that Volumio setups, if properly configured, may be considered "super serious about SQ".
Thank you for the answer. Yes, I am using Volumio. I asked the question there. But now, as you said, I use it as NULL in the mixer setting.
 

welder911

Member
Joined
Nov 17, 2020
Messages
27
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1
hi everyone, i messed something up and now the screen turns off after 10 seconds. How can I restore it to its original state or factory settings?
 

Bleib

Major Contributor
Joined
May 13, 2021
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Sweden
hi everyone, i messed something up and now the screen turns off after 10 seconds. How can I restore it to its original state or factory settings?
Try holding the FN button on the remote for a few seconds
 

ThomDJ

Member
Joined
Sep 6, 2023
Messages
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6
I used to own a Topping BC3 and recently switched to the SMSL D-6. With the BC3 I could connect my phone to BT with LDAC no problem. It has a toggle in the device options when connecting to it (image below). But for the D-6 the option is not even there. What am I missing? Switching to LDAC in the developer options also doesn't work, it switches back immediately.

ldac.jpeg
 
Last edited:

Howie Dern

Member
Joined
Nov 15, 2021
Messages
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10
I also have the D-6 and LDAC works fine with my phone so I'm sure you'll get there. A few thoughts:
  1. I have a Galaxy S10e with Android 12. In Developer Options I needed to toggle HD audio on and choose the LDAC BT codec. Then, when connected to the D-6 via BT, I opened settings for the D-6 BT connection on my phone and toggled LDAC on (I guess that's what you show in the pic?). All this I just needed to do once.
  2. If I connect a different device via BT to the D-6, I am not able to go back to using my phone to connect unless I turn off BT on the other device. It's not enough just to disconnect the first device.
  3. Do you have the antenna mounted on the D-6? I found it still works without the antenna but the range is greatly reduced. But when I'm out of range the audio just stops. With my LDAC headphones connected to my phone, audio continues but the codec quality drops until I'm completely out of range. Maybe, with your phone there is a codec change if the signal can't support LDAC.
 

ThomDJ

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Sep 6, 2023
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I also have the D-6 and LDAC works fine with my phone so I'm sure you'll get there. A few thoughts:
  1. I have a Galaxy S10e with Android 12. In Developer Options I needed to toggle HD audio on and choose the LDAC BT codec. Then, when connected to the D-6 via BT, I opened settings for the D-6 BT connection on my phone and toggled LDAC on (I guess that's what you show in the pic?). All this I just needed to do once.
  2. If I connect a different device via BT to the D-6, I am not able to go back to using my phone to connect unless I turn off BT on the other device. It's not enough just to disconnect the first device.
  3. Do you have the antenna mounted on the D-6? I found it still works without the antenna but the range is greatly reduced. But when I'm out of range the audio just stops. With my LDAC headphones connected to my phone, audio continues but the codec quality drops until I'm completely out of range. Maybe, with your phone there is a codec change if the signal can't support LDAC.
Hi Howie, thanks for replying. Unfortunately, this does not work for me. After enabling HD audio and choosing the LDAC BT codec, I switch back to the device settings and the LDAC toggle is not there. You're right, that's what the picture shows. The toggle is there for the Topping BC3, but not for the D-6. When I switch back to the developer settings, the settings have reverted to AptX HD. It's also the first and only device I connected to the D-6 (it just arrived yesterday). I own the Xiaomi 9T Pro, which should support LDAC out-of-the-box as far as I know.

I have the antenna mounted, but in my testing I'm standing right next to the device.

EDIT: I've ordered a SU-6 as well, to compare sound and check if it has the same LDAC issues for me. Should arrive tomorrow.
 
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ThomDJ

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Sep 6, 2023
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Hi Howie, thanks for replying. Unfortunately, this does not work for me. After enabling HD audio and choosing the LDAC BT codec, I switch back to the device settings and the LDAC toggle is not there. You're right, that's what the picture shows. The toggle is there for the Topping BC3, but not for the D-6. When I switch back to the developer settings, the settings have reverted to AptX HD. It's also the first and only device I connected to the D-6 (it just arrived yesterday). I own the Xiaomi 9T Pro, which should support LDAC out-of-the-box as far as I know.

I have the antenna mounted, but in my testing I'm standing right next to the device.

EDIT: I've ordered a SU-6 as well, to compare sound and check if it has the same LDAC issues for me. Should arrive tomorrow.
A quick update to conclude my previous post. I couldn't get it to work, and switched to a Topping DX3 Pro+ (not the SMSL SU-6 mentioned before). With this device, LDAC enables instantly and works without flaw. Still not sure what's up, but happy with this result nonetheless.
 

xedra

Member
Joined
Aug 17, 2023
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2
Any idea on how D-6 performs against M300 SE?
I do want balanced outputs (my speakers have TRS/XLR inputs) and I am only thinking the AK4493Ss and the Bluetooth performance. Any suggestions?
 

Matias

Master Contributor
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Jan 1, 2019
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Last edited:

besound

Member
Joined
Jan 30, 2022
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3
You can also set the display to go off.
Hi Tod - Could you kindly elaborate on how to set the display to go off, thanks. I've been looking everywhere online and in the sparse manual while trying all settings multiple times using the remote and the knob, can't seem to get the display to turn off.
 

besound

Member
Joined
Jan 30, 2022
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Hi Tod - Could you kindly elaborate on how to set the display to go off, thanks. I've been looking everywhere online and in the sparse manual while trying all settings multiple times using the remote and the knob, can't seem to get the display to turn off.
I spoke too soon, kept reading on in the thread and found the answer posted by Bleib in post 449, just hold the Fn key down until the display goes dark. Display then automatically goes off a few seconds each time after pressing the remote buttons or using the knob. To turn it back on do the same, press Fn until the display lights up. The documentation from SMSL of functions for this dac are sorely lacking. Loving the sound, functionality and overall value as I finally begin to suss out finer points of how to make adjustments. Had to read through both of these longs threads on ASR to feel confident I'm getting full value of use. Many thanks to Amir and everyone who takes the time to post measurements, questions and observations - even opinions and counter arguments much appreciated.
 

drewdawg999

Active Member
Joined
Dec 25, 2021
Messages
192
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184
Location
Suburban Los Angeles
Just pulled the trigger on this DAC and am super excited! I already have a DO100 though, and despite this being an AKM DAC, not expecting much difference for redbook (SINAD is worse actually) but I got this for DSD processing, especially DSD Direct mode (PrD). Hopefully this will elevate the level of my DSD rips, but I won't know for sure until I try. Price was right, got it open box, so not much to lose. Will be using this in my big speaker rig where I do not use EQ or any correction, hoping for some nice detail and synergy. Will move the DO100 to my bedroom headphone rig, and convert DSD to PCM since I use EQ there. IME the ESS DAC does not decode DSD as well as AKM (clips on the original Thriller SACD, doesn't decode my one DSD512 album). I so wanted a Topping E70 Velvet but lack of DSDD implementation was a deal breaker for me, for me it's a killer feature for AKM DACs. The D-6 looks more velvety to me, happy to find out that what I want is actually available for cheap.
 

drewdawg999

Active Member
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Dec 25, 2021
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Location
Suburban Los Angeles
Got my unit today and I'm very happy with the thing. Sounds really great, fully transparent to my ears. Listened all day and felt no fatigue, just wanted to keep listening song after song. Got it for DSD and listening to the usual suspects, really enjoyed myself, very full and involving sound. Steely Dan, Pink Floyd, the Who and Fleetwood Mac, great music sounding just fantastic.

Then I moved to Classical and the DAC was just at home as it was playing classic rock. Mendelssohn and Bruch violin concertos were so dynamic and wondrous, as was the Schumann piano concerto. Detail so fine yet warm and smooth. Just wanted to play more DSD, put me in my happy place.

Also tried Vanessa Fernandez, only album I have in DSD512, and that sounded incredible as well. I believe AKM does DSD better than ESS, especially when DSDD is implemented. No hiccups, Thriller doesn't clip, everything sounded great and I'm totally happy with this bargain. Here it is in action:
20231004_155306.jpg

20231004_142402.jpg
 

Davedeaf

New Member
Joined
Nov 19, 2023
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0
Totally unscientific I just flipped through the colors/filters and picked the ones I liked the most. It happened to be SC2 / FL6 , but I wont be able to defend that in a debate.
Doing the same.
Thanks great start, sounds great.
listening to RagnBones
Orchard ultra amp and Dali Oberon 5 speakers.
Very hard to find actual data to use to set sc fl filter options.
Totally unscientific I just flipped through the colors/filters and picked the ones I liked the most. It happened to be SC2 / FL6 , but I wont be able to defend that in a debate.
 

Jimster480

Major Contributor
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Jan 26, 2018
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Does anyone already have the new D6S? Looks very promising.

@amirm tested it here
Honestly I don't think it is anything special; because we have had this performance for over a year now. However if you like the design and the price is right in your market then go for it!
 
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