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SMSL D300 Review (Balanced DAC)

Toku

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I did install successfully the firmware update but still have the same problem with my streamer (SMSL DP3). Cannot use DSD DOP mode with the D300 and with native mode i still make a pop noise. Anyway any dac with native mode with my streamer give me also the pop noise. Some people here did try dsd files with computer after the firmware update?
Set the PRE MODE setting to Vol Fixed.
ROHM's DAC chip cannot play DSD unless it is Vol Fixed.
SMSL simply states that DoP mode is available, and does not say at all on which inputs DoP can be used.
I think DoP mode is probably only valid for USB input.
 

Beile

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The firmware is used normally after returning to the factory for update, and the firmware updater does not comment.
 

Toku

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The firmware is used normally after returning to the factory for update, and the firmware updater does not comment.
You mean your D300 was returned to the SMSL factory and has the firmware updated and is working fine?
 

v1adpetrov2

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SOS!!!
@SMSL-Mandy!
Please upload in this topic files with the old firmware version.
Yes! After the firmware new files SMSL_D300_dfu.bin and IAP_D300_MM32_1v1.he really disappeared the popping sound at the beginning of dsd playback.

BUT! Basically, I use the DAC in the "Pre-mode" -->"VOL Variable".
Naturally, my amplifier is set to maximum volume, and I adjust the volume level using a DAC.

Now, when any digital stream is turned on/off via USB ("Stop/Play" in software players), the same of pop sound is heard.
My speakers almost exploded!!!
That is, you fixed the problem with DSD and broke the normal operation in all other modes!!!

Give the opportunity to roll back to the previous firmware version.
Or fix what your's programmers broke!
SMSL_D300__USB-firmware_update_.jpg SMSL_D300__IAP-firmware_update_.jpg
 
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Freyja

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DEVICE: "MM32SPIN2xx_p" Is it correct?
According to the pdf manual "MM32F103Fxx_o"

I don't know the correct answer
S.M.S.L needs to explain

>Thank you google translation
 

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v1adpetrov2

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Further experiments with the options for connecting the DAC inputs showed that the MCU firmware (IAP_D300_MM32_1v1.hex) is to blame for the clicks.

When the DAC reproduces a signal from the OPT, COAX or BT inputs, and at this time you press PLAY/STOP in the software player on the USB input, claps are superimposed on OPT/COAX/BT-signal. That is, the MCU firmware does not block the USB input when working with other inputs.

That is, claps occur when changes of the signal are made to the USB input.
Also, claps occur at the first start of the Bluetooth signal and after 3 seconds when it stops.
 
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subcode

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Is it so hard for a company to release a fully working firmware? This is the downside of Chinese companies..they produce new dacs every month and the software is almost always full of glitches
 

SiamXIII

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Is there any reason to add external preamp to this DAC, to enhance its sound quality?
 

v1adpetrov2

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Is there any reason to add external preamp to this DAC, to enhance its sound quality?
If you listen only to digital audio sources via COAXIAL/OPT/USB inputs, and you will not listen to DSD files, then you definitely do not need an additional preamp!
The D300 in the "PRE MODE" -> "Vol Variable" mode adjusts the sound level very efficiently (if you don't install the bad firmware 1v1 that Toku posted).
 

SiamXIII

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If you listen only to digital audio sources via COAXIAL/OPT/USB inputs, and you will not listen to DSD files, then you definitely do not need an additional preamp!
The D300 in the "PRE MODE" -> "Vol Variable" mode adjusts the sound level very efficiently (if you don't install the bad firmware 1v1 that Toku posted).
I know it adjusts volume. But how good is preamp section?
 

bougereau11

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To make a summary and a short report since the new firmware installed. I played my dsd files without problem with the usb port of the 300 and my smsl streamer is configured to send in DOP mode. No pop noise. Jr personally prefers the musical rendering using the coaxial input. Stronger signal and more voom. I use bc3 spendor as speaker with a luxman l100 or a single ended amp 25 watt amp (el 156). The luxman is softer and slightly less detailed. This dac a gem for its price
 

v1adpetrov2

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To make a summary and a short report since the new firmware installed. I played my dsd files without problem with the usb port of the 300 and my smsl streamer is configured to send in DOP mode. No pop noise. Jr personally prefers the musical rendering using the coaxial input. Stronger signal and more voom. I use bc3 spendor as speaker with a luxman l100 or a single ended amp 25 watt amp (el 156). The luxman is softer and slightly less detailed. This dac a gem for its price
For the sake of objectivity: install The D300 in the "PRE MODE" -> "Vol Variable" mode and set the volume value to D300 = 15...20.
Set the volume control of the amplifier to maximum.
And enable "STOP-PLAY" on your sources via USB/COAX/OPT.
And please let us know if there are any claps.
 

bougereau11

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For the sake of objectivity: install The D300 in the "PRE MODE" -> "Vol Variable" mode and set the volume value to D300 = 15...20.
Set the volume control of the amplifier to maximum.
And enable "STOP-PLAY" on your sources via USB/COAX/OPT.
And please let us know if there are any claps.
When using the SMSL d300 with the coaxial input, i use the pre mode and don't get any claps. When using the Usb input, i have no choice to use the fixed pre not the variable to be able to play dsd files in DOP.
 

pickyAudiophile

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I received my D300 last week and unfortunately with that new broken firmware pre-installed. On my Windows 10 and 11 machines I instantly detected these annoying yet quite severe clicks while just pressing play-pause-play-pause with any player and D300 hooked up with USB connection.
The real ugly stuff happened when I set output to WASAPI Exclusive Mode at Qobuz Windows app and skipped from track to track - or when I pressed play-pause-play in that app. An enormous "booooooom!" explosion-like blast came from my speakers every single time something started or resumed. That blast was so energetic that it literally broke through any volume control. - Thus even at very low setting like e/g "5" (@preamp mode). Not to talk about fixed mode. Are these guys serious?
 
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pickyAudiophile

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My speakers almost exploded!!!
I did some more experiments with different devices.
What I can say that it happens with pure analogue amplifiers only. Checked with an "Atoll AM300" power amp -> huge blast. "HAIKU AUDIO SOL III Powerstage" -> same huge blast. "Advance Paris BX1" -> again that same huge blast.
I suppose it might have to do with speaker protection mode triggered from their own amps' chipsets (Infineon Merus). That could be the reason why that flaw wasn't detected by them when that broken firmware was tested. Issue got covered-up, so to say.
-> To be specific, if hooked up to Infineon based SMSL amps (like A300) or Sabaj amps (A20a, old 2020 version) there was no such blast in both cases. Did a lot of testing today with these devices.

After all that testing what I can say that the "blast" coming from my speakers or headphones isn't as unspecific as I thought initially. (So not like capacitor discharge or related kind of "blast").
Depending on how a track starts (e/g drums hitting or just some backgroind noise) it seems to be a simple matter of "full throttle output" for roughly 1/5 of a second from that DAC. Tracks starting with backgroind noise still sent a significant blast to my speakers or heaphones, while tracks with drums hitting at first second it was just unbearable and potentially equipment-damaging.

@SMSL-Mandy how about that? Did you do some more assessments?
 
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pickyAudiophile

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Yeah. The very last thing a preamp should feature is unreliable volume control. Under no circumstances there should be a 100% output EVER, not even for tiny fractions of a second.
Feed that that into a powerful power amp which then pumps that into big floorstanding speakers - and you're screwed like hell.
 

subcode

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SMSL Support is a joke... My Topping E50 works fine and the firmware upgrade procedure was flawless... My more expensive D300 is a half baked product.
 
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