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SMSL D300 Review (Balanced DAC)

Califmike33

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Because people in this forum they're all about measurements they don't even give a product a try if this guy writes it off as I can't recommend it it's garbage in my opinion because a lot of those measurements you don't even hear with your ear the real test is what does it sound like hooked up to your system I put no stock in measurements.
 

Snoopy

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An analog sounding DAC, I wonder if and how that would show up in the measurements. I would love to have such a DAC, but this forum convinces me its probably not possible

If you want a analog sounding DAC get one of the smsl DACs with a "tube Filter".

The D300 doesn't sound more analog than my ESS DAC in my Cambridge Cxa81 or than the dual Wolfson DAC in my cxn V2.

There are guys that put vibration absorbers into DACs and swear that suddenly the background of the music got "darker".
That's all just imagination because people like to romanticise their setup... like they found a holy grail
 

Califmike33

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I'm not trying to romanticize anything I guarantee you it sounds more closer to analog than your analytical sharp-sounding ESS saber does can't stand those chips to each their own.

Whatever you hear out of it it works for you it's good enough how do you know what I'm hearing and I don't know what you're hearing why does one stereo sound good that one person and not to another these speakers sound good to one person another person prefers another pair everybody's different.
 

Califmike33

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Never said it was the holy Grail I said I'm happy with it and I think for $400 it's a great DAC that's all I said you're putting words in my mouth.
 

Cisco150

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I've just ordered a D300. Shipped and fulfilled through Amazon so there should be no problems with warranty and return.

Measurements look good and at the same time some audiophile reviewers seem to really like it.

Going to use the DAC with the Singxer SA1
How you like this Dac with the Singxer.
 

flz

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would the SU-9N for $340 be a better buy.
Seems like SU-9N has the better physical case/shell. But it seems the D300 screen does not show the volume number at all times, unlike the SU-9/9n (unless if the screen is dimmed/off). The D300 implementation of this seems to make more sense. When the unit is in 'fixed output' mode, there is no need for the volume number to show.
 

Snoopy

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Seems like SU-9N has the better physical case/shell. But it seems the D300 screen does not show the volume number at all times, unlike the SU-9/9n (unless if the screen is dimmed/off). The D300 implementation of this seems to make more sense. When the unit is in 'fixed output' mode, there is no need for the volume number to show.
Yeah that's correct. In fixed mode all you see is the source and the resolution of the file.
And you can turn the display off as well.

The case is a bit flimsy compared toy Singxer SA1 but I don't really care that much about it. I don't use it as a monitor stand , so it hardly matters
 

MalinYamato

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AKM announced they will back in business Q1 2022.
AKM head office is not far away from my apartment in Tokyo :) The district they're in is called Yurakusho 有所 and as a coincidence, the 楽 in the name of the district is included in the word music instrument 器. Remember the character Raku . It is one of my favorite Kanjis and means music, fun, enjoyment, easy... Well, what is the implication of this other than they are keen on making their crafts sound like musical instruments? The chip in the D300 is designed in Kyoto. Q: Is there a coincidence that Japanese chips sound more analog compared to stuff like ESS?

I expect the D300 to become a cult DAC, a must-have for the ultimate audio nerd, and expect as well this to be the start of higher ends based on this Kyoto chip.
 
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MalinYamato

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Yeah that's correct. In fixed mode all you see is the source and the resolution of the file.
And you can turn the display off as well.

The case is a bit flimsy compared toy Singxer SA1 but I don't really care that much about it. I don't use it as a monitor stand , so it hardly matters
please report your impressions on your D300. I am very, very much interested in this thing. Your selection of gear is excellent. I love my Singxer SA-1 and I am not aware of a better amp below USD 1K. Combining SA-1 with D300 is on paper a much better match than matching a Zen Can Sig v2 or Jot2 with D300. Did you do the DC mod on your SA1?
 
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Snoopy

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please report your impressions on your D300. I am very, very much interested in this thing. Your selection of gear is excellent. I love my Singxer SA-1 and I am not aware of a better amp below USD 1K. Combining SA-1 with D300 is on paper a much better match than matching a Zen Can Sig v2 or Jot2 with D300. Did you do the DC mod on your SA1?

I didn't do the DC mod.
There will be at most imaginary improvements.

I'm happy with the D300. I mainly purchased it because it was Available directly through Amazon with prime shipping.

That it has a new Japanese chip was a nice addition since I have already a dual Wolfson DAC in my Cambridge CXN V2.

I use roon upsampling on both DACs. Can't really hear a difference.

I wouldn't worry that much about the DAC.
 

MalinYamato

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I didn't do the DC mod.
There will be at most imaginary improvements.

I'm happy with the D300. I mainly purchased it because it was Available directly through Amazon with prime shipping.

That it has a new Japanese chip was a nice addition since I have already a dual Wolfson DAC in my Cambridge CXN V2.

I use roon upsampling on both DACs. Can't really hear a difference.

I wouldn't worry that much about the DAC.
I noted your comment "It does the Job. It's a DAC" and I am curious as to why I would not worry about the DAC?
 

Snoopy

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I noted your comment "It does the Job. It's a DAC" and I am curious as to why I would not worry about the DAC?


Because if the DAC does its job like it's supposed to do it's not going to add more "musicality".. there won't be more "slam" to the bass etc

All you are doing with most DACs and their filters is adding coloration to the sound.

You might as well just do that with a EQ.
 

MalinYamato

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Because if the DAC does its job like it's supposed to do it's not going to add more "musicality".. there won't be more "slam" to the bass etc

All you are doing with most DACs and their filters is adding coloration to the sound.

You might as well just do that with a EQ.
is the effect the same if you do the EQ in software, tweak the coloration on the DAC level or on the hardware stage of the amp as IFI does?
 
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Snoopy

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is the effect the same if you do the EQ in software, tweak the coloration on the DAC level or on the hardware stage of the amp level as IFI does?

I never tried ifi devices and their bass boost .but I EQ my headphones anyway In roon so I don't want any unnecessary coloration before that .

If you are looking for the ultimate sound out of your already pretty amazing headphones and gear I would do that through EQ settings. And maybe different pads.

If you are just looking for eye candy, I guess there is no limit.
 

MalinYamato

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I never tried ifi devices and their bass boost .but I EQ my headphones anyway In roon so I don't want any unnecessary coloration before that .

If you are looking for the ultimate sound out of your already pretty amazing headphones and gear I would do that through EQ settings. And maybe different pads.

If you are just looking for eye candy, I guess there is no limit.
I am EQing my LCD-5 inside Volumio before I push the stream out to a DAC. Currently, I use a tiny DAC (tone 2 pro) as it is with its default filter but on the ifi pro iCAN amp I set Xbase to 10 and tube mode to + while listening to https://tidal.com/browse/album/79114909 and it sounds AMAZING.
 

Kitarist

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This DAC does sound smoother than other common DACS it does have more "analog" sound to it and it is easy to listen to.


The difference is already audible in the video. It just has smoother "edges" but kinda a bit less details than the other two due to being smoother
 
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Veri

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The difference is already audible in the video. It just has smoother "edges" but kinda a bit less details than the other two due to being smoother
Pfft... I mean there's no basis behind this statement of this being "smoother", smoother edges how? Just, no.
 

Snoopy

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Pfft... I mean there's no basis behind this statement of this being "smoother", smoother edges how? Just, no.


Clearly audible through someone else's YouTube (heavily compressed) video... Not
 
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