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SMSL D400 Pro Balanced DAC Review

Rate this DAC:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 8 3.3%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 24 9.8%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 123 50.4%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 89 36.5%

  • Total voters
    244

pseudoid

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...Space is generally not an issue in North America, especially most of the population don't live in hearts of cities...
OT but facts: Even ignoring the Covid aftershocks (e.g. WFH), the opposite is occuring everywhere else ...but maybe with the exception of the hearts of cities:

Census: Rural America shrinks as people flock to big cities
...As of April 2020, just more than 86% of Americans live in metropolitan areas, counties that include or are adjacent to major cities with …[2021/08/12]
Urban Land Use Patterns

  • It is estimated that 83% of the U.S. population lives in urban areas, up from 64% in 1950. By 2050, 89% of the U.S. population and 68% of the world population is projected to live in urban areas.
  • More than 325 urban areas in the U.S. have populations above 100,000; New York City, with 8.47 million inhabitants, is the largest.
  • The average population density of the U.S. is 94 people per square mile… [2023/03/15]
 

CleanSound

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OT but facts: Even ignoring the Covid aftershocks (e.g. WFH), the opposite is occuring everywhere else ...but maybe with the exception of the hearts of cities:

Census: Rural America shrinks as people flock to big cities
...As of April 2020, just more than 86% of Americans live in metropolitan areas, counties that include or are adjacent to major cities with …[2021/08/12]
Urban Land Use Patterns

  • It is estimated that 83% of the U.S. population lives in urban areas, up from 64% in 1950. By 2050, 89% of the U.S. population and 68% of the world population is projected to live in urban areas.
  • More than 325 urban areas in the U.S. have populations above 100,000; New York City, with 8.47 million inhabitants, is the largest.
  • The average population density of the U.S. is 94 people per square mile… [2023/03/15]
You noticed I said "heart of cities"?

Let me give you an example, Manhattan is the heart of NYC, the surrounding NYC boroughs are not the heart of the city, even though all 5 boroughs, Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, Staten Island and Bronx are all NYC.

Same concept with Chicago, San Francisco, Houston and all and any cities around the world.
 

respice finem

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Sidenote: IDK if the USA may have the same "statistic catch" Poland has: Many de facto urban areas count as rural. There is no automatic change of status, and many areas far too big and densely populated to really count as a village, like my current place approaching 40k inhabitants and a lot of businesses, including Amazon, AT, MAN... This is the case, because as a town, they would pay higher taxes. Good for them, but it "pollutes" statistics.
 

CleanSound

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OT but facts: Even ignoring the Covid aftershocks (e.g. WFH), the opposite is occuring everywhere else ...but maybe with the exception of the hearts of cities:

Census: Rural America shrinks as people flock to big cities
...As of April 2020, just more than 86% of Americans live in metropolitan areas, counties that include or are adjacent to major cities with …[2021/08/12]
Urban Land Use Patterns

  • It is estimated that 83% of the U.S. population lives in urban areas, up from 64% in 1950. By 2050, 89% of the U.S. population and 68% of the world population is projected to live in urban areas.
  • More than 325 urban areas in the U.S. have populations above 100,000; New York City, with 8.47 million inhabitants, is the largest.
  • The average population density of the U.S. is 94 people per square mile… [2023/03/15]
Furthermore, the surrounding suburbs of NYC are still considered "metropolitan areas," but clearly they are not part of NYC. The same can be said with any cities in Europe as well. If you think about it, it only makes logical sense, how much people can you pack in a limited area like the heart of a city?

I am Asian-American, I lived in Hong Kong, I still have family in Hong Kong and in China. I also been to many Asian cities, Tokyo, Singapore, Taipei, Seoul, Shanghai and Beijing. Their "heart of cities" are much bigger than western cities. And even in their outskirts where in the US we would considered suburbs are mostly apartment buildings, hence still limited space, unlike North America where suburbs are mostly houses. In Asia, much more of their populations live in dense metropolitan than North Americans. So when I say in North America, space is generally not an issue that is what I meant.
 

pseudoid

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Furthermore,...
I never refuted your earlier post statement (actually, highlighted it). Rather, I was hoping to bring a bit more accurate[?] nuance to your usage.
The differences between the words rural/urban/metro/etc. seem to be used broadly and with loose definitions... US Census Bureau included.

Space IS an issue, in the US: It can be evidenced in trends of increasing prices of housing (rental/ownership)... more profoundly in the big urban areas, such as metropolitan hubs.
 

CleanSound

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Space IS an issue, in the US: It can be evidenced in trends of increasing prices of housing (rental/ownership)... more profoundly in the big urban areas, such as metropolitan hubs.
For those who don't already have a place they own, yes, you are 100% correct. There is a housing shortage in the US. Even those who are renting are paying more than ever.

Of course, I am referring to those who already have a place that they are living in, which homes in North America are generally build with a generous size.
 

Lambda

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Now that we have DACs outputting >120dB SINAD test signal an an AP analyzer we are far above audible differences with this tests.
It’s mostly a measure of "technical excellence"
But its not a good measure for technical excellence since the audio precision analyzer is closes to the limit of its capability's

We shuld add tests for things that alt least potentially effect fidelity. like:
Inter sample over
Phase / filter
Delay
EMI Transmission from Input to Output.
Good DACs have build in Galvanic isolation.

Maybe extend the bandwidth for the SINAD test to 192khz not that noise at this frequency would make a difference but as measure for technical excellence"
Test at lower level for example -20dBV
 

Lambda

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Is useful?
Your PC DAC and your AMP or AV system will inevitable have some of noise voltage and current on the Ground.
Or it can be inductively coupled.
The infamous "ground loop"

Balanced concoctions help to suppress the added noise by the common-mode rejection ratio (CMRR)
Typicality 50 to 100dB
(also a thing that shuld be tested)
And you usually don't hear error voltage from ground loops if its suppressed by this amount.

But its there and its more significant and contributes then the noise from the dac itself.

When someone complains about noise in there system its almost never noise from the DAC but some form of "ground loop" or current on the ground
This is especially a problem with High power DIY PCs single ended connections and ground Active speakers Or AV system with long cable runs, may devices in different outlets.


There are many products to deal with this with this like USB isolators ,audio isolation transformers. or dangerous ground lift "hacks"
But a good DAC would not have this problem becuase the output would ideal not have the same Ground as the USB or mains input.
 

LIZI

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With GoogleTranslate, @LIZI could have posted reply [?] in English.
Bit yokelish?
I originally used Google Translate to English, but when I usually use Chrome to read English webpages, it will automatically be translated into Chinese. So when I replied to the translated English, Chrome automatically translated it into Chinese for me, which was embarrassing. . . .
 

CleanSound

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I originally used Google Translate to English, but when I usually use Chrome to read English webpages, it will automatically be translated into Chinese. So when I replied to the translated English, Chrome automatically translated it into Chinese for me, which was embarrassing. . . .
What is there to be embarrassed about? We live in an global world, where international borders does not exist by the interconnected internet.

Only wish computer translation does a better job between Western and Eastern languages.
 

Jimster480

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Honestly while this looks good; I'll go with what others have said. It should have a headphone amp at this price.... You can get the DX7+ for around this price and it has an amp.... DX5 has an AMP too... you can even get over SMSL products with an amp in it for a lower price. What is the purpose of this product again?
 

respice finem

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Honestly while this looks good; I'll go with what others have said. It should have a headphone amp at this price.... You can get the DX7+ for around this price and it has an amp.... DX5 has an AMP too... you can even get over SMSL products with an amp in it for a lower price. What is the purpose of this product again?
I assume the puropse is to "mark the high end" of their range. Some will be ready to pay up for a nicer enclosure etc. A bit like with cars, they all just drive from A to B, but...
 

Jimster480

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I assume the puropse is to "mark the high end" of their range. Some will be ready to pay up for a nicer enclosure etc. A bit like with cars, they all just drive from A to B, but...
Not really anything like a car.
, z I'm a person who's very into cars and I can tell you that comparing two audio products that do exactly the same thing to two different cars is not at all a fair comparison.
Cars have very different driving dynamics and they make different amounts of horsepower and torque with different power bands, different weights, different sizes. Everything about them is very different. But here you are talking about a device that simply produces audio and it produces it in exactly the same manner as other devices which are smaller, cheaper and similar.
It is not better or more efficient. It only has a different subjective outside enclosure. And that is the only thing you are truly paying for, which makes absolutely no sense at such a multiple of the base price tag.
 

respice finem

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Not really anything like a car.
, z I'm a person who's very into cars and I can tell you that comparing two audio products that do exactly the same thing to two different cars is not at all a fair comparison.
Cars have very different driving dynamics and they make different amounts of horsepower and torque with different power bands, different weights, different sizes. Everything about them is very different. But here you are talking about a device that simply produces audio and it produces it in exactly the same manner as other devices which are smaller, cheaper and similar.
It is not better or more efficient. It only has a different subjective outside enclosure. And that is the only thing you are truly paying for, which makes absolutely no sense at such a multiple of the base price tag.
Maybe. But still, people buy luxury cars, for their luxury. Buying luxury audio stuff is not that different IMHO. And, sense and hobby don't always go together ;)
Another example to come away from cars: a luxury watch. Who buys it for its accuracy these days?
 

Jimster480

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Maybe. But still, people buy luxury cars, for their luxury. Buying luxury audio stuff is not that different IMHO. And, sense and hobby don't always go together ;)
Another example to come away from cars: a luxury watch. Who buys it for its accuracy these days?
Luxury Watch is a pointless waste of time; however some people like to "show off". A DAC isn't the same thing because nobody will ever see it or even care. Especially with the number of people in this hobby; its something that you should never buy to show someone else.

Luxury cars also can't be compared because its a different type of ride, typically more performance, more leg room, more comfortable seats, sometimes offroading capabilities, there are hundreds of factors. The watch is a good comparison though because its a "dumb device" that just does a single function. A $100 watch is kind of where things fall off because its enough money to get something quality with a quality movement. If you want something mechanical then you can get those in top quality between $150-200. Outside of that it is pointless vanity.
 

Lambda

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CleanSound

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Luxury Watch is a pointless waste of time; however some people like to "show off".

If you want something mechanical then you can get those in top quality between $150-200. Outside of that it is pointless vanity.
I have a friend who collects luxury watches and never wears them and therefore there is nothing for him to show off and no vanity. It's no different than some people collect baseball cards or sneakers.
 
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