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SMSL DA-6 Stereo Amplifier Review

Rate this amplifier:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 13 5.7%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 61 26.6%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther

    Votes: 139 60.7%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 16 7.0%

  • Total voters
    229

Waxx

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Man you misunderstood my intention I am a active guy, which imo is far superior at the budget range and that the overall package will be much smaller with passives. So I wonders as most ppl who go passive+ amp Route are either tower speakers with great amp, or some ppl who believe in those cables stuffs to mix and match components. For the prior group who need a powerful speaker this tiny uninteresting looking amp with minimal power seems useless, and for the latter this basic amp don’t do also.

So I wonders if this power could be enough for really good bookshelf speakers like revels to make it work for some tiny home where a small amp with small footprint is desirable, if not it seems like a very niche market
I use my similar SA-36 often with 94dB sensitive speakers, and that combo goes loud (even outside where it's mostly used). Next to that that 12w at 8 ohm amp is also very good to measure speakers and speaker drivers, also on the road as it's very light and small so it fit my laptop backpack (with my measurement mic, interface and computer). So the only thing i need to carry by hand is my mic stand...
 

Waxx

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Most speakers today have a sensitivity of 84-85 dB.:oops:
Most speakers popular here are small and need to go low like that, then the "Hoffman's Iron Law" says that the sensivity will be low. But i like big cabinet and so my speakers are way more sensitive (from 89 to 98dB) so i need much less power than most here.

And there are still high sensitive speakers arround, but most in pro audio and niche markets of hifi (aka out of fashion with the mainstream). And as they are not mainstream and often diy speakers, they don't get reviewed here. But they can be good and neutral also. It's just that their size don't fit the typical "instagram ready" hipster living room, nor the typcial audiophile room. A perfect example of those are the Humble Home Hifi Calpamos, a well known and tested diy design

(not mine, picture from internet)
maxresdefault[1].jpg


But i was talking before about the modded (in the crossover) 1970's Goodman Mezzo SL's i have. They have original drivers (Seas dome Tweeter and Goodman 10" woofer) and cabinet, but i did redo the crossover (as the elco's were gone and the resistors looked cooked also). I just used the crossover layout and redid it from measurements from the drivers in the cabinet with new parts to make them back in shape for a long time. Parts are now sand cast resistor, aircoils, and (cheap) Dayton film caps (replacing elco's, but with added resistance to make up for the high esr).
 
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F1308

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That's a characteristic of Class D amplification. The instantaneous max power is the same as continuous. Past that it's hard clipping.

Thank you, PeteL.

So I push play and....?
Say I recorded a song I am playing back, it has a 55 dB range and my listening room is quiet at 38 dB.
Sorry to have to ask and thanks for your help.
:):):):)
 

PeteL

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Thank you, PeteL.

So I push play and....?
Say I recorded a song I am playing back, it has a 55 dB range and my listening room is quiet at 38 dB.y .No headromm
Sorry to have to ask and thanks for your help.
:):):):)
It's unrelated but I am not sure I understand your question. It's a quite dynamic recording, Indeed this amp may have difficulties if the speakers have low sensitivity, simply because it means that you have peaks much louder than the average level so if you don't want these peaks clipped you may appreciate a more powerful amp, but it is not enough information to tell how much power you need. It just mean that. Class AB amps can sometime, not always, get away with lower rated continuous power because it allows more power demand for short peaks. Bottom line, this is not a very powerfull amp and the more dynamic the recording the more power you will need for the same confortable listening level. By "no headroom" Amir simply mean no extra headrooms for short burst. headroom can mean many things.
 

PeteL

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But.. the Extron XPA 1002 Plus Amplifier just reviewed, at almost half off gives more bang? Ugh, the devices and targets are so different, but when just looking at performance directly, can't help but think this should've done batter at least in some departments over some random eBay amp's hardware :\
The Extron XPA 1002 is a 700 Euros amp.
 

F1308

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It's unrelated but I am not sure I understand your question. It's a quite dynamic recording, Indeed this amp may have difficulties if the speakers have low sensitivity, simply because it means that you have peaks much louder than the average level so if you don't want these peaks clipped you may appreciate a more powerful amp, but it is not enough information to tell how much power you need. It just mean that. Class AB amps can sometime, not always, get away with lower rated continuous power because it allows more power demand for short peaks. Bottom line, this is not a very powerfull amp and the more dynamic the recording the more power you will need for the same confortable listening level. By "no headroom" Amir simply mean no extra headrooms for short burst. headroom can mean many things.
Lovely, thank you.
85 dB is my limit for loudness peeks.
My loudspeakers are 93dB.
I use them in short field as I play the keyboard I use to compose, 80 cm...100 cm...120 cm depending on the dynamics of my body...
 

Bruce Morgen

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No approx. 1dB

Anyway the channel imbalance with volume pot could be 2dB anyway

This SMSL has no channel imbalance, as Amir noted...

Potentially more signifcant than the marginal SINAD difference

Well, "Potentially" any amp with a ganged level/volume control could have that issue. I guess I could crack open my spare A07 to see how the two sections of its pot track with an ohmmeter. That said there no such issue audible in my system, in which two A07s do the relatively non-critical job of driving the four surround/ambience speakers. I'll grant that it could "Potentially" be an audible problem in a two-channel desktop application -- but one that in many cases wouldn't be hard to solve via the source device's control software.
 

PeteL

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Lovely, thank you.
85 dB is my limit for loudness peeks.
My loudspeakers are 93dB.
I use them in short field as I play the keyboard I use to compose, 80 cm...100 cm...120 cm depending on the dynamics of my body...
If 85 dB SPL is the limit for loud peaks, You are listening at very very low level. How did you measure that? Is that A weighted?
 

Acerun

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Can we still get the SH-6 review?
 

Bruce Morgen

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No approx. 1dB

Anyway the channel imbalance with volume pot could be 2dB anyway

This SMSL has no channel imbalance, as Amir noted...

Potentially more signifcant than the marginal SINAD difference

I suspect a typical pair of passive speakers could easily have a 1-2dB difference between examples due to crossover component and/or driver tolerances, the latter of which tend to be comparatively sloppy and time-consuming to QA. E.g., JBL service manuals explicitly specify a pretty wide range of acceptable DCR readings for drivers, which would almost certainly result in sensitivity and/or other performance differences between examples of the same model speaker system.

LX22driverDCR.jpg
HP520driverDCR.png
 
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Music1969

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I suspect a typical pair of passive speakers could easily have a 1-2dB difference between examples due to crossover component and/or driver tolerances
Correct - my speakers have DSP crossover and I also apply digital room correction (which obviously includes proper channel balancing too) ;)
 

nsfgp

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Still curious if this thing has an MA10270 inside or something else.
The SMSL A100/Sabaj A1 seems to measure a little worse than this DA-6. Wonder how the AO100 is like (also MA10270).
 

F1308

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If 85 dB SPL is the limit for loud peaks, You are listening at very very low level. How did you measure that? Is that A weighted?
The typical app for Android measures it.
As soon as 85 dB is shown my ears are about to say enough is enough. A further increase will ring them triggering a clear warning signal of going out of their design envelope.


That matches safety directions so as to start timing as soon as it goes over that point and limiting a maximum daily dose or risking going deaf.
 
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PeteL

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The typical app for Android measures it.
As soon as 85 dB is shown my ears are about to say enough is enough. A further increase will ring them triggering a clear warning signal of going out of their design envelope.


Yes in fact none of those are able to catch fast percussive peaks, those are the louder part of the signal, think the attack of the drums hits. Also, I don't see a setting to change the weighting. Typically they are a-weighted when the goal is to assess your listening level, which is what matter most. A-weighting means that if a bass note register at 80 dB SPL which in reality is 80 phon, your amp is developping almost 120 dB SPL at 20 Hz and and 100 dB SPL at 50 Hz, due to the equal loudness contour curves. These are great tools to assess your listening level which is what matter for safety and for setting comparison levels with tones and many more applications, but it is not the right tool to calculate how much headroom, and by extension how much power, is necessary for reproducing the full dynamic range of a recording without clipping. This requires some math and you will also need to know the crest factor of the recording you want to reproduce. I won't be able to tell you if this amp has enough for you.
I think we may have derived from the subject of this thread. There is a full discussion here for more deeper insight: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...y-need-and-your-system’s-dynamic-range.22714/
 
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F1308

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Yes in fact none of those are able to catch fast percussive peaks, those are the louder part of the signal, think the attack of the drums hits. Also, I don't see a setting to change the weighting. Typically they are a-weighted when the goal is to assess your listening level, which is what matter most. A-weighting means that if a bass note register at 80 dB SPL which in reality is 80 phon, your amp is developping almost 120 dB SPL at 20 Hz and and 100 dB SPL at 50 Hz, due to the equal loudness contour curves. These are great tools to assess your listening level which is what matter for safety and for setting comparison levels with tones and many more applications, but it is not the right tool to calculate how much headroom, and by extension how much power, is necessary for reproducing the full dynamic range of a recording without clipping. This requires some math and you will also need to know the crest factor of the recording you want to reproduce. I won't be able to tell you if this amp has enough for you.
I think we may have derived from the subject of this thread. There is a full discussion here for more deeper insight: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/amplifier-power-how-much-do-you-really-need-and-your-system’s-dynamic-range.22714/
Stopping my drifting away...
Many thanks indeed, PeteL.
On my way to that thread.
:):):):)
 

delta76

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Most speakers today have a sensitivity of 84-85 dB.:oops:
what? I think the median is 90dB. I rarely see speakers with less than 85dB sensitivity, but I probably haven't seen enough.

For the amp, it looks like a middling performer, not great not terrible, but it's cheap so it was recommended ?
 

Willem

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In the early seventies good entry level amplifiers by the likes of Sony, Philips or Pioneer had this kind of output power. They were adequate in student rooms, with quite efiicient speakers, and before digital sources came along with their more dynamic sound with a lot of low frequency content. These days, this kind of power is indeed only adequate for near field listening such as in a desktop system with e.g. the Wharfedale Diamond 220s that now sell for about 150 euros a pair.
For that reason I am surprised that this amplifier does not have a digital input: who cares for an analogue input if your computer has a usb output? Or is motherboard audio now good enough (as I have just asked in another thread).
If more cheap power is needed I think a Yamaha AS201 is the first step up.
 

taisho

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Very unbalanced channels and overall performance not even close to Aiyima:

1657446419800.png
 
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