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SMSL DO100 Review (Stereo DAC)

Rate this DAC:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 1 0.3%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 5 1.7%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther

    Votes: 28 9.4%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 265 88.6%

  • Total voters
    299

Nonick

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Mar 27, 2021
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That looks great and is even a bit cheaper than the E50 I am currently using in my livingroom set up. Does anyone know whether the SMSL remotes are better than the Topping ones, cause the E50 Remote is annoying me (you have to be very precise in pointing the remote towards the DAC).
New SMSL DO100 remote control is better then the Topping ones. Better esthetics, grip.
 

RandomEar

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Excellent results. I would have been happy to get this and the accompanying HP amp, had they been available two months ago... Oh well :rolleyes:

One question: Seeing the problems with clipping on the Gustard X18 due to (from my understanding) intersample overs, would it make sense to add this to the test suite? Because it looks like manufacturers effectively "cheat" out 3 dB of SINAD by accepting distortion of 0 dB signals which nobody checks.
 

poopy

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Measurements were also close to SOTA with the SMSL SU-9 until....You may know the story.

Lesson to learn was: Wait a while until further samples are reviewed, measured and purchasers get back with a lot of feedback!
 

restorer-john

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Using the default filter 1, we get incredibly good performance in our wideband distortion measurement

Of course the numbers are 'incredibly good' because the entire top of the audible spectrum is chopped off, along with its harmonics.

Default filter 1 is circa -12dB down @ 20kHz according to your AP plots... Not sure when that became remotely HiFi. Like, not ever. Certainly not in the digital era, or the open reel era, or even the cassette era.

Filter 3 is clearly the one you should be using for tests.

The last D/A converter you reviewed had the best filter response you've ever measured (the Chord) and yet this thing is getting top marks with arguably one of the worst default filters I've ever seen. Go figure. Where is the consistency?
Every test is aced, leaving no room for any complaint whatsoever.

Hardly. The default filter response (you used for testing) is poor and you know it.
 
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Robbo99999

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That looks great and is even a bit cheaper than the E50 I am currently using in my livingroom set up. Does anyone know whether the SMSL remotes are better than the Topping ones, cause the E50 Remote is annoying me (you have to be very precise in pointing the remote towards the DAC).
That's the worse thing about my Topping DAC as well, I have the E30, the remote is good to have but you have to do gymnastics to point it at the right angle!
 

Sonil Mone

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Very good measurements is not the only factor for solid engineering IMHO. How does the device react to turning on/off, switches to different types of input 44.1 -> 48 kHz, 16 -> 24, DSD, PCM etc. without any pops are also signs of good engineering. It is even more important with streaming audio as big as it is nowadays, either from an ISP or locally.
and don't forget it should update itself, or it isn't worth the money..
 

melvinjames

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I've had the DO100 for a few weeks now running balanced into an AO200. I stream 16.44.1 - 24/192 without issue from my own library and Qobuz via Blusound Node N130 (coax-out). Currently using DP1 and FL3 setting (thanks to @restorer-john recommendation in the SU-6 thread). No hiss, pops, clicks, or stuttering. Everything works great via remote and rotary knob. I'm really happy I took a chance on this DAC.
 

sarumbear

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and don't forget it should update itself, or it isn't worth the money..
Why do you say that? It’s already pretty good, what more do you expect the device to improve?
 
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I'm Running DO100 via XLR (4v) into Genelec 8020D (near field, approx 1m) , since there's not much in the way of volume control on this speaker, it's basically putting all the non-signal noise at a very very high volume, and yeah there's very very quiet little thud/click whenever sample rate is changed, way less than a Topping E30 though. If you're running this into an integrated, or actives with volume control you would never ever hear it. Other than this the opertaion of this thing is really nice, no weird suprises so far, and having a physical volume control to grab is such a nicer experience than fumbling with a volume control on stuff like E30 E50 etc.
 

RHO

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Default filter 1 is circa -12dB down @ 20kHz according to your AP plots... Not sure when that became remotely HiFi.
I can't say I disagree with you on this.
Using filter 3 would've been more fair to the competition.
 

sarumbear

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Of course the numbers are 'incredibly good' because the entire top of the audible spectrum is chopped off, along with its harmonics.

Default filter 1 is circa -12dB down @ 20kHz according to your AP plots... Not sure when that became remotely HiFi. Like, not ever. Certainly not in the digital era, or the open reel era, or even the cassette era.

Filter 3 is clearly the one you should be using for tests.
I agree 100%. I hope @amirm will do a retest with filter 3 to see the difference it makes.
 

Astojab

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I've had the DO100 for a few weeks now running balanced into an AO200. I stream 16.44.1 - 24/192 without issue from my own library and Qobuz via Blusound Node N130 (coax-out). Currently using DP1 and FL3 setting (thanks to @restorer-john recommendation in the SU-6 thread). No hiss, pops, clicks, or stuttering. Everything works great via remote and rotary knob. I'm really happy I took a chance on this DAC.
How good is the remote? Do you have to aim it dierectly at the DAC or is there a bit leeway?
 

Robbo99999

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Of course the numbers are 'incredibly good' because the entire top of the audible spectrum is chopped off, along with its harmonics.

Default filter 1 is circa -12dB down @ 20kHz according to your AP plots... Not sure when that became remotely HiFi. Like, not ever. Certainly not in the digital era, or the open reel era, or even the cassette era.

Filter 3 is clearly the one you should be using for tests.

The last D/A converter you reviewed had the best filter response you've ever measured (the Chord) and yet this thing is getting top marks with arguably one of the worst default filters I've ever seen. Go figure. Where is the consistency?


Hardly. The default filter response (you used for testing) is poor and you know it.
I can't say I disagree with you on this.
Using filter 3 would've been more fair to the competition.
I agree 100%. I hope @amirm will do a retest with filter 3 to see the difference it makes.

Shouldn't Filter #6 be the best filter to use: described as "Linear Fast Roll-off" on their website:
Linear Fast Roll-off is normally associated with the best filter from a technical perspective.
Following the graph of filters for this DAC, I'm pretty sure Filter #6 is the best filter to use as historically viewed here on ASR:
index.php


In above graph you can see filter #6 (pink filter) is -10dB down at 22kHz and at -100dB at 24kHz which is also the same as the Sharp Filter#1 in the Topping E30 seen in the following graph (in red & mostly obscured by the green trace) which is the recommended filter for the E30:

index.php



So Filter #6 should be the best filter for the SMSL DO100 and Filter #1 should be the best Filter for the Topping E30 - both filters are identical - Linear Fast Roll Off.

(@amirm , worth retesting some relevant parts with Filter #6 on the SMSL DO100?)
 
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Slayer

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Of course the numbers are 'incredibly good' because the entire top of the audible spectrum is chopped off, along with its harmonics.

Default filter 1 is circa -12dB down @ 20kHz according to your AP plots... Not sure when that became remotely HiFi. Like, not ever. Certainly not in the digital era, or the open reel era, or even the cassette era.

Filter 3 is clearly the one you should be using for tests.

The last D/A converter you reviewed had the best filter response you've ever measured (the Chord) and yet this thing is getting top marks with arguably one of the worst default filters I've ever seen. Go figure. Where is the consistency?


Hardly. The default filter response (you used for testing) is poor and you know it.
As usual, @restorer-john comments are spot on.
 

sarumbear

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Shouldn't Filter #6 be the best filter to use: described as "Linear Fast Roll-off" on their website:
Linear Fast Roll-off is normally associated with the best filter from a technical perspective.
Following the graph of filters for this DAC, I'm pretty sure Filter #6 is the best filter to use as historically viewed here on ASR:
index.php


In above graph you can see filter #6 (pink filter) is -10dB down at 22kHz and at -100dB at 24kHz which is also the same as the Sharp Filter in the Topping E30 seen in the following graph which is the recommended filter for the E30:

index.php



So Filter #6 should be the best filter for the SMSL DO100 and Filter #1 should be the best Filter for the Topping E30 - both filters are identical - Linear Fast Roll Off.

(@amirm , worth retesting some relevant parts with Filter #6 on the SMSL DO100?)
The job of the filter is to cut everything over half of the sampling frequency. Only filters #1, #3 and #7 achieves that for 44.1kHz sampling. All other filters are wrong for that sampling frequency.
 
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Jim Shaw

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It would appear that "the nut has been cracked" for affordable DACs, especially balanced output ones. More than a few high-end manufacturers are gonna have to rethink their product lines. Of course, there's always a population who will pay $3K for something with
1. Snob appeal
2. A milled aluminum front panel
3. Large blue meters
4. LED-lit vacuum tubes.

For such folk, it's still "step up to the cash register."
Like the hood ornament on a Rolls Royce...
 

Robbo99999

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The job of the filter is to cut everything over half of the sampling frequency. Only filters #1, #3 and #4 achieves that for 44.1kHz sampling. All other filters are wrong for that sampling frequency.
Filter#4 doesn't look like it does anything much different to Filter#6, so why allow #4 and not mention #6? (Follows pretty much the same curve on the graph). In fact Filter #6 gets to -100dB sooner than Filter #4.

EDIT: Don't forget I'm talking about the SMSL DO100, so don't get confused by the E30 graph I put in there too.

EDIT #2: I think you meant to say Filters #1,2,3, as they cut to -100dB by just over 22kHz. So in that context I think I can see why you say #3 is the best as it achieves -100dB at half of sampling frequency whilst extending the drop off point higher up the frequency range.
 
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