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SMSL DO100 Review (Stereo DAC)

Rate this DAC:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 1 0.4%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 4 1.4%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther

    Votes: 26 9.3%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 248 88.9%

  • Total voters
    279

juliangst

Active Member
Joined
Dec 11, 2021
Messages
169
Likes
139
For the life of me ...Can you believe this . I can not find a good USBA (from computer ) to my DO100 USBC jack . I need it to be 10 foot long and would like it to be a USBA to USBC Audio cable. Why is the so hard to get ? Also I would like to try connecting to my 3.5 amazon Echo Dot to my DO100 ,I can not find a 3.5 mm jack male to toslink cable or a even a small Toslink adapter 3.5 end = to toslink . Or even the same senerio for Coaxial also
Please provide me some link of love ?
Thanx again
Gary
You need an audio interface for that because the Echo outputs analog. So you essentially convert analog to digital only to convert digital back to analog. Just use the output of your echo directly or connect to the smsl via Bluetooth
 

ghunty

Member
Joined
Jul 20, 2022
Messages
10
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0
You need an audio interface for that because the Echo outputs analog. So you essentially convert analog to digital only to convert digital back to analog. Just use the output of your echo directly or connect to the smsl via Bluetooth
I can connect 3.5 from echo but my DAC does not have a 3.5 input so I need connection to DAC to be toslink or coax on the other end of cable . Correct ? Trying to stay away from bluetooth b/c quality degrades somewhat
 

juliangst

Active Member
Joined
Dec 11, 2021
Messages
169
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139
I can connect 3.5 from echo but my DAC does not have a 3.5 input so I need connection to DAC to be toslink or coax on the other end of cable . Correct ? Trying to stay away from bluetooth b/c quality degrades somewhat
You won’t get any better quality from your echo than Bluetooth. The echo ONLY outputs analog 3.5 or Bluetooth (which is digital). A DAC only takes digital inputs such as toslink, usb or Bluetooth.
DACs with analog inputs don’t exist by definition.
The dac inside the echo is probably pretty poor. The best case is to connect over Bluetooth to the SMSL using the Alexa app
 

wacomme

Senior Member
Joined
May 11, 2022
Messages
304
Likes
60
I've had issues with my DO100. When making REW measurements for EQ I was getting sudden dropouts around 5kHz. So, I was able to replace the dac. Unfortunately, the replacement has the same issues.

With my replacement dac - same R channel cutoff issues - I was able to circumvent the cutoff (turn the dac off and back on for each measurement) and update the EQ. I don't know what to make of the R channel issue. It seems to be type of protective cutoff - though only on the R channel. When doing a second REW measurement without turning the dac off and back on, I get a sudden audible snap in the sound 2/3 of the way through the measurement, resulting in a pronounced frequency drop around 5kHz. Both dacs do this identically. Also, when sending full range pink noise to the R channel via REW, I get about a second of sound and then nothing. Only when I turn off and back on the dac can I repeat that second of sound. The L channel does not have this problem. It plays the pink noise just fine.

What is happening? Should I return and dac and get a different dac altogether? Is this problem really NOT a problem - just a problem (with work-arounds) when measuring frequency output? Do other dacs have the same issue? Is it because I'm measuring one monitor at a time, with no sound coming from the L channel, and therefore the dac shuts down (doesn't turn off, but stops functioning)? It's all so very strange.

My measurements and resulting EQ are solid and sound good - just as long as I restart the dac for every R channel REW measurement. BTW - it's not the monitors; I switched the monitors and had the same R channel problem.

And if I decide to replace my DO100 with something else, what do you suggest (need balanced connections)?
 

Green7

Member
Joined
May 31, 2020
Messages
28
Likes
27
I've had issues with my DO100. When making REW measurements for EQ I was getting sudden dropouts around 5kHz. So, I was able to replace the dac. Unfortunately, the replacement has the same issues.

With my replacement dac - same R channel cutoff issues - I was able to circumvent the cutoff (turn the dac off and back on for each measurement) and update the EQ. I don't know what to make of the R channel issue. It seems to be type of protective cutoff - though only on the R channel. When doing a second REW measurement without turning the dac off and back on, I get a sudden audible snap in the sound 2/3 of the way through the measurement, resulting in a pronounced frequency drop around 5kHz. Both dacs do this identically. Also, when sending full range pink noise to the R channel via REW, I get about a second of sound and then nothing. Only when I turn off and back on the dac can I repeat that second of sound. The L channel does not have this problem. It plays the pink noise just fine.

What is happening? Should I return and dac and get a different dac altogether? Is this problem really NOT a problem - just a problem (with work-arounds) when measuring frequency output? Do other dacs have the same issue? Is it because I'm measuring one monitor at a time, with no sound coming from the L channel, and therefore the dac shuts down (doesn't turn off, but stops functioning)? It's all so very strange.

My measurements and resulting EQ are solid and sound good - just as long as I restart the dac for every R channel REW measurement. BTW - it's not the monitors; I switched the monitors and had the same R channel problem.

And if I decide to replace my DO100 with something else, what do you suggest (need balanced connections)?
I had purchased a DO100 for one of my setups that needed a balanced output. During the 3 weeks that I had it, the sound was cutting off intermittently; I switched in a Modius from my other system, and did not notice the dropouts. Didn't want to spend too much time troubleshooting - ended up returning the unit back to Amazon. The Modius has been a consistent performer in my setup. I have the older version of the Modius with the AKM 4493 DAC chip. The new version with the ESS DAC chip is out now. I don't believe it has been measured by anyone at ASR yet. You can always try finding a used Modius; they sell pretty fast. I have been looking for one myself.
 

Graham849

Member
Joined
Jul 14, 2022
Messages
10
Likes
6
Location
Australia
Optical input issue: I had no trouble for the first week using my DO100, however the past week I have had 1-2 second dropouts every so often in the first 20 minutes then the system seems to stabilise. Day 1 I thought it was the file I was playing but different files had same result next day.

Day 3 I tried a new optical cable. Same issue.

Day 4 after some googling I ran the K-lite codec pack from a USB stick which found some problems and fixed them. But the drop outs continue.

Day 5 I used the DAC using USB input from another computer - no issues.

This is a windows 10 computer without internet/ wifi, that has been upgraded vista>windows 7 betas>windows 7>windows 8 betas>windows 8.1> windows 10 so complicated history. The only hardware change has been SSD drive.

Any thoughts?
 

Sokel

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
Sep 8, 2021
Messages
639
Likes
469
I've had issues with my DO100. When making REW measurements for EQ I was getting sudden dropouts around 5kHz. So, I was able to replace the dac. Unfortunately, the replacement has the same issues.

With my replacement dac - same R channel cutoff issues - I was able to circumvent the cutoff (turn the dac off and back on for each measurement) and update the EQ. I don't know what to make of the R channel issue. It seems to be type of protective cutoff - though only on the R channel. When doing a second REW measurement without turning the dac off and back on, I get a sudden audible snap in the sound 2/3 of the way through the measurement, resulting in a pronounced frequency drop around 5kHz. Both dacs do this identically. Also, when sending full range pink noise to the R channel via REW, I get about a second of sound and then nothing. Only when I turn off and back on the dac can I repeat that second of sound. The L channel does not have this problem. It plays the pink noise just fine.

What is happening? Should I return and dac and get a different dac altogether? Is this problem really NOT a problem - just a problem (with work-arounds) when measuring frequency output? Do other dacs have the same issue? Is it because I'm measuring one monitor at a time, with no sound coming from the L channel, and therefore the dac shuts down (doesn't turn off, but stops functioning)? It's all so very strange.

My measurements and resulting EQ are solid and sound good - just as long as I restart the dac for every R channel REW measurement. BTW - it's not the monitors; I switched the monitors and had the same R channel problem.

And if I decide to replace my DO100 with something else, what do you suggest (need balanced connections)?
There is a thread about this issue in REW (@JohnPM ) forum if I remember well and it's not dac specific.
Some fix this by lowering the output volume as much as 50-75% so the dacs won't clip.
Have a try and tell us.
 
Last edited:

curly747

Member
Joined
Jul 16, 2022
Messages
6
Likes
10
Optical input issue: I had no trouble for the first week using my DO100, however the past week I have had 1-2 second dropouts every so often in the first 20 minutes then the system seems to stabilise. Day 1 I thought it was the file I was playing but different files had same result next day.

Day 3 I tried a new optical cable. Same issue.

Day 4 after some googling I ran the K-lite codec pack from a USB stick which found some problems and fixed them. But the drop outs continue.

Day 5 I used the DAC using USB input from another computer - no issues.

This is a windows 10 computer without internet/ wifi, that has been upgraded vista>windows 7 betas>windows 7>windows 8 betas>windows 8.1> windows 10 so complicated history. The only hardware change has been SSD drive.

Any thoughts?
Have you adjusted the DPLL setting in the DAC. According to the manual you need a higher DP setting if the clock stability of the input is not good. I had same issue with an optical source and it was resolved by selecting higher DP setting. Although in the end i use coaxial for that sourcfe and was able to set DP back to 1.
 

Graham849

Member
Joined
Jul 14, 2022
Messages
10
Likes
6
Location
Australia
Have you adjusted the DPLL setting in the DAC. According to the manual you need a higher DP setting if the clock stability of the input is not good. I had same issue with an optical source and it was resolved by selecting higher DP setting. Although in the end i use coaxial for that sourcfe and was able to set DP back to 1.
Thanks curly747, I will try this. I have changed it to 3 and will report back in 22+ hours
 

Graham849

Member
Joined
Jul 14, 2022
Messages
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6
Location
Australia
Thanks curly747, I will try this. I have changed it to 3 and will report back in 22+ hours
So DP 3 setting has stopped dropouts.i also turned DAC down to 96 as per another answer elsewhere. So far so good :)
 

Human Bass

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 25, 2018
Messages
404
Likes
420
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.
The "entire top" is actually false. The cut seems to start at 19khz, that is already way beyond that many adults can hear. What we many times perceive as highs in music are actually around 7, 8khz.

I confidently say that if you cut everything above 18khz, you would struggle to perceive any meaningful difference.

For example. The lowest note of the guitar is 82hz E. The highest string is an E two octave high, so 328hz (82x2x2) fundamental. If we talking about a 24 fret guitar (2 octaves fretboard), the highest note is 1312hz (328x2x2). Even a 10x higher harmonic of the highest note of a guitar would be around 13khz.
 

Carlo2AC

Member
Joined
Jan 30, 2019
Messages
91
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32
Amazing!
How does it stacks against thje D10b feature-wise?

Can i turn off or adjust the display on this one?



I wonder if it could've been thinner if it used TRSS instead of XLR
 

Steamrolly

Member
Joined
Jan 28, 2021
Messages
73
Likes
49
How does it stacks against thje D10b feature-wise?
The differences are coaxial and optical input but you lose the pass through feature of the D10. USB-C input instead of USB-B. XLR instead of TRS
I am sure there are internal differences as well but you can check Amir's reviews to compare technical performance.
Can i turn off or adjust the display on this one?
Yes, dimmed using the control know and turned off using the remote.
I wonder if it could've been thinner if it used TRSS instead of XLR
Probably - take a look at the SMSL DA-6
 
Last edited:

dkalsi

New Member
Joined
Apr 26, 2021
Messages
4
Likes
2
Having never purchased an external dac, I’m tempted to try this one. Quick (possibly dumb) question: can one essentially remove a a preamp out of their system and directly connect it to an amp? And control the volume via the DAC? I plan on using it with Chromecast audio via optical connection. I’m using the Chromecast now, but not the optical connection, but simply the 3.5mm analog out to my preamp (and thus using Chromecast built-in dac), and then my preamp to the amp. I’m hoping I can connect the Chromecast directly to this dac, and the dac directly to the amp. Is that a viable route?
 

curly747

Member
Joined
Jul 16, 2022
Messages
6
Likes
10
Having never purchased an external dac, I’m tempted to try this one. Quick (possibly dumb) question: can one essentially remove a a preamp out of their system and directly connect it to an amp? And control the volume via the DAC? I plan on using it with Chromecast audio via optical connection. I’m using the Chromecast now, but not the optical connection, but simply the 3.5mm analog out to my preamp (and thus using Chromecast built-in dac), and then my preamp to the amp. I’m hoping I can connect the Chromecast directly to this dac, and the dac directly to the amp. Is that a viable route?
I am using the volume control on the DO100 and it works fine for me. I like it because it gives finer control than my amp remote. I don't have chromecast audio but i expect that should work fine connecting via optical. I have mine setup with an old logitech streamer connected with coaxial and TV connected using optical. I also connect either my phone or ipad or laptop using USB C when i want higher quality. The kids also connect and play their music using bluetooth from their phones and that works great too. Even with bluetooth the sound quality is pretty good. Its probably the best 210 USD i have ever spent on audio.The biggest improvment is with TV where i was previously using a $10 connector/DAC to connect to the amp. I also think the logitech streamer sounds a bit better using the DO100 DAC. I also like being able to play a good streaming service like Amazon Unlimited via USB C and know i am getting the best quality source that i should ever need.

I think there are a few good threads on this site you should look at in regard to your chromecast audio in case you haven't looked already . Like this one ...

https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...ents-of-chromecast-audio-digital-output.4544/
 

linuxfan

Active Member
Joined
Mar 18, 2019
Messages
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86
can one essentially remove a a preamp out of their system and directly connect it to an amp? And control the volume via the DAC? I plan on using it with Chromecast audio via optical connection.
I have the same configuration (slightly different DAC) and it does exactly what you want. The optical s/pdif connection at the ChromecastAudio is mini-TOSLINK, so you will need a mini-TOSLINK-to-TOSLINK cable.
 

Graham849

Member
Joined
Jul 14, 2022
Messages
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6
Location
Australia
This is a post that also could be in AO200 and many other threads.

Thanks to so many posters over those threads and posts on Archimagos blog I upgraded from my 2009 dell studio hybrid computer to a Mele quieter2 fanless computer with 1TB drive. Also installed JRiver 29 and Android remote.

Now using USB input to DO100 at level 30 output and level 40 output on AO200.

Very happy chappy using less power and getting good sound, next expense speaker upgrades!

Thanks again to the ASR community for the wealth of information I have gleaned from so many threads!
 

Atanasi

Addicted to Fun and Learning
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Jan 8, 2019
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DO100 has an option to switch to UAC1 for compatibility with older Windows versions. It seems there was a missed opportunity to include an option to limit to 16-bit audio for compatibility with certain game consoles, which barf when connected to 24-bit DACs. Qudelix 5K, for example, includes this option.
 
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