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SMSL M500 DAC and HP Amp Review

Jeriko

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I was close to order a M500 because of its MQA, but after reading about your problems my search for a DAC and Amp will continue. Question: is there a problem with keeping version 1.8 and what do you get by upgrading from it to 2.01?

My M500 is currently also on firmware 1.08 (upgraded from 1.05). I use it by usb on a notebook with Tidal/MQA and other high-res content and everything perform well (but this is my only usecase so I can’t speak about other features or possible problems).

When you decide to get one and it's not already at 2.1 you shouldn’t update to 2.1 because the firmware is reverted from the official homepage (also don’t install it if you find this on other sources on the internet)

There is no information out there about the changes/ differences between 1.08 and 2.1.
 
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Jimbob54

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I was close to order a M500 because of its MQA, but after reading about your problems my search for a DAC and Amp will continue. Question: is there a problem with keeping version 1.8 and what do you get by upgrading from it to 2.01?

Its 1.08 . And that is USB driver software, not M500 device firmware.

Mine is still on that and works fine. I think they added a volume limiter into the 2.01 USB software- not something I need.
 

Jeriko

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Since when did you limit the firmware upgrade to 1 time and where is this documented?..

I had a little mail chat with the Germany development company that provides the "basic tools"/ drivers for flashing the xmos/ usb firmware. (The device manufacturer like SMSL just modify/ config these tools for their need)

I ask them if they know something about “one-time” updates and stucking firmware. They told me that the tools they provide to the manufactures don’t have any limitations about “one time updates” updates. And even backward updates would be possible but its in the hand of the manufacture company.
 

ryohnosuke

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I was close to order a M500 because of its MQA, but after reading about your problems my search for a DAC and Amp will continue. Question: is there a problem with keeping version 1.8 and what do you get by upgrading from it to 2.01?
None. At least all new units have 2.01 firmware by default.
 

overherz

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I had a little mail chat with the Germany development company that provides the "basic tools"/ drivers for flashing the xmos/ usb firmware. (The device manufacturer like SMSL just modify/ config these tools for their need)

I ask them if they know something about “one-time” updates and stucking firmware. They told me that the tools they provide to the manufactures don’t have any limitations about “one time updates” updates. And even backward updates would be possible but its in the hand of the manufacture company.
if they can give any other flasher with force mode ?
it is unclear why it is necessary to carry the factory. Company SMSL it's time to lay out instructions on how to fix it at home, such as it is necessary to rearrange a jumper or something else. . . I don't understand why they spoil his reputation
 

Jeriko

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if they can give any other flasher with force mode ?
it is unclear why it is necessary to carry the factory. Company SMSL it's time to lay out instructions on how to fix it at home, such as it is necessary to rearrange a jumper or something else. . . I don't understand why they spoil his reputation

Yes, that’s the big question.
Of cours its possible to brick a device by flashing firmware and to make it work again, a external chip programmer must be used.

But the behavior described by the users here, to fall back to the initial 1.05 sounds like a “normal” implemented behavior in case of the Xmos Usb interface. Sounds like the last “safety line” to not to brick the device when a update fails. So the question is if you can go back from the "fallback-firmware" without a chip programmer.. probalby this is what they will to wehn you send it to the factory.

For example if you read a bit in the following forum (it's not about the smsl device but they speak about programming a Xmos and the update tools), it sound like this behavior:
https://www.xcore.com/viewtopic.php?f=26&t=6746

(Just my thoughts and superficial knowledge)
 
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Galaxian

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Sod the crappy Windows drivers. I've set up a Raspberry Pi/Roon bridge (uses Linux drivers - ALSA) and plugged the M500 into that. Amazing difference.
 

toshu

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Sod the crappy Windows drivers. I've set up a Raspberry Pi/Roon bridge (uses Linux drivers - ALSA) and plugged the M500 into that. Amazing difference.
I dont have the M500 but I use my Topping Dx7s exclusively off of an Android TV box using UAPP app and its fantastic on my JmLab 7.1 system
 

Laserjock

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I’m thinking that “1 time” firmware update comment was a translation or different context comment.
 

SMSL-Mandy

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I'm not doubting - mine is stuck on 1.05:

View attachment 63385
Please provide the tools to upgrade.

If you has been upgraded several times, and can't upgrade anymore.
When and where you bought it? It needs to come back. Connect with the seller.


Thanks.
 

SMSL-Mandy

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QQ图片20200514144741.jpg

The item if bought in 2020 all is V2.01, no need to upgrade firmware, and don't do it.

The item if bought in 2019, can upgrade on time to 1.08 or 2.01. Just one time, don't upgrade for several times.
If you back to 1.05 and can't be upgraded anymore, connect with the seller, and send it back.
 

Galaxian

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If you has been upgraded several times, and can't upgrade anymore.
When and where you bought it? It needs to come back. Connect with the seller.


Thanks.
You provided an update and broke 32-bit. How about you send me a new device and I'll send the defective one back? Why should I do without (which is likely to be for months)?
 

Veri

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I'm sure it's not nice to be stuck on older firmware, but man why do you want 32-bit so much? It's not like it is better than using 24-bit system audio.
 

Dexter_prog

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My reading on this is that they clearly don't know how to unbrick those devices by software, which appears to be triggered by "upgrading more than once". I hope they do find a workaround for this, but if what @Jeriko says is the case, then they probably need that to fix it and can't be done by software
 

Jeriko

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My reading on this is that they clearly don't know how to unbrick those devices by software, which appears to be triggered by "upgrading more than once". I hope they do find a workaround for this, but if what @Jeriko says is the case, then they probably need that to fix it and can't be done by software

As I said before, I don't know if the information I read on the internet also applies to the USB/Xmos interface of the M500 or whether they are connected to the update-problem here, but the following parts of the Xmos developer documentation looks realy intresting.

The following document describes steps for uploading, downloading and rolling back firmware images:
https://www.xmos.com/download/DFU-loader-for-XMOS-USB-Audio-devices(2).pdf

And this document describes in chapter "21Design and manufacture systems with flash memory" that an Xmos chip can contain 3 images (one factory-image and 2 update-images)
https://www.xmos.com/download/Tools-User-Guide(6).pdf

And here, someone has resurrected a bricked XMos... unfortunately, he needed a chip programmer:
http://essabre-90xx-rpi.sfb2.com/?p=2238
 
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anne99

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View attachment 64339
The item if bought in 2020 all is V2.01, no need to upgrade firmware, and don't do it.

The item if bought in 2019, can upgrade on time to 1.08 or 2.01. Just one time, don't upgrade for several times.
If you back to 1.05 and can't be upgraded anymore, connect with the seller, and send it back.

I bought it in March. What are you talking about?
Did the seller make the firmware?
The firmware has been uploaded on the official website, so why should the seller respond?
Is the SMSL unable to solve the problem?
If I contact the seller and return the product, who is responsible for the international shipping cost?
 

Albocan

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I bought it in March. What are you talking about?
Did the seller make the firmware?
The firmware has been uploaded on the official website, so why should the seller respond?
Is the SMSL unable to solve the problem?
If I contact the seller and return the product, who is responsible for the international shipping cost?

I reviewed the cost of international shipping from Chile to the seller and it starts at $ 100 dollars. I also ask the same question: Who pays that cost?
 
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