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SMSL M500 DAC and HP Amp Review

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[email protected] is really weak. If you find a good bf offer for the m500 I wouldn't think twice and buy it. I highly doubt you would be able to listen to it at max volume with your phones. I use 250Ohm beyerdynamics and cannot go past 60% max volume without destroying my hearing. So you'll have plenty of headroom.
Brilliant - very keen to try them! Thanks again
 
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I am speculating here but I think there are probably some low level flags in the Asio driver that foobar uses to ensure it has exclusive access to the DAC and these are not being released when Foobar is shut down.
Usually you can solve such an issue with a software player when you switch audio output to other device. There is also Null Output device in foobar2000 which you could use to release exclusive access to your DAC. That works for example with HQPlayer. With foobar2000 I didn't experienced such an issue (I'm using version 1.5.5).
 
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Hi, I have a very beginner question.

Would an RCA (male) to 3.5mm (male) cable work going from the RCA out from my SMSL 500m into a 3.5mm input in my active speakers (KEF Eggs)? Or would this type of cable only work the other way around (with the 3.5mm coming from the output of a device like a phone into an RCA input).
 

Oklei

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Would an RCA (male) to 3.5mm (male) cable work going from the RCA out from my SMSL 500m into a 3.5mm input in my active speakers (KEF Eggs)?
You can connect the m500 with the aux in of your Egg with a stereo rca to 3.5mm cable like this one https://www.amazon.com/AmazonBasics-3-5mm-2-Male-Adapter-Stereo/dp/B01D5H8KO2/
I don't know why you'd want to do that because the Eggs already have usb/optical digital inputs but it will work. It's possible that the aux in of the Egg will go through adda conversion inside the Egg so don't expect sound improvements.
 
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You can connect the m500 with the aux in of your Egg with a stereo rca to 3.5mm cable like this one https://www.amazon.com/AmazonBasics-3-5mm-2-Male-Adapter-Stereo/dp/B01D5H8KO2/
I don't know why you'd want to do that because the Eggs already have usb/optical digital inputs but it will work. It's possible that the aux in of the Egg will go through adda conversion inside the Egg so don't expect sound improvements.
I have heard going in analogue through the external DAC creates improvement over just their DAC in multiple places, but I'll admit some people are skeptical. Is that not the case?
 
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I have heard going in analogue through the external DAC creates improvement over just their DAC in multiple places, but I'll admit some people are skeptical. Is that not the case?
Also, to be dense, what is the general use of the RCA outs here? Into an analogue only amplifier into passive speakers? Wouldn't you have the same issue with the DAC in most amps?
 
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Also, to be dense, what is the general use of the RCA outs here? Into an analogue only amplifier into passive speakers? Wouldn't you have the same issue with the DAC in most amps?
For a very standard audio path:

1) Source (PC USB for example)-->M500-->preamp with RCA ins only-->power amp-->speakers

2) Source (PC USB for example)-->M500-->headphone amplifier with RCA ins only-->headphones
 
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For a very standard audio path:

1) Source (PC USB for example)-->M500-->preamp with RCA ins only-->power amp-->speakers

2) Source (PC USB for example)-->M500-->headphone amplifier with RCA ins only-->headphones
Thanks. I think my confusion stems from the fact that almost all amps seem to have a built in DAC; I assume there is a setting to bypass it there (vs. in an active speaker), or you would run into exactly the same issue.
 
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Many preamps, not amps (unless integrated).
In the majority of cases they are outdated or mediocre, or both (not talking hi end here).
99% of preamp reviews go "...and the addition of a DAC is a nice feature, for convenience, although we recommend using a good external one":).
 
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You don't need a setting to bypass, you simply plug in analog cables into the preamp's analog ins, instead of running USB to the preamp's USB in.

Example: see Analog inputs section (+Balanced In) vs Digital inputs section here:
https://parasound.com/product-images/p6_back_black.jpg
Got it thanks. I think that will be the next step in all this. For now, will mainly use this with my Amiron Home headphones and whatever it sounds like on the eggs, it is what it is.
 

Azreil24

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Hi guys. New here, but been enjoying reading @amirm reviews from time to time :)

Looking to get an M500 and was wondering if it will be worth the upgrade from a Node 2i DAC or a Marantz PM6005 DAC. Using a pair of Dali Zensor 3 speakers, so just an entry level setup. Looking to use it just as a DAC so as it has a volume knob I probably should have to keep it at max volume to use it as a pre-amp, right? Any other DACs worth taking in consideration at this price point to be used as DAC only?

Thank you.
 
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So I finally got my unit and the screen was mostly busted. I was able to get it to play by just hitting buttons on the remote and the sound was absolutely incredible on my Amiron Homes. I used it for a few days in that broken state while waiting for the replacement unit from Amazon and... the replacement unit came this morning, but totally dead on arrival; it won't even power on.

Has anyone else had similar quality control issues? I LOVED the sound, but I am afraid that even if I get a working unit on the third try, it will just break down the line if the quality is so poor. Would appreciate any insight!
 
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So I finally got my unit and the screen was mostly busted. I was able to get it to play by just hitting buttons on the remote and the sound was absolutely incredible on my Amiron Homes. I used it for a few days in that broken state while waiting for the replacement unit from Amazon and... the replacement unit came this morning, but totally dead on arrival; it won't even power on.

Has anyone else had similar quality control issues? I LOVED the sound, but I am afraid that even if I get a working unit on the third try, it will just break down the line if the quality is so poor. Would appreciate any insight!
Luckily I hadn't returned the first unit yet. I tried the power cable from the first unit and the second one fired right up. Hopefully not a sign of things to come, but glad it is working.
 
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