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SMSL M500 - Owners' Thread

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My M500 is effectively my pre amp driving my Elac Navis active speakers via XLR .
I am considering incorporating a pre amp - Metaxas Marquis , into the system , but it means dumping the XLR interconnects and using RCA .
Can I expect any significant improvement ?
Thank you.
 

BDWoody

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My M500 is effectively my pre amp driving my Elac Navis active speakers via XLR .
I am considering incorporating a pre amp - Metaxas Marquis , into the system , but it means dumping the XLR interconnects and using RCA .
Can I expect any significant improvement ?
Thank you.
What improvement are you looking for? Is there a problem you are trying to fix, or are you looking to connect more components?

Adding a preamp doesn't automatically improve anything, but will add another source of noise/distortion (which you likely won't hear, but it does add some). Using the RCA"s will leave you more open to grounding issues, but that isn't an automatic problem, and isn't better or worse in a SQ sense.

I use my M500 directly into my 705P's with XLR and has been great.
 
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Hi,

I'm considering buying a pair of Sennheiser HD-660S, which have an impedence of 150ohm, to use with this DAC/amp. Given that the max output power is 63mw at 300ohm (HD-650), how well would the HD-660S headphones work with the m500?

In the review Amrim says:
"I had a bit less headroom with Sennheiser HD-650 with less ability for "skull resonance" than I like to see. :) Fidelity otherwise was excellent though. To wit, I am still listening to the M500 using the HD-650 as I type this. Typically a good sign that I like what I am hearing."

Would the 660S have more headroom then, given that it has lower impedence? I have seen reviews were people mention that although the 660S headphones have lower impedence the output power is still roughly the same as the HD-650.

Any advice would be appreciated.
 

Oklei

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Would the 660S have more headroom then, given that it has lower impedence?
The Hd660s have an efficiency of [email protected] and 150 Ohm impedance. Therefore they will give you more than 116 dBSPL at max output of the m500. 110 dBSPL equal to a chainsaw in 1m distance and 120 dBSPL is the threshold of pain. Ofc it's always a matter of taste but I think it's enough.
 
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Guess I should throw my 2 cents into the mix as an owner. I bought it mainly for the features, and can't complain. I got a red one from a friend, so I knew the hardware was up to date. If what Joker's saying about Shenzhen Audio is true, then I guess it doesn't matter if I don't have a warranty. He'd be pleased to know that a 2nd hand purchase means money out of SA's pocket as well. No idea where I go from here, but it should hold me down a few years.

I could've got it in my country on Prime Day when it was on discount, but it wasn't cheap enough. I don't have the sharpest ears or the most experience, but given it's a headphone out, speaker out (through XLR) and a way of controlling volume that bypasses the source (the remote makes this super comfortable), whatever minuscule complaint about the audio is overshadowed by its sheer versatility. MQA is a nice extra. Signal integrity is better through XLR, as RCA would sometimes wake the speakers when I turned it on, before sound passed through.

So physically, there's nothing wrong with it or Chi-fi. I think it lacks that je ne sais quoi, which causes people to get buyers' remorse (barring those with actual issues). Take Apple products. They have flaws, but they also have that je ne sais quoi which makes people overlook them. My Oneplus phone, for example, doesn't. It's the middle income trap. The stuff's too expensive to be considered cheap, but not prestigious enough to compete on quality with, say, RME.
 

dobbo

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Can anyone help/advise on the best way to connect a subwoofer in my setup? PC via USB to SMSL M500 + ADAM A3X monitors + SVS SB 2000 subwoofer. I'm guessing the monitors should be connected via the balanced outs of the M500 then the sub should be connected from the unbalanced outs of the M500 to the L/H non-line-level input of the sub? Is that correct and if so, any idea on how to set the sub's low pass crossover?
SMSL M500 +ADAM A3X + SVS SB 2000.jpg
 
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Can anyone help/advise on the best way to connect a subwoofer in my setup? PC via USB to SMSL M500 + ADAM A3X monitors + SVS SB 2000 subwoofer. I'm guessing the monitors should be connected via the balanced outs of the M500 then the sub should be connected from the unbalanced outs of the M500 to the L/H non-line-level input of the sub? Is that correct and if so, any idea on how to set the sub's low pass crossover? View attachment 92169
You do not connect 2 pairs of separate outputs from M500 to your subwoofer because you'll bypass the crossover in your active subwoofer and the resulting sound will be very muddy because the signal is not separated into low frequencies for the subwoofer and mid/high frequencies for your top speakers. The correct connection should be connecting the L/R unbalanced "out" of the M500 to the corresponding unbalanced L/R "input" of your subwoofer, then connect the L/R unbalanced "out" of the subwoofer to the corresponding left and right speaker "input" of your top speakers. This way only the lower frequencies will be handled by the subwoofer and mid/high frequencies will be handled by the top speakers. Besides the right connection, another thing you'll need to do is to dial in the right crossover frequency (usually between 80Hz-120Hz) on the subwoofer and then adjusting the volume at the subwoofer to balance the level with your top speakers so that the sound is evenly balanced. Hope this helps.
 
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dobbo

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then connect the L/R unbalanced "out" of the subwoofer to the corresponding left and right speaker "input" of your top speakers.
Appreciate the response frankh! In the quoted sentence above did you mean "balanced out"? If so that clarifies everything, thanks!
 
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Appreciate the response frankh! In the quoted sentence above did you mean "balanced out"? If so that clarifies everything, thanks!
It's "unbalanced out" (RCA connector) because you don't have balanced in/out on your subwoofer. Never connect "unbalanced out" to "balanced in". Both in/out must match the signal being sent and received. Hope this is clear enough.
 

Veri

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It's "unbalanced out" (RCA connector) because you don't have balanced in/out on your subwoofer. Never connect "unbalanced out" to "balanced in". Both in/out must match the signal being sent and received.
Not necessarily true. You can connect an RCA-XLR cable to the majority of XLR inputs with no problem. Some exceptions might expect a differential input (read the manual), but most will handle it without a sweat.
 
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Not necessarily true. You can connect an RCA-XLR cable to the majority of XLR inputs with no problem. Some exceptions might expect a differential input (read the manual), but most will handle it without a sweat.
Good luck to you for connecting RCA-XLR....to each his own.
 
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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 500 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).
 

Helicopter

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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 500 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).
Assuming a 3.5mm TRS-M stereo connector, the cable will need to Y into two RCA male connectors, one for each channel, and then it should work fine.
 
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Assuming a 3.5mm TRS-M stereo connector, the cable will need to Y into two RCA male connectors, one for each channel, and then it should work fine.
Thanks. Would this do the trick? AudioQuest Tower 3.5mm to RCA (https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00EPX5PA8/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_fabt1_poXWFbK2ACCWB?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1).

(By the way, I am not sure what the M in TRS-M stands for (microphone?)... Otherwise when I Google that I get a bunch of balanced cables and I thought the RCA out here was unbalanced).
Good luck to you for connecting RCA-XLR....to each his own.
 

Helicopter

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Thanks. Would this do the trick? AudioQuest Tower 3.5mm to RCA (https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00EPX5PA8/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_fabt1_poXWFbK2ACCWB?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1).

(By the way, I am not sure what the M in TRS-M stands for (microphone?)... Otherwise when I Google that I get a bunch of balanced cables and I thought the RCA out here was unbalanced).
M is for male. The microphone combo ones are TRRS. Yes that cable will work. The equivalent Monoprice Premium cable for $6 will sound exactly the same.
 
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I flashed my dac

I soldered the chip and upload the new firmware

that's why it is very difficult to collect it... the potentiometer does not work in the end, the screen somehow connected, ordered longer wires, I will then disassemble again, while using the remote control

thx mon2 , who sent me the latest firmware
 
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Abe

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Hello everyone,

I used to just read the forum and reviews without having an account. So first of all I wanted to thank you all for sharing all that knowledge. I am not an audio connaisseur at all but I am trying to learn.

I bought a M500 based on the review with the 2.01 firmware, SW 1.6 HW1.3. And I was wondering where you guys managed to get the 2.06 firmware ? The only one I found is the M400. Are they compatible ? And is there any release note to know what changed ?

Cheers,
Abe
 
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