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smsl sp200 + m200 vs m500

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May 28, 2020
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#1
Hi,
Ignoring the fact that m200 has no MQA and smsl sp200 + m200 would 50 GBP more.

Is the sp200+m200 combo much better (especially amp section) that the one integrated in m500 amp/dac combo?

I'm looking to pair it with DT1990 headphones.

Thanks
 
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#2
M200 and M500 both are just DAC/pre-amp only. You would still want to get an amp if you buy the M500 so do the M200 to drive the amp. At the price, sp200+m200 is hard to beat.
 

Hugo9000

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#3
M200 and M500 both are just DAC/pre-amp only. You would still want to get an amp if you buy the M500 so do the M200 to drive the amp. At the price, sp200+m200 is hard to beat.
SMSL M500 has a headphone amp built-in. Not as much power to drive headphones as many dedicated headphone amps, of course. Amir's testing showed 63 mW for a 300 Ω load, and 530 mW for a 33 Ω load.





See his full measurements and review here:
https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/smsl-m500-dac-and-hp-amp-review.9606/
 
OP
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Thread Starter #5
After a weekend comparing iFi Zen amp/dac, SMSL SP200 with SMSL M200 and Topping E30 using DT1990 and Sundara headphones, I have decided to keep SMSL SP200/M200 stack. Mainly for power, variety of input/outputs and it fits nicely under my laptop stand ;) I know iFi Zen measures worse than M200 and E30 but I actually really liked it (especially build quality and the volume knob)
 
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#6
I have the m500 here, and I really like it, but now that I got a dedicated headphone amp (loxjie p20), I don't use the headphone amp on it almost never. If you don't care about mqa, I do think the m200 + sp200 is a better overall combination than the m500 on it's own (if m500 +sp200 would be significantly better I'm also not sure).
 

Jimbob54

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#7
I have the m500 here, and I really like it, but now that I got a dedicated headphone amp (loxjie p20), I don't use the headphone amp on it almost never. If you don't care about mqa, I do think the m200 + sp200 is a better overall combination than the m500 on it's own (if m500 +sp200 would be significantly better I'm also not sure).
Likewise. I've not needed to use the m500 hpa but have tried out of interest. Doesn't do much for me. Seems to go from too quiet to shouty on the cans I've tried
 
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Thread Starter #8
I had iFi Zen, Topping E30 and SMSL SP200/M200 stack for comparison and ended up keeping the stack. I also kept the Topping E30 and it acts as USB DAC connected to my raspberrryPi that I use as a Roon bridge. I much prefer it to the ESS Sabre SE9010K2M DAC I have in my Cambridge CXA61 integrated amp.
 

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