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SMSL SU-1 Stereo DAC Review

Rate this DAC:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 8 1.7%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 9 2.0%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 58 12.6%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 384 83.7%

  • Total voters
    459

Tonton marc

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Feb 4, 2024
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Do all su-1 dacs have the pop noise ? What about more expensive SMSL DACs ?
Will more espensive SMSL DACs accepts dsd raw or only in dop mode like su-1 ?
 

Mantra

Active Member
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Oct 1, 2023
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They both have coaxial and optical input and not output.
You cannot connect an input to an input.

If you're looking for a DAC with both RCA analog out and Coax/Toslink out, then take a look at the Topping D10S or the SMSL PO100AK.
hi
the beauty to use the asio driver ,is that it will work as wasapi event without taking exclusive control of the device ,right?
i don't need to resample if i use asio
thanks
 

Tonton marc

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Feb 4, 2024
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I sent a follow up email and asked if they can prepare seperate firmware for the people who want DSD direct. And their response:

The response from the technical staff of SMSL is: Sorry, this is impossible.

Anyway, still we have a great DAC.
In this case they should remove the dsd 512 indication, or am I wrong?
 

Herbert

Addicted to Fun and Learning
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Nov 26, 2018
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Could theoretically be that the legs of the caps already introduce noise.
But I have no scientific source to cite, it is some time ago I recapped myself.
 

Tonton marc

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Feb 4, 2024
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DSD Direct and native DSD playback are different things, so yes.
Yes I am wrong, or yes the DSD 512 cannot work?
I have a vocabulary problem.
I can play DSD in dop mode or raw, but only dop mode works with my smls su-1. And the dop mode only allows DSD 256.
 

staticV3

Master Contributor
Joined
Aug 29, 2019
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Yes I am wrong, or yes the DSD 512 cannot work?
I have a vocabulary problem.
I can play DSD in dop mode or raw, but only dop mode works with my smls su-1. And the dop mode only allows DSD 256.
The SU-1's lack of DSD Direct support is not a reason to remove the DSD512 indication, because those are unrelated.

To play DSD512 on Windows, one needs to manually install SMSL's driver and use ASIO.
Special setup may also be required depending on the playback software.

If native DSD playback is properly setup and the SU-1 still won't play DSD512, then that would be reason to remove DSD512 indication from the product page, packaging, etc.
 

Tonton marc

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The SU-1's lack of DSD Direct support is not a reason to remove the DSD512 indication, because those are unrelated.

To play DSD512 on Windows, one needs to manually install SMSL's driver and use ASIO.
Special setup may also be required depending on the playback software.

If native DSD playback is properly setup and the SU-1 still won't play DSD512, then that would be reason to remove DSD512 indication from the product page, packaging, etc.
THANKS. The asio mode and the latest SMSL driver, I understood that well. But I get an error if I don't choose dop mode in my player.
 

Tonton marc

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Feb 4, 2024
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Might be improperly setup

After numerous readings it seems that the fault comes from the musicbee player. The DSD raw stream option exists but does not work.
Can you explain to me what DSD direct support is? What changes without DSD direct support ?
 

staticV3

Master Contributor
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Can you explain to me what DSD direct support is? What changes without DSD direct support ?
Archimago explained it much better than I could:
 

Tonton marc

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Feb 4, 2024
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smsl mod russia.jpg
What some Russians do with the DAC. I don't know what to think about it.
 

Toku

Major Contributor
Joined
Apr 4, 2018
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View attachment 352241What some Russians do with the DAC. I don't know what to think about it.
I think this person modified it because he wanted to try it out for himself with the knowledge he gained from the DIY posts. I can't help but think that such modifications are deliberately destroying a beautiful product. It's meaningless.
 

Mark S.

Active Member
Joined
Sep 24, 2018
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Location
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My SU-1 just went belly-up after 9 months - output level dropped (sometimes almost non-existent), muffled, occasionally huge amounts of noise.

It's been powered on practically 24/7 connected to my PC (which is also on pretty much 24/365) with 'always on' in the XMOS control panel. In my experience hardware is less prone to failure with this regime than being subjected to frequent power-cycling.

Not too impressed, this is the first failure of any kind I've had in many years.

ETA >> Well, waddaya you know, the poor little thing is working again after a rest of a few days (physically disconnected from everything). A glitch or something that will recur? When things went the way of the pear I did power it off, swapped cables and tried a different USB port, to no avail at the time. I guess we'll see.
 
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Tonton marc

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Feb 4, 2024
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I think this person modified it because he wanted to try it out for himself with the knowledge he gained from the DIY posts. I can't help but think that such modifications are deliberately destroying a beautiful product. It's meaningless.
He made some modifications which are interesting. He added a connector for an external power supply, he changed the op amp. But the way it is done is very questionable.
 

ttt

Member
Joined
Oct 17, 2021
Messages
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16
I know that listening sound impressions are very objective and cannot be measured, but I compared the SU1 to SMSL M300mk2 and Topping E30 in some listening "test". Because I have no such high quality measurement equipments like amirm uses. Tried to match volume levels.
Interestingly the better built M300mk2 with older but top AK4497 was worse to me. Somehow less. Then compared to the original E30, the difference was even more. Anyways the overall differences are subtle. Surely, it does not mean anything because listening a whole sound system with my own ears are not reproductible but I was surprised how this cheap DAC, with new lower level dac chip and not as good measurements could sound better.
 
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