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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: 59 12.8%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 385 83.5%

  • Total voters
    461

Silvestrus

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Feb 12, 2024
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It seems that it's not full decoder. I took some time to read about MQA process... The best option is to set it to renderer only in WiiM settings. WiiM will do first unfold and send it to DAC which will do full unfold as renderer only.

On the side note, as you mentioned. It really doesn't matter. DAC sounds amazing for the price range and above.
 

Mikig

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Jan 12, 2024
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I'm sorry, but I couldn't understand it with my English ability.
As an elderly Japanese person with limited English proficiency, I sometimes misunderstand native speakers' English.
Thank you for your advice.
it happens to me too!!
I don't always understand or manage to make myself understood, even using the translator: in Italian the construction of the sentence is different, and I realized that above all the "idioms" and stock phrases are often very distant. Sometimes I have to correct the translator and insert more sensible words or put them "in quotation marks" otherwise the sentence takes on a completely different meaning!!!
 

Silvestrus

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Everywhere I read it *is* a decoder. Anyway, I see in the end we are on the same page... ;-)
It can work as decoder up to MQA studio (blue and green led). Apparently 'full' MQA decoder DACs cost a fortune. Those are my findings according to tests that I've conducted.
 

Mikig

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However, I confirm that this little DAC works really well. I tried it with a CD player on COAX output, powered by a power bank. Impeccable. I'm pretty much always using the SU-1, having moved the other DAC to the TV with the speakers active.
 

staticV3

Master Contributor
Joined
Aug 29, 2019
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Any chance of a balanced version with a price close to €100?
Screenshot_20240427-110218_Chrome.png
With a screen even
 

TonyJZX

Major Contributor
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Aug 20, 2021
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that's a topping though


so make your peace with your gods

i see where this guy is going

are we in a constant battle to get our 'perfect' dac?

to me its probably something like an M300SE but with AKM4490 power and with dual rca and xlr and all the usual M300SE features

also perhaps a more normal shape

i find even the C100 to be a bit limiting in features
 

rsc1

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Mar 7, 2024
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Location
Jupiter, FL
Just bought one of these bad boys. Is anyone using this with their Android TV's USB audio out -> USB in on the SMSL? Hoping it'll work out of the box... The Apple dongle was great but not enough juice. :cool:
 

theREALdotnet

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Mar 11, 2022
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The Apple dongle was great but not enough juice. :cool:

What do you mean by that? Not enough output voltage? The SMSL SU-1 doesn’t have a headphone port.
 

rsc1

Member
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Mar 7, 2024
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Location
Jupiter, FL
What do you mean by that? Not enough output voltage? The SMSL SU-1 doesn’t have a headphone port.
Yep not enough voltage. Currently using the Apple USB-C dongle as a DAC attached to TV usb port. Works perfectly, but since my speakers are powered (308P MKii) and I have to turn them all the way up, they hiss like crazy. Plus I feel like they start distorting when maxed out. That’s why I got the SU-1 to hopefully alleviate that. Was just wondering if anyone got it to work on an Android TV.
 

Haruko

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Sep 14, 2021
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Just got mine few days back and sound really good, maybe a bit too bright, I dont know if the topping E30 II lite is warmer.
Another thing is my unit has static electricity all over the metallic part, even when desconect it from power suply and leave it only with rca.
Anyone notice anything like it?
this is exactly what i came here to say lol ! This thing is very bright. Almost dazzlingly so, however i pair this dac with Yamaha HS3 which have no low end and was using TV headphone out until now so i can't make any real comparisons. Only if i would try it with Genelec 8030C which i know by heart, how they sound, but this thing has no pre out so...
 

Toku

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Apr 4, 2018
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I use the SU-1 and E30 ll, switching between them all the time, and the sound quality is similar. Everyone has different sound quality preferences, but I really like both types of sound quality. However, for those who prefer analog sound, these high-resolution sound quality may not be suitable.
 

Haruko

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Why do you have two similar DACs lol. By similar I mean measuring beyond transparent
 

Toku

Major Contributor
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Why do you have two similar DACs lol. By similar I mean measuring beyond transparent
I previously worked in product development and design at a Japanese company. Even now that I am retired, I purchase and check out products that interest me due to my technical interest. Unlike the average audiophile, I look at products from a technical perspective.
 

ttt

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Oct 17, 2021
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this is exactly what i came here to say lol ! This thing is very bright. Almost dazzlingly so, however i pair this dac with Yamaha HS3 which have no low end and was using TV headphone out until now so i can't make any real comparisons. Only if i would try it with Genelec 8030C which i know by heart, how they sound, but this thing has no pre out so...
Because both (SMSL and Topping) units use the same DAC chip AK4493SEQ, I found that this kind of 'brightness' may came from the last output stage power filtering diffs. I have the C100 one unmodified to compare listening each, same chipset, output and input stages. So the "brightness" seems eliminated after I added 2 extra power filter capacitors (Nichicon 16v/470u) to the analog output OPA power (+-12V) rails. I found that SMSL filtered in their other devices this stage adequately with 100uF + 100nF however both SU1 and C100 have only the 100+100nF part around it , following the internal +-12V SMPS module suffering the higher value one. Because of the output OPA PSRR degrading on higher frequencies, also the DAC chip output has high-freq components over 20khz, it's very important the good power stage filtering there. Forgot to mention, that all OPA works A/B class, modulating the power supply, so the cleanliness and filtering of power rails is so important.
 
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ttt

Member
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Oct 17, 2021
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I did some OPA rolling with SU1, but I'm definitely know that this below is my very objective results. I have no such level professinal equipment like amirm, to measure differences, only my ears.

LME49720, original setup: sounds well, enjoyable, but at high volumes I found upper ends a bit metallic or harsh. Something could be better, so decided to experiment with output analog stage.

LME49720 +2*470u power rails caps: same as above but the upper end is smoother.

LME49860 +2*470u power rails filter caps: same as above, no differences heard, probably it'a identical to 49720.

OPA1656 +2*470u caps: the biggest difference! At first hear, it is crispier, fresh, cimbals are very vell defined. Very 'big' enjoyable sound. But, for complex instrumental music I found it grainy, bit annoying. Longer term listening found it fatique because this upper end bias and the lack of ability to handle complex music.

OPA1612 +2*470u filter caps: sounds so 'gentle' after 1656. Very vell detailed, no upper end emphasis at all, keeps all details. First, after 1656 sounds dull, but longer term it play real, neutral. With 1612 the sound stage positioned the best especially the center vocals. It keeps the music enjoyable at high volumes as well. This is my latest try, my favourite, I think will keep it for now. I like it's neutrality.

These are my objective results on my sound system, to my ears.
 

Haruko

Active Member
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Sep 14, 2021
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117
Just got mine few days back and sound really good, maybe a bit too bright, I dont know if the topping E30 II lite is warmer.
Another thing is my unit has static electricity all over the metallic part, even when desconect it from power suply and leave it only with rca.
Anyone notice anything like it?
do you mean static electricity like the feel when you go over top of your metallic frame on LCD TV / OLED TV ? very slight tingling like there is micro resistance between your finger and surface, almost levitating feeling ? then yes i have the same feeling on this unit
 

Loftrocket

Member
Joined
Apr 3, 2024
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5
Hello guys!
Finally I've connected SU-1 to my android phone and Xduoo MT-602 headphone amp and... Signal won't come from phone to dac. Tried it with various cables. Connected my PC - everything is fine, it works, but no connection with mobile phones! Tried few... What can be wrong?
 
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