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SMSL SU-10 DAC Review

Rate this DAC:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 12 3.4%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 14 4.0%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 56 15.8%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 272 76.8%

  • Total voters
    354

pseudoid

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I haven't the current need for any new and/or better audio gear.
Yet, I find these threads exceedingly satisfying from the perspective of all who have facts and/or opinions to share...noobs, jv, audiophiles, techies, engineers, practitioners, scientists, even the OCDs.
You could go full-techie or go full-analog on me or you can tell me 'MQA sucks lollipops': I am able to parse them into different compartments, as I need to.
But to put one slice of the music production/listening on a TabooTopicList; yet allow all other types of audio discussions (from analog to streaming to Atmos), just smells censor-ish...
I am also in the age group of @dartinbout and fully agree with his post #238.
If anything, this great ASR forum has made me realize that the depth of geekiness and even reading it here seems to dilute the taste of 'music' by putting tech ahead of the music; though probably not intentionally but consequentially... (The cart before the horsey!)
IMHO and YMMV and I hope I haven't opened myself for a ban action by using that word (in the TTL)
 

Jimster480

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I haven't the current need for any new and/or better audio gear.
Yet, I find these threads exceedingly satisfying from the perspective of all who have facts and/or opinions to share...noobs, jv, audiophiles, techies, engineers, practitioners, scientists, even the OCDs.
You could go full-techie or go full-analog on me or you can tell me 'MQA sucks lollipops': I am able to parse them into different compartments, as I need to.
But to put one slice of the music production/listening on a TabooTopicList; yet allow all other types of audio discussions (from analog to streaming to Atmos), just smells censor-ish...
I am also in the age group of @dartinbout and fully agree with his post #238.
If anything, this great ASR forum has made me realize that the depth of geekiness and even reading it here seems to dilute the taste of 'music' by putting tech ahead of the music; though probably not intentionally but consequentially... (The cart before the horsey!)
IMHO and YMMV and I hope I haven't opened myself for a ban action by using that word (in the TTL)
Well I completely agree with what you're saying. A device like this while topping the chart for signad; is not very interesting because it's price eclipses that of products that have better feature sets like the rme Adi. Honestly this shows where the manufacturers like smsl and Topping need to go if they want to compete in this price category. When you aren't really getting many more features on a high-end DAC versus a cheaper one then there is no reason to really pay this price. You can't hear the difference even with the best recorded music and honestly some of the best performance is in the low end anyways..
L30 II and the Smsl Do & HO... was just brings up the question of why they have so many products in so many different price tiers
 

Robbo99999

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Good point. I think ASR offers plenty of information to adapt the existing market offers to our musical taste and to our psychological needs. I was thrilled to receive the Okto dac8 Stereo after a few months of wait list time because it was then at the pinnacle of what was possible at a price many thousands less than the previous SOTA. I was happy as well with Gustard X16 and Topping E30 because they offered the same performance for less than half the price of the Okto. However, the connectivity features of the Okto are better suited to my main system, Gustard and Topping fit the space on the shelf of the other systems. Overall, I think I had the most single improvement when > 4 years I shelled out about $ 2,000 for the Benchmark DX3, because it was connected then to my Weiss MAN301. So, difficult to say which DAC offered the most when I sum quality/price + feeling & emotions while listening to Music. Other more mundane factors come into play as well: the chair(s) are more comfortable in the room with the Okto, the acoustics of the three rooms being somewhat different. At this point I believe I am done, and I better spend time listening (and completing the transfer into FLAC of my large CD music collection, with the associated extreme pain of archiving and correcting the widely anarchic metadata CDs are notorious for). All four DACs have been performing impeccably since the day I received them.
(Don't compare DACS too much)
 

Robbo99999

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At nearly 70, I come from a decidedly different era. I've 130 SACD and DVDA's, all ripped to their native format. I have 700 CD's all ripped as well to my 20TB NAS with triple backup. I inherently started amassing music well before streaming. I've never had an interest in an online source, probably because for most of my life internet connectivity sucked. Music is the greatest anti-depressant drug and I mainline it for many hours a day. Personally, as a purely subjective voice, without any claims beyond that, higher resolutions, of everything, stirs my dark heart with joy. Nothing else comes close. Watching "The Peripheral" , in 4k, makes this genre junkie cry with joy.

What I really still don't understand is the firestorm of complaint about anything beyond 16\44.1. It chokes every internet audio discussion source like kudzu in a Georgia swamp. I've attributed it to a variety of sources, youth, the ubiquity of ITunes, or obversely, old age and the other worldly passion that vinyl engenders. It could also be the miserly motive and the depth to which many people squeeze Lincoln until the penny cries out. With 3500 albums at my whim, none of these views is satisfactory. I just want people stop invoking Nyquest as a golden tablet delivered by the gods.
Anything beyond 16\44.1 is snakeoil, so it serves to maintain perspective. Often the recordings that are beyond 16\44.1 contain silly amount of high frequency noise last time I remember looking at some ASR breadkdowns Amir did.
 

G-rig

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How well known, is secondary for me, I tend to see stuff (not only audio stuff) in a purely utilitarian way.
What (in terms of performance, but also functionality) am I getting for how much money?
Agree, goes without saying. There's no point buying anything if it doesn't serve the purposes you bought it for.
My point was, for me a brand's reputation (and in turn asking price) is made up from quality, reliability and technology. Specs on paper are one thing. It just sounds like a lot of money for a Chi-Fi brand compared to the ADI-2 Pro (since you mentioned RME, and I have that one too). Prices have gone up but that is only $300 more (and you know it's good).
 
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dartinbout

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Anything beyond 16\44.1 is snakeoil, so it serves to maintain perspective. Often the recordings that are beyond 16\44.1 contain silly amount of high frequency noise last time I remember looking at some ASR breadkdowns Amir did.
So you are contending that there is a vast conspiracy amongst every dac, dac\amp manufacturers, from the last half decade, to sell snake oil to all the "audiophools"? No need for Hi-Res streaming, no need for high bitrate PCM 32\384\768, DSD files. It's all a plot to to separate us rubes from our money! Is it the "Deep State"? Lizard aliens masquerading as the marketing departments of Meridian, Schiit, Topping, SMSL? I'm so relieved you have revealed, to all of us ignorant music lovers, the depth this "Hi-Res" cabal has us all in their thrall!!! /s

MP3's forever!
 

G-K

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Any hi-fi equipment that has better readings than humans can hear are simply excist because technology for that excist and the manufacturers are able to produce it. People always want the best, even if they never can hear. Then the golden ears people are discussing about the imperial beard. High price High end devices are just seen as a status symbol, even if low price equipment will have almost the same or better performance. If someone likes or dislikes MQA its up to the user to buy a equipment with that feature or not.
 

pkane

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So you are contending that there is a vast conspiracy amongst every dac, dac\amp manufacturers, from the last half decade, to sell snake oil to all the "audiophools"? No need for Hi-Res streaming, no need for high bitrate PCM 32\384\768, DSD files. It's all a plot to to separate us rubes from our money! Is it the "Deep State"? Lizard aliens masquerading as the marketing departments of Meridian, Schiit, Topping, SMSL? I'm so relieved you have revealed, to all of us ignorant music lovers, the depth this "Hi-Res" cabal has us all in their thrall!!! /s

MP3's forever!
A conspiracy explanation is not needed: mostly clueless audiophiles with disposable income is explanation enough. Where there is demand, the supply will be created in short order.
 

dartinbout

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A conspiracy explanation is not needed: mostly clueless audiophiles with disposable income is explanation enough. Where there is demand, the supply will be created in short order.
Can you even buy a dac that just does 16\44.1? Doesn't even the apple dongle do more? I think your worship of Nyguest means you listen with your wallet, but that is just the opinion of a callow youth. I'm sure good sense will sweep the industry and everybody will worship the cheapest codec for EVAH! I'm glad for your realization that everybody else is fooled but you.
 

SnoopKatt

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Smsl have prouved they good ( very good) at dacs disign. But where is the point to increase something you can't hear? I hope they will come in the dsp market with the same quality. The adi 2 DAC deserve an opponent! Wouldn't be great?
I can appreciate the engineering feat in making a DAC as good as this, but I agree, we're at the point (and have been there for a while) where most people will appreciate features like 12V trigger in/out, and a larger variety of inputs/outputs over additional performance.

I still have an SMSL M500 MKI DAC/headphone amp because it's one of the only devices of its kind with two optical inputs, a USB input and a coax input, and with both single-ended and XLR outputs all along with a headphone amp. Digital inputs from a TV, CD player and a PS2 (lol), and the XLR goes to an MPA-S250NC and the RCA goes to a tube amp input for when I want a different sound.

I'd only consider switching out the M500 if another device met the performance/IO and added a 12V trigger output (or more toslink inputs) because I know these newer, superior DACs won't provide an audible improvement. The new M500's got rid of a toslink input so if this one dies I'll probably hunt down an old one.

I'm probably expecting too much from a DAC and am basically using one as a preamp, but I doubt I'm the only one. I'd bet many people would spend $500-$600 on a unit with equivalent performance as their $300-$400 DACs but with more features and I/O. Stitching together multiple components neatly is not easy!
 

pkane

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Can you even buy a dac that just does 16\44.1? Doesn't even the apple dongle do more? I think your worship of Nyguest means you listen with your wallet, but that is just the opinion of a callow youth. I'm sure good sense will sweep the industry and everybody will worship the cheapest codec for EVAH! I'm glad for your realization that everybody else is fooled but you.

Most of the world couldn't care less about sampling rate and have no clue as to what it is or why you need it. And indeed, most listen to 44.1k or 48k content. The only ones who are fooled are the golden-ear audiophiles who think they can hear frequencies above 22k. While teenagers or younger individuals just might, that demographic can hardly dictate the feature set of expensive audio equipment. Are you a teenager? Then by all means, get a DAC that supports 88.2k sampling rate. No need to go beyond that.

I worship Nyquist in the same way I worship Newton -- the sampling theorem and gravity are just facts of life, there's no reason to debate them: you can't change facts.
 

Billy Budapest

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Anything beyond 16\44.1 is snakeoil, so it serves to maintain perspective. Often the recordings that are beyond 16\44.1 contain silly amount of high frequency noise last time I remember looking at some ASR breadkdowns Amir did.
You can make cogent arguments for audible benefits of 24 bit audio. But for sample rates higher than 44.1, less so. Anything over 24/48 is overkill. 44.1kHz and if you are stretching it, 48kHz sampling rates contain enough of a margin to suppress aliasing artifacts. But 96kHz and 192kHz sample rates are overkill for that purpose and further either contain no data or inaudible ultrasonic garbage in those high frequency realms.
 

pkane

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... which tends to break down at the quantum level. I can hear audible changes at the quantum level with various sampling rates... true story. ;)
Now, if your brain is fully entangled with the electrons in the DAC, then yes, that might be true. But I assume you wouldn't need to use your ears then... or have a DAC...
 

Jimster480

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Most of the world couldn't care less about sampling rate and have no clue as to what it is or why you need it. And indeed, most listen to 44.1k or 48k content. The only ones who are fooled are the golden-ear audiophiles who think they can hear frequencies above 22k. While teenagers or younger individuals just might, that demographic can hardly dictate the feature set of expensive audio equipment. Are you a teenager? Then by all means, get a DAC that supports 88.2k sampling rate. No need to go beyond that.

I worship Nyquist in the same way I worship Newton -- the sampling theorem and gravity are just facts of life, there's no reason to debate them: you can't change facts.
So what you are saying is that any DAC with a Sinad of 90 or more is perfect and as such there is no need not only for this product, but for this entire industry. Infact motherboard audio and the output from a cell phone or laptop is already good enough to reproduce everything.
Why did you donate to this forum if you don't believe in higher quality audio?
 

dartinbout

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You can make cogent arguments for audible benefits of 24 bit audio. But for sample rates higher than 44.1, less so. Anything over 24/48 is overkill. 44.1kHz and if you are stretching it, 48kHz sampling rates contain enough of a margin to suppress aliasing artifacts. But 96kHz and 192kHz sample rates are overkill for that purpose and further either contain no data or inaudible ultrasonic garbage in those high frequency realms.
Ohh Lawd! Thank you for explaining this! The scales have fallen from my ears. I'm going to sell all my dacs, trash my 20Tb of hi-res audio, after converting it all to low res, and cramming it on an IPOD. Is there a church of Nyguist, where I can hurl myself on it's steps, and beg for absolution?

Can we file a class action suit for fraud against all these DAC manufacturers, streaming services and music publishers claiming they are participants in a grand scheme of delusion?

Nah..

I'll just fire up the amps and remember that I, joyfully (I might say ecstatically) play music at any resolution and Nyquist can kiss my.............. In the collection I have, of music recorded over the last 120 years, I can subjectively tell higher resolutions when playing the same track. The only thing that bothers me is having to read through the prattle, telling me different (in every last mudda humping review).
 

DualTriode

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I have a noise budget. I have a SINAD budget in this order, first reduce noise, then reduce distortion. I have a dollar budget. I have a time budget.

It is Sunday night, I am going to spin some vinyl.

Thanks DT
 

DrIacozKnows

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How about a new comprehensive review and video.Dave Extremis..... Sandu has ears like a bat...background quiet better than Topping D90se...Amir measured both units with analyzer. For which he deserves thanks. But subjectively, DAVE is quieter and much wider...;):facepalm:


View attachment 238933
This Sandu guy is a huge joke with those saying
 

Billy Budapest

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Ohh Lawd! Thank you for explaining this! The scales have fallen from my ears. I'm going to sell all my dacs, trash my 20Tb of hi-res audio, after converting it all to low res, and cramming it on an IPOD. Is there a church of Nyguist, where I can hurl myself on it's steps, and beg for absolution?

Can we file a class action suit for fraud against all these DAC manufacturers, streaming services and music publishers claiming they are participants in a grand scheme of delusion?

Nah..

I'll just fire up the amps and remember that I, joyfully (I might say ecstatically) play music at any resolution and Nyquist can kiss my.............. In the collection I have, of music recorded over the last 120 years, I can subjectively tell higher resolutions when playing the same track. The only thing that bothers me is having to read through the prattle, telling me different (in every last mudda humping review).
Not sure why you are getting defensive. This is science, not religion, after all. Audio isn’t magic. It’s math.
 
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