• WANTED: Happy members who like to discuss audio and other topics related to our interest. Desire to learn and share knowledge of science required. There are many reviews of audio hardware and expert members to help answer your questions. Click here to have your audio equipment measured for free!

SMSL SU-10 DAC Review

Rate this DAC:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

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

    Votes: 14 3.9%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 56 15.6%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 276 77.1%

  • Total voters
    358

tomchris

Active Member
Joined
May 14, 2021
Messages
210
Likes
416
Location
Denmark
SINAD aside, there is much differentiation to be made yet. Technical achievement is only part of the user experience.
 

BR52

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
Apr 3, 2021
Messages
579
Likes
497
Location
Germany
I believe the ES9039PRO is pin compatible with the 9038, so I am wondering why SMSL did not go with the new chip. It’s just a matter of time for ESS to ramp up production.
Hopefully 9039 has a better output stage.
Overstock? 2 for one dac.
 

formdissolve

Senior Member
Forum Donor
Joined
Jul 19, 2019
Messages
431
Likes
352
Location
USA
Damn, and I JUST got the M400... Only reason I'd swap is the excellent performance under optical/coax compared to the M400
 

J.S.

New Member
Joined
Nov 18, 2020
Messages
3
Likes
5
The measurement results are excellent, but what about the sound?
Operational amplifiers used - 21 pieces of OPA1612. Shame, no change for the better. I don't like the sound signature of these op amps.
 

Lupin

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
Feb 11, 2021
Messages
590
Likes
982
The measurement results are excellent, but what about the sound?
Operational amplifiers used - 21 pieces of OPA1612. Shame, no change for the better. I don't like the sound signature of these op amps.
:oops:
 

amper42

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Dec 21, 2020
Messages
1,693
Likes
2,513
With the Top 20 SINAD measuring DACs all within 3dB of each other it would be nice to include feature comparisons in ASR reviews and perhaps a listening test. I have the RME ADI-2 and the D90SE. While the D90SE comes out ahead in ASR SINAD tests, I much prefer the ADI-2 for my main sound system. That lead me to realize SINAD scores play a smaller emphasis in my product purchases.
 

Geert

Major Contributor
Joined
Mar 20, 2020
Messages
1,973
Likes
3,644
Operational amplifiers used - 21 pieces of OPA1612. Shame, no change for the better. I don't like the sound signature of these op amps.

Indeed, they should have use the 1$ ne5534 opamps used in different SOTA recording consoles.
 

Jim777

Active Member
Forum Donor
Joined
May 28, 2019
Messages
124
Likes
204
Location
Greater Boston
Nice to see such high performing equipment. I'm kind of happy I can't live without the RME's loudness feature though, cause I'd have the urge to upgrade all the time!
 

gavagai

Member
Joined
Jul 17, 2022
Messages
21
Likes
47
Location
France
Lower distortion measurements are possible with an external notch filter. See Wolf's review of the Cosmos APU.

I think that that's already the case in the dashboard. As I have uderstood it, the APx555 present a synthetic view of two measurement : with and without a notch filter. This is why you can see at the same time the test signal and distortions as low as -140dB.

Am I wrong ?
 

sarumbear

Master Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Aug 15, 2020
Messages
7,604
Likes
7,328
Location
UK
It is a parody that we already have three poor votes…
 

PeteL

Major Contributor
Joined
Jun 1, 2020
Messages
3,303
Likes
3,851
Oh no, a company that designs state of the art D/A converters and headphone amplifiers wants to put its product out there? There is nothing stopping other brands sending in their stuff, but they don't do that. Why? Because they have everything to lose, because their products most likely don't feature the technical excellence we expect these days. Of course there are exceptions such as RME and Benchmark, but most companies don't market their products based on performance. They prefer What Hifi to print a sponsored advertisement, sorry...meant to say review.
I don't think you got my point. Many design their products with more than just one design goal, I did not say performance is not important, but not everybody need 123 dB SINAD, In fact, who really need that?and if this is not your main focus as a manufacturer, It don't mean you released a poor product, it just mean that ASR will not be your main marketing channel.
 

staticV3

Master Contributor
Joined
Aug 29, 2019
Messages
8,319
Likes
13,393
I think that that's already the case in the dashboard. As I have uderstood it, the APx555 present a synthetic view of two measurement : with and without a notch filter. This is why you can see at the same time the test signal and distortions as low as -140dB.

Am I wrong ?
Correct. The x555 uses an internal notch already. Still, the Cosmos APU can extend its measurement rage by another 30dB SINAD.
 

Robbo99999

Master Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Jan 23, 2020
Messages
7,062
Likes
6,934
Location
UK
I voted this as just "Fine", we don't need expensive over designed DACS - expensive due to the over design or their ability to eek out the last remnants of SINAD. It's probably just not a smart or necessary buy because of that, so I'm being more of a realist in terms of the voting. Of course it measures great though.
 

xnor

Active Member
Joined
Jan 12, 2022
Messages
193
Likes
207
I won't hear that 0.00001% difference in SINAD. But I will see that display each time I look at the device.
I think that is a quite good description of what the audiophile hobby is for a lot of people out there.
 

Billy Budapest

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Oct 11, 2019
Messages
1,867
Likes
2,807
I voted this as just "Fine", we don't need expensive over designed DACS - expensive due to the over design or their ability to eke out the last remnants of SINAD. It's probably just not a smart or necessary buy because of that, so I'm being more of a realist in terms of the voting. Of course it measures great though.
DAC performance surpassed the threshold of audibility many, many years ago. Manufacturers will continue to build better performing DACs and no one will be able to hear any differences, not only due to the DACs’ absolute performance but also particularly because downstream equipment is almost always noisier and produces more distortion. So it’s not about the ability to “eke out the last remnants of SINAD,” but rather the ability to produce gear with lower amounts of noise and distortion. In other words, what manufacturers have always done. Marketing hi-fi is often numbers-driven. Remember the 80’s when every single amplifier sell sheet proudly proclaimed its THD percentages? Same thing.
 
Top Bottom