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SMSL SU-6 Review (Desktop DAC)

i am waiting when the industry to take next step towards cheap dsp dacs with eq abitity
What I would like to see is something like the MiniDSP SHD without the built-in streamer and at a much lower price. EQ is nice, but sub integration is the cherry on top in my view.
 
is there no mistake? is it really smsl? looking good :)
 
There’s so many great DAC’s in the $100- $250 price range, it’s mind blowing. Every choice comes down to a single feature that’s included or absent. In a sense, a DAC has become a minor feature within an audio system rather than a major of component.
 
It's weirdly reminiscent of Khadas Tone Board
By the way, how man could explain that the Khadas Tone board have exactly the same THD+N vs Freq than the SMSL SU-6 filter 3
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:oops:
 
By the way, how man could explain that the Khadas Tone board have exactly the same THD+N vs Freq than the SMSL SU-6 filter 3
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:oops:

I would imagine it has to do with both of them using the same DAC chip (ES9038Q2M)
 
By the way, how man could explain that the Khadas Tone board have exactly the same THD+N vs Freq than the SMSL SU-6 filter 3
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:oops:

This shows up extremely often, it is a characteristic of the used filter, a programmed by ESS Sabre.
No big conspiracy :p
 
What you you think, a few more months and this comes out in a balanced version at $199?
I was just thinking exactly the same. Its not a criticism , just the nature of things but I kind of just wish SMSL, Topping etc would just keep their powder dry for a year or so and launch some really new stuff onto the market after a proper gap rather than this constant swapping/ changing of features, functions and pricing. Of course, in the current market, being seen to snooze is to lose I suppose.
 
They share the Ground with die USB Port anyways so Common mode Noise over the USB port is unaffected no matter if they use a spearate PSU or not.
So they need to (or better should have) implemented a Common mode filter anyways.
(something sadly not tested btw.)
So real life performance on a custom PC that has never been tested for EMC compliance can be significantly worse.


The separate power supply only helps with differential mode noise. Differential mode noise is no problem too dale with on DC lines.
Especially since they would have use local DCDC converters and Linear regulators anyways.
Sure, in theory yes, and I have no doubt you know your theory better than me. Now I tend to see things a bit more high level. The science behind perturbations is a bit ****** to study because perturbations is just that: Shit happens.
The basics of this is, when problems occurs, it's often not just one thing, here's the example, you have a significant error rate at the receiver:, start with a poor USB supply, add interferences on the cable, add less than Ideal filtering... No problem to deal with? Most of the time, yes ok, but we are engineerering toward not most of the time, but all the time.
Bottom line, it's never a bad idea to discard a potential problem away, even if it's not the main one, even if there are workarounds. Even if the risk of happening is small.
The thing is. Nobody would design a PCB with High power traces right next and parallel to a data trace right? You learn that quite early. For some reason it's OK with USB, yes there are standards and good practices to remediate that, but again, Shit happens.
 
Amazing they can do all that for that price, and have an internal PSU.

Does the bluetooth cause any interference or drop in quality?
But for what ?
I like some other SMSL devices, but this one, I don't really understand. I prefer some Topping devices in this price range, or the Tone2 Pro (even if the unbalanced performance is a bit lower than on this SMSL, only the balanced mode is a bit better but it's more versatile).
Or I would wait for the future enhanced model with balance outputs.
 
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OTOH... WHEN will Topping or SMSL enter the multichannel DAC arena!
The market for multichannel DACs is miniscule compared to stereo. These companies keep prices down with large scale manufacturing. Multichannel DAC market is too small to allow that. So I am not sure if they will ever produce such products.
 
I use SPDIFs with D50 and E30, I have got no issues :)
Those are the older DACs. They don't have the issues...it is only the newer models (this year?) that were reported to have the spdif problems.
It is a cute little thing, indeed might be tone board inspired. And with sweet display.. :)

Would say good job SMSL.
If this is tone board 2 inspired, perhaps the rca outputs could be balanced ? I hope this is so when smsl announce the specs. :)
 
The market for multichannel DACs is miniscule compared to stereo. These companies keep prices down with large scale manufacturing. Multichannel DAC market is too small to allow that. So I am not sure if they will ever produce such products.
Exactly. Look how many stereo amps there are versus multichannel amps (not including AV receivers). Most people have speakers with a single cord going to it.
 
I was just thinking exactly the same. Its not a criticism , just the nature of things but I kind of just wish SMSL, Topping etc would just keep their powder dry for a year or so and launch some really new stuff onto the market after a proper gap rather than this constant swapping/ changing of features, functions and pricing. Of course, in the current market, being seen to snooze is to lose I suppose.
As a consumer I disagree, keep them coming. Although I’m sure the manufacturers wish they had that luxury.
 
I’ll be honest, the difference in SINAD between channel one and two bothers me. I realize that it’s not within any noticeable threshold, but that kind of asymmetry bothers me, be it rational or not. Given that there are so many similarly priced units with similar features, I’d likely choose another.
 
As a consumer I disagree, keep them coming. Although I’m sure the manufacturers wish they had that luxury.
As a consumer, or as an Audio science review enthusiast about DAC tech? Not that there is anything wrong with that, but do you buy new dacs every other month?
 
As a consumer, or as an Audio science review enthusiast about DAC tech? Not that there is anything wrong with that, but do you buy new dacs every other month?
Month, no. But at these prices I may get one a year depending on the system I’m building at the time.
 
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