• WANTED: Happy members who like to discuss audio and other topics related to our interest. Desire to learn and share knowledge of science required as is 20 years of participation in forums (not all true). Come here to have fun, be ready to be teased and not take online life too seriously. We now measure and review equipment for free! Click here for details.

SMSL SU-8 Version 2 Balanced DAC

Joined
Mar 29, 2018
Messages
25
Likes
13
Location
Bilbao, Spain
I received yesterday my SU-8 from shenzhenaudio, shipped in a week to Spain. I'm happy so far, I use it with coaxial from a blu-ray unbalanced to a mixer and powered speakers in an auditorium. Improvement is there, in music mids are clearer and more isolated from bass, which is more controlled. In movies, dynamics are better and specially I can turn up the volume without distorsion or unpleasantness. Difference is subtle in my system (which is not high end) comparing both outputs live but during session I feel sound is better, more natural. I know my system well and notice improvement during audition.
Filters will take time to ascertain, you definitely need good equipment to make out, for the moment I use default Fast linear and Standard. Apodizing and Original sound interesting but I prefer default for the moment.
The units feels substantial and transformer seem to run hot being new. Remote is nice, volume is 40 steps, equal in volume from other sources. It is a good product and excellent value. I am satisfied. Thanks for comments and analisys.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Feb 17, 2019
Messages
32
Likes
1
Hi there---tomorrow I will get the Topping D7sx from Shenzen audio---a bit high import fees---I m glad because today I changed one of the woofers of my diy behemoths---
 
Joined
Dec 30, 2018
Messages
84
Likes
27
Location
UK
Hi I aldy hv the topping D50. Should I go for the smsl su8
I'd have thought the only reason to would be if you need balanced outputs. The differences in measured performance are tiny.
 
Joined
Oct 18, 2018
Messages
84
Likes
70
I also picked up an SH-8 to go with my SU-8 and was pleasantly surprised by it. I am using balanced cables between the two and primarily using my Amiron Home with a balanced cable and it sounds better than my Multibit Bifrost/Asgaard 2 combo, runs much cooler and has no obnoxious ground noise. Having a remote that controls both is a connivence that I am quickly coming to love.
If you are using the single ended output of the SH-8 amp, make sure you're also using RCA inputs, because it's gonna sound better.
Try it yourself, connecting both balanced and RCA inputs and then switching back and forward with the remote, you'll notice instantly better bass texture, more open sound and slightly increased soundstage with RCA to Single ended vs. Balanced to Single ended.
Don't ask me why but to me it makes a big difference!
 
Joined
Dec 30, 2018
Messages
84
Likes
27
Location
UK
If you are using the single ended output of the SH-8 amp, make sure you're also using RCA inputs, because it's gonna sound better.
Try it yourself, connecting both balanced and RCA inputs and then switching back and forward with the remote, you'll notice instantly better bass texture, more open sound and slightly increased soundstage with RCA to Single ended vs. Balanced to Single ended.
Don't ask me why but to me it makes a big difference!
Isn't switching back and forth likely to have a level matching issue which would potentially bias a comparison?
 
Joined
Oct 18, 2018
Messages
84
Likes
70
Isn't switching back and forth likely to have a level matching issue which would potentially bias a comparison?
Since i'm using a XLR y splitter cable from the DAC, one part of the signal goes to the speakers (which are turned off when using SH-8).
I'm not sure if that's the issue here (although it's a very good quality splitter).

Yes I've noticed the volume difference, and measured (in my case) a drop of 1,38dB on the BALANCED input (maybe due to the splitter?)
But I've also noted a difference in the actual sound, the difference was tangible.

The fun fact is that now I can't hear the difference anymore, WTF is happening? Also I want to point out that this was the first time trying balanced inputs of the SH-8.. Maybe it's just placebo!
 
Last edited:
Joined
Feb 13, 2019
Messages
15
Likes
5
Location
NJ, USA
I have ordered my SU-8 from ShengenAudio on Feb 12. I contacted them yesterday and they said it will take an extra week before it ships due to the Chinese holiday order volume. WTH? 15 days before something ships??
 
Joined
Dec 30, 2018
Messages
84
Likes
27
Location
UK
I have ordered my SU-8 from ShengenAudio on Feb 12. I contacted them yesterday and they said it will take an extra week before it ships due to the Chinese holiday order volume. WTH? 15 days before something ships??
Couldn't you get it faster from Amazon?
 

Marlowe

New Member
Joined
Feb 20, 2019
Messages
2
Likes
0
Location
New Jersey
That's why I ordered mine this morning from Amazon and will have it on Friday. I'm retired and had to wait for my SS payment to be deposited before I purchased, so I missed ShengenAudio 's sale by a few hours, or I might have bought it even with slower shipping. Also, if there are any issues requiring a return, I figure it's a lot easier to deal with Amazon in the US (even if the actual seller even from Amazon is ShengenAudio ) than having to ship it from the US to China.
 
Joined
Jan 29, 2019
Messages
62
Likes
36
Mine arrived today, I will try to do something resembling a review in the near future, but from the very first minute there is an enormous improvement on my LSR305s in comparison to my Schiit Fulla 2 with a 3.5 stereo jack to double XLR. The SU-8 is connected with a good XLR cable and all the noise I had before has disappeared. There is also so much more detail that it is staggering. I can't say how much of it is due to the XLR connection and how much due to a better DAC, but I've played some stuff I know very well and this is just a totally different league.

So far heard with FLAC files in Foobar: Ben Harper - Diamonds on the Inside; Andrew Bird - Danse Caribe; Amy Winehouse - Rehab; Michael Jackson - Billie Jean; Led Zeppelin - Whole Lotta Love, Ramble On; Metallica - One...and so many I already have in mind I "have to hear asap"...

Thanks Amir for the heads up on this one, it is definitely more than working for me! I did end up buying a Little Dot MK2 with some matched tube pairs for rolling at the same time because the Atom you suggested is not available in Europe yet. Also arrived today! Now I have my hands full, heh...
 

Jaimo

Active Member
Patreon Donor
Joined
Feb 16, 2018
Messages
102
Likes
57
Location
Toronto, Canada
Hey Snowsurfer! When did you place your order with Shenzhen? Placed my order on Feb8 and it’s still in “processing”
 
Joined
Jan 29, 2019
Messages
62
Likes
36
Hey Snowsurfer! When did you place your order with Shenzhen? Placed my order on Feb8 and it’s still in “processing”
Hey there! I placed it on the 4th, wrote them on the 5th due to not receiving any info, and got a reply within the hour telling me that orders will be handled from the 11th onwards due to Chinese New Year holidays. On the 12th the order was already in the system and had a tracking number. They had a banner on their site from the 11th (I think), saying how due to many orders during the New Years sales, orders would be dispatched from the 18th onwards. I've received quick answers whenever I wrote (and I wrote like 5 or 6 times, placed an additional order, wrote about that too...). I think that the sale combined with everyone off during that whole week probably piled those orders up, but they were transparent and always answered very quickly.

After all this, and when the order was sent, I ordered a Little Dot MK2, and they sent it via DHL Express for free, so both orders ended up arriving on the same day. Even though this ended up costing me some customs fees (with DHL you always pay them, with regular post you usually don't with this size of a package), but I very much appreciate the gesture. I will keep buying there (this was my first time buying from them).

Oh and this was delivered to Madrid, you are in Canada, I have no idea how that affects logistics in this case.
 

GoMrPickles

Member
Patreon Donor
Joined
Nov 6, 2018
Messages
77
Likes
73
Hey Snowsurfer! When did you place your order with Shenzhen? Placed my order on Feb8 and it’s still in “processing”
I ordered mine the same day, and their site says the same thing about my order. I figure they'll ship it once they have inventory. I'm knowingly trading this shipping delay for a $38 lower price vs Amazon.
 
Joined
Feb 13, 2019
Messages
14
Likes
3
I did some blind AB-Tests with the SMSL SU-8 yesterday, comparing it to my Creative X7 using a passive switch and Virtual Audio cable and my girlfriend connecting the two DACs in random order, so I didn't know which switch setting was which DAC. There was absolutely no difference. I could not for the life of it discern between the two. The digital filters and tonality settings also made no difference whatsoever. I am going to keep the X7, since it is superior feature-wise and offers more connection options.
 
Joined
Dec 30, 2018
Messages
84
Likes
27
Location
UK
Out o
I did some blind AB-Tests with the SMSL SU-8 yesterday, comparing it to my Creative X7 using a passive switch and Virtual Audio cable and my girlfriend connecting the two DACs in random order, so I didn't know which switch setting was which DAC. There was absolutely no difference. I could not for the life of it discern between the two. The digital filters and tonality settings also made no difference whatsoever. I am going to keep the X7, since it is superior feature-wise and offers more connection options.
What was the rest of the system out of interest?

Edit: there are some performance measurements for the Creative X7 DAC in the following link, from which I think it's not surprising that you couldn't hear a difference:

https://reference-audio-analyzer.pro/en/report/dac/creative-x7-le.php#rw22
 
Last edited:
Joined
Feb 21, 2019
Messages
2
Likes
1
To change the old version to V1.2, you only need to solder one wire as the picture below:

Thanks for yue's and amir's reminding.

To clarify It is important that you unsolder the anode of the diode as well. The anode should be detached from the board, and then connected to the +9v line on the other side of the board.

If you didn't have any electronic knowledge , don't do that!

把原先的二极管的阳级从电路板上焊下来,再用导线接到板子另一端的+9v引脚上,
否则短路9伏到5伏上会损坏机器,切记!切记!切记!
无动手能力与不懂电子知识人员请不要自行改装!


View attachment 18234
View attachment 18230 View attachment 18231
Hi SMSL-Mandy,
Hoping for some clarification:
1) In terms of the red wire and diode, or the upgrade, do you have a before an after photo, which ties into my next question,
2) Understanding that if you don't have electrical knowledge then this upgrade shouldn't be attempted, where/what is the "anode of the diode" that should be un-soldered?
Thanks
 
Top Bottom