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SMSL SU-8 Version 2 Balanced DAC

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I am relatively new to the audio world so look for more opinions, but from the reviews it seems that they both are excellent value and similar in performance. I think you should look at their features and what you need or might need in the future, the SU8 has balanced outputs in addition to RCA out and a remote control while the D50 only supports RCA and no remote control.
The SU-8 also has a built in power supply so for those who don't want to power a D50 via USB to a PC there is the added benefit of not needing to buy one (or potentially stressing about the quality of whatever is used).

Comparing the unbalanced SU-8 results to the D50 there is very little in it as you say. The SU-8 SINAD is a tiny bit better but the D50's linearity is better. Although I think in practice this difference is pretty moot.
 
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The SU-8 also has a built in power supply so for those who don't want to power a D50 via USB to a PC there is the added benefit of not needing to buy one (or potentially stressing about the quality of whatever is used).

Comparing the unbalanced SU-8 results to the D50 there is very little in it as you say. The SU-8 SINAD is a tiny bit better but the D50's linearity is better. Although I think in practice this difference is pretty moot.
I was originally going to pick up the D50, but the built in power supply and balanced output swung me to the SU-8. Honestly, they are so close it would be hard to go wrong with either.
 
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So I caught the drop for the SU-8 a couple days ago JUST as i was going to buy from Amazon. Saved $50! But little concerned about the warranty... anyone know if I should check anything on the SU-8 before the return window ends?

Also caught the 789 drop so this should be a nice combo for my first headphone setup :)

I have a JDS Atom on the way to put the SU-8 through the paces.. 789 ships in May :(
 

frogmeat69

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So I caught the drop for the SU-8 a couple days ago JUST as i was going to buy from Amazon. Saved $50! But little concerned about the warranty... anyone know if I should check anything on the SU-8 before the return window ends?

Also caught the 789 drop so this should be a nice combo for my first headphone setup :)

I have a JDS Atom on the way to put the SU-8 through the paces.. 789 ships in May :(
That is a killer set up for your first rig, enjoy!!
 

GoMrPickles

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So I caught the drop for the SU-8 a couple days ago JUST as i was going to buy from Amazon. Saved $50! But little concerned about the warranty... anyone know if I should check anything on the SU-8 before the return window ends?

Also caught the 789 drop so this should be a nice combo for my first headphone setup :)

I have a JDS Atom on the way to put the SU-8 through the paces.. 789 ships in May :(
Just got mine today. SMSL SU-8, Massdrop THX 789, HD6XX's and my beloved Klipsh ProMedia 2.1 (to be replaced with studio monitors eventually). :D

I ordered a pair of balanced cables from Blue Jeans Cables, and pair of RCAs from Ghent Audio. Everything sounds fantastic.
 
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How does the SMSL-SU8 compare to the Topping D30 if I am not going to use balanced in the foreseeable future?

I bought one from Amazon, but I can still return it and got a D30 for really cheap (50 EUR).
I am going to hook it up to a Little Dot MKIII and I consider getting a THX AAA 789 on the next drop.
 

Veri

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How does the SMSL-SU8 compare to the Topping D30 if I am not going to use balanced in the foreseeable future?

I bought one from Amazon, but I can still return it and got a D30 for really cheap (50 EUR).
I am going to hook it up to a Little Dot MKIII and I consider getting a THX AAA 789 on the next drop.
If you stay unbalanced the D30 on the cheap would make sense. If you are set on getting the THX AAA later, keep the SU-8,
 

ZF1

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Hi everyone,
I have an A-S2000 yamaha amp, which XLR inputs (fully balanced design) are limited to 2.8V input voltage. Previously I had to lower my EMU 1616B soundcard output of -6dB otherwise I would end up with a fair amount of distorsion. I think it was designed for the dedicated CD Player. While being very intered with this SU-8 DAC, is it still wise to constrain myself to balanced output?
From what I've read the classical RCA inputs go through a stage conversion first to get balanced.
 
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If you stay unbalanced the D30 on the cheap would make sense. If you are set on getting the THX AAA later, keep the SU-8,
Well, since Beyer and all 3rd party manufacturers are charging a fortune for a balanced cable and just every inch of my body despises the idea to any more then 30 EUR for a cable, I am going to stay unbalanced. A Topping D30 + JDS Atom is probably the best way to go in my use case.
 
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Colin,
I also bought my balanced m/f cable from Ghent Audio like GoMrPickles. The price for the 1ft cable is only $12 US each or $24 total including shipping (unclear on EU pricing). http://www.ghentaudio.com/part/a03.html I felt like the price was quite good, and i just used the 2 connectors to connect my SU8 to THX AAA 789 w/out any issues.
 

Marlowe

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I just ordered a balanced five foot cable for my Sennheiser HD700 from Periapt for $65 with free shipping. I've heard mixed, but mostly good, things about their cables and am anxious to try it. Frankly, I'm sure they won't be as nice in look or feel as the very nice 1/4 inch cables I have from Ursine for the HD700 and HD6XX, which go for roughly double the cost of Periapt (though the cost could be more or less depending on choice of material, connectors, and splitter). I would have bought this cable from Ursine (my choices for a four foot cable would have been roughly $125 plus shipping) but his current wait for delivery is as long as four months (my previous cables took about two months). That's insane.
 
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Colin,
Understood. I bought a balanced cable for my HD6XX and have been hesitant to swap it out as I don't want to weaken the connectors on the cans. I then decided to just leave the stock cable alone on the HD58X to use w/everything else. I had some noise/hum issues w/my Schiit gear and HD6XX that are now resolved w/the SU8/789 combo using the balanced path w/the balanced cable to HD6XX, however, based on what I have read here, it might be the Jotunheim and Multibit that was the issue in the first place.
 
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The balanced headphone cable i ordered was the now $70 cable from Venus Audio on Ebay. Item# 173652171722 It's a nice cable, but pretty thick/heavy.
 

Ron Texas

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Is it possible to have both the RCA and balanced outputs active at the same time so as to run a balanced amplifier off one pair and an unbalanced subwoofer off the other pair?
 
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Is it possible to have both the RCA and balanced outputs active at the same time so as to run a balanced amplifier off one pair and an unbalanced subwoofer off the other pair?
Yes you can, and the volume control works on both outputs at the same time. You cannot have them controlled independently though..
 
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Is it possible to have both the RCA and balanced outputs active at the same time so as to run a balanced amplifier off one pair and an unbalanced subwoofer off the other pair?
Mine is running like that right now. XLR out is connected to my active speakers, and RCA out is active at the same time to my headphone amp (currently an LDMK2 on which I am doing some tube burn in). So yes, definitely. Both are volume controlled.
 
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Hi everyone,
I have an A-S2000 yamaha amp, which XLR inputs (fully balanced design) are limited to 2.8V input voltage. Previously I had to lower my EMU 1616B soundcard output of -6dB otherwise I would end up with a fair amount of distorsion. I think it was designed for the dedicated CD Player. While being very intered with this SU-8 DAC, is it still wise to constrain myself to balanced output?
From what I've read the classical RCA inputs go through a stage conversion first to get balanced.
I don't think that last bit is true. Or at least my understanding from this thread was the opposite - the RCA signal is produced as a final step from an inherently balanced design. The measured performance for the balanced outputs is also a little bit better FWIW.

You can achieve the voltage attenuation you want by just reducing the SU-8 volume. IIRC @amirm did some measurements at -6dB in the original version thread, so he may be able to advise what volume setting to use.
 
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ZF1

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I don't think that last bit is true. Or at least my understanding from this thread was the opposite - the RCA signal is produced as a final step from an inherently balanced design. The measured performance for the balanced outputs is also a little bit better FWIW.

You can achieve the voltage attenuation you want by just reducing the SU-8 volume. IIRC @amirm did some measurements at -6dB in the original version thread, so he may be able to advise what volume setting to use.
Sorry, my words generated misunderstanding. I am talking about RCA inputs of the AS2000.
 
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Colin,
I also bought my balanced m/f cable from Ghent Audio like GoMrPickles. The price for the 1ft cable is only $12 US each or $24 total including shipping (unclear on EU pricing). http://www.ghentaudio.com/part/a03.html I felt like the price was quite good, and i just used the 2 connectors to connect my SU8 to THX AAA 789 w/out any issues.
hrbngr,

I'm just looking to run unbalanced at the moment for my setup. (PC USB or SPDIF > SU-8 > 789 > 58X

So what cables do you recommend? RCA interconnect? or just go with the Ghent balanced?
 
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