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SMSL SU-8 Version 2 Balanced DAC

Veri

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You should educate yourself before making meaningless assertions.
Educate how, what are you talking about? Feel free to enlighten us? This DAC has 0.00035% distortion you're not going to tell us you can hear distortion differences at this small a level are you?

Or do you simply prefer the possibly less transparent device you've been used to using for possibly many years...?
 
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Distorsion figures mean nothing in a real audition test. I am not saying distortion in specs, but distorsion in my perception listening to it compared to another dac in a reference environment.
It is a 200€ device, not gold. You say completely transparent. That is impossible. Every dac sounds different.
 
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Veri

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It is a 200€ device, not gold. You say completely transparent. That is impossible. Every dac sounds different.
This is absolutely, one hundred percent invalid as has been TIME and time again tested by a BLIND test comparing non-broken DACs (so no humming tube output stage or other intentional defect). Every DAC sounds different, lol have you got anything whatsoever to back this up?

This is a science forum, you don't barge in here with 15 posts and declare stuff like that as an absolute truth. Just, no.
 
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This is absolutely, one hundred percent invalid as has been TIME and time again tested by a BLIND test comparing non-broken DACs (so no tube output stage or other horrid intentional defect). Every DAC sounds different, lol have you got anything whatsoever to back this up?

This is a science forum, you don't barge in here with 15 posts and declare stuff like that as an absolute truth. Just, no.
Every DAC sounds different. As simple as that. Here people review different DACs. Different hardware. Different sound. I have compared my impression on two different dacs, one being the title of this thread. So I think it is relevant. I am not talking of absolute truth. I reported my impression and testing conditions. Absolute truth is the guy who said ' SMSL DAC is completely transparent'. That is zero scientific.
 
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Every DAC sounds different. As simple as that. Here people review different DACs. Different hardware. Different sound. I have compared my impression on two different dacs, one being the title of this thread. So I think it is relevant. I am not talking of absolute truth. I reported my impression and testing conditions. Absolute truth is the guy who said ' SMSL DAC is completely transparent'. That is zero scientific.
Your uncontrolled sighted listening test is not scientific, drawing the conclusion this dac is completely transparent is based on the objective data we have on this dac and human hearing.
 
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there is a bump around 2.5-4 Khz, the top end is rolled-off
Assessed how?

The measured frequency response published in this thread shows no such midrange bump, and the speaker output measurements I've made myself don't show a peak like this (compared with another DAC) either.

Edit: actually looking at your later post it seems your impressions are being influenced by the room response, rather than just the DAC itself.
 
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Your uncontrolled sighted listening test is not scientific, drawing the conclusion this dac is completely transparent is based on the objective data we have on this dac and human hearing.
My listening test is scientific in that it is in a controlled equipment settings and comparing to another hardware's dac. Of course they are my impressions of my own hearing. I am not evaluating 'transparency' in a frequency analysys result, but transparency as I hear music from one to another equimment and what sounds better and more faithful to me.

Every model of dac sounds different because hardware and chip implementation is different. I don't see how this can be debatable. Here these dacs are compared in a subjective listening test. There are also subjective reviews on the net comparing dacs so they must be different.

I am evaluating this dac mainly by comparing to another one in this same room and equiment. I can assert that I don't like how this dac sounds comparing to another. I have tested this dac Dac at home with my actual equipment and can think give my impression compared to my other dacs hoping this can be useful. If this isn't the place for that I won't post this anymore.

About the midrange bump, it is about the frequencies I was hearing live during a song in a player's spectrum analyser as I heard them playing and identifying the sound I didn't like. I admit that this is not scientific.
 
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Every model of dac sounds different because hardware and chip implementation is different. I don't see how this can be debatable.
It becomes debatable when comparing two DACs where the measurable differences in performance are so small as to be below the threshold of what is likely to be audible. So this is not to say that all DACs sound the same, but equally technology has developed to the extent that many objectively probably do, and as such your statement that 'all DACs sound different' becomes contentious. I know nothing about the performance of your other DAC to comment on this specific case.

The way to objectively test to see if differences are audible would be by means of a properly conducted blind listening test (including ensuring level matching between the two DACs).

You're totally entitled to your opinion that you like the SU-8 DAC less than your other one, but your claim that the SU-8 has a peak in its response in a particular frequency range is, with respect, demonstrably incorrect.
 
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I got my SU-8 a few days ago from Massdrop. I am pretty impressed with it. I am using the balanced outs and am starting to notice pops when the file format or resolution changes. I didn't have that with my old DAC, which was single ended and I just tried the RCA outs from he SU-8 and I don't get any pops when the format/resolution changes. I am using FOOBAR2000 as the player on a windows 10 pc.

Are pops normal when there is a change in file format and/or resolution with balanced outs on this DAC? Or is that just because of the balanced outs and would be the same as other DACs using balanced outs?
 
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I got my SU-8 a few days ago from Massdrop. I am pretty impressed with it. I am using the balanced outs and am starting to notice pops when the file format or resolution changes. I didn't have that with my old DAC, which was single ended and I just tried the RCA outs from he SU-8 and I don't get any pops when the format/resolution changes. I am using FOOBAR2000 as the player on a windows 10 pc.

Are pops normal when there is a change in file format and/or resolution with balanced outs on this DAC? Or is that just because of the balanced outs and would be the same as other DACs using balanced outs?
I'm using this DAC with balanced out with Windows 10 and JRiver 24. No pops when I change file formats or resolutions.
 

Jaimo

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I got my SU-8 a few days ago from Massdrop. I am pretty impressed with it. I am using the balanced outs and am starting to notice pops when the file format or resolution changes. I didn't have that with my old DAC, which was single ended and I just tried the RCA outs from he SU-8 and I don't get any pops when the format/resolution changes. I am using FOOBAR2000 as the player on a windows 10 pc.

Are pops normal when there is a change in file format and/or resolution with balanced outs on this DAC? Or is that just because of the balanced outs and would be the same as other DACs using balanced outs?
Yes, I hear a low level pop when sample rates change. Nothing startling though. A bigger concern is the occasional thump when I turn the unit on.
 
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Yes, I hear a low level pop when sample rates change. Nothing startling though. A bigger concern is the occasional thump when I turn the unit on.
I haven't had a thump yet, but the pops are not that loud. I didn't notice them the first couple of days but most of my music is CD rips, so maybe I just didn't catch it. If its normal then fair enough. I don't get any pops with the RCA outs. My unit is firmware 1.6.
 
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Yes, I hear a low level pop when sample rates change. Nothing startling though. A bigger concern is the occasional thump when I turn the unit on.
I'm not sure what your setup is but for myself I always make sure my power amp is off when switching the DAC on or off to avoid any such thumps potentially damaging my speakers. In a headphone setup I'd make sure the headphone amp is either muted or off. I'd say this is good practice for all sources BTW, not something specific to the SU-8.

There is a very quiet click when I switch inputs but it's not a concern to me. I don't play content with varying format/resolution to comment on that. This is using the balanced outputs. I don't think this is a fault BTW.

I'm not sure why this should be different for unbalanced outputs, unless it's just a result of the lower unbalanced output level meaning it's less noticeable?
 
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I can also confirm the pops when changing sample rates on SU-8 version 1.2. They are very loud for me using XLR to powered studio monitors. So much so, I've had to resample everything in Foobar to a consistent rate. Does anyone know any other ways to mitigate this?
 
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Diego,

Your dac must be in trouble. Here, with my integrated Luxman and my 200 Golds, you play wonderfully well and with great transparency. Great dsd. In fact, it is a dac that reproduces very naturally and does not add many bass and treble.
 
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