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SMSL SU-9 Balanced DAC Review

Shoaibexpert

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Hi @SHENZHENAUDIO

I got the below SU-9 from China last week. Below is the SN on the box and the unit itself. I read that the DAC 6xxxx was the newer SN...or is this the new one? Just wanna know if this is updated and how can I confirm that please?

20210903_170625.jpg

20210903_170129.jpg

Thanks
 
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muslhead

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After all the bad info that has been provided do you feel you can trust any response you get?
Willing to endure this for a dac (so many better alternatives for less money) shows the size of your huevos.
I feel for you man.
 

Lupin

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To be honest I don't really understand why people keep posting serial numbers here. Contact your reseller, they can tell you more then some random person on a forum.

Yes I know Shenzenaudio and SMSL representatives are active here but still it faster to contact them directly then to post your serial number and hope one of the representatives will pickup on it.
 

muslhead

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Yes I know Shenzenaudio and SMSL representatives are active here but still it faster to contact them directly then to post your serial number and hope one of the representatives will pickup on it.

And, just as importantly, hope they give you an honest and correct answer
 

Shoaibexpert

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To be honest I don't really understand why people keep posting serial numbers here. Contact your reseller, they can tell you more then some random person on a forum.

Yes I know Shenzenaudio and SMSL representatives are active here but still it faster to contact them directly then to post your serial number and hope one of the representatives will pickup on it.
It's about getting to the bottom of it in the public domain as I feel it's not yet definitive if the newer lots of SU-9s are updated. I have units that went and came back from US and I know/confirmed that they were patched from the reseller. Then I got my hands on this newer unit with the new SN (ignoring what, whys...) and in my subjective opinion this newer unit is darker sounding...kinda like my older units were before they went on the US trip (I could be wrong and this could be placebo!)

This helps us as in my opinion/research there isn't a TOTL DAC at this price point with the same features and that sounds so brilliant! I mean most Toppings are just getting too expensive and I got my SU-9s (two of them) at $399 no taxes from HiFiGo who btw have been extremely responsive and helpful throughout this mess. It's a shame new users of this brilliant DAC can't be sure if it's been patched (not updating the SW version doesn't help here either...) and if they are really hearing what this thing can do... really no need to upgrade any time soon for me.

To each their own...
 

muslhead

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Usually there are reasons why "brilliant" items are priced under their value or market for similar or lesser products.
Sometimes these reasons are not product related but Company reasons. Things that come to mind are poor support, bad policies, poor reliability, etc. Ask @nothingman for some other, real life, examples.
As much as I may like SMSL products, I will NEVER purchase another due to some, or all of the above reasons.
You seem to be placing a much lesser value on them which is your choice. I wish you the best in getting the answers you seek. Many before you have tried and failed.
 

WoollyGeezer

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I get occasional static coming from my SMSL SU-9. Just to verify, I have tried the setup on another PC/optical connection to a TV/Bluetooth to a phone. I have swapped out the interconnects, headphone amp, headphone cables, and headphones. Still get a very minor intermittent static sound that I have not had on my previous few dacs.

I love the su-9 itself but clearly the static is bugging me and considering I am still within my 30 days of purchase I am going to return the item. Do I go for another SU-9 considering it ticks the boxes and perhaps I was unlucky with the unit or do I go for something with high-quality parts (perhaps they cheaped out on the internals considering the price/feature ratio on the SU-9 is probably the best.)

I have been searching high and low for a quality DAC under 700$ that will last.

Any recommendations? I love having Bluetooth considering my partner likes to sit down and listen without having to go through my PC etc.

I have been strongly debating between the d70s and D1se.
 

reddie.k

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I get occasional static coming from my SMSL SU-9. Just to verify, I have tried the setup on another PC/optical connection to a TV/Bluetooth to a phone. I have swapped out the interconnects, headphone amp, headphone cables, and headphones. Still get a very minor intermittent static sound that I have not had on my previous few dacs.

I love the su-9 itself but clearly the static is bugging me and considering I am still within my 30 days of purchase I am going to return the item. Do I go for another SU-9 considering it ticks the boxes and perhaps I was unlucky with the unit or do I go for something with high-quality parts (perhaps they cheaped out on the internals considering the price/feature ratio on the SU-9 is probably the best.)

I have been searching high and low for a quality DAC under 700$ that will last.

Any recommendations? I love having Bluetooth considering my partner likes to sit down and listen without having to go through my PC etc.

I have been strongly debating between the d70s and D1se.

Do you need the xlr outputs?

I had a similar problem (intermittent sound - but no static) with the optical input in a tv and I fixed it by increasing DPLL to 10.
 

WoollyGeezer

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Do you need the xlr outputs?

I had a similar problem (intermittent sound - but no static) with the optical input in a tv and I fixed it by increasing DPLL to 10.

My pretty interconnects are XLR :D

However, I had the same issue with my optical LG CX and yes DPLL fixed it (would cut out every 30seconds for half a second).

The slight static is an entirely different issue.
 

Sean Park

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Dear Shenzhenaudio,

I have received SU-9 today(6th Sep. 2021)
By the way, I realized that the 3rd harmonic issue on old firmware.
So, could you check my SU-9 was installed latest firmware by checking the S/N(3200010200432).

Regards,
Sean Park
 

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khark

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Input type is irrelevant in this case... it is simply when playing any stereo signal, one channel has high 3rd harmonic distortion.

The reason i brought this up is that SPDIF with the Su-9 sounds much, much better than USB, at least in my rig. Then again, it's MUCH LOUDER and i don't know why, have to use something like 16-30 vol compared to 70-90 with USB. Maybe the lower volume is masking some things, dunno.
 

Roland68

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The reason i brought this up is that SPDIF with the Su-9 sounds much, much better than USB, at least in my rig. Then again, it's MUCH LOUDER and i don't know why, have to use something like 16-30 vol compared to 70-90 with USB. Maybe the lower volume is masking some things, dunno.
If your USB connection is so much quieter, something is wrong.
Presumably, the volume of your source is digitally reduced via USB, which could also significantly worsen the sound.
Normally there should be no volume differences via USB, optical and SPDIF.
 

khark

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If your USB connection is so much quieter, something is wrong.
Presumably, the volume of your source is digitally reduced via USB, which could also significantly worsen the sound.
Normally there should be no volume differences via USB, optical and SPDIF.

Yes, i think so too. Probably an issue with the outgoing ports and not the Su-9.
 

beq1990

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ShenzhenAudio sent me a replacement unit. The serial number of the new unit is DAC63164. I will measure the output of the DAC during the next days to confirm that it has the updated firmware.
I finally measured the output of both the new and old units and the third harmonic problem is present only on the old one. At least now I'm sure the replacement unit has the updated firmware.
 

muslhead

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I finally measured the output of both the new and old units and the third harmonic problem is present only on the old one. At least now I'm sure the replacement unit has the updated firmware.
Can you share how you measured it?
Thanks
 

beq1990

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Can you share how you measured it?
Thanks
Yes, I used a scarlett 2i2 audio interface and REW software for the measurements (with ASIO4ALL drivers for both the SU-9 and the scarlett). I connected the SU-9 DAC ouputs to the scarlett line inputs (with XLR to TRS cables). The right channel measurements give similar results for the old and the new SU-9. For the left channel I have the following results on the new unit (with updated firmware):
SMSL_SU9_new_unit_left.PNG


and the following results for the old unit:
SMSL_SU9_old_unit_left.PNG
 

muslhead

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Yes, I used a scarlett 2i2 audio interface and REW software for the measurements (with ASIO4ALL drivers for both the SU-9 and the scarlett). I connected the SU-9 DAC ouputs to the scarlett line inputs (with XLR to TRS cables). The right channel measurements give similar results for the old and the new SU-9. For the left channel I have the following results on the new unit (with updated firmware):
View attachment 152178

and the following results for the old unit:
View attachment 152179
ok, thanks for posting. Was hoping there was a way i could do it but i dont have any equipment
 
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