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Survey:What kind of products do you want in 2019?From S.M.S.L

Oukkidoukki

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Joined
Sep 6, 2018
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#81
Must work 15 years, built like a tank! It will be classic like technics turntable. Best capacitors etc...everything top notch....proper test drive, not one will be returned! Toyota of dacs! Engine like Ferrari!
 

Elclodge

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Dec 2, 2018
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#82
Any product based on AKM AK4493 or even the new AK4499 would be fantasitic. Also need the ability to access the filter fuctions that dac chip itself provides (whether by software or remote control).
 

Roen

Addicted to Fun and Learning
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Oct 14, 2018
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#83
@SMSL-Mandy

DAC Target:

Since no one else has done this:
AK chip DAC, 4493 or newer (Preferably 4499)
Has a display
Supports DSD512 or higher
Powered by 5V
Single cable for USB data and power
Coaxial In
Optical In
Measures as well as or better than Tone Board / DAC1
Similar portable size to Topping D50
Multiple color options
2V RMS SE Output (Balanced Out optional)
Volume Control (Attenuation) that works with both PCM and DSD on the DAC
Competitive with Topping D50 Singles' Day Pricing

Amp Target:

Focus on great desktop performance while ensuring that battery-operated performance is adequate in terms of power delivery, measurements should be excellent regardless of power source
Measures as well as JDS Atom / THX AAA 789
Portable (i.e. can operate fully on batteries) - Similar to Objective2 size (L X W dimensions, H dimension can be unrestricted to allow for more features)
RCA L/R SE In
3.5mm (Optional 1/4") SE Out (Or include a 1/4" to 3.5" Adapter)
At least two gain stages, with one being unity gain
Maximum power before clipping to exceed Objective2, preferably achieving JDS Atom-like power on AC power when plugged into the wall.
Maximum voltage on batteries to be at least 65% of maximum voltage on AC power
Output Impedance < 0.1 ohms
Volume Control: Absolute Value of 0.2 dB of error (channel imbalance) or lower at any volume level
Pricing between JDS Atom and Massdrop THX AAA 789
Multiple Color Options

Optional Features that should have a lower priority to size considerations:
For IEM users, gain stage that is -x dB in addition to the two gain stages mentioned above (-10 dB isn't a bad target)
Balanced In Optional but preferred
Pre-Amp Out Optional
Balanced XLR-4 Out Optional

I think those are pretty hard targets to meet.
 
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Panelhead

Active Member
Joined
Apr 3, 2018
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#84
My system is different than many.
1. Four channel dac. Allows feeding monitors and subs from a software based crossover.
2. One knob digital volume controller. With 32 bit architecture this should be transparent. Using a rotary to control internal in chip allows perfect tracking.
3. Either Thunderbolt 3/USB C or Ethernet connectivity. I prefer TB to use my optical cables.
4. Last use 1/4” TRS connectors. Allows easy change between SE or balanced output.
The AK4499 chip looks perfect. I like AKM sound over the ESS chips I have owned. The supply rail as high as reasonable. Either 12 or 15 volt.
You might only sell two of these. Both to me.
 
Joined
Dec 3, 2018
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Location
Brisbane, Australia
#85
Massdrop THX AAA 789 headphone amplifier combined with the SMSL SU-8 version 2 balanced dac in one box coloured black with VU meters measuring wider than deeper to fit better on a desk. No outputs, no bluetooth, easy. Think Oppo HA-1 stripped of all the non headphone stuff and no need for a remote. Price range $350-$450.

I think folks would buy this for the meters alone
 

Panelhead

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#87
Can you explain this? Do you mean the XLR / 1/4" combo jacks? If so, wouldn't that be balanced only?
These connectors are designed for this. There is usually a buffering resistance in the legs of the outputstage. This is in the positive and negative outputs. Protects the outputs when driving long cables that may be damaged physically. Pro gear is built to operate under worse conditions than most home applications.
Back to your question, there are two types of 1/4” plugs. TRS is tip-ring-sleeve. Balanced plug. TS is tip sleeve. Single ended.
This is how I manage amplifiers that are single ended. Build a cable with TS on one end RCA or whatever on other.
Just finished a new amp late last year. Installed an input transformer to perform the balanced to single ended conversion. Much better. Lost the big, ugly, expensive input coupling cap. Plus the negative output is no longer shorted to ground.
 

Roen

Addicted to Fun and Learning
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Oct 14, 2018
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#88
I was always under the impression 1/4" TRS was for Single Ended, unless you had two jacks and two plugs, which they would be balanced.

How would a female jack know to differentiate between a TRS and a TS? I can't imagine an auto switching function.
 

Panelhead

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Apr 3, 2018
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#90
I was always under the impression 1/4" TRS was for Single Ended, unless you had two jacks and two plugs, which they would be balanced.

How would a female jack know to differentiate between a TRS and a TS? I can't imagine an auto switching function.
There are two connectors for 1/4”. The single ended is TS. The balanced is TRS.
The most common use is instrument connector. Think guitar cable. It is TS which is single ended.
Every interface I have seen that has 1/4” connections is balanced and has TRS jacks. But if you plug a TS plug in a TRS jack it is now a single ended connection.
Let’s get back on topic.
 

Panelhead

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Apr 3, 2018
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#91
These do not have to be expensive. S.M.S.L. Has proven to deliver quality units for dirt cheap pricing.
Buy shopping around at music stores found the Clarett 4Pre units for 400.00 each. Compared to some this is expensive. But a pittance compared to others.
The feature set is what made them attractive. 4 channel, TB, AKM chips, balanced outs, and mic pres for phono.
 
Joined
Dec 13, 2018
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Location
Chicago, IL
#92
I would love to see a premium DAC (9038 Pro or 4399 based) with some type of analog input for phono. That is what has kept me on Mytek for my last few DACs in my main system... I can run them directly to my amps and not need a separate preamp since my only analog source is records. Having a built in headphone stage and the ability to act as a streamer would also be "nice to have" features.

Check out the new Simaudio Moon 390 for an example of an ideal solution from a feature set perspective. Based on reviews so far it is definitely on my radar.
 

GGroch

Senior Member
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Apr 7, 2018
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#93
What I would like from SMSL in 2019?

There have been some game changing budget headphone amps released recently (JDS Atom, Liquid Spark, etc.), & I would like to see a small budget desktop DAC with similarly excellent specifications, that matches these amps visually, and sells for $150 or less to match the budget price levels.

My two 1st SMSL products (that hooked me on the brand) were the Sanskrit 6th and the M8. Like my preferred amp at the time (the O2), they both seemed well engineered, with no nonsense well chosen features and a spartan utilitarian look. My O2 looked great stacked with them, and I was not paying extra for a built in headphone amp that I did not need. I also like that (unlike the topping D10 which otherwise fits the bill) they have coax, optical, and USB inputs. Think filling the title for best $100 or $150 Desktop DAC.

The Sanskrit 10th comes close, its specs are fine if used with a compatible USB power supply. But Red/Blue cubes and the remote have a "fun but quirky" vibe rather than utilitarian performance driven vibe.

The Sanskrit 6th was almost perfect. A digital readout like the M8 is even nicer, but not necessary it if drives the price up. The only functional addition I might like would be a line out volume control....which makes it more compatible driving powered monitors or matching levels.

The new SMSL M100 does come in black..but it is also oddly cube shaped, and its pricing seems odd as the Sanskrit 10th seems to do more and cost less.

So, performance driven but and conservatively styled desktop DAC for $100/$150.
 

Slapo

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Dec 14, 2018
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#94
A SMSL M3 successor with a digital knob to prevent low volume channel imbalance and a low/high gain switch.
Also perhaps an upgrade model that would add a balanced output to the above.
 

BurritoJustice

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Oct 1, 2018
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In 2019, SMSL will release more product , like the amp using thx aaa technology, the VMV SMSL D2 DAC, the headphone amp with MQA function and more. Thanks to all the guys here.
Hopefully for the THX AAA amp you guys get Andrew Mason and the rest of the THX team to take part in the design (and not just provide the AAA section) so that we get an amp closer to the 789 (incredible) and not like the Monoprice Monolith (depressingly disappointing).

A THXAAA/SU-8 or THXAAA/VMVD2 would be awesome.
 
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