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Topping D90 MQA Vs SMSL SU-9 Vs Gustard DAC-X16

Kit Carson

Member
Joined
Jan 4, 2021
Messages
35
Likes
4
Hi,
please, can you help me?
I'm on the market to buy a DAC.
I narrowed down my choice between does ones:
  • Topping D90 MQA : €800
  • SMSL SU-9 : €400
  • Gustard DAC-X16 : about €450
Looking at each one spec and manual, they seem very similar, pretty the same, a part from the DAC chip.
Is it this the only difference?
Does it justify the big difference in price?
I guess there are some other differences between them, maybe the SMSL and the Gustard aren't truly balanced...

Thank for your help!
 
Last edited:

ninetylol

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 7, 2019
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371
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365
Id take a Gustard X16 if it was actually available anywhere. Elsewise take the SU-9 for 400.
 

Pankar0

Member
Joined
Feb 2, 2021
Messages
36
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23
I m ready to pull the trigger.... !!! But I think it's important to see more reviews so I m waiting.

The only thing to push me to su-9 is the option to change the color of music... very nice future I think.
 

galgogergo

New Member
Joined
May 24, 2021
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0
Hi,

I'm in the same decision.
I could buy a Topping D90 (non-MQA) used, or a Gustard X16 new. What do you think would suit me best in my (home, hobby) studio for critical listening on active studio monitors? (I already have a preamp, would use it as DAC)
 

trl

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Lupin

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 11, 2021
Messages
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429
Hi,
please, can you help me?
I'm on the market to buy a DAC.
I narrowed down my choice between does ones:
  • Topping D90 MQA : €800
  • SMSL SU-9 : €400
  • Gustard DAC-X16 : about €450
Looking at each one spec and manual, they seem very similar, pretty the same, a part from the DAC chip.
Is it this the only difference?
Does it justify the big difference in price?
I guess there are some other differences between them, maybe the SMSL and the Gustard aren't truly balanced...

Thank for your help!
All three measure well enough that you won't hear the difference between them.
Pick the one that has the features you want in the chassis you like for the price you are willing to pay for it.
 

dsnyder0cnn

Active Member
Joined
Dec 14, 2019
Messages
216
Likes
215
The display on the new Topping D90SE is much easier to read than the Gustard X16. Of course, it's nearly double the price…but I could see myself picking one up at some point even though I already have (and love) the X16.
 

MiLi

Member
Joined
Mar 24, 2021
Messages
31
Likes
18
Hi,
please, can you help me?
I'm on the market to buy a DAC.
I narrowed down my choice between does ones:
  • Topping D90 MQA : €800
  • SMSL SU-9 : €400
  • Gustard DAC-X16 : about €450
Looking at each one spec and manual, they seem very similar, pretty the same, a part from the DAC chip.
Is it this the only difference?
Does it justify the big difference in price?
I guess there are some other differences between them, maybe the SMSL and the Gustard aren't truly balanced...

Thank for your help!
You could buy all three and sell out not chesn ones… . Any other method, which use external opinions brings bias to your decision.
 

dsnyder0cnn

Active Member
Joined
Dec 14, 2019
Messages
216
Likes
215
I m ready to pull the trigger.... !!! But I think it's important to see more reviews so I m waiting.

The only thing to push me to su-9 is the option to change the color of music... very nice future I think.
I posted several times in this thread about my experience comparing the Topping D90SE and Gustard X16. TL;DR - sound quality is identical, but the D90SE may be worth the extra $400 if you need a digital preamp that can directly drive power amplifiers due to its larger display and lower output impedance.

 
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