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Wolf's Measurements of SMSL M200 DAC

ModDIY

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There is, it is how you start adjust the volume if you are using that feature.

Yes it is true, it is the DAC mode which is not available.

But it does not seem to me to have read a voltage of 5.7v on XLR ... I will look
 

Swoof

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You should have a fixed DAC mode. I can set Pre to 0 or 1 in menu to turn on or off. If I set to fixed it turns off volume control but display remains locked at previous volume. I'm just curious where the extra voltage comes from in pre mode.

Attached image from my manual, since everywhere else on the internet this bit of information is missing.
 

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ModDIY

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Ok thank you.

I'll find my manual and see the information. In XLR mode and pre mode the voltage of 5.7v is high, a chance the RCA voltage is 2.7v max, because I am using the XLR to power my subwoofer.

It is limited with the subwoofer, the volume of the amplifier is almost at the minimum, but it's ok as a gain anyway. Otherwise, XLR attenuators are sold.
 

Swoof

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Just out of curiosity, does anyone know if this DAC doesn't have an output buffer similar to the m400? Or does anyone know the output impedance of the m200?
 

Ashley Salmond

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well,subjectively,I was totally disappointed with the flat sound and lack of of punch of my loudspeackers(and 32 ohm Headphones) with the topping dx7pro .So the combo Smsl m200+Sp200 is on its way to try something different.According to many,nothing will change.
Well,we'll see in a few days and i'll give you my subjective opinion.
 

Yasser 06

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My dilemma involves the SMSL M200 connected to an L30. 1) with active monitors, not "unpowered" speakers, plugged into the XLR outputs; 2) which I'll turn off to utilize the RCA outputs to the headamp - that's the best it'll get as I understand it & both outputs (balanced & RCA) can remain plugged in
I have a similar question.

I assume i connect the XLR to a power amp and the rca to a headphone. I will use the pre amp mode and switch off the power amp in the evening or at night when using headphones.

The topping EX5 i think has various modes : XLR, XLR+RCA, headphone only etc ...

The Su8s has 3 modes : rca only, xlr only, XLR+RCA.

I wonder what is happening on the SMSL 200.
 

ZC7

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I have a similar question.

I assume i connect the XLR to a power amp and the rca to a headphone. I will use the pre amp mode and switch off the power amp in the evening or at night when using headphones.

The topping EX5 i think has various modes : XLR, XLR+RCA, headphone only etc ...

The Su8s has 3 modes : rca only, xlr only, XLR+RCA.

I wonder what is happening on the SMSL 200.
I use mine in preamp mode with the XLRs out to a VTV NC252MP power amp - which functions flawlessly - for my 2 channel system. In my living situation & near-field I can barely use it at half volume, typically -26 on the M200. Early in the morning and at night I can leave the power amp off, since I have the M200’s RCA outputs into a Schiit Magni Heresy for headphone use. Typically the Heresy is set at low gain and I can up the M200, remaining in preamp mode, to zero (full volume), with the Heresy’s volume at 12:00 o’clock, more or less. I’ve then tried changing the M200 to DAC mode - something I can’t do with the power amp - but believe it or not, preamp mode sounds a little better. Or so I think; in any case I don’t want to leave it in DAC mode. I have an extension cable for my headphones & use the remote from about 13 feet away, at an angle of maybe 120-30 degrees from zero (M200) for volume alterations.
Since the VTV only has XLR inputs and all my other gear is RCA, the M200 was the least expensive way to leave off the use of the RCA-to-XLR cable that I’d previously needed, & thought might be a bottleneck in the SQ. With XLR-XLR the sound is the best i’ve had. Clarity, dynamic range, etc. As the preamp & DAC in two systems it is joy-promoting. A win-win, either output. Saved me hundreds $$$, but I’m open to recommendations.
 

jimboaz

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It is disappointing on the part of SMSL. I bought the M200 because M300 was not easily accessible, thinking that the performance would have been close to the M300.

But I like the sound of the M200 and also its Bluetooth. I find it very detailed and silent. Then it can depend on the resolution of the files. In my case, these are mostly 16-bit files except a few in 24-bit.

Despite this the measures are not top compared to others. My first idea was the Topping D50s.
I have a D50/P50 Topping and the M200 w/AO200 amp & Elac Debut 2.0 B6.2. spkrs. I tried a SU-9 for a few weeks and returned it...I overall liked the SM200 esp for $$ difference. I think the M200 is very under-rated sonically.
 

jimboaz

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Thanks!

But would still like an explanation of those ridiculous "Sound Color" modes. Out of the three is one of them "no coloration"? You have to select one of them with no option to turn off. Also, is Bluetooth always active? Be great to turn off an unwanted transmitter.
Every dac has to have some filter parameters as a "default". So you are normally stuck with whatever someone thinks "works" best. I would rather chose from a few to suit my system , music and taste. How is that a detriment?
 

jimboaz

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thanks for the great post, i'm in the market for a balanced dac and was curious about what you think about the SMSL M300 MkII, I just got a Drop THX 789 and wanted to get a new dac to go with it.
Extremely well researched and written response!!!
 

jimboaz

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IHi, yesterday I listened to music for several hours listening to music with the DAC M200 as a source.

Despite the multitone measurement made by @WolfX-700, I really like the sound of this DAC. I wonder why I would change it. It is sufficiently detailed, very silent, a nice stage size, dynamic ... etc.

This with of course the high quality Bluetooth (APTX-HD, LDAC and UAT) ... in short it satisfies me fully.
I think it is VERY under-rated sonically - for those interested here is a pretty thorough sonic review - https://soundnews.net/sources/dacs/smsl-m200-dac-review/
 

Knorki

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Any news concerning firmware updates or something that fixes the whole "bypass mode" (Pr0/Pr1) situation? Mine doesn't have it
 

PSKTNML

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So is the Pr1 (volume adjustable) the DAC mode (puts out more voltage) and Pr0 the fixed mode? Sorry my stupidity.
 

lockheed

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Can someone tell me if M200 is ON and the power is cut to it (plug is pulled out of the socket) and then it is turned back on, does it return to being on, or defaults to Standby?
If the latter, then does it turn back on automatically if it gets signal through USB?

Also, on a separate note - has someone have an opition on how it compares with Topping DX3 Pro+?
 

Dunring

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So is the Pr1 (volume adjustable) the DAC mode (puts out more voltage) and Pr0 the fixed mode? Sorry my stupidity.
I have the M200/SP200 and just got the DAC. I can say in preamp mode I can't get the volume wheel nearly as far up as before in DAC mode. Using XLR and like the thought of probably always staying in low gain mode at this rate. I'll try the 250ohm DT880 later, just using the Hifiman HE4xx now and at 12 oclock on the dial I wouldn't go further for any length of time.
 

piR2

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Thanks!

But would still like an explanation of those ridiculous "Sound Color" modes. Out of the three is one of them "no coloration"? You have to select one of them with no option to turn off.
Hi,
It's tricky to find what "Sound Color" in SMSL M200 is doing. According to the AKM's datasheet of the used AK4497 chip, is nothing else like the "Sound Quality" set by SC[2:0] register that drives "Analog internal current."
Screenshot_20220703-164208.jpg

Screenshot_20220703-161904.jpg

SMSL in M200 allows to set only SC1 and SC0 bits via the "Sound Color" option, but with M300, the SC2 bit could be also set via "High Sound" option.
I hope that in M200 SC2 bit is set to 0 by default :) that guarantee the AK4477 analog characteristics.
 
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Audioboxer

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From browsing this topic am I correct to say the unit with the silver coated bluetooth antenna output is the slight revision?

Just picked up a unit with such a cosmetic appearance for £130 so excited to test it out as a budget DAC. Will be paired with a Zen Can (XLR to 4.4mm cable).
 

Audioboxer

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Hmm, think my unit might be a dud.

Connecting over phono out just now as I'm waiting on a balanced XLR to 4.4mm cable to go to my iFi Can, and phono out sound is totally busted through the Can. This is over USB, optical and bluetooth. I know what a ground loop sounds like, but this is like an active warfield. And considering I ditched USB, changed to Bluetooth and took the device away from my PC and connected to another set of powered speakers and it was the same, struggling to think this is just a ground loop.

Only thing I can do is wait to test XLR out, but it seems like my phono out is bust.

I can't even test via my Adam T5Vs at the moment as no XLR to XLR cables on hand lol. I've got the Adam's hooked into a Scarlett solo so that's XLR to TRS cables.

Oh well, probably a return. I will say the volume knob on this device is horrendous :eek::p
 
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grisenti2

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Hi there,
I have the smsl m 200 and I am using it with the RCA output instead of the Balanced ones. Do you suggest to use the balanced output instead? I have just the RCA input on my ampli (HK6100). Do I have to use a Balanced/RCA connector? It is worthy to do so?
Thanks
Leopoldo
 
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