SMSL M8A DACsearch

SMSL M8A DAC

SMSL M8A DAC

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I have purchase this M8A. after a few months, the units was faulty. Tried contacting Massdrop without any response from them. Becare when buying.
My unit did not power on and was RMA'd. I hope to have better luck with the Topping D50.
When I first received the SMSL M8A in September 2017, the power supply was bad and would not power the unit. I contacted Massdrop and they were absolutely of no help. They wouldn't even give me a contact at SMSL to resolve. I did my own research and contacted SMSL directly. To their credit, they sent me a new power supply (probably a $4 part) and it worked. Fast forward to today and I discover that the small led display has burned out. The DAC still works but I can no longer see what I am switching and have to go by feel so to say. Needless to say that I am disappointed given this is less than a year old! I guess I will try my contact at SMSL but I am not optimistic?
I have only 192khz and it looks like driver problem from smsl site, I have asked smsl to send me a link to an older driver that I know I can get the 384khz to use the dac to it's full potential. It looks smsl have no customer service at all.
SMSL ARE NOT RESPONDING TO EMAILS
I hope somebody can help me with this because clearly smsl won't.
I was disappointed in my purchase. Felt the fact was etchef in the u rebel and not smooth.
Aaaaw yes, that sweet, sweet early shipping confirmation! Can't wait to set this up with my Aune X7S.
guys, i got back my M8 earlier this month which i sent to smsl china for warranty claim. they even sent a new power supply to me with the correct plug for my country. all-in-all, i only paid the out-bound postage. so, thank you smsl !
Sry for make ad here...I actually have a SMSL M9(AMP+DAC) for sale, it is in excellent condition, with original box and cable ...I bought it half of year ago, and now upgrade to sony ta-zh1es(which is expensive)... Thus, i'm thinking to sell my M9 for some money...I would say 350$ (brand new is about 450)... if u wanna buy it or give me your offer, pls tell me!
Are there measurements for this DAC anywhere online? I've looked but haven't found anything.
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Frequency response, THD+N, jitter, etc.
Actual measurements from an independent party, not whatever the company puts out.
audiosciencereview.com type information, although they haven‘t gotten to it yet.
Sythrix
They have now
it pairs well with the massdrop 02 amp?
I received the M8A on the last drop, and have had the opportunity to compare it to my Musical Fidelity V90-DAC over the last few months. The V90-DAC sounds better than the M8A in every case, no matter what the source file is. The M8A plays pretty much everything I put into it natively. The V90-DAC requires that JRiver convert many high resolution files, and all DSD files, to something it will recognize but it always sounds better than the M8A. By better, I mean more realistic. The V90-DAC makes it seem like your listening to an actual person singing and playing a guitar in front of you, while the M8A lacks this realism. I believe that there is far too much emphasis placed on the particular DAC chip used in units, and not enough on the quality of the output stage. Of course, your mileage may vary, but I have used both DACs with numerous tube preamps and tube amplifiers, and a variety of loudspeakers, and the V90-DAC always sounds better. I will probably be selling the M8A soon.
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I use JRiver, and it converts the files to something the V90-DAC can use. Perhaps if you have a system of very high resolution, you might be able to hear a difference between DAC chips assuming an identical output stage. My feeling is that output stage is largely ignored with DACs, with all the emphasis being put on specific DAC chips. For an interesting perspective on this, check out the Lampizator site. As it is, I’d rather listen to 24/96 or CD on the V90 than DSD 256 on the M8A. By a wide margin....
Tizman
Tizman - Kudos, I appreciate the feedback.
I do not even look at what chip is being used, and I have 25 years experience as an engineer in the Semicon industry (digital and analog).
Its an analog world folks, all that I really want and appreciate in these discussions is feedback on the sound, and you did a very good job speaking to that, and comparing it to a known DAC is all the more helpful.
I do know that the older M8 (ie not not m8A) is an amazing unit, but that is after I spent $70 on a linear power supply. still at $250 total i am happy.
This is something else people ignore , some circuits require cleaner power. I stress circuits, it is the chip and everything else.
This thing, m8A has a 5v power i believe, and i think people are using an external USB charger battery. I am opening up a can of worms here, but DC (battery) is always going to be cleaner.
I am curious if you were to try that, what it would sound like?
BTW i am using the M8 through a Roksan Kandy Amp and Kestral speakers. Very precise, very articulate, and a slightly forward sound. I like it. (As a source I use my laptop or a CA audio labs CD player. I am not going to say which one sounds better, there are too many other variables involved, sorry)
Thanks again
I got mine and have it hooked up now. I installed the software off of the SMSL website and then set the output sound to 32-bit 192kHz in Windows 10 and this runs like a champ. I have a Little Dot MkII as a preamp and used the MD x JBL LSR30X speakers and the whole chain sounds amazing. There was a significant noticeable improvement going from the PC built in line out to this DAC.
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MUCHAS GRACIAS POR TU INFORMACIÓN. Un saludo.
Roberto.
Gernapious
Depending on your source, you may not actually want to run at 192 KHz. Most music files are 44.1 KHz, so any sampling rate that is not a multiple of 44.1 can cause resampling errors. Not sure you'll actually hear the difference, but for 44.1 KHz sources, that's also the optimal output. Upconverting to higher bit rate (e.g. 32 bit) is safe, and can help in the case of volume adjustment.
Does it support 220v? There is no information on input voltage...
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hi,it supports 220V.thanks
lrx2017
Thanks a lot!
Is everyone still of the opinion that the older discontinued M8 sounds better than the current M8A? That seems to have been the general consensus around the time of the switch.
I have the older M8. I’ve used it as a DAC for the digital signal coming out of my TV.
The screen saver feature lets me run it 24/7 around the clock without having to worry about screen burnout. That’s a truly useful feature to me, as the DAC doesn’t have a remote control to shut off power after use.
So so far it’s been flawless, and sounds really good.
It’s pretty neutral sounding, and doesn’t have a obviously recognizable personality, IMO, like the Teac UD-501 and UD-503 do, for example. But it IS a very transparent and high quality sound.
I wonder what folks think about how the older M8 compares to the current M8A soundwise now that a lot of folks have had a chance to listen to the M8A.
For 149 you could get a Schiit Modi 2 Uber. Seems like a better deal.
If someone wants to sell one. M8 or M8a, Please contact me.
Wackid
Hello Wackid, I may have one M8A Brand new, I have not open the box from SMSL yet. if you are interested. Lets discuss, you can reach me at ramiot@videotron.ca Thanks.
Got my second unit on 29th. Yes, they are so good, that I have two of them right now (and a Gustard X20Pro).
Both units work flawlessly and give me ~80-85% what I can squeeze from Gustard (~800USD AFAIR). First one sits on top of Rotel RA-10 giving me with SMSL B1 a nice bluetooth AptX rig, second one is for HT setup with Pioneer VSX-924 and B&W602S3 - it is just that better than Pioneer's internal Sabre 9006.
Anyway, still recommended. Exceptional value!
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We're neighbors then, regards from Warsaw ;)
kasyx
Haha, regards from Esslingen then. I just need to get my customs back now which is no problem. Just a little annoyance.
So far I really like this dac but I noticed after testing every possible supported sampling rate that 705.6khz does not work. I only get crackles. Every other sampling rate including dsd works fine. I also have some static issues but I am not sure if it is the dac. I tried to use the optical input and still got static so it is the dac or my amp. Does anyone here have similar issues?
EDIT: It is the USB cable from the computer to the dac. After I unplugged it and only used the optical in it is dead silent.
The pictures showing this drop actually showing the previous version: SMSL M8. You can tell, because the DC input is 9 V and with the M8A it is 5V. I have the M8A, I bought the better power supply for it, but mostly I use it with a Mi 20000 power bank (5V) and it works great for over 36 hours.
i really like this dac, if it were not for the quality issue as reported by many including myself, this is an easy recommendation, especially for the budget-conscious. so, do you guys think the quality issue can be improved if its power supply stage is beefed up ? can the power supply be beefed up internally ?
Please advise : This, or Grace standard Dac?
ikitikul
Well, answering for future viewers, if you aren't going to have any files above 24-bit and 96khz, the grace standard is fine. But if you want DSD, DXD, or other crazy file types and rates, this would be better. This also now has a better sounding DAC which is why the price is twice the grace standard. Again, amps affect the sound more, but this is a very nice DAC chip.
Brosefstalin42
Thank you for your reply.
Has anyone used this with Windows 10?
I have had issue with other DACs and Windows 10 not supporting more that 24-bit/19200 Hz. Has anyone confirmed Windows 10 usage in 32-bit with this DAC?
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Gernapious
For music recorded live directly to DSD, use the coupon code "ifimicroidac2" at http://soundliaison.com/all-categories/185-ifi-micro-idac2-music-sampler (1.3 GB zip file)
kokkat
Thanks!
I bought one at the last drop. It sounded great but only worked for a week. It stopped producing sound from the coaxial and optical inputs, and I didn't try the USB. Massdrop accepted a return on the defective unit. I think I'll pass on SMSL for a while. Replaced it with a Chord Mojo. Cost more but worth it.
Does anyone know when will last round ship out?
musiclicn
Est. ship-date is Jan. 18
I had an SMSL M9 for about two weeks. Horrible ground hum, and no inrush current suppression, so every time I turned it on my headphones & speakers popped. When I opened it up, I noticed someone had soldered capacitors to the DC ground, and jumpers from there to the analog outputs, which is interesting considering it was brand new. Due to the inherent design flaws of the DAC, I'm going to give SMSL some more time before trying them again, if ever.
Steezebe
I don't suppose you took pictures? Please do share them if you did. It will help the community.
I'm planning on using this SMSL to grab the Toslink output from my Apple TV into the SMSL ... then output from the SMSL into my SONOS speakers that surround my living room ... poor mans surround
Well kids, Schiit happens. Sometimes when you go abroad you get what you pay for...clicks, drops and buzzes and a friendly person that doesn't speak English. But for a great price.
Timextimeout45
I plugged this in and set it up with my Win 10 machine over USB, and haven't had to touch it a single time since then. Works great, my experience has been good, so here's another POV here to say go for it.
has anyone here faced problem after using their M8 for less than a year? after 8 months in service, mine doesn't have sound coming out from right channel anymore. while it worked all's great. but when it breaks, there is no warranty to cover it after 30 days from purchase. now i have to contact the manufacturer myself coz massdrop would not entertain it.
if it happened to you also, did you send it back to manufacturer or did you just send it for repair at a local ? did you manage to have smsl repair it at no cost if it is less than a year from date of purchase ?
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ok, i just sent the faulty unit to smlsl in shenzhen, china over the weekend. they will repair it for free, but i had to pay for the outbound shipping. as advised by the courier, i tagged the package as "repair-and-return" to avoid import duty.
ck.tan
I hope it works out for you with reasonable shipping costs.
I have it for a mount and sonically it seems like a good dac, A big problem is the driver, the usb is disconnecting many times a day so I need to reset the usb connection from the dac to make the dac works. If I use it for video player afterwards the audio player stops working and I have to reset the usb connection again. I'm using the recent driver from smsl site. For me this is a deal breaker. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Update: I found that for every software i'm using - video or audio I have to define the smsl m8a as a default output device, for some reason it's not automatically done with this dac.
From the Massdrop description: " Upgraded with the latest Sabre DAC ES9028Q2M ..." It is unclear whether the intent is to say the "Q2M" is the latest, or the latest Sabre DAC was the ES9028 series. I'm guessing most know that the ES9028 series is not the latest. In fact, I'm hoping to see a relatively inexpensive implementation of Sabre's ES9038 DAC. "Relatively" because the current ES9038 DACs range between $1000 and $9000...going by reports dating back a couple weeks to a month. It appears that this particular chip will never be as cheaply priced as other Sabre DACs, because this chip requires more supporting circuitry. At any rate, I for one would really like to spend a bit of time auditioning the new ES9038. Massdrop? Are you listening?
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HollowState
Hifimediy have a es9038 DAC but no mention of DSD. See https://hifimediy.com/DACs/ready-made-dacs/UX1-dac. More interesting see the Sabaj da3 with 2 es9018q2c, xMOS xcore200xu208 for dsd512 support, usb powered, and balanced output for $100 from aliexpress.
Triplefun
Thanks for the heads up, but your link is to a ES9023 DAC - an interesting one none the less. The SPDIF input and output modes are unique for a $70 DAC. Pretty hard to find something as useful, particularly for sampling. Further reading on the site indicates that the ES9038 Pro DAC is still a bit away. There is no final specification for that DAC, but from what I have read, it still interests me.