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SMSL M8A DAC
SMSL M8A DAC
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Thinking of hooking this up to a CuBox-i via USB out for a Roon endpoint to my home theater receiver. Have a mojo and plan to compare them in this config to see if it is just as good. Anybody compare this to the mojo as a desktop dac? Hey Massdrop how about dropping the P1 linear power supply?
Drop done... and now we wait.
Arrived today! Picked up the P1 linear power supply on ebay in advance. Note, the P1 was really made for the M8 since it has a fixed 9v out (M8) and a variable port that can be configured from 5v (M8A) to 12v -- effectively eliminating an output port. I was hoping to power the CuBox-i (5v) Roon endpoint and use the other output for the M8A (5v) but no luck. I'm also using a Schiit Wyrd (USB decrapifier between the CuBox and the M8).
So far, I have successfully hooked it up to both PC and CuBox-i Roon endpoints (So definitely works in the Roon environment - the CuBox is running Linux btw). Too soon to compare to the Chord Mojo with similar connections but I will be using a Schiit sys to do quick a/b tests and I'll let folks know what my subjective listening tests reveal. I actually wish SMSL didn't have the selectable filters as I'm not sure what to pick (I'll be f'ing with it forever!). Already able to stream native DSD to the SMSL from PC over USB whereas only able to do DSD over PCM (DoP) with the Mojo... don't know if this will improve sound quality or not. Edit. Only able to pick DoP when using the CuBox as a roon endpoint connected to the M8A.
0. Roon Core running on an Intel Nuc
music files stored on internal drive.
SMSL Setup Environment:
1. Ethernet RJ45
2. CuBox-i (Linux 2.14.79-cubox) roon bridge
3. Schiit Wyrd (USB decrapifier)
4. SMSL 8A DAC (with P1 linear power supply)
(filter set to 70K on DSD and Fast on PCM tracks)
Chord Mojo Setup Environment:
1. Ethernet RJ45
2. CuBox (SonicOrbiter on linux) roon bridge
3. Schiit Wyrd (USB decrapifier - yes I have 2)
4. Chord Mojo - internal battery power supply(line out mode with volume ticked down to match the SMSL output)
5. Both systems RCA'd to Schiit SYS (Volume control and 2-input switch)
6. STAX SRM-323S Driver unit for earspeakers
7. STAX SR507 Earspeakers
Both endpoints are set to run DoP for DSD audio
1. Dreams & Prayers: A Far Cry/David Krakauer
Track 8: Quartet, op. 132: Helliger Dakgesang (Beethoven) DR(R128) 15.2 LU
2. Mozart: Violin Concertos: Marianne Thorsen / Trindheim Soloists
Track 1. Violin Concerto No. 4 in D major, K.218 * Allegro DR(R128) 13.8LU
PCM Flac 352.8KHz 24bit
1. So Many Stars: John Moriarty Trio
Track 1: So Many Stars DR(R128) 16.3 LU
2. Summer Serenade - Benny Carter Quartet
Track 4: All That Jazz DR(R128) 5.1 LU
3. Cirklar: Tingvall Trio
PCM FLAC 96kHz 24bit
Track 1: Evlghetsmasklnen DR(R128) 12.4 LU
4. Move: Hiromi & the Trio Project
PCM FLAC 192kHz 24bit
Track 1: Move DR(128) 6.8 LU
1. Moving Pictures: Rush
PCM Flac 48kHz 24bit
Track 1: Tom Sawyer DR(R128) 3.4 LU
2. Shockwave Supernova: Joe Satriani
PCM Flac 96kHz 24bit
Track 5. On Peregrine Wings DR(R128) 2.4 LU
Sample Sound Quality Results:
I could quickly switch between Mojo and 8A and could not hear a difference between the two. As you may know, if you conduct the experiment the experimenter becomes part of the test results. I'm listening with 54-year-old ears so younger ears may hear a difference but I doubt it.
The samples were simple and complex with hi-res only comparrisons. The mark of a good dac is not to impart anything to the music and I can conclude that both the Mojo and the 8A don't.
Note: this was a sound quality only comparrison. Obviously the Mojo has more to offer than just a DAC. I'm happy with both and will be keeping them.
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