SMSL M9 DAC/Ampsearch

SMSL M9 DAC/Amp

SMSL M9 DAC/Amp

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(5 reviews)
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I was wondering about the RCA R/L outputs, can anyone confirm if the two RCA outputs of this unit shared the ground? Or are they in a quasi-balanced setting that has independent ground connections feeding directly from the dual DAC chip? Thanks!
M9 power consumption is about 6W. One tip to even more improve sound quality - connect it instead of attached power supply or computer to power bank. It's noticeable better than power supply. Anyone tested and noticed differences beetween three operating modes?
** edit **. Received mine, opened the box, screen appeared to be all scratched up. It's actually the world's most difficult to remove film protecting the screen.
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Well I only have limited experience with headphones, but much more experience with car audio gear (not the junk from the big box stores either.) I recently purchased a Fiio Q1 mkii and it was a significant improvement over my iphone 6s headphone jack. And this is a world apart from the Q1. The channel separation is noticeably better. There is much more detail also, so a dual mono DAC setup is clearly a plus. The Q1 has a really low noise floor, possibly even a little darker than this dac, but distortion in the higher frequencies is kind of an issue for me with the Q1, it doesn't let me rock out as much (read Nirvana). The SMSL does better in that area, maybe a little thinner in mid bass. I agree with others that this would be a great DAC to use with a standalone amp. DSD128 out from Foobar is nice and working with foo_dsd_asio driver. I paid $40 more than I did for the Q1. The Fiio wont take up to much space on the shelf.
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oceannnnn
I recommend to turn on ASRC upsampling and leave it ON at all time, but set it to the lowest possible level (i.e. 44Khz/48Khz). CS8422 chip will remove jitter and make the music sound much more natural with pleasant with pronounced mid-bass.
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Price point aside, is this better than the Monolith Monoprice "Portable" THX AAA 788 DAC/AMP?
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MidnighTempest
I think the monolith is pretty risky purchase. much more safe to get separate dac and massdrop thx amp.
what voltage does this run on? (am in UK)
jrjr
100-240V.
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Is this DAC/AMP more powerful & better than the FiiO K3?
MidnighTempest
K3 has more power since it has a high gain mode.
Just to confirm, you could possibly use its 2.5mm balanced out to a dual XLR and chuck it into a balanced amp right? Also what was the price in USD of this?
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LouisX
It’s possible but you have to be careful with the gain. You’d want the output to be around 2V to match a typical line out.
Could you pair this with a different amp and still get balanced? Or is the 2.5mm the only balanced out option.
delance26
only 2.5mm
I currently have a Fulla 2. Would this be better for my AK7X phones in my computer for gaming?
MikSchultzy
honestly no. maybe the topping dx3 is a suitable upgrade for the fulla
Would it be worth using this as a DAC only going to Liquid Spark? I currenly use a FIIO 10k as the DAC only solution, curious how much of a upgrade this would be.
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billbishere
The fiio is fine, imo. Fiio just released the k3 btw, new model e10k
What would this dac compare to?
Can't find voltage that supports. Is it available with 220v?
Horazen
it has external power brick which is rated for 100-220v
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Can't get it to work at 768kHz. Mine doesn't go above 384kHz. I am using following drivers:
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and i only get upto 384kHz:
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Does it actually support 768kHz?
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Gurbakhshish
Hi Gurbakhshish, to answer your question... M9 does support 768 kHz, but you need a USB output device that can support playback at this rate. Check if your sound card is capable to output at 768 kHz. As of today I'm not aware of any commercially available files coded at 768 khz, so probably no big dealio.
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Gurbakhshish
On Apple devices 768kHz is supported without any problem.
Is this better than a fulla2?
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Slightly wider airy and slightly cleaner sub bass and mid bass.
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OVG86
way better IMO. This is way better than the REV2 I was using, and that was better than the Fulla2... so
Guys, I'm newbie here and I can't understand how to buy this one. I can pre-order it just tooday or tomorrow, becouse of "1 day left"? Or I can order it later? And it will be arrived at "Estimated ship date is Jan 29, 2019 PT."? Thank you.
Oriander
Order now. You cant purchase it after the drop ends
Since these have 2.5mm Balance are they good for IEMs? Currently Own BGVP DM6 & Final Audio E5000 Thanks!
MidnighTempest
Output impedance of the headphone outs are 10ohms. So not really fitting for IEMs
I heard the acro l1000 and was insanely impressed, made my old cma400i sound muddy in comparison. I know it's just as much of an issue how a dac(s) is implemented and not only about the chips themselves, but ever since then I've been on the lookout for dual dacs. Buying this for that alone lol. Eager to try it with my Burson Conductor. edit: ended up canceling order
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mikeonline
Why?
MidnighTempest
I ended up waiting for the SMSL SU-8 instead.
Would HD6XX's and this make a good combo?
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I will use my fx audio dac x6 as a dac ....how about xduoo TA-10, is it a good dac amp combo.
Do you know any class A tube dac/amp with 2.5mm balanced output.
I own a pair of Massdrop X Fostex TR-X00 Ebony headphones. Would this be a good DAC/AMP combo for my desk at work? If not and someone owns the aforementioned headphones what would you recommend?
Briandaviscfl
If victor158128 down below is right about the gain values this DAC Amp is a bit too skinny for big headphones. However, your Fostex has a low-ish nominal impedance of 25 ohms. Despite that I’m guessing that you may find classical music and other tracks mastered at lower volumes hard to play at satisfying volumes. Heavier phones like the Sennheiser 6XX will probably suck it dry.
amazon reviews are not very positive. unit gets hot. volume button is finicky.clicking when changing rates, cannot work with small ASIO buffers. and now selling 3 times less here? :)
bravomail
For the price on massdrop it's not bad although I would never pay $400+ for something like this
I think I'm in, currently have a SMSL SD-793II that I believe is getting a little long in the tooth for my HD6XX. Hopefully this is an upgrade over that.
Can't find any info if it works with linux, can any1 help?
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Sklorp
Yes, AK4490  is supported by the linux kernel. Plug and play from my other dacs.

Sure, but Android is based on linux kernel, if it supports android audio it supports linux audio. Review said M9 also supports USB OTG and DoP up to DXD res.
Please share you honest reviews and opinions of people that own/ed this. thank youu
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I wounder if the DAC is better than in the Schiit, then we could just use this as a DAC
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And the JDS Labs OL DAC uses the AK4490 but measures worse than the SDAC which uses the older AK4452.... case and point
Uzuzu
I do agree with you after all a dac is a combination of D/A convertor chip, opamp(s), buffer(s), usb interface and many other components. so at the end collected performance of whole circuit and topology of the circuit maters greatly
Output impedance of the headphone outs are 10ohms. So not really fitting for IEMs
Silou
Where and how did you find out about the output impedance? I tried searching all over the internet for that piece of information but I can't find it anywhere!
relaxnlisten2music
I asked the SMSL Support on Amazon.
Anyone know if this will drive: fostex tp50 mk3? I mean even my Shiit stack is having a hard time driving them on a uncomfortable volume.
YellowBee
Probably not.
I just ordered a DX3 Pro from China today, did I make a mistake? Apparently from what I'm reading the headphone amp on the M9 isn't stellar but there's no data on this specific unit from ASR so who knows
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Topping DX3 Pro has no analog input, only outputs. Can't connect any DAC to DX3 Pro. It already has a great one inside after all.
verifonix
Yup, but no balanced DAC output means we can't take full advantage of the balanced set-up in SMSL M9 if we do wish to use it with a more powerful amplifier!
I wonder if I could get this to work with my phone. https://www.aliexpress.com/item/SMSL-M9-32bit-768kHz-DSD512-AK4490x2-XMOS-HiFi-Digital-Decoder-Optical-Coaxial-USB-DAC-Headphone-amplifier/32748252727.html On the alixpress listing it says 5V: You can use this with a portable battery. https://ae01.alicdn.com/kf/HTB1G567Kf9TBuNjy1zbq6xpepXah.jpg Me: So you're telling me all i need is a 3.5mm to coaxial in :eyes:
Would this pair well with ZMF vibro headphones?
Okay, this is Epic.
Uzuzu
Your telling me, I've been eyeing an AK based dac for years and the price is insane! the chips alone x2 are worth half the dacs price!