SMSL SA-160search



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It could well be a bad solder joint in the connection to the jack or a short somewhere close. I leave the plastic on the wire tie, so, it shouldn't be discharging any caps. It may well be worthwhile to have someone look at that adcom and replace the jack.
If your SMSL SA-160 amp sounds like it is "clipping" when you turn it past halfway you should swap the power cord, not the "brick", but the common computer cord that goes from the wall to the brick. This instantly fixed the clipping problem and actually made the amp significantly louder. I cut into the one that came with the amp and found that each wire has about ten strands of copper best. Obviously the brick and thus the amp are power starved.
If your SA160 is "dead", but, works on headphones I will gladly give you $30 for can take a "tie" like the one found on a loaf of bread and root around in the headphone jack. For some reason, plugging and unplugging headphones confuses the system and doinking around in the jack like a teenager on prom night with something non conductive that won't get hung up makes it all right again.
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Here's the "real fix". The problem is that the solder has deteriorated on the jack. Take it apart, and take a look at the circuit board on the other side of the jack. There's several pins that both conduct current AND attach it to the board. Take a soldering iron and heat up each pin and give it a little drop of quality solder. Problem. Solved.
Yeah, that's a fairly common problem with electronics. A nice easy fix!
Hey Ktam, there are possibly some good political and or environmental reasons not to support some companies. No matter where they're located in the world. There's also some companies who don't give a second thought to quality control. No matter where they're located in the world. As for the quality issue, after purchasing 2 DACs and 2 amps I have no problems with SMSL build. All my products work perfectly. I haven't opened them up to see weather the boards were dipped or hand soldered or how clean they are. I haven't needed to, they all worked perfectly out of the box. The SA-160 isn't perfect. It could used more bass. A balance control and bass/treble pots would be nice. But for what it is and what it costs it's awfully good. In my lifetime I've spent much more and got much less in return. I try to support smart people doing smart things, no matter where they are. I even like it more when those people get the opportunity to design and build their own products and brands. That is the best motivation to provide quality and value. No one would question the build of SMSL if it were marketed under one of the Harmon Kardon Group labels or Sony and cost more. At least not until it broke under warranty and customer service was impossible to get a hold of. (LOL)
I wish it had a LFE output so it will make life simpler if we want to connect a sub.
Well, looks like my SA-160 has even more surprises in store.

1. Power Jack sparkles every time I connect the power plug. (Amp in Standby mode, power adapter connected in to the surge protector).

2. With no speakers attached when feeding audio through RCA inputs, you can actually hear music playing when you put your ear to the amp. (Very faint but obvious).
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When the amp is making the crackle arcing sound does it effect the sound from the speakers?
Hi Futility, I am not accusing that you are against Chinese made products. If you are then you wouldn't have purchase SA-160 . I do not have any doubt of your comments about the product either. Regarding the funny things that happened to your SA-160, it could be you got a defected product or something else that other people in this forum try to help you solve the problems. Regarding the sound quality, it is 100% subjective. For example, I let my friend test drive my new vette a few months ago, after the test drive, his comments was the car is awesome, too bad the sound system is by Bose. I let my nephew and his girl friend test drive my vette last month. Her comment was the sound system is awesome too, no wonder, it is by Bose. LOL
My post was in response to gm0n13's because we both do not have any problem with the products from S.M.S.L. (so far) and coincidentally the first amp that we purchased was a marantz 1070.
When we are young, we like to talk about fxxk story but when we are old we like to talk about history. I am an old fart just like gm0n13.
Disappointed with SA-160. I use it with SMSL M8 DAC and X-LS Encore speakers as desktop monitors. Unit exhibits high-frequency noise when nothing is being fed or playing back quiet tracks. You can somewhat mask it but it's still there.

I was looking forward to upgrade my old TA2024 based T-amp and this is clearly a downgrade. Not as detailed, muddy. Not totally horrible but mediocre in comparison. Much louder (more output power) but lacking clarity. Not sure if this is just my unit that is defective or it's the whole model line that is subpar.

PS Tested with Foobar, WASAPI (event). 192/24 bit audio tracks that included Pink Floyd, Eagles, Metallica, Scorpions...
It could be so many things... dirty power, unshielded wires acting like antennas, poorly assembled interconnects, and of course maybe a bad amp. If you can narrow it down to the amp then you should be able to have MD or SMSL send you a new one. If you are not interested in sending it back you can open it up and see if you just have some messy solder debris other other garbage touching things they shouldn't. I have received electronics from China that rattled like it had broken in shipping, just to open it up and see it was some solder clipping or other trash from the work area rattling in the case. Once I had a lump of flux on the board that just needed to be cleaned off and my gear worked fine after that. I think you are safe to go inside the amp since it is advertised as having a replaceable op-amp, but don't quote me. My SA-160 worked fine out of the box so I didn't crack it open.
** I would like to make it clear that NONE of the items I had to fix are from SMSL. **
I still buy products from China, it can't be avoided and most times are without incident.
All of the orders have been shipped and are now on the way to you! Once tracking is available, you will receive a confirmation email with tracking information. Please allow 24-48 hours for this information to update in the courier’s system.

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Bulk order shipped! The vendor informed us that the group's order was picked up and is on its way to our warehouse in New Jersey. Based on the tracking provided, the order is scheduled to arrive on 6/2.

Expect another update from us on 6/6 or sooner if something comes up.

If you have any questions, please visit our Help Center (
Need to proof read better before I submit. What I meant to say is: the speaker amp and the head phone amp Are totally separate amps. Also If you are wrapping the speaker Wire around the stud post.... DERP
Awaiting confirmation! We are still in contact with the vendor and just awaiting updated shipment estimates from them. We have a call scheduled first thing tomorrow morning and should get a bit more visibility in regards to when we can expect these in our warehouse.

Expect another update from us on 5/30 or sooner if something comes up.

If you have any questions, please visit our Help Center (
I received an email on 5/19 saying this drop shipped and was also charged for it. It then arrived today 5/25. It is a really weird fluke that I received it 10 days before the expected shipping date? And also before what even your update is saying? Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining by any means just a little confused. Sounds great btw, surprisingly really loud with just a pair of sony bookshelf speakers or my AKG K7XX headphones.
Thanks again for joining this drop! We have submitted the group's order with the vendor for the SMSL SA-160 and they are working hard to prepare it for shipment.

As soon as the group's order is ready at the vendor's location, they will send the bulk shipment to our warehouse in New Jersey where our warehouse team will break it up into individual orders and ship them. The current estimated ship date from our warehouse is 6/3.

We will keep the group updated throughout the fulfillment process. You can expect an update from us by the end of the day Pacific Time on 5/23.

If you have any questions, please visit our Help Center (
WAS a nice amp. Speaker circuitry crapped out after a month but the headphone jack still worked. Junk!!
Mine too and I just fixed it. I took a "bag tie", a plastic wrapped piece of wire, and fished around in the headphone jack hole. The system shuts off the speakers when headphones are inserted and that can sometimes get "stuck". I would have a more technical explanation, but, I managed to fix it in all of 10 seconds.