SMSL SU-8 Version 2 DAC, SH-8 & DA-8search

SMSL SU-8 Version 2 DAC, SH-8 & DA-8

SMSL SU-8 Version 2 DAC, SH-8 & DA-8

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(16 reviews)
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This is a question to @Massdrop and @SMSL team. Are there more details and photos on DA-8? I'm interested in full stack, but couldn't find any info regarding DA-8.
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bottle_hunter
Here is the photo of SMSL DA-8 50W AMPLIFIER~
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Does this works with 240V?
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wchiu
Yes, it has a voltage switch on the bottom. You'll probably receive a US plug with it though. If you're ordering it outside Americas it might just be cheaper (and definitely faster) to just order it from Amazon instead.
wchiu
YES, OF CAURSE~
After 2 days of use, the DAC doesn't want to play DSD on DoP from my Mac anymore. It was working for the past 2 days. Now it stays in PCM mode, so the DSD is played as noise/faint music. I've tried multiple players, JRiver, Audirvana. Can't figure out what's going on.
mimizone
after an hour of trying to switch it back to dsd64,128 or 256 (and listening in the meantime to dsd music on my other DAC from the same computer), it decided to detect DoP properly again. Not sure if it is the multiple power resets, usb plug/unplug, and 10s of tests in the different players... but now I see dsd64 properly on the LCD and can hear the music... Anybody experienced this bug before?
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I cannot find any info on the warranty for the SU-8. Is any kind of warranty offered by SMSL and what is the procedure in case of defects or potential issues down the road?
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You mean send it back to MD if it's DOA, right? It sucks so hard not offering proper, clearly worded, upfront FREAKING warranty for the products offered! Must breathe! Breathe in, breathe out..... Rant averted! Buying it through Amazon and getting a protection plan from SquareTrade for it would make this whole proposition more palatable. Provided SquareTrade doesn't pull some shady BS which I cynically expect from an insurance company... This is literally a product that covers everything I could ask from a desk DAC, but the fact that WARRANTY from the manufacturer is kind of nonexistent makes me stay away from this. And don't anybody tell me that "I got this x months ago and it's going strong bla bla" because it's got nothing to do with that, it's about a principle! Manufacturer should stand behind the product with a reasonable warranty! THIS IS HOW IT SHOULD WORK! Recently I purchased a pair of Audeze LCD-2 Classic, it was a private transaction between the original owner and me. Audeze offers a 3 years warranty on the drivers and 1 year warranty on the rest of the parts starting from the original date of purchase. Warranty is transferable, as it effing should be, any company should stand behind the product it builds not weasel its way out of supporting the product first chance it gets! After a little while I noticed a small rip developing on the leather support band and I contacted Audeze. They asked for the serial number and after confirming it's a genuine Audeze product they sent me a replacement leather headband. Period. Sorry, couldn't avert the rant! Thank you for understanding!
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TheChosenOne
Yes the D50 went back to Massdrop.
Is this the same version that available on Amazon? I’d pay 50 more to not have to wait till February.
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Contacted Shenzhen audio through amazon and the amazon listing is also most current. Went with that for quicker arrival.
OdysseyOG
Good to know.
Before I join the drop I just to clarify and confirm that the SMSL SU-8 you have in stock and that will be shipped to me has a PCB board version V1.2 per https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/smsl-su-8-version-2-balanced-dac.5433/
mdr944
This drop should be the newest revision: https://www.massdrop.com/buy/smsl-su-8-dac/talk/2274224
Anyone know if the USB input is able to work with an Android-based DAP using an OTG cable/output? I would like to use my XDP-100R as a transport for this DAC.
beaucauchemar
Works on my pixel 3 with an otg cable
I really like the form factor here, but wish there were more color options (at least black) and also wish the SH-8 had more output power. At the very least I could get the SU-8 and pair it with my Magni 3 until the THX 789 drops again. On the fence though because I want a blacked out audio setup to match the rest of my desktop. @MassdropAudiophile partner up with SMSL to make these in black and a more powerful version of the SH-8 too!
I have the Darkvoice tube amp and also the JDS Labs Atom amp. Should I buy the SU-8 DAC or the Aune x1s?
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That's unfortunate. I've heard plenty of good about Topping products but people are bound to get a lemon every once in a while. I'm considering the SU-8 right now as well but I'm on the fence.
RiflemanFirst
The x1s has better S/N and dynamic range. Not sure how much that plays into the equation.
Does the company haveDESKTOP DAC WITH MQA COMPATIBILTY?
liorvikel
None of SMSL's DACs are MQA certified/compatible as far as I can tell from their website.
liorvikel
No MQA. The cheapest option that I know for an MQA DAC is the IFI nano iDSD Black Label.
Got mine a couple of days ago. Right off the bat one thing to watch out for is that the power cable is very short. Didn't measure it, but it can't be much longer than three feet! Installed the driver from smsl site and everything is working fine so far, using rca outs to a couple of headphone amps. (not at the same time, switching between the two). Also, mine says "10th anniversary edition" on the back??
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Ah, I noticed that setting too and thought "that's not supposed to be there" lol
1.2 has this as well
Should I feed PCM or Bitstream (unprocessed) from my Blu ray player to SU-8? Thanks!
Yogie88
PCM....the DAC can handle PCM. It can't handle DTS-HD, Dolby HD/Atmos, etc.
Yogie88
As @CapnCook said, 2ch PCM. If you play anything else, be sure to take your headphones off or mute it as you will be deafened by the amount of noise it's going to shoot into your ears by playing Dolby/DTS/Atmos. Ask me how I know... This is covered in the manual as well so I would disregard what @Swede is saying.
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Just got mine over the weekend and set it up today. It plays fine for 2 minutes and then no output to the amp. I cycle the power and it will play for another 2 minutes before dropping out. Tried different amps and cables. My other DAC (Schiit Bifrost) works fine with the same setup.
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Got mine 2 days ago. I use it on a Mac mini, Mojave. No driver. everything works ok. I use Jriver, or VLC, or at the system wide level.
scottb
I'm using Foobar on a PC, and when I have encountered problems with music stopping it has been resolved by increasing the buffer size a few more ms. Check you music apps output and see if it shows a buffer adjustment.
I received my SU-8 DAC yesterday. Shows firmware version 1.3 when holding down power button while plugging in power. Using it with balanced cables and THX AAA 789 amp driving HD800s cans. Sounds great. At full volume high gain I hear no hiss with player paused. Mine is also labeled anniversary edition on the back. So far so good!
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Gomjab
I was thinking of upgrading to the same stack combo. How do you choose what the DAC outputs (through XLR or RCA)? I want to connect powered monitors to the 789 but use balanced.
Just got mine and the remote doesn't work with two sets of working batteries. Anyone know of a quick fix?
slenny
I think I read somewhere to hold the "C" button down on the remote to unlock it for the first time.
slenny
Yes, press the 'C'
I just received a shipping notice for my SU-8 DAC from last drop. I thought I’d be waiting until February.
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Lucky you having a AAA 789. I am so ready to order one in the next drop. Could you share later your feedback of the two together in balanced mode? What headphones do you use?
mimizone
My favorite is a pair of Sennheiser HD800s but I also use a pair of Beyerdynamic DT-770 if I need closed back. The HD800s as well as a pair of HD650 that they replaced are setup with balanced cables. My old balanced setup was a Schiit Jotunhem with the internal DS balanced DAC. The AAA 789 replaced that hence the need for a new balanced DAC. I’m hopeful the SU-8 will work well in that role.
How much was this DAC dropping for last time?
Buckaboo
Dac only (SU8) was $199.99 USD.
is there a specific driver for Mac OS X to do native DSD 256 and DSD 512?
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mimizone
Mac OS doesn't support native DSD, only DoP. It means you loose the highest dsd resolution. If the SU-8 is capable of native dsd 512, Mac will go only up to dsd 256.
I do need some advice guys, would it be possible to connect this dac directly to a pair of W4S sx 1000R class D mono blocks without a preamp ?. I have been researching and still have no clue if it would be possible, the whole idea is to connect this to my thx 789 and at the same time to the mono blocks. next the specs of the amps for impedance etc, :
  • Typical THD+N 8Ω (10W out): 0.0055%
  • Power Output 8Ω @ 0.2% THD+N: 570W
  • Power Output 8Ω @ 1.0% THD+N: 625W
  • Power Output 4Ω @ 0.2% THD+N: 1,140W
  • Power Output 4Ω @ 1.0% THD+N: 1,225W
  • IMD (CCIF): 0.0005%
  • Transient Inter modulation (TIM): 0.005%
  • Output Idle Noise: <80µV
  • Efficiency 4Ω: 79% @ 1000W
  • Efficiency 8Ω: 78% @ 500W
  • Frequency Response 20Hz-20kHz: ± 0.4db
  • Lower Bandwidth: 3.3Hz (All Loads)
  • Balanced Input Impedance: 91kΩ
  • Unbalanced Input Impedance: 91kΩ
  • Dynamic Range: 118db
  • Gain: 27db
  • Sensitivity: 2.95V
  • Output Impedance: 0.005Ω
  • Min Load: 2Ω
  • Dampening Factor (100Hz 8Ω): 2000
  • Max Output Current: 40A
  • Channel Tracking: < ± 0.02 db
  • Idle Power Consumption: 15W
thank you in advance
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CollectiveMind
Your device takes XLR and RCA ins. Any DAC that has these can connect to your device. As for simultaneous or switching between your amp and your blocks, assume the least convenient one for you and assess if it's worth it.
Can you switch outputs with the remote?
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There is a switch on the right of the SU-8 front panel to switch either analog inputs like; XLR or RCA. The remote then can change the digital inputs like; optical, USB or coax.
Victurtle
Confirming @Allmusic 's reply...the XLR out and RCA simultaneously output signal. I can 'hot swap' my headphones from one amp to the next, both being fed by the SU-8.
Does this come with a pair of XLR male to female? If not, where can I get them?
sixfoot-tallrabbit
if not Amazon sells these via Amazon Basics
sixfoot-tallrabbit
No, it comes with a remote, power cable, and USB cable. Try Amazon or Monoprice for decent cheap cables.
Wow! The Ship date is in February? As the the philosopher Charles Brown once said "arrrrrg"!
Maybe a dumb question: would I still be able to hear the "benefit" of the balanced dacs if I only use the rca outputs to my headphone amplifier?
mikeonline
aside from volume, you won't hear a difference between either output. benefit is mostly in noise reduction which is very good for both
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natto_lover
thank you, was just curious if I would loose the whole benefit of having a dedicated dac for each channel.
A black version please?
Come on SMSL, please offer a black version for this
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KillerQueen95
Yeah that would be awsome.
This combination or the Topping DX7S and why? I want to be able to drive anything from sensitive IEMs to HD650s and planars using either balanced or unbalanced cables. So, make your best argument, ladies and gents. Your input is valued and appreciated!
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GuyInPittsburgh
The amp with this is very low power. You want something with a few watts output at least if you want to drive harder things, and this has less than a 1W output. At 600ohms it is barely even 50milliwatt... The DAC itself is incredible though.
EniGmA1987
I believe the SH8 headphone amp is far more powerful than 50 milliwatts @ 600 ohms when it is in balanced mode.
Literally good enough for end game folks. 200 dollars this is a steal.
Can anybody help out here, I got an SU-8 to feed my MD789 a balanced signal from my win 10 laptop. I downloaded and installed the driver from the SMSL website but it seems I have a somewhat more limited list of bit depth/rates in the windows dropdown for default audio format, only up to 32/384k, not that I really need 32/768k or whatever, I just know the dac is capable of it, and I'm just not sure how to set the computer to accommodate it.
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OK, so I think that makes sense, windows doesn't really handle DSD natively so you need some other stuff to support it, but what about PCM at 32/768k? Is there some limit where I can't set the default audio format in Windows to higher than 32/384k even though the device supports it?
ThatDudeOrion
I think it was in the driver panel for it, you may need to restart the PC to see it, I think I was in the same boat. I do know that Spotify wouldn't play above a certain rate, unfortunate that it freaked out because it was above 192khz but whatever. It's not like Spotify pumps out MQA like Tidal anyways.
I have the following headphones - PM-3, LCD2-C, & Clear. Should I get this stack or wait for the next drop of the THX AAA 789 amp plus a DAC?
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Thanks for the reply! I really want the SU-8. I might just go ahead and get the stack. I’m sure it’s a decent pairing.
sixfoot-tallrabbit
The DAC is incredible, the amp is pitiful in power output. It wont drive planars well. Pair this with the THX amp for extremely low distortion and great power.
I wish the output impedance of the amp was listed since that is something that matters a lot