How to tell if I have an SMSL SU-8 V2?

Hello all, I just bought an SMSL SU-8 on ebay and I just wanted to know how to tell if it is the V2 version. It was listed as a V2 by a reputable seller but I can’t find anywhere on the packaging that listed it as such. I just got it today and so far it sounds fine, but I’m fairly new to the game and the best DAC I have is the Modi 3 to compare it to. Any help would be appreciated, as I have no clue.

Does it say 10th anniversary on it?

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I just checked and it does, is that the only true tell? I will he stoked if it is!

It is the v2 then I believe. If you really want to check, then you can take the cover off and look for it to say v2 on the pcb, but I am pretty sure it is the v2 board with v1.3 firmware

Ok, that will be enough for me. I don’t want to take the thing apart after I got everything situated. I just wanted to make sure that I got what I paid for lol. Thank you for the help!

So which sounds better to you - Modi or SMSL?

Unplug your DAC from the power outlet. Hold the power button down with your finger. Reinsert the power cable into the power outlet. Continue to hold the power button down. The startup screen should show, but this time, it will tell you the firmware version. 1.3 and up is V2.

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The SMSL Is much more analytical and thin sounding. I really didn’t like it at first. I was used to the rich and thick sound of the modi 3’s akm velvet chip. But after getting used to it and enjoying a bit more detail I think I like it more now. Imaging is better too. I can’t speak too much on the soundstage as I just changed pads and added a balanced headphone cable. But I still think the modi 3 is an incredible bang for buck dac. I think the slight haze that I was experiencing was from the slightly boosted low end on the Modi 3 that was covering some mid and high frequency details. The SMSL still hits when the music calls for it but it steps out of the way when it doesn’t. The modi 3 is a fun dac though. For reference I was listening with the Verums 1’s balanced and with the angled perforated lambskin pads on the E-600 amp. To even things out I did try single ended and the difference was similar.

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Thank you for that tip, I will definitely try that in a bit. I never knew you could do that!

I just tried it and its v1.6 thank you for the tip, I can atleast rest easy now!

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All good, glad to help :call_me_hand:t2:

Is there a way to reverse all settings back to stock/default?


Hi @MinalanSpellmonger . I’m on the prowl for the best DAC in $200 region and my shortlist is down to 2, Tone2 Pro and SU-8. What I find going for the SU-8 is it has balanced outputs together with dual 9038s. After having it for several months now, would you still recommend it? I intend to use it in a stereo system not headphones. Have you tried listening in balanced mode?Its output and SNR are higher than RCA right? Hope to hear from you soon. Thanks

For some reason my first message got “bounced”, sorry about that. After owning it for well over a year I can still recommend it if you like an analytical sound. I have only run the dac balanced to an amp so I can not speak on running it with RCA. However I do run my Vanatoo t0’s to it just fine in RCA with no audible hiss near field. Out of your two choices just keep in mind that the su8 has a remote while the tone2 doesn’t so if you are putting them in a living room the SU8 would probably be the obvious choice unless your amp has a remote (even though the screen is really small). The tone2 also has a headphone amp while the su8 does not. The SU8 is also easier to adjust settings with the remote while the tone2 can be a PITA. Both are good, but I think if you think about what features you need there will be a clear winner.