This thing is impressive. I can’t compare it to the old model but it was an upgrade that was immediately noticable for me. I’m curious about the filters. The only one I can really hear a difference is filter 5 and that seems to roll of or soften the highs. I have actually been using that with a couple of my brighter headphones and it seems to tame them a bit.
Nice, glad you are enjoying it
Replaced my fiio e10k olympus2 with the Sanskrit 10th mk2 that i used on one of my computers. Probably should have changed the schiit modi3 connected to my primary computer, but that would ruin the stack
Feel the sound is lifted a bit from the fiio unit, hard to pinpoint exactly what, but perhaps there is a bit more depth and “air” over the sound. The way it is set up, i have no proper way to quickly change between them, making the comparison harder. Acoustic string instruments seems like a good example of where i atleast imagine there is a bit of difference…
Still, very happy with the dac, and now i have freed up the Fiio unit to be used more portable, like with my laptop and such, as originally planned… (that plan never happened as when i tested the fiio i found out it sounded better than my usb “soundcard” that i used so it stayed on for a few years). And, the Fiio still is pretty good, especially for easy to drive headphones…
Yup, I got it too.
Imma firing mah lazerrr (no, it’s not bright, it’s just my old smartphone focusing on LEDs, and you can turn the screen off)
Review coming soon, but it definitely doesn’t sound bad (or look bad!) with the SMSL sAp-1, 90$ “Class A” amp as a small “stack”.
Question, if it says “S10”, then “V2” when I start it, does it mean I got the MKII, or it’s just a firmware version?
Just so you know, this + the JDS atom amp is an excellent pairing. 100% recommended if you want that AKM warmth, but also need coax or optical or… something that shows the Khz.
The sAp-1 amp, in comparison, lacks treble (male/female voices high notes, high guitar notes etc.) And above all lacks soundstage.
SMSL Sanskrit 10th DAC review: BASS!
So, I already had the SMSL sAp-1 headphone amplifier. I found out the Sanskrit 10th was pretty much the same size, and available in blue, and I wanted an inexpensive AKM dac. So there it is.
Note: This is my first external desktop DAC. For all this, I used the Sanskrit 10th COAX in… and a few headphone amps, headphones, and even different pairs of speakers (well, Merry Christmas in advance to me lol).
Dynamics are great. Really great. It’s the stupidest thing to say, but even silence sounds louder. Everything jumps at you. Especially the Bass: It is possible that all of my other dacs I use daily (in my phone, in my AVR, my Playstation 3 even) were… “meh” for bass and sub-bass. And definitely lacking in dynamics. For anyone saying “dacs don’t matter”, well… plug your headphones into your smartphone and then into that. It’s a night-and-day difference. Bass drum/kick slams with authority, and I can now hear bass notes clearly. They’re no longer hidden “somewhere”. And they now go lower. And remember, it’s a 100$ DAC. So… yeah, you’re a “bass head” and want a desktop DAC? Buy this.
Mids: I finally know what the “AKM warmth” is (lows and mids boost – yup, there it is). Bass and acoustic guitars resonate more. Male voices too. Mids are more prominent. Great, “mids are where the music is”.
Treble: it definitely pushes high frequencies, 10khz, even 15khz and above (verified with sinegen). If that’s too much treble for your headphones or speakers, there are filters. Stock one is FL1, filter FL3 is better for me (it’s apparently -5dB at 20khz). The ability to choose filters is a simple, but great, feature. I set the filter to FL3 with the remote and put the remote in the drawer for good.
Specs say my old Denon AVR-1312 got an AKM dac. Same for this little blue box. So, using this DAC, and my AVR as a speaker amplifier only, I was expecting more of the same. Not at all. Pleasantly surprised. I got Fluance SX6 speakers, Zeos likes treble and even him said the treble could be “a little bit too much” with these. This DAC fixed em. I’m listening to electronic music with these and get the same “oof” I get with my T50RPs bass/drum kick slam… At moderate volume. I used to listen to music with these, admire the “treble soundstage”, but if I wanted more neutrality, I had to lay down in bed “under” the speakers, or push the volume to “party” levels. Otherwise I was like “yeah, that’s fine, but I want to hear more bass and mids, so I’ll use headphones now”. Not anymore. I’m listening to jazz at talking volume right now, and it’s just glorious. The “height” of the treble goes as high as the bass goes low.
TL,DR: “Vertical soundstage” got more “lower” and less “higher” (…I don’t think that’s english but I think you’ll get it, lol).
Detail: Also, for the first time, I believe I clearly hear the weird, subtle “clap” sounds in “Morphine - Souvenir”, or the drummer turning on his seat (maybe?) at 1:50, or the saxophonist hitting the key around 2:55 before playing, with speakers that are 5ft away from me. Maybe it’s these “clap” sounds I was talking about: Just the saxophonist doing “percussion” with the keys during the entire song, really subtly in the background, having fun. I like that it sounds like a crumpled piece of paper, when the song is talking about a piece of paper a guy dropped on the floor and lost. Might be that, too.
And for the SMSL sAp-1 amplifier in the picture? Well, I may have been wrong saying the sAp-1 was very laid-back, and maybe not even deserving of the yellow “Hi-Res Audio” sticker because I thought it couldn’t even do anything above 10khz. With this DAC plugged straight to it, it definitely, definitely pushes high frequencies, 10khz, even 15khz and above, through it (again, heard in songs and verified with sinegen). I already reviewed the sAp-1, and said it was analog sounding and very laid-back (it is, technically, a baby ~275mW “Class A” amp). Basically the exact opposite of a JDS Atom. Even the smooth Liquid Spark amp sounds “digital” in comparison. I would not create music with the sAp-1 amp. Under 10khz, the treble sounds “veiled”. The Sanskrit 10th “AKM warmth” paired with the sAp-1’s “analog”, laid-back sound might be too smooth for you if you already have smooth speakers or headphones… but it sure is damn enjoyable.
not to resurrect a dead thread. But I have a question for those who own one of these DAC’s. Does yours get warm? like very warm? I noticed the other day that mine that I got for Christmas would get rather toasty. Not hot by any means but noticeably warm. Particularly on the sides towards the front.
can’t really say mine gets much warm… its not completely cold, but not even close to what i would call warm. Only been on for an hour now though, and room temperature is about 21c.
yeah so mine gets very toasty, but only in very small areas on the far left and right near the front glass. it is on the top of my stack. so maybe its just all the heat rising to that one spot. But I do find it very odd
Well, you wanted warm sound so-- ok no sorry
Seriously, I would not worry about it. Mine is not cold to the touch either. I also heard putting the Atom dac+amp combo next to eachother instead of stacking em makes an enormous (temperature) difference. Heat is normal for amps and dacs.
Adding my thoughts because this thread is a little sparse. I’ve got a blue one. The actually useful filters and volume control with a remote !! is fantastic. So many use cases for a DAC with these features I’ve been tempted to buy a couple for use in 2.1 home theater.
I can’t speak to how this compares with other DACs as this is my only DAC, but I do enjoy the sound it produces. I also like the ability to bit-match output using WASAPI.
Late (and second) reply: It’s probably that, because after another verification, mine is cold to the touch and AFAIK never got “burning hot” to the touch.
Still, I like metal boxes for electronics. Look good, solid, and if something goes horribly wrong in there (I don’t know why though), the metal box itself would contain the fire. Plastic enclosures would just burn.
Replying to myself because I screwed up. FL4 is -5dB @ 20khz (maybe even 15khz – that’s a smooth slope), but FL3 is not. After enjoying this DAC for a few months… well, now it’s time to enjoy it even more. Remote is in the drawer again, for good this time, I hope.
FL4 also appears to boost the bass/sub-bass, but it’s probably just because the low and mid frequencies are more prominent now.
Thanks for that graph, as i never really bothered to find out much about the actual effect of the filters
I tried them out briefly and ended up using FL1 as it was the default one. When i did this i was on my Dali Zensor 1 speakers i think, and didn’t notice all that much difference with the songs i tested on (i guess with the roll off that high, old 70s rock and prog-rock might not have been the best type of recordings to test with - but its the music i know listen to most) .
It might be worth trying FL4 with my Klipsch RB-81 II though if i hook them up again, as they can be slightly harsh with some recordings when using them on my desk… (i know they are too big for desk use really, they sound better about 2 meters further back from where i normally sit at my desk)
Klipsch updating the RB81 or more brands coming out with 8in books would be the bees knees.
Confirmed. FL4 (filter #4) really gives a bass boost, at least with T50RPs. I don’t know if it’s because it does weird shit paired with the Smsl Sap-1 amp, but it’s been a while since I did not get that “oof” from bass and sub-bass. Whatever it does, it works.
I got one of these (black) the other day because I found a renewed/refurb on 'Zon for $70. I find the bass annoyingly heavy, and I’d even call it ‘floppy’. I’m using it on Jamo 803’s and an emotiva Basx 100 amp. A little less floppy with Infinity 152, which is odd because they are rear ported. I got the Jamo’s because they are front ported and THOUGHT I could move them back a bit…maybe a mistake…
I’m sitting near field (computer setup), and comparing it to the Topping d50s. I’m going to be swapping out kit for a while I guess…the sound is downright ugly for a PC setup, lol. I may switch the MKii to conferring digital from a DVD changer to an old Marantz stereo I fixed up, where I’ve got more control over the tonality.
The adventure never ends…and that’s why I like it!
I actually have the Sanskrit 10th and wanted to compare to the D50S for a while. I’d like to know your impressions.
The exact opposite happened for me: My speakers lacked bass and sub-bass, the Sanskrit 10th “fixed” em. I listen to a lot of electronic music, either with speakers (amp: Denon AVR) or headphones (amps: JDS Labs atom or Liquid Spark… headphones: Fostex T50RPs, NAD HP50s etc.), and never would say the bass is “floppy” though.
My guess is, BasX A100 doesn’t pair well with the Jamo 803’s, for whatever reason.
Also, do you have it on filter FL4? If so, don’t (see above).
You might want to change the filters. Oddly enough filters are meant to fix the high frequencies, but… on the Sanskrit 10th, I’m pretty sure it does something for the bass and sub-bass too. And the Jamos got a ton of these, lol. So, try different filters.
NOTE: This is the first time I’ve tried to do any “analytical” listening, so take it with a grain of I might not know what the heck I’m talking about, except what my earholes are telling me! Source for these is USB, Amazon music HD. I have also tinkered with Soundblaster outputting optical, but not below.
–I listen to Natalie Imbruglia Torn, Green Day When September End, Butthole Surfers Shame of Life, ACDC Shook Me, Offspring Kids Are Not Alright, Morrissette (sp?) Jagged Little Pill and Stones sympathy for the Devil, Paul Thorn Bull Mountain for my “analytical” subjective testing. Moved the smaller speakers around, and the larger ones in and out from the wall.
–Sub (when used) is a cannabalized logitech z337 under the desk, and I can control volume from a desk input and cutoff from the unit.
–Filter #2 (I can’t handle throwing another variable into the mix)
–Amp for THESE FOUR is BasX A-100 (100W A/B amp)
–Audioengine P4 Just about perfect nearfield, pleasant base out of the speakers, super lively, needs the baby sub for movies. I think these are the speakers I’m going to stick with for nearfield. Front ports seem to work like I had expected the Jamo’s to work.
–Klipsh R-51b II highs are clearer and bass is more pronounced, but still tight. Didn’t use the baby sub. Probably a bit too much sound for my desktop for general listening.
–Infinity R152 used without sub. Very rich sounding mids. Maybe a bit too much? The bass is more muted compared to the Klipsch. Mid-base is perfect though.
–Monolith Satellite speakers (atmos not connected) Sounds ok when moved to the desktop, where a desktop speaker ought to be. Got them for $70 on sale on a lark. Pleasantly surprised.
–AMP for THESE FOUR–MKII to the SVS soundbase, which is a slightly more powerful 150W class D.
–Audioengine P4 with Surprisingly “dead” compared to Basx100 driving them. Moved around to desktop. “It’s dead, Jim”.
–Klipsh R-51b II Very lively. Klipsch “sound” comes through. A bit too much twang and too much sound in front of me. “Information Overload”, lol.
–Infinity R152 with SVS Soundbase as an amp lively sound, good imaging. Clear mids. Precise base. Very…smooth. Male vocals were awesome. Natalie Imbruglia sounds like she’s right here. Bass hangs on just a bit too much, probably because they’re too close to the wall. Much better when pulled out a littel and when I sit back.
–Monolith Satellite speakers (atmos not connected) Pretty flat by comparison. Does best on the desktop, triangle-style.
Thoughts: I’ll probably use RCA switching with the Sanskrit, move the desk forward, Infinity’s pulled out from the wall with the MKII = SVS Soundbase in Aux (from the MKII) for music listening and use the MKII + A100 with the Audioengine P4’s in a “proper” desktop configuration (Mechwarrior gaming, casual listening, movies, streaming news, etc.) with the sub. Bonus: the A100 has headphone output.
So, yeah. It turns out I dislike the way the Jamo’s sound, at least as desktop/nearfield. Only paid a hundo, so they’ll probably go on TheListThatCraigBuilt.
Also, my topping D50s quit working when changed the input to USB (grrr). Bought it back in March, Apos is aware and I’m waiting on an email back from a senior tech.