SMSL SU-8 v2 just dropped on (and thought's)

On drop for ~200$ and had 4 day’s left as of day of posting.

I actually just got this DAC from amazon for 250$ 3 day’s ago, so I’ve gone ahead and begun the return process and ordered it from drop.

So far my impression’s have been good. Noticeable upgrade from my Modi 2U. Somewhat wider and cleaner overall. The XLR’s are the reason I made the upgrade (for my THX 789) but im glad to see that it was worth the buy outside of that.

The Fast Linear PCM setting is noticeably different from the rest of the filter’s, providing really crisp punctual high’s. I honestly can’t tell much of a difference with the other filter’s, I think the Minimum PCM filter’s makes the width close in, but aside from that it all sound’s too similar for me to say anything about.

Ive lightly messed around with the ‘color’ filter’s and found them a little weak, so ive not bothered to really analyze them (or use them for that matter). Having them as an option is nice though.

In my opinion it’s MORE than worth 200$, not even including XLR output, remote functionality, volume, or PCM/Color filter’s. I would happily pay 300$ for this unit should it be priced there.

I don’t really have any intention to upgrade past this unit unless I decide I want an RME ADI-2, or SMSL VMV D1 in the far future.

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Congrats on the nice stack.
Do you have volume maxed out on the SMSL SU-8 and adjust it on the 789?
With DSD I think it is a must but with Flacs I think we (I hooefully get my 789 at end of September) could use the remote for adjusting the volume with no loss in quality.
Any problems with the drivers on Windows?
Do you use Foobar2000?
What headphones do you use?
In what kind of music are you into the most?
Sorry for so many quedtions.

Just commenting on the drivers, they are pretty reliable, but I had conflicting drivers when I first installed them, and once I fixed that, I have had no issues. I use it in wasapi event and works fine, except when changing bitrate it cuts out for a sec while switching and then resumes. Otherwise acceptable latency and playback reliability

Hard to do better for 200… IMO

Ok thanks MON.
Read about loud popping sounds with change of Bitrate
Could have been V1 not the new V2. So I have to try.
Actually I drive the SMSL M6 and ifi xDSD with different drivers. No conflicts.
I read about some people using “Thesycon” driver with the SMSL SU-8. They usually come with the Topping DX7s.
I only know about “ASIO” and “Wasapi Event” with foobar.
Maybe this is a bit off topic. Quite interesting for me.

I have the v2 and it has this issue. There is not a pop (except when it turns on or off) but it still has a delay before it starts playing anything on a sample rate change. I might miss the first sec of a song if it’s a different sample rate then the one playing previously

Edit: and I am using the Thesycon driver. The issues I had with them was I had an older generic xmos driver already installed that was fukin with the installation of the new one. It was preventing me from changing the bitrate and bitdepth from the default 384/32. This was causing issues when using with asio or wasapi in foobar because it would error out because it wouldn’t switch down to the source file.

Edit 2: the Thesycon driver is also an xmos driver to clarify. I have so many USB audio devices (dacs, interfaces, instruments, controllers) that I am constantly in USB audio driver hell so this really shouldn’t be an issue for most people (regarding the conflicting drivers at least).

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I read about exactly these conflicts.
So good to know there is a solution.

Another question - any possibilty to use Tidal Masters MQA on PC and get mqa roll out in software at least half the way- missing mqa support in the SMSL SU-8 hardware. If yes- does it make sense?

You could use a software decoder, but unless there is an official driver, it would not use the hardware to decode. It would have software unfold the data and pass the pcm to the dac

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I do keep the volume maxed on the SMSL, however there is definitely no audible distortion from raising or lowering the volume on the DAC. They claim it should stay fairly accurate regardless of the volume setting (so long as you get the v2) and turning it was down and turning my 789 up/monitor’s up, there doesn’t seem to be a difference (in the audible range anyhow).

I have the drivers on my window’s 10 machine, no problems installing our using. However I use S/PDIF because if I use USB my Adam T5V’s will hiss very loudly, and that pisses me off to no end (I wish it didn’t, I feel like my m1060’s come alive when EQ’d properly, but EQAPO doesn’t work S/PDIF, atleast not on my PC).

I use foobar2000 but fairly rarely, I don’t trust alot of FLAC files unless i buy them, and im not gonna spend several thousand dollar’s on buying FLAC, like, im just not. So aside from the few times a year I bust out foobar2000, I use Tidal Hi-Fi.

Im a speaker guy tbh, my favorites being the Adam T5v’s, but I do use my headphones from time to time, my M1060’s, and Argon mk3’s. (also if anyone has tried the Argon t60’s let me know how they sound)

I listen to almost every genera, but I do listen to a lot of punk/abstract rock and 90’s g rap.

Also I suppose it’s because I use S/PDIF, but Ive not experienced ANY crackling or fade in/out with the unit, under any condition’s.

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Yes. That is what I thought.
My solution will look somehow like:
Windows10 PC>Foobar>Wasapi Event>USB>SMSL SU8 with XLR out to 789 for all formats beside mqa
PC/Notebook/Tablet/Android 9 Samsung S10>USB or OTG cable>Ifi xDSD with 3.5mm TRS to 2x RCA > 789 for full mqa roll out
Edit: line out- of course with ifi xDSD to 789- thx MON

Yeah the ess sabre chips have a built in volume control module that supposedly does not sacrifice sound quality.

Do you have the atoms and the smsl plugged into the same outlet? It seems you have a ground loop.

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Sounds good, I don’t foresee any problems there, as long as you are putting the xdsd into line out mode.

Also if you wanted to you could use the xdsd balanced if you used a 3.5mm trrs to xlr set-up

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I have ordered both- 3.5TRRS > 2x XLR
and 3.5 TRS nonbalanced to 2x RCA
Will try both

since months I use a 3.5 TRRS balanced male to 2.5mm TRRS female adapter for my 2.5 balanced iem and Sennheiser HD660s/58x cables

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Thats how I run most of my iems on the xdsd, works great. I just wish I bought a different adapter because the one I have sticks out too much and the jack bends easily

Lanfar45- check out ifi USB ipurifier

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Well I would check to see if they can fix it without spending any money first

Im using the pass through on the THX to my speaker’s. I do have a ground loop Issue, however after spending 400$+ on product’s and sending them all back, there really isnt much I can do to resolve the issue.

No plug swapping, cable lifter’s, separate power strips, cable separation/EMI clamp’s fix the issue. The second the USB goes from motherboard to DAC the hiss start’s, even when in S/PDIF mode, so that’s pretty tell tale of a ground loop problem.

Also martin, why not convert the Tidal MQA files to FLAC?

So you have isolated your PC, dac, and speakers from each other?

So does the dac create the hiss when connected to the speakers alone, or does the USB/spdif have to be connected for that to happen? Also does this happen with multiple computers? If you have a laptop, does it happen when it’s not plugged into anything else but the dac, like the wall?

If you have optical as an option there won’t be any hiss because there is no electrical conductivity with optical if you find that the link to the PC causes the loop.

Edit: Ground loops are a pita, but sometimes something simple can solve the issue

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ifi also has AC purififier- but some call it snakeoil.
Different opinions on that.
MQA “Stream” can’t be as easy converted in to Flac.
But that is way over my understanding/knowleadge-base.