SMSL SU-9 vs D1se

Can anyone explain the differences between the two products? It it the chassis or does one have better internal circuitry (higher-end caps etc)

The SU-9 is 450$ and the D1se is 300-400$ more.

They appear to have the same features and the same internal software…

Hello, decided to reply to your message, because currently own both Su-9 and d1se. Two very different sounding devices. Su-9 is analytical, Clean, hyper-detailed. D1se did not even sound close to su in terms of signature: warm, very powerful and worm low end region, actually too much for me, too much bass with d1se, mids maybe similar, highs are smoother and rolled off. SU-9 too harsh for long listening sessions, d1se opened from the box 4 hours ago, too much bass, bass a little bit bloated, i think it is boosted in dsp. Soundstage is different too, d1se feels like deeper and smoothed, in comparison su-9 is very accurate in terms of height and with, sad i cant hear this from d1se… Well audioquest continue, amplifier in this quest was already found, compared to many others, amp: A30 pro, headphones i like 1990… Dac still searching, don’t want to go more than 1000, but i think it is necessary in my case…


I want to share one more impression, after 48hours kf nonstop burn in with amplifier turned off, bass become very controlled and correct, all my issues to this dac fixed.

I think my search is closed. This is the best dac under 1000$ for modern music! A30 pro amplifier made miracles with it!
I did not hear such vocals before with any dac i owned before(D90, SU-9, Ares 2, M400, E50, E30, SU-8). I strongly recommend to burn in this dac.

p.s. This unit not so popular theese days, i think it deserves topic for it, it did not sound like any other smsl device!


I have treble issues that mess with my head nerves. Would you say this is less harsh or warmer? sound. I think I would like a warmer sound. I’m looking at this DAC the SMSL SU-9 and the SMSL SU-8S, SMSL DO200, LOXJIE D50, LOXJIE D40, SMSL M500 MK2, and the SMSL VMV D1SE or the SMSL SU-9N. I stream music with Tidal and never heard MQA but would like to have. I have an SMSL SP200 Amp with Hifiman Ananda and soon will get Focal Clear or Elex.

Would the SMSL SP200 work or would the SINGXER SA-1 amp to match the D1SE. And would the D1SE be better than the SMSL M400

I can’t speak to pairings as I don’t have any experience with that DAC. However, I have owned an SP200 briefly and it was damn sharp. I think it last about 20 minutes on my desk before I wrapped it back up and returned it. Singxer on the other hand, lovely!


Nice yea im looking at the JOTUNHEIM 2 or the Singxer SA-1. I have Ananda and would like more bass and less sharp. which Amp would you pick

I have the SA-1 and am very happy with it. That said, I don’t use the Sundara much with it as it appeared to struggle slightly with driving it sufficiently. I will see if I can do some testing tonight to confirm, because I did have a bad cable on that set which has since been fixed. From what I have read, it would appear that the Jot2 might be a better match for harder to drive planars.

My original target was the Jot2 but I could not get my hands on one because Schiit couldn’t supply any and after 2 months I gave up and bought the SA-1. I don’t know what the current situation is with them but you might be in for a very long wait if Jot2 is what you decide to go with.

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Thanks. I am really looking to tame the Ananda in the highs and make them more bass and warmth more musical. I listen to Rap, Hip-Hop reggae, and r&b. And Spanish music. I like vocals to shine too in females or in males. Just want to make sure I pick right amp. As I’m not sure if I over did it in the Dac department with the D1SE. Keep me posted on the retry of the Sundara with the SA-1

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I certainly will. Should be interesting testing with new cable.

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OK, testing is pretty much wrapped up. Let me just apply full disclosure here and tell you that my hearing totally sucks. I have this thing called Cholesteatoma which kinda kicked my ass for 12 years throughout the '90s into the early 2000’s. I’ve had 7 operations trying to save things, and for the most part, it worked. We are finally in maintenance mode. However, what’s left of my hearing is anything but normal!

Having said that, I think things went pretty well. First, the new cable that I got for the Sundara is working out great. It’s a balanced unit that uses 6N OCC copper Single Crystal Silver Plated wires and it sounds fantastic. The first thing I did was do a brief session on the SA-1 with no EQ. Sounded dead neutral and kinda flat, but super clean and resolving. Then I cut on EQ, started tuning and got these Sundaras humming pretty good! But I had to really crank the gain knob. At one point I had it at the 3- O’clock position. I used a pretty wide range of music, too. The more technical the music was, the better the Sundara performed.

The final thought on this is I think the SA-1 did well. No fatiguing highs, bass response was good with some extension, mids were very good and vocals were superb. Excellent detail retrieval and resolution. but somehow, I was not wowed. To confirm it I switched over to the TA-20 / SP200 combo - and with this brute power, some tubey goodness and a little EQ magic I enjoyed them even more. In fact, I did an extended stint on this setup and am thoroughly blown away by how good this sounds.

As an additional test, I swapped the Sundara for the Elegia, switched back over to the SA-1, and oh my Gosh! Pure sweetness. Amazing power (gain knob is at 12 O’clock), beautiful smoothness, incredible presence, an incredible listening experience. This SA-1 is a superb amp - I just don’t think it can drive hard to drive planars the way you would want it to. Your mileage may and probably will vary. But that is the way I heard it.

Now, how about that D1se, eh? :crazy_face:

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Thanks for this really helps me know which amp to buy. The D1SE is a Good Dac but at the price is going for not sure if its worth the extra bucks in DAC’s then say a D300 for $399 or a SU-9N for $340. The Jot 2 i could get in a week from Schiit for around $415 usd shipped to my house and the SA-1 i could get for $540 shipped to my home. So not sure what amp to buy. or and if i should just keep the D1SE

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You are most welcome. I actually had a lot of fun performing the tests. Because of everything I have been through I sometimes worry that I am not hearing what everyone else is earing! Hopefully I am not too far off. Having never heard a Jot 2, I don’t know how it stacks up head to head against the SA-1. I still kinda think that between the two the Jot may be a better option for planar duty. Perhaps a Jot 2 owner can chime in and give his or her thoughts on the matter.

As for the DAC - I think you are good there. I was taking a serious look at that unit but turned away because it has MQA in it. That is a no-go for me. I know, a lot of folks would say “just don’t use it”. But that is not the point. I will not support the MQA scam in any way, shape or form. Why pay for something I loath and will never use? I think the M400 is a great piece, except for one fatal flaw - MQA. Without that garbage in it that DAC would be at least a couple hundred bucks cheaper. Same for the D1se. But that is just me. Apart from that, the D1se sounds like a strong piece that you will be able to grow with.