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SMSL M8A (ES9028Q2M) - Page 4

post #46 of 58

@Jimster480  I just saw a show stopper issue on the m8a or m8. I'm planning on hooking some quite large Monster Sigma interconnects to the DAC. The smsl's look really tight on the jack spacing. I'm not totally comfortable with the Topping D30, but I'd rather be rolling in analog components with the Topping to boost its performance and save $165 than deal with the jacks on the m8 or m8a. Ugh. Got spacing measurement on the topping? If its big enough to accept my $800 retail interconnects it may get the nod here. Ugh.

post #47 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimster480 View Post


Grab the topping and don't look back lol.
Most likely both my M8 and M8A will be for sale in the next month's after I finish testing everything.

Haha. Well my post was under review and just spotted jack spacing issue. Hmm. I guess I'll get it since its so cheap and start there, possibly mod the darn thing if its got hope. If you change your mind on M8A particularly in bass department I can always get that and see for myself. Maybe I'll buy that M8A off you hehe. st939 seems pretty stoked about M8A, but that tight jack spacing bothersome.

 

I'm currently using hotrodded old Pioneer bdp51fd bluray (huge with IEC connector, etc.) It doesn't do highdef per se, but I've back doored it by cutting some 24/96 DVDs. I really, really like its analog stage for my system, so I'll find out which is most important soon enough. Converting DSD to 24/96 just seeming so wrong when I can play DSD direct.:p

post #48 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Meles View Post
 

Haha. Well my post was under review and just spotted jack spacing issue. Hmm. I guess I'll get it since its so cheap and start there, possibly mod the darn thing if its got hope. If you change your mind on M8A particularly in bass department I can always get that and see for myself. Maybe I'll buy that M8A off you hehe. st939 seems pretty stoked about M8A, but that tight jack spacing bothersome.

 

I'm currently using hotrodded old Pioneer bdp51fd bluray (huge with IEC connector, etc.) It doesn't do highdef per se, but I've back doored it by cutting some 24/96 DVDs. I really, really like its analog stage for my system, so I'll find out which is most important soon enough. Converting DSD to 24/96 just seeming so wrong when I can play DSD direct.:p


It really is a great unit.
The original guy in the Topping D30 thread actually modded his and changed the OPAmp, apparently its not too hard with some soldering skills.

The A30 has a socket actually so you can just change it, I wonder if they will do this with the D30 in the future.

post #49 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimster480 View Post
 


It really is a great unit.
The original guy in the Topping D30 thread actually modded his and changed the OPAmp, apparently its not too hard with some soldering skills.

The A30 has a socket actually so you can just change it, I wonder if they will do this with the D30 in the future.

Some people really enjoy doing that stuff, but not so much the cork sniffing aspects. I got slightly burned in a crossover.  I did an upgrade with dual versions and it went great. Decided I wanted a bit more and got single version of ic and adapter to plug in two of them. Unit wouldn't work with them but I never could see anything wrong with what I did, so project scrapped/on hold for years now and out $100 and a lot of time. (Tube rolling is easy and awesome.;)) For me the big gain was noise. I'm going to have to really like this thing to want to install sockets.

 

Well I just saved $165 over the SMSL M8A by going with the Topping D30 for only $85. Hopefully I luck out and it will show late next week. Its a good choice to go through all the DSD motions with in case I find out my laptop doesn't want to do ASIO. If it weren't for the jack spacing on the M8 I might have gone for it. Hoping the M8A surprises you and I might just get one.

 

I like sockets, but these guys probably have to get 4 times the part cost to justify price so they don't always do it. Tubes you can't put in backwards; with ICs you can do damage when put in backwards. The Topping's board doesn't look too bad to deal with. I recapped beloved sub amplifier with blackgates and recapped its crossover back a few years (units nearly 30 years old now.) That was pretty easy work. I'd like to do stuff in my Pioneer bluray and just so many electrolytics and everything is so, so small. You really need some magnification and a tiny soldering iron.:rolleyes: 

post #50 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimster480 View Post
 
DAC is a dac, the specs are similar and all the flagship DACs compete.
Xmos is the same thing for both from what I have seen.
They use the same drivers and interface.

Nice one.

Like a car is a car, an amp is an amp, a headphone is a headphone, etc.

They're all the same (just the prices vary).:biggrin:

post #51 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by st939 View Post
 

Nice one.

Like a car is a car, an amp is an amp, a headphone is a headphone, etc.

They're all the same (just the prices vary).:biggrin:


That's not at all the case.

A DAC and a Car cannot be compared as a DAC is a chip from a single company with circuits inside.

Cars are complex large machines with parts from as many as 100mfg's which have things such as chassis, engine, HVAC, suspension, collision, sensor, feedback tuning done by many groups of people.

 

Whereas a DAC is designed by a small team and its then built en-masse. There are some variations overall, but they are not that large.

So far from comparing AKM, Cirrus, ESS, TI overall the differences are very small and none sounds "better" than the other.

Now obviously the implementation itself can vary even with the same chips used and this mostly is due to the power and analog stages, but the chips themselves will perform similar based on their specs.

 

Amps on the other hand are also not that complex and most of them are made from the same parts, prices are set apart from how much you want to fall for marketing, and its availability of ports, sizing, portability, versatility and power output and type of amplifier. A $3000 Amp doesn't have any magic parts that make it cost that much, but it won't be the same as a $5-30 Amp either as the sum of the parts will be atleast $50 for something decent.


Edited by Jimster480 - 4/14/17 at 12:45pm
post #52 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimster480 View Post
 


That's not at all the case.

A DAC and a Car cannot be compared as a DAC is a chip from a single company with circuits inside.

Cars are complex large machines with parts from as many as 100mfg's which have things such as chassis, engine, HVAC, suspension, collision, sensor, feedback tuning done by many groups of people.

 

Whereas a DAC is designed by a small team and its then built en-masse. There are some variations overall, but they are not that large.

So far from comparing AKM, Cirrus, ESS, TI overall the differences are very small and none sounds "better" than the other.

Now obviously the implementation itself can vary even with the same chips used and this mostly is due to the power and analog stages, but the chips themselves will perform similar based on their specs.

 

Amps on the other hand are also not that complex and most of them are made from the same parts, prices are set apart from how much you want to fall for marketing, and its availability of ports, sizing, portability, versatility and power output and type of amplifier. A $3000 Amp doesn't have any magic parts that make it cost that much, but it won't be the same as a $5-30 Amp either as the sum of the parts will be atleast $50 for something decent.

post #53 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Meles View Post
 

Lmao how funny, I wouldn't even be surprised if that was real.

 

But you know what I mean overall :)

post #54 of 58

Btw I have my Topping D30 only for the next week or so, I put away my M8 and some other things because I am about to move to my new house. Had to choose one DAC to leave out so I put away my second A30, step up convertor and M8 and now I have the D30 and my black Modi Multibit that came in last night (will also get reboxed soon, just needed to test if it works).

post #55 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimster480 View Post
 

Btw I have my Topping D30 only for the next week or so, I put away my M8 and some other things because I am about to move to my new house. Had to choose one DAC to leave out so I put away my second A30, step up convertor and M8 and now I have the D30 and my black Modi Multibit that came in last night (will also get reboxed soon, just needed to test if it works).

Congratulations.:beerchug:

 

I really like your comments on the Topping so at 1/3rd the price plus the jack spacing it was just a logical start. I've never really done headphones, but like Headfi for tube rolling and ic rolling where this really is a top site. Its pretty cool to be able to try a number of components and test them like a reviewer. Break in can be an issue that hurts a new unit.

 

The photo was a recent Sennheiser statement piece and take it as corporate greed or the fact that your little hobby may eventually escalate. I've got some pretty midfi Sennheiser that I got over $100 Grado because they were completely enclosed and I could blast music at work. If my digital ways keep up I may go with a Pono which is supposed to be pretty trick with balanced headphones for work and also for aux input on car (hopefully something better comes along.) My HP 3D laptop is supposed to have good headphone setup, but otherwise that's it for me, of course except for my big rig.

post #56 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Meles View Post
 

Congratulations.:beerchug:

 

I really like your comments on the Topping so at 1/3rd the price plus the jack spacing it was just a logical start. I've never really done headphones, but like Headfi for tube rolling and ic rolling where this really is a top site. Its pretty cool to be able to try a number of components and test them like a reviewer. Break in can be an issue that hurts a new unit.

 

The photo was a recent Sennheiser statement piece and take it as corporate greed or the fact that your little hobby may eventually escalate. I've got some pretty midfi Sennheiser that I got over $100 Grado because they were completely enclosed and I could blast music at work. If my digital ways keep up I may go with a Pono which is supposed to be pretty trick with balanced headphones for work and also for aux input on car (hopefully something better comes along.) My HP 3D laptop is supposed to have good headphone setup, but otherwise that's it for me, of course except for my big rig.


Yea my "little hobby" is growing fast and the wife has taken notice.
I went from using my own splitter setup on the Heos 3 and some regular headphones plugged into my Laptop/iPod/Phone to a FiiO K1 and a 1More Triple driver to some Klipsch R-15PM's, Panasonic RP-HD10, 1More quad drivers, and the topping D30, A30, SMSL M8, Fulla 2 and now Modi Multibit.......

 

I am enjoying doing all this testing. So far testing the Modi Multibit vs the D30 shows me that the Mimby is more "loud" but there aren't more details I have heard just yet.

I'm letting it do some burn in time (Schiit advises to leave it on for upto a day aswell) and I'll come back and do some more testing later on especially with some more songs that I am more familiar with. Especially some older R&B with great female vocals. I'll also test some Jazz pieces that I have become very familiar with and my favorite album from Ludovico Einaudi, I've also got a few Lang Lang tracks I know really well and 2 Electronic songs in particular that seem to be a good judge of details.

 

After that I'll report bac

post #57 of 58
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimster480 View Post
 


Yea my "little hobby" is growing fast and the wife has taken notice.
I went from using my own splitter setup on the Heos 3 and some regular headphones plugged into my Laptop/iPod/Phone to a FiiO K1 and a 1More Triple driver to some Klipsch R-15PM's, Panasonic RP-HD10, 1More quad drivers, and the topping D30, A30, SMSL M8, Fulla 2 and now Modi Multibit.......

 

I am enjoying doing all this testing. So far testing the Modi Multibit vs the D30 shows me that the Mimby is more "loud" but there aren't more details I have heard just yet.

I'm letting it do some burn in time (Schiit advises to leave it on for upto a day aswell) and I'll come back and do some more testing later on especially with some more songs that I am more familiar with. Especially some older R&B with great female vocals. I'll also test some Jazz pieces that I have become very familiar with and my favorite album from Ludovico Einaudi, I've also got a few Lang Lang tracks I know really well and 2 Electronic songs in particular that seem to be a good judge of details.

 

After that I'll report bac

Any updates, Jimster? I am curious how the M8A compares to Topping. I've just received the latter and is sound pretty good, albeit I don't have any comparison.

post #58 of 58

I haven't received my M8A yet, its still in fufillment from Massdrop.

I got my Modi Multibit and I wasn't impressed, I will do more testing after I finish moving because that is what I am in the process of doing right now.

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