SMSL M500 MQA DAC
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Taz777

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Does anyone have the new SMSL M500 DAC? I currently have a Topping D50 with an LPS. It sounds really good. However, one thing it doesn't do is MQA and, as a Tidal subscriber, the SMSL M500 would provide the full benefits of MQA tracks.

If the sound quality is an improvement over the Topping D50 then I'd be tempted.
 
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DarKu

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Hey, I just made a double review for M500, check it out here.
In about two weeks I will also compare it with a Topping D50S.
 
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motberg

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Hey, I just made a double review for M500, check it out here.
In about two weeks I will also compare it with a Topping D50S.
Great review !

Very much looking forward to your impression vs the Topping D50 also... I have a D50 and find acoustic guitar somewhat plastic sounding and electric bass very artificial... vocals are pretty good as well as dynamics, but those artificial lower mids are a deal breaker for me...
This M500 would be great if it does not exhibit similar characteristics... especially with the balanced outputs (I use speakers only, so if you could compare the accuracy of the XLR preamp outs volume control that would be greatly appreciated....)
 
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Taz777

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Hey, I just made a double review for M500, check it out here.
In about two weeks I will also compare it with a Topping D50S.
Excellent review! As @motberg says, a review against the D50 would be great. I imagine the D50s is close enough to the D50.
 
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Jwakeford

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Hey, I just made a double review for M500, check it out here.
In about two weeks I will also compare it with a Topping D50S.
Did you get a chance to review the M500 vs the D50S yet? Could not find review. I have the Topping DX7S now and am intrigued w the MQA capabilities.
 
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boxster233

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Does the mqa with this dac work with an IPhone?
 
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Koei

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I just got mine as a replacement for my Schiit Modi Multibit. Holy crap, this completely wipes the floor with the Schiit. It is so much cleaner, with the Schiit I felt I was listening to the distortion created by it and the SMSL just sounds super clear with 0 distortion. I should say I'm not hearing the M500, I'm just hearing the music. Build quality also feels much better. The button to switch inputs on the Schiit is pretty much a joke and feels bad even if it would only cost $30.
 
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Just got it since Monday. I am impressed with its build quality, its functionalities and sound. I connected it to a Raspberry Pi 3b running Moode Audio, and it plays direct DSD, MQA and pretty much everything you throw at it. It sounds exceptionally clean, but a tiny little bit hot on treble on certain tracks. The headphone amp section has juice to spare, at least with the headphones I have.
 
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Best PCM filter ? I am finding Apodidizing to be really relaxed and inviting.

So, how does the M500 compare to other high end DACs like Myteks, ADIs and Benchmarks? I mean if a DAC is clean... should they all sound the same...and does M500 pass that test? Thanks
 
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Review (Japanese only )  音質テスト
 
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Best PCM filter ? I am finding Apodidizing to be really relaxed and inviting.

So, how does the M500 compare to other high end DACs like Myteks, ADIs and Benchmarks? I mean if a DAC is clean... should they all sound the same...and does M500 pass that test? Thanks
I haven't seen the M500. I have a few MQA DACs including the Brooklyn DAC+. I also have the RME. However RME and Benchmark don't do MQA.
I can't compare to the SMSL but I think for the money it's worth it. The question will be if you can play MQA without dropouts. There is a long thread on the Pro Ject Pre box S2 digital and one of the guys said there he gets dropouts in MQA and other guys chimed in and one guy concluded none of the affordable MQA dacs works 100%.

The more expensive DACs have great build quality and a better ecosystem. The connectivity is better, the amps are better, the UI and options are better. If they break they're worth fixing. They don't all sound the same because the quality of the DAC implementation, the analog stages, the power supply, they all matter.
 
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Mellowship

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I haven't seen the M500. I have a few MQA DACs including the Brooklyn DAC+. I also have the RME. However RME and Benchmark don't do MQA.
I can't compare to the SMSL but I think for the money it's worth it. The question will be if you can play MQA without dropouts. There is a long thread on the Pro Ject Pre box S2 digital and one of the guys said there he gets dropouts in MQA and other guys chimed in and one guy concluded none of the affordable MQA dacs works 100%.

The more expensive DACs have great build quality and a better ecosystem. The connectivity is better, the amps are better, the UI and options are better. If they break they're worth fixing. They don't all sound the same because the quality of the DAC implementation, the analog stages, the power supply, they all matter.
I only have 3 albums on MQA. I don't care for Tidal, as I am running my USB input on the M500 with a raspberry pi with Moode Audio. It sounds great.
As for the MQA, of the 3 albums, 1 has some dropouts. The other two play fine. The one that glitches has a green MQA dot as opposed to the other two that are studio certified, hence have the blue dot. Maybe it had something to do with it.
I tried Tidal masters directly from my smartphone on the M500 and have nothing to report.
 
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