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SMSL M8A (ES9028Q2M)

Discussion in 'Dedicated Source Components' started by vaki, Mar 30, 2017.
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  1. wwmhf
    The upsampling to DSD capability of recent DACs is so enjoyable that there are two consequences on myself:

    1. A moderate recent DAC such as the M8A put all of my old DAC's to shelves. Some of my old DACs were quite good in the old days because they were substantially modded.
    2. I restarted buying CDs because I found CDs are much more enjoyable than before in my system when played by these recent DACs updampled to DSD256 or DSD512.

    I endorse JDUBS statement: please TRY it and determine it for yourselves.
  2. JDUBS


  3. Jimster480
    Well I am glad you are enjoying it then.
  4. yangian
    Could you specify what old DACs you have for comparing with M8A?
  5. wwmhf
    dAck! 2.0 with upgraded coupling capacitors
    MSB Link DAC III with full Nelson mod and a modded monolithic power supply

    I enjoyed these DACs very much in those days, but they are now retired.
  6. yangian
  7. yangian
    Any comparison with Aune X1S or T1SE or Modi Multibit? Then we may get better idea on M8A
  8. st939
    Fixed the clicking issue by setting the XMOS USB driver's buffer settings to Relaxed and 8192 samples. Happy.
  9. Jimster480
    I compared it to the Modi Multibit and the M8A destroys it completely.
    The Modi Multibit has an oldschool analog stereo sound and lacks detail. It also has a horrible USB interface with clicks/pops on quiet songs constantly.

    I got mine and sold it after less than a week of actual use. The M8 & M8A are both better (I compared both of them also because I bought both and they sound virtually identical in every way).

    I decided to sell the M8A at first because I could get more for it than the M8.
    But now I have the M8 for sale also since I got a Topping DX7 (Dual ES9018K2M).

    If you can find an M8 cheaper (Rev 2) around I would recommend that over the M8A since its the same SQ for a lower price.
    If you only want something new (since new M8's are hard to find) then the M8A is still a great choice.
    Another great DAC in this price range is the Topping D30 (about $100 cheaper) with very comparable SQ although the M8/M8A does edge it out if you listen to alot of classical and jazz music (or listen analytically).

    Basically I bought all the DAC's to compare and see what i liked the best and now I just share my info :)
    dwaleke and yangian like this.
  10. Arniesb
    Hi, have anyone did comparison with this SMSL VS Chord HUGO? My friend swear that this dac is noticably better than Hugo...
  11. Jimster480
    Nope, but I wouldn't be too surprised.

    Thing is that the DX7 is actually much better than this too in terms of detail resolution.
  12. wwmhf
    Thanks sharing this info, and I am using a much higher number for samples.
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2017
  13. Triplefun
    Further to your up sampling discussion I would argue that most people buy the smsl m8a for its DSD up sampling capabilities. To my ears I find a noticeable improvement - cleaner bass, better imaging, stronger dynamics and less fatiguing. And native DSD recordings, especially classical, seem to be a big improvement over their flac equivalent on my equipent and ears.
  14. wwmhf
    Triplefun described my upsampling experience much better than myself!
  15. JDUBS
    Just to be clear, here, this dac doesn't have any upsampling capabilities.

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