Which headphone stack is better: SMSL SH-9/SU-9 stack or Topping A30 Pro/D30 Pro stack?
Mar 27, 2021 at 8:21 AM Post #31 of 37

Fly2High

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As usual when you want to buy once and be happy for a long time, more options are now in the mix for me.


I am concerned about the comments about the lack of bass or slam or something in the low end lacking with the SH-9. I found it odd that Jay(Canada) did not mention it. The comment made suggested the power supply might not be adequate enough which is how this gets manifested. So , I added other choices.

Gustard X16/H16 seems very nice. I do not like the display and how you adjust settings. Also, I do not like that the SE output maxes out at one watt at 64ohms and drops to next to nothing for 300 and 600 ohm HP. It can do 6W on balanced so this would suggest moving any low efficiency HP to BAL.

Might also get the SU-9 with a Singxer SA-1 completely blowing up the budget. That amp should be good for everything I could ever afford and I think the SU-9 should be a good source just need to wonder if the synergy is good.

of course this now makes the RME DAC/Amp combo come into range but I would have to live with the internal amp until I could afford better. I heard the internal amp could be better
 
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Mar 28, 2021 at 11:07 AM Post #32 of 37

AT Khan

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As usual when you want to buy once and be happy for a long time, more options are now in the mix for me.


I am concerned about the comments about the lack of bass or slam or something in the low end lacking with the SH-9. I found it odd that Jay(Canada) did not mention it. The comment made suggested the power supply might not be adequate enough which is how this gets manifested. So , I added other choices.

Gustard X16/H16 seems very nice. I do not like the display and how you adjust settings. Also, I do not like that the SE output maxes out at one watt at 64ohms and drops to next to nothing for 300 and 600 ohm HP. It can do 6W on balanced so this would suggest moving any low efficiency HP to BAL.

Might also get the SU-9 with a Singxer SA-1 completely blowing up the budget. That amp should be good for everything I could ever afford and I think the SU-9 should be a good source just need to wonder if the synergy is good.

of course this now makes the RME DAC/Amp combo come into range but I would have to live with the internal amp until I could afford better. I heard the internal amp could be better
Yes it's possible the SH-9 isn't for really the most demanding cans, the psu may have some bottleneck. Am thinking maybe later down the road if I want to mod it lol but well, will see. But that fit my budget so. Personally dont think I want to go too far with this.

But indeed the Gustard H16 or the Singxer seem like great options for a very long time, if you really have quite demanding headphones. After that you could decide on a DAC.
 
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Mar 31, 2021 at 5:11 PM Post #33 of 37

Fly2High

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Yes it's possible the SH-9 isn't for really the most demanding cans, the psu may have some bottleneck. Am thinking maybe later down the road if I want to mod it lol but well, will see. But that fit my budget so. Personally dont think I want to go too far with this.

But indeed the Gustard H16 or the Singxer seem like great options for a very long time, if you really have quite demanding headphones. After that you could decide on a DAC.
With the sale, I ended up grabbing the Gustard X16 and the Singxer SA-1. I understand that they may ship the X16 separately since the Singxer amp has more orders than they can fulfill so it will be delayed. Hopefully they pair well.

As for more demanding headphones, I will need to work on that next :relaxed:
 
Mar 31, 2021 at 5:26 PM Post #34 of 37

AT Khan

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With the sale, I ended up grabbing the Gustard X16 and the Singxer SA-1. I understand that they may ship the X16 separately since the Singxer amp has more orders than they can fulfill so it will be delayed. Hopefully they pair well.

As for more demanding headphones, I will need to work on that next :relaxed:
Wow that's a handful. Nice! Do share your opinions when you have enough to report back on.
 
Apr 2, 2021 at 10:40 AM Post #36 of 37

Fly2High

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The reasons why I gave up on both the Topping 30 Pro stack and the SMSL -9 stack are for these reasons:
1. I like bass. The SH-9 was reviewed and it was suggested that the power supply was lacking and the result of this was expressed as less impactful bass.
2. Much of the topping SS line all aim for precise and analytical. Part of me thought I would want this. They are expecting the A30 Pro to sound similar to the A90 since some aspects of the design are shared. This is what I read. No proof if it is true. The expectation is that they will sound the same.
3. Taking too long for the 30 Pro stack to come out and get some non measurement reviews. I want to know how they sound, not just how they measure.

Went with the Singxer SA-1 because it was reported to sound better than the A90, still be detailed but with a warmer tone which I believe I prefer. Also, it has more usable power and has impactful bass in the reviews so I went with it. It seems too easy to get an analytical amp. To get a musical, smooth am with warmer tones and good bass seems more difficult. I believe that the Singxer will or at least satisfy my needs better than the other two.

I grabbed the Gustard x16 DAC because it is very similar to the SU-9 but surpasses it in some areas. With the sale running at Shenzen Audio, the price of a regular priced SU-9 was now no real difference. Besides, I think it was just a few bucks anyway. I was going to grab the Gustard stack(H16/X16) but felt I would prefer the SA-1 better.

No idea if any of this is valid or truthful but I have to believe something or spend the money and try something and bite the cost of restocking should I not care for my choices. For some places, 20% restocking fees is expensive for me just to try a product out. I wish they had a loaner program. I wish they had a few units where they charge you for the item, send it out with a return shipping label for a reasonable fee. When they get confirmation of shipment, the return the cover price minus the rental fee.

For me, Apos says they charge something like 20% if you ship the item back between 8 to 45 days from delivery will be charged 20% restock. I thought I read some start charging at 3 days after delivery. I want to know, if I ship it back prior to 8 days, do I get a full refund? If they offer free shipping, will my refund be shorted their shipping fees?
 
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May 8, 2021 at 5:19 PM Post #37 of 37

War Penguin

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Recently got my A30 pro and while I was expecting a very clean and maybe even clinical amp. It surprised me, extremely dynamic and while it's definitely not tube warm It is not cold or harsh sounding either. Feel like it sits somewhere in the middle of the two signatures, oh and it also pairs well with the gustard x16. From what I've read the Singxer is really great as well and to be honest, would have gone for it myself if my budget allowed it.
 

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