+ Reply to Thread
Page 91 of 125 FirstFirst ... 41818990919293101 ... LastLast
Results 901 to 910 of 1243

Thread: Jimbos Audio ramblings

  1. #901
    Join Date: Oct 2008

    Location: Glasgowshire

    Posts: 9,697
    I'm Gary.

    Default

    Now you've cracked digital James,
    Have a play with a Roon free trial with Qobuz,

    SO much good music out there, if you can do digital!

  2. #902
    Join Date: Jun 2015

    Location: London/Durham

    Posts: 6,926
    I'm Lawrence.

    Default

    I've got an SMSL Sanskrit DAC put away, I must check out if it has the same chip etc as the SU-1 (I think it's an AKM) as it might work nicely in my system if it's that good. I used to use it with my RPi/headphone amp set up but never tried it in the hi-fi.
    Last edited by Lawrence001; 22-11-2023 at 19:07.

  3. #903
    Join Date: Jun 2015

    Location: London/Durham

    Posts: 6,926
    I'm Lawrence.

    Default

    Just looked it up, I think I've got the 10th anniversary MK2 which has the same AK4493 chip, result

  4. #904
    Join Date: Jan 2013

    Location: Birmingham

    Posts: 6,883
    I'm James.

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Lawrence001 View Post
    Just looked it up, I think I've got the 10th anniversary MK2 which has the same AK4493 chip, result
    Nearly the same Lawrence - SMSL Su-1 has AK4493S chip.
    Main system : VPI Scout 1.1 / JMW 9T / 2M Black / Croft 25R+ / Croft 7 / Heco Celan GT 702

    Second System : Goldring Lenco GL75 / AT95EX / Pioneer SX590 / Spendor SP2

  5. #905
    Join Date: Jun 2015

    Location: London/Durham

    Posts: 6,926
    I'm Lawrence.

    Default

    I can't imagine there's much difference, I wonder what the S denotes.

  6. #906
    Join Date: Jan 2013

    Location: Birmingham

    Posts: 6,883
    I'm James.

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Lawrence001 View Post
    I can't imagine there's much difference, I wonder what the S denotes.
    A bit of bedtime reading

    https://www.akm.com/us/en/about-us/n...k4493sak4490r/
    Main system : VPI Scout 1.1 / JMW 9T / 2M Black / Croft 25R+ / Croft 7 / Heco Celan GT 702

    Second System : Goldring Lenco GL75 / AT95EX / Pioneer SX590 / Spendor SP2

  7. #907
    Join Date: Jan 2013

    Location: Birmingham

    Posts: 6,883
    I'm James.

    Default SMSL SU-1 with CDP

    SMSL SU-1 DAC with CDP

    Albums and tracks used for evaluation.

    Ballake Sissoko - Album Tomora - Track-Berekoy
    Sera una Noche - Album La Segunda - Tracks La Roca and Tauigto Militar
    Agnes Obel - Album - Philharmonics - Track - Close Watch
    Horror Inc - Album Briefly Eternal - Track-Phowa
    John Campbell - Album Howlin Mercy - Track - Down in the hole ( Yes that old chestnut)

    Set up 2

    SMSL SU-1 DAC -USB - Rotel RCD 965BX - Croft 25R+ - Croft 7

    Having had great results with File based audio I thought it would be good to give the SMSL SU-1 a try with a CDP using it as an off board DAC. My old Rotel still manages to spin those shiny discs so I lashed it all up via coaxial output from CDP to coax input on DAC. What I was to then hear was a surprise as in previous sessions my File based audio had always been my preferred route for listening to digital audio but this time the tables turned in favour of the CDP. What I heard on this first listening session with the SMSL SU-1 hooked up to the CDP was some of the very best digital performance I have heard in my system.


    On the track Berekoy by Ballake Sissoke the string texture of the Kora not only improved but took on more weight and tangibility. It moved one step forward closer to reality and had greater transparency than previously heard via the MacBook Air. I held my breath as I wondered if this was just a one off with this particular track but it wasn’t.

    Horror Inc - The Track Phowa took on more weight and even larger presence in the room and I noticed the bass performance of my speakers were now exciting the floor with huge impact and power.

    Agnes Obel the track Close Watch had a more solid feel to it even though it has an ethereal sound. Imaging went up a notch and dynamics improved.

    John Campbell - Down in the hole. I noticed on this track his vocal quality and imaging was noticeably better locked dead central and more 3D. The recorded ambient sound of this track sounded even more cavernous/spacious. There was a lush almost luxurious tone to the whole track, rich and very analogue in its sound. Very impressive but my final track got the goose pimps up.


    Sera una Noche. The track La Roca starts off fairly slow and stays that way with brass instruments , an accordion and some drums. It is recorded in a fabulous natural ambient space and at first you think it sounds a bit of dreary until you hear the first drum beat then your interest is captured. What I heard via the SMSL SU-1 DAC was stunning. The huge soundstage and massive weight captured in this recording defy belief. For a moment it felt like my system had disappeared and I had reached complete transparency, nothing between me and the music. The sound was huge, controlled and spine tingling.



    ECE029ED-9351-4D22-A10F-D174FDB0C9EF by , on Flickr
    Last edited by Jimbo; 24-11-2023 at 06:22.
    Main system : VPI Scout 1.1 / JMW 9T / 2M Black / Croft 25R+ / Croft 7 / Heco Celan GT 702

    Second System : Goldring Lenco GL75 / AT95EX / Pioneer SX590 / Spendor SP2

  8. #908
    Join Date: Jan 2013

    Location: Birmingham

    Posts: 6,883
    I'm James.

    Default

    So did the SMSL SU-1 convert me to digital - err not quite….?

    Having listened to SMSL Su-1 extensively now for the past week there are a number of factors that influenced the sound I heard from this DAC. First of all, and forgive me if this is obvious, I listened to this DAC in my system which is based on tube amplifiers and a fair bit of what I heard was influenced by the amps.

    The SMSL Su-1 is I believe a neutral sounding DAC and therefore may sound quite different with Solid State amps especially those leaning to the more neutral or analytical side. For me using valve amplification with the SMSL Su-1 was a perfect marriage and it suited this DAC and my system very well. As always system synergy is what you hope for but don't always get. It also allowed me to hear my amps with a very neutral source unlike my vinyl which err maybe not quite as neutral!.

    I get a large soundstage and great dynamics using the Croft set up so for that to be heard with the SMSL DAC is a big plus. Maybe the amplification was adding a bit of richness / juiciness to the proceedings but I like those 2nd order harmonics and distortion. I am not one for a completely neutral, zero distortion and hyper detailed forensic system. This leaves me cold and just gets you chasing detail and pixel peeping. Impressive maybe at first but not really conducive to long listening sessions and an enjoyable musical experience.

    So I would suggest choice of amplification and speakers plus room interaction is critical and I feel I had all by ducks in a row when plugging the SMSL SU-1 into my system. It actually allowed me to hear the rest of my system and its performance for what it was which was very interesting and informative. With a turntable and cartridge there are so many variables that can skew the sound one way or another.

    The SMSL DAC was a joy to listen too and blurred some of the distinct lines I have always heard between vinyl and digital. As I have mentioned it sounded neither particularly digital or completely analogue and probably was doing as Martin (Macca) has suggested which was to not throw any sound of its own into the mix. This therefore would suggest I was listening to a reconstruction of the digital recording without any embellishment from the DAC.

    But even though I accept all that and agree with it I never the less still feel that digital audio does have a sound of its own, like vinyl has a sound of its own. The only way I can describe this is the perception of a "processing" of the sound. It does not sound completely natural like an all analogue system. This is how I hear digital. OK no more nasty harshness or clinical etching unless your system has these aspects already but there is still the awareness that digital audio has this processed nature.

    The SMSL SU-1 allowed me to hear a smooth presentation with great presence and dynamics that on occasion could do some things my vinyl system can’t .But towards the end of last nights session I did some A-B comparisons of some of my favourite music which I know intimately. When I put the vinyl version back on it simply burst the digital bubble and I was bought back down to earth again and this was witnessed by other listeners in the room too. Where my vinyl beat the SMSL SU-1 was in two key areas. Natural sounding and realism.

    Anyway that is the end of my review of this fantastic little DAC. I can’t remember enjoying listening to any other DAC more in my system and it let me listen to music for long periods without any fatigue. At 67 this must be the best value audio device I have ever owned and has gone a long way to improve the listening experience of my digital set up.
    Main system : VPI Scout 1.1 / JMW 9T / 2M Black / Croft 25R+ / Croft 7 / Heco Celan GT 702

    Second System : Goldring Lenco GL75 / AT95EX / Pioneer SX590 / Spendor SP2

  9. #909
    Join Date: Oct 2008

    Location: Glasgowshire

    Posts: 9,697
    I'm Gary.

    Default

    If its brought your digital closer to your Vinyl James that's a brilliant thing, especially for under 100.
    Great write up mate, an enjoyable read.

  10. #910
    Join Date: May 2011

    Location: Glasgow

    Posts: 7,739
    I'm Brian.

    Default

    Great review James. I may treat myself to one of these
    Regards
    Brian

    Sell your cleverness and buy bewilderment . (Rumi )


    Korus Computer Audio music server
    JustBoom DAC . HRT Musicstreamer 2
    Amplifier : Sony TA FB740R
    Speakers : Tannoy 637
    Interconnects : MS Audio / Klotz MC5000 .
    Speaker cables : Western Electric 16AG

+ Reply to Thread
Page 91 of 125 FirstFirst ... 41818990919293101 ... LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •