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I clicked discussion positive I would see you guys guys poking at how the jump 'away' from the 9018 'to' the 9028Q2M is offered as the 'upgraded' version?????? Help me understand this - because we all have so many 784-files - the 'A' Version is an upgrade even though THD, SNR, etc. has been downgraded via 9018 to 9028Q2M? Hmmm?
The specifications for the M8A were certified by the Japan Audio Society, which I'd imagine has more critical testing procedures than the ones that were used for the original M8, and the result is lower measurements. I can't find any information as to who did the certification for the M8 (if any), but regardless, we can't compare the two DACs because they were both tested using different equipment. Then again, that can be said for basically every DAC out there lol. The specs just paint a general picture when you're comparing one to another.
That's why we're looking at the features and the sample rates the M8A supports. I don't know of any other DAC out there that supports 768/DSD512 at this price point.
"I don't know of any other DAC out there that supports 768/DSD512 at this price point. " Highly doubtful.
You know, it wouldn't hurt to actually list the product(s) you're somewhat referring to instead of doubting someone. I said I didn't know bud.
Um, I thought I was just concurring with your point of view. I guess not, so get back to me when you find that DAC<$200 with DSD512, "Bud".
The way you wrote it, you weren't. It read as, "I highly doubt that you don't know of any dacs that can do 768/512 at this price point." But don't worry, I found some. A couple minutes of searching will get you there.
Points well taken - thank you. However please note that I was comparing the M8 to itself in the newer M8A form. Unquestionably it is a great product and value/price ratio is likely unmatched by a long shot. PS - I own the original and multiple other quality digital audio components. But what I meant perhaps more specifically is that if we visit ESS Technology's own spec page http://www.esstech.com/index.php/en/products/sabre-digital-analog-converters/ we find 2 entrance gates. The original M8's 9018 is through the 'Audiophile' navigation and the M8A's DAC is ushered through the HiFi (or below Audiophile) and then through the sub-gate 'Mobile'.......... Ironically ESS has tweaked up the specs as I visited the page again to grab the link but the bottom line is that few should question that the 9018 - although aging - is/was the Gold Standard in DACs for a few years and mono-d out it was a World Beater with an attainable 135db Potential. It is not an insult but truly more of a case in point that the M8A's 9028 Q2M's wasn't born of the same hierarchy in ESS's breeding chart. That said - YES - the M8A will play the daylights out of our giant 784mhz collections (sarcastic but must acknowledge that specific detail is an upgrade) and it has a theoretical roof of 129db but in real World (like here) it has been engineered to be small/efficient - up to date - hi-res native capable but LESS in the pure sense of Audiophile than the original M8's 9018. What's my end game - grab a SMSL M8 or M8A today if you don't have a dedicated DAC, you cannot beat either for the 'cash-ola'. So unless you're headed up the chain to a '_Mytech_' Brooklyn or waiting for the likes of the multi-year overdue iFi Pro iDSD (like me) - this is the DAC to have on your desk. I pair it with my iFi Pro iCan via AQ Cables with DBS and it's truly spectacular for even 3-4x its asking price. Paired with your collection or Tidal HiFi/MQA and if you're willing to squirt about another $50 to grab Amarra for Tidal or Amarra SQ+ the added noise cancellation or truly pro-quality EQ with great presets - gives you about 97% of the results of somebody spending 10's of k on a dedicated home systems or cans-jam rig. Will throw in that I absolutely love my decommissions 6s stacked with my iFi Micro iDSD Black Label for portable and I still warm up my 2-year old Audeze Deckard for an album once or twice a week - because it also scores a home run for value based on its awesome TI-based DAC and quality of build/power Amp Combo as designed by BMW Design Works. Sorry for rant but yes I understand that the M8A will accommodate somebody's NAS filled with TB's of 784khz files whereas the org M8 won't but if you can grab the org M8 - consider it based on the 'heart' of the device - its ESS Chip after you compare the two lil genius chips for yourself!
Bear in mind the M8 uses the 9018Q2M (mobile chip) and not the full blown version. People were getting flagship performance out of the M8 by using a linear psu, iirc. That shouldn't change with the M8A, and in fact should be better due to the bigger sample rates it now supports. But I do have the M8, and will have the M8A coming next month, so we'll see how it stacks up against it's predecessor.
LOL, according to their site, the 9038Q2M just debuted. Can't win.
Airisom - now now - a gent like you should be thinking 32-bit, 8-channel - 140db right? I'm thinking you'll have some DAC with the REAL 9038 the ES9038PRO. I remember my first Apple product when I went with the Intel M-core to save a little juice and its benchmarks as compared to its traditional desktop type brethren smacked it every way from Sunday! Aren't the Chip Sets themselves a fairly controllable cost of a desktop DAC - why short the specs on the DAC Chip itself. Think I've spent too many words to come to this simple statement.... SMSL put the expensive fancy companies on notice with the 9018-built M8 - why mess with a good thing? SMSL should have definitely went to the 9026PRO, 28PRO or 38PRO - sure the Q2Ms are great - but put em in your X5/7 or A&K - spend the extra $20 on the flagship chips for desktop equipment if the buyer even knows what the features mean? Of course if the M8A has the groupies like its older M8 - I will put foot to mouth....
Well, the M8A will be my taste of DSD512 upsampling with Foobar/HQPlayer, so if I like what I hear, then I'll pick up one of the flagship dacs out there like L.K.S Audio's recently released dual-mono 9038 dac, x-sabre pro, or whatever Gustard will be releasing with the 9038.
Update: Well, I like what I hear. Not enough to warrant spending $1K+ on another DAC, though.
Yes there is no upgrade, and you are right there is no DSD512 or 786khz PCM files so its a wash.