SMSL SU-9 DAC - Is it a budget alternative fit for an audiophile ?
So I have this problem where even though I'm content with what I have, I still like to try out products that look appealing to me. I was super curious about these near state of the art DACs coming out of China--Topping, Gustard, SMSL, and so on. Amplifying my interest is the fantastic measurements that this unit, the SMSL SU-9 puts out coupled with its price (<$500).
Just 10 years ago something that measured this well would be thousands. And, this DAC uses the ESS 9038Pro chip.
Now, big DISCLAIMER-- I don't buy, keep and enjoy product based on measurements alone. It must sound good.
I've only been running the SU-9 for a couple hours so it's early to say how I really feel. I can confidently say that I thought this little guy might embarrass himself. But, not that's not the case. The sound is pretty great. There's nothing harsh going on, no digital haze/hash, and it's musical--I'm tapping my toes.
Again, it's too soon to really review this DAC--yet I will say I think that I have the answer to my question above--this is a great DAC and it's nothing to scoff at. All I know is it sounds great.
What a wonderful time to be an audiophile!
PS. I have no affiliation with any hifi company, including SMSL.