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SMSL SA-98E: What is the dark magic?!?!

Discussion in 'New Gear - Values' started by lattiboy, Oct 24, 2017.

  1. lattiboy

    lattiboy AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I had this guy sitting in a closet for the better part of 5 months, only using it as a "test" amp because of portability. My Marantz PM7002 has been acting up, so I threw the SMSL in it's place and WOW.

    I have it driving a pair of the notoriously power hungry Dahlquist DQ-10s at the moment and it absolutely clobbers the 20x as large and heavy PM7002. I have it on max running as a power amp with a Nexus Engineering Bravura preamp and am seriously considering keeping it as my main setup. Even without the Bravura it was excellent. Only added it for phono and multi input.

    Why isn't this little beast mentioned more?
     

     

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  2. bigx5murf

    bigx5murf Super Member

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    I wonder the same, I replaced my breeze audio tpa3116 with a tda7498 based amp like yours. I like it better, and am really curious about trying out some of the new dual chip versions of this design. Claims double the power at 160wpc. Of course that's probably at 10% distortion, but I'm confident that's probably still over 100wpc at 1% distortion.

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/FX-AUDIO-F...-Digital-Amplifier-Black-Silver-/322721377762

    https://www.amazon.com/FX-Audio-M-160E-Bluetooth-Amplifier/dp/B0749LV9M2
     
    lattiboy likes this.
  3. lattiboy

    lattiboy AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Oh man, I am about to order one of those! Don't know which one to get, but I tend to hate the built-in media players and excessive LEDs. I'm a bit.... curious about that ebay seller though. They seem to be the only US outlet for this thing?
     
  4. bigx5murf

    bigx5murf Super Member

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    Looks like it, I only noticed these about a week ago, right after I noticed the dual chip tpa3116 and ordered one of those. I'm more interested in the ebay one as well, looks like it also has a headphone amplifier with a tpa6120.

    There's also these.

    https://www.amazon.com/Nobsound-TDA...8&qid=1508888802&sr=1-8&keywords=tda7498+dual

    https://www.amazon.com/SMSL-SA-98E-...D=31EdxIteOIL&preST=_SY300_QL70_&dpSrc=detail

    I have ordered from here before, and have been satisfied other than slightly slow shipping.
    http://www.thanksbuyer.com/feixiang...20-headphone-silver-panel-29578?search=FX1602
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2017
  5. lattiboy

    lattiboy AK Subscriber Subscriber

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  6. bigx5murf

    bigx5murf Super Member

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    Would love to hear your thoughts on it. Especially how the headphone amp is like if you have some hard to drive headphones. In my last post I posted the smsl version, it's the second link.
     

     

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  7. lattiboy

    lattiboy AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Hmmm. That one looks literally identical to the one I have. I'll open it up when I get home. I got mine about a year ago, so I don't think it can be the two chip version....
     
  8. bigx5murf

    bigx5murf Super Member

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    It doesn't help that they probably combined reviews for both versions.
     
  9. lattiboy

    lattiboy AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    596
    So it turns out it’s 8 torx screws to open this little bastard. The mystery will remain for now. I’ll contact the seller to get info and let you know if I hear back.

    UPDATE: It’s the single chip. Seller replied quickly. Boooooo
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2017
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  10. bigx5murf

    bigx5murf Super Member

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    Well more excuses to pickup another. I use spare amps like this to refoam speakers, test preamps, demo speakers I sell locally etc.
     
  11. Archguy

    Archguy Official Roiurama Factory Rep Subscriber

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    SMSL has so many enticing offerings. I'm waiting for the price on this one to come down.
    [​IMG]
     

     

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  12. Raynald

    Raynald Addicted Member

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    I found a sale on eBay a few weeks ago so I ordered one. So far so good. I like the fact it has AUX in and a sub out so it can functionally replace a much larger AVR in my desktop system and free up some space.
     
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  13. botrytis

    botrytis Trying not to be a Small Speaker Hoarder Subscriber

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    Try massdrop for the AD18 - they had a decent price on it there.
     
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  14. fredgarvin

    fredgarvin AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    winters860, bigx5murf and lattiboy like this.
  15. lattiboy

    lattiboy AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    That is very interesting! I have a Marantz PM7002 that has a "class A" button which supposedly makes it operate as such. I've done some basic testing and have never been able to tell the difference. Maybe my ears aren't up to it.



     
  16. botrytis

    botrytis Trying not to be a Small Speaker Hoarder Subscriber

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    I doubt the Marantz is true class A - more like just moves the Class B bias to a higher point. A true class A runs hot - they make nice space heaters.
     
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  17. bigx5murf

    bigx5murf Super Member

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    that's a lot of money for 8wpc or less. But yes, the Chinese have lots of interesting amps on ebay that no one seems to have any experience with. I'm a bit interested in their NAIM circuit replicas.
     
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  18. fredgarvin

    fredgarvin AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I saw those too.
     
  19. fredgarvin

    fredgarvin AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I had the preceding model, PM7000. It was the worst sounding amp I've ever had. I've also read other user saying they couldn't hear a difference with the button either. Botrytis is right about that.
     
  20. bigx5murf

    bigx5murf Super Member

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