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Let's talk about SOTM SMS-200 ULTRA

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2 hours ago, carsten s chr said:

Hi!

I’ve been playing around with all of the MPD settings, including the parameters you’ve mentioned, and nothing really do any different - absolutely no difference in the representation of the clicks/pops between every track in the playlist?!?...?

My MPD settings are:

 

Replay gain: none

OpenHome: check

Library auto update: check

Mixer type: none

 

No clicks/pops with DACs Ayre Codex and Meitner MA-1.  Server is MinimServer/MinimStreamer running on a QNAP TS-251+.

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2 minutes ago, Blade1001 said:

 

I'm not sure I follow. The 'upgrade' (if indeed it is an upgrade at all) is $30? They can't doing much for that?

I believe it has to do with the power supply board inside the sMS or the regulator on that board...

In any case, it doesn't hurt to try it.

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1 minute ago, tedwoods said:

I believe it has to do with the power supply board inside the sMS or the regulator on that board...

In any case, it doesn't hurt to try it.

 

I guess it depends if there are any negatives, its not so clear cut when they say: 

 

Quote

the original version has little more dynamics and presents bright sound

 

I wouldn't particularly want to lose any dynamics or detail.

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55 minutes ago, tedwoods said:

I believe it has to do with the power supply board inside the sMS or the regulator on that board...

In any case, it doesn't hurt to try it.

I wonder if the tX-USBultra has the same (or at least similar) components?  But it does not look like the tX is going "Neo", otherwise it would have been mentioned in the press release?


Windows 10 PC, Roon, HQPlayer, SOtM sMS-200Ultra, tX-USBultra, Paul Hynes SR4 (x2), Mutec REF10, Mutec MC3+USB, Devialet 1000Pro, KEF Blade.  Plus Pro-Ject Signature 12 TT for playing my 'legacy' vinyl collection.

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2 hours ago, Confused said:

I wonder if the tX-USBultra has the same (or at least similar) components?  But it does not look like the tX is going "Neo", otherwise it would have been mentioned in the press release?

I think the power components in the  tX are "intergrated" on the main boards, which is different from the sMS,  where the power board is sort of independently attached inside the chassis.

 

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I sent an email to May yesterday to clarify some of the logistics re the neo update.  A couple of points in her response are worth sharing:

 

Firstly, SOtM are looking to get the update done by some of their "local partners", so depending on where you live and who you purchased from, it might be a case of going back to you local dealer / distributor, rather than back to Korea.

 

Second point, this is just for the sMS-200 / Ultra, there will not be a Neo tX-USBultra.  (So @tedwoods was spot on!):)


Windows 10 PC, Roon, HQPlayer, SOtM sMS-200Ultra, tX-USBultra, Paul Hynes SR4 (x2), Mutec REF10, Mutec MC3+USB, Devialet 1000Pro, KEF Blade.  Plus Pro-Ject Signature 12 TT for playing my 'legacy' vinyl collection.

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5 hours ago, Confused said:

I sent an email to May yesterday to clarify some of the logistics re the neo update.  A couple of points in her response are worth sharing:

 

Firstly, SOtM are looking to get the update done by some of their "local partners", so depending on where you live and who you purchased from, it might be a case of going back to you local dealer / distributor, rather than back to Korea.

 

Second point, this is just for the sMS-200 / Ultra, there will not be a Neo tX-USBultra.  (So @tedwoods was spot on!):)

Thanks for the update! That's great news, indeed!

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I,ve bought a couple of days ago my sotm 200 ultra. In my gear it really sounds perfect. According to May Park the neo has more mid and extra low bass. But less highs and dynamics. In my set thats the perfect combination with the mytek brooklyn+. In my room extra bass leads to acoustiq problems so im happy with this combi together with the sps500 power supply. A better match will be the tx bultra thats a step forward i will take in a couple of months..

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21 hours ago, Confused said:

Firstly, SOtM are looking to get the update done by some of their "local partners", so depending on where you live and who you purchased from, it might be a case of going back to you local dealer / distributor, rather than back to Korea.

 

Did you by any chance ask what they are swapping out in the NEO comapred to the old one? It cant be that much when the cost is so low.


Main system
TAD D1000mk2, TAD M2500mk2, TAD CE-1, Ansuz Mainz 8 C2, Ansuz Darkz D-TC, Qobuz Studio -> Roon ROCK on NUC
-> Uptone etherREGEN ->  dCS Network bridge -> AES/EBU -> DAC
HD Plex 200W PSU (4 rail for ISP fiber, router, etherREGEN and NUC)
 
Second system
Qobuz Studio -> Devialet Silver Phantom, Devialet Tree

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2 minutes ago, octaviars said:

 

Did you by any chance ask what they are swapping out in the NEO comapred to the old one? It cant be that much when the cost is so low.

It is a different power board, see link below:

 


Windows 10 PC, Roon, HQPlayer, SOtM sMS-200Ultra, tX-USBultra, Paul Hynes SR4 (x2), Mutec REF10, Mutec MC3+USB, Devialet 1000Pro, KEF Blade.  Plus Pro-Ject Signature 12 TT for playing my 'legacy' vinyl collection.

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9 minutes ago, Confused said:

It is a different power board, see link below:

 

Ok. I suppose that it is not so hard to change as it is a seperate board. The board below is from the regulare sMS-200

 

 

sMS-200_PWB(PW).jpg

 

How it looks mounted in the case of a regular SMS.

sotm-sms-200-dlna-netzwerk-clients-serve

 

And this is in the Ultra version.

 

244889495674925.jpg


Main system
TAD D1000mk2, TAD M2500mk2, TAD CE-1, Ansuz Mainz 8 C2, Ansuz Darkz D-TC, Qobuz Studio -> Roon ROCK on NUC
-> Uptone etherREGEN ->  dCS Network bridge -> AES/EBU -> DAC
HD Plex 200W PSU (4 rail for ISP fiber, router, etherREGEN and NUC)
 
Second system
Qobuz Studio -> Devialet Silver Phantom, Devialet Tree

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It’s very strange, is it not, to describe a new product in terms of change in sound emphasis, rather than a “deluxe parabolic capacitor for a cleaner signal pathway and reduced UFO interference” or some such?

 

They must be sure of themselves however and I always like to see the ability to upgrade factored in. 

 

I was looking into this product as a replacement for an ultraRendu that I’m having instability with HQPLAYER. I’d be inclined to buy an original and only upgrade once the new ne was out in the wild for a time. 

 

.sjb. 

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4 hours ago, Sloop John B said:

It’s very strange, is it not, to describe a new product in terms of change in sound emphasis, rather than a “deluxe parabolic capacitor for a cleaner signal pathway and reduced UFO interference” or some such?

 

They must be sure of themselves however and I always like to see the ability to upgrade factored in. 

 

I was looking into this product as a replacement for an ultraRendu that I’m having instability with HQPLAYER. I’d be inclined to buy an original and only upgrade once the new ne was out in the wild for a time. 

 

.sjb. 

I'll do the upgrade, out of curiosity mostly, and see how it goes.

No experience with the uRendu, but I am using the Ultra with HQ Player and it has always been rock solid and awesome sounding!

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18 hours ago, Sloop John B said:

It’s very strange, is it not, to describe a new product in terms of change in sound emphasis, rather than a “deluxe parabolic capacitor for a cleaner signal pathway and reduced UFO interference” or some such?

 

They must be sure of themselves however and I always like to see the ability to upgrade factored in. 

 

I was looking into this product as a replacement for an ultraRendu that I’m having instability with HQPLAYER. I’d be inclined to buy an original and only upgrade once the new ne was out in the wild for a time. 

 

.sjb. 

I agree that this is a little strange, although it is not unusual for SOtM.  Take a look at the SOtM website and read what they say about the tX-USBultra, sCLK-OCX10, and others, you will see similar text.  It might annoy some, although it does have a certain charm, and I can think of some other manufacturers that have far more annoying websites.

 

The curious thing for me is that I do find that my sMS-200Ultra does subjectively sound a little bright.  This is when compared to my microRendu.  I say that it subjectively sounds brighter because when measured against the microRendu using REW, it pretty much measured identically.  See link below.

 

  The other curious thing about the press release was the words:

 

"And the original version has little more dynamics and presents bright sound compared to Neo version"

 

This implies the Neo is less dynamic than the original?  I do wonder if the correct meaning was lost in translation a little bit?  Maybe not, but it does seem VERY strange for a manufacturer to declare the areas where the new product performs at a lower level than the old one.  I sent an email to May to clarify the dynamics point, let's see how she responds next week.

 

Regarding your other point John, I have found HQPlayer to be 100% stable when used with both my microRendu and sMS-200Ultra.  The only time I had any issues was when upsampling to DSD to a level that the PC I used at the time what not quite capable of achieving, but that is hardly the fault of the endpoints.  This issue apart, I cannot recall any instability, drop-outs or anything else, literally nothing, ever.

 


Windows 10 PC, Roon, HQPlayer, SOtM sMS-200Ultra, tX-USBultra, Paul Hynes SR4 (x2), Mutec REF10, Mutec MC3+USB, Devialet 1000Pro, KEF Blade.  Plus Pro-Ject Signature 12 TT for playing my 'legacy' vinyl collection.

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As I mentioned earlier, I had sent an email to May to clarify the statement in SOtM's press release:

 

"And the original version has little more dynamics and presents bright sound compared to Neo version."

 

This has been interpreted by some as meaning that the Neo is less dynamic than the "original" sMS-200.  It seamed to me that it was a little strange that a manufacturer should announce that the new version is less dynamic than the one it replaces.  Hence my query to May.  As it happened, it took a couple of emails each way before I was clear about this, I guess there is the issue of the "language barrier", but to be honest, much of this was an issue about how you describe sound using words.

 

Anyway, my understanding now is that the sound quality descriptions from SOtM relate to the "sound character" only, NOT to dynamic performance.  I do not want to cut and paste entire strings of personal emails into this forum, but I will quote one paragraph form May:

 

But the word what I’m trying to say was when comparing sound between the standard and Neo not about comparison the quality of sound, the standard and Neo are like the twins but has the different sound character, so they bring the different feeling and atmosphere when playing the same music.

 

So having exchanged a couple of emails, my interpretation is that in terms of dynamics, details, overall performance etc. the Neo and the "old" sMS-200 are indeed "twins".  The difference is with "sound color" or tonal balance.  May herself made the point that this is subject to interpretation and will be system dependent.  One thing I can say is that I have decided to get the Neo update, so there will be at least one independent report in a few weeks time! 


Windows 10 PC, Roon, HQPlayer, SOtM sMS-200Ultra, tX-USBultra, Paul Hynes SR4 (x2), Mutec REF10, Mutec MC3+USB, Devialet 1000Pro, KEF Blade.  Plus Pro-Ject Signature 12 TT for playing my 'legacy' vinyl collection.

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Hmmm, I don't really like the sound of this. I want a digital front end to be as transparent as possible, I don't want it adding 'colour' to reproduction. If I want to add colour myself, I'll do that in the analogue stage of my system. An all digital streamer should be able to deliver the sound unfettered.

 

I have to wonder if what is actually going on is they have identified something in the power supply board that might be operating out of specification, or outside of the original design intent, and leading to this 'brightness' that several people have reported (and I have noticed myself on occasion) , and they have simply 'fixed' it in the new model - or rather have fixed it and used the opportunity to release a new model . . . but that's probably just the old sceptic in me!

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12 minutes ago, Blade1001 said:

Hmmm, I don't really like the sound of this. I want a digital front end to be as transparent as possible ...

 

 

Precisely.  They should make this board a no-cost option to the existing model. 


Front ends:

Digital: Sonore ultraRendu or SOtM 200 ultra Trifecta --> LKS MH-D004

Analog: Clearaudio Performance DC --> Rogue Triton

Back end: SMc Audio VRE-1C --> SMc Audio DNA125 Platinum Plus-->Stealth Dream v10 cables --> Ridge Street Audio Designs Sason speakers, dual Rhythmik F12SE subs

 

 

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42 minutes ago, Blade1001 said:

Hmmm, I don't really like the sound of this. I want a digital front end to be as transparent as possible, I don't want it adding 'colour' to reproduction. If I want to add colour myself, I'll do that in the analogue stage of my system. An all digital streamer should be able to deliver the sound unfettered.

 

I have to wonder if what is actually going on is they have identified something in the power supply board that might be operating out of specification, or outside of the original design intent, and leading to this 'brightness' that several people have reported (and I have noticed myself on occasion) , and they have simply 'fixed' it in the new model - or rather have fixed it and used the opportunity to release a new model . . . but that's probably just the old sceptic in me!

I agree entirely with this in terms of wanting a digital front end to be transparent.  However, in terms of the basic functionality of something like the sMS-200, I do not think it is technically possible to "add colour" as such.  Consider that devices such as the sMS-200 and the microRendu receive a bit perfect stream and they output a bit perfect stream, so they cannot add colour in the "bit perfect" versus DSP sense of the term.  That said, in my system the sMS-200Ultra does sound very different to the microRendu, with the mR sounding a little fuller and darker, but they measure identically with REW, and I would imagine the bit output is identical too.  I think the only differences can be the subtle effects of noise (or elimination of noise) and clock accuracy.  So subjectively, the "colour" might be different, but no colour can be added as such, it is just not possible.

 

In terms of you last point, who knows, but it is plausible.  Although rather than being cynical, we could rejoice in this as continuous improvement in an already fine product.  The upgrade / update price certainly does not look like an attempt at profiteering, quite the opposite.


Windows 10 PC, Roon, HQPlayer, SOtM sMS-200Ultra, tX-USBultra, Paul Hynes SR4 (x2), Mutec REF10, Mutec MC3+USB, Devialet 1000Pro, KEF Blade.  Plus Pro-Ject Signature 12 TT for playing my 'legacy' vinyl collection.

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1 hour ago, aggielaw said:

Precisely.  They should make this board a no-cost option to the existing model. 

 

It might not be that they replace the whole board with the powersupply it can be just components, I got that feeling from another forum.


Main system
TAD D1000mk2, TAD M2500mk2, TAD CE-1, Ansuz Mainz 8 C2, Ansuz Darkz D-TC, Qobuz Studio -> Roon ROCK on NUC
-> Uptone etherREGEN ->  dCS Network bridge -> AES/EBU -> DAC
HD Plex 200W PSU (4 rail for ISP fiber, router, etherREGEN and NUC)
 
Second system
Qobuz Studio -> Devialet Silver Phantom, Devialet Tree

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