DAC failure?

Was listening to some music this evening when suddenly the output dropped to about 25% and the sound turned really static sounding.

The Dac sits on it’s own shelf with about 16” of air space above it, but it was extremely hot to the touch..

After checking a few things, I switched to my R2R DAC and everything sounds normal.

Has anyone had a DAC fail with these symptoms?

I’ve sent an email to the company that makes that dac.. just curious if anyone else ever had it happen and what their issue was finally diagnosed as.





a DAC shouldn't generally get hot. 

You didn't tell us what DAC it is.

I've seen some of the new supercap LPSs run very hot.  Perhaps this manufacturer has incorporated a supercap LPS into the DAC.  They fail occasionally or maybe more often than that, especially the ones that run hot.


The only DAC that ever failed for me dropped to 0% output with no crackle


I am thinking it has to do with analog output stage, but, I am not an EE.

Seems obvious, but, shrug.

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SMSL brags about their dual low noise power supplies.  In that small box they are almost certainly supercaps.  Did it run warm before it failed?  I've got $10 on the power supply. 


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My Topping D90SE is airtight to complely isolated from interference. It works perfectly, but can easily get extremely hot over time. Cooling fans easily dissipate the heat.

I have mine sitting on these.


How old is this DAC? Isn't it fairly new? Did you buy it through Amazon such that you could send it back? Warranty? My hesitation on buying SMSL (and Topping) DACs and even Denafrips or Shuman Ladder is warranty service.  I know some say Denafrips will take care of you, but I've heard horror stories about SMSL and Topping basically ignoring you. 

It really sucks because many YouTube reviewers LOVE SMSL and the performance they can give you at their price points, but reliability and longevity are not exactly encouraging. 

All things can break, even a $2500 DAC or a $900 one. Still, it is something to consider when buying Topping or SMSL unless you are one to replace DACs every year with a newer model.

Good luck. I hope it can either be returned or replaced under warranty, or at least serviced for a reasonable amount compared to its cost.  

I had something like that happen on my Pontus ll. The replaced the DSP board and all’s good. Sorry I can’t help you with your DAC.

Fairly new, less than 6 weeks old.

Purchased from Apos Audio.

Still waiting for a reply from their support (via email, sent last night, so only 24 since I sent support request/problem description)

As for audio, I did like the sound for a delta sigma dac.  (Certainly better than my original foray, a bluesound node 2i). I just found that I really do hear a difference between R2R and d/s and that I prefer one over the other depending on characteristics of the particular music.

Just waiting to hear back from Apos Audio. I’ll wait another 48 hours, give 3 business days, and then email them again if I don’t get a response.



Just out of curiosity after you unplugged it and it cooled down have you tried it again?