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Affordable usb dac with volume control as pre amplifier

ssfas

Well-known member
Converter for CD to vinyl

Converter for CD to vinyl

It's hard to know whether you are being serious about this, but just in case you were, I better explain that the analogue to digital conversion is not the hard part of such a mammoth task. The hard part is usinfg the computer software to record the digital stream, putting the track markers in place, along with the relevant metadata. And who wants to have those clicks and pops digitised in hi-res, unless you make some attempt to de-click the recording. I could go on because I have digitised my record collection without any need for any equipment I did not already own.

You are certainly correct though that it makes playing the digitised recording a whole lot easier.
I was serious about a completely stupid idea in the first place. PS Audio do a phono converter for about £2,000, which to AS would be a further 2,000 CDs from the charity shop. I've never even bothered to consider the complications of phono conversion. It seems to me to be a slightly less productive and more energetic exercise than walking up the down escalator in your local department store.

If you want to retain the pop and crackle of a poorly maintained record collection in digital format, get the CD and gently scratch it with a screwdriver or let your dog chew it for 2-3 minutes. If the records are in good condition, get the CD, skip the screwdriver/dog bit and the CD and record will probably sound much the same.
 

willem

Well-known member
Aune

Aune

The discontinued Aune x1 pro had just that (1 x line in, plus one of coax, optical and usb each, plus volume control on rca out). I tried to buy one recently, but it was sold out. If you search around on the web longer you may still find one.

The new Aune x1s unfortunately cannot be used as pre amp because the volume control only operates on the headphone output. I don't think that was a very smart business decision, but that is the situation. If analogue input is not that important, you can always use a cheap ADC to digitize.
 

willem

Well-known member
How big?

How big?

Kerouac: how big is your room and what speakers would it be for?

In other words, why do you fear that something like the Yamaha R-n500 with 2x80 watt would be insufficient?
 

kerouack

Member
Why no pre-DAC?

Why no pre-DAC?

Hello,

My room is 2,8 X 5,3 metres (2,8 meters tall). Speakers are placed 50 cm from the side walls, i want to buy monitor 30.1 speakers, but i will explain you better.

i dont have a huge room right now, but soon i will move to another house and may be i have a bigger one. The point for me is buying something that i will not want to change in a LONG time, hopefully in more than 10 years or more. I prefer spending "200 euros more", but not thinking about selling and buying something new in 5 years, or 1 year when i move to another house.

Another point is the Alan post about power and peak power needed for a real HIFI sound. I know it depends A LOT about how big is your room, and if you will cause a problem to your neighbours or not, and how close you listen from speakers. There are so many factors that i think, to be completely sure that i will not want to change the amp in some years, i prefer now spend some more money and buy something with a lot of power, even more than i actually "need", so i decided to go to the standard Quad power, 150 wats RMS 8 Ohm (but not buying a Quad cause the price is very high, and even having the money, i dont think is worth it, price of QUAD elite pre is 1500 euros and quad power is another 1500 and i would still need a DAC).

Problem is, i was not thinking that is soooo difficult to find a PRE with digital and analogue inputs, i mean, thank you but i am not going to buy the QUAD Vena, i have the money to do it, i could do it, but i think is too much money to spend in something like that, price is 1.300 euros. If i think in spending 13000 in the Quad Vena, and another 300-600 in a pro 150 wats pro amp, i would prefer just buy a NAD 375 with DAC and have everything there (remote, tone controls, balance) for more or less 1500 euros, and that would be easier to use for my family. But if i am looking for pro amps and Pre's is cause i prefer buying something for far less money than 1.500 euros.

So if does not exist a Pre with digital inputs and, at least, 1 analogue input, i mean, one that can be bought. And if it is even more impossible to buy one with some useful things like remote, balance, tone controls.... or if the ones that exist even buying them in a separate way, one PRE module, an one external DAC, cost more than 500 euros, then may be it is not worth it for me and the best option, for me, is the NAD 375.

I need remote, tone controls, balance, etc.. cause my family uses the system too, so i really like and need usefull and easy to use things. One example, we listen a lot trough apple tv, with the apple tv, right now, i can not set tone controls or balance, i could do it from a computer but, we could not not use them listening music from apple tv, or even watching a movie from apple tv (that can change in the future with the new apple tv, but right now it is like that). Another example, we listen a lot of concerts and music videos in youtube (and other webs), and they have very different volume, so it is nice/very useful to be able to use a remote to change the volume. My HI FI system it is not placed in a special room that i will only use, that creates a difference.

I was never thinking that it was so difficult to find that kind of PRE+DAC.
 

acroyear

Active member
DAC to amp

DAC to amp

I've hooked up a DAC with volume control between my CD player (one of the analogue outputs constantly cuts out so I had to try this!) and power amp (1.4V input sens/around 350 Watts at 6 Ohms)

DAC has max output level of 2V on RCA and 4V on XLR. Manual says a volume setting of 94 of 100 is equivalent to 2V in comparison to the full signal running on XLR (a useful bit of info for sure). Without any doubt the XLR passed signal with CD provides more than enough voltage to drive the pro power amp to sufficient volume for my home use, running the DAC fully open at 100 the crown potentiometers need be set about 9-10 o'clock to get a safe-ish 85-90dB (roughly measured with iphone), if I opened the power amp potentiometers I'm convinced the amp could push power to the limit of the C7's.

Running it at 94/100 to mimic the rca 2V then you have to open the pots on the amp just 1 or maybe 2 more notches to get around the same volume.

Some suggest that a DAC into power amp has less punch/drive, as far as I can tell they are probably less likely to drive their system into clipping somewhere along the chain and this is what they perceive as a less punchy sound.

This little test at least confirms that a volume driven DAC is sufficient to drive an amp in a simple digital system, to be honest it is probably no different in outcome than when I ran the emotiva 'control freak' from a non volume DAC but that was running rca so I could not test it on my pro amp, and at $40-50 that thing is very useful as part of a simple system on the desktop.

edit: Aside from tone controls, phono stage if needed (and maybe using the HD audio from analogue outputs of a bluray player, I think that is the case??) this makes an amplifying preamp obsolete in part. There is at least one modestly priced DAC on the market that has analogue volume control, and a single analogue input, now that could be useful, it seems much better priced than pretty much every consumer hifi preamp I have investigated.

Another thing I notice is that the channel balance is retained all the way down to no signal, it fades out very smoothly as the volume is reduced, quite different from my integrated amp with high input sensitivity.

Edit#2: I am generally running the volume as open as possible on the dac (90-100) with the power amp potentiometers as low as possible for the required volume (8-10 oclock) I believe this gives the optimum s/n ratio? Interestingly the pro power amp does not hiss more with the pots fully open than closed....that was seemingly from my 2 channel mixer/preamp which must be relatively noisy, this DAC pretty much silent. I imagine a hifi amp without pots the DAC volume will be run a bit lower on average as the hifi amp will set at its specified sensitivity (typically 1V)
 

willem

Well-known member
Clarification?

Clarification?

Which DAC with volume control and analogue input are you referring to? You make me curious.
 
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