Need 2.1 Stereo / Dac Recommendations

scoobert

Limp Gawd
Joined
Feb 26, 2005
Messages
342
This is really just for computer audio but the gear leans more toward this crowd, so I thought I would ask here as well.

I have decided to go with a older integrated amp (onkyo, sansui, kenwood, technincs etc: etc: ) looking for ones with pre out - main in connections so I can have more options on subwoofer hook up. I found a Techincs SU-V98 local I can get pretty cheap https://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-Te...uartz-Synthesizer-Class-A-110wpc/333554306913 . I like this type because its about half the size of the HK AVR hooked up currently that has sub out and optical in but the wattage is to small (30 wpc) and the unit is flipping huge with a hundred hookups I dont need :)
I am driving a HK 10" powered sub and a pair of Paradigm Atom v.5 monitors (8 ohm) that want 15-80 watts.

So am I on the right track with a integrated amp or is there a better way to do this? Not after exact model number recommendations (unless you want to take the time to do so), just am i generally on the right track ?
EDIT: It just hit me, should I just take the output from the dac and feed straight into a power amp instead of a integrated amp, would that be better?


I will need a DAC to take the optical out of my mobo to the analog input. Was hoping to avoid spending a 100 dollars on a shiit and would like something with a volume control. So I am looking at something like this one.
https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B071WLVXN5/ref=ox_sc_saved_title_2?smid=A1C41W6V7R1EVA&psc=1. Will this serve the purpose for what I am wanting to do?

Thanks
Scoob
 

IdiotInCharge

NVIDIA SHILL
Joined
Jun 13, 2003
Messages
14,710
What you want is an optical DAC with preamp and subwoofer out...

And from my knowledge, that really just does not exist. I've searched just now and searched before, and if that's what you want, you have to pay significantly more to get something that has a lot of other features that you don't want or need.

I recommend getting creative here.
 

scoobert

Limp Gawd
Joined
Feb 26, 2005
Messages
342
What you want is an optical DAC with preamp and subwoofer out...

And from my knowledge, that really just does not exist. I've searched just now and searched before, and if that's what you want, you have to pay significantly more to get something that has a lot of other features that you don't want or need.

I recommend getting creative here.
I would like to avoid the "pay significantly more" part. Not that I am trying to be super cheap, but still its a gaming pc I listen to music on :)
 

IdiotInCharge

NVIDIA SHILL
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Jun 13, 2003
Messages
14,710
Here's the cheapest thing on Crutchfield that does exactly what you want (and of course, then some), at US$350:

https://www.crutchfield.com/p_022WXC50DS/Yamaha-WXC-50.html

The biggest issue is that most of your good DACs are not preamps. That means adding something else to the audio chain just to get that volume control.

And the issue I think you're having with the vintage amp is that while you could use it to control speaker volume, sub volume is obviously separate... so you want something that sends line-level to both, while taking an optical input.

So let me say this: I have a pair of LSR305 studio monitors on my desk, well, on stands next to my desk. I have a very nice Topping DX7 that does headphone amplification and all kinds of output, however, it does not have a preamp function. Volume only controls the headphone outputs, the line outputs are just that. I had been using a Nobsound passive preamp, but found that volume was just too low; further, switching around was annoying on the DX7. I'd gotten used to audio output switching in Windows since they added the option, and that's honestly preferable.

To change things up, I grabbed the O2/ODAC that started my hifi journey, and hooked up the monitors to its headphone output. Normally, and objectively, this is a bad idea, however, the O2 is damn quiet, the ODAC as well, so when putting the device in low gain mode typically used for IEMs, I was able to get the volume knob set to a useful range with the monitors set a bit lower than midway each, and now I have a USB DAC/Preamp setup. Absolutely silent when nothing's playing, clean, clear, and loud when desired.

Unfortunately, it doesn't do sub out... but you could probably use a decent quality splitter for that?
 

scoobert

Limp Gawd
Joined
Feb 26, 2005
Messages
342
Here's the cheapest thing on Crutchfield that does exactly what you want (and of course, then some), at US$350:

https://www.crutchfield.com/p_022WXC50DS/Yamaha-WXC-50.html

The biggest issue is that most of your good DACs are not preamps. That means adding something else to the audio chain just to get that volume control.

And the issue I think you're having with the vintage amp is that while you could use it to control speaker volume, sub volume is obviously separate... so you want something that sends line-level to both, while taking an optical input.

So let me say this: I have a pair of LSR305 studio monitors on my desk, well, on stands next to my desk. I have a very nice Topping DX7 that does headphone amplification and all kinds of output, however, it does not have a preamp function. Volume only controls the headphone outputs, the line outputs are just that. I had been using a Nobsound passive preamp, but found that volume was just too low; further, switching around was annoying on the DX7. I'd gotten used to audio output switching in Windows since they added the option, and that's honestly preferable.

To change things up, I grabbed the O2/ODAC that started my hifi journey, and hooked up the monitors to its headphone output. Normally, and objectively, this is a bad idea, however, the O2 is damn quiet, the ODAC as well, so when putting the device in low gain mode typically used for IEMs, I was able to get the volume knob set to a useful range with the monitors set a bit lower than midway each, and now I have a USB DAC/Preamp setup. Absolutely silent when nothing's playing, clean, clear, and loud when desired.

Unfortunately, it doesn't do sub out... but you could probably use a decent quality splitter for that?
Thank you so much.
From what I am seeing I think the sub out is just becoming to much problem for my simple needs.

Maybe Optical to Dac to CD input on the Integrated amp and take the speaker level from A to the Paradigms and from B channel to the sub speaker level input?

- OR-

Optical to DAC to integrated amp with pre out / main in splitter to line in level on the sub ?

Would that work and which would be better?
 

pendragon1

Fully [H]
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Oct 7, 2000
Messages
24,627
op, i was going to respond in your other thread but was under the impression you dont want another avr, correct? if so that yama idiot posted is a good option. if you are considering an avr, there are a couple sub-$250 avr on amazon that are smaller than you hk with good options. should cover all your bases. theres a sony and a denon i was gonna post...
 

IdiotInCharge

NVIDIA SHILL
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Jun 13, 2003
Messages
14,710
Honestly, it's both the optical DAC and subwoofer output requirements that appear to be... nonstandard. No one seems to want to do just that!

Which is weird!

Personally, I tried to fix this with a passive pre-amp (the Nobsound) and using a studio sub with XLR passthrough; this ensured that signal wasn't molested along the way.

It worked well enough. I've since moved to a place where the sub will not be used, so my headphone DAC/Amp as a USB DAC/Preamp works for what I need, though I'd prefer to get an actual audio interface like a Motu M2 at some point.

But for a non-balanced setup, using other discrete components, I see the flow as:
  1. A decent optical DAC; I like Topping, but there are others
  2. A discrete stereo preamp, like Schiit makes
  3. A... splitter, stereo, to get you subwoofer input from both channels, might need to combine them into one channel for the sub
I really don't like that option personally. That's a lot of unbalanced analog stuff between the DAC and the amps.

Something else I started looking into is a soundcard, but from what little I've found is that they're using line outputs only, so no volume control there either...
 

IdiotInCharge

NVIDIA SHILL
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Jun 13, 2003
Messages
14,710
No pre-amp or even line out; just speaker out. OP is looking to use a vintage stereo amp.

I skipped looking at Micca but perhaps I shouldn't have: it claims to have a pre-out, which if properly split between a vintage amp and sub, should do the job!

Why does the DAC need to optical and not USB?
Mostly, ground loop isolation from dirty USB voltage. Optical breaks the ground loop potential.
 

Mchart

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Aug 7, 2004
Messages
4,258
No pre-amp or even line out; just speaker out. OP is looking to use a vintage stereo amp.


I skipped looking at Micca but perhaps I shouldn't have: it claims to have a pre-out, which if properly split between a vintage amp and sub, should do the job!


Mostly, ground loop isolation from dirty USB voltage. Optical breaks the ground loop potential.
You should check out Schiit’s new in house USB, it solves that problem.

https://www.schiit.com/products/unison-usb
 

spaceman

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jan 7, 2005
Messages
14,797
May I brag for a sec? I have had a similar dilemma. I really wanted a Denon X3300 or higher for the XT32 Audyssey. Those are $$ atm though.

So I took a swing at a AVR-X1400H for $100 shipped on ebay. Seller said it turns on but has no video. It's a little banged up. The selector knob is missing. Well. I got it. No video with my hdmi.

I saw a little post that said to try a newer hdmi. A 4K 60HZ walmart cheapy. About $13 for a 12' cable.

IT WORKED. So yeah. Currently the X1400H is selling for $400+ on ebay. I am feeling pretty smug.
 
Joined
Jul 18, 2018
Messages
32
Many of the vintage Technics AVR's have optical and pre-outs, but have not seen a stereo receiver with either. I use an old stereo Technics reciever to drive an unpowered sub off the "B" channel and the main speakers off "A" since both can be active. That doesn't help with your optical in issue though. If you bump to a 5.1 Technics receiver you can do the same trick and get up to 3 optical inputs. Another option is the Technics digital decoder into a stereo receiver.

AVR

Digital Decoder
 
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