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Do I use XLR or RCA Cables from Pre-Amp to AMP??
14 replies to this topic
Posted July 28 2012 - 06:36 AM
So I am total newbie when it comes to XLR cables and pre-amps; so I have a lot to learn on how to use them appropriately. I just ordered an Emotiva XDA-1 DAC/Pre-amp, which has 2 types of audio outputs - XLR or RCA. So my question is: For music, to get the best direct sound from my front towers, should I run the XLR tables from the pre-amp directly to my 2-channel AMP, and just completely skip the receiver (airport express-->Toslink-->Emotiva pre-amp-->XLR cables--> B&K AMP-->Front Speakers)? Or do I have to keep my receiver in the equation and run the pre-amp-->RCA cable-->Receiver-->AMP-->Front Speakers? Components being used: Receiver - Sony V444ES (pre-out to amp for powering front speakers only) Amplifier - B&K ST125.2 Pre-amp/DAC - Emotiva XDA-1 Speakers - Klipsch RP-5 (Front), RS-3 (Rear), RC-3 (Center), RSW-12 (Sub) Audio Source for music: iTunes stream to Airport Express--->Toslink--->DAC Audio Source for movies: Playstation 3--->fiber optic--->Receiver I would really appreciate some advice from someone more knowledgable than myself..... Thanks in advance for taking the time to help!!! Michael
Posted July 28 2012 - 08:45 AM
Ok, so after some additional reading, I have composed a some possible setup options....but I have no clue which one will offer the cleanest signal? Option 1: iTunes stream ---> Airport Exress ---> Toslink ---> Receiver ---> fiber optic ---> Pre-amp/DAC ---> XLR cables ---> AMP AND Playstation 3 ---> fiber optic (video via HDMI straight to TV) ---> Receiver ---> same as above Option 2: iTunes stream ---> Airport Exress ---> Toslink --->(may add a DIP upscaler here?)---> Pre-amp/DAC ---> XLR cables ---> AMP I welcome all thoughts and input, and appreciate your time helping me out!
Posted July 28 2012 - 09:14 AM
Now I'm not confused... The XDA-1 is NOT A PRE-AMP. So, you use it INSTEAD OF the DAC in the Sony... Which means...your source(which is your PS3, Itunes...whatever...) connects to it. So your connections should be... source 1> XDA-1 2> Sony 1 is either optical or dig coax(since it has two of each, plus a USB) 2 is analog from the XDA-1 to the Sony. Edit: And back to the original question before(since apparently the XDA-1 does have rudimentary pre-amp control)... Why are you using two pre-amps?
Posted July 28 2012 - 10:23 AM
Thanks for your input, that is helpful! Basically, for watching movies I’m just trying to figure out how to get my receiver pre-out signal (which currently runs directly to the amp) to instead run to the DAC first and then the amp. My goal is to still have surround sound provided by the receiver, and the XDA-1 in between the receiver and the 2-channel amp powering my front speakers. This will hopefully improve the front speaker audio, and will also allow me to connect the amp via XLR cables, which my receiver can’t do alone. For music, I will run the Toslink from the airport express directly to the XDA-1, and then XLR cables directly to the amp. If i'm understanding everything correctly this method for 2-channel music won't even need to run to the receiver at all... Thanks again!!
Posted July 28 2012 - 11:16 AM
The main issue here... How is the Sony going to send digital signal to the XDA-1? And even when you accomplish that, the Sony won't have volume control. (and I know exactly how this works...) I think, your best bet... Anything you want to listen 2 channel. Run that into the XDA-1, then analog into the Sony. Then let the pre-outs on the Sony run the amp. Adding in the XDA-1 AFTER the Sony is essentially pointless. (as in pointless enough it might as well be collecting dust in the bottom of a closet) All you end up with is a mishmash of two volume controls and 3 more cables than necessary between the source and the output.
Posted July 28 2012 - 11:21 AM
I will add in this caveat... If this XDA-1 and B&K were running another PAIR of speakers outside the 5.1... Then all this would make sense.
Posted July 28 2012 - 11:25 AM
I see, that makes sense. I guess the only reason I was shooting to have the XDA-1 after the receiver was to take advantage of the XLR inputs on my amp. Would using XLR cables running to the amp instead of the analog make much of a difference in sound quality anyway??
Posted July 28 2012 - 11:38 AM
Well... XLR only, really, makes a difference if it is XLR the ENTIRE path. Once it is RCA, there is no point in "attaching anything" to make it XLR. So... If you wanted to use the B&K and XDA-1 as a dedicated stereo...no involvement from ANYTHING else(and it isn't this Sony...same thing applies to the Pioneer/Elite you got)...then it matters. Personally, I'd use the XDA-1 connected to the Sony on an analog input and call it a day. I would fathom a guess, it is better than Sony's internal DAC. Besides (and I can sense the eyeroll all other this forum) there is always... http://www.amazon.co...eywords=rca xlr
Posted July 28 2012 - 11:43 AM
Gotcha, well how about this setup then: For 2-channel music only (receiver off)- Airport express-->toslink--->XDA-1--->XLR cable--->Amp Also connected to the XDA-1 for watching movies- playstation--->optical--->XDA-1--->analog--->receiver with regular analog pre-outs hooked up to amp Thanks again! EDIT I guess for this to work I would need to find out if I can regulate which output the XDA-1 is using, because for the movie setup I described I wouldn't also want the XDA-1 sending XLR signals to the amp in addition to the receiver using the analog pre-outs...if I can select which output the XDA-1 uses, would this be my best option?
Posted July 28 2012 - 11:54 AM
Your choice of hooking both the XDA-1 and the Sony to the amp is... 1. I didn't think of that...because... 2. Technically not a good idea... 3. Fine if you remember to never have the Sony and the XDA-1 on at the same time... Think of that as trying to play a CD and the radio at the same time. Obviously you can't...but what would happen if you could? (well setting it up "that way" turns it into a "you could actually do that")
Posted July 28 2012 - 12:00 PM
Nice, so basically with that setup always make sure the Sony receiver is OFF when listening to music, and if watching a movie using the Sony than either unplug the XLR cables from the XDA-1 to amp or find out if I can control which output the XDA-1 uses and turn off the XLR out. I really appreciate your input!
Posted July 28 2012 - 12:28 PM
indeed Just out of curiosity, do you think it is worth considering adding something like this device (see link) when using that 2-channel music setup (no receiver involved). I would add it either before or after the DAC... http://www.monarchya..._Main_Frame.htm
Posted July 28 2012 - 03:49 PM
I have no idea if those are worthy... But it has to go before the DAC to do anything.
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