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Using a Y Splitter on my DAC. Bad idea?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

I want to connect two different headphone amplifiers to my DAC. Is it wise to use a Y-splitter to connect both amplifiers to the DAC? Will the sound quality degrade from using a splitter? I want to avoid disconnecting and connecting cables every time I want to switch setups to avoid wear and tear.

 

Sorry if this has been covered before, I couldn't find this info through searching the forums. Possible I may not be querying the right search terms.

post #2 of 6

Usually using a Y-splitter on line out is fine. You run a small risk that this will introduce a ground loop between the 2 amps, but in most cases it works quite well. Amp inputs are high impedance, so there's hardly any signal degradation, especially if the cables are not too long.

post #3 of 6

2 amps on one source is usually audible though subtle. Using a couple of 100 ohm resistors in series with the secondary amp will usually correct if it's noticed. Basically, you can't hurt anything and if you don't hear it, it's not an issue.

post #4 of 6

You might get it to work, but it's usually better to have a pre-amp between for impedence matching/buffering

post #5 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by jinetix View Post

I want to connect two different headphone amplifiers to my DAC. Is it wise to use a Y-splitter to connect both amplifiers to the DAC? Will the sound quality degrade from using a splitter? I want to avoid disconnecting and connecting cables every time I want to switch setups to avoid wear and tear.

 

It depends on your DAC, but if it has a good line output buffer (and that can even be something like a cheap NE5532 op amp with 100 Ω output resistors), it should have no problem driving two parallel amplifier inputs, and the quality should not be audibly degraded (the voltage may drop very slightly, though), especially if you do not use unusually long and bad quality cables. Potential problems are increased risk of ground loops (as noted by someone else already - if this happens, you will notice hum or computer noise appearing in the audio), and some amplifier inputs can distort the signal when the amplifier is turned off.

post #6 of 6

+1 stv014

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