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Schiit DAC - Headphone & Speakers?

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 

Hey guys,

 

I'm pretty new to the Amp and DAC world. I've been reading a bunch on here the last few months. I seemed to have stepped in some Schiit and I don't want to wipe it off. :D

 

My question is, what DAC do I need to run headphones and speakers? Will the Loki work or do I have to step up to the big leagues and purchase the Bifrost?

 

Don't Schiit on me if the answer is clear. I'm new to this. :D


Edited by BabylonDown - 1/7/14 at 11:50pm
post #2 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by BabylonDown View Post
 

Hey guys,

 

I'm pretty new to the Amp and DAC world. I've been reading a bunch on here the last few months. I seemed to have stepped in some Schiit and I don't want to wipe it off. :D

 

My question is, what DAC do I need to run headphones and speakers? Will the Loki work or do I have to step up to the big leagues and purchase the Bifrost?

 

Don't Schiit on me if the answer is clear. I'm new to this. :D


Keep in mind that the Loki is DSD only, you will want the Modi.

 

You can do that with the Modi. Just get a RCA splitter and split each right/left signal so one set goes to an amp, and one to the speakers.

post #3 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by GaryWA View Post
 


Keep in mind that the Loki is DSD only, you will want the Modi.

 

You can do that with the Modi. Just get a RCA splitter and split each right/left signal so one set goes to an amp, and one to the speakers.

Would this reduce the sound quality in any way? Any other things I would have to worry about doing that?

post #4 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by BabylonDown View Post

 

My question is, what DAC do I need to run headphones and speakers? Will the Loki work or do I have to step up to the big leagues and purchase the Bifrost?

 

In the Schiit line, it will be the amp that will let you run both - the Asgard 2. AFAIK all their DACs only have one set of analog outputs, so you hook that up to an amp. The Asgard2 can drive your headphones, as well as feed a preamped signal from its preamplifier output* to a power amplifier** or active (powered) speakers, like studio monitors, or more non-professional active speakers like the Aktimate Mini and Micro, several models from Swans speakers, and the Audioengine A5+.



*It's a signal affected by its potentiometer, so you only have one knob as master for both.

**Not an integrated amp; or get an integrated amp that has a direct input to its amp circuit that bypasses its own preamp (and source selection) circuit. Most older NADs have this if you want cheap used amps, or just get a pure power amp - a little patience while looking for one can get you an affordable but good amp

post #5 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ProtegeManiac View Post
 

 

In the Schiit line, it will be the amp that will let you run both - the Asgard 2. AFAIK all their DACs only have one set of analog outputs, so you hook that up to an amp. The Asgard2 can drive your headphones, as well as feed a preamped signal from its preamplifier output* to a power amplifier** or active (powered) speakers, like studio monitors, or more non-professional active speakers like the Aktimate Mini and Micro, several models from Swans speakers, and the Audioengine A5+.



*It's a signal affected by its potentiometer, so you only have one knob as master for both.

**Not an integrated amp; or get an integrated amp that has a direct input to its amp circuit that bypasses its own preamp (and source selection) circuit. Most older NADs have this if you want cheap used amps, or just get a pure power amp - a little patience while looking for one can get you an affordable but good amp


I see. Instead of having to purchase an Asgard that has two sets of RCA outputs, could I not just use a splitter on the Magni? Would this not achieve the same goal?

post #6 of 18

To do this with the Magni you would need to run a splitter after the headphone out, which may not be ideal. With the Asgard 2 you get an actual preamp out which should be better. 

post #7 of 18
Thread Starter 

Unfortunately the Asgard 2 is out of my price range. That's why I was looking for a workaround with the Magni/Modi combo.

post #8 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by BabylonDown View Post
 


I see. Instead of having to purchase an Asgard that has two sets of RCA outputs, could I not just use a splitter on the Magni? Would this not achieve the same goal?

 

Magni's RCA plugs are input, not output. What you need is a DAC or amp that has a spare RCA out, preferably one that runs through the potentiometer (as opposed to just being a bypass output) so you can use that to control the volume, which means you can conveniently use active monitors (not necessarily just the studio/pro variety, as some are targeted more for home use).

post #9 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ProtegeManiac View Post
 

 

Magni's RCA plugs are input, not output. What you need is a DAC or amp that has a spare RCA out, preferably one that runs through the potentiometer (as opposed to just being a bypass output) so you can use that to control the volume, which means you can conveniently use active monitors (not necessarily just the studio/pro variety, as some are targeted more for home use).

Thank you for your quick replies. I'm still learning (slowly) about this stuff, but it is making my head spin at times.

 

So, what you are saying is that I cannot use the Magni to hook up monitors unless there are RCA outputs. The input is only for the attachment of a DAC then?

 

I was actually looking at purchasing a set of M-Audio AV30 Monitors to get my feet wet. I believe they are active (Meaning powered?) monitors.

post #10 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by BabylonDown View Post
 

I was actually looking at purchasing a set of M-Audio AV30 Monitors to get my feet wet. I believe they are active (Meaning powered?) monitors.

 

Yes, that's an example of an active monitor. Not sure about its configuration, but generally there are two types: studio monitors and whatever the non-professional active speakers are called. The first set is whatever you can find in a recording studio, and as far as I know all active speakers for studio use have an amplifier in each speaker and hence independent gain knobs, so you'd really need a DAC or amp with a preamp output to control the gain as you would through the console on a studio. The non-pro speakers typically have the amp circuit on only one speaker, simplifying the wiring by running only one power cable from it and then running speaker cables from that "master" speaker to the "slave" speaker; usually a volume knob is places in an easier to reach location, such as the front, vs on the amp panel in the rear as on the professional models. Still, a DAC or Amp with its own preamp output can't hurt if you use either with these.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by BabylonDown View Post

 

So, what you are saying is that I cannot use the Magni to hook up monitors unless there are RCA outputs. The input is only for the attachment of a DAC then?

 

On the Magni yes they are only inputs, however, depending on the device, they aren't necessarily just RCA outputs as some use XLR. Active speakers may have both of these, including TRS (that's the full-size plug on a home headphone, except the Left and Right speaker have one each), so you need to buy the right DAC and speaker combo. Best if you get a speaker that has RCA at least, and consider the XLR as a bonus (some professional active monitors don't have RCA).

post #11 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ProtegeManiac View Post
 

 

Yes, that's an example of an active monitor. Not sure about its configuration, but generally there are two types: studio monitors and whatever the non-professional active speakers are called. The first set is whatever you can find in a recording studio, and as far as I know all active speakers for studio use have an amplifier in each speaker and hence independent gain knobs, so you'd really need a DAC or amp with a preamp output to control the gain as you would through the console on a studio. The non-pro speakers typically have the amp circuit on only one speaker, simplifying the wiring by running only one power cable from it and then running speaker cables from that "master" speaker to the "slave" speaker; usually a volume knob is places in an easier to reach location, such as the front, vs on the amp panel in the rear as on the professional models. Still, a DAC or Amp with its own preamp output can't hurt if you use either with these.

 

 

On the Magni yes they are only inputs, however, depending on the device, they aren't necessarily just RCA outputs as some use XLR. Active speakers may have both of these, including TRS (that's the full-size plug on a home headphone, except the Left and Right speaker have one each), so you need to buy the right DAC and speaker combo. Best if you get a speaker that has RCA at least, and consider the XLR as a bonus (some professional active monitors don't have RCA).


Here is a picture of the speakers. They seem to have RCA input on the one speaker. These speakers just have an amp circuit just on the one speaker.

 

[IMG]http://i.imgur.com/qTpLn9Ml.jpg[/IMG]


Edited by BabylonDown - 1/8/14 at 9:48am
post #12 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by BabylonDown View Post
 


Here is a picture of the speakers. They seem to have RCA input on the one speaker. These speakers just have an amp circuit just on the one speaker.

 

[IMG]http://i.imgur.com/qTpLn9Ml.jpg[/IMG]

 

Any DAC or amp with an analog output - preferably a preamp output - can be hooked up to these. An easier solution will be to get a DAC-(headphone)Amp (both in one chassis) that has a preamp output, although cheaper ones are likely to have only a lineout from the DAC section unaffected by the potentiometer.

post #13 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by ProtegeManiac View Post
 

 

Any DAC or amp with an analog output - preferably a preamp output - can be hooked up to these. An easier solution will be to get a DAC-(headphone)Amp (both in one chassis) that has a preamp output, although cheaper ones are likely to have only a lineout from the DAC section unaffected by the potentiometer.


The Audinst HUD-mx1/2 does this, as well as the Yulong U100 and Project Ember.

 

You will be fine splitting the signal from the Modi to Magni.

post #14 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by GaryWA View Post
 


The Audinst HUD-mx1/2 does this, as well as the Yulong U100 and Project Ember.

 

You will be fine splitting the signal from the Modi to Magni.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by GaryWA View Post
 


The Audinst HUD-mx1/2 does this, as well as the Yulong U100 and Project Ember.

 

You will be fine splitting the signal from the Modi to Magni.


Now that I am twice as confused after getting mixed responses, I guess I could just leave whatever I'm not using completely unplugged from the stack until I need it.

 

Here is a diagram I drew up of the Magni/Modi combo. Is this how you would run the splitters?

 

[IMG]http://i.imgur.com/GBwzR38.jpg[/IMG]

post #15 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by BabylonDown View Post

 

Here is a diagram I drew up of the Magni/Modi combo. Is this how you would run the splitters?

That should work just fine.

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