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PC->DAC->AMP->Headphones, How best to swap these around seamlessly?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

Not a good wording; but let me elaborate.

 

For sources have a Desktop; 2 laptops (Mac+PC), PS3, and tablet/phone at my desk at all times (and 4 monitors..). I'd like to be able to use them all easily with (minimal) cable swapping.  

 

I'd also like to be able to flip a switch and go from a pair of powered bookshelves; to my headphones.

 

 I currently have the gear in my Sig; and swap a USB cable around for my Schiit stack; and the PS3 is in the cold.  

 

Any suggestions best to do this?  Best I've come up with is getting a mixer; but I'm then entering a realm I know very little about... (I'd love to be able to have all inputs going into my Schiit stack seamlessly and just adjust levels based on content/current use; I tend to use multiple sources at once..)  

 

-Chris

post #2 of 6
Thread Starter 

Example of what I was thinking...

 

http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/MG102c/

 

10 inputs; 2 line-outputs.   I could have everything going everywhere; and just adjust bottom volume levels as need.  This just seems... hacky though; it feels like a problem that has been fixed cleaner somewhere else...  Not to mention I have no idea how clean it would be... Diagram with this in the middle would look like...

 

 

((PC ->DAC ) && PS3 && (Laptop->DAC) && Tablet && ???) -> Mixer -> ( Headhpone Amp && Bookshelves)

post #3 of 6

I used to use a mixer. Still miss the long sliders for instant volume control.

 

Everything else works much better on this though.

 

http://www.motu.com/products/motuaudio/ultralite-mk3/body.html/

 

The MOTU Ultralite. 8 analogue channels in, 10 analogue out, S/PDIF I/O and headphones out. USB 2.0 or Firewire.

 

Works like a mixer. Actually 8 mixers since every output channel can include any combination of inputs. Self powered so you don't even need a PC connected. All functions available on the front panel.

 

Connect the console via S/PDIF, You can only connect 1 PC/Mac at a time directly  but there is nothing stopping you connecting the output from an existing DAC to an input pair and thus make it available across all your gear. If you didn't want to use the built in headphone amp for any reason connect an amp to an output pair.

 

For phones use an inexpensive BT receiver connected to an input pair. Belkin does one you only have to tap once to connect if it's an android phone. (NFC?). Tablets similar situation to PC/Mac or simply plug in to an input pair.

 

Is this the sort of thing you might want?

 

You can do it cheaper but I mention the MOTU because it's something I know and it worked brilliant for me with a somewhat similar situation as yourelf.

post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by RonaldDumsfeld View Post
 

I used to use a mixer. Still miss the long sliders for instant volume control.

 

Everything else works much better on this though.

 

http://www.motu.com/products/motuaudio/ultralite-mk3/body.html/

 

The MOTU Ultralite. 8 analogue channels in, 10 analogue out, S/PDIF I/O and headphones out. USB 2.0 or Firewire.

 

Works like a mixer. Actually 8 mixers since every output channel can include any combination of inputs. Self powered so you don't even need a PC connected. All functions available on the front panel.

 

Connect the console via S/PDIF, You can only connect 1 PC/Mac at a time directly  but there is nothing stopping you connecting the output from an existing DAC to an input pair and thus make it available across all your gear. If you didn't want to use the built in headphone amp for any reason connect an amp to an output pair.

 

For phones use an inexpensive BT receiver connected to an input pair. Belkin does one you only have to tap once to connect if it's an android phone. (NFC?). Tablets similar situation to PC/Mac or simply plug in to an input pair.

 

Is this the sort of thing you might want?

 

You can do it cheaper but I mention the MOTU because it's something I know and it worked brilliant for me with a somewhat similar situation as yourelf.

Oooh;  yea that looks like it'd work well I think. Probably a little more than I'd like to spend; though if I don't come up with a better I might.  S/PDIF+RCAs is probably 'good nuff as far as inputs goes...

post #5 of 6

Actually most of the ins and outs are on TRS or TS jacks but it's the same thing almost.

 

You don't have to spend that much. You might be able to manage with a smaller channel count and/or trade down a brand.

 

I like 8 channels but 6 in and 6 out with S/PDIF is also good. Since you have a Mac MOTU is a good buy. You get a free copy of AudioDesk. Windows only get CueMix which is fabulous but AudioDesk is pretty much a fully featured DAW like their flagship product Digital Performer.

 

http://www.motu.com/products/motuaudio/audio-express

 

M-Audio Fast Track Ultra does 8 channels in and out for less but the software isn't as good.

 

The difficult thing is to find S/PDIF since it doesn't seem to be as popular as it was. The least expensive Focusrite with S/PDIF is the 6i6 , ~$250

 

http://global.focusrite.com/usb-audio-interfaces/scarlett-6i6/key-features

post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 

Followup incase anyone reads this later.  

 

I ended up just ordering a Niles AXP1.

 

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00006I5J0/ref=oh_details_o01_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

 

5->1 RCA only.  Place it between my DAC and Amp; and I something that should be transparent and allow me to connect 5 devices for headphone usage (I can convert everything to RCA relatively cleanly for 2CH).

 

 

I will still have to swap cables to connect speakers; but as of yet I don't have a long term monitor solution in place; and will cross that bridge when I do. I do think a mixer would be the best solution (watching a blue-ray on ps3 and someone speaks over teamspeak/etc, just lower volume of ps3 and raise PC), but I didn't find one I was 100% happy with in an impulse price range yet.

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