Amp inputs
May 20, 2009 at 5:10 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 12

cms5423

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I was just wondering for headphone amps, does it matter whether you use RCA jacks as the inputs for left and right, or a 3.5mm mini stereo jack? Is there a benefit to using the RCA jacks? Thanks guys
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May 20, 2009 at 5:28 PM Post #2 of 12

progo

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It's harder to make short circuits with RCA inputs, plus they look better and might have some sonic advantage (in theory).
 
May 20, 2009 at 5:31 PM Post #3 of 12

cms5423

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is it bad to use a 3.5mm jack for the input though? Like if I build a dac, couldn't I build it to have either 3.5mm output or RCA output? Or is RCA sonically better?
 
May 20, 2009 at 5:37 PM Post #4 of 12

Juaquin

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Not in particular. It just depends on your source. For portable use most people use Mini because their audio devices have mini. Likewise, most desktop rigs use RCA or other jacks because that's what the sources use.
 
May 20, 2009 at 5:38 PM Post #5 of 12

cms5423

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ok, great, thanks
 
May 20, 2009 at 7:06 PM Post #6 of 12

compuryan

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I would expect the RCA to be better sonically. Of course the difference would be small and immeasurable. This is because 3.5mm jacks have an internal mechanism whereas RCA jacks are a solid piece of metal. The RCAs will also not have the possibility of mechanical problems over lifetime use like 3.5mm, nor as great a possibility or shorting.
 
May 20, 2009 at 7:19 PM Post #7 of 12

m1abrams

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Besides the mechanical advantage for a better contact that you get from RCA, RCA connectors have separate ground channels versus the common ground used by 3.5mm. Note sure how much that matters since most/all SE amps bring it together anyhow.
 
May 20, 2009 at 9:20 PM Post #8 of 12

NelsonVandal

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Quote:

Originally Posted by compuryan /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I would expect the RCA to be better sonically. Of course the difference would be small and immeasurable.


It is measurable (crosstalk). I wonder if it's audible?
 
May 21, 2009 at 10:10 PM Post #10 of 12

tenzip

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Quote:

Originally Posted by kipman725 /img/forum/go_quote.gif
All of them are rubbish contacts compared to something like a locking coax connector and connect the signal before ground.


Not necessarily. You can buy RCA plugs designed to make the ground before signal. Connection security is an entirely different matter.
 
May 21, 2009 at 11:50 PM Post #11 of 12

Uncle Erik

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I'd make the choice based on practicality. If you are going to use an iPod as your source, then put in a jack for it. You might also want to install a source selector switch and put RCA jacks on an input or two.

That might be a good idea if you might sell or give away your amp some day -a lot of people just use RCA jacks.
 
May 22, 2009 at 4:10 AM Post #12 of 12

nullstring

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for my amp, I decided that 3.5mm would be the best...
Mostly because I want to be able to use the DAC I plan making w/o an amp.

Uncle Erik does, however, bring up a good point.
 

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