PC connections to DAC and amp - Help me do it right!
Dec 28, 2016 at 3:03 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 4

MattRG

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As I start to upgrade from just using my motherboard with my headphones I want to add an external DAC and amp to my desktop.  My understanding of this process (at least the best way to do it) is to choose a USB DAC (I am looking at the Schiit Modi 2 multibit) and connect the DAC to my PC and then connect the amp to the DAC where the amp is the last link in the chain.  Do I have that right so far?
 
I would use RCA cables to connect the amp to the output on the DAC and then adjust volume and gain on the amp itself which would also have the headphone input(s).  Have I messed anything up so far?
 
And lastly, if I have a desktop amp that already has a DAC built in to it and I want to bypass that DAC and just use the amp portion of the unit in favor of the Modi 2 is there anything special that I need to do in terms of how things are connected?
 
Dec 28, 2016 at 5:01 PM Post #2 of 4

PurpleAngel

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What headphones do you own or plan on buying soon?
What is your budget?
 
Dec 28, 2016 at 5:06 PM Post #3 of 4

buke9

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As I start to upgrade from just using my motherboard with my headphones I want to add an external DAC and amp to my desktop.  My understanding of this process (at least the best way to do it) is to choose a USB DAC (I am looking at the Schiit Modi 2 multibit) and connect the DAC to my PC and then connect the amp to the DAC where the amp is the last link in the chain.  Do I have that right so far?

I would use RCA cables to connect the amp to the output on the DAC and then adjust volume and gain on the amp itself which would also have the headphone input(s).  Have I messed anything up so far?

And lastly, if I have a desktop amp that already has a DAC built in to it and I want to bypass that DAC and just use the amp portion of the unit in favor of the Modi 2 is there anything special that I need to do in terms of how things are connected?
I think you got it right. As long as the amp has rca inputs to hook up the dac output you should be set to go.
 
Dec 28, 2016 at 7:52 PM Post #4 of 4

MattRG

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  What headphones do you own or plan on buying soon?
What is your budget?

I own a pair of Sony MA900's that are currently running directly into the line out on my motherboard.  By the end of the week I should also have a pair of Meze 99 Classics.  Neither should be tough to drive at reasonable volumes but I am more concerned about quality of sound than outright volume.
 
I'm going to use a Fostex HP-A4BL DAC/amp combo for now (USB) but have my eye on moving up to a true multibit DAC (like the Schiit Modi 2 multibit or the Bifrost multi) with a separate amp down the road.
 
Budget could potentially be $500 - $1000 per piece of gear once I get rolling but I want to start small'ish and work my way up.  My concern for now is just making sure I have everything connected correctly and that I know how to go from an all in one DAC/amp to separate components when the time comes.
 

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