RCA switcher question

Point to point vs PCB

  • Point to point will be better

    Votes: 2 100.0%
  • PCB like the SYS will be just as good

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • You won't notice the difference

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Both degrade equally

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    2
post-15820233
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kid vic

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I have two vintage integrated amps and I want to run my step up transformer into both via a switcher. I am wondering if a PCB based switcher like the Schiit SYS will either lower the volume or degrade the sound compared to a point-to-point switcher.

I tried this with a really cheap radioshack switcher I had lying around and I noticed a slight "haziness" of sorts to the sound; I assume that that was caused by: A) what I assume is a cheaper PCB board than what Schiit (may) use, and B) whatever possible interference I was getting from my really cheap unshielded spare RCA's.

Anyone think that the SYS will be better or should I try to get a point-to-point? (volume control is not neccesary)
 
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bigshot

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An analogue RCA switcher doesn't process the sound at all. It is a simple switch between two inputs. The difference you hear may be from dirty contacts somewhere, or expectation bias. Run both inputs through the same switcher and they should be the same. It doesn't cost more than 20 bucks or so to get an audibly transparent analogue RCA switcher.
 
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kid vic

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An analogue RCA switcher doesn't process the sound at all. It is a simple switch between two inputs. The difference you hear may be from dirty contacts somewhere, or expectation bias. Run both inputs through the same switcher and they should be the same. It doesn't cost more than 20 bucks or so to get an audibly transparent analogue RCA switcher.
Ok, so I'm running 1 in/2 out not 2 in/1 out like your post implies. I assume that that's irrelevant but I just want to clarify. However, phono inputs are far more sensitive than line inputs by design, which is why I assume that some interference can occur running to phone inputs into one switcher. That situation isn't the same as the PCB board adding any sound but more the switcher itself not properly isolating the two amps from each other.
Is that something you think a better built switcher would address (if it was happening in the first place)? Likewise, would shielded cables help?
 
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bigshot

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So you are splitting the output of a turntable? That allows for more problems with grounding and a much lower line level. I’m not sure if a better switch box would help. You would have to try it and see if you run into problems. If you could split it after the phono pre amp, it would be less prone to problems. What kind of issues are you running into?
 
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kid vic

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So you are splitting the output of a turntable? That allows for more problems with grounding and a much lower line level. I’m not sure if a better switch box would help. You would have to try it and see if you run into problems. If you could split it after the phono pre amp, it would be less prone to problems. What kind of issues are you running into?
You got it.
It sounds kind of "hazy" compared to straight into either amp. As in the background isn't as black/the noise floor is higher and the bass seems undefined.
 
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bigshot

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I'd suggest getting a phono preamp and raise the level before it goes into the splitter. That might help. If one of your amps has a line out for a tape deck, you might consider just patching into one amp and then patch the other amp into it. That would solve all the problems for sure.
 
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sander99

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@kid vic: Have you considered to just connect the turnable to one of the amps, and connect a tape record output of that amp to a normal line level input of the other amp?
That way the signal is effectively split after the phono-pre-pre

[Edit: ah @bigshot you beat me by one second.]
 
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kid vic

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I'd suggest getting a phono preamp and raise the level before it goes into the splitter. That might help. If one of your amps has a line out for a tape deck, you might consider just patching into one amp and then patch the other amp into it. That would solve all the problems for sure.
@kid vic: Have you considered to just connect the turnable to one of the amps, and connect a tape record output of that amp to a normal line level input of the other amp?
That way the signal is effectively split after the phono-pre-pre

[Edit: ah @bigshot you beat me by one second.]
That's not an ideal solution. I don't see any good reason to double amp like that when the phone stages of both integrated amps are so good by themselves. Plus it's a waste of energy. Though it solves a portion of the problem its not a method I will consider. Neither will getting a separate phone stage work for me.

Any comment on shielded cables helping or if point to point is better for this than a PCB based switcher?
 
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bigshot

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Those things probably won’t help. You want to get it to line level as soon as you can in the chain. Splitting phono level is asking for problems, I’m afraid. Plug direct into the amp you use the most and patch the line level output of that into the aux input of the other. That will give you optimal quality and minimal headaches.
 
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kid vic

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Those things probably won’t help. You want to get it to line level as soon as you can in the chain. Splitting phono level is asking for problems, I’m afraid. Plug direct into the amp you use the most and patch the line level output of that into the aux input of the other. That will give you optimal quality and minimal headaches.
Lol you must not like vinyl. Thanks though
 
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bigshot

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Lol you must not like vinyl.
This is about 2/3rds of my record collection. In general, you want to keep the jump from the cartridge to the phono preamp as short as possible. The more you put between, the more you are going to have problems. If you can get it to line level, you can pass it around as much as you want. You may not like that. You may have decided how you want to do it and you just want me to say, "Yeah, go ahead and spend a lot of money on a fancy switch box and expensive cables." But I've been around the block and I know that won't solve your problem. Simplifying your setup will.

recordwall.jpg
 
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kid vic

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This is about 2/3rds of my record collection. In general, you want to keep the jump from the cartridge to the phono preamp as short as possible. The more you put between, the more you are going to have problems. If you can get it to line level, you can pass it around as much as you want. You may not like that. You may have decided how you want to do it and you just want me to say, "Yeah, go ahead and spend a lot of money on a fancy switch box and expensive cables." But I've been around the block and I know that won't solve your problem. Simplifying your setup will.

recordwall.jpg
I'd rather manually switch the cables than double amp.
It makes absolutely no sense to run both amps as has been described here. Getting it to a line level in the one amp and sending that signal straight to my headphones from the same amp is better than passing around a line level between amps and needlessly adding distortion, coloration and any sort of random artifacts that could happen between amps. Putting an integrated amp before an integrated amp is not simplifying a setup. If I was running a preamp into two separate power amps it would be different, but double amping as you've suggested makes less sense than switching the cables by hand.
The convenience of running a switcher is not preferable to the wastage of running both my amps everytime I want to listen to a record. If there won't be any meaningful improvement between this cheap switcher and a seemingly higher quality one than I can save on the light bill and use my hands.
 
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kid vic

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The reason that I didn't mention a Y-splitter (at the step up transformer) is that I guessed there would be a higher chance of interference between amps that way. Even though I would only have one amp on at a time I'm guessing phono inputs may be sensitive enough for that to pose a problem?
 
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bigshot

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It wouldn’t be double amping if you ran the TT to the first amp, then took a line out from there to the second amp in an AUX input. Line level is line level. It doesn’t get amped. It would only be amped by the phono preamp of the first amp.
 
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kid vic

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It wouldn’t be double amping if you ran the TT to the first amp, then took a line out from there to the second amp in an AUX input. Line level is line level. It doesn’t get amped. It would only be amped by the phono preamp of the first amp.
Ok, as you say it's not double amping. Processing the signal twice by putting an additional integrated amp between the source and the output makes no sense to me and seems like a waste of money.

Any comment on the Y-splitter?
 
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