SoundCard/DAC/Amp for the Swans M10?
Aug 20, 2013 at 1:05 PM Post #16 of 26

cel4145

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LOL. Glad to help.

Some sound cards have digital processing effects as part of their driver/hardware that happens BEFORE the signal goes to the soundcard's internal DAC. With SPDIF and coaxial output, the sound card implements that digital processing (if you have it enabled) before sending the digital signal to the external DAC. So, for example, if your computer has an EQ that is part of the sound card configuration (not EQ within a media player), you could still use it with SPDIF and coaxial output. USB will completely bypass all the sound card software.

A pre-out will typically have volume control implemented. Line out will not. It's not always clear by looking at the unit. So you have to read the features/specifications/user testimonials (or reviews) to see if the extra jacks for hooking up the speakers to the unit is affected by the volume control on the device.
 
Aug 20, 2013 at 1:19 PM Post #17 of 26

Happy Hacking

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Quote:
LOL. Glad to help.

Some sound cards have digital processing effects as part of their driver/hardware that happens BEFORE the signal goes to the soundcard's internal DAC. With SPDIF and coaxial output, the sound card implements that digital processing (if you have it enabled) before sending the digital signal to the external DAC. So, for example, if your computer has an EQ that is part of the sound card configuration (not EQ within a media player), you could still use it with SPDIF and coaxial output. USB will completely bypass all the sound card software.

A pre-out will typically have volume control implemented. Line out will not. It's not always clear by looking at the unit. So you have to read the features/specifications/user testimonials (or reviews) to see if the extra jacks for hooking up the speakers to the unit is affected by the volume control on the device.

 
Ah thanks for clearing that up, you've been very helpful!
 
Sep 30, 2018 at 4:53 PM Post #21 of 26

josephkarthic

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A DAC produces line level output that is meant to be amplified. So its better if that line level output goes directly to the speakers' amp rather than being amplified by the headphone amp first.

A preamp goes in between a DAC or other audio source and an amplifier and generally has a volume control. May also have tone controls. In stereo receivers for powering home audio systems, it also has switching units so you can connect multiple devices. So what you might like is a DAC/headphone amp/preamp that has pre-outs so you can control the headphone and speaker volume with the same volume control on the unit. For example, Audioengine D1 or Maverick Audio TubeMagic D1. Some DAC/headphone amps only have line level out for connecting speakers, like the E17. Not a problem as you can control the volume through your computer.

SPDIF and coaxial output are good if you have a built in sound card that has some kind of surround processing. That processing can be passed to the external DAC, but you still get all the sound benefits of the better DAC. USB connections completely bypass the sound card.

3.5mm or RCA? It's all good. :)

Hi, sorry for replying to an old thread but im planning to buy an swans m10 only to be used with a mobile phone ... Should i need to buy an external dac or an amp to get the best output? If so what model? Is fiio e17 a good choice? Will it make a big difference rather than the mobile output? Pls help...
 
Sep 30, 2018 at 5:18 PM Post #22 of 26

PurpleAngel

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Hi, sorry for replying to an old thread but I'm planning to buy an Swans M10 only to be used with a mobile phone ... Should i need to buy an external DAC or an amp to get the best output? If so what model? Is FiiO E17 a good choice? Will it make a big difference rather than the mobile output? Pls help...
The Swan M10 has it's own built in amplifiers, so no need for you to buy another amplifier.
I would assume any portable DAC you get will be powered from the phone's USB port, draining the phones battery
I would say your better off buying a DAP (Digital Audio Player), with a dedicated line-output jack, to connect to the Swan M10
https://www.massdrop.com/buy/xduoo-x3-ii-digital-audio-player
https://www.amazon.com/Generation-A...sr=8-1&keywords=xduoo+x3+digital+audio+player

Another opinion is to just plug the swam M10 directly into the phone's headphone jack.
But a line-output jack is technically better at feeding line signal, to the M10.
But yes, not that big a deal connecting the phone's headphone jack, directly to the M10.
 
Sep 30, 2018 at 7:50 PM Post #23 of 26

cel4145

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What phone model? Some phones have excellent output when connected to external amplifiers (such as speakers), in which case buying a DAC would result in little benefit. Better then to buy better speakers with your money.
 
Oct 1, 2018 at 5:02 AM Post #24 of 26

josephkarthic

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The Swan M10 has it's own built in amplifiers, so no need for you to buy another amplifier.
................................
But yes, not that big a deal connecting the phone's headphone jack, directly to the M10.

Thankyou I thought the same about battery issue..

What phone model? Some phones have excellent output when connected to external amplifiers (such as speakers), in which case buying a DAC would result in little benefit. Better then to buy better speakers with your money.

My phone is Samsung S5((Octa core-Exynos version) which has Wolfson DAC..So I think I should connect directly to the speakers as you mentioned....

Also If im using a Sony bluetooth dongle to connect to speakers would there be any difference in sound quality?
 
Oct 1, 2018 at 1:12 PM Post #25 of 26

cel4145

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My phone is Samsung S5((Octa core-Exynos version) which has Wolfson DAC..So I think I should connect directly to the speakers as you mentioned....

Also If im using a Sony bluetooth dongle to connect to speakers would there be any difference in sound quality?

Yes. The S5 was measured to have low THD and low IMD+noise, with excellent crosstalk specs when used with an external amp. So the benefits of an external DAC are much less than phones that really need an external DAC: https://www.gsmarena.com/samsung_galaxy_s5-review-1064p8.php (see audio table further down the page)

A bluetooth receiver has a built in DAC. So it depends on how good the quality of the bluetooth receiver's electronics are, as well as the amount/type of compression used to send the audio over bluetooth. Try and see which you like better :)
 

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