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nkitsell's picture
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Joined: 03/05/2014 - 21:56
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Which amp/dac to buy?

Ok, so I'm fairly new to the world of hifi and all the audiophile tech but so far I am loving it. Unfortunately my whole setup right now is old hand me downs, simply because I don't have the money to buy a whole new system. I'm currently outputting from my vaio laptop via an optical cable, into an optical to digital coaxial converter, into an old kinshaw dac, then that to a really old jvc amp (a-x30?) And that's all playing through a pair of Linn Index speakers.

Well now you know the setup, on to my question - I understand this equipment is all rather old, and I'm looking to upgrade particularly the dac+amp. I have a couple of questions, the first being this: is it better to get a separate dac and amp, or perhaps an amp with built in dac like the nad d3020 or marantz pm6005? I'm leaning towards this option for 2 reasons - the first being cost, the second being that in my head it seems better to use less equipment, surely running it through half a dozen boxes with all the cabling in between must deteriorate the sound?

And my second question is what output to use on my laptop? To stick with optical (straight into a dac without having to convert it to coaxial because I'm sure it's ruining the sound) or to go for a dac with USB input?

 

Just want to say I'm hugely pleased with the Linn index speakers, they're fantastic and I'm sure the weakest link in my system (besides the optical to coaxial converter) is the jvc amp. 30 watts per channel is enough volume, but it just seems so old and battered.

 

Thanks in advance for any and all help and advice!

pauln's picture
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RE: Which amp/dac to buy?

How about this:

http://www.petertyson.co.uk/ebuttonz/ebz_product_pages/teac_ah01.shtml?googlecpc&gclid=CPe8zvjmkb4CFRDItAod3BcAHQ

or this:

http://www.petertyson.co.uk/ebuttonz/ebz_product_pages/teac_ai-501da.shtml if you have the funds.

Either of them would replace your amp, dac and converter.

nkitsell's picture
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Joined: 03/05/2014 - 21:56
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RE: Which amp/dac to buy?

both look interesting, now I'm spoilt for choice haha! So you think getting an integrated dac+amp is the way to go?

pauln's picture
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RE: Which amp/dac to buy?

If I was going to spend £300 - £400 and wanted to keep my speakers, yes I'd look at a dac/amp combo. Why have an extra box if you don't need it? I just happen to like the look of the more expensive of the two Teacs and it's got more power than the cheaper one. I've recently sold my Linn Index speakers after having them for 20 or so years - I think they need a 50wpc amp really.

If I were going to spend more money and was starting from scratch I'd probably go for a dac/preamp/headphone amp combo and active speakers. There's more than one way to skin a cat but using a laptop as a source (as I do a lot) says to me "keep it simple".

nkitsell's picture
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Joined: 03/05/2014 - 21:56
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RE: Which amp/dac to buy?

How much did you sell yours for, just out of interest? (I'm not sure how much these are worth - want to know if I got a good deal)

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