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Advice for multi-channel Amplifier with integrated DAC?


Goonie
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For my computer setup I am searching for a good quality amplifier with integrated DAC.

 

- audio input via USB connection

- 4 channel would be optimal for my setup, more wouldn't harm if I can leave them unused

- I'd like to re-use my existing JBL Control 1G speakers

- as I sit quite close to the speakers, maximum output power is not very important. 50W per channel should be more than enough, maybe even less

- small footprint, maybe around the size of a Mac mini?

- low power usage, especially when no sound is playing (idle)

 

I don't need the overkill featureset of current home theatre receivers. Especially no video inputs/outputs, remote control, DSP programs, tuner, Internet connection, etc. A master volume would be nice though (-:

 

Can anyone point me in the right direction?

 

 

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Pricerange? I'd look at the new simaudio i-3.3 and see if you can run them as an aggregate device. You could then use software volume control as the master volume. Either that, or run two dacs as an aggregate device and a multi-channel amp or two stereo amps.

 

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I keep reading your post and wondering what you are trying to achieve...

 

You say 4 channel - is that to power 2 sets of speakers, or to bi-amp a single set of speakers.

You mention JBL Control 1G speakers - are these the Control 1 speakers about 8-6" tall and 4-6" wide? Looking pretty much like these --

41KRR8MQ37L._SS500_.jpg

 

Also as someone else has asked ... what is your budget? Would you consider a separate DAC and amp?

 

It may also help if you indicated if you are using PC or Mac, and what software to play back?

 

Eloise

 

Eloise

---

...in my opinion / experience...

While I agree "Everything may matter" working out what actually affects the sound is a trickier thing.

And I agree "Trust your ears" but equally don't allow them to fool you - trust them with a bit of skepticism.

keep your mind open... But mind your brain doesn't fall out.

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Thanks for your replies.

 

First, what I am trying to achieve: I want to have 4 discrete channels for my computer desktop (PC running Windows and/or Linux). Mainly for playing games and watching movies, but also for listening to (stereo) music. I guess I am talking about near-field audio.

 

I'd really like to have all the channels and functions (pre/main amp/dac) in one single chassis. Multiple chassis means more space, more cables, more (idle) power usage.

 

I'm not sure if I looked at the right simaudio i-3.3, but it only seems to run two channels, like most of the other options I evaluated. Can you explain the term "aggregate device"?

 

@Audio_ELF: Yeah, that's basically my speakers. Expect that I have two 1G and two 1plus rather than the "1X" you found.

 

Price range: I used to say that I look at the available options first and then at the price. I hope to pay no more than 1000 Euro (= $1500).

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

...check out the Nuforce Icon HDP and Icon Amp coming out at the end of November.

 

I obviously haven't heard them, but the specs regarding inputs, size, DACs, etc, are close to what you're asking for.

 

MacBook Pro -> AppleTV ->Rotel RSP-1570 -> Martin Logan Electromotion[br]MacBook Pro -> Icon HDP -> AKG K701[br]Apple Lossless all the way

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I used a Creative Labs Audigy 2 for many years. It did DVD-Audio and played games in surround. Two pair of AudioEngine powered speakers and you have a pc-based desktop surround system that will blow your head off.

 

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I'd eacho Ted's idea of a multiple-channel sound card, not thought of that before - can even get an external USB one if needed. Then get a couple of T-Amplofiers off eBay to power your existing JBL Control 1 speakers.

 

Eloise

 

Eloise

---

...in my opinion / experience...

While I agree "Everything may matter" working out what actually affects the sound is a trickier thing.

And I agree "Trust your ears" but equally don't allow them to fool you - trust them with a bit of skepticism.

keep your mind open... But mind your brain doesn't fall out.

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