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One source, one DAC, two destinations (Read 803 times)
M_P
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One source, one DAC, two destinations
01/10/22 at 19:28:10
 
Luckily, I have a big desk, because my whole home system is there. A Mac mini feeds a Schiit Modi3+ and that, in turn, is connected to my SE84UFO2 and then to a pair of Omega CAMs. Another USB cable coming from the mini feeds yet another Schiit Modi 3 connecting to a Bottlehead Crack and then my Sennheiser headphones. And now I have another system under construction in my studio and I need a DAC for that.

So, Iíd like to somehow get one DAC out of the desktop system. Please correct me if Iím wrong, but I donít know any DACs with dual outputs. Is there a good way to feed one USB cable into a single DAC and then to two destination amplifiers? A switch of some sort maybe?

I could just get another Modi, but Iím kind of seeing this as an opportunity to upgrade the desktop DAC situation.

Thanks,

Michael
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Donnie
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Re: One source, one DAC, two destinations
Reply #1 - 01/10/22 at 21:50:04
 
I feed 2 amps out of my Denafrips Ares II.

My main amp gets it's signal from the RCA's and the other amp gets it's signal from the balanced output with a cheap cable that outputs from one leg of the balanced signal into RCA plugs.

Now I don't run them both at the same time, but it works out pretty well.
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M_P
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Re: One source, one DAC, two destinations
Reply #2 - 01/11/22 at 13:12:53
 
Thanks, Donnie! I'd thought about the Denafrips, but read there was a tiny lag that made movie watching (another pursuit using this rig) annoying. But now I see there are a few well-rated DACs out there with dual outputs. The ones I am finding are like yours--one set balanced, the other single ended. So converting from XLR to RCA doesn't seem to penalize sound quality?

MP
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CAJames
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Re: One source, one DAC, two destinations
Reply #3 - 01/11/22 at 14:38:38
 
You can always use a "Y cable" to split the output from your DAC, or get a switch box. Decware makes a really nice one, but they can be had for a lot less money.
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M_P
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Re: One source, one DAC, two destinations
Reply #4 - 01/12/22 at 12:57:50
 
Thanks, CAJames. So, using a splitter or cable, can I assume that as long as I keep the amp I don't wish to use off, all will be well? And that the only sonically important factor is the quality of the splitter or splitting cable?

Similarly, I guess, since both of my amps are single ended, then it'd be the quality of the balanced to RCA adapter or cable that's the only limiting factor in a scenario like Donnie's?
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Lon
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Re: One source, one DAC, two destinations
Reply #5 - 01/12/22 at 13:04:04
 
Yes, a good quality XLR to RCA cable will give you the lesser output from the RCA but not really influence the sound quality in my experience. I have a pair around here I used to use made by Realistic Audio that did a decent job. That may be the simplest way to achieve your goal.
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Dominick
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Re: One source, one DAC, two destinations
Reply #6 - 01/13/22 at 07:43:24
 
If you are looking to feed RCAís then the Zen switch box ZSB would be a potential option.  You  can select up to 4 separate inputs with the selector switch, and it has dual RCA outputs.  

I go from my Bifrost into the s ZSBÖ then one output signal goes to my Preamp, and the other output feeds my sub.  I know the better way is to use the speaker level inputs  on the sub, but I just use my sub as a filler for the really low frequencies, crossed over at  like 40 hz, with the volume low.  

A ď Y splitter cableĒ would be the cheaper route, but I like the flexibility the ZSB gives you.

Dom
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Melvin
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Re: One source, one DAC, two destinations
Reply #7 - 01/13/22 at 12:01:42
 
Just a couple thoughts and perhaps a bit of praise for the Decware ZSB, my 1st Decware product. Itís been in/out of my system since 2014 and, while Iíve not used it in the way @M_P intends, I have used it with multiple sources (CDP, DACs), amps (tube, ss), and to feed a subwoofer as @Dominick mentioned. I have never detected even the tiniest reduction in sound quality. Perhaps my aging ears arenít good enough or my gear isnít resolving enough but I can certainly hear cable changes with my current system.

A splitter is a nice inexpensive quick solution and perhaps the only one youíll need, of course, and is a fine way to go. The ZSB adds quality long-term flexibility. So much so that if I ever decide to go down the passive pre route I would sell mine and order a new one with either the stepped attenuator or the remote volume option.
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M_P
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Re: One source, one DAC, two destinations
Reply #8 - 01/15/22 at 13:34:57
 
Thanks everyone. I'm going to leave the Modi's in the home setup for now and run an old chromecast audio using it's internal DAC into my studio's DIY Betsy's while I build the Big Betsy's. Plan is to replace the CCA's DAC with one of the Modi's when the big speakers are done and then acquire one of the dual output DACs for the home system. Then add one additional pair of XLR=>RCA interconnects as Donnie and Lon suggested. The ZSB sure sounds like a great option, but boy is the wait list getting long.
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M_P
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Re: One source, one DAC, two destinations
Reply #9 - 02/15/22 at 14:38:21
 
Update: I took the advice offered and got a SMSL SU-9n DAC sporting XLR and RCA connections. Also got an XLR=>RCA cable. So now one set of interconnects goes to the UFO, the other set to the Bottlehead Crack. Works great so far. The studio Chromecast Audio device is acting up so I splurged on a Bluesound Node for that system. Thanks again for all the advice.
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