New to DAC's need some direction

Maxspeed

Junior Member
Sep 21, 2018
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Hey, thanks for the space. I'm looking for a DAC that has multiple output options. I need something that has optical inputs and XLR AND optical output. Does anyone know where I can look? I've been looking most of the afternoon and haven't came up with a single option. The reason for this is that I'm trying to mix components. Low level input style PA speakers and a Professional Yamaha Subwoofer that only has XLR inputs on it. I'd like to be able to feed audio into it from my PC via optical (TOSLINK) cable. and then output directly to a Home theatre receiver via optical again, while also outputting the XLR signal directly to the subwoofers integrated amplifier. Or is this a unicorn item that I'm trying to find?
 
Mar 11, 2004
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I think the simplest and cheapest option would be to convert the subwoofer output from the receiver (RCA) to the XLR for the sub.

Er wait, you're wanting to feed optical to the PA speaker system which in turn would feed the analog XLR into the sub, but also feed into the home theater receiver? Why are you bothering on the latter?
 

Maxspeed

Junior Member
Sep 21, 2018
16
0
36
I think the simplest and cheapest option would be to convert the subwoofer output from the receiver (RCA) to the XLR for the sub.

Er wait, you're wanting to feed optical to the PA speaker system which in turn would feed the analog XLR into the sub, but also feed into the home theater receiver? Why are you bothering on the latter?
Hey , thanks for the reply. No I'm just wanting to use a PA style subwoofer. I have a home theater receiver. It has 2 RCA level subwoofer outputs. However the subwoofer I'm looking at, Yamaha DXS18 mkII only has XLR inputs on it. I've been looking, and see these cheap RCA to XLR adapters. However, they would only allow an unbalanced signal to go to the subwoofer. Something with that much power, I'd like to give it as clean a signal as possible. I've seen several DAC's that have RCA and even optical inputs, and XLR outputs now. But I guess what i'm asking is, if I use a DAC would I end up with a "Balanced" XLR output to feed the subwoofer? Thanks again.
 
Mar 11, 2004
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Unless you have a very long run or other issues (which will then show up in your normal speakers), you're probably not going to gain anything meaningful from resorting to that to get balanced output. I'm not entirely sure if it'll even work properly for you as whatever you're feeding the receiver likely needs to be factored into the signal that sub receives to properly integrate it, and going optical out of the receiver its going to be about sending a different signal than what the rest of the receiver is trying to achieve (most likely you'll be stuck passing along a more limited 5.1 signal or it'll be just a stereo signal that you'll then possibly need to have truncated via frequency cutoff - although subs often have that built in so it wouldn't be a big deal), so you'll have to likely do more work to try and integrate things, and it will also likely bypass any EQ/room correction the receiver is doing on top of that. So just not optimal.

Being completely honest, if you want "clean" you're better off spending your money on wall/room treatments as that's going to impact the sound from the sub far more than unbalanced to balanced adapters. I don't know enough about the current state of subs to know if you might even be better off just looking at something else entirely (but I have a hunch it might, as that Yamaha seems aimed feature wise at pro audio, and will likely not be a good fit for consumer HT - not awful, but likely not optimal). I'm guessing you're more wanting music focused "tight and clean" vs HT "output and going as low as possible for those subsonic LFE"?

I actually share the frustration. I'm more focused on clean and good audio (best for music), but would like the ability to take some advantage of modern Object Based Audio formats. Mine is made worse as I'm headphone and stereo listening focused (although, these newer formats should be more adept at adjusting for your setup vs requiring a certain channel setup, so theoretically it should be easier/better than ever, but it sadly isn't; it also should be easier/better for headphone virtualization but again it isn't).

I'd say AVSForum is much more likely to be able to offer you options and advice though. At least as far as I know its still the go to for home theater stuff, and I'm sure there's others that have similar goals to you so they should be able to offer you better advice.
 

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