Amp / DAC

Jack Bond

Standard Member
I plan on getting a Yamaha A-S301 amp to play mp3s and FLACs via my PC. It has a DAC built in and CoAx & Optical inputs. However, my PC only has HDMI and USB outputs. I thought it would be a simple matter of getting an adaptor to connect a HDMI or USB cable to a CoAx or Optical cable but on researching it, it seems to be not that simple.

Am I right in saying that the only solution is to buy a separate DAC? (Or a new PC).

Tbh the sound I get through my present amp (connected to the RCA Aux inputs from one of the coloured outputs on my PC) sounds ok. But I thought if my next amp has DAC it would be nice to use it.

I’d be grateful for any advice on this. Thanks.
 

TB Rich

Active Member
Could add a Sound card with optical out. Sound Blaster Z or Asus Xonar SE 5.1 for example.

Cheapest option is a cheap USB sound card with optical out, literally like £15 quid of eBay. There's a theory too that being digital it shouldn't make any difference, and esp given both would be leveraging an optical connection which avoids any noise transference from the PC to the DAC.

That being said I think I'd trust a decent branded PCI-E sound card with optical to give a better sound quality due to presumably less jitter.

Alternatively find an intergated amp with USB input to it's DAC of course. Although at the cheaper end of things my preference would be to use Optical anyway due to guaranteed noise isolation between PC and DAC. USB is an inherently noisey connection from a PC and devices that deal with noise by galvanic isolation and re-clocking signals etc, tend to be pricey!
 

Jack Bond

Standard Member
Could add a Sound card with optical out. Sound Blaster Z or Asus Xonar SE 5.1 for example.

Cheapest option is a cheap USB sound card with optical out, literally like £15 quid of eBay. There's a theory too that being digital it shouldn't make any difference, and esp given both would be leveraging an optical connection which avoids any noise transference from the PC to the DAC.

That being said I think I'd trust a decent branded PCI-E sound card with optical to give a better sound quality due to presumably less jitter.

Alternatively find an intergated amp with USB input to it's DAC of course. Although at the cheaper end of things my preference would be to use Optical anyway due to guaranteed noise isolation between PC and DAC. USB is an inherently noisey connection from a PC and devices that deal with noise by galvanic isolation and re-clocking signals etc, tend to be pricey!
Many thanks for the info, TB. I'll have a think about this.
 

larkone

Distinguished Member
Something like this is low cost and will give optical or RCA connection to your amp
Amazon product
 

ShanePJ

Well-known Member
AVForums Sponsor
Try and upgrade to a DAC with a USB connection as this turns the DAC into your soundcard for the PC. This is the best way to use a DAC. Even something like Pro-Ject DAC Box S2+ will be a fantastic starting point. If you want a stereo amp with the a built in USB port, then thee Yamaha A-U670 is another good starting point

I've been using a PC based solution now for many years and have never looked back. The quality of the music even using iTunes is not to be underestimated. If the company supplies its own drivers, be sure to use it as this will usually bring you even more musical playback. Yamaha have this one
 

Jack Bond

Standard Member
Try and upgrade to a DAC with a USB connection as this turns the DAC into your soundcard for the PC. This is the best way to use a DAC. Even something like Pro-Ject DAC Box S2+ will be a fantastic starting point. If you want a stereo amp with the a built in USB port, then thee Yamaha A-U670 is another good starting point

I've been using a PC based solution now for many years and have never looked back. The quality of the music even using iTunes is not to be underestimated. If the company supplies its own drivers, be sure to use it as this will usually bring you even more musical playback. Yamaha have this one
Thank you for this info. I will look into that Pro-ject DAC.
 

Going Grey Now

Active Member
Or even a Schiit Modi 3+ (DAC) with the “new” Unison USB connection (also has Co-ax and optical). Will probably have to import from the States though, as currently OOS at the UK distributor (this is what I did about 4 months ago and all in, it cost me around £138).
Wonderful bit of kit for the money.
 

Jack Bond

Standard Member
Or even a Schiit Modi 3+ (DAC) with the “new” Unison USB connection (also has Co-ax and optical). Will probably have to import from the States though, as currently OOS at the UK distributor (this is what I did about 4 months ago and all in, it cost me around £138).
Wonderful bit of kit for the money.
Many thanks.
 

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