CXN v2 as a Pre-amp

ItsNotAllSnakeOil

Active Member
Hi

Just wondering if anybody is currently using the CXN v2 as a pre-amp and what your experiences are of it. I have one going into my Roksan K3 but purely as a streamer currently. It would be good to control volume etc from the app and a single remote. My Roksan K3 has a pre-amp bypass so i am going to give it a listen at some point soon but just wondered. Not expecting the pre-amp in the CXN v2 to be better than the Roksan but you never know. Any disadvantages to doing this other than potential sound quality etc? I appreciate using an integrated purely as a power amp may not be ideal.

Thanks
 
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ItsNotAllSnakeOil

Active Member
Managed to get some time testing and answered my own question. To be fair for a DAC/Streamer it’s a decent pre-amp but preferred it just as a DAC/Streamer into the Roksan. Roksan was a fuller sound with more body, CXN just sounded a bit lean in comparison. It wasn’t bad at all though but definitely not as good as the Roksan acting as a full integrated. Shame in a way as it would have been good to control volume on the CXN.
 

Mark.Yudkin

Distinguished Member

Mark.Yudkin

Distinguished Member
Thanks, so is that just based on the analogue vs digital argument? Is it fundamentally better to have an analogue pre?
No, this is not "the analogue vs digital argument",rather it's about what the volume control is doing.

A digital volume control manipulates the bits prior to conversion to analogue. Since lowering the volume reduces the number of bits (1 bit for every -6dB), this reduces the dynamic range (the DAC's noise floor is fixed).

An analogue volume control acts on the signal after the conversion to analogue. The result is that the attenuation carried out by an analogue volume control does not (can not) alter the dynamic range of the signal coming from DAC.

That said, most DACs will first up-sample and then apply the digital volume processing, so that in practice in a well-implemented system, the audio difference will be imperceptible. You have reported otherwise in post #2.

(It is important to note that a digital volume control is not the same as a digitally controlled (analogue) volume control. The latter operates as an analogue volume control, but is controlled digitally; it provides the best of both worlds).
 

ItsNotAllSnakeOil

Active Member
No, this is not "the analogue vs digital argument",rather it's about what the volume control is doing.

A digital volume control manipulates the bits prior to conversion to analogue. Since lowering the volume reduces the number of bits (1 bit for every -6dB), this reduces the dynamic range (the DAC's noise floor is fixed).

An analogue volume control acts on the signal after the conversion to analogue. The result is that the attenuation carried out by an analogue volume control does not (can not) alter the dynamic range of the signal coming from DAC.

That said, most DACs will first up-sample and then apply the digital volume processing, so that in practice in a well-implemented system, the audio difference will be imperceptible. You have reported otherwise in post #2.

(It is important to note that a digital volume control is not the same as a digitally controlled (analogue) volume control. The latter operates as an analogue volume control, but is controlled digitally; it provides the best of both worlds).
Great, explains it very well. Thank you. Will stick with it as a DAC/Streamer and put up with the extra remote control!
 

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