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Connection question for DAC to active monitors


Jan 18, 2021
Hi everyone,

TL;DR: I have a headphone setup which is a Musical Fidelity MX-DAC connected to a Lehmann Audio Black Cube Linear, for headphone listening and I want to also connect active monitors to it. Should I connect them directly to the DAC or to the headphone amp pre out?

I have recently started considering getting a pair of decent active monitors for my home work setup. I have been using headphones for about a year but since I now work from home, having them on all the time is starting to cause me some claustrophobia, and the speakers I currently have are some really cheap Logitech ones.I am still undecided on what to get, based on reviews here and the room of my office I am leaning towards the JBL 308P mkII or I might even go crazy and get the smallest active Genelec ones (if I can find the budget!).

In any case, my current gear includes a Musical Fidelity MX-DAC connected to a Lehmann Audio Black Cube Linear, for headphone listening. I connect the work computer to the DAC via USB and I also connect a TV I have via Optical. My question is, given the monitors I am looking at have no volume control, can I connect them directly to the DAC via the line out XLR connectors, or should I connect them to the pre out of the headphone amp so I can use the Lehmann audio as a preamp and control the volume through there?

Currently I have roon set up to treat the DAC as a fixed volume device, and when I listen to something coming from the laptop, not roon, I keep the volume at max.

If it's best to use the RCA pre outs from the Lehmann Audio, should I take any special care on what cables to buy, or any simple RCA to XLR should suffice?



Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Aug 11, 2019
US East
The RCA pre-outs are likely the most practical choice. A pair of simple RCA to XLR converter cables such as this one from Monoprice are all you'll need. If you are considering other brands, make sure the cable is made to the same schematic (use shielded twisted pair cable instead of coax) as the Monoprice cable. Picture of the schematic is in the Amazon listing.
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