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First New HI-FI setup (DAC AMP and speakers)

Zwang

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Hello, i'm totally newbie in hi-fi and audio world.

Firt thank you for this great forum wich really help to have an idea about a lots of differents audio devices.

I'm intersting to HI-FI because i would enjoy my flac music from my computer with the best quality. For now i only have a HC Yamaha RXV363 with 5.1 speakers.

I read recently some treads and article to have a better idea of what i need for my setup.
I would like to listen flac music from my computer (via usb) or my phone (via bluetooth) or radio (via coax).

After some reads I choose the SMSL M200 DAC to connect my differnts devices on it.

I would like to be able listen music on HI-FI speakers and with headphones (i have a logitec G933 headphone).


Here i'm lost. I would like the simpliest way to have this. And not too expensive (~250€ for dac ~200-250 for amp and ~200€ for speakers).

My questions are:

-Can i find an Integrated Amp with headphone amp and speakers amp also ?

-Concerning XLR Connectors are they useful between the dac and the amp or coax link can do the same ? (Do i need an Amp with XLR ?)

-And the last question which good budget amp and speakers can u recommand me ?

Thanks

Zwang

P.s: Sorry for any writing errors i'm french and i dont speek english fluently.
 
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Zwang

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Auto answer:

Ok so i discovered powered speaker (or active), a speaker with built in amp . That make the integrated amp useless and the price cheaper :).

I have now a new question which XLR powered speaker could you advice me with SMSL M200 ?

I'm learning while searching ...
 

M00ndancer

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Room size? Desk or floor?
 
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Zwang

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Hello , I want to put my hifi system next to My Home cinema in my living room . The room mesure About 40m2 but with some walls.

It look like this:
Living room.jpg
Speakers will be on a tv stand in front of the couch.
 
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Zwang

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I read good reviews about KALI LP6 an JBL 305/306. Is this a good idea ?
 

M00ndancer

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I'm intersting to HI-FI because i would enjoy my flac music from my computer with the best quality. For now i only have a HC Yamaha RXV363 with 5.1 speakers.

What speakers? Make and model?

I read good reviews about KALI LP6 an JBL 305/306. Is this a good idea ?
Have no idea until you give us more information about the gear you have.
What programs do you use to play music on your computer? Do you use headphones?

Please describe what you have and what you use.
 

liquidlino

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The thing about active speakers is that the speaker part can last fourty years. The electronics inside, not so long. Unless you are wanting to do music production that needs totally flat frequency response, you'll enjoy having separate amp and speakers. Either way, For your first hifi setup, try and spend lions share of budget on decent speakers, as they will then survive future upgrades. I've had my passive dynaudios for 23 years, never felt the need to upgrade. Had tons of amps, pre amps, DACs in that time though, as my needs changed. The jbl305 got good review on here, but they are really intended for near field, is music production, plus are a bit fugly really. For amp, I use a topping pa3, it's plenty loud enough on bookshelf speakers, dirt cheap. Then pick a dac that has the connectivity you need, with headphone amp built in. You'll notice most DACs now have noise floor and distortion etc all inaudible, so in theory they are all very similar sounding. Or, go simple one box route with smsl ad18 or topping mx3. Also, think if you want remote control or not. I rarely need remote control on hifi for volume, but some consider it a must.
 

M00ndancer

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The problem to solve is how to get the FLAC to his living room and still have BT, headphone AMP all in one (one box for all)

The Yamaha RXV363 have a headphone out but will probably not give him the best sound possible.
The 5.1 system might need new front speakers. But hard to tell until we know what type he has.
Total budget: €700

First and cheapest upgrade path if the speakers in the current system is good enough.
LOXJIE D30 €129

Computer -> USB -> LOXJIE D30 -> RCA (outputs) -> RXV363

Second upgrade:
Yamaha RXV363
If the AVR looks like this, it's from 2008 and looks like this:
1607940455208.png


Then I would do this:

LOXJIE D30 €129
Floor standing speakers: Budget €571
Computer -> USB -> LOXJIE D30 -> RCA (outputs) -> RXV363 -> Front B -> Speakers
 

liquidlino

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One thing to watch, those AV amps tend not to play well with 4ohm speakers (distortion goes up, and you run risk of tripping the current protection circuit - I changed from a Denon AV amp that was known to have issues with 4ohm to the Topping PA3 on 4ohm Dynaudio BM5 passives, and the PA3 is much better) - so make sure the speakers are 8ohm.
 

Bear123

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Just a general thought.....I'm not sure there's much or any benefit in having two separate systems side by side. It seems rather redundant. Just get one good system for everything. Upgrading the AVR would go a long way in that regard.
 

M00ndancer

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One thing to watch, those AV amps tend not to play well with 4ohm speakers (distortion goes up, and you run risk of tripping the current protection circuit - I changed from a Denon AV amp that was known to have issues with 4ohm to the Topping PA3 on 4ohm Dynaudio BM5 passives, and the PA3 is much better) - so make sure the speakers are 8ohm.

Not this one, according to the manual it states how much power it has with Ohm ratings. In US/Canada 8/6/4/2 Ohms, in Europe 6/4/2 Ohms
 

M00ndancer

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Just a general thought.....I'm not sure there's much or any benefit in having two separate systems side by side. It seems rather redundant. Just get one good system for everything. Upgrading the AVR would go a long way in that regard.
True, the AVR he has is ok, considering the budget. Upgrading the front speakers will probably be the first thing to do. The only reason I can see to upgrade the AVR is for all the new fancy surrounds standards, added functionality or if the power isn't enough. The rated power draw from the wall is 240W with peaks of 530 W at an eye watering 10%/THD and 1kHz, 0.9% THD, 100 W/ch with 135 W/ch at 10% THD
 
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Zwang

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Thanks for your answers.

Have no idea until you give us more information about the gear you have.
like this:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Yamaha-NX-...c-Surround-Sound-Speakers-Black-/292441276451
https://www.amazon.ca/-/fr/NX-E130/dp/B006ARF3FE
https://www.ebay.fr/itm/Yamaha-SW-P130-Subwoofer/224266005826?hash=item34374bad42:g:87cAAOSwv9tfDI8w

i have 4 satellite speakers :

satellite speakers : NX E130
6hom 30-100watt
zone in middle
NX C130
6hom 30-100watts
low speaker SW P130
230volts 60watts 50hz

What programs do you use to play music on your computer? Do you use headphones?

I use VLC or foobar2000 via coax

My Yamaha amplifier not sound very good for hifi but ok for films or radio.
I agree it's better to have one ampli/avr for all but it seems very expensive to have a device doing all i want. Two séparateur système semme more affordable.

So XLR connectors are useless for my installation ?
 

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M00ndancer

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I use VLC or foobar2000 via coax

Now I get it! My apologies.
Computer -> SP/dif Coax -> RX-V363. This is going to make it so much easier with recommendations.

My french is not good at all but with the help from Google translate I should be able to bridge the language gap somewhat.
Si vous pouviez également donner votre réponse en français, cela aiderait beaucoup.

My Yamaha amplifier not sound very good for hifi but ok for films or radio.
I agréé its n'est to have zone ampli/avril for all but it seems vert expensive to have a device doing all i want. Two séparateur système semme more affordable.

So XLR connectors are useless for my installation ?


First, your amplifier is fine. But the speakers are not. Passable for movies and casual listening.
Replacing the front speakers with a good set of speakers will do wonders. I did the same.

I have a Denon AVR-1611eu (AVR-591us) AVR and when got the amplifier in 2011 I could only afford the Harman Kardon HKTS 7 speakers. Only the subwoofer was any good, the rest would only work with movies and casual listening. The center channel couldn't really cope with dialog.

Now I have upgraded to good low budget speakers at a sale for €398 (HKTS €258) and at least twice the sound quality. Music, movies and TV sounds great and not anemic. Even compared to my Fluid F5 with the HKTS 7 sub I use for music production.

There in no use in using XLR unless you need really, really long cables or you have grounding issues or hum.

Setting up your AVR to match the new front speakers to the rest of the of your current speakers is easy. I've read the manual. :)

So to start with, get a set of new front speakers and save some money for the second upgrade.

Second upgrade
Get the Loxjie D30 for additional functions and sound improvements.

Third upgrade
New AVR with a good room correction software.

Regardless of upgrade, you might want to learn about acoustic treatment. I think your listening space could benefit from that as well.

I hope I haven't offended you, I'm not trying to be patronizing. Just give you the best price/performance solution.

Tout d'abord, votre amplificateur va bien. Mais les orateurs ne le sont pas. Passable pour les films et l'écoute occasionnelle.

Remplacer les enceintes avant par un bon ensemble d'enceintes fera des merveilles. J'ai fait la même chose.


J'ai un AVR Denon AVR-1611eu (AVR-591us) et quand j'ai eu l'amplificateur en 2011, je ne pouvais m'offrir que les haut-parleurs Harman Kardon HKTS 7. Seul le subwoofer était bon, le reste ne fonctionnerait qu'avec des films et une écoute occasionnelle. Le canal central ne pouvait pas vraiment faire face au dialogue.


Maintenant, je suis passé à de bons haut-parleurs à petit budget à une vente pour 398 € (HKTS 258 €) et au moins deux fois la qualité sonore. La musique, les films et la télévision sonne bien et pas anémique. Même par rapport à mon Fluid F5 avec le sub HKTS 7 que j'utilise pour la production musicale.


Il ne sert à rien d'utiliser XLR à moins que vous n'ayez besoin de câbles vraiment très longs ou que vous ayez des problèmes de mise à la terre ou un bourdonnement.


Il est facile de configurer votre AVR pour faire correspondre les nouvelles enceintes avant au reste de vos enceintes actuelles. J'ai lu le manuel. :)


Donc, pour commencer, procurez-vous un ensemble de nouvelles enceintes avant et économisez de l'argent pour la deuxième mise à niveau.


Deuxième mise à niveau

Obtenez le Loxjie D30 pour des fonctions supplémentaires et des améliorations sonores


Troisième mise à jour

Nouvel AVR avec un bon logiciel de correction de pièce.


Indépendamment de la mise à niveau, vous voudrez peut-être en savoir plus sur le traitement acoustique. Je pense que votre espace d'écoute pourrait également en bénéficier.


J'espère ne pas vous avoir offensé, je n'essaye pas d'être condescendant. Donnez-vous simplement la meilleure solution prix / performance.
 
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liquidlino

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"There in no use in using XLR unless you need really, really long cables or you have grounding issues or hum. "

Well - the third use of balanced XLR is when you want to start building a system that exceeds 100db of THD/SINAD (higher SNR and CMMR) but with budget systems this is a long long way off, so of zero value. CD quality = approx 96db SINAD, and 24-bit quality is approximately 124db. Most RCA line level cannot exceed 100db - this is why amir measures DAC quality with balanced outputs wherever he can.
 

M00ndancer

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Well - the third use of balanced XLR is when you want to start building a system that exceeds 100db of THD/SINAD
No, please educate yourself first. RCA cables exceeds 100dB easily. The reason (among others) for @amirm to use XLR is that many of the items tested don't deliver the full voltage on the RCA outs. If you don't believe me, do some measurements yourself.

Example: Loxjie D30
 

tvrgeek

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BALLANCED CONNECTORS ARE FOR STUDIOS WITH MILES OF CABLES, PRO PA INSTALLS IN ARENAS AND FOR THOSE NOT TOO BRIGHT WITH TOO MUCH MONEY. I am sure that will tick some off, but so be it. When you win the lottery, you can build a balanced system to brag about, but it won't sound any better. Badly designed hardware that has improper input impedances and insufficient drive for SE not withstanding. Don't buy junk. Sure, a SE output may not have the voltage to run into a converted balanced input, but that is mixing two specifications which is stupid to start with. SE to SE, if it can't drive, it is crap. Balanced to balanced if you need to run several hundred feet.

You can buy a DAC 100 times better than human hearing for $100. You can buy an outstanding phones amp for $100. Integrated amps are plentiful to drive your speakers at whatever price point you can stand. Spend your money on speakers. If you had an output and an input that could do 200 dB SNR, a plain old bit of 75 Ohm coax would transmit it just fine until you reach the Johnson noise limit. ( anything with resistance generates noise)

FWIW, as great as the SMSL and Topping are supposed to be, I had defective ones of each, winding up with Schiit. JDL is another reasonable source. Some here suggest thee Apple dongle is better than you can hear. Integrated amps with built in DACS tend to be obsolete and over-priced. Most integrated phones outputs are just going through resistors, not a real phones amp.
 

liquidlino

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https://benchmarkmedia.com/blogs/application_notes/balanced-vs-unbalanced-analog-interfaces

excerpt:
<quote>
TYPICAL PERFORMANCE OF AUDIO INTERFACES
Based on what I have seen while testing audio products in the lab, I have attempted to put together some typical performance numbers for audio interfaces. These are only approximate numbers, and is is possible to do better with careful engineering. Nevertheless, I believe these are fairly typical perfomance numbers.
  • Unbalanced 2 Vrms interfaces are rarely capable of delivering an SNR better than 100 dB (the SNR equivalent of a 17-bit digital system).
  • Consumer-grade 4 Vrms balanced interfaces may deliver an SNR up to about 125 dB (the SNR equivalent of a 21-bit digital system).
  • Professional-grade 24 dBu balanced interfaces may deliver an SNR up to about 135 dB (the SNR equivalent of a 23-bit digital system).
</unquote>

RCA line level standard is 2vrms. Sure, you could put a lot higher voltage to achieve better SNR, but generally equipment isn't designed to receive it, so you'll just be overloading the receiving devices input stage. That's why devices don't bother putting out higher than 2vrms on RCA. It's a rare device, such as the D30 you linked, that achieves over 100db at 2vrms, and anyway what's the point - the receiving device then suffers so much thermal noise on processing the 2vrms signal, that it degrades it unnecessarily.
Same for XLR - standard for consumer equipment is 4vrms, so you get the SNR and CMRR advantage of balanced cables.
Pro use a LOT higher vrms, to move the SNR even higher.
 

liquidlino

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BALLANCED CONNECTORS ARE FOR STUDIOS WITH MILES OF CABLES, PRO PA INSTALLS IN ARENAS AND FOR THOSE NOT TOO BRIGHT WITH TOO MUCH MONEY. I am sure that will tick some off, but so be it. When you win the lottery, you can build a balanced system to brag about, but it won't sound any better. Badly designed hardware that has improper input impedances and insufficient drive for SE not withstanding. Don't buy junk. Sure, a SE output may not have the voltage to run into a converted balanced input, but that is mixing two specifications which is stupid to start with. SE to SE, if it can't drive, it is crap. Balanced to balanced if you need to run several hundred feet.

You can buy a DAC 100 times better than human hearing for $100. You can buy an outstanding phones amp for $100. Integrated amps are plentiful to drive your speakers at whatever price point you can stand. Spend your money on speakers. If you had an output and an input that could do 200 dB SNR, a plain old bit of 75 Ohm coax would transmit it just fine until you reach the Johnson noise limit. ( anything with resistance generates noise)

FWIW, as great as the SMSL and Topping are supposed to be, I had defective ones of each, winding up with Schiit. JDL is another reasonable source. Some here suggest thee Apple dongle is better than you can hear. Integrated amps with built in DACS tend to be obsolete and over-priced. Most integrated phones outputs are just going through resistors, not a real phones amp.

Absolutely agree!!! I almost wrote this on my other posts - the whole balanced signal thing is all correct on paper - but in real life, you simply can't hear the difference. I started the whole thing to show the OP why he doesn't need balanced, not to say that he does... that was my original point - spend the money on speakers, it's the part of the system where you get a tangible, audible value for money. Go cheap (but with good measurements) on the electronics. Home hifi listening simply doesn't need 100+db end to end system performance - most source material is only cd quality which has a max theoretical quality of 96db, and generally doesn't exceed like 80db as the signal isn't always at -0db (unless you enjoy listening to pure sine waves for some reason).
 

M00ndancer

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TYPICAL PERFORMANCE OF AUDIO INTERFACES
Based on what I have seen while testing audio products in the lab, I have attempted to put together some typical performance numbers for audio interfaces. These are only approximate numbers, and is is possible to do better with careful engineering. Nevertheless, I believe these are fairly typical perfomance numbers.
  • Unbalanced 2 Vrms interfaces are rarely capable of delivering an SNR better than 100 dB (the SNR equivalent of a 17-bit digital system).
  • Consumer-grade 4 Vrms balanced interfaces may deliver an SNR up to about 125 dB (the SNR equivalent of a 21-bit digital system).
  • Professional-grade 24 dBu balanced interfaces may deliver an SNR up to about 135 dB (the SNR equivalent of a 23-bit digital system).
The key word here is typical and is an opinion. Here at ASR we don't do typical or opinions. We measure. If you take a look at the top quarter of the SINAD list of every DAC/AMP Amirm has tested, everyone of them exceed 100dB when using the RCA output. I still fail to see the point for using XLR, except when it necessary. Curing ground loops, hum, noise, long cable runs or the simple fact that your active speakers only have XLR in, like Genelec for example.

Same for XLR - standard for consumer equipment is 4vrms, so you get the SNR and CMRR advantage of balanced cables.

The 4 volts give you more power, only relevant when using hard to drive headphones, shorter runs of balanced cable have better performance than unbalanced up to a point. Many studioos use unbalanced for the shortest cabling and unbalanced for longer ones.

Sure, for piece of mind and the wish to have the highest SINAD/SNR in your audio chain use XLR, but as soon as you reach the transducer, all that is moot as long as it's not audible.

Not going to argue anymore about the pro or cons of XLR, there is no reason to confuse OP. XLR is not relevant in this case, unless we have problems.
 
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