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How on earth do I connect a AMP to a DAC

Azeendeen

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So I just got the massdrop thx 789 amp which I am plan to connect to the SMSL SU-8 DAC for a balanced connection. However I am completely lost at how to connect it.
So do I have to use a dual XLR female to dual RCA cable to connect it? By plugging the dual XLR female to the SMSL SU-8 then the dual RCA end and connect it to the back of the Amp . Or do I use a dual XLR female to XLR male cable splitter that is connected to the SMSL SU-8 and connect the XLR male side of the cable to a XLR female to dual XLR male cable that is connected to the AMP for it to be balanced? Because if I did it the first way then I thought my connection wouldn't be balanced because its a dual XLR female to dual RCA not dual XLR female to dual XLR male
 

andreasmaaan

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All you should need to do is take a standard male-female XLR cable and connect it to the XLR outputs on the SU-8 at one end and the XLR inputs on the 789 at the other end.

Due to the specific connector types on XLR cables, there should be only one way to do this in which the connectors actually fit, i.e. if you have the right cable you can't go wrong.

Hope that helps.
 

andreasmaaan

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Azeendeen

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@andreasmaaan @solderdude omg. I feel so dumb lol. I new I need to connect the XLR of the DAC to the AMP like the picture @andreasmaaan posted. But I thought I need a SINGLE cable that is on one end dual XLR female and on the other dual XLR male lmaoo. Will buy it thank you. I didnt need to make it more complex for me by buying the Dual XLR female to XLR male (https://www.amazon.com/PACK-FEMALE-Y-CABLE-SPLITTER-Y301/dp/B004UJHTEM) and connect it to a dual XLR male to XLR female (https://www.amazon.com/PACK-FEMALE-Y-CABLE-SPLITTER-Y301/dp/B004UJHTEM) like this .That was so retarded of me my bad.
 
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Azeendeen

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Or connect it single-ended (RCA to RCA) if that's all you have. At typical cable lengths, it won't make any difference.

If you have an early version of the SU-8, you may get better performance on the SE:
https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/smsl-su-8-version-2-balanced-dac.5433/
yeh I knew I could do it RCA to RCA or dual XLR to RCA but I wanted to make it a balanced connection which in turn just made me more confused on what to buy lol. RCA to RCA is always the most easiest and basic thing to do
 
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Azeendeen

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BTW last question on amazon some of this wires are called microphone cables but I can still use it for my setup right. Or should I use wires from known 'audio' makers like the wires from shiit or monoprice? Cause I am leaning towards monoprice. Though would there be difference in sound quality between any of the wires??
 

andreasmaaan

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BTW last question on amazon some of this wires are called microphone cables but I can still use it for my setup right. Or should I use wires from known 'audio' makers like the wires from shiit or monoprice? Cause I am leaning towards monoprice. Though would there be difference in sound quality between any of the wires??

Microphone cables are fine, they're the same thing, just a different name. The only thing to avoid are "DMX" cables which are for lighting and may have the wrong wiring or number of pins.

Otherwise you'd have to have a defective cable for there to be any audible difference :)
 
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Azeendeen

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Microphone cables are fine, they're the same thing, just a different name. The only thing to avoid are "DMX" cables which are for lighting and may have the wrong wiring or number of pins.

Otherwise you'd have to have a defective cable for there to be any audible difference :)
thx again so much for the help not just to you but everyone that replied to me @Apesbrain and @solderdude .Sorry for being such a noob. I will most likely get the monoprice wires I guess then.
 
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Azeendeen

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@andreasmaaan Bro sorry to disturb you (again). If I connect the dac to my pc through the USB cable given. Then connect the DAC to my AMP with the correct XLR male to XLR female wires. Do I still need to connect my amp to my PC? No right?
 

andreasmaaan

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@andreasmaaan Bro sorry to disturb you (again). If I connect the dac to my pc through the USB cable given. Then connect the DAC to my AMP with the correct XLR male to XLR female wires. Do I still need to connect my amp to my PC? No right?

No absolutely not. What you've described is exactly the way to connect this system :)

FYI, what's happening here is that the PC is sending a digital signal via the USB cable to the DAC, which is then "decoding" it into an analogue (balanced) signal. This analogue signal is then being sent via the XLR cables to the amp, which is then amplifying it and sending it to headphones.
 
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Azeendeen

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No absolutely not. What you've described is exactly the way to connect this system :)

FYI, what's happening here is that the PC is sending a digital signal via the USB cable to the DAC, which is then "decoding" it into an analogue (balanced) signal. This analogue signal is then being sent via the XLR cables to the amp, which is then amplifying it and sending it to headphones.
thank you for explaining senpai! :D
 
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Azeendeen

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No absolutely not. What you've described is exactly the way to connect this system :)

FYI, what's happening here is that the PC is sending a digital signal via the USB cable to the DAC, which is then "decoding" it into an analogue (balanced) signal. This analogue signal is then being sent via the XLR cables to the amp, which is then amplifying it and sending it to headphones.
IT WORKED. thank you so much. Man the AMP is super transparent , no sound coloration at all. Followed by the DAC it sound super clean and I can hear the instrument separation much better. So crisp, clean and rich. This is such a huge upgrade from the shiit fulla 2 .
 

Bust3r

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My apologies for bumping this....I'm having a similar issue, I'm connecting a DAC to an AMP via XLR, but also want to use the dac+amp as a preamp and use my desktop speakers (for now until something better) but its only connection is a 1/4" into an RCA adapter. The amp is an audio-gd master 19. The gear just came in so this is more or less a test to see if everything works in tandem and only temporary. Where am I connecting the speakers to on the amp to get sound? Am I connecting to the RCA OUTS in the back of the amp to the desktop speakers? I'm confused on how I can still use the desktop speakers, if I still can.
 
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