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New audio system: Audiophonics MPA-S125NC with SMSL SU-9n, but how to connect my CD Player and Turntable and some more questions

Florianro

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Hello,
I've got a small Project MAIA right now with a Project CD Player connected and an old dual turntable. I use self-made hifi speakers that I really like with that setup.
I'd like to replace the MAIA integrated amplifier and use the SMSL SU-9N to connect with LDAC from the mobile phone. As an AMP I'm thinking about the Audiophonics MPA-S125NC. But I don't know yet how to connect the CD player and turntable. Additionally I think some kind of EQ/DSP and measurementsetup would be good to calibrate the linearity of the loudspeakers.
So some questions:
- What setups do you use to connect the turntable and the CD player to the amp?
- I suppose I'd have to replace the CD Player since it has no toslink output with one with toslink in order to be able to connect to the DAC. How complicated is it to connect a CD player to the SMSL SU-9N (lets say toslink) and select it as imput source? Does it recognize automatically? How would it work to change from CD for example to the mobile phone via LDAC?
- How would you connect the turntable to the Audiophonics MPA-S125NC? Or would you recommend a different AMP?
- My wife wants a setup that's as simple as possible. Would/can you recommend something else that's simpler to use in the same quality?
thanks,
Florian
 
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JPrufrk

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Hi FLorianro. I think the reason you're not getting many responses (maybe?) is that this is silly complicated, and it shouldn't be! Also, I assume you mean SU-9N, and not DA-9N. DACs generally have digital-only inputs. But you have two analog sources + BT. You've specified LDAC as a requirement, and the amp you've selected is just that - an amp only, with no volume control. So...you've got options but it gets expensive or complicated, and you've stated you want simplicity and, likely, not too much expense. E.g., here's one not inexpensive solution, but with lots of little boxes:

- An analog switch such as: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...und-3-in-1-out-xlr-audio-switch-review.11062/
- An-LDAC capable BT receiver: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...c3-review-bluetooth-receiver-bt-codecs.23740/ . I [edit: don't] think the analog-output performance was great, but it may be good enough.
- You then feed the CD player output, Phono output (I assume you have a phono preamp?) and BT receiver output into the switch
- Now you just need volume control before feeding the amp. There are many ways to do this, from a headphone amp with preamp output (make sure the output is volume controlled; some are not), to a cheap-to-expensive volume only control. Here's an inexpensive one with an additional analog input switch: https://jdslabs.com/product/ol-switcher/

Buying a new CD player just to get a digital output AND digitizing the phono output is the long way around to where you want to get, and the latter, done well, is expensive.

Others may have far better suggestions, but the above should get you started.
 
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Florianro

Florianro

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Hello,
Thanks for your reply. Yes I meant the SU-9n, sorry. I corrected it.
Ok I'll try to ask the question in a simpler way:
I'd like to change my audio system in the living room.
I want to keep the old dual turntable, the project CD box and the speakers.
I'd like to invest in a better amp that is simple to use (my wife shouldn't complain) and a better DAC.
Additionally I'd like to stream from spotify (easiest would be with the mobile phone).
Thanks,
Florian
 
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Florianro

Florianro

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I found three scenarios:
1) SMSL SU-9N + Audiophonics MPA-S125NC with a switcher/preamp for phono and cd as @JPrufrk recommend. I would have no EQ. SMSL SU-9N has LDAC so I could stream Spotify from the mobile phone.
2) RME ADI-2 + Audiophonics MPA-S125NC: I would also need a switcher/preamp like in scenario 1. I would have an EQ in the DAC. For Spotify I would need a raspberry pi with volumino. This would be somehow my preferred solution since its mainly european products but the adi-2 costs more than twice of the su-9n.
3) Minidsp SHD + Audiophonics MPA-S125NC: this would fit perfectly. With DSP. The minidsp also has analog inputs. I could use spotify with volumio. It would be the most expensive.
What do you think?
Thanks
Florian
 

JPrufrk

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@Florianro I just looked up the Pro-ject MAIA amp, and it's not an inexpensive box. So, it does beg the question: what exactly are you trying to improve over your current setup? If we assume that swapping out the amp for the Audiophonics MPA-S125NC will accomplish your goal, then yes, going analog-to-digital with an RME will work and give you volume control, EQ and remote, and you'd just need a way to select Phono, BT or CD into the RME. Note that (I think - I don't own an RME) you could feed the BT receiver digital-out into the RME and then you'd only have 2 analog sources to switch between. But it's not an inexpensive solution, and it may not give you better performance than approach (1). Of course, this is always debatable and we'd first have to define "performance" to even debate it. Speaking of which, why go BT? Stream over WiFi, which Spotify with any of a number of streamers will support just fine.

But, again, what are you trying to fix? We're discussing amp swaps, and maybe all you need is a subwoofer, which you could obviously build yourself also :)!
 
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Florianro

Florianro

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@JPrufrk I think you are right. Maybe a sub would be enough. My speakers (heissmann acoustics dxt-mon) go down to 50 hz. So I could build a Sub to cover the missing 20-50 hz. My wife would complain because it's another box in the living room ;-) and a sub in that range is not really small...
What do I want:
1) State of the art HQ Audio with good measurements
2) a linear sound (eq/dsp)
But to be honest I did not measure the linearity of my system yet. I will do that.
My project Maia according to the manual has a noise floor of >90db and a THD of <0,07% at 15W. So it might be already so good that I cannot hear the sound improvement of a new system?

I found a 4th option: pro-ject pre box ds2 digital + Audiophonics MPA-S125NC. It would cover all my requirements except EQ/DSP.
 

JPrufrk

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Yup, I think the best course of action is a UMIK mic and REW to figure out what to fix, and take it from there! Of course, that may not be as much fun as new gear but it's a lot less expensive and likely to yield much, much better results. Oh, yeah, and some flowers, a great dinner, a table saw (I don't want to be too sexist here) or whatever for your wife to go with the UMIK.
 
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Florianro

Florianro

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So I got an RPI 4 to run volumino, I think it can connect to the usb port of my project maia... Sound quality should be better than with Bluetooth... Lets see
 
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