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Recommendations for a dirt-simple desktop DAC/amp


Feb 1, 2021
Hi, gang!

A while back, I posted about my wacky listening room/DJ booth setup. As somebody pointed out, the vintage Infinity loudspeakers were the weak link in the build. Now, those speakers are gone, replaced by Salk Sound's version of Dennis Murphy's Philharmonic BMRs. No weakness remains.

Originally, the plan was just to donate the Infinitys to Goodwill, but my daughter is moving into a new apartment with college roommates, so I thought it would be better to give them to her.

But she has nothing to drive them. So I find myself looking for a stripped-down desktop amplifier that she and her roommates can connect to the communal TV and their phones.

This is an example of the kind of thing I'm thinking of:

I think what I'm looking for must have at least RCA and USB inputs, and preferably Bluetooth and a remote. EQ that lets them tame the Infinitys' brightness would also be a big plus. But I'm still looking for cheap, so only the RCA/USB inputs are hard requirements.

It would also be super sweet if anybody knows of a cable that has both Lightning and USB-C on the phone end and USB-A on the amp end. I have seen plenty of multiple-tip cables for charging, but I don't think I have ever seen one that implements Apple's mfi DRM so the cable can transmit audio.

Ultimately, since she and her roommates are of the generation that grew up on mp3, they're more likely to use Bluetooth than the USB, but I feel like giving somebody an audio gift that relies solely on Bluetooth is morally questionable.

So, esteemed colleagues: what do you got?
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