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Recommended DAC for AVR+nCore Amp with Subwoofer support?

Obiwan007

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Hi,
I'm currently using a Denon AVR X4400 - but trying to improve a bit on the stereo part.
I looking into a boXem nCore stereo amp - but these only have one XLR input (which could be used hopefully also with the pre-out of the AVR.

I like to use the AVR mainly for home cinema. Currently the subwoofer is connected there.
Using a DAC and putting this to an input to the AVR would probably do not make much sense. So I thought the DAC could be connected directly to the boXem amp input and the AVR then to an analog inout (or maybe optical?) to the DAC.
But then I like that the DAC input is more or less transparent and not controlling volume anymore (HT input, AV input mode).
Is that existing?
If not I would need to go for an integrated amp. Supporting the subwoofer is additionally difficult if this should be using in both modes (stero/cinema).
2.1 integrated amps are not very widespread (and mostly not really good). Audiolabs 8300A would be an option to think of as they are supporting pre-in passthrough and having a sub-out. Perfoming probably way not as good as the nCore modules.

Using a DAC as a preamp is a good idea - given that those exist with the AV-paththrough?
 

Helicopter

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I would probably just use the AVR for a DAC and run pre outs to the Boxem, but if you want pass through, you could run the pre outs from the AVR to a Schiit Freya or similar, and run an XLR DAC to the Freya, and run the Freya's outs to the Boxem. You'd need to pick a volume setting for HT mode, and the latter solution doesn't give you sub outs.

What DAC are you considering? What's your budget for this?
 
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Obiwan007

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As I'm from Germany - Schiit is not really available here I think. Many Preamps have a pre-in/AV-in (like the Naim XS3) so the volume setting is controlled via the source (AVR).
Hm, if I look at the list here - the Toppings 90SE looks like one of the best choices here. I would like a streaming DAC more (like the Bluesound - but that got awfull measurements here). 500-1000€ would probably my limit for a DAC.
If I buy a Nail XS3 it would set me back around 2300€ - sometimes you get them used for 1700€. A Boxem will be around 800€.
Adding up fast... Not willing to spend 2000€ for a preamp - only if it gives me a DAC too.
The Marantz M40 is coming (for around 2400€) - but I guess the measurements are not up here yet. The M30 was not so good...
 
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freemansteve

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May not be popular on this site as a brand, but check Cambridge Audio Evo 75 and Evo 150.
It's only "mid-fi" but I am pleased with mine - very flexible.
 
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Obiwan007

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May not be popular on this site as a brand, but check Cambridge Audio Evo 75 and Evo 150.
It's only "mid-fi" but I am pleased with mine - very flexible.
Not sure about Cambridge Audio. The last Amp review here was a total desaster regarding to the result... Way worse than the usual AV Receiver...
Maybe sometime the Evo gets a test here too.
I also heard a Naim and Rotel (in the 1200€ class). The Naim only gets a sub-out if you buy the middle tier model - way ore expensive.

Maybe I will go with a Hypex based amp. Not found a good pre-amp yet though...
 
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