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Splitting DAC XLR Out for Multiple Amps

heita0

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Oct 16, 2021
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I would like to use the XLR output of my DAC (Gustard X16 short-term, maybe a Holo May in the future) to feed both my stereo (integrated) amp and headphone amp (one at any given time). Both amps have 50k+ input impedance. From similar posts, I gather that this is fairly harmless and has no effect on the sound!

However, I have questions whose exact answers I haven't found in layman's terms:
1)
If I use Y-splitters, does one of the amps being off (in standby) 'make a difference' to the DAC's operation? Will it try to provide a signal to both at the same time even if, say, my stereo amp is switched off and in standby mode?
2) Is there any reason to prefer a splitter solution like this over or a pair of 1-male to 2-female splitter cables like this? Which would you recommend and why? Does the DAC sense anything differently across the implementations?
3) Anything I should know about voltage (ideally with noob-friendly instructions for affirmative action)?

Thank you for reading my questions. I hope you have a great day.

Best,
H
 
Last edited:

EdTice

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Aug 18, 2020
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I know this is a little late, but this is what I use. There are Several to choose from, but these were reviewed on ASR, and they are transparent.

I’d run the DAC into this and let the box do the splitting, that way there’s no signal loss or anything. That’s my recommendation.


Since this thread is bumped anyway.... and since I seem to be explaining this in every other thread...

Audio components are voltage sources. If you split an output (pre-amp to amp, amp to speaker, or whatever), the voltage stays the same from the source and the output current doubles. So long as the new (doubled) current doesn't exceed the power of the source, you will be just fine.

In the case of pre-amps / DACs, they generally have very low output impedance and the amps have high input impedance. The high input impedance essentially means the the current draw is very little. So twice of very little is still very little. That's why you can split a signal with neither loss of fidelity nor risk of damage.

In the case of amplifiers and speakers, speaker impedance is very low (as low as 4 ohms) so if you split the signal (run two speakers in parallel), that might draw too much current from the amplifier and bad things can happen (Usually just mildly bad things, though, as the amp will have overload protection that shuts it down until you restart. Nothing gets broken).

The amount of voltage output by an audio device is proportional to the volume. The amount of current is function of the voltage and impedance of what's attached. If an amplifier can drive one device at a particular voltage, it can drive two devices at 70% of that voltage (1/sqrt(2)). Note its not 50% due to current being a function of voltage squared.

It would be nice if pre-amp/DAC manufacturers specified a minimum impedance for the downstream devices but I'm not aware that they do. I'm going to go back and see if Amir indicates anything along those lines in his measurements. But unless you are running near max volumes, there are way bigger things to worry about.

The easiest example of this is that you seem even reputable companies (although I don't support this) suggesting hooking up 4ohm speakers to AVRs that aren't rated for 4ohm loads as long as you are careful with the volume control.
 

EdTice

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Yes you seem to like explaining that lol, in fact that’s twice you undermined my splitter box idea.

You must have that your notes so you can copy and paste it lol
The box you recommended above isn't a "splitter box." Its an XLR selector. And it might be a convenient thing to use. It's different than a "distribution amplifier" which I believe you suggested the other time.

An input selector *should* be transparent (although some of the ones reviewed here aren't). Distribution amplifiers actually amplify signals. They are useful sometimes and I'd love to see some reviewed here but I haven't found any here. Am I just deficient with my ability to use the search feature?

It would be nice to get some reviewed. Do you have any that you think might measure well? Maybe we can send one to Amir.
 
D

Deleted member 43441

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For the OP’s needs… the Nobsound splitter box should be perfect. Especially if you’re worried about getting simultaneous signals into two different devices. Not that that’s going to matter unless you have them both on, but the splitter box eliminates that. My opinion and good luck.
 

EdTice

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For the OP’s needs… the Nobsound splitter box should be perfect. Especially if you’re worried about getting simultaneous signals into two different devices. Not that that’s going to matter unless you have them both on, but the splitter box eliminates that. My opinion and good luck.
The XLR selector linked above allows hooking multiple devices to the same amp (where a selector is certainly needed or very bad things happen). It's not for sending one signal to multiple amplifiers.
 

Mookai

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May 13, 2022
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Hi, I wish to respond also.

I at current have mixer (Mackie DFX 12) I use two XLR outputs to amplifier. (Crown XLS 802)

I need instead to connect the mixer to " something else " that will then in it's turn split off to two amplifiers instead of one and also send a pair of outputs one to each of two powered speakers.

English is not my language so I made picture to show what I am meaning. Thank you.

PS. I wish to use XLR for all as I have several high quality long XLR cables. Each amp and both speakers would be far from mixer so I need something like a box that I can plug into then send off the various XLR leads to their amps, splitter cables no ideal.
 

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