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Which DAC for my use case?

Haslar

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Dear all,

Here is my current setup.
- My amp is a late 90s made in the UK Audiolab 8000A, plugged into same-era Monitor Audio bookshelf speakers.
- I use a Ifi Zen Blue as a bluetooth receiver. I use the Spotify app on my Iphone to send a BT signal over to it.
- I also have a Panasonic BlueRay player, which boasts an Optical digital output. I use it for movies and for audio CDs.
- Finally, I own a LG C1 TV which also has an Optical digital output, but no analog outputs.

I would like to be able to use my Audiolab/Monitor Audio combo to listen to the TV.
I was thinking about the following configuration - but I'm pretty much a newbie, and am not sure it would work.

haslar's audio config.PNG


Does it make sense to want to send a digital signal from my Blue-Ray player via HDMI over to my TV, so that the TV resends the same signal via Toslink over to the DAC?
I can always connect the BlueRay player analog output directly to the 8000A, but then I wouldn't benefit from a good external DAC.

I was thinking that a Topping E30 ii DAC could fit the bill, I'd love to hear what you think about that, before I order anything.

BTW: I know a good AV Receiver would solve all these issues (+provide somme room correction), so I'm saving money in order to purchase a Denon X3800H or equivalent some time next year.

Thanks !

Richard
-
 

staticV3

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I was thinking about the following configuration - but I'm pretty much a newbie, and am not sure it would work.
Yeah looks good
Does it make sense to want to send a digital signal from my Blue-Ray player via HDMI over to my TV, so that the TV resends the same signal via Toslink over to the DAC?
In theory, yes.
In practice, the TV will likely do some resampling with HDMI in -> Toslink out. See here.
If you want to bypass that, then it's better to use the HDMI eARC output and put an HDMI audio extractor between TV and DAC.
 

staticV3

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You'll get better performance for your money with an HDMI extractor plus a regular DAC, at least for stereo use.
For surround sound, the Essence is probably a good buy.
 

Zek

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Does it make sense to want to send a digital signal from my Blue-Ray player via HDMI over to my TV
For movies, yes.
For audio CDs you can connect Blu-Ray player to DAC via coax or optical outs.
You don't need iffi Zen Blue, because most DACs have it built in.
 
OP
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Haslar

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Thanks all for the replies!
The Essence DAC looks great but is too expensive for me at the moment, unfortunately.

So I ordered a Topping E30 ii DAC as well as an HDMI to Toslink converter, I'll give it a try and will report back.
The only issue is that I won't have enough inputs on the E30 to deal with my 3 sources (Ifi Zen Blue, LG C1 and Blueray player).
So I'll have to have my TV turned on when I play CDs, so that it can pass the signal through to the DAC.
I guess it's not too bad of an issue.
 

MarcosCh

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The only issue is that I won't have enough inputs on the E30 to deal with my 3 sources (Ifi Zen Blue, LG C1 and Blueray player).

There are also spdif switches, many with remote, and some even switch automatically when they detect a signal.


Edit: or dac with Bluetooth built in and get rid of the ifi
 
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Haslar

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Allright, after a few weeks of use, here's my report:
it all works fine with the Topping E30ii.
I also purchased an HDMI extractor, but... I found out my LG C1 does not have an HDMI out, so I cannot use the extractor. I should have checked beforehand.
Thanks all for the help !
 

Zek

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I must admit I'm very much a newbie on the AV field...
It was really very difficult to look at the back of the LG and see what connections it has...:facepalm:
 

kemmler3D

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It was really very difficult to look at the back of the LG and see what connections it has...:facepalm:
You laugh, but those things are super thin to the point that you really want to avoid moving or even touching them... :D
 

Wino

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You don't need a DAC, you need an AVR. Maybe a Denon 3700?
 
OP
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Haslar

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It was really very difficult to look at the back of the LG and see what connections it has...:facepalm:
I did, and it reads « HDMI IN » as one can see on the picture above.
Not « HDMI OUT ».
 
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Haslar

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You don't need a DAC, you need an AVR. Maybe a Denon 3700?
I still hesitate, between a 2.0 or 2.1 configuration, and a 3.1 option.
I cannot go for 5.1, because of WAF issues.
For 3.1 I’d need an AVR, but not for 2.1, so I could keep my Audiolab 8000A for the time being.
Not sure what I’d really miss, not having a dedicated center channel.
 

Trell

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I did, and it reads « HDMI IN » as one can see on the picture above.
Not « HDMI OUT ».

Read post #2 and open the manual for your LG OLED C1 and check for HDMI (ARC).
 
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Haslar

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BC95E1E8-5044-400E-9626-F8455F95FD2A.jpeg
OK, so I plugged an HDMI cable in the HDMI(ARC) output of my LG C1, and selected the "HDMI(ARC)" output with the remote control on the UI.
I plugged the HDMI cable in the "INPUT" of my HDMI to Optical adapter, and... I get no sound.
For some reason, this does not work, and I have no idea why.



So, I'm back to the Optical OUT solution with the LG C1.
:(
 

voodooless

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Most HDMI audio extractors do not support eARC. You’ll need one that specifically support that.
 

MarcosCh

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View attachment 247441OK, so I plugged an HDMI cable in the HDMI(ARC) output of my LG C1, and selected the "HDMI(ARC)" output with the remote control on the UI.
I plugged the HDMI cable in the "INPUT" of my HDMI to Optical adapter, and... I get no sound.
For some reason, this does not work, and I have no idea why.



So, I'm back to the Optical OUT solution with the LG C1.
:(
I believe you need to plug the cable to the HDMI OUT of the adapter
 
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