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Small (as small as possible) DAC amp for small speakers

Discussion in 'PC Audio' started by Umbrella Corp., Aug 25, 2021.

  1. Umbrella Corp.

    Umbrella Corp. Member

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    Hi everyone,

    I am a complete noob when it comes to audio and what not, I am setting up a macOS work station primarily for learning to code. I have an M1 Macbook Pro, AOC 4K monitor and Caldidgit doc with optical out. I want to get a small desktop amp of some sort to run 2 small THX Logitech speakers and a small powered sub. I know I can just go get a pair of speakers that have everything built in but I just want to try something different.

    All I know is class D amps are not good? is this correct, to be honest I don't really care about audio quality that much as long as it doesn't sound like the MacBook speakers. I have a pair of good brand name earphones so, I'll only be using these speakers for YouTube and some music during the day and headphones at night.

    So I've been looking at these types of amps, I have a max budget of 250 as I don't want to go overboard, however I am really tempted to get this.

    If anyone has any suggestions please let me know what you think, or any other ideas, I'd really appreciate it. Sorry for the long winded post.

    TLDR: Have Macbook and speakers want small amp to run 2.1 system, doesn't have to be a banger just better than Macbook speakers.

    Cheers.
     
  2. JSmithDTV

    JSmithDTV Member

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    No, not correct at all... depends on brand of D class amp used, implementation etc. Hypex and Purifi based amps are the best outperforming many A/B and A amps.

    That said, even many of the cheaper class D amps perform fine for general use... for PC speakers something like this would do the job which uses an Infineon IC and measures quite well for the price range;

    http://www.loxjie-audio.com/productshow.asp?id=157

    It's got your sub out too;

    [​IMG]

    Can be hard to find stock in Aus though, so best bet would be AliExpress or Amazon US... has been as cheap as $130USD.
    SMSL make some excellent DAC's, but that amp/dac combo you've looked at measures terribly and is over 2 years old model wise.



    JSmith
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2021
    Umbrella Corp. likes this.
  3. OP
    OP
    Umbrella Corp.

    Umbrella Corp. Member

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    Thanks JSmith, will look into that loxjie one you linked.

    cheers.
     
    JSmithDTV likes this.
  4. Etherate

    Etherate Member

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    SMSL AD18 is a solid choice, used by loads of audiophiles as the go to budget desktop option. can't go wrong imo
     
  5. JSmithDTV

    JSmithDTV Member

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    No... it's not, as I said the performance is terrible. Notice they have no pretty graphs or measurements for this product? ;)

    https://www.smsl-audio.com/portal/product/detail/id/566.html

    Lucky independent measurements were done showing this is one of the worst;

    upload_2021-8-26_19-8-0.png

    Maybe audiophools? :lol:

    SMSL recently were burned when it was discovered their M500 and SU9 had high 3rd harmonic distortion on one channel when playing stereo... they are now dealing with thousands of returned units to internally update firmware on after being dragged kicking and screaming to the table mind you. Both those units measure superbly however once the fix is done.



    JSmith
     
  6. underskore

    underskore Member

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    I upgraded from a noname copy an older smaller SMSL amp to the Yamaha WXA50 you mention and have been very happy since doing so.

    I use it to drive medium sized bookshelf speakers - mostly vinyl (via a basic NAD preamp) or internet radio but it also gets a bit of bluetooth action.
    The yamaha apps are a bit clunky so depending on your exact case they may be fine or infuriating... if you've got any specific questions then ask away but it sounds like you wouldn't be relying on it for much.
     
  7. JSmithDTV

    JSmithDTV Member

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    It's almost $600 though and has similar measurements to the Loxjie, so performance should be similar… OP said max budget is $250.



    JSmith
     
  8. underskore

    underskore Member

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    yeah, the yamaha isn't exactly cheap and given that the OP didn't mention multiroom or network features it's hard to go past how good those Loxjie units look. Now that I know of them I'll find it hard to go past one if I end up getting to put another stereo into the house anytime soon.
     
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  9. BIG DWIFTER

    BIG DWIFTER Member

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    The Yamaha is good though, I've used them.

    I'd say it's worth it with the ebay discount that brings it to $500 or so.
     
  10. Benno1988

    Benno1988 Member

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    Must be bad if Amir is not recommending a SMSL product
     
  11. JSmithDTV

    JSmithDTV Member

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    Measurements speak for themselves... as does your negative insinuation, i.e. it just reflects poorly on you.



    JSmith
     
  12. Benno1988

    Benno1988 Member

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    Fuckin lol.
     
  13. JSmithDTV

    JSmithDTV Member

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    Sorry, have I taken your comment the wrong way? If so, what did you mean exactly and what was the point dragging up a post from 9 months ago? AFAIK the bloke tests stuff people and companies send in for testing, doesn't have advertising and doesn't take kick-backs for positive comment. Prof. Wolf at L7AudioLab also tests devices with an AP analyser, as do a number of others sites... To me it's great to have this information available in general though as a resource, rather than relying on limited manufacturer specs only... just like 3rd party testing of PC components. Of course it's up to the consumer to ascertain other aspects like build quality, needed functions etc.



    JSmith
     

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