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Topic: PC to Amplifier/DAC Plugging (Read 1692 times) previous topic - next topic
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PC to Amplifier/DAC Plugging

I plan to get an Integrated-amplifier to replace my Audio/video Receiever (avr). The AVR I used to have is the "Pioneer-vsx-1022" which plugged to my PC via HDMI Cable.

The integrated-amplifiers I am looking at to replace my AVR are any of the following listed below (sorted by price in ascending order). For me to decide on which integrated-amplifier to get all depends. At a glance I feel I would get more of a flexible audio setup if I go for the Yamaha-as701 and supplement it with an external DAC instead of going for the Yamaha-as801 which has a built-in DAC.

So then, at this point I feel like I am more interested in the higher wattage and feel like I should exclude the Yamaha-as501 from the selection. The external DAC that I have found to pair it with the Yamaha-as701 is the Cambridgeaudio-dacmagicplus. I don't know what exactly I'm looking for, but longevity is the key. Is the Cambridgeaudio-dacmagicplus better than the yamaha-as801's built-in DAC (if yes then how-so)? Although the price range for the external DAC is only able to match the price range between the Yamaha-as501 vs. Yamaha-as801 with a price difference of $350 and I just feel like you essentially get what you pay for. Please note that I've never owned a DAC before and don't know how to pair it with an integrated-amplifier or audio/video receiver so I would need help in how to plug it properly to get it working.

The reason why I wanted to replace my AVR is because of damage by unprofessionalism. What happened to the AVR is that it suddenly got static sounds from any output including the front microphone jack and switching speakers had the same results from different outputs as well as changing inputs still had static sounds. The sad part is that AVR lasted for over 10-years until I arbitrarily decided to pair it with the Audio-interface "Focusrite-scarlettsolo1stgen". After a couple days of pairing my AVR with that audio-interface did I notice a soft static sound started to hiss then became louder until I was able to power off my AVR.

With all this said, my main questions are... How do I pair an Integrated-amplifier with an external DAC to be used with a PC? Is there such thing as Bad Plugging between an Integrated-amplifier and an external DAC? Is Pairing an integrated-amplifier with an external DAC the same as pairing it with an Audio-interface?

* INTEGRATED AMPLIFIERS (suggestions are welcomed)

$550 - [A-S501BL] - Yamaha A-S501 Integrated Amplifier (Black) ~ Comment: least expensive with much less wattage
$800 - [A-S701BL] - Yamaha A-S701 Integrated Amplifier (Black) ~ Comment: no built-in dac and same wattage as the yamaha-as801
$900 - [A-S801BL] - Yamaha A-S801 Integrated Amplifier (Black) ~ Comment:  has built-in dac for an additional $100 over the yamaha-as701 and has same wattage

* EXTERNAL DAC (suggestions are welcomed)

$350 - [C10424K] - Cambridge Audio DacMagic Plus Upsampling DAC, Preamplifier, and Headphone Amplifier (Black) ~ Comment: may have features I probably won't ever use

Re: PC to Amplifier/DAC Plugging

Reply #1
Quote
The reason why I wanted to replace my AVR is because of damage by unprofessionalism. What happened to the AVR is that it suddenly got static sounds from any output including the front microphone jack and switching speakers had the same results from different outputs as well as changing inputs still had static sounds. The sad part is that AVR lasted for over 10-years until I arbitrarily decided to pair it with the Audio-interface "Focusrite-scarlettsolo1stgen". After a couple days of pairing my AVR with that audio-interface did I notice a soft static sound started to hiss then became louder until I was able to power off my AVR.
Most likely that was a random coincidence.

Quote
With all this said, my main questions are... How do I pair an Integrated-amplifier with an external DAC to be used with a PC? Is there such thing as Bad Plugging between an Integrated-amplifier and an external DAC? Is Pairing an integrated-amplifier with an external DAC the same as pairing it with an Audio-interface?
Just plug the analog-output into any line-level input (any input except for a phono input).

Before you buy a separate DAC, try the line/headphone output from your computer.   If you don't get excess noise the other important specs/characteristics (frequency response and distortion) are almost always better than human hearing.    

And if noise is an issue, try a regular USB soundcard.    If you do have noise issues with a USB soundcard the noise usually comes-in through the USB power (and usually it's a high-pitched whine) maybe look for a DAC with it's own separate power supply  (not USB-powered)

Almost any audio DAC is better than human hearing, including the DAC chip built-into your soundcard.

Re: PC to Amplifier/DAC Plugging

Reply #2
Just plug the analog-output into any line-level input (any input except for a phono input).

I'm sorry but can you rephrase this in terms of which the components being plugged to what whether it's the Integrated-amplifier, to the DAC, and then to the PC (I know the speakers connect to the amp, I know that for sure). I'm just confused on the exact schematics.

Before you buy a separate DAC, try the line/headphone output from your computer.   If you don't get excess noise the other important specs/characteristics (frequency response and distortion) are almost always better than human hearing. And if noise is an issue, try a regular USB soundcard.    If you do have noise issues with a USB soundcard the noise usually comes-in through the USB power (and usually it's a high-pitched whine) maybe look for a DAC with it's own separate power supply  (not USB-powered)

Almost any audio DAC is better than human hearing, including the DAC chip built-into your soundcard.

Are you saying that regardless of clarity as to when you do not hear noise that there is in-fact noise and that I should get a DAC no matter what? In regards to DAC power type I do prefer separate power supply and not the usb-type, but the outlet-type. To add onto the subject you brought up which is "High-pitched Whine", is that there is a video on someone who has experienced this from his own Cambridgeaudio-dacmagicplus: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hMioeRsz9TU. This is what I mean by suggestions are welcomed and I only plan on using this with my PC I don't see it any other way so if I could cut the cost for the external DAC that would be very much appreciated as long as quality isn't disregarded.

Re: PC to Amplifier/DAC Plugging

Reply #3
get a amplifier with network support ( dnla, airplay, spotify) and play happy from your chair , no more necessary to use dac or cables...

i would take this:
Yamaha MusicCast R-N803D

or, with littre DIY and less money:
rasberry pi with dac + Dsp hifyberry ( integatre dsp for room correction ) , remote control
and à professional amplifier , for exemple behringer A800, all for less than 500$.
( i have this... )

Music is my first love.

Re: PC to Amplifier/DAC Plugging

Reply #4
Quote
I'm sorry but can you rephrase this in terms of which the components being plugged to what whether it's the Integrated-amplifier,
Typically, the DAC has a pair of RCA outputs and the integrated amp usually has several pairs of RCA inputs.  The inputs on the amp might be labeled "CD", "tape", "aux", etc., but they are all similar line-inputs.   If there is a phono input (rare on modern equipment) it goes through a phono preamp.

Quote
Are you saying that regardless of clarity as to when you do not hear noise that there is in-fact noise and that I should get a DAC no matter what?
No.    I'm saying noise, which is usually hiss, whine, or hum is usually the ONLY audible defect and if you don't hear noise everything is OK.   Noise is usually low-level and constant so you hear it  in the background when there is silence or with quiet sounds.   With louder sounds the noise is usually drowned-out.   If you don't hear noise there are probably no audible issues and your built-in soundcard may be just as good as anything else.     

"Clarity" isn't really definable (or measurable).    If something sounds "more clear" or "better" but you know why, it's probably time for a careful, blind, level-matched ABX test;)

"Audiophiles" tend to use lots of meaningless words, so be skeptical when you read words that seem to mean something or words that put an image in your head but may mean different things to different people.   What matters is noise, frequency response and distortion.*  See Audiophoolery.

If you want "better sound", equalization (frequency response adjustment/alteration) is free in software, or better speakers always make a difference.  ;)



* In addition to these 3, there are acoustic/room effects but of course those don't relate to the DAC or anything digital/electronic.   Digital artifacts related to lossy compression (MP3, etc.) are a little harder to define and measure but they are usually a combination of noise, frequency response, and distortion that sometimes change from moment-to-moment with the program material.  
 

Re: PC to Amplifier/DAC Plugging

Reply #5
get a amplifier with network support ( dnla, airplay, spotify) and play happy from your chair , no more necessary to use dac or cables...

Convenient only if the audio setup is without constant change, sure. But, I dislike wireless because of it's ultimate frustrating procedures and protocols, then theres the wait time. Wires is forever reliable and not a problem for me and my experience with it compared to anything wireless.

Typically, the DAC has a pair of RCA outputs and the integrated amp usually has several pairs of RCA inputs.  The inputs on the amp might be labeled "CD", "tape", "aux", etc., but they are all similar line-inputs.   If there is a phono input (rare on modern equipment) it goes through a phono preamp.

This makes more sense now, thank you Doug. So, RCA's seem to be the common among most audiowireconnector-types. I know there are others such as Coax/SPDIF, Optical/TOSLINK, and USB w/ each of them having their own benefits. I would think Toslink is much more forgiving if there is any problematic noise.

Just to backtrack here this is how I plugged my Focusrite-scarlettsolo1stgen (audiointerface) to my Pioneer-vsx1022 (avr) from audiointerface's output to the avr's input. I think the audio-interface was damaged or defective in some way, maybe that explains the problematic static-hiss noise.

"Audiophiles" tend to use lots of meaningless words, so be skeptical when you read words that seem to mean something or words that put an image in your head but may mean different things to different people.   What matters is noise, frequency response and distortion.*  See Audiophoolery.

If you want "better sound", equalization (frequency response adjustment/alteration) is free in software, or better speakers always make a difference.  ;)

I believe this as I get more distracted by their "connoisseur'esque" descriptions than to benefit from hearing those rambles. You've mentioned frequency-response multiple times and does this relate to latency; for instance, with a player like fb2k and lowering the buffer-length lower than 1000ms or lowering latency for DJ'ing using mixer software like Mixxx? I hope this means no more delays as I get that with my PC's motherboard soundcard and I would absolutely love to eliminate audio delays/responsetimes.

This now got me thinking - do DAC's help with volume and distortion? And does Frequency-response relate to Audio-latency?

Re: PC to Amplifier/DAC Plugging

Reply #6
[DOUBLE POST], Move on.

Re: PC to Amplifier/DAC Plugging

Reply #7
Quote
I know there are others such as Coax/SPDIF, Optical/TOSLINK, and USB w/ each of them having their own benefits. I would think Toslink is much more forgiving if there is any problematic noise.
Those are all digital so they wouldn't be used to connect the analog output from the DAC.   If the integrated amp has digital inputs it has a built-in DAC (like your previous receiver).

Quote
You've mentioned frequency-response multiple times and does this relate to latency; for instance, with a player like fb2k and lowering the buffer-length lower than 1000ms or lowering latency for DJ'ing using mixer software like Mixxx?
No.   Frequency response is the variation in amplitude (loudness) as you move from low (bass) frequencies to high (treble) frequencies.   That's a variation in the equipment...   There are "natural" variations in music/program material.   If you adjust the bass/treble controls or use an equalizer you are altering the frequency response.   And equalizer an be used to correct for frequency response (to some extent) in your room/speakers or to improve a "bad recording".  Or, you can use it to "enhance" the sound by boosting the bass, etc. to your taste.  

Ideally you want "flat" frequency response across the audio range (20Hz - 20kHz) to accurately reproduce the recording.    This is generally no problem for modern electronics.   You can fairly-easily built an amplifier that goes from DC (0 Hz) to the MHz range.   But, many amps intentionally filter-out DC because in the audio signal DC it can cause problems.    Radio frequencies can sometimes cause problems too so usually the frequency response is somewhat limited to the audio range.  

There is an upper limit with digital audio to half the sample rate.  i.e.  CD audio (44.1kHz sample rate) can't go over 22,050Hz and there is normally a low-pass "smoothing filter" so you don't get quite to that mathematical limit.  

Speakers are a different story...    Most speakers have a loss in the deep bass range and ALL speakers have up & down variations across the range.   And room reflections have an influence on frequency response, especially the bass.

...The reason I mentioned frequency response is because it's one of the things you an actually hear and identify.   If you say, "This DAC has more clarity" I won't know what you're talking about and I might be skeptical.    If you say, "This DAC has weak bass" I might believe you ;) and I'd know exactly what you're talking about.  

Latency is delay.  If you're just listening there's no issue with a several milliseconds of latency.  I've got recordings that were made more than 50 years ago so a couple extra milliseconds don't matter.   ;)   It can be an issue if you are watching a video and the audio gets delayed.    

The main issue with latency is when you are recording yourself and monitoring in headphones.    There is always latency through the computer and if there is too much latency it's hard to "perform".    To eliminate that problem, some audio interfaces have zero-latency hardware-monitoring where the monitor signal doesn't go through the computer. 

Quote
This now got me thinking - do DAC's help with volume and distortion?
Again the distortion in modern electronics is usually measurable but inaudible, unless you overdrive a 100W amplifier, trying to get 150W out of it, etc.  And again, speaker distortion is far worse than electronic distortion (under normal conditions).   There is also a digital limit of 0dBFS* and you can clip (distort) digitally.   The volume control on most software players can't go over "100%", so clipping isn't a problem as long as the digital recording itself isn't clipped.  But,  you can  sometimes get clipping if you boost with a software equalizer.    If there is digital clipping that would happen before  the digital audio is sent to the DAC.

As far as "volume", there really is no standard for the analog-side.   If there is a spec it should say something like 1V @ 0dB.   Line level is rather loosely defined and it often depends on the loudness of the recording and a volume control somewhere in the signal path.  But usually enough signal from the source and enough amplification in the amp or preamp so everything works together.   And, you might have to adjust the volume when you switch between your DAC and your TV, etc.  dBV and dBu are to electrical signal levels and there is no standard calibration standard between the analog-electrical levels and the digital levels.


* 0dBFS is the "digital maximum" so digital dB levels are usually negative.   With integer formats it's the highest you can "count" with a given number of bits.   Everything is automatically scaled before it's sent to the DAC so an 8-bit file is just as loud as a 24-bit file, and you can send a 24-bit file to a 16-bit DAC without clipping.  

dB SPL is the acoustic loudness in the air.  The 0dB SPL reference is approximately the quietest sound that can be heard so SPL levels are positive.   There is a direct correlation between digital levels and acoustic sound level (a 3dB digital reduction results in a 3dB loudness reduction) but there is generally no calibration.    
 


Re: PC to Amplifier/DAC Plugging

Reply #8
Those are all digital so they wouldn't be used to connect the analog output from the DAC.   If the integrated amp has digital inputs it has a built-in DAC (like your previous receiver).

Alright, so let's roleplay here. Let's say I simply get the Yamaha-as701 (integrated-amplifier) and the Cambridgeaudio-dacmagicplus (dac) wouldn't the plugging be like so:

PC Out-usb -> DAC In-usb
DAC Out-rca -> AMP In-rcaline1 (below tuner)

Now that I have been typing this out this seems to be more complicated than simply hooking up my PC straight to the Amp via Optical by not getting the DAC in the first place (I don't want to miss out on the opportunity the DAC will help with volume). I will add though, that Yamaha-as801 has a supposedly better DAC via In-usb (as digital) for which again - the Yamaha-as701 doesn't have.

I hope you are still here Doug, because now I have a question about the Balanced RCA vs. Unbalanced RCA Outputs from the DAC. Would it be best to use XLR as Balanced Output and how does it compare to Unbalanced Output via RCA? It's just I don't get how I would plug the XLR Output to the Yamaha-as701 integrated-amplifier's Input.

Re: PC to Amplifier/DAC Plugging

Reply #9
PC Out-usb -> DAC In-usb
DAC Out-rca -> AMP In-rcaline1 (below tuner)
This is correct. Balanced/unbalanced is not an issue in your situation.  I'd get the 801: save some money and have a simpler setup.

Re: PC to Amplifier/DAC Plugging

Reply #10
Quote
(I don't want to miss out on the opportunity the DAC will help with volume).
You should be able to get the full 100W per channel no matter what analog or digital input you are using.

Quote
I will add though, that Yamaha-as801 has a supposedly better DAC via In-usb (as digital) for which again - the Yamaha-as701 doesn't have.
There shouldn't be any difference in sound quality.   But almost every computer has a USB port and most don't have S/PDIF. 

Quote
I hope you are still here Doug, because now I have a question about the Balanced RCA vs. Unbalanced RCA Outputs from the DAC. Would it be best to use XLR as Balanced Output and how does it compare to Unbalanced Output via RCA?

Like Apesbrain says, really not an issue.   Balanced connections are more immune to noise pick-up, typically power-line hum.   (Noise again! :D )   But for short cable runs a line level signals, regular shielded RCA connections don't pick-up noise.  

It's important for microphones because a mic signal is 100 to 1000 times lower than a line-level signal, and it's helpful for long runs used for live audio productions or in recording studios.   I also helps with ground-loops (noise again) resulting from equipment located far apart.    ...You almost never get hum/buzz with a microphone (low-impedance balanced) but it's a super-common problem with electric guitars (high impedance unbalanced).

Quote
It's just I don't get how I would plug the XLR Output to the Yamaha-as701 integrated-amplifier's Input.
You can make a connection with an adapter but then it's no longer balanced.    

Re: PC to Amplifier/DAC Plugging

Reply #11
The AVR I used to have is the "Pioneer-vsx-1022" which plugged to my PC via HDMI Cable.

The sad part is that AVR lasted for over 10-years until..

$550 - [A-S501BL]
$800 - [A-S701BL] 
$900 - [A-S801BL]
Well, hope you didn't plug anything other than mic into front mic input....but regardless, you got 10yrs, so no too bad.
If you don't want the extra channels and remote buttons, etc, despite another AVR being a sensible replacement, there are 2ch receivers which offer better value than pure integrateds due to economies of scale.
With HDMI (just find them in stock elsewhere  ;) ).
Well within specified budget and also some having so called "room" EQ capability (I'd stick to bass only unless you can measure).

cheers,

AJ
Loudspeaker manufacturer

Re: PC to Amplifier/DAC Plugging

Reply #12
I greatly appreciate the discussion here guys! I do value simple setup if going extra isn't applicable to my terms which will be better for budget.

There shouldn't be any difference in sound quality.   But almost every computer has a USB port and most don't have S/PDIF.

This whole time I believe I was confused about this part the most. I could still go for the Yamaha-as701 because my PC has an Optical/SPDIF Output. Care to explain then what DAC features mean such as upscaling and 24-bit this and Numbers-KHz that? Isn't that audio clarity in some shape or form?

But for short cable runs a line level signals, regular shielded RCA connections don't pick-up noise.

Do DAC's help with noise if for instance I do hear it without one? I mean, I have no Recording Equipment whether it's microphone or an instrument in my setup. My setup is just PC with audio-playback needing an amplifier to power my speakers.

Well, hope you didn't plug anything other than mic into front mic input....

Nope it was how I said it in the Reply#5. That Audio-interface did have it's own volume control and kept it it at 65% as I learn my lesson from gain in my Car (never again).

If you don't want the extra channels and remote buttons, etc, despite another AVR being a sensible replacement, there are 2ch receivers which offer better value than pure integrateds due to economies of scale.
With HDMI (just find them in stock elsewhere  ;) ).
Well within specified budget and also some having so called "room" EQ capability (I'd stick to bass only unless you can measure).

Correct me if i'm wrong and hope this isn't part of "New-to-the-Game" mentality but I feel worth mentioning that AVR physically has more stuff (or features) within it's design that wouldn't it be less dedicated to audio manufacturing-wise? I am drawn to the integrated-amplifier for this reason of simplicity. Where maybe I believe that it should last longer by design and atleast be better experience from the simplest thing - such as powering off/on. However, if integrated-amplifiers are greater in price without being any better than an AVR which literally could do more then I would go for an AVR instead. Is there anything else to say about integrated-amplifiers that people could strictly abide to them for?

Re: PC to Amplifier/DAC Plugging

Reply #13
Correct me if i'm wrong and hope this isn't part of "New-to-the-Game" mentality but I feel worth mentioning that AVR physically has more stuff (or features) within it's design that wouldn't it be less dedicated to audio manufacturing-wise? I am drawn to the integrated-amplifier for this reason of simplicity. Where maybe I believe that it should last longer by design and atleast be better experience from the simplest thing - such as powering off/on. However, if integrated-amplifiers are greater in price without being any better than an AVR which literally could do more then I would go for an AVR instead. Is there anything else to say about integrated-amplifiers that people could strictly abide to them for?
The integrateds are definitely simpler, but the AVRs are made/sold in much higher quantities, thus priced lower. Is there more to go wrong? Yes. Are there much more features, including onboard DACs etc, yes.
Reliability? Well who knows. I have 2 16yr old AVRs (pioneer VSX812 and HK AVR 235) still going strong. Ditto for 10yr old Yamaha Aventage RXA800. I have a Denon X4500H that lasted 3 months! Factory replaced, but...
The intergrateds you listed should last a while, but honestly, its impossible to reliably predict. You could probably get 2 of your old AVRs ea 10 yr for the price of 1 Integrated lasting 20yrs. Really comes down to features...and of course, simplicity.
The 2ch Receivers I suggested are somewhere in between...and negate the need for extra $$ on DAC, while also simplifying.
If you can output via optical from computer, Yamaha does make 2ch receivers with dacs.
Yamaha, to the best of my knowledge, are among the more reliable.

cheers,

AJ
Loudspeaker manufacturer

Re: PC to Amplifier/DAC Plugging

Reply #14
Quote
Do DAC's help with noise if for instance I do hear it without one?
It depends on where the noise is coming from.   The soundcard built into a computer is just more prone  to noise than dedicated audio equipment because computers aren't necessarily designed for high quality audio, there are lots of "noisy" digital signals running all over the place, and the power supplies are usually noisy.

I had a home theater receiver with a low-level buzz that I could hear when the room was quiet there was no sound playing.   I was getting the noise with the S/PDIF input (probably wired coax) and I don't remember if it was happening with analog inputs.    The nose wasn't that bad but I upgraded because it didn't have HDMI.


And again, the main reason I mentioned noise is that it's PROBABLY the ONLY thing worth worrying about and if you don't hear noise you shouldn't have to do any careful A/B or ABX listening or careful checking of the specs or anything like that.       ….Well, you can still "worry" about speakers & acoustics and maybe amplifier power if you want to rattle the walls.

Re: PC to Amplifier/DAC Plugging

Reply #15
Quote
Care to explain then what DAC features mean such as upscaling and 24-bit this and Numbers-KHz that? Isn't that audio clarity in some shape or form?
The bottom line is "CD quality" (16-bits / 44.1kHz) is generally better than human hearing and you can't hear the difference between a "high resolution" original and a CD quality copy  in a blind ABX test.  (Lots of people "hear" a difference in non-blind tests.  ;)

The only "resolution" analogy I have is watching your TV from across a football field.   At that distance the resolution of your eyes is not that good and you can't tell the difference between VHS and Blu-Ray.   With hearing distance isn't the issue...   You're just beyond the resolution limits or your ear & brain.

If you go the other way to "low resolution"...  At 8-bits you can hear quantization noise which is something like white noise.  Like any other noise it's most noticeable at low (digital) levels and at higher volumes it's mostly (or completely?) drowned-out.  But unlike regular analog noise, it "runs on top of" the audio and the quantization goes-away completely with "digital silence".

The audio is limited to half the sample rate so 44.1kHz goes beyond 20kHz.   With an 8kHz sample rate the audio can't go over 4kHz and you'll hear the loss of high frequencies.

Up-sampling doesn't gain anything, at least not without some kind of "processing".   Regular re-sampling doesn't do any processing.    When up-sampling is done "properly" it doesn't change the sound.   i.e.  If you copy a VHS tape to DVD or Blu-Ray you don't improve the quality.    There are "tricks" you can do to improve the sound with if you have something like 8-bit/8kHz ("telephone quality") but you're never going to get CD quality.

If you already have CD quality, it's already better than human hearing.    Any audible adjustments or processing would also be heard without up-sampling.

If you want to play-around with up-sampling & downsampling, Audacity can do it.

DACs work at a fixed bit depth so if you have a 16-bit soundcard or DAC 8-bit audio will be upsampled and 24-bit audio will be downsampled automatically (by the driver or firmware).

Some soundcards (and maybe some stand-alone DACs) also work at a fixed sample rate of 44.1 or 48kHz.   Again, the drivers take care of any required resampling so any soundcard can play a 192kHz file and usually you never know it's getting downsampled.

Re: PC to Amplifier/DAC Plugging

Reply #16
If you can output via optical from computer, Yamaha does make 2ch receivers with dacs.
Yamaha, to the best of my knowledge, are among the more reliable.

Now it's appropriate to mention my speakers about now because the specs of it is 6-ohms/100W (looking around 8-ohms seems to be more popular). The speakers I have is the Sony-sscs5-bookshelfspeakerpair. So most listed there will not work. I think I have made up my mind and I just needed some knowledge on the decision. I will go by die-hard belief that getting an integrated-amplifier rather than Avr will benefit in the long run without having to worry about outdated features because integrated-amplifiers is just power for sound and nothing more as to tie into consumer-accomodation.

Thank you ajinfla for taking the time to include those searches to view and your examples to compare.

Well, you can still "worry" about speakers & acoustics and maybe amplifier power if you want to rattle the walls.

I'm going to assume that Wattage is the key for volume? What is your take with an Amplifier that is higher wattage than the speakers it's powering? Is this a safer bottleneck so-to-speak than it vice-versa where the speakers are higher wattage than the amp? What's your experience with this type of situation?

Re: PC to Amplifier/DAC Plugging

Reply #17
I'm going to assume that Wattage is the key for volume? What is your take with an Amplifier that is higher wattage than the speakers it's powering? Is this a safer bottleneck so-to-speak than it vice-versa where the speakers are higher wattage than the amp? What's your experience with this type of situation?

Wattage is only the key for any given set of speakers. Speaker efficiency is also a factor. If you have (say) 2 sets of speakers at 88dB/W and 91dB/W then the second set will be twice as loud "for free".

As for over-rating amps for a given speaker, it's not wise. Higher power amps are capable of blowing the speakers faster than lower power ones, unless you are very careful about using the extra power. Here's an excellent, fact-based analysis that I recommend reading:
https://sound-au.com/tweeters.htm
The myth persists in the audiphool world but that makes it no less a myth.

Re: PC to Amplifier/DAC Plugging

Reply #18
Quote
Now it's appropriate to mention my speakers about now because the specs of it is 6-ohms/100W (looking around 8-ohms seems to be more popular).
The Yamaha S701 is rated down to 2 Ohms, so you're OK.    (Amplifiers have a minimum impedance rating.) 

Impedance and resistance are the "resistance to current flow" so with lower resistance (and the same voltage) you get more current (Amps) and more power (Watts).    A "theoretically ideal" amplifier will put-out the same voltage no matter what the load so with 4-Ohms you get twice the power as 8-Ohms.    The Yamaha isn't quite rated for twice the power at 4 Ohms but the fact that it goes down to 2-Ohms indicates a robust design.    (If the load impedance  is too low you get too much current and amplifier will overheat and shut-down or die.)

Speaker power ratings are "complicated" and I don't always trust the manufacturer's specs.   (I'm sure AJ knows more about this than me.)   The idea is that you can safely run 100W of undistorted program material into a 100W speaker.   i.e. Temporary peaks are hitting 100W.   When you drive the amplifier into distortion the average power goes-up.    And, tweeters & midranges in a 100W speaker can't handle 100W so you can fry a speaker with test-tones.   

IMO - Even with a higher power amplifier most "normal adults" won't burn-up a 100W speaker in a "normal living room".    Teenagers or drunk adults are another story...     In the old days power meters were more common on power amplifiers and they'd usually be putting-out a few watts at normal home listening levels.  

Re: PC to Amplifier/DAC Plugging

Reply #19
As for over-rating amps for a given speaker, it's not wise. Higher power amps are capable of blowing the speakers faster than lower power ones, unless you are very careful about using the extra power.

Is setting a Fixed Volume Limit considered "being careful"? A fixed volume-limit is having the volume-knob on the amp go up at 35% to 50% and no more higher (only after careful testing to increase the volume any higher). Then, volume control on devices connected to the amp is the same limit. Where each playback begins with device volume being at 0% to then slowly ramp volume-up as per playback of media. The most wildest software to control volume is Web-browsers and I use Windows Mixer 'sndvol.exe' to limit the volume for the ratio of 100%-volume -- my browser is only 35%-volume which is suprisingly loud AF already (Thanks a lot, videos w/ intros!).

My current fallback setup is a Jbl-Xtreme1stgen plugged to PC by Aux and using this made me a master at volume control due to it's ridiculously stupid feature to idle-off even on Aux connection. I'm a master at volume control in the sense that I always play at 0%-volume before slowly ramping up to having a way to IMMEDIATELY/INSTANTLY kill volume in case of sudden idle mode deactivated to avoid the killer "CLICK-BOOF" sound (technology these days).

Sorry, that was quite a rant. I digress to say I play my volume levels safe and know how to listen for distortion. A great example of this is strictly by numbers... let's say in a Family Car like a Toyota Rav, setting the volume-control between "17-21" is suprisingly the range for cars to play at before distortion.

Speaker power ratings are "complicated" and I don't always trust the manufacturer's specs.

There! This is the reason why I feel like I need to get an amp that is higher wattage than my speakers with regards to safe volume levels as just mentioned. I prefer tinkering with audio in a way where I don't need to go higher than 50%-75% for volume-control to know I have a beefy setup.

Re: PC to Amplifier/DAC Plugging

Reply #20
As for over-rating amps for a given speaker, it's not wise. Higher power amps are capable of blowing the speakers faster than lower power ones, unless you are very careful about using the extra power.

Is setting a Fixed Volume Limit considered "being careful"? A fixed volume-limit is having the volume-knob on the amp go up at 35% to 50% and no more higher (only after careful testing to increase the volume any higher). Then, volume control on devices connected to the amp is the same limit. Where each playback begins with device volume being at 0% to then slowly ramp volume-up as per playback of media. The most wildest software to control volume is Web-browsers and I use Windows Mixer 'sndvol.exe' to limit the volume for the ratio of 100%-volume -- my browser is only 35%-volume which is suprisingly loud AF already (Thanks a lot, videos w/ intros!).

My current fallback setup is a Jbl-Xtreme1stgen plugged to PC by Aux and using this made me a master at volume control due to it's ridiculously stupid feature to idle-off even on Aux connection. I'm a master at volume control in the sense that I always play at 0%-volume before slowly ramping up to having a way to IMMEDIATELY/INSTANTLY kill volume in case of sudden idle mode deactivated to avoid the killer "CLICK-BOOF" sound (technology these days).

Sorry, that was quite a rant. I digress to say I play my volume levels safe and know how to listen for distortion. A great example of this is strictly by numbers... let's say in a Family Car like a Toyota Rav, setting the volume-control between "17-21" is suprisingly the range for cars to play at before distortion.

Speaker power ratings are "complicated" and I don't always trust the manufacturer's specs.

There! This is the reason why I feel like I need to get an amp that is higher wattage than my speakers with regards to safe volume levels as just mentioned. I prefer tinkering with audio in a way where I don't need to go higher than 50%-75% for volume-control to know I have a beefy setup.

I suspect you did not read the article I linked to, which does explain in detail. Suppose your speaker is rated for 100W "nominal", whatever the manufacturer considers that to be. Connect a 10W amp to it and there's very little prospect of the amp destroying the speaker, although it might be capable of killing the tweeter if you try hard enough. Now consider a 100W amp. In theory, once again you're safe provided there's no gross distortion from overdriving the amp. Now a 200W amp, this is quite capable of destroying the speaker even without distorting, so there's absolutely no warning sign apart from the distress of the cones. If you're careful and don't exceed 100W you're safe, but why have 200W available then?

Are you going to build a monitoring circuit to show instantaneous genuine power (not a simple task)? Are you going to check the signal is "clean" in some way? You ears will not tell you until things have gone too far. Also, consider that a 100W (nominal) speaker will sound distorted well before it reaches 100W (nominal) but will you notice that distortion in time?

If your chosen amplifier happens to have more power available than the speaker and it's "for free" in the spec or price, fine but you'd better stay in control of it. The extra potential also serves no useful purpose whatever.

Re: PC to Amplifier/DAC Plugging

Reply #21
Now it's appropriate to mention my speakers about now because the specs of it is 6-ohms/100W (looking around 8-ohms seems to be more popular). The speakers I have is the Sony-sscs5-bookshelfspeakerpair. So most listed there will not work.
Your speakers have around 4.5ohm impedance minima and thus would easily be driven by any of the 2ch receivers linked...or mass market AVR, etc....like you owned  ::)

I will go by die-hard belief that getting an integrated-amplifier rather than Avr will benefit in the long run without having to worry about outdated features because integrated-amplifiers is just power for sound and nothing more as to tie into consumer-accomodation.
The fact that your are even considering spending $900 in amplification for
$120/pr speakers makes zero sense, or audiophile sense.
Good luck
Loudspeaker manufacturer

Re: PC to Amplifier/DAC Plugging

Reply #22
If you're careful and don't exceed 100W you're safe, but why have 200W available then?

You have a very good point here! Thank you for clarifying this. It makes no sense for the speakers I currently have with no plans of upgrading them just yet. How about if I so happen to include a Sony SA-CS9 115w Subwoofer at 6-ohms to the setup. Does the amp still need to be the same respected wattage of the product's specs or because the subwoofer is included the wattage is seen differently?

Your speakers have around 4.5ohm impedance minima and thus would easily be driven by any of the 2ch receivers linked...or mass market AVR, etc....like you owned  ::)

Can we discuss Impedance in regards to PowerOutput/DynamicPower per Channel? What is the difference between Power-outputperChannel and Dynamicpower-outputperchannel? Look at one of receivers that you've linked and one that I've linked:

* Yamaha-rs202 https://www.bhphotovideo.com/
  + Power-outputperchannel: didn't have 6-ohms sample
  + Dynamicpower-outputperchannel: 150w at 6-ohms
* Yamaha-as801 https://www.bhphotovideo.com/
  + Power-outputperchannel: 6-ohms at 120w
  + Dynamicpower-outputperchannel: 6-ohms at 170w

The fact that your are even considering spending $900 in amplification for
$120/pr speakers makes zero sense, or audiophile sense.
Good luck

I will also say it here, what if I so happen to include a Sony SA-CS9 115w Subwoofer at 6-ohms to the setup? Does this make the amplification any different or wattage is wattage regardless of using more speakers for the amp's outputs?

The price of products may vary throughout their time being sold as to when they're first released. Some get more bargains while some actually never change in price and brought off shelf early due marketing/manufacturing results. The prices of Avr's compared to integrated-amplifiers does look a lot cheaper w/ more features and I can't see why is that.

If we look at the price difference of the Yamaha-as801 vs. Yamaha-rn202 (as mentioned right above this post) the price difference is so big for just about 20w-dynamicpowerperchannel difference that has left me thinking - could it be about the undescribed details of how it was manufactured. Or is this just purely selling a product that is cheaper to manufacture and selling it for more simply due to economy. I'm disturbed by the price difference.

 
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