Best way to go from S/PDIF input to RCA analog output with volume control?

Trying to go from TV optical cable to amp with RCA inputs.
I have a giant receiver now and I'm sick of looking it and listening to it.

Is there a good amp with digital/optical input?
I find tons of cheap amps with RCA input but not digital input.
 
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linuxfan

Member
2007-12-09 3:09 pm
Checkout Alientek D8
+1. Cheap but crazy good.
I don't like to use my main hifi system for TV/video listening, so I have a second audio system based around the Alientek D8 dedicated to this purpose. I feed this amp from the optical s/pdif output of my television, and for speakers I currently have the budget-friendly Micca MB42x. Listening to television, whenever a musical introduction or musical backing is playing, I continue to be surprised how good it sounds! And the D8 amp is good enough to feed into higher-model speakers, too.
 
Decision? Outcome?

Who me?

A lot of cheap DAC out there.
I guess DAC stands for digital to analog converter, who knew? :drool:
I don't know which DAC sounds better than any other one, but my TV is cheap, so I guess might as well get any cheap DAC, like this one:

DAC Digital Optical Toslink Coaxial to Analog Audio Converter Adapter L/R RCA W9 | eBay

I can and do ask "audiophiles", but they have all kinds of weird opinions, of what sounds best :eek:

Some headphones amps, seem to look like they are made better.
 

linuxfan

Member
2007-12-09 3:09 pm
Yes, of course. You're the original poster.

I guess DAC stands for digital to analog converter, who knew?
There's an entire sub-forum here dedicated to the subject -
https://www.diyaudio.com/forums/digital-line-level/

but my TV is cheap, so I guess might as well get any cheap DAC, like this one:
DAC Digital Optical Toslink Coaxial to Analog Audio Converter Adapter L/R RCA W9 | eBay
Fair enough. It's just difficult for us to offer advice when we don't know the true aim and agenda of the person who is asking for advice.
This is a hi-fi forum, and the original post did specify "good amp with digital/optical input".
Now I know your standpoint, I just offer a few more points to consider: now that you have decided to buy a cheap DAC, you still need an amplifier - so will you continue to use that "giant receiver" that you "are sick of looking at"? Or will you buy a new amplifier? Will the new amplifier be cheap, to match the cheap DAC (and cheap TV)?
 

jean-paul

diyAudio Moderator Emeritus
2002-09-20 7:20 am
Germany
So it should be small and it should have optical inputs. Try an FDA (Full Digital Amplifier), you will like the principle. Alientek D8 is OK and I just read about the Sabaj A4 in another thread.

I have good experiences with Denon PMA50 and PMA60. They latter meanwhile serves as main amplifier (it plays high res and even DSD). You can connect the TV but you can also listen your music at excellent SQ and it has the plus that it is only one system. A somewhat longer Toslink cable from the TV to it and you are done.

If you are rich and have a lot of time you can bother to try various cheap solutions (that end up in landfill). If you have a budget better buy a good FDA. You will have to get used to it. Most still bother with converting digital to analog and amplify the analog signal and fill their homes with various boxes for each function. It can be done quite well in the digital domain in just one box. It saves the usual hassle with noisy switches and volume controls too.

There is a risk though: you might like the solution so much that the FDA becomes your main system. No more DIY fiddling with tubes, LM317's and such. Just one good looking, well functioning and excellent sounding device. Horror :D
 
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Yes, of course. You're the original poster.

Who me? :spin:

A lot of options.
I spent hours looking for products (boards/chips, etc); but I can't really build something right now, I think.

__________________________

This chip seems okay:
AD1955 Datasheet and Product Info | Analog Devices

Of course I don't know most of the specs :D
All this seems great:
120 dB SNR/DNR (not muted) at 48KHz Sample Rate (A-Weighted Stereo)
123 dB SNR/DNR (Mono)
-110 dB THD+N
110 dB Stopband Attenuation with ±0.0002dB Passband Ripple

Found a DAC using this chip in Dual mono setup, I believe, already built. I don't have time to build :bawling:

__________________________________________

Favoring the AK4490-AK4499, seems like a lot of people on here are using the AK449x chips.

These chips have -112 dB THD+N or lower, but it's so low already, I would think it doesn't matter anymore. But I don't know if any of this is audible of course.

Maybe I'll find a DAC kit (or complete DIY DAC) some one wants to sell or buy a AK4490 kit online.
I usually just buy whatever some one wants to get rid of.

I was eating my kids leftovers last night and was thinking: I don't even remember what I like to eat anymore :confused:

DAC stays on the table, amp goes out of sight :Popworm:
 
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linuxfan

Member
2007-12-09 3:09 pm
Whoa! You just went from the idea of buying an el-cheapo DAC, with low-to-zero hifi merit, to now wanting an AK4499 DAC? For a TV setup. Seriously?

Actually one of the best-value commercial DAC's on the market - the Schiit Modi 3 (US$100 + delivery) just happens to have the AK4490 chip ...
but don't get stuck on a particular DAC chip - the best DAC's are usually the ones with well implemented circuits, particularly at the output stage.

I suggest you do some thinking about what it is you really want, and what would be a sensible budget for what you want. Then come back to this forum to ask advice, letting us know what those parameters are.
ie. how good do you want this system to sound? Do you just want basic improved clarity, genuine high fidelity for music programs, or earth-shattering effects for movies? Stereo, or 5.1 surround? What is your existing amplifier? What are your existing speakers?

Then again, since you said you don't have time to build stuff, the people over on the Audiokarma forum possibly have some better ideas about off-the-shelf products.
 
The boards in the pics have volume adjustment or input selector or both or neither?

I think I have to buy something already built, because I'm going to have a hard time building something nice.

I don't like a lot of the connectors on the boards I've seen. I don't know about the other parts.
 

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jean-paul

diyAudio Moderator Emeritus
2002-09-20 7:20 am
Germany
Mmm, better read the conclusions.

Conclusions:
From safety point of view, the Emotiva DC-1 gets a failing grade from me. There is no excuse for not grounding the chassis to the ground terminal of the IEC jack.

Overall layout good with fair amount of engineering going into the many components there.

Hand soldering work is poor as is the horrible selection of cheap and unreliable capacitors that are bound to fail. Not acceptable at this price point.

Did you check the suggestion to try an FDA? Or do you already have made up your mind and just ask questions for fun? :D
 
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As a side note to the OP, regardless of which DAC you end up getting, this is a nice addition, a 3-way optical switch:
https://smile.amazon.com/eSynic-Swi...=toslink+optical+switch&qid=1571754803&sr=8-2

I use the same amp and speakers for optical from the TV, computer, and CD player, so this works great. I use a Logitech universal remote, so I just programmed the optical switch codes into the Logitech. I built a small chassis to house the DAC, the optical switch, and a remote ALPS volume control, which is also programmed into the Logitech remote. Works great for me.
 
Who me? :spin:

A lot of options.
I spent hours looking for products (boards/chips, etc); but I can't really build something right now, I think.

__________________________

This chip seems okay:
AD1955 Datasheet and Product Info | Analog Devices

Of course I don't know most of the specs :D
All this seems great:
120 dB SNR/DNR (not muted) at 48KHz Sample Rate (A-Weighted Stereo)
123 dB SNR/DNR (Mono)
-110 dB THD+N
110 dB Stopband Attenuation with ±0.0002dB Passband Ripple

Found a DAC using this chip in Dual mono setup, I believe, already built. I don't have time to build :bawling:

__________________________________________

Favoring the AK4490-AK4499, seems like a lot of people on here are using the AK449x chips.

These chips have -112 dB THD+N or lower, but it's so low already, I would think it doesn't matter anymore. But I don't know if any of this is audible of course.

Maybe I'll find a DAC kit (or complete DIY DAC) some one wants to sell or buy a AK4490 kit online.
I usually just buy whatever some one wants to get rid of.

I was eating my kids leftovers last night and was thinking: I don't even remember what I like to eat anymore :confused:

Did you check the suggestion to try an FDA? Or do you already have made up your mind and just ask questions for fun? :D

DAC stays on the table, amp goes out of sight :Popworm:

I looked at a NAD yesterday.
I wanted to buy a Geek Pulse DAC headphone amp yesterday, but don't know what I'm buying at all.
I just look at build quality mostly; that's what I have to go by.

I guess I could buy any tiny DAC.
But I don't need it to be tiny, just not huge.
 
Looking for something that looks roughly this build quality and size.
Might have to build it myself.
I don't want some mass produced sheet metal case with cheap connectors, knobs, buttons, etc.
I have a case I like I have been saving for years now.
But I think if I build something it will take me forever.

LH LABS GEEK PULSE DAC any good?
 

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Again, with an FDA you don't need a DAC and amplifier as it is both in 1 case. Saves space, is cheaper and has a lot of positive features but it is of course not ideal.

FX-Audio D802 is quite OK (for TV use anyway).

Amazon.com: FX Audio D802 2x80W 192KHz Digital Remote Power Amplifier with USB Cable (Black): Electronics

I figure my TV is complete trash anyway. That DAC does not have RCA out.

I need a DAC (or something else?) with:

1) optical input
2) RCA output
3) volume control


The DAC will sit on the cabinet.
The stereo amp with RCA inputs, maybe XLR also, will be inside the cabinet, out of site.
Also I can easily change amps this way, when I want.
I like amps with a lot of bass and kind of know what I'm looking to buy, also I also have analog amps I want to try.

I do not want a giant "audiophile" amp/setup on my cabinet.

Actually it's funny I often can't tell when I am listening to TV speakers or my speakers.
Guess my wife is right, you can't tell the difference between speakers :confused::drool::scratch:

However, I am surprised how much I can tell the difference in amps/receivers though.
I use a giant Pioneer Elite 7-channel receiver now, that I have no idea how to use; I'm not sure anyone does to be honest; 350 page manual, roughly.

I use it because it has optical input. It sounds much better than my last receiver: a Denon.

Best setup I had was years ago: sound blaster card from PC to LM3875 chip amp with Brian GT boards, I think.
To Eton 8-800 in Aperiodic vented boxed (heavily braced) and LPG tweeters. I've half-a$$ed everything since :D
Love the bass from that Eton, "fast" "pulse response" I think Eton calls it.
 
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