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Old 17th March 2007, 11:27 AM   #1
jackpipe is offline jackpipe  United Kingdom
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Join Date: Mar 2007
Default Hello and advice needed

Hello all,

I'm new to DIY audio, and in fact to anything audiophile, really, but I'm planning to put together a small semi-DIY system.

Some background on me; I can't claim to be an an audiophile (yet), my currect setup (since about 1997/8) is Mission 750 LE speakers, Yamaha AX (392?) amp, Cambridge Audio DAC Magic 1, all driven from a computer Sound Blaster Live sdpif output from a Linux PC (CDs ripped with maximum error detection/re-read/correction to lossless FLAC compression). Pretty much mass market stuff, and probably nicer to look at than listen to.
But I've been traveling for work a lot the last couple of years, and have a pair of etymotic ER6 isolating earphones, and my home system sounds, well, woolly, after listering to the clear sound of these.
Given my home system is 10 years old, and I like to tinker, it's time for an upgrade. To cut to the quick, here's roughly what I'm planning:

Speakers: TB871s cyburgs needle, or AudioDigit CS1 ceramic speakers (or make my own similar ones, if there is a suitable design out there), or perhaps Anthony Gallo micro or A'diva.
Amp: Trends Audio TA 10.1 or another tripath amp (eg AudioDigit TA2020, diyaudio Charlize)
DAC: USB DAC, such as Scott Nixon usbdk, or diyaudio Monica2 with USB->spdif module
source: PC or laptop running Linux

My first question is, will this be an improvement on my current setup? I've read a lot about the T-amps being amazing for the price, but how good are they in absolute terms? I realise that 'beauty is in the eye of the beholder' and so on, but I'd like to hear general opinions. The same question for the Cyburgs Needle design. Also will this setup be loud enough for a study or smallish living room (for example, will it be able to match the volume of a real yamaha upright piano)? How different is a NOS DAC to a 'regular' one?

From what I've read, this seems to be a reasonable setup, that other people have tried. Is there anything to watch out for here, for example, is the input impedance on the TA10 suitable for the usbdk? Can both DAC and amp be run from the same 12v power supply? I'd like to try and get the DAC inside the TA10 case (maybe shielded) if possible - is there enough room in there? Does anyone have any experience with the AudioDigit ceramic speakers?

Also, if I go for the 'satelite' size speakers, I'm guessing the system could benefit from a subwoofer, but I'm confused about how you get from a stereo source, to a 2.1 output for the speakers - do you digital filter to a 3 channel DAC, or split the output from the stereo DAC somehow to 3 mono amps, or do you wire the 3 speakers with crossovers somehow from the stereo amp output?

I don't know if I should post individual questions in separate forums or not, but I thought I'd put everything together in context, to start with. Sorry my first post is a list of basic questions, rather than contributions, but I'm just starting out in this game, so I hope I'm not wasting everyone's time. What I will say, having read the forums for a couple of days, is what an excellent place this seems to be, and how much I've already learned just by skulking. Thank you everyone.
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Old 17th March 2007, 09:29 PM   #2
Cal Weldon is offline Cal Weldon  Canada
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Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Near Vancouver
Hello and advice needed
Default Re: Hello and advice needed

Hi Jackpipe and welcome to the forums.

Originally posted by jackpipe
I don't know if I should post individual questions in separate forums or not
That's a good idea. Each forum seems to have it's experts lurking in the wings and not everyone looks over here to say hi.
My wife said I was acting immaturely.
I told her to get out of my fort and take her girl germs with her.
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