Both XLR and RCA?

I’m new to PS Audio and higher end audio and just setup my new S300 amp. Not much time on it and it already sounds great!

I was originally planning to connect it with RCA cables to my Auralic Altair streaming DAC but then decided to try with XLR cables. I originally planned to connect with RCA cables because I plan to use the S300 to drive the same speakers as fronts in a surround system and had planned to use my Emotiva UMC-200 surround preamp to select the source (Altair connected to the UMC-200).

Question I have is can I connect the Altair directly to the S300 XLR ins and connect the UMC-200 to the S300 RCA ins at the same time??

If not I guess I have to go back to RCA connects since the UMC-200 does not have XLR outs.

Thanks in advance for help.

Welcome, Bob!

Unfortunately you cannot connect two source components to an amplifier at the same time. You need to choose either RCA or XLR.

From what I understand in your post, I suggest connecting the Emotiva UMC-200 preamp to the amplifier and connect the Auralic Altair to the preamp. Then use the preamp to select the source.

No, you don’t want to tie two separate units to the inputs at the same time because they will fight each other as the inputs are in parallel.

One additional note, the problem exists even if only one of the the two units is on at a given time. The simultaneous connection of two inputs is the problem.

Elk and Paul, thanks for the quick and clear responses.

Clear that I’ll have to use RCA connects until I can add a preamp with XLR outs…maybe the Stellar DAC is in my future at some point. Since I recently added the Altair, which made a huge improvement to imaging, I wonder if the DAC in the Stellar DAC would be a significant improvement over the Altair DAC implementation. Does anyone have experience comparing these DACs? (Maybe this question belongs in another thread?)

We are very loose as to what is on/off topic. As it is your thread, I say ask what you would like. :slight_smile:

But more people will likely see your DAC comparison question in an appropriately named separate thread in the DAC section.

Sorry for reviving an old topic, but I think it’s appropriate to extend this conversation rather than starting a new one.

Is it OK to have both connected if you ensure that only one is on at a time. For example I am connecting my phono preamp (with volume control) to the amp, but leave the DS DAC off, and vice versa.

By on/off I meant PSA on/off, which is just pressing the power button in the front, not completely off (power switch in the back)

See, my response a few posts back click.

Oops I am so sorry, must have been too late in the night. Thanks