Connecting the DIrectstream To Two Different Amps

So what I’m looking to achieve is being able to feed two different amps, not concurrently, audio from the Directstream. One connection to my speaker amp and one to a desktop headphone amp. The amps are a Parasound Halo A23 and Rupert Neve RNHP headphone amp respectively. I read that having something connected to the RCA unbalanced outs and XLR outs at the same time will cause a degradation in audio quality. So what I was thinking about doing was buying a pair of XLR Y connectors. Will a Y connector harm the audio integrity or cause any other issues? I don’t plan on having both amps turned on at the same time, if that matters when answering the question.

Maybe this? Dodocus UBox2X

I have the UBox2X-I. In your case the UBox2X-O might help.

Holzohr said Maybe this? Dodocus UBox2X

I have the UBox2X-I. In your case the UBox2X-O might help.

Before I look into switches/repeaters I’m curious to see if a Y adapter would also suffice. The Y adapter is much cheaper.

You can either use a Y splitter on the outputs, or use both the RCA and the XLR outputs at the same time.

If you do the latter, the RCA will unbalance the XLR. You lose the common mode noise rejection otherwise provided by the XLR, compared to using the XLR alone, but it is unlikely you would notice anything; most do not have a significant issue with this type of noise. A bigger potential issue (minor however) is noise from ground loops occasioned by using more cables.

Bottom line, the DS has a lot of current available. It can easily drive two amps at the same time.

Thanks! Yeah, from my lite search of y-splitter issues, I ran across most people saying that there would be a slight loss of gain possibly up to 6dB. I guess what I’ll do is a little A/B test where I listen with and without the splitter in place. If I don’t like the results then I’ll look into a dedicated box like the one listed above.

You will lose 6dB on the XLR output if you use the RCA and XLR simultaneously as the XLR will become unbalanced.

If you use one or the other output with a splitter, you will use a dB or so at most as the DS has tremendous current driving capability.

I am feeding a Woo WA5 from RCA out and a Cavalli Liquid Gold out of the XLR outputs. I inquired of PS support and was told I would have no problem. I have noticed no audible difference in sound quality. I don’t run both at the same time. I did the same thing using an Auralic Vega and had no problems. I also have attended a few HeadFi regional meets and have seen vendors doing the same with various pieces of equipment.

If you want a more robust solution that isn’t too expensive, look up mapletree audio design’s line router. Basically a passive switchbox. Maybe around $200. I had similar issue. Decided to go in this direction as it also comes in handy for A/B comparison tests as well.

This option is no more robust, just different. It adds its own potential sources for noise, signal degradation, etc. But it is a perfectly fine alternative, albeit expensive.

I’ve been using my XLR Y connectors for a week or so. So far so good. No issues that I’ve noticed so far. :slight_smile:

Can someone give some input on what is happening in my system? I like the behavior, but was curious. I have the DS DAC RCA output connected to my amp that drives my bookshelf speakers. The XLR outputs are connected to my headphone amp. The DAC does not send output to both at the same time. With both amps on, i only hear music out of my bookshelf speakers (RCA). When I turn the bookshelf speaker amp off, it sends music to my headphone amp.

I use both and it works flawlessly. I notice no degradation in SQ or increase in noise. In fact, I wasn’t even aware of the loss of cmr.

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There must be something else going on. The DSD will output from both RCA and XLR regardless. It doesn’t care whether the amp is on or not.

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Thank you for the reply, I’ll check again when I get back from my work trip.

My mistake when I first hooked up my headphone amp. I am indeed getting sound out of my headphones with my bookshelf amp on too. The volume was just low or the imaging is amazing on this DS DAC :slight_smile: