DS DAC direct to Power Amplifier

Hi,

I wonder if any of you are listening to a DS DAC directly connected to a power amplifier or two mono blocks? Does it work? Is it good?

Mine line of thinking is that I only have the DAC connected to the amplifier, no radio, no LP player only the DAC which is connected to the NAS and the DMP.

Less might be more! :+1::smiley:

Yes, works really well. I drove my Pass Lab XA60.5’s directly from my DSS. It was the second best it ever sounded (adding the BHK Pre did improve the sound, but not massively).

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I know many do this and have done it with great results! Some swear by it and don’t think an active pre is needed, but when folks take the dive into a good pre like the BHK, they seem pretty impressed with the results.

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Well in my case, I tried the direct connection from the DS to Soulution 710 amp. The result was that I sold my Audio Research REF5-SE and the Audia Flight Strumento N°1 mk2 Stereo Preamplifiers.
Wish I have never tried this way but I do not regret selling the Preamps.

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I go direct to amp. I did not like it as much before sunlight. However I am going balanced vs single ended as my pre did not have balanced connectors. My experience was a darker background … cleaner sound … and just more contrast. The pre was no slouch and I’m still struggling with it … :slight_smile:

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From the comments so far, I think you get a sense that ‘direct’ is not inherently ‘better’ than via a pre, or the other way around for that matter. It can just be ‘different’. At a certain level of quality in the surrounding gear, I think other factors are equally important.

I started experimenting about when Snowmass came out and again with Windom and then Sunlight. I really couldn’t decide one way or the other. Both sounded good but ‘different’. I ended up going direct because, with Sunlight, it didn’t quite sound as spacious with my pre and cables compared with going direct.

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I’m active with three DSs but need to go balanced into my BHKs for mid/treble in order to get enough gain.

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Going without a pre may work well in your system, and that’s how I ran mine for a couple years. Until last year, I got a locally made tube pre that’s fully balanced, each channel running 3 x 6922 tubes… and it breathed life to the music. It packs more punch and dynamics - it felt more lively. Or maybe I just like having tubes in the chain?

The best way to find out is to find a retailer who allows you to home trial a pre in your system. Have fun and keep us posted!

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There is no wrong way to implement the DSD! Try it both ways if you can and select your favorite.

Like n-tone I also use a balanced preamp with three 6922 tubes per channel (though I am using 6085 tubes with converter bases). I love the sound of the DSD through this preamp!

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Just to share my experience here, with something already stated in another topic:

Didn’t try an active pre, but DS Junior with several integrated amplifiers. Always prefered DS direct to my current power amp (until the passive pre).

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I’m a “preamp is the heart of the system guy” find the right one for your system and your ear and it can change your life

Not saying direct from a quality DAC with a quality volume control in place can’t sound good, in my case the sound with my line-stage in the chain smokes the direct connection with the same DAC (DSD)

Probably a great option for those with a single source and a high quality DAC with attenuation

Best,
-JP

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I ran my DS balanced outputs directly into a Mark Levinson No. 23.5 for several years. Although I was quite happy with the sound, switching the attenuator on/off and adjusting the volume level to hit that sweet spot grew tiresome. Today I added a No. 523 Preamplifier into my system and was quite surprised at the improvement. The soundstage opened up and transients became tighter and more dynamic. I had difficulty tearing myself away to write this. My system benefited significantly from adding a quality preamplifier. Your mileage may vary.

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Plus, now you have inputs available for a nice little analog rig🙂

Best,
-JP

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Dusting off my Denon turntable and looking up the correct loading for my Ortofon MC cartridge. The last time I used this table I had a hairline and a waistline! Speed control needs a shot of contact cleaner but the direct drive motor runs just fine. Even found a Discwasher cleaning system in the box. I forgot all about that thing. Even have fluid too! I think a MFSL pressing of Dark Side of the Moon is a fitting welcome back spin.

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A welcome return to the Club!

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