DS DAC with or without preamplifier

Kudos to Ted Smith and must agree with his advice to use the DS DAC without a preamplifier. If you have not tried the feeding the output of the DS directly into an amplifier, it may be worth trying. Per the owner’s manual, I eliminated my preamplifier and was highly pleased with the resulting advance in sound quality. As Ted suggested, I am using an XLR cable costing less than $100. As well I am using the iTunes/BitPerfect combination. Wow, much thanks for the advice!

As an update to the above, I went back to using my preamplifier. Previously, I cut out my preamplifier because my inexpensive XLR provided some benefits over using my preamp with RCA cables. Recently, I got a very good XLR from High Fidelity Cables and the transparency helped me to hear what was missing without the preamp in the system. To get the preamp back in the system, I used a Cardas XLR/RCA adapter.

The setup with the preamp provided a much more resolving, tonally balanced and in-depth listening experience.

Bottom-line: this hobby is about tinkering so do try different things with your equipment!

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There’s a lot of discussion on the forum here. I’ve listened at length both ways, and have decided on the use of an excellent preamp and the balanced output of the DSD to a balanced to single-ended transformer set up (Decware ZTPRE preamp and ZBIT) and quite refined cabling (VooDoo Cable Stradivarius Amati and Cremona) that present me with better sound than the single-ended output directly into my amp. But it does take an excellent preamp to better the direct output in my system.

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I agree with Ionson, a great pre-amp makes a world of difference. I tried the DSDJr. with my Parasound P7 pre-amp, then directly to the amp, and it sounded much better than through the Parasound. But I needed I/O switching, so I bit the bullet and ordered the PSA BHK Signature pre-amp, I could always return it within 30 days, what did I have to lose, $6000 that’s what! It just blew the Parasound and direct connection to the amp away. And it wasn’t even close to being broken in yet, and over time it just got better and better. Now it is much easier to hear other changes to the system and the effect they have on it.

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