Have DSD, added preamp, now no sound

I’ve been running a DirectStream dac directly to ATC active speakers, using the balanced outputs. The DS is fed via spdif from an Oppo 203 modified for digital output only. Now, I’m trying to add a PrimaLuna preamp. Using the DS’s unbalanced outputs to the preamp’s unbalanced inputs, and then RCA-XLR adapters on the preamp’s outputs going to the speakers, I’m getting no sound no matter which preamp input I use. The DSD’s filter is on high output and the DSD volume is at 100. I’ve got a call into PrimaLuna (US) for tomorrow, but wonder if there might be anything on the DS side I’m missing. Thanks,

Have you confirmed that you’ve selected the correct input source for the DSD?

1 Like

Yes the input was correct, thanks. Rather, the problem, as I just discovered, was that between listening via the dac and via the preamp, the micro-USB plug in the cable supplying the iFi spdif iPurifier had become angled sufficiently to cut off connection. Hence the spdif line from the DSD wasn’t delivering.

A number of developers and dac users have told me that even though it’s counterintuitive, sticking a good preamp between dac and active speakers sounds better than a straight run (the DSD manual recommends the latter). Able to compare the two now, it’s clear that there they were correct (Paul also caught onto this just recently – see his daily posts). It’s just a matter of finding the appropriate preamp for one’s tastes.