Using both DirectStream DAC outputs

So, I use my DirectStream DAC as a preamp, connected directly to my unbalanced amplifier using AudioQuest Water interconnects. The dilemma…. How to feed my powered SVS subwoofer. Originally, I purchased a Russound line level converter to feed my sub using the speaker terminals of my amp, however, this introduced a significant amount of noise where I could hear a buzz loud enough to hear from my listening position. I then thought of the idea of using the DAC’s balanced outputs to feed the sub. So, I purchased a pair of Cardas XLR to RCA adapters and used a y adapter to feed the sub. Seemed to work just fine. But when I went to listen to my system this morning, it was now playing mono out of my DAC’s main RCA outputs. I guess combining the left and right XLR somehow made the DAC begin playing mono?? I currently only have the right XLR feeding my sub and plan on getting a second RCA cable to feed the L and R of my sub instead of using the LFE only port.

Anyone using both DAC outputs in this type of arrangement? I’ve read that it is not recommmeded because the XLR will not be a balanced run…. But my system does not utilize balanced inputs anyway.



It’s fine to use both the RCA and XLR at the same time, you won’t hurt anything. On some systems it may increase noise or hum since it unbalances the output drive a little. Your ear will tell you if it’s a problem.

When you hook the left and right together with the XLR to RCA adapters and the Y adapter, the Y adapter forces the outputs to be the same and hence the mono output.

Thank you, Ted!

I will go ahead and get a second RCA cable to keep the L and R separate.