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I own this. I like it but don't love it. It does the job. I was wondering, though, what the next step up might be. The TEAC ai 101/301 series? Any ideas?
That's hard to say, what about it do you not like? What budget are you looking at?
If the amp isn't powerful enough you can always pick up SMSL's SA-98E...but since you mentioned the TEAC, are you more concerned with the fidelity? Could be the integrated DAC. You could always just leave the amp and run your audio source through a better DAC such as Schiit's offerings
How exactly would you go about doing this? What would the wiring diagram look like?
It'll depend on what source you're using, but essentially you'll just tie the outputs of any DAC to a 3.5mm aux and use the aux port on the AD18. This will bypass the built-in DAC and the AD18 will only behave as a straight speaker/headphone amp.
Something like this if your DAC has RCA outputs (like the majority of DACs):
So it'll be Source->DAC->AD18->Speaker/Headphone. Just remember that it's preferable to max out the digital volume at the source and use the AD18 for volume control as digital volume attenuation can reduce overall output bitrate. (Hence why most TVs will disable volume control when outputting digital audio)