Apr 30, 20181559 views

Multiple Amps One Dac

Okay, I have a question, what are my options for running my DAC to two AMPs? Essentially, I would like to be able to switch between amps (only using one) and also run them simultaneously. IE letting someone else in the room plug in a set of headphones and listen to whatever I am listening too. Or for me to quickly compare headphones on different setups.
Here is my equipment:
DAC: Topping D30
Amp1: Schitt Magni 3
Amp2: Little Dot Mk 2
Is this possible, if yes what is the best or most cost effective way for me to get this done?
Randy Foote and jollyWudchip

Don't use a splitter cable. You need a DAC with multiple outputs or something in between that gets you another output, like a preamp (which the Magni 3 has, so you could go DAC -> Magni 3 -> preamp out to Little Dot MK2). Although with this setup you would not be able to listen to headphones out of the Magni 3 and Little Dot simultaneously.
I also used splitters and plugged RCA cables into them:
This gets two amps (tried MCTH, EC, ECP) working with the same DAC simultaneously.
Okay quick update, I've experimented with a few setups and I'm not certain the Y-splitters are going to work.
I have tried two different Y-splitters connecting the Topping D30 to the Schitt Magni 3 and the Little Dot MK2 and then driving AKG K7xx's. The Little Dot MK2 has no issue with this setup, I can't tell any audible difference between it being split or not. The Schitt Magni 3 is the one that has the issue with it. When I do direct RCA from the DAC to the Magni, it drives the K7xx's easy on low gain. When I split it, it struggles to drive them which results in the audio quality being less than ideal.
I'm new to this so someone who is educated in this realm could probably explain why but I cannot. Here are the two products I've tried:
RCA Cables (I tried different ones to see if there is a difference, I couldn't hear any)
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What I am saying is that I have tested in a few ways... I've used the two different y-splitters switching them out without touching the volume knob. Using 2 different RCA's and Y splitters. The volume is lower and the audio quality seems impacted. I would say it's not as vivid as when compared to when I have the RCA going straight from the DAC to the Magni 3. Now we are not talking drastic and you're right, I can just kick it to high and there would be no issue. My concern is that I don't want to ruin my equipment if something is going wrong.
So my solution is that I've ordered some more Y-splitters and RCA cables, and will try it again when they get here.
Don’t use a y-splitter. There’s risk of interference and amplitude drop. If you’re going for a true A/B comparison, grab a sescom switch. They make the for all types of I/O.


I also would advise against using a mixer as it will add quite a number of variables into your signal before it goes to your headphone amp. If you need simultaneous play, get an active audio splitter.
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I wanted to recommend that one, but I didn't like that each output had its own control (also note that the control is volume not gain / they may have mislabeled it). If the idea is to have simultaneous copies of the same signal, like the original request, I would advise against it. But, if you need the flexibility of controlling each output independently then that definitely will work. Like if you needed to go out into a pre-amp, you would probably turn the gain down (although that signal flow could introduce more noise)
I appreciate the feedback. I'll place an order for your 1st recommendation now. Thanks again!
Y-splitter. Just be certain that your splitter cables are lower impedance, as in large gauge and equal gauge to each amp so that you have good electron flow to each.
I have a rig set up so that I can listen to my speakers and my headphones,(open-backed), simultaneously, which can be an absolute nirvana experience.
It's kind of amazing.
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Sadly it doesn't seem to be working for me... See my other post for an update. The Little Dot has no issue with this setup but the Magni 3 doesn't like it.
has anyone suggested a schitt sys ? use the output as an input, then you have 2 outputs. http://www.schiit.com/products/sys
Yeah but that's a switch which wouldn't allow me to listen on two amps simultaneously
Oh I see. Best bet might be a mixer style then http://mackie.com/products/big-knob-series
Like others have said, y-splitters are fine. Just be aware that one amp can interfere with the other one(s) it shares the connection with. Some amps short their inputs when turned off, which can cause severe distortion in the other amp. Generally most amps are well behaved, but if you do run into that issue one solution would be to use a switch to swap between two outputs. I do this for my Cavalli Liquid Carbon X which seems to distort the other amps in the chain.
I just use Y splitters from monoprice and they work perfect
I had the same dillemma with pretty much the same equipment as yours as well as headphone choices. (But using a schiit modi multibit and no k7xx.... 6xx and 4xx not yet shipped, so using my old hd25-1-11)
I used this:

and so now I only need to plug and unplug headphones to hear different amps.
Can you give a link?
Google rca y splitter (image search show plenty of these)
They seem to have better looking and different angled ones than the ones I'm using.
Use splitters or y-cables (with appropriate connectors). No switching or plugging/unplugging is required -- you can listen to one amp, or both at the same time.
The splitters that jollyWudchip linked to will work: https://www.amazon.com/3-Pack-Y-Splitter-Connector-Adapter-ShopBox/dp/B00H4KBKOO#customerReviews
Or you can use 1-male-RCA to 2-male-RCA y-cables. The shortest I could find are 3 feet. You would need two of these (one for left channel, another for the right channel): https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06VVJZDDB/ref=twister_B078MQYHH2?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1
Im actually planning on doing the same things with the magni and little dot (once i get a little dot) So far i found you can get y-rca splitters or if you want a switch, the schiit sys or sescom switch would work to toggle back and forth. As for listening at the same time, I'm not sure if it would work. Maybe the RCA splitters would work since the aren't blocking anything. Also how are you liking the Little Dot Mk2? What cans do you pair it with?
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after testing with different headphones, which headphones to you like the best with the amp?
I didn't test with different headphones as I don't have them yet.