why do you need a DAC and an AMP?
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hey, I'm pretty new to this world of pro (?) audio equipment, and I've seen that a lot of people have both a DAC and an AMP. why do you need both? or maybe a better question is what is the purpose of each of them? thank you very much.
(Edited)
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rastus
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May 26, 2020
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DMC, I’m taking as the DAC, acronyms..., it’s job is taking digital data, 1’s & 0’s, and reconstructing them as analog music/vocals. The amp is simply gain, taking that small precise analog signal form, and increasing it, without changing it,, That is the goal, wire with gain. You will often see integrated units, with both to save costs. Nice white paper from Marantz explaining the path: https://www.marantz.com/-/media/files/document-master/marantzeu_product_documents/de/white-paper_marantz_dac.pdf drop has some guides here as well: https://drop.com/talk/87/massdrop-101-what-is-an-amp?discussion=true

https://drop.com/talk/92/massdrop-101-what-is-a-dac




May 26, 2020
dcha12
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May 26, 2020
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Be wary of calling this stuff "pro" audio equipment. While there is a slight amount of overlap, pro audio equipment typically looks very utilitarian and is designed to fit in racks (this kind of use case mandates the use of tons of equipment, from analog to digital converters, to DACs, to various amps, etc). Just say "audiophile" gear.
May 26, 2020
ElectronicVices
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May 21, 2020
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I believe the 'DMC' was intended to be DAC and Amp(lifier). When reproducing audio there are a couple of 'steps' that need to occur depending on the type of media used for recording the music. Here are some examples: 1) Digital audio, read from a disc or drive is stored as 1's and 0's (oversimplified). This means it is not an analog waveform, aka not something we can directly make louder and then hear. To get from those 1's and 0's to hearing sound something needs to read the file and turn it into an analog output. This is the purpose of a Digital to Analog Converter or DAC. Once you have the file converted to an analog form it needs to be sent to the device that will physically move to reproduce the sound (speakers or headphone). Different devices have different power needs to be able to take the converted signal and turn it into sound. This is the role of the amplifier in the signal chain. It takes the analog signal from the DAC and cuts or boost the 'strength' of that signal before passing it along to the speakers or headphones. 2) Analog audio, like tape or vinyl records, is stored in a manner that is directly analogous to the recorded sound produced during the performance. This does not require conversion before amplification, only something to read the media (magnetic tape head or record stylus) which generates an output voltage. This too then requires an amplification stage or multiple stages to cut or boost the strength of that signal on its way to the speakers or headphones. Hope that helps, feel free to ask clarifying questions.
May 21, 2020