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Topman_Chief

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About Topman_Chief

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  1. Hi Heath, I don't know which Universal Audio Apollo interface you have, but they look like decent pro audio units so probably have a pre-amp/volume section as good as any integrated as this price point. So, never a straight answer on a forum, but here's some of my thinking based on what you've written: 1. Second hand on these forums, especially with amps, will get you a much better unit for the money than buying new. Amps also tend to last for years and years with little degradation, so don't be afraid to try something a little older that is a higher model. 2. I had a Rotel A10 with some B&W 600 speakers many years ago. Sounded OK, and to be fair the weak link was probably the CD player I fed into it. But I later paired a Rotel RSX-1056 with the same speakers and they sounded twice as good. May have been the DAC in the RSX, don't know. 3. If you had to buy an integrated amp, I don't have anything bad to say about Rotel, but again, go second hand and step up a little. I've read that brands such as Musical Fidelity, Cambridge Audio, Roksan, Exposure, etc. make some great amps at good prices that probably sit above the entry level Rotels. 4. Why not buy powered monitors? Unless you have a major emotional attachment to the Focal speakers, sell them and buy some second hand monitors. Pro audio will be the best value and they'll kill the Rotel/Focal combo, possibly for less money. Of course, don't spend less money, spend just a little more than you can afford and listen to wonderful tunes. 5. If you're going to stick with your Focal speakers, spend your money on a power amp and use the UAA. For $1000 you'll get something pretty special. Best of luck with it all. Cheers, Corey
  2. Hold the phone...just buy a newer irDACII which has a remote! $595. Sell your old DAC and come out in front. https://www.ebay.com.au/p/1791344570?iid=114147797025&chn=ps&norover=1&mkevt=1&mkrid=705-139619-5960-0&mkcid=2&itemid=114147797025&targetid=893318572060&device=c&mktype=pla&googleloc=9071397&poi=&campaignid=9773396791&mkgroupid=99377633986&rlsatarget=aud-692203741102:pla-893318572060&abcId=1145981&merchantid=7364522&gclid=CjwKCAjwkPX0BRBKEiwA7THxiG2goOEejY9oYcI0izD_xeGnQJbxp9UUOOGhhYcCwx2k0PfSr9e9TxoCPmYQAvD_BwE
  3. My $0.02? Sell the Arcam rDac and upgrade to a DAC that has enough inputs and a remote. The Sonos Beam seems to be about $500, so putting that money towards upgrading your DAC will give you a music experience that is better (or at least equivalent) to the rDAC today, plus it will make everything from your TV sound better because 1) it's going through a good DAC, and 2), it's going through a good amp and speakers not a tinny little soundbar. And then you can choose to use just one remote like the Harmony or keep your integrated's remote and add the DAC remote. I'm lucky that my pre-amp (Parasound P5) had a built-in DAC, so I send optical from my TV to that. Plus I have a streamer through a Schiit Gungnir (no remote) going into the pre-amp. So I can just switch between two sources on the pre-amp and use one remote to power everything. I made the conscious decision to move away from multi-channel audio to two channel and use that for TV also and I couldn't be happier. I can see why you love the rDAC though, I borrowed one from a friend and was surprised how good it was for the money. DACs are getting better every year though. Also, if you do decide to go with one remote, you can get away with the cheapest Harmony, about $50.
  4. Bought a table for $20 from Gumtree and luckily had room in the bedroom to set it up. Grabbed my monitor and chair from the office. Great excuse to use my Audio-gd Dac/pre and Audioengine A5 speakers which had been in storage. Still amazed how well these speakers image in a near-field set-up. Going to be difficult to give this up once we reach the other side!
  5. I run mine with a Parasound P5/A23 combo, which I think is 125 into 8 and 225w into 4 ohm. I have a large-ish room at 7 x 7.5m, and I've never felt like I've lacked power or heard the amp straining. Per the thread from 2013, the Focus line are talented speakers that just keep rewarding better upstream electronics as you head up the money-tree scale. I once ran them with an old Rotel home theatre amp. As I've improved the amp/pre/dac/source, they just keep getting better and better.
  6. Screaming bargain! I was amazed what a step up mine was for my system.
  7. Yep, the JJ list was the first one I clicked on. Still working my way through about a dozen albums I hadn't listened to previously.
  8. I feel like I've discovered plenty of new albums this year, but most were from 2018 or earlier. I often wade through the end of year lists on Largeheartedboy and discover 'new' music that way. If you really want to lose a weekend, work your way backwards through the archived lists. Largehearted Boy: Essential and Interesting 2019 Year-End Music Lists WWW.LARGEHEARTEDBOY.COM 2019 Ladytron - Ladytron Middle Kids - New Songs for Old Problems (first album may be even better - one of the better Aussie bands right now) Tool - Fear Inoculum Pre-2019 The Dead South - In Good Company (just a riotous good time) Japanese Breakfast - Soft Sounds from Another Planet Many/most of the Fabric albums. E.g. Fabric 99: Sasha (various artists). These are great electronic mixes.
  9. Update: Using unbalanced cables did help drop the signal/volume significantly, to the point where I can live with it that way. Along the way I did enable all settings in Volumio and it let me adjust the volume in the slider, but doing so made no difference to the actual output volume. Might be an I2S DAC thing I'm guessing. Unbalanced (3 metre was all I had handy) dropped the volume level, but I feel like I dropped a notch in sound quality also. I'll have to find some other unbalanced cables to try.
  10. Thanks - I had found this link in the user manual. Basically the instruction assumes the volume settings aren't greyed out. As @pond44 mentioned, it could be that the trial version restricts some features. I think I also chose "simplified settings" on set-up, so I'll take a look tonight to see if that enables the option. The next question will be...which is the lesser evil? Use unbalanced cables to reduce the voltage, or reduce the volume digitally in the Digione(Pi). I'm guessing it is the cables.
  11. Thanks everyone. The DAC doesn't have a hardware option to reduce output. Looks like I'll have to go unbalanced, and probably either cable with attenuation or add the attenuation connectors. I figure this solution has less chance of degrading quality than a passive pre-amp, although it offers less flexibility. If anyone knows of a solution in the Rasberry Pi set-up (using Volumio or a different install) then I'd love to understand that also.
  12. So I finally bought an Allo Digione (found a Signature unit) and have just hooked it up. To my surprise I managed to connect it to my network, sign up for a myvolumio trial and sign into Tidal. So far so good. Connected it to my DAC and hit play and...it works. It plays music. Problem is, the output signal seems to be too high and I'm barely off the bottom of the dial on the pre-amp before things get very loud. Chain is: Allo Digione Signature player with iFi power supply -> coax cable from SPDIF output to coax input of Schiit Gungnir Multibit DAC -> Balanced cables out to Parasound P5 pre-amp -> Balanced cables to Parasound A23 power amp -> Dynaudio Focus 160 speakers. I'm pretty sure the coax cable between the player and DAC is 75ohm, but not sure of brand and don't have another handy to try. In the Volumio interface there is a section for volume adjustment but it is greyed out/not available. I was previously using an old Dell desktop PC with Uptone USB regen and had to reduce the volume on the PC for its output to at a suitable level for the pre-amp. Any ideas of how to reduce the signal strength from the Digione without hurting the quality of the signal? There is a BNC output - is it worth exploring that with an adapter? Thanks, Corey
  13. Ridiculous value. I love mine and can't believe someone could own these for $1200!! If you're shopping, don't be put off by the low price, read some of the reviews. They sound good with most gear, but keep rewarding you as you move up the ladder. I recently added a good DAC and couldn't believe the speakers were capable of such amazing sound. Cool stands too. GLWTS.
  14. I didn't look at the length. I figure I'll just add an extension lead if need be. I don't believe it needs the Thor board. Check out the Thor site for more info - I did about 10 secs research and hit buy! I like the idea that it can fit in the wall behind my TV, which the boards won't.
  15. Just grabbed one 8 plug, one 4 plug, and one of the single Smart TV units to go in the wall behind the TV, thanks OP. Will shortly figure out why I need another one. @getdisdude Cheap way to start down the power improvement path?
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