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oscarfors
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Yaqin MS-12b preamp: Low volume, little base

Newbie question:

To get to some original opera recordings I really want to hear from the original source I've ventured into the unknown world of turntables and analog...

I've purchased a Rega RP1 and figured I would complement it with a tube RIAA preamp for an analog set-up. While I'm aware that the Yaqin MS-12B amp will require some time to sound right there is a significant loss of bass and mid range when I compare it to feeding my Linn Chakra 6100 power amp direct from my digital source (through a Sonos zone player).

The test I'm performing is channeling the digital source through the pre-amp to the power amplifier vs. direct to the power amp.

I've replaced the original tubes in the Yaqin with Electro-Harmonix tubes...

Should I expect this weak sound in my bi-wired Linn Ninkas when the Yaquin is in play?

Thanks

jackfish
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Are you using the 0.7 V output?

The mastering of digital files often results in highly compressed tracks with overemphasized bass. May be a result of that. Listen awhile to vinyl and try to forget how it sounded with your digital files.

oscarfors
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Goofy cabeling

jackfish,

Thanks for your reply. Yes, I using the 0.7V outs from the pre-apm. The issue was actually resolved when I unplugged the RCA'sb from the Sonos zoneplayer.

There are 2 RCA's in per channel in my Linn 2250 amp. When I use the Sonos as input, it makes no difference if the other inputs are plugged in, but when I play the turntable through the Yaqin it makes a difference.

Any suggestions on how I should connect this very basic system?

I'm considering a DAC between the Sonos and the Linn 2250 and since some of the digital files I play are high bitrate I expect a difference. But this will likely not solve my connection problem, right?

Thanks

jackfish
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Let's see if I got this right...

I believe there is only one unbalanced RCA input per channel on the Linn 2250. The other RCA jack below the input is an output for daisy-chaining of amplifiers. If one attempts to use the RCA output as an input there could be voltage and impedance mismatches with two components connected. The Sonos probably has better internal isolation than the Yaqin which limits interference. The only other input on the Linn 2250 is a balanced XLR input. Hence, I would only connect the Yaqin MS-12b 0.7V outputs to the RCA inputs of the Linn 2250, and then connect the turntable to the RIAA inputs of the Yaqin MS-12b and the Sonos analog audio outputs to the CD/DVD inputs of the Yaqin MS-12b. Switching between the Sonos and turntable is achieved by the buttons on either side of the volume knob marked RIAA and CD/DVD. You must use the Yaqin as a preamp to distribute, and control the volume of, your sources (turntable and Sonos) and send a signal to your Linn 2250 power amp.

The Sonos ZonePlayer already has an internal DAC. However, it is possible to improve the sound quality by connecting a dedicated DAC to either the optical or coax digital outputs. I'm partial to the Schiit Bifrost DAC for $350. This DAC with its advanced clock management system should be able to tame the notoriously high jitter found in the Sonos' digital outputs.

http://schiit.com/cart/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=0&products_id=7

oscarfors
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Yes, retry much right

However, the Sonos sound becomes somewhat muddled then I use the Yaqin so I'd rather not if it can be avoided. 

 

A DAC is ordered and on its way:-)

jackfish
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Then you need a preamp...

using the Yaqin only as a phono preamp you could use a passive preamp to distribute and control the volume of source signals. The Axiom II Multi-Input passive preamp will definitely not muddle the sound of the Sonos and is a steal at $350.

http://luminousaudio.com/axiom2/multi.html

oscarfors
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Did some dedicated listening

And compared the Sonos feed to the turntable, same "wish you where here". Ok. I've been schooled as the kids would say. 

Its not theYaqin that is to blame for the muddling. It is the Sonos. Even with 256 bitrate music files, the Rega just blows it out of the water. More open sound, better resolution, less muddled bass and mid register.

I hope the DAC will fix part of this. The paradox is that in absence of uncolored sound, I want the sound from the two sources to be colored in different ways; I don't mind a wormer sound from the turntable, but I want the digital sound to come through as "clear" as possible. Am I thinking about this wrong?

 

jackfish
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A DAC might do it.

And it won't take much to best the DAC in the Sonos. Which DACs are you considering?

oscarfors
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Starting slow

with an Emotiva XDA-1. They are practically throwight these devices out the door for $249 incl. shipping. I found some pretty decent reviews online. I had ordered it a few hours before your recommendation of the Shiit... the price difference is marginal so I hope I didn't make a mistake here.

Considering the difference in sound with a dac I'm also considering a mini-dac and a pair of new headphones. Will spend a few $100's, nothing fancy. If you have any suggestions they are most welcome.

Got my 3:rd recording of Turandot in the mail today. That Rega player is already seeing some heavy use.

jackfish
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The Emotiva XDA-1 is equivalent to $300 DACs on the market...

while the Schiit Bifrost is comparable to many $1000 DACs. That said, the XDA-1 should be an improvement over the DAC in the Sonos. Its just the Schiit would likely be markedly better.

What is your headphone budget? I'm solidly in the Grado Prestige camp. But they are open air and if you will have others close by while listening they may bother them. In that case, I like the closed back Audio Technica ATH-M50.

cmoccari
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Balanced XLR in XDA-1 vs. Unbalanced RCA in Schiit Bitfrost

Newbie here - looking at Emotiva's Pro Airmotiv line of powered speakers, with the plan of going optical out from an Airport Express to an external DAC.  Emotiva recommends using balanced XLR from an external DAC to the speakers to reduce noise.  With short runs, should I take this into consideration?  Or is the Schitt Bitfrost significantly better that I should be fine with RCA connections to the Airmotiv speakers?

Also, while I'm here, any thoughts on the Airmotiv line?  I'm looking to fill a pretty large room (15x20) with a decent soundstage.  Is there anything to justify going larger than the 4s, with either the 5s or 6s?

jackfish
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If you wait a little bit the Schiit Gungnir

will be a dramatic step up from the Bifrost and will have balanced XLR outputs.

http://schiit.com/cart/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=0&products_id=11

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