Advice on modern amp + DAC

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by BrainlessProdigy, Jun 13, 2018.

  1. BrainlessProdigy

    BrainlessProdigy Member Thread Starter

    AL, USA
    Few months back I posted a thread asking for advice on upgrading my cheapo setup. I've since upgraded both my speakers and turntable to a pair of Wharfedale Diamond 225s and an AR-XB. I'm now looking to finalize my setup by replacing my receiver (Yamaha RX-497) and get a DAC.

    So far I've been mainly considering either a used NAD C316BEE or Yamaha A-S500 paired with an external DAC, or a new Yamaha A-S501 with internal DAC on a budget of $400. I already own a preamp (TCC-TC 750) so that's not required. How is the internal DAC on the A-S501 and is it equal or better to some of the external DACs on the market in the $100-150 range? Also wondering what other new/used modern amplifiers in this range I should be considering.
  2. BrainlessProdigy

    BrainlessProdigy Member Thread Starter

    AL, USA
  3. ijustdontknow

    ijustdontknow Well-Known Member

    San Diego
    Quite honestly I don't know very much compared to others on this board, but about a year ago I was seeking a very similar (but different) answer and ended up with an Emotive TA-100. I paired it with the Emotive bookshelf speakers and am very pleased with the results. YMMV

    SandAndGlass likes this.
  4. SandAndGlass

    SandAndGlass Twilight Forum Resident

    I like Emotiva gear and use it myself. I find that it does what it claims to do and is therefore one of the best audio values at their particular price points.


    I second the motion. I really doubt that you will better this integrated, at this price, which is within your stated budget.

    Analog Inputs
    • 2 pairs; stereo analog line level inputs (CD, Aux).

    • 1 pair; stereo phono inputs (switchable; moving magnet or moving coil).

    • 1 tuner; FM (with external antenna input; 50 station presets).
    Digital Inputs
    • 1; digital coax (S/PDIF); 24/192k.

    • 1; digital optical (Toslink); 24/192k.

    • 1; digital USB (DAC input); 24/96k; no drivers required.

    • 1; Bluetooth receiver (requires optional AptX Bluetooth dongle).
    • 1 pair; main line level output; stereo, unbalanced.

    • 1 pair; speaker outputs; stereo, 5-way binding post.

    • 2; summed full range outputs (for connecting one or two subwoofers), unbalanced.

    • 1; stereo headphone output (front panel).
    Analog Performance (line level)
    • Maximum output level: 4 VRMS.

    • Frequency response: 5 Hz to 50 kHz +/- 0.04 dB.

    • THD+noise: < 0.0015% (A-weighted).

    • IMD: < 0.004% (SMPTE).

    • S/N ratio: > 115 dB.

    • Crosstalk: < 90 dB.
    Analog Performance (to speaker outputs; both channels driven)
    • Output Power:
      50 watts RMS per channel (20 Hz – 20 kHz; THD < 0.02%; into 8 Ohms).
      90 watts RMS per channel (1 kHz; THD < 1%; into 4 Ohms).

    • Power bandwidth:
      20 Hz to 20 kHz + 0 dB / – 0.25 dB (at rated power; into 8 Ohms).

    • Broadband frequency response: 20 Hz to 80 kHz + 0 dB / – 3 dB.

    • THD+noise: < 0.05% (A-weighted).

    • S/N ratio:
      > 100 dB (A-weighted; ref full power).
      > 85 dB (A-weighted; ref 1 watt).
    Analog Performance (phono)
    • Frequency response (MM and MC):
      20 Hz to 20 kHz; ref standard RIAA curve.

    • THD+noise:
      < 0.015% (MM; A-weighted).
      < 0.06% (MC; A-weighted).

    • S/N ratio:
      > 90 dB (MM).
      > 68 dB (MC).
    Analog Performance (headphone)
    • Output Power:
      8 Ohms: 23 mW / channel.
      33 Ohms: 90 mW / channel.
      47 Ohms: 127 mW / channel.
      150 Ohms: 145 mW / channel.
      300 Ohms: 114 mW / channel.
      600 Ohms: 75 mW / channel.
    Digital Performance
    • Frequency response:
      5 Hz to 20 kHz +/- 0.15 dB (44k sample rate).
      5 Hz to 80 kHz +/- 0.25 dB (192k sample rate).

    • THD+noise:
      < 0.003% (A-weighted; all sample rates).

    • IMD:
      < 0.007% (SMPTE).

    • S/N ratio:
      > 110 dB ref rated output.
    • 12 VDC trigger output.
    Power Requirements
    • 115 VAC or 230 VAC @ 50 / 60 Hz (automatically detected).
    Controls And Indicators
    • Power: rocker switch; rear panel.

    • Standby: one front panel push button; halo ring changes color to indicate status.

    • Two front panel pushbuttons: Input Select; menu operation.

    • One front panel knob: Volume; Tuning; menu operation.

    • Display: high visibility blue alphanumeric VFD display (dimmable).

    • Remote Control: compact full-function infrared remote control.

    • Menu and Control System; simplified, highly intuitive menu system
      (includes Setup options, Bass, Treble, and Balance controls).
    • Dimensions:
      17” wide x 2-5/8” high x 12-1/2” deep (unboxed; without connectors).
      21” long x 7” high x 17-1/2” deep (boxed).

    • Weight:
      15 lbs (unboxed).
      19.5 lbs (boxed).
  5. BrainlessProdigy

    BrainlessProdigy Member Thread Starter

    AL, USA
    I considered the TA-100 for a bit but don't think I'd use the tuner or Bluetooth much. Also unsure about using a display/remote for tone controls over knobs.
  6. wolfram

    wolfram Slave to the rhythm

    Berlin, Germany
    I can't really help you with the amp (though you might also have a look at what Onkyo has to offer in your price range), but if you should end up looking for a seperate DAC, I'd recommend to have a look at the Topping D30 ($119). I have the D50 and it's a great DAC for a very good price. The D30 is supposed to be very close in performance for only half the price.

    Topping D30 DAC Measurement and Review
  7. talkingh

    talkingh Vibes Controller


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