1 DAC, 2 Amps (balanced & unbalanced)

Hello, long time no talk here.

Been thinking of getting a new amp, but I don’t want to outright replace my current one. I figured I could do a 2 Amps, 1 DAC sorta thing, so I did some prior research.

I basically learned that even though my DAC has both RCA & XLR outputs, I should get a pre-amp with a switcher in order to avoid electrical issues:

My current setup is the Schiit Asgard 3 + Schiit Modius

The amp I’m interested in is the iFi Zen CAN Signature, just cuz of the easy bass boost button.

This might be a no-brainer to some, but I also want to know if I have to connect both balanced & unbalanced outputs of the Modius to the switcher. That way, the Asgard and the Zen Can both have signal.

You can input the xlr but I don’t know if that would impact the sound of the rca output. I do it with mine and don’t hear a difference but I’m also not all that analytical over my equipment.

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The outputs of your DAC should have discreet output devices for each analog out, RCA/unbalanced & XLR/balanced. If both are always active, it’s not going to hurt anything or one affect the sound of the other if it’s designed properly. You don’t really need a switch box. The power on & off of each amp is your switcher. Then there is no chance of additional noise from an unnecessary switch box. All you need do is turn the amp off that’s not being used.


The moment you mentioned the power switch, I had an “oh, duh” moment. Thank you for the answer.