I’m looking to up my desk speaker game. I think I have settled on the Jamo S 803’s. They look good, fit my setup well, and by all accounts sound good.
My question is what Amp and DAC would be a good combo for this setup?
I’m not looking to bring any roofs down, but having the option to turn them up a little from time to time would be nice. I was thinking that a combo unit would probably be best for my needs, something like a Topping MX3 or SMSL AD18. Though I’m not married to that at all. Bluetooth would be nice as well.
I do have a first gen JDS labs element with an output as well as an Audient Evo 4 on my desk. I’m not sure if either of those devices are appropriate to us as a DAC for a separate speaker amp.
Lastly if I have made a poor choice of speaker I’m open to changing that too. Just keep in mind I have a small setup in a small room. Front ported or otherwise suited for minimal spacing away from a wall is necessary.
Thanks for any help, and I’m sorry if I’m asking pretty basic questions here. Like I said I’m new to this!
Welcome to the forum! I haven’t heard the 803s, but have heard good things. I used the MX3 for my desk for about a year and thought it performed admirably.
Thanks for the reply! Im just worried about if it can push them i guess. I just don’t know how to calculate that, or what exactly to look for. Audiophile math is odd
Both the AD18 and MX3 are fine choices. The only question I would have with them is how you’re getting signal to them. Are you planning to use their analog inputs or are you wanting to use their digital connections? If digital, you’ll probably need to look into some kind of splitter to accomodate all your gear. If you’re planning to use analog, you might be better off looking at an amp only. In that case…
Your Element amp/dac will work just fine to feed a speaker amp that has no DAC. Just use the RCA preout on the back to go to an amplifer. I’ve had good success driving a little pair of JBLs with the Micca OriGain:
My only concern there is that the S803 has a rated sensitivity of 87dB/W, which isn’t great. That might mean the OriGain doesn’t push them to your desired “turn them up a little” levels. The JBLs I use are 89dB/W sensitivity though and they get plenty loud for desktop usage, IMO. If you have the space, you could step up in size and power to a full-fledged stereo receiver. Most mainstream electronics brands have a 2 channel model. Here’s one example from Yamaha, but Pioneer, Sony, and Sherwood (plus some others, probably) will have similar options in the same price range. You should also be able to have the receiver somewhere not on your desktop and use the Element’s volume control to control the overall volume, just turn a receiver on/off with its remote and leave it at a set volume. If space allows I like this option because you also get multiple inputs and therefore can send more sound sources through your speakers.
Food for thought. Good luck on your search.
Thanks for the reply!
I also have a JDS Labs atom(ic) stack. If the preout’s on either of those devices are kosher to run to a separate speaker amp than I’m more than down to save some money. I wasn’t sure if that was okay on a preout.
I think i may start with the OriGain then! I really just don’t have the space for a receiver. My office is rather small. Thanks again!
Happy to help! Please report back on how it sounds after you’ve had a listen!