DAC/AMP configuration for my PC setup

Hi everyone,

This is my first post and very happy to be in a such passionate community. :wink:

I have my current setup like this:
PC ->spdif ->Emotiva TA-100 -> Monitor Audio Bronze 2
-> Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro
Now, I would like to upgrade to a more capable pair of headphones (I was thinking at Audeze LCD2C - for electronic music), but first I need to understand how can I add a DAC-AMP before Emotiva. And that DAC-AMP should switch either to headphones, either to Emotiva TA-100 for the MA Bronze 2.
I found that NFB-11.28 - Music and Performance edition and NFB-11.38 has a DAC-OUT and also a switch for Headphones / Variable/ Fixed. And this would be perfect for what I would like to achieve.
Can you please help me with another recommendation on the setup ? Maybe you see it different? The budget should be around 500-600 Euros.


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Here’s what I would do.
I would recommend getting a separate DAC/Amp or DAC and Amp for the headphones.
It could look something like this:
PC -> spdif or other connection -> DAC -> Emotiva & seperate Headphone Amp.
Then the Emotiva goes to the speakers, and the headphone amp goes to the headphones.
That is one solution. I don’t know if you can find any DACs that have two different outputs that can be used at the same time, I’m pretty sure there are though.

Are you trying to replace the Emotiva or just want to use it as DAC and speaker amp?
From the looks of the I/O in the back, you could hook a headphone amp to the “main”-output

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True, this is also an option. Just thinking that the headphone out may not be all that great. But it could satisfy. I still would recommend getting a DAC though.

To me, the Emotiva looks like a DAC and preamp that also has a speaker amp, but what do I know?

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Lol, perhaps it is. I know less probably. :stuck_out_tongue:

Thanks everyone for the reply :wink:
Emotiva TA-100 is a DAC/AMP. The main issue that I cannot use the analog outputs is this:

If you have plugged in the speakers and in analog output you connect another DAC/AMP, you need first to unplug the speakers in order to have sound further to the 2’nd DAC/AMP where I would have the headphones plugged in.
So definitely I would need a 2’nd DAC/AMP for the headphones. I’m not sure how to pair them and what to buy :slight_smile:
Emotiva is decent for the current setup where I’m using the speakers.

Ah, okay. So you need either a new DAC/Amp, or a DAC and an amp. What would your budget be?

I would say a Dac/Amp dedicated for headphones. I was thinking at something around 500 Euros (max 600E). The next headphones will be, I think an LCD 2C.

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Would an Micca Origen G2 work or is it not powerful enough for the LCD’s?

Imo I don’t think it would be a satisfactory experience

It’s interesting the Micca OriGen G2. It’s what I’m looking for, but if there is something a bit more powerful, and worth it, then I’ll look for it. AudioGD NFB-11.28 , is more powerful, but the opinions are divided :slight_smile:

Personally I would just grab a schiit magni heresy and a dac like the topping d10 or d50s and split the dac output to both the speakers and the amp. Should preform better than the audio gd and end up less expensive and more versatile imo


Made some more research, and I found the next options:

  1. Topping DX7s -> which has besides the RCA out, the Coaxial Out + remote which has dedicated button for Line Out: https://www.audiophonics.fr/en/wireless-transmission/aluminium-remote-for-topping-dx7-dx7s-dx7-pro-dx3-pro-d70-d50s-p-13204.html
  2. Questyle CMA400i -> which also has an Coaxial Out … but very expensive and very hard to find in Europe.
  3. AUDINST HUD-DX1 -> which has Opt IN, Opt Out and that switch on the front panel bethween headphones and speakers. However it’s an old product, and not sure if it keeps up the pace today. It uses an ES9018 chip.
  4. Aune X1S - 10th Anniversary Edition -> which has Coax Out, but I didn’t see any switch for the output.
  5. Fiber optic distributor - Like in the Zeos review for Micca Origen G2 …which might be an option: https://youtu.be/x2LdNCYRmcw?t=1001 … but not sure to switch between the 2 Dac/Amps. I think powering off one of them to switch from one to the other :slight_smile: (Product here)
    P.S. Sorry for the long post :blush:

I can vouch for the cma400i, if you look used you should be able to find a few

I’m personally not a fan of the headphone amp in the topping, but it would get the job done

The dx1 is nice, but nothing really stood out to me when I heard it awhile ago

X1s is solid, you unplug the headphones to switch to the speaker out if I recall correctly

Regarding the multiple dacs thing, that will just become a pita and more expensive than it needs to be lol, I don’t know if that would be the best idea imo

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Ah and forgot the number 6. Fostex HP-A4BL which has Spdif Out. :slight_smile:

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It’s a nice unit, depends on the headphones you use for if it would be worthwhile or not. Also I don’t know if the toslink out is active when using usb

I wrote them to see if the Spdif Out is active when USB Input is used. I’ve read that their support is nonexistent :blush:

From the Manual:

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Well there you go then lol