Looking for Preamp / DAC + Amp for JBLs - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 20 Old 07-10-2019, 10:34 PM - Thread Starter
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Looking for Preamp / DAC + Amp for JBLs

Hello All,
I have a pair of JBL studio 530 and pair of JBL LSR 305 (powered) speakers that I am not able to make full use of. Other than connecting 530 as zone2 speakers on denon x6200 or LSR305 with iphone, I am not able to enjoy their musical prowess as most of the time I use Denon avr for movies on the main zone.

However i would require experts recommendation on a budget DAC cum Preamp cum AMP (throw in some tubes there as well) in economy range that can drive both the speaker types (one at a time).
Thus this becomes a portable DAC + Preamp + AMP.
I am noob at deciding stereo tech and the more I read the net the more i get confused. I don't want to invest much on it as well.

My source typically shall be airplay / Bluetooth or a TT.

Appreciate all your inputs and thanks in advance.

Last edited by argentum246; 07-11-2019 at 01:36 AM.
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post #2 of 20 Old 07-12-2019, 08:44 AM
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For a one box [non-tube] solution maybe look at stereo receivers from Yamaha [R-N303, $300] and Onkyo [TX-8260, $400]. Both support 2 sets of speakers, phono input, Airplay and Bluetooth. I haven't used the Yamaha but the Onkyo natively supports most streaming services including Tidal at MQA.
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post #3 of 20 Old 07-12-2019, 04:58 PM
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There are a number of stereo amps with digital inputs. I use the NAD D3020, but there are competitors. It's small enough and light enough to be portable. It has bluetooth but I don't think Airplay. The D 7050 has Airplay. List price for the 7050 is a bit high, but it looks like the real price is OK.

This review of the D7050 suggests that Airplay doesn't give as good sound as a direct input. https://www.whathifi.com/nad/d-7050/review. With the D3020 i use USB. (However the current version doesn't have USB: coaxial, optical and Bluetooth.)
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post #4 of 20 Old 07-12-2019, 06:45 PM
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If you want all the bells and whistles and don't want to spend a lot, you might want to look at the [$130 with Free S/H] Dayton Audio DTA-PRO Class D Amp with Bluetooth, Optical/Coax Digital Audio Inputs, 3.5-mm L/R Analog Audio Input, Bass/Treble Tone Controls and Remote/Control:
https://www.parts-express.com/dayton...utpu--300-3835

Power is a more than adequate 70-wpc into 6-ohms [i.e. JBL's] at 0.8% THD (and under 0.12% for most lower power levels), as shown in Figure 1 in fol. Texas Instrument Power Chip Spec Sheet:
http://www.ti.com/lit/ds/symlink/tas5342a.pdf

Although it has a Sub-Woofer Audio Output Jack [for connection to a Powered Sub-Woofer], I SUSPECT that it MIGHT not Roll-Off Low Freqs going to the L/R Front Speaker Outputs [so they will also TRY to reproduce Freqs that should ONLY be reproduced by the Lower Distortion Sub-Woofer]....since there are NO CONTROLS to enable/disable Sub-Woofer Output, nor to set the LFE Crossover Frequency. OTOH: The Audio Volume/Tone Control chip DOES have Bass Management....I just don't see any CONTROLS: [BTW: Most of the inexpensive Class D Amps with S-W Output are also missing this feature.]
http://www.ti.com/lit/ds/symlink/tas5508c.pdf
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post #5 of 20 Old 07-23-2019, 01:22 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks @qirex @hedrick and @holl_ands for your recommendations. For JBL LSR 305 monitors I am sure Dayton would be best one. But for JBL studio would it powerful enough to drive (not at reference level though)? was looking for amp that well integrate with hometheater like Marantz 1509 etc but little cheaper.

BTW Dayton is definitely looking like a worth buying amp.
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post #6 of 20 Old 07-23-2019, 02:34 PM
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The first think we need is BUDGET?

From what I understand you need a Amp with both Pre-Amp Out and Standard Speaker Connections. The Pre-Out to drive the JBL 305 Studio Monitors and the Standard Speaker connection to drive the passive JBL Studio 530.

That is going to be hard to find at a modest price. If you can afford a more substantial Amp, then Pre-Amp out becomes more easily attainable.

https://www.jbl.com/STUDIO+530BK.html

https://www.jbl.com/studio-monitors/305PMKII-.html

So, the requirements are -

- Amplifier/Receiver with Pre-Amp Outputs

Can you list the other features you need -

- Network Streaming
- Bluetooth
- DAC (Optical? Coaxial? USB?)
- Phono (MM and/or MC)

In my honest opinion I would suggest you get rid of one of the sets of speakers, and concentrate on the other. Either get a Pre-Amp for the JBL 305 or ditch them and get an Amp/Receiver for the JBL 530. That greatly simplifies the task and greatly moderates the budget.

Still that is your decision to make. But it seems we are looking for specifically an Amp/Receiver that also has Pre-Amp outputs so you can drive both Active and Passive speakers at the same time.

But we need a Working Budget to guide us?

Steve/bluewizard
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post #7 of 20 Old 07-23-2019, 02:39 PM
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Originally Posted by argentum246 View Post
Thanks @qirex @hedrick and @holl_ands for your recommendations. For JBL LSR 305 monitors I am sure Dayton would be best one. ....
The Dayton DTA-Pro 100w Amp would drive your Passive Speakers but NOT your Active Speakers. You specifically need an Amp/Receiver with Pre-Amp Outputs.

The other suggestion, the Yamaha RN303 Network Receiver, with a nice price and a lot of features, it does NOT have Pre-Amp outputs to drive the Studio Monitors.

Steve/bluewizard
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post #8 of 20 Old 07-23-2019, 02:59 PM
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Here are a few Amps/Receiver that I found that also have Pre-Amp Outputs - (no particular order) -

https://www.crutchfield.com/p_580A91...yo-A-9150.html

https://www.crutchfield.com/p_779CXA...60-Silver.html

https://www.crutchfield.com/p_580TX8...o-TX-8260.html

https://www.crutchfield.com/p_033DRA...-DRA-800H.html

https://www.crutchfield.com/p_164DTM...gra-DTM-6.html

Of those listed, the Onkyo TX-8260 Network Receiver ($399, 80w/[email protected]) is probably the best for your needs -

https://www.crutchfield.com/p_580TX8...o-TX-8260.html

Network Streaming, Airplay, Bluetooth, DAC, MM Phono, etc...

While I don't necessarily prefer Onkyo Receivers, I have two of them, and am using one on my computer - no complaints, very clear amps.

If you want to drive Active and Passive speakers and not spend a fortune, and you want Network Streaming ability, I'm not sure what else you can do.

Steve/bluewizard
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Last edited by bluewizard; 07-23-2019 at 03:04 PM.
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post #9 of 20 Old 07-23-2019, 08:53 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluewizard View Post
The first think we need is BUDGET?

From what I understand you need a Amp with both Pre-Amp Out and Standard Speaker Connections. The Pre-Out to drive the JBL 305 Studio Monitors and the Standard Speaker connection to drive the passive JBL Studio 530.

That is going to be hard to find at a modest price. If you can afford a more substantial Amp, then Pre-Amp out becomes more easily attainable.

https://www.jbl.com/STUDIO+530BK.html

https://www.jbl.com/studio-monitors/305PMKII-.html

So, the requirements are -

- Amplifier/Receiver with Pre-Amp Outputs

Can you list the other features you need -

- Network Streaming
- Bluetooth
- DAC (Optical? Coaxial? USB?)
- Phono (MM and/or MC)

In my honest opinion I would suggest you get rid of one of the sets of speakers, and concentrate on the other. Either get a Pre-Amp for the JBL 305 or ditch them and get an Amp/Receiver for the JBL 530. That greatly simplifies the task and greatly moderates the budget.

Still that is your decision to make. But it seems we are looking for specifically an Amp/Receiver that also has Pre-Amp outputs so you can drive both Active and Passive speakers at the same time.

But we need a Working Budget to guide us?

Steve/bluewizard
@bluewizard Thank you for all the inputs. My budget shall be close to $200. Onkyo , so far i read, suffers from quality issue lately. So need to look at other options. As you said if preamp output for active speakers is not possible within budget in 1 system then i can go for 2 separate amps but again i need to keep budget in mind of close to $200 range.

Last edited by argentum246; 07-23-2019 at 08:58 PM.
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post #10 of 20 Old 07-23-2019, 11:26 PM
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Originally Posted by argentum246 View Post
@bluewizard Thank you for all the inputs. My budget shall be close to $200. Onkyo , so far i read, suffers from quality issue lately. So need to look at other options. As you said if preamp output for active speakers is not possible within budget in 1 system then i can go for 2 separate amps but again i need to keep budget in mind of close to $200 range.
That budget is nearly impossible. Let's start with a list of your needs -

Do you need a PHONO Input?

How may devices will plug into the Amp?

Do you need an Optical in for TV/Movies?

You won't get what you want until you and we know what you want.

I'm thinking you are probably looking at a used amp, and while cheap enough, I'm not sure it will have the feature, but before we get too carried away, let's get a list of the needed features.

Steve/bluewizard
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post #11 of 20 Old 07-24-2019, 03:33 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by bluewizard View Post
That budget is nearly impossible. Let's start with a list of your needs -

Do you need a PHONO Input?

How may devices will plug into the Amp?

Do you need an Optical in for TV/Movies?

You won't get what you want until you and we know what you want.

I'm thinking you are probably looking at a used amp, and while cheap enough, I'm not sure it will have the feature, but before we get too carried away, let's get a list of the needed features.

Steve/bluewizard
Thanks Steve,
Let start with my few requirements:
1. It should have a phono stage to that i can connect TT as source.
2. It should have bluetooth / aptx and wireless capabilities so that it can connect to mobile and integrate with home automation.
3. It should have DAC built in. (an integrated amp with min 60-70W )
4. I need it for pure stereo listening.
5. iPhone / tablet / and TT with google / alexa / logitech home automation shall be connected.
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post #12 of 20 Old 07-24-2019, 08:44 AM
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What you're thinking of isn't possible for $200 unless you find someone selling a used Onkyo 8260 and even then it doesn't do everything you want (no Alexa and the Zone 2 outputs don't work like pre-outs). What @bluewizard is trying to say is you need to make some decisions about what you actually need because you're not going to get what you want for your budget.
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post #13 of 20 Old 07-24-2019, 09:16 AM
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Get on Amazon and look at Fosi...they have amps,DAC's ect...for about 60 bucks each...should solve your problem...

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post #14 of 20 Old 07-24-2019, 04:30 PM
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Nothing for 7 hours...did I give good info or no?...

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post #15 of 20 Old 07-24-2019, 04:51 PM
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post #16 of 20 Old 07-24-2019, 08:14 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluewizard View Post
The first think we need is BUDGET?

From what I understand you need a Amp with both Pre-Amp Out and Standard Speaker Connections. The Pre-Out to drive the JBL 305 Studio Monitors and the Standard Speaker connection to drive the passive JBL Studio 530.

That is going to be hard to find at a modest price. If you can afford a more substantial Amp, then Pre-Amp out becomes more easily attainable.

https://www.jbl.com/STUDIO+530BK.html

https://www.jbl.com/studio-monitors/305PMKII-.html

So, the requirements are -

- Amplifier/Receiver with Pre-Amp Outputs

Can you list the other features you need -

- Network Streaming
- Bluetooth
- DAC (Optical? Coaxial? USB?)
- Phono (MM and/or MC)

In my honest opinion I would suggest you get rid of one of the sets of speakers, and concentrate on the other. Either get a Pre-Amp for the JBL 305 or ditch them and get an Amp/Receiver for the JBL 530. That greatly simplifies the task and greatly moderates the budget.

Still that is your decision to make. But it seems we are looking for specifically an Amp/Receiver that also has Pre-Amp outputs so you can drive both Active and Passive speakers at the same time.

But we need a Working Budget to guide us?

Steve/bluewizard
Hey Steve,
I think i got what you are suggesting as it makes complete sense to separate the speakers to be in budget. So i shall focus now of finding an amp that can generate good music for JBL studio 530 speakers only. so I would require:
1. Amp with wifi/ bluetooth / airplay capabilities.
2. Phono input for TT.
3. 70-80W @8ohms .
4. Good DAC built in.
5. It can be refurb as well like from accessories4less.

Thanks
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post #17 of 20 Old 07-24-2019, 08:19 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by josh6113 View Post
Nothing for 7 hours...did I give good info or no?...

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Hey @josh y6113.. you are spot on with the recommendation. The Fosi and Dayton looks very tempting. Let me find a model with them that has phono inputs and wireless capabilities. Let me know if you know one.

Thanks again!
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post #18 of 20 Old 07-25-2019, 12:17 AM
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Hey Steve,
,,,,
5. It can be refurb as well like from accessories4less.

Thanks
With your limited budget, you can't afford to be choosy.

Accessories4Less -

Onkyo TX-8260 Network Receiver, 80w/ch - $269 -

https://www.accessories4less.com/mak...eceiver/1.html

Though they are currently out of stock -

Yamaha RN303 Network Receiver, 100w/ch - $219 -

https://www.accessories4less.com/mak...eceiver/1.html

No Pre-Out on the Yamaha though.

If you are going to look at something like the Dayton or the FOSI, make sure you check them out in detail, and make sure they actually do what you want.

For example, the FOSI Audio Q5 - DAC Converter 24-bit/192kHz Optical/Coaxial/USB Digital-to-Analog Adapter Decoder & Headphone Amplifier & Mini Stereo Pre-Amplifier - $69 -

https://www.amazon.com/Fosi-Audio-Co...dp/B07G2NQYLX/

Sounds good, but no Power Amp and no Analog Inputs. I suspect in a amp like this, you can get an Amp with Analog in, but not likely Digital In.

Here is the Fosi TB10A amp - it has Analog, but no Digital -

https://www.amazon.com/%E3%80%90Upda...dp/B076P2VS9H/

You could get an Amp and DAC within your budget, but it is going to have a limited number of inputs and no (likely) Remote Control.

Here is a pretty good pretty full featured compact amp -

SMSL AD18 (40w/ch), DAC, Bluetooth, Remote - $144 -


https://www.amazon.com/SMSL-AD18-Amp...dp/B071JN7GXN/

It has a single Analog Input plus Optical and USB.

I'm not saying don't do this, what I am saying is if you are considering the low cost compact amps that you look at them in detail and make sure they do what you want done.

As it stand, about the only affordable amp that meets all your needs and more is the Onkyo TX-8260 from Accessories4Less. A bit over budget, but I'm not sure what choices you really have.

Steve/bluewizard
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Last edited by bluewizard; 07-25-2019 at 12:21 AM.
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post #19 of 20 Old 07-25-2019, 02:07 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluewizard View Post
With your limited budget, you can't afford to be choosy.

Accessories4Less -

Onkyo TX-8260 Network Receiver, 80w/ch - $269 -

https://www.accessories4less.com/mak...eceiver/1.html

Though they are currently out of stock -

Yamaha RN303 Network Receiver, 100w/ch - $219 -

https://www.accessories4less.com/mak...eceiver/1.html

No Pre-Out on the Yamaha though.

If you are going to look at something like the Dayton or the FOSI, make sure you check them out in detail, and make sure they actually do what you want.

For example, the FOSI Audio Q5 - DAC Converter 24-bit/192kHz Optical/Coaxial/USB Digital-to-Analog Adapter Decoder & Headphone Amplifier & Mini Stereo Pre-Amplifier - $69 -

https://www.amazon.com/Fosi-Audio-Co...dp/B07G2NQYLX/

Sounds good, but no Power Amp and no Analog Inputs. I suspect in a amp like this, you can get an Amp with Analog in, but not likely Digital In.

Here is the Fosi TB10A amp - it has Analog, but no Digital -

https://www.amazon.com/%E3%80%90Upda...dp/B076P2VS9H/

You could get an Amp and DAC within your budget, but it is going to have a limited number of inputs and no (likely) Remote Control.

Here is a pretty good pretty full featured compact amp -

SMSL AD18 (40w/ch), DAC, Bluetooth, Remote - $144 -


https://www.amazon.com/SMSL-AD18-Amp...dp/B071JN7GXN/

It has a single Analog Input plus Optical and USB.

I'm not saying don't do this, what I am saying is if you are considering the low cost compact amps that you look at them in detail and make sure they do what you want done.

As it stand, about the only affordable amp that meets all your needs and more is the Onkyo TX-8260 from Accessories4Less. A bit over budget, but I'm not sure what choices you really have.

Steve/bluewizard
Thanks Steve,
I think we are getting close to finding the solution. The SMSL and Onkyo you referred to appear decent and close to my requirements. I also saw one more in accessories4less:
https://www.accessories4less.com/mak...eceiver/1.html

Let me know your inputs on yamaha as well.

Thanks
anand.
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post #20 of 20 Old 07-25-2019, 03:25 AM
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Originally Posted by argentum246 View Post
Thanks Steve,
I think we are getting close to finding the solution. The SMSL and Onkyo you referred to appear decent and close to my requirements. I also saw one more in accessories4less:
https://www.accessories4less.com/mak...eceiver/1.html

Let me know your inputs on yamaha as well.

Thanks
anand.
No Pre-Amp out on the Yamaha RS202. Also, no DAC, and no Phono.

This is what I mean about looking into the details and the specs of the equipment to make sure it does what you need done.

Same with the SMSL AD18, you need to know what you need done, and you need to know what that amp does, and make sure those two things match up. It is a great little amp ...if... it does what you need.

So far the only thing that covers all the bases is the Onkyo TX-8260 from Accessories4Less, over budget, but it does what you need.

Steve/bluewizard
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Last edited by bluewizard; 07-25-2019 at 10:06 AM.
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