Jan 25, 201851 views

S.M.S.L. M8A

I received my M8A last week and after d/l the manual found zero instructions to connect to my solid state amp. The USB part is easy, but do I connect to the phono input or CD or Tape 1. And how do I get SiriusXM to stream thru the DAC?
Thank You
ChuckTucker
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Short answer: don't use phono input, anything else should be fine (mostly).

Long answer: Phono inputs are for turntables. Also, what is this "solid state amp"? It should have a manual that tells you what the inputs are for. I assume it's an integrated amp. Does it not have its own dac/digital volume control? If it does, use that instead. No pont in hooking up a dac to something that's just going to run the signal through its own ADC/DSP/DAC chain.
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The volume control in your computer is digital, so what it's doing is reducing the numbers that are sent to the SMSL dac. If you set the volume to zero on your PC, then it'll send a bunch of 0s to the SMSL. From an SNR perspective, the ideal setup is to max out the volume on the PC volume control and then use the volume knob on your amp to set the volume. If you find the volume pot on the amp too low in this case (which can cause tracking errors), lower the volume a bit on the PC.
As some others already replied to you the recap is you should keep the volume on your computer at 100 percent always. As when you lower the volume it basically lowers the bit rate going to your M8A and you don't want that. You want the signal to be pushed at its maximum and best. Your realtek soundcard is bypassed for sure don't worry about that, the digital volume is there more as a bridge between the operating system and the drivers of the usb-device (sound device) connected - in your case m8a drivers. Another thing I recommend if not done yet, check in your playback devices that your M8A properties are set correctly - All enhancements OFF, format 32bit192khz. When it comes to your amp you should be connecting it in a CD input. Phono is for turntables only and works differently plus you might have a switch to MM or MC depends on your cartridge and most amplifiers/turntables require a preamp to boost the signal going to the amp. Some amps nowadays have a preamp build in for Phone inputs. SiriusXM is a software thing so it should work with default audio output you set in your op system and should not be a problem there then. Some music app as for example Tidal has a possibility to take over the sound device you select and automatically give it a priority and lock the digital volume to 100 percent. Enjoy your new DAC its a good DAC.
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