need a clarification on the I2S DAC and amplification


My Yamaha RX-V amplifier just terminate is life today (power issue that seems to be quite common to the old models).
I was using RPI + volumio 1 + digi+ with my amp (which integrate a burr-brown DAC).

I need to bought a new amp to replace and I want to understand the different solution we have nowadays :slight_smile:

I am not really ‘new’ to this forum as I read a lot of subject about DAC and comparison against each others (Mambo,hifiberry dac, piano,etc).
If using theses DAC, we get an analog output, That’s ok, this is the aim of a DAC :smiley:
But I am not sure of what amplifier is needed after, Do I need a “integrated amplifier” with the classic 2 stages of amplifications (pre-amplification + power amplication) or do we “just” need a power amplication ? In the last case, is the DAC is able to manage volume ?

I also take a look a the amplifier section but I do not see any solution to connect a Pi to a FDA amplifier like the QLS QA 100 which allow I2S with RJ45 cables. Looking by myself, I did not found any module available; Is It not a good alternative to DAC ? I find it strange as RPI has a I2S interface.

best regards (and listening :smiley: ),

Lot of quetions, and lots of answers I can give you… :smiley:

Let’s start with the question if you need a pre + final amplifier… The question depends on which impedance your choosen final amplifier needs, and which output impedance the I2S DAC of your choice has. So, rule of thumb, I would look at the “usability side” of things: if you need to attach other sources to your amp, then go with an integrated one… If not you could go with just the final, only IF:

  • You choose an I2S DAC with Hardware volume control (hifiberry dac+, iqaudio, allo piano or piano 2.1 ). Why? sofware volume is not really reliable, and you don’t want to output full volume out of it in case something goes wrong.
  • Then, if you just want to connect volumio to your amp, why don’t you choose an i2s AMP? They are really convenient, since you get audio directly from the pi to your loudspeakers. We have several of them listed in the shop:

Hint for you: we’re about to release a new digital amplifier for PI and other boards that will be quite interesting, and we’ll do the usual “review it first and get a full refund” contest… So if you can wait a week or so (and you’re fast enough…), you might be able to get a really good deal :sunglasses:

I must say that I would prefer an amplifier that is capable of about 80w as I just bought an house with a living room to be able to listen to music without worrying about my neighbors :smiley:

For now, I think i will check for a DAC with volume control and take a power amplifier. Even If i decide to go for another source, it will be probably just for Home Cinema and the power amplifier will be welcome for the front loudspeakers.

Thanks for the answers and the clarification.