Pre-Amp with multiple XLR balanced outputs

Hello everyone,

I am having trouble finding a pre-amp that has more than one set of balanced XLR outputs. I want to use two amps with the same DAC without having to switch the wires each time. Like many DACs, it only has one pair of balanced XLR outputs and neither of the amps have balanced XLR pre-amp outputs. Any suggestions? I know the Schiit Freya pre-amps have two balanced XLR outputs, but I want to check out my other options before I buy something. Hoping to stay below 2k, but will go up if necessary. I appreciate all suggestions! Thanks!

3 Likes

Do you mean something like this?

Sort of. That one has multiple inputs, but only one output. I need something with one input, but with multiple outputs.

So you want to keep using both amps at all times then.

I was thinking on this dilemma myself a few days ago and found 3 possibilities:

  1. regular XLR cable splitters – like this one;
  2. a fancy XRL splitter – like this one (pricey and you’ll need 2 two boxes L/R);
  3. Buy other DACs and make them as DAC/Amp combos (it can be pricey, depending on the DAC).

The more I think on this, the more I keep finding the last option as the ideal. But this is me. I’m not a big fan of splitters myself – I try to avoid connections in general as they always introduce signal degradation of some sort.

Option 2 is what studios do (PRO world). But I wouldn’t know how those isolating transformers affect the signal. They promise clean pass but there’s always the benefit of doubt.

Good luck. Cheers.

1 Like

We use the Radial stuff a lot on stages with good results but it is for live sound, I am not sure if it would be considered audiophile grade or not.

1 Like

I use this Nobsound. It’s a switch but takes one XLR in and outputs to 3.

1 Like

When it is a passive device, you can just run them reversed. You may need gender changer though.

1 Like

Right. This device promises a clean signal, tone-wise. But there’s no guarantee what will do to dynamic range, for instance.

Going back to the two scenarios, my two cents:

A) One signal at one amp at a time

or

…, etc.

B) One signal at multiple amps

I’d get a USB DAC (or digital interface) that exports as many digital outputs as possible. I use FiiO K3 here (1 coax and 1 Toslink) and hook a DAC up with the amp in a dedicated fashion. E.g.:

USB (FiiO K3) β†’ Toslink out β†’ DAC1

– DAC1 β†’ Amp1
– DAC1 β†’ Amp2 (best case Scenario – e.g: Bifrost 2 / Modius)

USB (FiiO K3) β†’ Coax out β†’ DAC2

– DAC2 β†’ Amp3
– DAC2 β†’ Amp4 (best case Scenario – e.g: Bifrost 2 / Modius)

In my setup, If I put my Scarlett 6i6 into the game, scenario above expands to – possibility-wise:

USB (FiiO K3)

– FiiO K3 β†’ Headphone Jack (Balanced/SE)

USB (FiiO K3) β†’ Toslink out

– Toslink out β†’ Modius β†’ AmpA
– Toslink out β†’ Modius β†’ AmpB

USB (FiiO K3) β†’ Coax out β†’ Scarlett 6i6 Coax in

– Scarlett 6i6 β†’ Headphone Jack1
– Scarlett 6i6 β†’ Headphone Jack2
– Scarlett 6i6 β†’ Line out β†’ Liquid Spark
– Scarlett 6i6 β†’ Line out β†’ Liquid Platinum
– Scarlett 6i6 β†’ Coax out β†’ Bifrost 2 β†’ AmpC
– Scarlett 6i6 β†’ Coax out β†’ Bifrost 2 β†’ AmpD

Note I don’t have the Modius or B2 nor AmpsA-D. I’m just stating that in my small system today I have a potential of running as much as 9 headphones – all playing at the same time. And by using 4 DACs (namely FiiO K3, Modius, Scarlett 6i6 and a B2).

Will I ever do this? Probably not. :smile:

Clearly, limitation on this approach is that there’s no DAC to rule them all.


But above is just my view. This dilemma is actually something that holds me to keep purchasing more gear. :smile:

Hope this helps.

2 Likes

Maybe the ART SCC could work for you.
It has TRS for inputs and outputs though.

2 Likes

Good point! ha ha ha, I definitely was not thinking when I replied, sorry! :grimacing:

2 Likes

Thanks for all the ideas guys! It’s looking like pro audio is the way to go about this. The switches look like the easiest way to go so I will research the ones listed here and any others I come across. Hopefully this will just be temporary until I can afford another DAC. Hopefully a Denafrips maybe…

3 Likes