Managing 2 Audio Inputs and 2 Outputs(PC and Turntable, Speakers and Headphones)

MLGbumps

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Dec 8, 2014
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So, I have a turntable, a PC, headphones, and a pair of monitor speakers (well I plan on getting them that is) and I'd like to be able to manage all of these without doing a whole bunch of plugging stuff in. I also plan on getting a DAC. So I guess the question is, how do I do this?

I guess the specs are important, so here we go:

  • ■ Audio Technica LP60-USB Turntable
    ■ Behringer HA400 (4 channel headphone amp with 1 input)
    ■ Custom PC
    ■ Razer Adaro DJ Headphones
    ■ Mackie CR5BT Monitors (I plan on getting these)
    ■ Audioengine D1 DAC (I also plan on getting this)
Basically, I want to be able to manage all of these as simply as possible. One thing I know that might be useful information is that the headphone output overrides the RCA output on the DAC. Anyway, I want to be able to switch between all of the different devices without doing a whole bunch of plugging and unplugging of cables (a small cheap audio matrix perhaps). Of course, sound quality is more important, so I don't want something that will degrade my sound quality too much or have too much impedance.

Thank you for your time and input (pun intended).
 

gondo

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Apr 20, 2004
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Turntable gets plugged to the computer through USB.
PC goes to DAC through USB.
Headphones to DAC with 3.5mm, Monitors to DAC with RCA. Done.

A better solution would be a DAC like the M-Audio SuperDac. It has anologu input so you could plug the turntable into that if you don't want to use the USB. There is a switch to toggle between inputs. It also has a switch to switch between headphones and speaker outputs. No need to unplug the headphones to get the speakers to work. It's a bit more convenient than the Audioengine with the switches to toggle inputs and outputs.

If the output of the DAC isn't enough for your headphones, then use your headphone amp plugged to the DAC.
 

MLGbumps

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Dec 8, 2014
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I was considering that but I feel like passing the turntable audio through PC would have some quality loss because it would be going from analog to digital and then back to analog. There is also impedance to deal with. I would do that but I'm not sure how much quality I would lose. If anyone has/is doing that could they give me their opinion on the quality?

As for the DAC, it looks awesome. I don't know how I didn't come across it. I'll look into it some more because it would pretty much be a hub for all of my audio needs if it's what I think. However, I'd like a few more options to make sure that this is the best one. So if anyone has any other options for not just me but other people with the same issue that'd be nice.

Thank you!
 

gondo

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that M-Audio is pretty much the best/cheapest with those options. There is definitely better but they can get pricey pretty quick. For under $150 the M-Audio is the best to have those options that I know of.

You can hook the Turntable through analogue to the M-Audio. It has an analog for cell phones, etc... Try that compared to through the PC and compare the difference. The M-Audio has exactly what you need. I own one and it's very quiet and dead silent. It works well.
 

gondo

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The problem with a mixer is it doesn't do PC audio very well. You're still dependant on your inferior soundcard/on board audio. A DAC provides high quality audio. And if he decides to use the turntable through the PC, then the mixer does nothing as his PC is the only source.

Behringer does make a mini mixer that has a USB link that does up and down audio and acts as a DAC. It works for it's price which is pretty value oritented. But the DAC would work better. The mixer would allow you to listen to both PC and Turntable simultaneously if required for some reason but otherwise the DAC is better.

I know of someone who used that Behringer mixer to mix 2 computers at once through a pair of headphones. 1 PC was a dedicated streaming/broadcast machine with Microphone, the other was his gaming PC. He needed to listen to both PCs simultaneously.
 

MLGbumps

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Yeah, I think that's what I'll end up getting. Can't believe I didn't find that one myself. Thank you for the help!
 

MLGbumps

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Thank you for the idea. However, mixers always seemed to be expensive for what you get or contain unnecessary features (for me that is). Also, I would be buying a DAC either way, so buying a mixer would add quite a bit to the expense. Plus, the M-Audio DAC seems to do everything that I would like it to. Thanks though!
 

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