Please recommend a good DtoA to connect Optical audio output from my Samsung smart TV to my NAC52

Hi guys,

As per title. we have changed ur TV from an old Panasonic that used to have analogue output to a Samsung which has optical output. I intend to but a DtoA so I can then connect the RCA to the DtoA and get better TV sound from my Naim system. I have seen a few such devices on Amazon etc ... but I would obviously want to get something of good sonic quality. I'm sure you guys have a lot of experience in this so would appreciate some suggestions please. any questions, clarifications, just ask away... 

Many thanks...

enjoy

ken

Enjoy/ken

Original Post

How much are you willing to spend ... given you used to be happy with the output of your Panasonic TV, the most basic of DAC will likely be as good as that was.

Cheap Project DAC Box E (£75) if you want a "brand" name.  Otherwise look at Amazon or eBay for something cheap from China.  A second hand Cambridge DACMagic 100 would be another option.  The Audioquest Beatle (£160) might be useful as it will also add Bluetooth.

If you want something more than just a cheap DAC for the TV; the Chord MoJo (£400) perhaps?  Something in-between maybe a Project DAC Box S2 (£200).

I have added a Naim AV2 to my Loewe TV. Together with a Nait 5 as poweramp, it works beautiful. The AV2 has analogue and digital ports: coax + optical. The benefit of an AV2 is that it will take care of all nasty things in an AV setup. It ensures good grounding by using the din cables and I assume it has galvanic isolation - also on the coax. It is only available s/h.

Besides the technical fit within a Naim + AV setup, it has great sonic qualities. It works just well while listening to the Berliner Philharmoniker e.g. (what I'm doing now actually).

It is only available S/h since it is discontinued for many years.

I have tried a Chord Mojo. I use the Mojo currently in another system, but in an AV setup it is a candidate for issues. You wrote that you are using optical, but imagine a new TV which has only a coax digital output: the Mojo has no galvanic isolation and the sound quality will be compromised by all kind of tweaks you need to do to get it working (get rid of a possible ground loop). The Mojo also has a delay. All the up and over sampling makes the Mojo too slow for live music. With a Mojo, you are likely to run into lip-sync issues. Hopefully the Samsung has a lip-sync feature which works good ...

Not trying to bash the Mojo here, as a headphone amp and / or connected to my isolated Raspberry it works quite nice.

 

Hi Ken,  why do you choose to connect to NAC52,  the cost of & extra fiddle of a D-A converter can be avoided if you go into your NDS with a simple optical (Toslink)            I have optical between TV & NDX,  its a simple low cost solution,  & with optical & toslink connections there is no point in spending silly money as there is little to choose between any w.r.t. to SQ. 

Mike-B posted:

Hi Ken,  why do you choose to connect to NAC52,  the cost of & extra fiddle of a D-A converter can be avoided if you go into your NDS with a simple optical (Toslink)            I have optical between TV & NDX,  its a simple low cost solution,  & with optical & toslink connections there is no point in spending silly money as there is little to choose between any w.r.t. to SQ. 

Hi Ken, Glad to see you on the forum again. I used a 5m AQ Forrest toslink (£60 two years ago less any discount your dealer offers), but choose the length that suits. The SQ really is almost as good as the DC1 BNC from my CDX2 to nDAC. My TV is an old Panasonic Vierra but I can’t believe they spent much money on the circuitry. The one toslink from the TV deals with all the AV sources. The Panasonic range can act as a DLNA media player so I have my NAS, the Sat Freeview box, and the TV connected to the Cisco 2960 8tc G switch. The switch was a game changer.

Phil

Mike-B posted:

Hi Ken,  why do you choose to connect to NAC52,  the cost of & extra fiddle of a D-A converter can be avoided if you go into your NDS with a simple optical (Toslink)            I have optical between TV & NDX,  its a simple low cost solution,  & with optical & toslink connections there is no point in spending silly money as there is little to choose between any w.r.t. to SQ. 

The Samsung TV is in the lounge. The NDS is in my office as part of my active Naim system and there is no chance this will ever move...

enjoy

ken

Eloise posted:

How much are you willing to spend ... given you used to be happy with the output of your Panasonic TV, the most basic of DAC will likely be as good as that was.

Cheap Project DAC Box E (£75) if you want a "brand" name.  Otherwise look at Amazon or eBay for something cheap from China.  A second hand Cambridge DACMagic 100 would be another option.  The Audioquest Beatle (£160) might be useful as it will also add Bluetooth.

If you want something more than just a cheap DAC for the TV; the Chord MoJo (£400) perhaps?  Something in-between maybe a Project DAC Box S2 (£200).

Eloise, many thanks -- that's the sort of information I was after.  I did see the cheapie ones on Amazon (around £10) and wondered if paying a little more would yield more SQ. How much am I willing to spend? around £100 I guess, if that gives me something over the cheapie ones...

enjoy

ken

ChrisSU posted:

Ken, what audio system will you play the TV through, if not your main system? Hard to suggest a DAC without knowing the quality of the other hardware.

Ken said he wanted to get the tv audio to the 52 in the office with the NDS. Baffled that the optical cable is not ok given that quite long distances are possible without degradation. It is to replace a previous analogue connection. I assume Ken just wants the audio without the visual.

Phil

Filipe posted:
ChrisSU posted:

Ken, what audio system will you play the TV through, if not your main system? Hard to suggest a DAC without knowing the quality of the other hardware.

Ken said he wanted to get the tv audio to the 52 in the office with the NDS. Baffled that the optical cable is not ok given that quite long distances are possible without degradation. It is to replace a previous analogue connection. I assume Ken just wants the audio without the visual.

Phil

What, so he wants TV sound in a room without a TV? 

ChrisSU posted:

Ken, what audio system will you play the TV through, if not your main system? Hard to suggest a DAC without knowing the quality of the other hardware.

NAC52/NAP135s/Kan 1s in the lounge where the Samsung TV is.

My main system in my office is active and is much different from that -- that is where the NDS is. There is no TV there -- and there will never be one.

enjoy

ken

ChrisSU posted:
Filipe posted:
ChrisSU posted:

Ken, what audio system will you play the TV through, if not your main system? Hard to suggest a DAC without knowing the quality of the other hardware.

Ken said he wanted to get the tv audio to the 52 in the office with the NDS. Baffled that the optical cable is not ok given that quite long distances are possible without degradation. It is to replace a previous analogue connection. I assume Ken just wants the audio without the visual.

Phil

What, so he wants TV sound in a room without a TV? 

Oh dear... see my response above...

Why not take the opportunity to get streaming music in the lounge as well? A Bluesound Node2 or Aries Mini will give you the DAC with optical input as well as local/internet streaming and iRadio. Should be relatively easy to find secondhand too.

As to optical cables, I always felt that you don't need to spend much to get good quality. QED performance optical, Lifatec glass toslink and DH Labs have all worked well in my systems. The more expensive VdH Optocoupler did not, for some reason, and even sounded faulty (had to fiddle with plugging/unplugging to avoid dropouts/weirdness on 24/48 or 24/96 music). But for TV feed you might get away with basic cable from the river.

If you don't want to faff with extra streaming functions then the Pro-ject DACs look like they would fit the bill with decent sound quality, although you should compare with the analog TV output as you may prefer it (it also may give you less lip-sync issues to deal with).

ken c posted:
ChrisSU posted:
Filipe posted:
ChrisSU posted:

Ken, what audio system will you play the TV through, if not your main system? Hard to suggest a DAC without knowing the quality of the other hardware.

Ken said he wanted to get the tv audio to the 52 in the office with the NDS. Baffled that the optical cable is not ok given that quite long distances are possible without degradation. It is to replace a previous analogue connection. I assume Ken just wants the audio without the visual.

Phil

What, so he wants TV sound in a room without a TV? 

Oh dear... see my response above...

It seems the red herring was the NDS in the office with the main system. Nothing in Ken’s profile about his systems, but others knew about the NDS. 

Phil

In order to avoid a DAC it would be worth looking for a hdmi switch with RCA Audio output. Your TV has to have an HDMI - ARC socket which is used for analogue sound bars. This should be as good as with the Panasonic analogue output. Buy on the River and return if you don’t like the result.

As reported above the DAC route can give stunning TV SQ with the right system. I would want the TV isolated from good HiFi with an optical cable.

Phil

Filipe posted:

In order to avoid a DAC it would be worth looking for a hdmi switch with RCA Audio output. Your TV has to have an HDMI - ARC socket which is used for analogue sound bars. This should be as good as with the Panasonic analogue output. Buy on the River and return if you don’t like the result.

As reported above the DAC route can give stunning TV SQ with the right system. I would want the TV isolated from good HiFi with an optical cable.

Phil

Phil, many thanks. I hadn't considered an hdmi switch at all -- be interesting to try that and I will definitely give it a try..

enjoy

ken

ken c posted:
Filipe posted:

In order to avoid a DAC it would be worth looking for a hdmi switch with RCA Audio output. Your TV has to have an HDMI - ARC socket which is used for analogue sound bars. This should be as good as with the Panasonic analogue output. Buy on the River and return if you don’t like the result.

As reported above the DAC route can give stunning TV SQ with the right system. I would want the TV isolated from good HiFi with an optical cable.

Phil

Phil, many thanks. I hadn't considered an hdmi switch at all -- be interesting to try that and I will definitely give it a try..

enjoy

ken

Doesn't hdmi only carry digital, even for the audio return channel? If that is the case then an HDMI switch with analogue rca outputs must contain a cheap DAC chip too, or have I missed something?

DC71 posted:
ken c posted:
Filipe posted:

In order to avoid a DAC it would be worth looking for a hdmi switch with RCA Audio output. Your TV has to have an HDMI - ARC socket which is used for analogue sound bars. This should be as good as with the Panasonic analogue output. Buy on the River and return if you don’t like the result.

As reported above the DAC route can give stunning TV SQ with the right system. I would want the TV isolated from good HiFi with an optical cable.

Phil

Phil, many thanks. I hadn't considered an hdmi switch at all -- be interesting to try that and I will definitely give it a try..

enjoy

ken

Doesn't hdmi only carry digital, even for the audio return channel? If that is the case then an HDMI switch with analogue rca outputs must contain a cheap DAC chip too, or have I missed something?

DC61, you could google HDMI - ARC (Audio Return Channel). I understand it takes the anologue sound that the tv uses for internal speakers and makes it available externally. The tv has to support ARC and the socket should be labelled. The benefit is probably that it provides more channels than left and right through a single connector.

Phil

Ken, FWIW, I have used the fibre out of my LG TV into my Chord Electronics Hugo which in turn feeds my 552 and many media sources and streams sound superb. The delay/latency on the Hugo is also minimal unlike some other DACs such as some of the more recent Chord offerings. Although you can adjust for delay typically on the TV, you would ideally want a consistent setting that worked for the TVs internal speakers as well as Naim playback

Filipe posted:
DC71 posted:

Doesn't hdmi only carry digital, even for the audio return channel? If that is the case then an HDMI switch with analogue rca outputs must contain a cheap DAC chip too, or have I missed something?

DC61, you could google HDMI - ARC (Audio Return Channel). I understand it takes the anologue sound that the tv uses for internal speakers and makes it available externally. The tv has to support ARC and the socket should be labelled. The benefit is probably that it provides more channels than left and right through a single connector.

I believe @DC71 is correct here.  ARC is a digital signal (afaik) so any HDMI switch with analogue outputs contains a DAC.

In my experience ... a optical output is going to be as good as using ARC and causes much less complications and issues of incompatibility.

Eloise posted:
Filipe posted:
DC71 posted:

Doesn't hdmi only carry digital, even for the audio return channel? If that is the case then an HDMI switch with analogue rca outputs must contain a cheap DAC chip too, or have I missed something?

DC61, you could google HDMI - ARC (Audio Return Channel). I understand it takes the anologue sound that the tv uses for internal speakers and makes it available externally. The tv has to support ARC and the socket should be labelled. The benefit is probably that it provides more channels than left and right through a single connector.

I believe @DC71 is correct here.  ARC is a digital signal (afaik) so any HDMI switch with analogue outputs contains a DAC.

In my experience ... a optical output is going to be as good as using ARC and causes much less complications and issues of incompatibility.

Yep, I use optical out and enjoy stunning tv sound. Phil 

Hi Ken,

We use a Cambridge Audio Dac Magic 100 fed from our Samsung QLED tv via optical toslink, then out via RCA sockets and a regular analogue interconnect into the NAC52.

It works a treat for us at a UK cost of around £100. One day, we may use a superior DAC but for now we just don’t feel the need.

Hope this helps, FT

Add Reply

Likes (0)
×
×
×
×