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Section :
Tutorials

Reader's Advice Column

By Philippe Daussin |

Here's a question a reader asked us about the FiiO Q1 Mark Ⅱ DAC.

Hello,

Regarding your test, you explained that you connect this DAC to your amplifier: does that mean you connect your PC, on which is stored the music (and Qobuz) to your stereo?

Which connections do you use from the PC to the DAC and from the DAC to the amp?

Would this allow me to listen in CD and/or Hi-Res?

Could you do the same thing from an iPhone?


Our answer

Dear Reader,

The DAC connects to the PC through a specific cable: USB A (for the PC side) to micro USB (côté DAC). Both connections are male.

To connect the amplifier, plug the 3,5mm end of a 3,5mm to RCA cable into the FiiO's Headphone Out. The RCA end should connect to an auxiliary input on the amp.

Hi-Res will be preserved, this is how we proceed to check playback capabilities for DACs.

This also works with an iPhone and the FiiO Q1 Mark II; Hi-Res will be preserved with the Qobuz app. In this case you'll also use a USB to micro USB cable, connected to the Apple Camera Kit - which you should acquire if you don't own one already. Needless to say you'll also have to connect the Apple Camera Kit to your iPhone.


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And here's another question, about pairing a preamp and an integrated amplifier:

I Own an American preamp - the McIntosh C37: can I use it with the Chinese SMSL AD18 amplifier, which you've covered in praise so far? Thanks,


Our answer

Dear Reader,

Normally, a pre-amplifier is made to be directly connected to an amplifier comprising only power stages - no settings. The S.M.S.L AD18 isn't an amplifier in the traditional sense, it's an integrated amplifier with volume control, as well as high/low equalization parameters.

The pairing of the McIntosh C37 preamp and the S.M.S.L AD18 could work if you use the latter's input jack, but you'd have to deactivate all of the AD18's settings. Turn the EQ off - low, hi at 0 - put the volume as loud as it will go without clipping the McIntosh. The C37 will serve to adjust volume and modify the tone with its own settings, and the AD18 will basically be a power amp.

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