There are two issues I am trying to address, and I have the impression that the solution is one right purchase away… I’ve been inspired by the abundant material and suggestions in the several threads on DAI/recording/electronics stuff, but still got a doubt and could find no clarification, here or elsewhere on the internet. And I definitely trust the people here more than the rest of the internet
To the point: I’ve got old speakers from a hi-fi stereo that I would like to try and recycle, connecting them to the pc. Only RCA input, no external power. It’s mainly for general purpose, but if that could work for bass too it wouldn’t be bad…
Is any DAI with RCA output enough to power the speaker(s) or it’s necessary to add a pre-amp? If there are suitable DAI (or other hardware), what should I look for in terms of specs?
Thanks for any help
I tried to power old Tesla speakers, which are passive 4 way towers, from my m-audio DAI. The volume level was too low. I would like say that it was usable, but no, using it like that was more about trying to convince myself that it isn’t just terrible. So no, I wouldn’t rely on DAI to deliver enough power. No matter the impedances of the speakers.
I think in this situation your DAI acts as DAC and Preamp so you’ll need to add a power amp unless they’re active speakers.
If you’re in any way handy with a soldering iron and can read a schematic, a DIY gainclone type amp is a simple and fun project.
I’ll reiterate but in a different wording: you need a power amp to use speakers intended for a home stereo, because they are passive speakers that were expected to be hooked up to a powered receiver and audio interfaces manufacturers are expecting you to plug into powered studio monitors.
I will also say that depending on the speaker, they may be designed with a built-in “smiley EQ curve” because it sounds good, makes music sound good and “fun” but I can’t say that with 100% certainty, either, as I don’t know your speakers. But you do not want this sort of speaker for mixing/recording, but it should be perfectly fine for just playing through them.
Thank you @wellbi @HowlinDawg and @Koldunya for the clear and helpful answers.
It means that it must be a “compounded” purchase to count as one
Or I could try and stretch my absolutely limited knowledge and skill to make it a DIY project
(or probably not, but I’ll definitely look into it)
No idea what your budget is - but might be cheaper/easier with better sound to go with studio monitors like the PreSonus Eris E3.5. $99 new, cheaper on Ebay - flat EQ curve, self powered with multiple input options, highly regarded.
It would be cheaper and most certainly more sensible, but I don’t really need it. The attempt is/was to combine some gear I would buy for other purposes with recycling some old speaker that I didn’t manage to sell or dispose of yet
The DIY solution doesn’t look simple for me, but it maybe fun nevertheless
Thanks for pointing out an alternative anyway
If you don’t want to buy monitors and have headphones, use those to start.
Going low end on monitors was a mistake I made.
I started with the Eris and within months upgraded.
I am still not in great monitor territory, but would say you really should save this purchase for something medium to better quality.
You will wish you did when you are upgrading them.
Agree with John. I would also not go below 5” monitors. I am very happy with my 5.5’s