JoLida 502b suitable for computer stereo system?

I'm a complete beginner planning on building a computer-based stereo system in my study, using Totem Arro speakers (4 ohm, 87 dB, 80w). Can the JoLida 502b integrated tube amp drive these? What's more important, does its computer line in allow me to do without a separate, external DAC convertor in the system?

I've seen another Goner's virtual computer system, and he uses a Musical Fidelity X-DAC V3 and Musical Fidelity X-150 integrated amp combined with Totem sStaff speakers.

A friend of mine (an NPR music critic) says the DAC is unnecessary if I get an amp with "digital in" that has its own internal DAC convertor. He is insistent I don't need a separate DAC. Is this so?

Will the JoLida 502b serve as both integrated amp and DAC? If not, any suggestions? My budget is about $750 to $1,500 for DAC and amp.
YOu might want to consider an "audiophile grade" sound card and then take the line outs into any input on your integrated. don't know your integrated, but if the "computer" input is an RCA stereo pair, then it is NOT a digital input (single toslink, co-ax, bnc, or xlr carries both channels). Some receivers have built in dacs, and some CDPs can take another digital input, but I don't know about your Jolida. BTW, there is a very nice Muse DAC for sale right now on Agon at a very attractive price, if you can get a digital feed out of your computer's sound card, you want to give that a try and then run it into any line input on the Holida.
1) The Jolida can drive the Totem Arro's well. In fact, its little sister, the 302b is my current favorite amp for driving the Arro's.

2) The Jolida 502b is an intergrated amp (amp + preamp in same chassis), and does NOT include a DAC. You will need to get an outboard DAC and plug it into one of the inputs to the integrated. As mentioned previously, a lot of receivers (tuner + preamp + amp in same chassis, usually some home theater capabilities as well now) incorportate DAC's. A couple integrateds such as the Music Hall Mambo do have built-in DAC's and can accept a digital input, but they are the exception, not the rule. Besides, an outboard DAC gives you greater flexibility.

I hope that helps a little. For maximum flexibility, ensure that your sound card has a digital output (either RCA or Toslink) and get an outboard DAC (there are many very good ones for under $500 -- see the archives).

Good luck,

Thank you for the information and suggestions. What other integrateds besides the Music Hall have built-in DACs?

I've otherwise identified two outboard DACs, as you suggest--the Musical Fidelty X-DAC V3 amd Bel Canto DAC2. And I'll be looking at the Jolida 302b as well.

But I wonder what other integrated amps might have DACs?
The only integrated amp I know of with a built-in DAC is the Music Hall. It should actually mate very well with the Totems, if you insist on having a built-in DAC. (The Music Hall Mambo sounds outstanding; very good for the price, especially when you consider it includes a DAC.)

Someone who is knowledgeable about both Totem and Jolida told me that the 302b sounds at least as good as the 502b with the Arro's. (I own the 302b and Arro's, so I can vouch for the match.) You might just consider the 302b and use the money you save for an outboard DAC.

I haven't heard either DAC you mentioned, but I know that the Bel Canto's have a great reputation. There are many reasonably priced DAC's on the used market that have followings, such as Audio Mirror, Ack, Birdland, California Audio Labs Sigma or Alpha, etc.

If space is a big concern for your system, I would definitely look into the Music Hall Mambo, since that seems to have what you're looking for.

Good luck,

I'll look at the other DACs you mention and think of them along with the 302b as a possibility.

Space is a consideration, though, and the Mambo iteself isn't small either.

Do you like your Arros?
the current model 502CRC is a powerful amplifier. it does not have a built in DAC. It is best anyway to have an external dac. built in dacs are usually not that good. the Jolida FX DACIII is nice, but you are trying to build a great system with a very low budget. save some more money. buy a 502CRC new, and an FX DACIII. you might want to look into Onkyo or Yamaha AV receivers from Best Buy.