Most important feature in desktop DAC/Amp : Mixer

My desktop is in my bedroom. Many times I want to listen to music with the PC off. Sometimes while working at my desk.

While off, I stream using a Logitech SB Touch. That's fine. And when watching lectures online, I can switch to my PC. What I cannot do however is mix the two.

I want to be able to listen to my Touch AND hear alerts from my PC.

Am I the only one??

I have two computers that I need to hear alerts from at the same time.

Rane MLM82a stereo line mixer. I have the 1999 version which uses all through-hole components. Upgraded all op amps, feedback caps, custom power supply. lol. Now I’m using a passive summing mixer, but may likely built a custom mixer using Khozmo attenuators and a single opamp gain stage.

The Rane is nice, but has 5 op amp stages that the signal travels through.

Did you ever figure out a solution? You can buy a used Rane MLM82a on ebay for less than $100. But be careful because many of these are not including the A/C power supply adapter cable (it’s a special Rane cable with a phone like connector -- NOT like a normal DC mono plug). There are a few versions of these Rane mixers (1997/1999/2003). I have a spare 2003 version that’s been sitting here for over a year. It’s a backup for my primary 1999 version as I did mods to the 1999. The 2003 is the last linear power supply version before the latest MLM82S came out.

The 2003 version uses all SMD components (as opposed to through-hole components of the 1999 version). I can upgrade components in this. Such as replacing the stock 4580 op amps with something like OPA1612 or OPA2211, upgrading DC blocking signal caps, upgrading power supply caps.

The newest MLM82S has a couple significant changes:

- uses internal switching power supply, has normal IEC power cord connector.

- the left/right output volume controls are a standard "shunt-to-ground" level control. The older (1997/1999/2003) models used these potentiometers as a parallel variable resistor in an op amp negative feedback gain control. This was a design flaw and could cause the gain of this op amp stage to be too much and cause clipping distortion (even if the overall output signal wasn’t that high). I found that I cannot turn this up past 10 o’clock or the signal starts to distort. It is enough output gain for my purposes, however.

There is also an Ashley LX-308 stereo line mixer. This is typically a lot more expensive. Some people like the sound -- it’s more tube like, but I have found that it "blooms" the sound too much. The Rane is dryer and more accurate. Also, the Ashley is single-ended all the way through. The Rane MLM82 actually has fully balanced input circuits and fully-balanced output circuits. All signals are converted to single-ended internally for mixing and volume control.

The Rane has 1/4" TRS inputs, but XLR outputs.  On the TRS inputs, make sure that the ground wire is not wired into the shield (as this will cause ground loop problems.).

The Ashley has all 1/4" TRS for input and output.

Hi Aux!

I purchased an NAD D 3020, and it's great driving my own desktop monitors, but no, there is no mixing function at all.

I was mostly just whining.



Hah, I've got one better for you:

Behringer Xenyx 502

This was my original mixer before I got into Rane/Ashley.  But since you can get them for $20 shipped on ebay, it's almost a waste of time for me to try to sell this. lol.