Unless I missed something, did you plug a preamp into an integrated amp input? That could be a no no.
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I just plugged my phone into the smsl with a aux/rca adapter and it works fine.
I think I fkd up then.
I don't understand why the rca outputs of the jds atom are incompatible with the amp though.
Also I used to have active speakers connected to the atom amp in the same configuration and it worked fine.
What inputs are safe for the smsl amp?
What you did was plug in rca outputs of the atom (now acting like a preamp) into the inputs of the SMSL SA-98E (this is an integrated amp which means a power amp & preamp in one unit). So, you are feeding one preamp into another (don't do that). It worked fine with the active speakers because the speakers have built in amps and the atom is acting like a preamp in that configuration, which it should.
" What inputs are safe for the smsl amp?"
Line level inputs, cd player, DAC, tuner, phono amp, etc.
What you needed to use was a power amp only for your setup. That would be rca preamp input, speaker outputs, no volume control or headphone jack.
@djones51 I think this is what happened, I certainly didn't unpress the gain button, and looking at the atom manual, it specifies the use of low gain when using it with speakers.
So from what I understand my setup could work as long as I change the gain button on the atom every time I want to use the speakers? That seems pretty risky if I can fry 200$ worth of equipment at the press of a button or lack of thereof.
So I had no idea that the smsl had a preamp and a power amp.
Audio can be very confusing, so thank you for clearing things up.
From what I understand, the impedance mismatch made the signal backfire into the amp and scarlet, frying them both.
I think I'm going to get a new atom amp and scarlet solo, since I need the microphone input, and I was happy with my atom amp. If I understood correctly, I would need a new power amp to make the speakers work.
Do you have any recommendations for a power amp around 100$? Otherwise, how do I ensure the new amp I'm getting doesn't also have a preamp?
Roberjerman:This is correct.
Santiagol:An impedance mismatch would only affect sonics, if it had any effect all. It would not cause damage.
Santiagol:The high gain mode of the Atom provides a gain of around 12 db, which is perfectly reasonable for a preamp. Using that setting won’t hurt anything as long as the volume control is not cranked up too high. The recommendation in the manual to set the gain to low when using the RCA outputs is mainly intended to optimize the part of the volume control’s range that is used in typical setups, and perhaps also to optimize noise performance and sonics. And in some systems the low gain setting will not even be suitable when the RCA outputs are used, since that setting provides no gain.
Question: When you plugged or unplugged the cables connecting the Atom to the SMSL, did you have the components turned off? If not that is what might have caused the damage.
Question: When you plugged or unplugged the cables connecting the Atom to the SMSL, did you have the components turned off? If not that is what might have caused the damage.The atom was turned on, and I think the smsl was also turned on. I also had the volume cranked pretty high on the atom, with GAIN turned on.
I'm still surprised that the atom and the scarlet died but the smsl is intact
The atom was turned on, and I think the smsl was also turned on. I also had the volume cranked pretty high on the atom, with GAIN turned on.Yes, that’s probably what caused the damage. Although it is sometimes ok to plug and unplug XLR cables with power on, ALWAYS turn power off before plugging or unplugging RCA cables.
Good luck. Regards,