Connecting a phonostage to a processor.

Hello, this might seem like a dumb question, but I currently have a Parasound JC3 plus phonostage connected via RCA cables to my Classe Sigma SSP. My Classe has a digital bypass option, which allows the analog signal to pass freely to the amp. Would I be degrading the sound quality if I did not use the bypass feature, thereby sending an analog signal to Classe, then having the analog signal running through the DAC of my processor? Seems like that would be an extra layer of processing that would cause some distortion. However, I think my turntable actually sounds slightly better not using the bypass option.


There is no right way and only you can experiment and decide. When I had the Legacy Aeris and Wavelet system, by default it required everything to be processed in digital to be converted back to analog. While many reviewers, owners, and measurements claim they could not tell the difference, I felt I could, and it made me step away from the Wavelet altogether. Not to say I wouldn’t recommend it, it is a fantastic piece of gear from anyone who wants a perfectly linear response. But it’s perhaps I who appreciate the slight color different gear bring to the table, and the piece of mind ensuring that jitter doesn’t get injected into my analog signals. The only digital processing I allow in my system today is for bass, 200hz and below. It’s no means the right way, just my way. 

Clearly you should do what sounds better to you. Although I would recommend listening to music (not the system) for a couple weeks or so through the bypass, then switch for a couple weeks and go back. This would let your subconscious soak up the different sounds and help you choose. Sometimes it is easy to make a decision based on the treble or some other dynamic and not notice the rhythm and pace is sucked out of the sound. This causes a reduction in how musical it sounds. Longer listening will help you determine which really sounds better.

So, I would make sure you are really comparing the sound fully… then use which ever sounds better.


Dear @bwguy  : " However, I think my turntable actually sounds slightly better not using the bypass option. "

If that is your experience then why ask about why open this thread when you have your self answer. Makes no sense. Yes adumb question to pass the signal to an additional stage.


Regards and enjoy the MUSIC NOT DISTORTIONS,


Thank you rauliruegas for your insightful and helpful response. I was just curious what other people had found.  You know, you can always choose not to reply to stupid questions.

@bwguy  : Was not you who said your question was a dumb one?. I only post that agree with you. That's it.




There are some very helpful and knowledgeable individuals on this forum.  (I'm not one of them.)  There is also the occasional poster who feels a need to insult others, for some reason or another.  Generally, I've found that those who feel a need to insult others have a significant insecurity of their own that they should address and work through.  

Your experience trumps what theoretically should happen, although perhaps if the signal sounds better with more processing, then that might mean that there is some weakness in your system, and the extra "distortion" smooths out the irregularities that you hear through the bypass.  Either way, enjoy your music, and I can highly recommend upgrading components when it is feasible.  

Yep, thank you drbond.  I use this forum to learn, and agree many on here have great knowledge. I have learned so much from many of you.   In my post, I simply was interested in other experiences on this topic.  I would have thought putting the processor in bypass mode would give the better sound, so I was surprised with my results. I will, however, continue to experiment.  My cables are new, so perhaps not broken in yet.  Turntable is a clear audio performance with a titanium cartridge, so not sure where the weak link is.

Anyway, I agree that people that have to insult others have other issues.  Enjoy the music!