the main question everyone seems to be missing is whether or not kate* would be utilizing the same DAC when connecting a (typically colored) red/white rca cable pair vs. when connecting with a 5.1 set of rca cables. My assumption is that everyone here thinks it's a given that the same DAC is used either way, regardless of kate*'s reading of the instruction manual (which does seem a little vague, at least as represented here in this thread).
bottom line kate*, if you want to "hear" the DAC used in the player, use it's analog outputs with whatever you're connecting to, whether it be with 2 cables or 5 - 6 cables for surround or sacd/dvd-a, etc. Don't use the optical/digital single cable outputs on the CD player to connect it to your receiver/processor.
Mourning the disappearing usage of the -ly suffix. Words being cut-off before they've had a chance to fully form, left incomplete, with their shoelaces untied and their zippers undone. If I quote your post (or post in your thread) without comment, please check your zipper.