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post #61 of 78 Old 04-09-2013, 04:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Nethawk View Post

Wouldn't the ability to send digital source out multiple zones require unique circuit and DAC for each zone? Things could get pretty expensive.

Really good DAC chips are $1-2 parts, and fully burdened with support circuitry they might add $10 to the cost of the AVR. I just picked up a Fiio D07 coax/optical DAC that also handles a laundry list of modern compressed formats for under $50. But most of the money was in the support circuitry and the nifty little case, power supply, cables etc. that are already present in abundance in an AVR.

It is possible that the product planners are fretting over adding $10 to the price of the AVR on the grounds that few of the people who buy AVRs actually run multiple zones.
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post #62 of 78 Old 04-11-2013, 12:04 PM
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What about using the newest Apple TV for streaming audio? Can I correctly assume that the HDMI interface would pass my Apple Lossless files to my receiver without any conversions?

Audio formats supported per Apple specs:
HE-AAC (V1), AAC (16 to 320 Kbps), protected AAC (from iTunes Store), MP3 (16 to 320 Kbps), MP3 VBR, Audible (formats 2, 3, and 4), Apple Lossless, AIFF, and WAV; Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound pass-through
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post #63 of 78 Old 04-11-2013, 12:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by earthbound View Post

What about using the newest Apple TV for streaming audio? Can I correctly assume that the HDMI interface would pass my Apple Lossless files to my receiver without any conversions?
http://www.computeraudiophile.com/f10-music-servers/new-apple-tv-not-bit-perfect-5313/

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post #64 of 78 Old 04-11-2013, 12:26 PM
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Thanks sivadselim, but that is for the "new" Apple TV from October 2010. I can't find anything on the newest HDMI version yet.

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post #65 of 78 Old 04-11-2013, 12:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by earthbound View Post

Thanks sivadselim, but that is for the "new" Apple TV from October 2010. I can't find anything on the newest HDMI version yet.
http://www.computeraudiophile.com/f8-general-forum/best-way-itunes-and-apple-tv-output-high-resolution-music-files-14437/

Just do some websearches and you will find a lot of stuff about it not being bit-perfect.

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post #66 of 78 Old 04-11-2013, 01:23 PM
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I think I'll just go back to looking for a good, cheap(?) asynchronous usb dac and run a wire from my laptop to my audio system.

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post #67 of 78 Old 04-11-2013, 06:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

Really good DAC chips are $1-2 parts, and fully burdened with support circuitry they might add $10 to the cost of the AVR. I just picked up a Fiio D07 coax/optical DAC that also handles a laundry list of modern compressed formats for under $50. But most of the money was in the support circuitry and the nifty little case, power supply, cables etc. that are already present in abundance in an AVR.

It is possible that the product planners are fretting over adding $10 to the price of the AVR on the grounds that few of the people who buy AVRs actually run multiple zones.

You're probably right, but they're missing out on a market that will only increase. I'd pay more for an AVR with this feature than I did for the one in my HT.

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post #68 of 78 Old 04-11-2013, 09:10 PM
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Here's my take on this. I have an old, relatively inexpensive Onkyo SACD player. It sounds like mush compared to my ~$2000 DAC (either using it as a transport or from my computer). I didn't find any improvement using it with a cheap DAC ($300 at the time). I don't think a good DAC costing somewhere in between those will improve on a brand-name CD or SACD player of the same price (though some or other small company that doesn't have to pay a marketing, ISO and CE certification budget alongside a development budget might do better for the money). The reason you'd switch to computer as a source is for convenience. You use an Apple TV or Airport Express for convenience. If you have a big budget and sound quality is absolutely important then you'd use neither IMO.

However, since the Airport Express and Apple TV both are limited in what they will stream, I reckon it's not a bad idea to invest in not a new, brand-name DAC, but an old, vintage Parasound, Assemblage or similar DAC for <$500 or not much more which will sound, in my opinion, a heck of a lot better than what you can get from a brand name for that amount.

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post #69 of 78 Old 04-12-2013, 10:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by earthbound View Post

I think I'll just go back to looking for a good, cheap(?) asynchronous usb dac and run a wire from my laptop to my audio system.

I've been told that the lowest cost Asynch DAC is this one:

http://schiit.com/cart/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=0&products_id=14
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post #70 of 78 Old 05-30-2014, 08:37 AM
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Sorry for adding to an old topic, but reading through this gave me a question.

When running an Airport Express out to an external DAC and then into a receiver - wouldn't the new analog signal be reconverted in the AVR's DAC? I have a similar setup in my system, running the Express into my Marantz for zone two, but RCA cables. If I added and external DAC wouldn't that signal be reconverted inside the Marantz? (SR6006)?

Just curious.
Thanks!
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post #71 of 78 Old 05-30-2014, 09:14 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrw1zard View Post

Sorry for adding to an old topic, but reading through this gave me a question.

When running an Airport Express out to an external DAC and then into a receiver - wouldn't the new analog signal be reconverted in the AVR's DAC? I have a similar setup in my system, running the Express into my Marantz for zone two, but RCA cables. If I added and external DAC wouldn't that signal be reconverted inside the Marantz? (SR6006)?

Just curious.
Thanks!

Probably unless the marantz is set to DIRECT. Direct/pure direct will pass the incoming analog signal unmolested to the speakers.
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post #72 of 78 Old 05-30-2014, 09:25 AM
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Thanks - that makes sense. But I wonder if the DAC in the AVR would actually be used since the signal is not digital anyway - or am I over thinking this? I mean it would be an analog signal coming from an external DAC so why would the AVR reprocess it?
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post #73 of 78 Old 05-30-2014, 09:30 AM
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Quote:
But I wonder if the DAC in the AVR would actually be used since the signal is not digital anyway - or am I over thinking this? I mean it would be an analog signal coming from an external DAC so why would the AVR reprocess it?
The AVR has numerous features that can only be applied to a digital signal. Therefore, unless specifically told not to, the AVR will routinely convert any analog signal it receives to digital, in order to activate those features. This includes analog signals it receives from DACs.

If you can't explain how it works, you can't say it doesn't.—The High-End Creed

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post #74 of 78 Old 05-30-2014, 09:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcnarus View Post

The AVR has numerous features that can only be applied to a digital signal. Therefore, unless specifically told not to, the AVR will routinely convert any analog signal it receives to digital, in order to activate those features. This includes analog signals it receives from DACs.

Thank you - this helps me sort it out! I appreciate it!
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post #75 of 78 Old 05-31-2014, 09:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrw1zard View Post

Sorry for adding to an old topic, but reading through this gave me a question.

When running an Airport Express out to an external DAC and then into a receiver - wouldn't the new analog signal be reconverted in the AVR's DAC? I have a similar setup in my system, running the Express into my Marantz for zone two, but RCA cables. If I added and external DAC wouldn't that signal be reconverted inside the Marantz? (SR6006)?

Just curious.
Thanks!

Depends upon your specific playback settings and how your AVR functions. With a pure direct (or even direct) setting, the analog signal would not be converted back to digital (and then back to analog again). If you needed to apply bass management, though, for example, to the analog input material, and your AVR was incapable of doing so in the analog domain (some can; some can't), then an additional A>D and then D>A conversion would be required.

But for Zone2, no, there would be no additional A>D, D>A conversion. There is no DAC there to do that. That's the reason for the requirement for an analog input for the Zone2 source device.

Realize that in most instances, here, we are talking about 2-channel only setups, and in most of these cases, except for perhaps the need for bass management, there will not be a need for further manipulation of 2-channel material by a DAC at the AVR.

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post #76 of 78 Old 05-31-2014, 03:41 PM
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Thanks again for the explanation. I have another question. I am thinking about changing my existing setup and adding a DAC and speakers to my desktop (right now I just stream to the AE and into my AVR).
Anyway, since all of my music is in Itunes (and 99% of it is a sample rate of 44.1 - with various bit rates) would any DAC that accepts at least 44.1 via USB and/or Optical be fine for me? My desktop is a late 2009 Mac Mini with an optical out (and I de think I can output via USB). This is all new to me, so any help would be appreciated. I've been looking at several DACs and am starting to get confused......
Thanks!
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post #77 of 78 Old 06-01-2014, 12:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrw1zard View Post

Thanks again for the explanation. I have another question. I am thinking about changing my existing setup and adding a DAC and speakers to my desktop (right now I just stream to the AE and into my AVR).
Anyway, since all of my music is in Itunes (and 99% of it is a sample rate of 44.1 - with various bit rates) would any DAC that accepts at least 44.1 via USB and/or Optical be fine for me? My desktop is a late 2009 Mac Mini with an optical out (and I de think I can output via USB). This is all new to me, so any help would be appreciated. I've been looking at several DACs and am starting to get confused......
Thanks!

You realize that your AVR has AirPlay, right? So, you don't necessarily need the AE to stream to it. And you can stream to your AVR's AirPlay and the AE simultaneously which would allow you to pass something digitally via the AVR's built-in AirtPlay to your main zone and via the AE's analog output to Zone2, simultaneously. Or you could get another AE and connect one digitally for your main zone and the other via an analog connection for your Zone2. You can usually find them for sale on craigslist.

Point being, your AVR has more than adequate DACs, (whether you use AirPlay or TOSLINK) and the AE's DAC is also probably more than adequate for your Zone2 (or even your main zone, for that matter).

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post #78 of 78 Old 06-02-2014, 06:15 AM
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Right - I have been streaming to the AVR directly, but it wasn't always holding a signal, so I started using the AE via analog to run to Zone 2 (and the main zone when needed).
I was looking to change everything up and add speakers to my Mac and not stream anything to the AVR - but rather a new setup. In that case, that is what I was wondering about sample rates and DAC inputs. In the new setup, I don't want to airplay anything - rather use optical or USB audio out, to a DAC to speakers. Hope that makes sense, sorry for the confusion.
Thanks!
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