I just picked up the Sonica to try it out, I already have a BDP-105, I figured I'd do some A/B comparisons and keep the Sonica if it offers improvements. Current setup is Oppo BDP-105 & Rega RP3 -> Rotel pre amp -> Rotel 1590 power amp.
Added bonus is having the dac/hdd local to the room I currently run a LONG balanced cable from my dedicated HT room to my music room and share the BDP-105 for bluray and 2ch audio duties.
For the RP3 I have a Rega Phono stage going to aux in of the Rotel and then Balanced to the power amp. Input switching and volume is done by the Rotel pre currently.
It looks like my best bet is to connect the Sonica directly to the 1590 power amplifier using balanced cables as that would give the cleanest signal path and the best utility value for the Sonica. Problem is, what do I do with the Rega? It looks like the AUX input on the Sonica re-digitizes the signal and decodes it again to send out the balanced out (WHY???) so its really not ideal for the Rega Phono to go into this AUX (Oppo even says so in the Manual oddly enough, yet they provided a ground on the Sonica, its sort of conflicting).
I will try it out however and A/b test between the Rotel pre and Sonica Aux to see if there is degradation but clearly digitizing the lovely analog output isn't very exciting to hear.
One option is to connect the Rotel Pre to RCA on the 1590 and Sonica to balanced input and manually switch between the inputs on the power amplifier (not ideal at all since my power amp is a monster and the rear is not easily accessible.
Obvious Option B is to route the Sonica to Balanced inputs on the Rotel Pre and then to power but I'd essentially have two pre-amps in the path in this case.
Am I missing something or has the Sonica shutdown all vinyl lovers