What is a DAC, and do I need one in addition to my preamp? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
Forum Jump: 
Thread Tools
post #1 of 2 Old 12-07-2012, 10:01 AM - Thread Starter
PeterJThaggard's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 4
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10

I have seen several references to "DAC"s in postings concerning preamps. What is a DAC? I see that it seems to take digital in and send analog out (maybe I just answered my own question -- perhaps it is a Digital-to-Analog-Converter?).

Why would one want both a DAC and a pre-amp, given that pre-amps also have digital in? Are DACs presumably better at doing digital-to-analog?

I have three main music sources: phono, CD, and Sonos. The Sonos box allows me to stream Pandora, Sirius, iTunes, and Amazon Cloud to my pre-amp. The Sonos boxes have both analog and digital out. The digital out is in two forms, coax and "optical". I currently use the analog out and route it to the "Line In" on my old Carver pre-amp. For the most part the sound is acceptable, but I am wondering if adding a DAC and then going SonosDigital->DAC->Preamp would result in cleaner sound.
PeterJThaggard is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 2 Old 12-07-2012, 10:10 AM
AVS Forum Special Member
jh901's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Pittsburgh
Posts: 1,022
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 431 Post(s)
Liked: 152
The DAC in your Sonos is being used at present. If you switch to the digital outs, then that digital will need to be converted to analog using an outboard DAC. DACs are more than simply chips as it relates to sound quality. There are dozens of factors including the quality of the power supply, implementation of digital stage, implementation of the analog stage, etc. The better your speakers and pre/power amp is, the more you will benefit from a better DAC.
PeterJThaggard likes this.

HT: Panasonic BDT 460 | JVC RS600 | 106" x 45" Stewart ST 100 | Marantz AV7005 | NAD M27 | Elac Uni-Fi UF5, UC5, Debut B6 | Focal CMS Sub
Stereo: Cary Audio 306 SACD Pro | Cary Audio SLP-05 tube line level | Cary Audio SA-200.2 | Focal Diablo Utopia III
Den: Panasonic BDT 220 | 60" Panasonic VT60
jh901 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Reply Receivers, Amps, and Processors

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off