^OMG that discussion makes my head swim.
I appreciate the link, but as to the complexities of analog signal processing in various AVRs, I will tell you that it has become basically irrelevant for me. For a number of reasons I have abandoned pursuit of MC analog and am very pleased with the SQ of MC DSP in the Denon 4310. So what I have been focusing on is optimizing my enjoyment of Oppo's 2 ch stereo analog out (83 and now 83SE). I can of course only report what I hear with my old ears with my gear in my room. With other gear, a better room acoustically with speakers ideally placed, etc., results will vary.
Going into the Denon Ext Ins (clearly analog-only processing), the SQ is simply not as good overall as redigitizing/DSP in the Denon. This was somewhat surprising to me. I have also tried direct and pure direct modes through the regular analog ins. Regardless of whether that is actually analog, or just minimally processed digital, it also is simply not as good SQ as when I simply switch on Audyssey, which for sure requires redigitizing to PCM.
The second surprising result for me is that the Oppo stereo analog output is audibly better run despite the extra conversions in the Denon vs taking digital HDMI directly out of the Oppo and letting the Denon do DSP and then a single DAC. I believe this indicates the clear superiority of the Oppo DACs over the Denons models I have had (988, 2809, 4310). As I have described in posts on the Oppo threads, I take care to level-match the inputs and use well-recorded familiar music with the Oppo set to repeat 10 sec segments. I can instantly switch A/B/A and hear the same passage over and over.
The third surprising result is that keeping the analog path pure out of the Oppo and substituting better preamping by use of a separate HT Bypass unit (including the $2K Parasound Halo P7) was initially very promising but ultimately has not been worth the trouble to my ears, as I have here
. Mebbe I need a hearing test...