Originally Posted by Lotus00
I was wondering, if I bought a really nice dac for computer playback, then connected the dac to the 609, wouldnt the 609 lessen the quality of the audio the dac is feeding to it? thanks
The short answer is, it depends on how you connect the dac to the 609. Obviously, if you use any sort of digital connection such as hdmi, spdif optical or coaxial, you will not be hearing the dac, but rather the dac in your 609. So you would need to use an analog RCA connection to the 609 from your dac. Secondly, the 609 already has quite a good dac built in, so you would probably have to spend quite a bit of money on the external dac to "improve" the sound over the dac in the 609. In recent years, receiver manufacturers have become more aware of the dac's they install in their products because potential buyers are more aware that most/all the music played through the receiver will be going through the dac in the receiver which will determine the ultimate sound quality. Also, the recent interest in downloading hi-rez music files has forced receiver manufacturers to put dac capable of handling such high bit rate files in the receiver. My take is that for many people, they will not hear an improvement in sound quality with a low to medium priced dac over the dac built into a good modern receiver. If you have $5,000 to $10,000 to spend on an external dac, and if the rest of your system if of the same ultra high quality, you might hear an improvement over the 609's dacs. However, someone with that kind of money in their system would likely NOT be using a 609. That is not any knock against the 609, but just the reality of how people put together high end systems and that they usually involve separate components (pre amp and amp) which individually cost more than the 609 or at the very least, a flagship AVR.
If you have an hdmi output on your computer, then simply connect that to your 609 and the internal dac will make the d/a conversion for you. If your computer doesn't have an hdmi output, then you might consider using a usb to spdif converter to allow you to connect the computer to the 609 via optical or coax. You can buy these devices quite reasonably from companies such as fiio or for better quality/more output choices something like the Musical Fidelity V-Link converter. I think you will be pleasantly surprised at how good your computer music files can sound(assuming they are of sufficiently high quality) played through the dac of the 609.Edited by Redbeemer - 9/27/12 at 9:06am