Understanding DAC - Page 2 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #31 of 526 Old 08-10-2019, 07:53 PM
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Originally Posted by maur53 View Post
From what I read in forums here there seems to be considerable complexity in getting them set up and running without glitches with cables, video and audio signals getting to where they need to be, configuration menus, room acoustics, etc. It seems a long way from 'plug and play'.
Keep in mind for the most part people with setup problems tend to post in forums, seeking a solution. So for every post complaining that something isn't working right there are dozens or hundreds of people who find them plug-n' play easy, sound great, and feel no need to post a boring review like "I plugged it in and it works fine".
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post #32 of 526 Old 08-10-2019, 08:17 PM
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I will add one more amp for consideration, it is a Stereo Receiver, new to the market, but it has HDMI Inputs and Outputs.

Denon DRA-800H Network Receiver w/DAC, 100w/ch, Streaming, HDMI - $499 -

https://www.crutchfield.com/p_033DRA...-DRA-800H.html

It has a DAC with 2xOptical, 1xCoaxial, 4xHDMI In, and 1xHDMI Out, Network Streaming, Bluetooth.

Again, this just hit the market, so we have NO feedback on it.

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post #33 of 526 Old 08-10-2019, 08:21 PM - Thread Starter
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Costing a considerable amount, but delivering a TON of Feature, the Yamaha RN803 Network Streaming Receiver is worth looking at.

Yamaha RN803 Network Receiver, 100w/ch, Network Streaming, DAC, Room EQ, Full Bass Management, etc... - $750 -


In a straight up amp with very high value, consider the top of the line consumer integrated Amp with DAC -

Yamaha AS801, 100w/ch, Upgraded DAC - $899 -


Lots of info. Thanks. These are the two units from Yamaha I was considering.
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post #34 of 526 Old 08-10-2019, 08:29 PM
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A general comment on DACs. Some DACs can be noise ...IF... they are inside a computer. They CAN be noisy, that doesn't mean they are. Also you can buy external 24b/192k DACs on Amazon for $25, great for $25 but I would not expect them to be as quiet or well made as a DAC in the $200 to $500 range, which is a modest range for quality DAC.

External DACs in general are sort of better than Internal DACs ...assuming... you actually buy a better DAC. But being in an external box, and having an additional power supply adds to the cost. So plan on spending considerably more for an External DAC than you will spend on a DAC built into an Amp.

DACs in Amps are very common today, and most are very good, near universally 24b/192k which is a Studio Quality DAC.

Next how much DAC do you really need. I think if I look, I can find a $5000 DAC ...but... do you actually need and can you afford a $5000 DAC?

I'm content with an Integrated Amp or Receiver with a DAC built in on the assumption it is otherwise a reputable brand. These are usually high quality well implemented DACs with extra features like DSD Capability. I'm not sure what else I need, though others are certainly free to have other needs of their own.

Now if you want, you can get pretty high quality DAC made in China (Topping, SMSL, etc....) very high value for the money, probably in the $100 to $150 range ...if you are willing to go that route.

Just a few random thoughts.

Steve/bluewizard

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post #35 of 526 Old 08-10-2019, 08:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maur53 View Post
...

Lots of info. Thanks. These are the two units from Yamaha I was considering.
Both are Top of the Line Flagship CONSUMER Models. The price more than doubles if you move up to the next Audiophile Model (Yamaha AS1100) and they don't have DACs.

Yamaha AS1100 Integrated, 90w/ch, NO dac - $2499 -

https://www.crutchfield.com/p_022AS1...00-Silver.html

That is a fantastic amp, but ...lord... the price!

The Yamaha AS801 and the Yamaha RN803 are the top of the line in Consumer Amps.

And as I mentioned, tonally the Yamaha is not that much different than the Rotel.

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post #36 of 526 Old 08-10-2019, 08:43 PM - Thread Starter
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There seems to be a difference of opinion. 'AVR's are mostly crap' and 'they suck for music' from emcdade and 'they sound great' from m.zillch. I think I'll go with m.zillch because my pocket book and aged ears tell me so.
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post #37 of 526 Old 08-10-2019, 08:52 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluewizard View Post
Both are Top of the Line Flagship CONSUMER Models. The price more than doubles if you move up to the next Audiophile Model (Yamaha AS1100) and they don't have DACs.

Yamaha AS1100 Integrated, 90w/ch, NO dac - $2499 -

https://www.crutchfield.com/p_022AS1...00-Silver.html

That is a fantastic amp, but ...lord... the price!

The Yamaha AS801 and the Yamaha RN803 are the top of the line in Consumer Amps.

And as I mentioned, tonally the Yamaha is not that much different than the Rotel.

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Well no way I can go for that but no DAC puzzles me and I'm not even sure why I'm puzzled. I guess I'm thinking that everything today requires DAC.
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post #38 of 526 Old 08-10-2019, 08:55 PM
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Originally Posted by maur53 View Post

Yamaha RN803 Network Receiver, 100w/ch, Network Streaming, DAC, Room EQ, Full Bass Management, etc... - $750 -

Yamaha AS801, 100w/ch, Upgraded DAC - $899 -


Lots of info. Thanks. These are the two units from Yamaha I was considering.
This is a classic case of knowing what you want and need. I would say in general Integrated Amps are slightly higher quality that similar Receivers.

But you have to ask -

Do you need Network Streaming?

Do you need Room EQ?

Do you need Full Bass Management which is a must if you intend to add a Subwoofer?

Do you need Multiple Digital Inputs?


Then there is budget? You won't save much buying a Integrated, but it will allow you to expand the system over time, and spread the budget out. For some that's not just nice, but necessary. You overall cost will be higher, but it will be spread over time.

If I were in a position (win the lottery) to buy a new system, it would definitely have streaming, but in my - oddball as always - case, I would simply add a Computer to my Stereo System, and use it for streaming. In the long run that might be a mistake, but that's what I'm thinking now (if win the lottery). And if it doesn't work out as I imagine, I can add a Streaming unit cheap enough.

My point is you have to take a long hard look at what you want the system to do. Not what people want systems to do, but specifically what YOU want your system to do. The AS801 does things that the RN803 does not, and the RN803 does things that the AS801 does not. If you have no interest in Streaming (at least for now) and your need for Digital Inputs is limited, then the AS801 makes sense.

But if the many additional feature of the RN803 are indeed of value to you, then of course that tips the scale in that direction.

But the choice is driven by a fair assessment of YOUR specific needs. There is no wrong choice, only the choice that serves you best.

Sorry for rambling.

Steve/bluewizard
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post #39 of 526 Old 08-10-2019, 09:12 PM
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Originally Posted by maur53 View Post
Well no way I can go for that but no DAC puzzles me and I'm not even sure why I'm puzzled. I guess I'm thinking that everything today requires DAC.
It does (sort of) all require a DAC, for example a CD Player requires a DAC, but it is built into the CD Player. Network Streamers require a DAC, but again it is build into the Network Streamer.

The absolute most common need for a DAC in a stereo system, is to connect the TV Digital Audio Out to the Stereo Amp to watch TV and Movies. That is how most of us do it, and it works nicely. Just remember to set the Digital Audio Out of the TV to PCM.

Now some devices - CD Player/BluRay Player/Network Player - give you digital outputs to connect to the DAC of your choice, and in some cases that might make sense. But when buying new equipment for a new system, we assume the built in DACs will get the job done.

In some cases - Cambridge Audio for example - they do not sell CD Players, they sell CD Transports which DO NOT have a DAC and so absolutely require an external DAC.

https://www.crutchfield.com/p_779CXC...XC-Silver.html

In some case some amps have USB-PC connections (AS801 as an example) that allow you a direct digital connect for audio from a PC.

But by and large, the most common use for a Digital Connection is to connect your TV to the Stereo for TV/Movie watch.

While I have a somewhat oddball system, with Stereo and NO Subs, I have hit 110db Peaks, and have felt bass so powerful it ruffled my hair. I think I'm OK with Stereo for Movies.

Steve/bluewizard

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post #40 of 526 Old 08-10-2019, 09:14 PM
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Originally Posted by maur53 View Post
I guess I'm thinking that everything today requires DAC.
Everything with only a digital output [be it coax, optical (Toslink), USB, or HDMI] needs some variety of a DAC but AVRs these days have very capable DACs built in for all of those incoming connections, except USB, only found on a few units.
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Next how much DAC do you really need?
This much.
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post #42 of 526 Old 08-10-2019, 11:01 PM
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I think I'll go with m.zillch because my pocket book and aged ears tell me so.
Really, that's all this hobby should be about:

If you don't hear an improvement brought about by inserting a particular component into your system, don't buy it.
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post #43 of 526 Old 08-10-2019, 11:06 PM
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It would be fun to battle that one against this one I bought last month, on sale at the time for $8.39.

I don't mean to brag or anything but unlike that MSB design mine came with an optical cable. Sheesh fo $10K you'd think they'd hook you up!

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post #44 of 526 Old 08-10-2019, 11:11 PM
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Their cheapest DAC is $10,000, the most expensive is closer to $85,000.

Yeah.... No... I think I'll pass on that. I'll buy are $500 DAC and a BMW.

Steve/bluewizard
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Originally Posted by m. zillch View Post
It would be fun to battle that one against this one I bought last month, on sale at the time for $8.39.

I don't mean to brag or anything but unlike that MSB design mine came with an optical cable. Sheesh fo $10K you'd think they'd hook you up!
You do mean to brag, about how you are the enlightened one and anyone spending more than happy meal money on audio are suckers.
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Everything with only a digital output [be it coax, optical (Toslink), USB, or HDMI] needs some variety of a DAC but AVRs these days have very capable DACs built in for all of those incoming connections, except USB, only found on a few units.
I guess we have differing opinions on “very capable”. The first three AVR’s I could find over at ASR got outperformed big time by a $100 standalone DAC, one of which cost $4,500.

There is nobody keeping check on these AVR makers in their reviews, and the measurements prove they’re getting away with horrendous design and engineering while sycophants like yourself claim they sound the same as actual Hifi gear.
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This may not turn out well.
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If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough – Albert Einstein
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post #48 of 526 Old 08-11-2019, 08:43 AM
 
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This may not turn out well.
It’s all good, i think I’ll start my own thread on these AVR measurements.
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post #49 of 526 Old 08-11-2019, 09:32 AM
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Going off on a side bar- are AVR's easy to use? From what I read in forums here there seems to be considerable complexity in getting them set up and running without glitches with cables, video and audio signals getting to where they need to be, configuration menus, room acoustics, etc. It seems a long way from 'plug and play'.
That's one of my big issues. I'm now stinkin' old enough that if I somehow get through the setup, I'll certainly not remember the next time I try to do something. Plus, two of the pairs of speakers I own that are more difficult to drive, one with 3 - 4 ohm impedance over most of its range, and one that is a capacitive load and generally under 4 ohm impedance, down to about a 1/2ohm at high frequencies. Additionally, I'm not sure what I'm to 'receive' with a receiver or AVR, unless it's heat because boy do these muthers get hot trying to drive either of my dipoles, plus mostly sounds like stink with the ESLs. I don't do HT and only 2 channel with streaming 90% and vinyl 10%, that's it. So these seem to be built to a lowest common denominator standards and just don't cut it when something a little more difficult is introduced into the food chain.

As far as cheap outboard DACs go, I found them to sound different. Noise floor had nothing to do with the difference although arguably I could test a s/n of 100db with my listening room noise floor of 15db when everything is off, HVAC, refrig, etc. However, it has everything to do with the way the music sounds: that stridency I heard on piano with the DFR versus the chit Modi 3 'mostly' cured it. Now true, I don't hear the difference with any of my other nine pair of speakers except one.

The single worst example that I can think of off the top of my head is this track below. The piano drives me up the wall on the ESLs using the DFR, but is considerably better using the chit Modi 3. Still not where it should be, but 'better' enough that I don't leave the room. Many other examples, but the below is the best (worst) example. I really don't notice the issue on any of the other speakers but one. So, in my humble opinion, noise ain't all there is to this. It's the way the music sounds.

https://tidal.com/browse/track/68957590

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post #50 of 526 Old 08-11-2019, 09:43 AM
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I guess we have differing opinions on “very capable”. The first three AVR’s I could find over at ASR got outperformed big time by a $100 standalone DAC, one of which cost $4,500.

There is nobody keeping check on these AVR makers in their reviews, and the measurements prove they’re getting away with horrendous design and engineering while sycophants like yourself claim they sound the same as actual Hifi gear.
My lil brother who keeps dreaming that his wife will allow him to get something a little more serious when it comes to speakers, has brought his Denon x6300 or 7300 (I don't remember which other than it was $2,995 new) over here several times to see if would 'work' with my speakers. Yep, everything fine until we get to the ESLs and then it all falls apart. My Yamaha integrated doesn't do very well with those either so it's not just his denon. Granted, he hasn't tried it yet with the LRSs and I would suspect it would be ok with those.
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It’s all good, i think I’ll start my own thread on these AVR measurements.
You certainly may. Although responses from AVS posters that disagree will be forthcoming no different from dozens of other threads.



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post #52 of 526 Old 08-11-2019, 10:07 AM
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You certainly may. Although responses from AVS posters that disagree will be forthcoming no different from dozens of other threads.
Big vacation month so page views down. AVS still needs the revenue and these kind of threads are about half of it.

Not much can be done as we have irreconcilable differences on much of this.
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post #53 of 526 Old 08-11-2019, 10:13 AM
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Originally Posted by bluewizard View Post
Their cheapest DAC is $10,000, the most expensive is closer to $85,000.

Yeah.... No... I think I'll pass on that. I'll buy are $500 DAC and a BMW.
You forgot the 'ups and extras':

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Originally Posted by maur53 View Post
Going off on a side bar- are AVR's easy to use? From what I read in forums here there seems to be considerable complexity in getting them set up and running without glitches with cables, video and audio signals getting to where they need to be, configuration menus, room acoustics, etc. It seems a long way from 'plug and play'.
In my opinion the only reason to get AVR today is that they can play and decode a bunch of proprietary formats.
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post #55 of 526 Old 08-11-2019, 10:19 AM
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In my opinion the only reason to get AVR today is that they can play and decode a bunch of proprietary formats.
True. However, I need vinyl and Tidal and that's pretty much it.
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post #56 of 526 Old 08-11-2019, 10:32 AM
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Originally Posted by emcdade View Post
It’s all good, i think I’ll start my own thread on these AVR measurements.
Please do because I'd love to point out the gigantic flaw in his methodology. Please provide a link to the thread in this one so I am sure to see it, thanks.
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post #57 of 526 Old 08-11-2019, 10:38 AM
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Originally Posted by aats View Post
In my opinion the only reason to get AVR today is that they can play and decode a bunch of proprietary formats.
Indeed that's a great reason to buy one. Plus HDMI switching, like it or not, quickly becoming the defacto connection standard for all newer gear. Analog is dying out. [aka "analog sunset"]

Don't shoot the messenger. I don't advocate this transition or anything and make it a point to try to buy gear with both digital and analog options.
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post #58 of 526 Old 08-11-2019, 10:46 AM
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Originally Posted by m. zillch View Post
Indeed that's a great reason to buy one. Plus HDMI switching, like it or not, quickly becoming the defacto connection standard for all newer gear. Analog is dying out. [aka "analog sunset"]
Well, not all people are using those formats.

Maybe it is a great reason to not use those formats? Not sure if it is possible if you want to go past 5.1. But we are in 2.0 channel audio forum so no reason to use an AVR at all for this purpose.

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post #59 of 526 Old 08-11-2019, 10:51 AM
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Originally Posted by emcdade View Post
You do mean to brag, about how you are the enlightened one and anyone spending more than happy meal money on audio are suckers.
Talk about the gear please, not fellow forum members. Thanks.
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post #60 of 526 Old 08-11-2019, 11:08 AM
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Originally Posted by aats View Post
Maybe it is a great reason to not use those formats?
Most affordable Blu-ray players, which I use primarily for 2ch CD playback, look like this on the back these days:
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Originally Posted by PaulGo View Post
Analog is simply not there so to connect this and a lot of other newer gear, even if just for 2 channels of sound, requires HDMI inputs.

Analog Sunset
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