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Hi AVS Family,

it's my first post, so Hello everybody!

As usual, for first posts and newcomers, I may insult some tech savvy people with silly questions, so please bear with me ;) But I think my question is a good one.

Here is a situation, where I cannot find clarity for it due to lack of understanding of the general system architecture:

I have a Mac mini which I used to operate at my old Pioneer VSX-919 AV Receiver via HDMI and now planning to upgrade to a LX88 system. The specific question I have will determine whether I should opt for this AV-R or choose a smaller version w/o DAC in it.

  • As typical for most USB DACs, once connected to the Mac, you can go to MIDI Setup and adjust some parameters and choose the output via DAC
  • Now I assume, connecting the Mac mini with the USB B plug to the Pioneer LX88, will give the same options - not sure, but I believe so...

So far, so good.

But the question is, can I use HDMI only and assume the DAC "task" will be done by the same DAC controller (here it should be some ESS-xxxx chip) and have the same quality output as using the dedicated DAC via USB B plug?

Or how does the AVR usually convert digital to analogue when HDMI is used? Different path and hardware used?

You may ask why is that important?

Well, I don't want any redundancy and buy extra features I do not use. If the HDMI way is giving me the same output quality, as using the dedicated DAC via USB B - than I am happy with it.

Additionally, I could als buy a portable DAC (e.g Herus+ or Meridian Explorer) and use it with my Mac AND iPhone, rather than using the internal Pioneer DAC, hence buying the LX series without DAC.

Can someone help me with that question? Is it clear what I am trying to find out (without having the hardware by myself to test :))

Thanks folks, would be great.

Regards,
Behrouz
 
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