Originally Posted by Tone Def
Can your amp act as a DAC?
Only if the amp *contains* a DAC.
Remember, DACs convert a signal containing information encoded digitally to an alternating current with the information represented as alternations analogous (hey, that sounds like analogue!) to the alternations of sound waves. (Alternations (or cycles) per second is same as its frequency, represented as Hz. Humans arguably perceive frequencies between 20Hz and 20,000Hz.)
Amplifiers (as we tend to use them here in audio-land) almost always take an analogue signal as input. They (should) simply amplify the alternating current of the input signal without introducing any other change.
Your speakers, in turn, convert the amplifier's output to analogous physical vibrations (hey,that word again, sounds like "Analogue"!). If your speaker aren't in a vacuum, its vibrations will create sound waves analogous to the speaker's vibrations.
These sound waves find themselves to your ears.
(the following (as the above) is probably very technically inaccurate, but i think the general ideas are correct )
Your ears then do some very cool things. They convert the sound waves to analogous mechanical vibrations. You have gazzilions of little hairy thingies in your inner-ear immersed in fluid. These little hairy thingies will vibrate depending upon how the fluid vibrates. The hairy thingies come in different sizes. Smaller hairy thingies vibrate easier than larger hairy thingies. Somehow, the little hairy thingies vibrations are converted to electrical signals that travel to your brain. Your brain does some stuff and you precieve the sound.
I'll stop there.