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The most common way of connecting amp to a DAC is using RCA connectors. Some high end audio devices offer different type of connectors, typically used in professional equipment - these are much better for longer distance connections (not because of connector type but different signal standards used). If your equipment had these, most likely you'd know about it. Looks like you should stick to USB, as that should have no problems up to 5m.
Regarding the volume: keep it at 100% on the computer and player, default level on the DAC (most likely max) and use the amp volume controls to set the right listening level.