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Help a novice: do I need a DAC?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
I am a dabbler in this audiophile hobby of ours. I prefer to allocate funds to my vinyl collection than than components.

What im trying to determine is this: do I need a DAC in my home theater set up to maximize fidelity, or is this strictly for use on a computer and portable audio devices?

My current receiver is a bit of a dinosaur, but it works fine for now: Sony V444ES

I run my cable box audio, turntable, ps3, ps4 and nintendo wii u into the receiver. This receiver does not support HDMI so I am currently looking to get a second receiver for my living room and moving the old downstairs where my computer is. The receiver im considering is the Onkyo TX-NR626.

Do home theater receivers already have a DAC section? Or is a DAC not even necessary for my current home theater/gaming set up?

One other question, I just ordered a Fiio x3 for my portable player and read it can be used as a usb DAC. What exactly does that mean? Will this strictly be for when im listening to music directly from my computer?
post #2 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by loghead View Post

I am a dabbler in this audiophile hobby of ours. I prefer to allocate funds to my vinyl collection than than components.
What I'm trying to determine is this: do I need a DAC in my home theater set up to maximize fidelity, or is this strictly for use on a computer and portable audio devices?
My current receiver is a bit of a dinosaur, but it works fine for now: Sony V444ES
I run my cable box audio, turntable, ps3, ps4 and Nintendo Wii u into the receiver. This receiver does not support HDMI so I am currently looking to get a second receiver for my living room and moving the old downstairs where my computer is. The receiver I'm considering is the Onkyo TX-NR626.
Do home theater receivers already have a DAC section? Or is a DAC not even necessary for my current home theater/gaming set up?
One other question, I just ordered a Fiio x3 for my portable player and read it can be used as a usb DAC. What exactly does that mean? Will this strictly be for when I'm listening to music directly from my computer?

A/V receivers already come with built in DAC chip(s).

It would not be practical to try to add an aftermarket "DAC" to your current setup.

Try to hook up all your sources using HDMI to the A/V receiver, S/PDIF (optical & coaxial) is second best.

 

I believe FiiO has released a firmware upgrade that allows you to use the X3 as a USB DAC (with your computer)

 

I like Onkyo receivers, I've owned three of them in the past 5 years.

But a refurb Yamaha ($329) might be a better value.

http://www.accessories4less.com/make-a-store/item/YAMRXV671BL/YAMAHA-RX-V671-7.1-Channel-Network-AV-Receiver/1.html

post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 
Cool.

Was mainly looking at the onkyo because it packed the latest connectivoty and features, plus has a dedicated turntable input.
post #4 of 5

All AVR's have a built in DAC (not to mention the video processing portions as well).  

 

I think with receivers, you just want to make sure they have the connectivity to satisfy your home theater set up's needs.  While I do own a Yamaha AVR for my home theater (about 5 years old now), Onkyo AVR's are good performers and provide good value as well.  Probably best to have a listen at a local store, check out the interface and see which works for you.  

post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 
Should I spend any energy worrying about how the receiver will pair with my speakers? This seems to be a hot topic of discussion in the headphone amp world.
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