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Better bang for my $$$ new Blu-ray player or DAC

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

My wife purchased for me some very nice new hi-end headphones  (Audeze) and a headphone amp (ALO Pan Am). I have a Denon -1082 AVR, and I like the sound through the speakers but it seems weak when using the headphone jack. I like to listen to TV and music. Our Direct TV box has analog outputs so they go great through the AVR and I hook-up the headphone amp to a pre-amp output. Unfortunately the audio from my Sony Blu-ray is digital coaxial. Which plays great through the AVR when using the speakers, but as many of us learn the hard way the pre-amp outputs of many AVR's do not carry digital signals. So for right now I am using the AVR headphone jack and running it into the headphone amp (which I assume is not the best method although it works) My question is am I better off getting a new Blu-ray player that has analog outputs in addition to the digital ones, or investing in a DAC? I can get a decent Blu-ray player with analog outputs for $200-$300, how much would a decent DAC cost?  Which option would result in better sound performance?

post #2 of 5
Get a DAC for sure. And congratulations on the headphones.. LCD-2?
Well, I bet they are nice but probably a bit heavy for that kind of all round media use.
post #3 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by JDavid View Post
 

My wife purchased for me some very nice new hi-end headphones  (Audeze) and a headphone amp (ALO Pan Am). I have a Denon -1082 AVR, and I like the sound through the speakers but it seems weak when using the headphone jack. I like to listen to TV and music. Our Direct TV box has analog outputs so they go great through the AVR and I hook-up the headphone amp to a pre-amp output. Unfortunately the audio from my Sony Blu-ray is digital coaxial. Which plays great through the AVR when using the speakers, but as many of us learn the hard way the pre-amp outputs of many AVR's do not carry digital signals. So for right now I am using the AVR headphone jack and running it into the headphone amp (which I assume is not the best method although it works) My question is am I better off getting a new Blu-ray player that has analog outputs in addition to the digital ones, or investing in a DAC? I can get a decent Blu-ray player with analog outputs for $200-$300, how much would a decent DAC cost?  Which option would result in better sound performance?

 

Have you thought about just upgrading the A/V receiver, getting one with HDMI, so you can run HDMI from the current Blu-ray player to the A/V receiver and then plug the headphones directly into the newer A/V receiver.

 

Here is a refurb Yamaha RX-A710 A/V receiver for $329

Comes with Yamaha's Silent Cinema, Yamaha's own version of headphone surround sound.

http://www.accessories4less.com/make-a-store/item/yamrxa710bl/yamaha-rx-a710-aventage-series-home-theater-receiver/1.html

 

You could get a new Blu-ray player with an optical output, connect a $100 Schiit Modi (optical) DAC to it and the Pam Am to the Modi, but you would not get headphone surround sound, just stereo audio.

post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 

Yes they are LCD-2's, and yes they are heavier than most headphones, but I find them very comfortable and really enjoy them. Might be because I'm laid back in a lounge chair and not sitting upright at a desk so I do not get fatigued from the weight (which I still say is insignificant to me..)

post #5 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by JDavid View Post

Unfortunately the audio from my Sony Blu-ray is digital coaxial. Which plays great through the AVR when using the speakers, but as many of us learn the hard way the pre-amp outputs of many AVR's do not carry digital signals.

Have you tried all the output options? Your receiver has line outs meant for recording, pre-amp outputs for multi zone, and multichannel pre-outs for external amplifiers to replace the internal amplifiers for multichannel audio. I know that Denons have been problematic in letting the digital signal get passed to the multi zone pre-outs, and that there is often protection against the digital being sent to the line outs. But the multichannel pre-outs would need to pass the signal from a digital source or they would be useless for hooking up external amplifiers for home theater. Just use the left and right on the multichannel pre-outs. Of course the downside of that is that it's probably a configuration option through the wonder that is Denon's settings menus to switch from the internal amps to the external outputs. (they are a pain in the ass--LOL)
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