Using a receiver as DAC
Nov 19, 2010 at 1:31 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 22

SptsNaz

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Is there any way I can use my Denon receiver as a DAC? Currently I have it connected via an optical cable coming from my sound card, and the receiver is driving my speakers. I was wondering though if i can use the DAC in the receiver and somehow then connect my headphone amp to it.
 
I have some output connections on the back of my receiver, but none of them seem to output anything. Does anyone who has a Denon receiver know if you need a remote to allow the receiver to output a signal? Unfortunately I lost mine
 
I just want to try this out of curiosity to see what happens. Any help would great, thanks
 
Nov 19, 2010 at 4:38 PM Post #4 of 22

JulioCat2

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If you are coneccting the optical out of your sound card to the optical input in your denon, you are already using the internal dac of the denon to decode the signal,  i hope you don't need the remote to activate the digital input you are using.
 
Nov 19, 2010 at 4:45 PM Post #5 of 22

Gradoman

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hmm does it have monitor/record fuction? Zone 2?  From this picture use VCR1/2 or CDR/Tape line output to your pre-amp. Don't use the pre-outs as that's going through the Denons pre-amp.
 

But I think it's a bit daft using a av amp as a DAC. Poor sound quality, and using a lot more power. Still something to mess about with.
 

 
Nov 19, 2010 at 5:13 PM Post #7 of 22

SptsNaz

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Quote:
JulioCat2 said:


If you are coneccting the optical out of your sound card to the optical input in your denon, you are already using the internal dac of the denon to decode the signal,  i hope you don't need the remote to activate the digital input you are using.

 
I assume it is activated since my speakers work fine. I know that you can deactivate them with a remote, but they appear to be on thankfully
 
Quote:
hmm does it have monitor/record fuction? Zone 2?  From this picture use VCR1/2 or CDR/Tape line output to your pre-amp. Don't use the pre-outs as that's going through the Denons pre-amp.
 

But I think it's a bit daft using a av amp as a DAC. Poor sound quality, and using a lot more power. Still something to mess about with.
 
 


I tried those outputs also and I get nothing. I believe there is a monitor/record functions, but I think it says in the manual that you can't use that with a digital input. Cheap dac or not, I like the sound quality I get through my speakers and that's kind of why I wanted to test it out with headphones
 

 
Quote:
http://safemanuals.com/annexe_Product%20Brochure_DENON_AVR-3801-_E.htm
 
The User Manual for your receiver.
Easily found if you just search the Internet!


I've looked this over several times already and it didn't help me
 
Oh well, I officially think I wasted to much time trying to make this work. Maybe I'll just forget about it
 
 
Nov 19, 2010 at 5:30 PM Post #8 of 22

Gradoman

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If you're not getting anything from the left & right pre-outs, then your amp isn't setup right or to the correct input, or the Denon is dead. I've used a AV amp as a DAC before (actually Denon AV processor, that has line outputs) Didn't rate the sound that highly. Denon AVD-2000.
 
Nov 19, 2010 at 5:42 PM Post #9 of 22

barleyguy

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It's likely that the digital inputs of your Denon are AC-3 format, not SPDIF.  So whatever device is sending to the optical inputs needs to follow AC-3 format.  The default output for most laptops, music players, etc. is SPDIF.  But if you are going from a laptop some software does AC-3 passthrough, as long as your sound card supports it.
 
It's not as simple as just plugging in and pushing play though.  You need to tell your software what you want.
 
The exception is DVD players and game consoles (i.e. XBox 360 or PS3).  They typically have a default format of AC-3.
 
After you've got AC-3 going out the output, you need to tell the Denon which optical port to look at for an input.  Then you should get sound coming out the preamp outputs, and possibly the tape outputs (depends on the receiver; I haven't looked at the manual).
 
Nov 19, 2010 at 5:48 PM Post #10 of 22

Gradoman

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AV amps will accept AC-3 (Dolby Digital) DTS, and PCM. If he can hear sound from the speakers, then it should be outputting a analogue signal to line out outputs. If you use the line out, then the Denon volume control will be bypassed. Which is what you want.
 
I use my AV processor as a DAC too (zone 2 going into a integrated amp) so basically identical to what you want to do. I have to set correct input, and enable zone 2.
 
Nov 19, 2010 at 6:12 PM Post #11 of 22

SptsNaz

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Hmm, I really have no idea. I think I've tried everything imaginable thus far and I get no sound from any of the outputs, just the speakers.
 
I'm guessing it's something you have to adjust with the remote, which sucks. The remote is virtually impossible to find anywhere and costs nearly as much as the receiver used nowadays.
 
On a side note, does anyone know if any of the logitech harmony remotes supports ALL the functions of such receivers? I know they support the basic functions, but I don't need that
 
This receiver is actually quite good and got very good reviews when it came out. It cost about $1,100 new, so I would assume the DAC's aren't complete garbage.
 
Nov 19, 2010 at 6:18 PM Post #12 of 22

Gradoman

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For a AV amp, yes...but not as a high end stereo DAC. Personally I dislike the vast majority of av amps except for the few high end makes. But if you just want to try it out sure why not. You probably juse need to use monitor button. My AV processor zone 2 is muted until you activate it, yours is probably the same. It's the same feature as record switch on stereo pre-amps, they are switched on or to a specific input. Make sure your monitor input is the source you want. For example I can listen to CD input on zone 1, and listen to DVD input on zone 2 on my processor. Yours could be similar.
 
Nov 19, 2010 at 6:35 PM Post #14 of 22

SptsNaz

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Quote:
Tried press the REC button?



Yeah, I enabled it and tried sending the signal to the VCR2, etc... outputs on the back but nothing
 
Actually, this is what the manual says: "Digital signals are not output from the REC source or audio output jacks". Same thing with the multi source. Which doesn't make much sense to me, but what do i know
 
I still don't know why the preamp outputs don't work though. Guess they don't take a digital input either? Weird
 
Whatever, I officially give up. I don't think it's worth trying anymore since you said it would be mediocre as a dac anyway. Thanks
 
Nov 19, 2010 at 6:41 PM Post #15 of 22

Gradoman

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Pre-outs WILL have audio output, that's what you use if you have a power-amp, and connect your speakers to the amp. Something isn't right here.  So the Denon will just be a av processor. I've used a few different analogue pre-amps, analogue integrateds, av processors, av amps and all output sound from pre-outs.
 
Possible line outs won't work with digital output, Lexicon DC/MC range are similar, will only output like for like. For line out must use analogue input, and for digital output must use digital input. Won't do ADC or DAC on the record/digital outputs
 

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