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Connecting external DAC to AVR-3802

Discussion in 'Cables & Switches' started by bigfatlad, May 14, 2002.

  1. bigfatlad

    bigfatlad
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    Connecting external DAC to AVR-3802
    well i ve got my 3802, its great for tv with DPL2, and i cant wait for my new dvd player. whilst the internal DACs are good, they are not great for music (a little better than my current ancient and temperamental technics cd player tho)
    i was thinking about purchasing an external DAC for cd playing duties using a tosh 510e or Sony ns900 for transport and using the 3802reciever for 2 or 5 channel stereo amplification. (until i have the money for a rotel power amp)

    Could someone tell me what is the best way to connect/use a DAC with the 3802 using stereo interconnects;

    the direct mode using the cd player analogue inputs, or the ext. inputs??

    i ask because whilst the direct mode would seem to imply that the signal is fed directly to the amp, if you use the ext. inputs you have no choice of DSP modes at all... possibly implying those circuits are bypassed altogether for less signal degradation...is that correct?

    Advice is much appreciated.

    Thanks

    db
     
  2. bigfatlad

    bigfatlad
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    any DAC gurus in the house today?
     
  3. dood

    dood
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    I use my cd / dac stereo analogue outputs fed into the receiver's cd input, not external input. I need to check but I'm sure in this way not only do I benefit from multichannel stereo (and DSP effects which I never use) but direct is also accessible. If you're really trying to improve your music sound though, I think you should consider using the 3802 as a processor and get a decent amp for the front speakers. Your CD can then be connected to the 3802 cd inputs for the lousy dsp effects, whilst the dac can be connected directly to the stereo amp for music (bypassing the 3802 completely). This will give you the best of both worlds and is what I do.
     
  4. bigfatlad

    bigfatlad
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    cheers dood
    this is what the eventual aim is, im saving for a 2 or 5 channel rotel power amp, but my CD player needs replacing now.

    For music, as you suggested, i will use the 3802 as a surround processor thru the cd inputs(and amp atm) giving me 2/5channel stereo from the cd dac, at a later date i will buy the rotel power amp

    For the best music quality would it be better to buy an intergrated 2channel amp and bypass the 3802 or buy a 5 channel rotel power amp and use the 3802 as direct/2or5 channel stereo processor. or would (as i think) the difference between these two setups be minmal?

    again thanx for any help, and for putting up with a newbie!

    cheers
     
  5. dave48

    dave48
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    What I've done is for best quality (i.e. CD) gone straight from the CD to my (better) amplifier (Primare A30.1). For most other stuff I feed the front pre-outs from the Denon 3802 to line in's on the Primare. This works pretty well actually - I have to wind the volume on the Primare round to about 68 (out of 80) to match the volume of the other speakers connected to the Denon, but in spite of the sound going through 2 pre-amps there is no obvious loss of quality [just need to be careful if you switch to a directly connected source on the Primare when the volume is set at 68 - which I did accidentally two nights ago. Sorry, neighbours.].

    Going straight to very good power amps would be an even better solution, since you don't go through the second pre-amp stage - shame the Primare doesn't have a "power-amp in" connection.

    Dave48
     
  6. Lowrider

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    For the same price of a DVD + external DAC, why not buy a DVD with a good internal DAC, for instance Arcam, it might have less jitter problems, and you save an extra digital cable or buy a better one...
     
  7. bigfatlad

    bigfatlad
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    dave48

    thanks dave, im hearing the same from you as Dood, and thats, avoid the 3802 if possible for the best cd playback. I think ill try follow this route as much as possible, tho i may use the 3802 to get me 5or7channel stereo sound.


    this will (after the help i recieved from you guys) be my prefered option for 2 channel stereo, however can anyone tell me, can the DAC be connected straight to a power amp? and then how is the volume controlled? do rotel power amps have a remote control operated volume dial? ( and i do mean power amp not intergrated, im sorry if that sounds like a daft question to anyone, but i havent used a rotel power amp.... yet )

    Lowrider,

    thanks for your input, but its not really an option for me. :( The arcam dvd players retail around 1000GBP. The second hand DAC and Tosh510e DVD i may purchase will only be in the region of £650 and im hoping it will give me an equal listening experience. could you recomend a dvd player around the £650 mark thats great for music (i dont know of any!) or a place selling the arcam range a little cheaper?

    again many thanks for you time and advice guys this is really helping...... if theres no DVD player option, i think the DAC, DVD, and Rotel will be my choice :) (providing the rotel has volume control....anyone???)


    great stuff :)
     
  8. Lowrider

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    I think you will be ok using direct mode of the Denon, it will bypass all the nastie processing... So you shouldn´t need volume control on the Rotel...
     
  9. dave48

    dave48
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    The Rotel power amp won't have a volume control (by definition - since this is what a pre-amp does). Using the Denon as a pre-amp (i.e. just a volume control) without any signal processing should do the job adequately.

    Dave48
     
  10. dood

    dood
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    Some CD players and DACs can be connected directly to power amps without the need for a pre-amp. However these are usually very high end stuff. I've heard a Wadia CD/DAC connected via balanced line to Krell mono blocks and the volume was adjusted on the Wadia. You could buy a good car for that price though!
     
  11. bigfatlad

    bigfatlad
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    right then i think im sorted. :D

    hahahahah....maybe not the best set up for my wallet then.


    Raj, Antonio and Dave thankyou for your time and trouble and especially for putting up with my newbie questions.

    i can see many happy months of music and dvd ahead.....
     
  12. gazzerr

    gazzerr
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    I have switched to using the DAC in my Marantz DVD player as it gives a much warmer sound. If you still wanted to go the DAC route the Sony 900 is supposed to give very low jitter readings ( according to HiFi Choice) and they rate it as a CD player as well as the obvious DVD traits. You can also buy a reconditioned DAC from Tag and the results should be pretty good but try it for yourself.
     
  13. bigfatlad

    bigfatlad
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    gazzer
    my tag dac was ordered yesterday evening, should be here friday ;)
     

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