Question Is a DAC worth buying


Novice Member
OK so I'm not the most sophisticated audiophile but I know what I like. I have been using a Panasonic DMP BD35 DVD player to play my CD's. The CD player is connected to my Pioneer Elite VSX-81 TXV and passed on to a set of very efficient speakers. I have gone back to vinyl with good results, but the quality of my records very. Lately I have been reading about adding a DAC to the setup. Currently when I play a CD the sound is flat, the tone is there, you can pick up all of the subtle instruments but there is no depth to the music. Will a DAC help to add some warmth to my set up.
Thanks in advance for you help



Novice Member
No, but a different amp or speakers may..
The source remained the most important factor, tracks thoroughly mastered in a first class studio will sound great even on the speakers of a laptop.

Don Dadda

Distinguished Member
Personally, I reckon all 3 of those are equally as important as each other.

Defo agree about dac and the amp. If you could borrow a stereo amp and do some comparison then you'll know either way.

You don't say what speakers you have other than they are efficient so cannot comment on them


Well-known Member
DACs are worth buying, but not for what you want IMO. If the amp isn't very good that is probably why the sound is 'flat' and if it lacks warmth then is it that you are wanting a system that actually is less transparent?


Distinguished Member
A DAC for the sake of a DAC is of no value. Plus you already have DACs all over the place - DVD, CD, AVR, TV, etc.... The underlying question is, do you need a DAC for some specific purpose you aren't able to fill now? For example, perhaps you decided you needed USB so you could direct connect a Computer.

Better DACs could potentially sound better, but that would depend on the quality of your current DACs.

The Pioneer AVR was originally US$950, which makes it a pretty good amp, which means it probably has pretty nice internal DACs.

As to the DVD/CD Player, it depends on whether you are using the Analog out for CD or if you are using the HDMI out. But we should stop and note here that the Panasonic DMP BD35 DVD player is a BLURAY Player, and based on a review I found, pretty high quality. I haven't been able to find the original price on the Player, but I suspect it was reasonably high. Currently it is only £160, and based on photos, it does have Analog Outputs.

If the CD sounds flat, compare the Internal DAC with Analog out, to the Digital Out to the AV Receiver. The BluRay has a Digital Optical PCM output, or perhaps since you have a AVR, you can take sound out of the HDMI. I suspect the AVR DACs are better than the internal BluRay DACs, though that is speculation.

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