Question Is built-in DAC required... or redundant?

Discussion in 'Hi-Fi Stereo Systems & Separates' started by SonicTheEarwig, May 30, 2017.

  1. SonicTheEarwig

    SonicTheEarwig
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    Hi, maybe someone can help me to help a friend.

    They currently have a Marantz NA6005 streamer and are looking to buy a new amp.

    The amp in question is a 2nd-hand Yamaha a-s701 that an unfortunate mutual friend is forced to sell even though it's only a year old.

    Part of me hopes the answer to this Q means I might then be able to legitimately step in and buy it instead but I don't want to mislead in any way - so I'm hoping the experts on here might.

    The question is, given that I believe the NA6005 has a more than adequate DAC itself, is there any point in having an amp with another built-in DAC as well?

    If the Marantz DAC is the better one would connecting it to the CD input on the Yamaha and then using the amps CD Direct bypass be the best option?

    However, if the Yamaha DAC is the better of the two - would there be any point in buying it instead of an different amp which has no built-in DAC given that my friend is more than happy with the NA6005?

    Would welcome any enlightenment and thank-you all in advance for any help.

    Thanks

    S
     
  2. RBZ5416

    RBZ5416
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    Just because the amp has a DAC doesn't mean he has to use it. It's more a case of what amp he's looking to upgrade from.

    I doubt there's much difference between the DACs but he may prefer the sound of one over the other. Also the Yamaha has a coax input which may be useful to him.

    Why not just let him buy it & tell him you'll take it off him for the same money if he doesn't think it's worthwhile?
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2017
  3. BlueWizard

    BlueWizard
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    I wouldn't NOT buy the amps just because it had a DAC, meaning that would not be the deciding factor.

    The most common use for a DAC is to connect TV sound to a Stereo Amp.

    As to which DAC is best, try them both and use the one you like best. Both DACs are 24b/192k capable, but the Marantz has DSD file capability. The Yamaha only supports PCM, but that is the type you will most commonly encounter. DSD is the file type for SACD Files. Some download services offer DSD as an option, but they will also offer common FLAC, ALAC, and similar formats. There is no advantage to DSD unless you are ripping the files from a SACD.

    Likely the Marantz does have the better quality DAC, but that does not necessarily mean it has the better sounding DAC, though likely it does.

    Again, as others have said, just because you have a DAC in your amp doesn't mean you have to use it.

    Steve/bluewizard
     
  4. SonicTheEarwig

    SonicTheEarwig
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    Thanks Both for the feedback - Sorry to be ignorant but is there a switch on either the Yamaha or Marantz that switches off their respective DACs or is it just by choosing to use the CD Direct route or not, and if he were to use DSD files through the Marantz would it be the best input on the Yamaha for him to use ?

    Thanks
     
  5. muljao

    muljao
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    The DAC on an amp is enabled when the input requiring the DAC is selected. If you use either the amps digital optical inputs or coax input, or indeed the usb input if the amp has one, the DAC then decodes to analogue and sends the music to the speakers.

    Personally, I'd be slow to buy an amp without a DAC now, with almost all music coming in digital format, unless I already had a seperate dac
     
  6. SonicTheEarwig

    SonicTheEarwig
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    I see, I think.

    However, unless I either misunderstood the previous responses, or yours, (or maybe both?) then there seemed to be some way by which my friend could choose between either invoking the DAC within the Marantz NA6005 network device or else the DAC within the Yamaha a-s701 amp.

    Is it simply then perhaps a question of which input the Marantz is connected via or maybe which output from the Marantz is used??

    S
     
  7. muljao

    muljao
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    If your device has RCA outputs and you use these to connect to the amp, the decoding is done on the device, using it's own built in DAC. So if you plug the na6005 into an amp using RCA its DAC is used.

    If you however use a devices optical or coaxial OUTPUT and connect to the amps digital input, you bypass the device DAC and the amps inbuilt DAC is then used to decode
     
  8. RBZ5416

    RBZ5416
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    NA6005 > RCA > AS701 uses the NA6005's DAC.

    NA6005 > Optical > AS701 uses the AS701's DAC.
     
  9. SonicTheEarwig

    SonicTheEarwig
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    Ah! I see - Many Thanks All!!

    I think I'll advise him to audition it and as was mentioned by someone earlier if it's not to my friends taste and it is to mine then I can take it on instead.

    Just as a by-the-by does anyone have any experience with the a-s701? Its seems to get a lot of good reviews but I'd be interested in hearing any thoughts on it.

    Thanks again for your help.
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2017
  10. BlueWizard

    BlueWizard
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    I don't have that specific amp but I have a Yamaha Receiver with the same power, and, for the money, it is a fine amp. There are better amps, but Yamaha are high value, you get a lot for your money, however, if you want to buy a better amp then expect to spend more money and/or get less amp.

    I have the Yamaha RX-797 Stereo Receiver (100w/ch) and a Rotel RA-1570 (£1200), and they sound very similar. The Rotel is better build quality with more features, but it is also at least three times more money.

    So, the Yamaha are good quality and high value. Very little beats them for the price. The Yamaha AS701 can be purchase NEW for as little as £399 - (£599 suggested retail) -

    Richer Sounds - YAMAHA AS701 Black Stereo Amplifier

    Other stores are selling the AS701 for £450 and £500.

    Steve/bluewizard
     
  11. SonicTheEarwig

    SonicTheEarwig
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    Thanks BlueWizard, my friend has been told he can have it for £200 ono so that kind of looks to be a no-brainer given that it's it's almost new - hmm, I'll have to sabotage his audition of it somehow so that I can step in :)
     

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