another rookie DAC question.....

Im sure this has been gone over and over but my neck gets soar looking at all the threads to find the answer so please help...
I have a stock sony DVD/CD player running into Rotel RSP 1068 processor, now will a DAC improve this unit or should I replace the Sony? now I am disablbed so budget gets in the way..I just want really open and detailed sound and achieve this the best way and cheap..can anyone take a few minutes to fully explain options, budget considrations and performance expectations..and if I do use the Sony as transport will it still thread dolby digital through a DAC or do I need to run several audio conections? I know you guys have been there done that but thanks for your help!


There are alot of variables here. Your Rotel processor probably has some pretty decent DACs in it to begin with, and there's no guarantee that an external unit will outperfom what you already have.

The first step would be to listen to some music through the 2 channel analog inputs and compare it to the sound listening through the digital input of the processor.

If you are satisfied with the sound through the digial input, just do it that way. If you're not, you might consider an external DAC.

Using an external DAC for music, you will need to have two digital outputs on your DVD player, one going to the DAC and the second running directly to a digital input on your processor for the surround sound. The DAC will have to be connected to an analog input on the processor. I don't know of any reasonably affordable external DACs that will "pass through" the digital stream.

I hope this helps.


T.H. Salmon
thanks a bunch for your reply, so should I either consider a mid range cd player or are you saying the Rotels internal DAC is gonna outperform alot of products....any thoughts on a reasonable all in one CD/DVD/SACD/DVDA player? if I could ask you to keep in mind I am disabled and on a tight budget so hoping to get best bang for buck,,thanks Chad
See earlier post on question on Denon 2910 verus simillarly priced Sony.I think that either product will give you state of the art performasnce in the sub $41K category plus a number of differnt folks on A'Gon and other places will offer a whole slew of mods from Balck Gate Caps to tube outputs etc.They have sold in numbers high enough to have many folks offer upgrades if you want.I know Rotel has gotten great reviews with it's bang for the book CD (red Book only no DVD) players but I stopped in a shop I used to work at and compared the Rotel to a Rega player and expected it to be close but different sounding.Wasn't close the $1K Rega creamed the Rotel.But Sony and Denon would be a good choice and think you won't want or need any outboard box for D to A.There are some good ones like Perpetual Technologies that do a good job but I don't think with one of the new combo players you will feel need to go that route.Look at whole ,market even very high end players are going to one box designs for a number of technical reasons though that is not to say again that aren't very good outboard boxes.Just think you will be happy enough with single player and if you get desire you can put in avriety of mods from Balck Gates to tubes outputs that will soup up your choice when you hget it.And again Sony and Denon sell in enough numbers tohave a bnumber of places that will dowork on them .BTW I am pretty LP oriented but get what I consider very good red book performance out of older Sony ES333 carousel.When listening I would base decision on CD as opposed to SACD.Latter will sound fine with most playters but most of us have a lot of CD's we want to get best performance out of.Plus CD's themselves FINALLY have started to sound pretty good over past 5 years with 20 Bit trechniques some getting close to what average SACD sounds like.I have bought a few but haven't gone nuts nad continue to opt many times for the CD over the SACD because of price and again since latter players and CD's have gotten better and better.
thanks for all the info a big help! chad
I have yet to hear a processor that challenges a good DAC, such as the dAck! or Benchmark DAC-1, and I have heard 5 or 6 processors and 15 different DAC's
Hi Chad,

In case I missed the focus of your question, are you considering adding the DAC in order to improve 2 channel sound only?

If this is the case, I agree with Audioengr that a stand alone 2 channel DAC like the Benchmark or Ack would outperform many expensive HT processors. The hook up for such an application is explained in TH Salmon's fourth paragraph.

However, if it is the mullti channel performance you're trying to improve, then you would have to consider upgrading your pre/pro.
thank you, yes music 2 channel is what I want to improve on, as far as movies go im running a Rotel RSP1068, and I am pretty happy..thanks again Chad