Best of both worlds? (Relatively speaking)

So, I've been into hi-res audio for a few years now, and have been feeding my digital music to my Vandersteen 2Ce Signature IIs through my Pioneer VSX-1020K A/V amp.

Then I found I could no longer ignore the burning desire to step back into my analog roots, so I took the plunge, or at least stuck my foot in.  I ended up buying a Pro-ject Debut Carbon Esprit DC turntable with an Ortofon 2M Blue cartridge.  I also refurbished my vintage Pioneer SA-9100 integrated amp, and soon was a happy camper listening to every LP I could get my hands on.

Now here's the rub.  My speakers are bi-wired, so every time I wanted to listen to some hi-res music, I had to disconnect the speakers from the SA-9100 and connect them back to the VSX-1020K, and vice versa.  That got old quickly!

Then, I realized that I could use the SA-9100 as a pre amp and connect it to one of the analog ins on the VSX.  It wasn't a perfect solution, but it was a combination of both 'worlds' and I could stop having to do the wire/re-wire dance behind the speakers!

Now, having accomplished that, I'm doing what any good A-goner would do.  I'm wondering how I could do it better?!!!!!

Maybe I could jam both bi-wired pairs of spade connectors to the back of the Vandersteens and use each amp for its original purpose??


You should be able to use any one of those digital outputs into a DAC and then connect it to your SA-9100. You can get an inexpensive DAC, like the Audioquest Dragonfly, Parasound Z-DAC or Shiit MODI-2 to get you started. Just put it in-line between your digital source and the SA-9100 and you should be good to go.

I'm not up to date regarding DACs that use HDMI. However, I have used optical, coax and USB with no issues using DACs that support those connections.

For $100 new, or even less used, you could try one of the DACs I listed above. Will get you started in the right direction. Removing the HT receiver from the mix will be a good first step toward sound quality and simplification of the overall system and operation.
Time to go window shopping!! :-)
Well, now I've got something to keep me busy for the next month!  I'm starting to lean towards a good (meaning expensive) music server/DAC that I can feed into my SA-9100.  That will have to be via analog (RCA) jacks.

I'd like it to have a built-in, but upgrade-able hard drive, or at least allow an external HD to be connected to it.  The front interface would not matter much, because I'd want to be able to control it via a smartphone app, so I wouldn't need to get up and fiddle with a control panel on the unit (unless I wanted to).

I'm finding an entire gambit of differing devices and price points across the board!  But I think the need for storage and an app-controlled UI is helping to filter out the non-HD streamers, blue tooth and adapter-type units.

My current interest is with the Sony HAP-S1 Hi-Rez Music Player.  It keeps me under the 1K threshold.  Anyone have experience with one of these?

There's also the  Marantz - NA8005 DSD DAC.  I think it doesn't have an on-board HD, but you can connect one?