Connect optical/digital audio out on TV to pre-amp or DAC?

Going to run audio out (optical) from TV that would have either my blue ray audio or cable TV audio coming out, to my stereo (will be 7.3).  I have a preamp McIntosh MX135 which does not have HDMI.  I also have a Schitt Yiggy DAC.  Will there be any difference connecting the TV audio output first to the Yiggy feeding the Mac or just connect it directly to the Mac?
In my experience the optical out on my TV does not do volume control so at least check if your tv does or not and prep for it.  Personally i'd go to the Yaggy  first then to your preamp (2channel).  I'm sure the preamp will not have a DAC as good as the Yaggy. Best would be optical out to DAC balanced cable to your Mac. Now I'm thinking totally 2 channel here so not sure how the Home theater would work probably you'd have to go to your preamp first to get all the channels. Then i'm not sure what you'd even use the yaggy for maybe 2 channel on a separate input. 
Thanks glennewdick, I'd like to keep the multichannel set up so I guess I cannot use the Yiggy for my video set up.

For surround setup (HT) you will have to connect everything to your McIntosh MX135 av preamp processor (pre pro).

I wouldn’t connect the optical digital out of your TV to the MX135 as it won’t sound good at all. I’m aware that your MX135 does not have HDMI inputs.

To get the best surround sound possible connect your bluray/dvd player using coax digital audio (spdif) cable to your MX135. I’m sure your MX135 has coax digital audio & optical digital inputs. And you will still have to run HDMI from your bluray player to your TV for video only. Or

If your bluray player, such as that of the Oppo bluray player, has multi-channel analog audio out (5.1 or 7.1) you can connect your bluray player both using coax digital audio out of the bluray player to the MX135 for outputting lossy Dolby Digital & lossy DTS surround sound formats found on DVD movie discs since your MX135 supports those lossy formats, and also connect the multi-channel analog audio out (5.1 or 7.1) of the bluray player to your MX135 and set your MX135 in analog bypass mode thus bypassing its DSP and other digital processings. And use this multi-channel analog audio connection to output those lossless DTS-HD Master Audio & Dolby True-HD surround sound formats found on bluray discs. And on your bluray player turn off the HDMI audio out on your bluray player when using this multi-channel analog audio output of your bluray player.

Cause your MX135 does not support those lossless DTS HD MA & Dolby True-HD formats from bluray discs. If you use coax digital audio cable to the MX135, your MX135 will downgrade these lossless formats to lossy Dolby Digital & lossy DTS. These lossless DTS HD MA & Dolby True HD can only be transmitted to their fullest bandwiths using HDMI or multi-channel analog audio (7.1). If you use coax digital audio or optical digital these lossless formats (DTS HD MA & Dolby True HD) found on bluray discs will be downgraded to their lossy counterparts (DD or DTS).
For the multi-channel analog audio connection you must use RCA analog audio cables.

For your cable TV box, run HDMI to your TV for video only and run a separate coax digital audio or optical digital to your MX135 for audio only. If your cable TV box has a coax digital audio output use that instead of optical digital. Generally coax digital audio connection will result in better sound than optical digital. But if your cable TV box had only optical digital out then use the optical digital to your MX135 for audio only.
Fyi, all audio formats coming out of cable TV box would be all lossy Dolby Digital or lossy DTS anyway, so either coax digital audio or optical digital will do it. And besides, none of cable TV box would have multi-channel analog audio outputs like those found on some bluray players such as that of the Oppo.

Hope this helps.
Wow, Caphill

That is all great information.  As I only recently begun to become re-acquainted with more high performing equipment, I no longer have the option of the Oppo 205.  I don't think another blue ray player with multichannel analog output is being released.  What would be your recommendation for a good blue ray player that is reasonably priced.  

I just found that the Panasonic DP-UB9000 blue ray player has 7.1 output.
That's a great find, @ymc226 !!
So I've done this a number of ways.

For me, comparing my Brooklyn DAC vs. my Oppo 103 - The Brooklyn sounds much more natural and at ease. It does not do 5.1.

I'm invseting in an Anthem MRX 720 soon to attempt to bridge this.
No doubt that the Brooklyn DAC will sound better than the DAC in the Oppo 103. But the Brooklyn DAC does only stereo for listening to music, it doesn’t do surrounds, doesn’t even decode DD or DTS or DTS HD MA or Dolby True HD. The OP wants surround sound movies aka HT.

The Oppo BDP-105 or UDP-205 will be ideal since the 105 & 205 have superior DACs, DAC implementations, power supplies & analog audio output stages compared to that of the Oppo 103/203. So the OP can use multi-channel analog audio outs of the Oppo 105/205 to transmit those lossless surround sound formats (DTS HD MA & Dolby True HD) found on bluray discs to their fullest bandwiths since his old McIntosh MX135 lacks HDMI inputs and therefore does not support DTS HD MA & Dolby True HD. The OP can still use coax digital out to connect to his MX135 processor for those lossy DD & DTS found on DVD movie discs.


If you don’t plan on watching 4K UHD movie discs, I would suggest to look for a used Oppo BDP-105 bluray player as it is a much better universal disc player (bluray player) than the Panasonic. You should be able to find a used Oppo 105 easily in used markets such as Audiogon, Audio Mart, eBay, etc, etc.
Hello caphill,

I do want to have the ability to watch the highest definition discs and plan on getting a OLED Sony. What makes the Oppo 105 a much better universal player than the latest Panasonic?  

The rest of my my system is older as though I bought them new around 2004/2005, I never got around to using the system.  I rarely went down to my HT in the basement as my wife and kids preferred to watch movies in our master bedroom. I also have a McIntosh MVP 861 which I will use only for CD and SACD. My plan was to use any blue ray player with 7.1 audio to also play the occasional DVD. 
As an aside, my dealer and others I see online are discounting the Pioneer Elite UDP-LX500.  This unit doesn’t have 7.1 analog out but is their high end model for the USA. Apparently there is a higher level model with balanced audio outputs but not sold here.

Hopefully, the discount means a newer and better model is coming rather than them getting out of the market like Oppo.  
     I own the Oppo 105 and it's an excellent Blu-ray player but I wouldn't suggest it if you're planning on getting a 4K OLED in the near future since it's only 1080p.  I think your best bet is to try to find out if Panasonic or Pioneer are coming out with some new high end models that are 4K, have a built in 7.1 surround sound processor with analog 7.1 ch outputs and a built in 4K video processor.


Both Oppo 105/205 & the Pioneer Elite UDP LX500 are overall better quality players than the Panasonic DP UB9000 with superior DACs, DAC implementation & configuration, power supplies, analog audio output stages, disc transport mechanism (disc drive), better overall internal design topology architectures. 
Both Oppo 105/205 & the Pioneer Elite UDP LX500 will give you better sound when using analog audio out, but the Pioneer Elite UDP LX500 lacks multi-channel analog audio outs. This Pioneer Elite UDP LX500 & the Oppo 205 also provide spectacular top notch picture qualities, probably the best in comparison to other 4K UHD bluray players out there. 

Your best bet would be the Oppo 205 since it has multi-channel analog audio outs and plays 4K UHD discs and the sound and picture qualities are phenomenal for all kinds of movie playbacks (4K, bluray & DVD video disc playbacks). However, the Oppo 205 are no longer made although you can find one online but are being offered at 3x its original MSRP of $1300 when it was still in productions. It's insane. 
Hello caphill,

     You have a very good understanding of all the better quality 4K Blu-ray players being discussed.  I completely agree with you that the Oppo 205 is the best overall (video and audio) 4K player solution but, at 3x its original MSRP of $1,300 they're presently prohibitively expensive due to Oppo's withdrawal from the player market.
     I believe an ideal new 4K player that's as good would need to combine the high quality of the Panasonic DP-UB9000's video performance and multi-channel analog audio outputs with the Pioneer Elite UDP LX500's high quality audio performance and universal disc capability.  And, ideally, this Oppo 205 clone would have an MSRP as close to $1,300 as possible, although I know I and probably many others would willingly pay about double that price. 
      I currently use an Oppo 105 as the centerpiece of my streamlined system and thoroughly understand the high quality audio/video performance and exceptionally high number of important functions the top model Oppos are capable of.  
     I currently use my 105 as a preamp, a hi-res DAC up to 24 bit/192KHz resolution (I don't even currently utilize its DSD capacity) interconnected via wi-fi to a laptop and 2 TB NAS for a computer audio system, a HT preamp processor for decoding 5.1 surround sound channels outputted directly to multiple amps through its analog audio xlr and rca outputs as well as a universal disc player for Bluray and DVD video discs and CD/SACD/DVD-A audio discs.  I'll just have a need for a 4K Oppo 205  universal disc player or alternative once my 65" 1080p Panasonic plasma hdtv needs replacing, hopefully, many years from now.  I can wait at least a few years for a high quality 4K universal disc player with 5.1 or 7.1 analog surround and stereo audio outputs to come out. 
     For ymc226's situation, I believe his McIntosh MX-135 preamp-processor will continue to prove to be more of a system hindrance than a solution mainly due to its lack of HDMI inputs.  It was a big,impressive and competent prepro in its day but it's a new day and the future of audio/video is fairly clear.  If he doesn't have other components attached to it like a TT, and perhaps even if he does, I'd definitely advise selling it while it still has some value.  
     If he wants a 4K universal disc player immediately, I'd suggest buying a new or used prepro that accepts HDMI inputs for audio (there's no need to buy one that performs video processing), buy the Pioneer EliteUDP-LX500 and attach its HDMI video output to your 4K hdtv and the HDMI audio output to your upgraded prepro.


I agree with noble100 aka Tim. You will need to get rid of your old obsolete McIntosh MX135 processor. I know its resale value is worthless now.

You will need to get a more current HDMI equipped processor that supports 4K & latest HDR, Dolby Vision on the video side of thing since you are considering to purchase a brand new 4K OLED TV. And you said earlier that you also have a cable TV DVR box which you will want to eventually upgrade to the 4K capable one once you get the new 4K OLED TV. So you would want to buy a HT processor that supports 4K and its latest version of HDR & Dolby Vision. There are countless options out there. Anthem AVM60 & Marantz AV8805 are two great options and both are inexpensive and both support 4K & latest HDR, etc.

Once you get a new processor you can just connect your 4K capable cable TV DVR box & your new 4K bluray player using HDMI to a new processor for both audio & video. In this scenario you can just get a new Sony ES1000 4K bluray player, which is Sony’s flagship ES line, or the Pioneer Elite UDP LX 500 4K bluray player or the Panasonic DP UB-9000 4K bluray player and connect using HDMI to a new processor for both audio & video. All these three 4K bluray players are awesome. The Pioneer Elite UDP LX 500 will be the best option of all three. The UDP LX 500 is probably even better than the Oppo 203/205 when connected using HDMI outputs, possibly better picture quality than the Oppo 205/203 when using HDMI outputs.

In today’s AV world, everything or all AV source components and AV processors are all connected via HDMI.