I found Benchmark DAC1 to be slightly cleaner than my HT processor alone using Toslink. The difference was small though. A friend of mine actually preferred the HT processor sound (it was less "articulate" or "recording" sounding or more musical to his ears). My suggestion would be to check yourself - get a DAC with a 30 day return policy and test and test and test - the nice thing about an HT preamp is you can usually level match to 0.5 db with a test signal for A/B testing and then switch from the listening chair using the remote to compare.
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