Pre-Amp input questions.


New audiophile here. Inherited an Audio Acoustics LS16 tubed pre-amp. 

Currently the standard RCA inputs are full: CDP in CD, tuner in Tuner, turntable (pre-amp) in Aux.

At times I'll use Apple Music or Tidal via laptop headphone jack into RCA 'y' cable. But now the only RCA inputs are "Processor" and "Monitor". I have no idea what those are for but do know that when in use the volume control on the LS16 does not function and volume is controlled by whatever device is plugged into them.

I am considering getting a DAC at some point. A cheap one to be sure. But now don't know where to connect it (or the RCA 'y' cable for that matter). Can the "Processor" or "Monitor" RCA in ports be used for this?

I do have another alternative. My tuner has balanced-out ports and there are two free balanced-in ports on the LS16. So I could free up the 'Tuner' RCA ins by buying some XLR cables for the tuner but it is my understanding that with this particular tuner it is unlikely to make any significant SQ difference. So if I can plug the DAC into the "Processor" or "Monitor" RCAs it would allow me not to spend money on XLR cables I don't need.

Any help much appreciated,

George
n80
Normally you would put the DAC between the CD player and the preamp. It would also act as a switcher for any other digital sources. 
"Audio Acoustics LS16"
Could the preamp be an Audio Research LS16?

http://www.audioresearch.com/ContentsFiles/LS16LS16II_Manual.pdf
erik, the low end DAC I’m looking at has USB in and 1 set of RCA out, that’s it.

dill, yes, Audio Research. I’m surprised some company from China is not using Audio Acoustics....the name says so much and yet so little. ;-)

My speakers are Aerial Acoustics.
You can use the monitor or the processor as the inputs for the DAC and use the toggle switches on the front to select the source.
You can use the monitor or the processor as the inputs for the DAC and use the toggle switches on the front to select the source.
Provided the DAC has its own volume control
After reading the LS16 manual, it looks like the processor input has unity gain, therefore it can't be used with gear without a volume control, however the monitor input (as in tape deck) would be variable and controlled by the LS16's volume control.
That's correct. I had consulted the manual but for whatever reason I misread it and thought that both Monitor and Processor inputs lost volume control. Any, thanks, that works well.