Question on how DAC’s work...


Hello all!

In my system, my digital sources are a Denon DVD-2900 disc player (CD/DVD-Audio/SACD) & a Bluesound Vault 2. Most of my listening these days is done with the Vault 2 streaming Tidal, especially the growing catalog of MQA offerings. 

My first question is, if I were to start using an external DAC, and that DAC does not have MQA compatibility, would I still be getting the potential of “better sound” from the external DAC even though the Vault is doing all the unfolding?

My second question is if my disc player exports SACD at a different bit-rate than what the DAC is capable of, will the DAC upscale or alter the bit-rate to get better performance?

Sorry if these are rudimentary questions, but the only DAC I’ve purchased to this point is a Meridian Explorer 2 that I’m using in a PC audio setup & was pretty much plug & play. 

Thanks for any help...Hope you’re all doing well!

Arvin
Previewarvincastro
My second question is if my disc player exports SACD at a different bit-rate than what the DAC is capable of, will the DAC upscale or alter the bit-rate to get better performance?
If you use digital out to an external dac the Denon will only do PCM you're not getting the SACD signal to the external dac so it will play the 16/44 layer. Of course some dacs can upsample/oversample. 
If your preference is to do Tidal MQA and you don't want to use the Bluesound Vault dac you would need a MQA capable dac to do the complete unfold. 
Thanks everyone...as usual, you've all been very helpful!

Arvin
Arvin,
I have 4 pieces of Bluesound kit in the house, a couple of first generation Node N100 players, a first generation Node N150 streaming Amp and a Node 2i.   I’ve used both the N100 and Node 2i pieces with external DACs, in which case both pieces perform the first MQA unfold, getting you all the way to 96K.   This has been the case with both my Bryston BDA1 as well as my Chord Qutest.
Thanks for sharing, @jazzman7...that's exactly what I had hoped for!

Arvin