I believe a dac would make a differnce in the sound because of the price constraints of the built in dac.The Benchmark is a good dac and I doubt Sony's built in dac is as good. Goodluck , Frank.
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The DAC is the center piece of your system. This is where you are converting the digital information from your cd to your analog for your amp. So basically the faster you convert this information the better the sound I own am MSB
Tech Platium Player but look at their less expenive models and you will be pleasantly surprised with their proformance.
The transducers in your system (DAC, cartridge, and speakers) make the biggest difference on the final sound. Make sure that the electronics mated with these transducers are appropriate and spend the most time and money to buy the best possible transducers and you will get very satisfying sound. That said, I recently bought an MHZS CD66E and it made a large difference in the small variations in dynamics that allows me to be pulled into the music.