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using the dac's in a receiver to play music (1 Viewer)

Nov 24, 2002
i was told by a friend that he had heard that i could bypass the internal dac's in a dvd player and use the dac's in a receiver to play music.
im going to be running a harman kardon avr 525...can anyone tell me if this is true and any benefit of doing something like this.
and if it is true..how do i go about doing this?
using coaxial/optical inputs to the receiver for movies and an analog set of rca's to the cd input of the receiver????
i dont have the money to buy a dedicated high quality cd player..
one last question....what is the difference between coax input and optical...benefits and disadvantages?
thanks for any feedback
im a total newby to HT
ive been a car stereo nut for years...i think i might have outgrown it though....is that blasphemy??

Tim Hoover

May 27, 2001
To bypass the player's DACs, just use the coax or optical digital out when listening to a CD. That will make the receiver perform the digital to analog conversion. The benefit of doing this is if the receiver has better quality DACs than the DVD player.

Now, as to whether coax or optical is better... Neither one is inherently superior to the other. The optical is completely immune to RFI, but some feel that it has a weaker sound than coax. I prefer coax simply for the snugness of the connections.


Second Unit
Aug 23, 2002
The benefit ... is if the receiver has better quality DACs than the DVD player
Even if the DVD or CD player has really superb DACs you still may want to do this. If you are using your receiver's EQ or tone controls or bass management (subwoofer output and high pass on the mains), then be aware that modern receivers do all that in the digital domain. So the ideal way to connect any source is digitally. Otherwise the receiver needs to convert the analog inputs to digital before processing, adding a whole generation of DAC->ADC, which is never good.
The only exception is if you are using some type of analog bypass mode of the receiver, which will bypass the analog-digtial-analog conversions (and bypasses the EQ/tone controls).


Second Unit
Oct 25, 2001
Chris, try this: Connect the digital output to your receiver's DVD-Input and the analog L/R outs from your DVD-Player to your receiver's Cd-Input (or Aux). Play a CD in your DVD-Player. Now you can hear your DVD-Player's DAC's by selecting CD (or Aux), and you can hear your receiver's DAC's by selecting DVD. Which sounds best?

Before deciding which is best, be sure that the levels are well-matched, and be mindful of Aaron's points above.
Nov 24, 2002
thanks everyone for your advice,
its a learning experience for me from here on.
im looking forward to C.E.S. in january that way ill get to see all the stuff i cant afford..
but ill come home with lots of ideas for the future

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