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Picking a DAC - dedicated theater and music listening - inputs welcome


New Member
Jan 14, 2021
Hi everyone - first post - enjoying a few cloudy days in Arizona :).

I'm slowly upgrading my basement theater (details in signature) which I use personally for music listening whereas movie night is the whole family (eventually headed for Atmos/object-based surround but that's a separate topic).

Short-term goal - slot in an external DAC in the chain for my music listening (hence this post).

Long-term goal - probably a Denon AVR 3700H or 4700H for the improved surround processing, possibly going with dedicated Hypex or Purifi amps up front (stereo, maybe center channel as well - TBD).

  1. What is technically the difference between "dedicated" and "multifunction" DACs when researching measured devices (Device Type filter found here)?
  2. Is there anything "wrong" in considering some of the smaller, desktop-ish DACs for my system? Some of these, not all, appear to be tailored to the headphone crowd. Many of them measure quite well, are very inexpensive, have analog outs which I could easily feed my current AVR with. Am I daft in considering any of these???
  3. Is it prudent to consider a DAC for the center-channel as well? I frequently toggle stereo/Logic 7/Dolby modes when listening to music - just depends on what's being played but don't see any mention of this anywhere (is it even feasible?).
Thanks in advance!
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