Do I Need A DAC?

I have three Yamaha Aventage Receivers around the house in separate listening areas and they all support Airplay. I use my iPad and boom, I’m listening to Roon.

Other than the iMac in my office using a dragonfly dac on AudioEngine speakers, why would I need a DAC anywhere else?

The Yamaha’s have solid DAC’s and sound warm and full in stereo. Trying to make this setup easy but also complete sounding. Thanks!

If you are happy with the sound of Airplay to your Yamaha(s), there is no need for change, IMO.

1 Like

Thanks Jeff. I guess “happy” is until you hear the next best thing. But I have to say they do sound great. Two setups are Definitive Tech speakers and one is Klipsch.

Wondering how I get HQPlayer to work though.

You don’t with airplay. More hardware would be needed.

Ok. A DAC I’m assuming? Wish there was a diagram on how to set this up at home with multiple zones. Can I run one DAC and stream out to those Yamaha’s or does each Yamaha need a DAC?

HQPlayer isn’t for multizone users. It’s for a person with a primary zone and a DAC that sounds better fed the highest DSD or PCM it can handle created with Jussi’s special filters.

To use HQ Player I think you have to have some sort of computer-like device running HQ Player feeding the DAC, presumably by USB. So the computer and DAC would need to be next to your audio system unless your house is wired for analog audio.

Here is my suggestion on whether any of this is worthwhile to you: do a test where you compare the sound of the Aventage DACS to your Dragonfly. You’ll likely have to move some gear around - an audio system to your office or a computer to your living room. See if the difference makes you want to upgrade your endpoints outside of your office. Use your best speakers for this test.

Thanks James. I can clearly hear the DAC difference in my office on the Dragon Fly. Since the Yamaha’s have DACs, I’d have to understand how adding another one as an endpoint circumvents that built in DAC.

Over my network, it’s a Mac Mini and I guess it would use ROON RAAT to a compatible DAC plugged into the Receiver and then out to speakers. I’d like to explore headphones as well but seems like another large expense with headphone amps and the headphones. I like the sound of the new Bose wireless II’s I got for travel. But is the quality after getting a headphone amp and multi thousand dollar headphones really that special? No bottom to this hole.

HQ Player has an associated Network Audio Adapter (NAA) Linux daemon that performs a similar function to Roon Bridge. NAA is supported by the Sonore SonicOrbitor software and DietPi. The Core computer, usually also running HQP can be anywhere in your house. A network connected device (in my case microRendu) running the thin client NAA is near your DAC.

You can setup HQP directly to a DAC as described, but for best results Jussi recommends using an NAA.

In my view HQP is not for everyone and since I wrote that, Roon has introduced it’s own DSP that lets people experience upsampling without any further expense.

In Chris’s case he would have to shift from an Airplay based multizone system that is working well for him to use upsampling, either in Roon or HQP. Only he will be able to decide if the change is worthwhile and checking upsampling with the Dragonfly first is definitely a good idea.

1 Like

You would be outputting an analog signal from the DAC into the analog input on your Yamaha receiver. You would be bypassing the DAC in the Yamaha. IMHO some upscale receivers have quite nice DACs (I have a Marantz Pre/Pro that has a nice sound, for example) BUT a good stand-alone DAC would probably beat it. What is “good” is in the eye of the beholder.

It’s all in the eye of the beholder. Most on this forum believe it is worthwhile to assemble components dedicated to 2 channel audio. That said, my old Denon receiver has a good sounding headphone output and I’ve never felt the need to upgrade. But of course that’s in the bedroom, and I usually only listen for 10-15 minutes before I realize it is 2 in the morning and I have been asleep for 4 hours…