DVD -> External DAC -> Receiver


I have a NAD C740 stereo receiver (mind you, there are no digital inputs on this unit) paired with Paradigm Atoms and a Philips DVD-727 that I recently purchased to watch movies and listen to CDs/MP3s on. The progressive scan video from the DVD is superb, but I've noticed that the audio quality on this unit, while decent, is lacking. Obviously, it's the player's DAC that I'm hearing, so I'm wondering...

Is it worth getting an external DAC, plugging the optical output from my DVD player into it, and then hooking up analog cables from the DAC to the receiver? Or should I just go get a new DVD player with a better quality DAC? The Philips DVD was a steal at $80 for the picture; how much more would a DAC cost me vs. buying a DVD player with both quality video and audio? I've read a number of posts saying that DVD players typically play CDs poorly... would having an external DAC solve this problem?


What you suggest would be logical, but too logical for the audio world. Outboard processors are so rare because it is reasoned that if you want to break down your components that far, you must be willing to spend MAJOR BUCKS on an outboard processor. So they would cost as much or more as your whole system--probably more. I know I have not seen one for under $800.

You can get an NAD T532 on closeout right now for $299 from Saturday Audio (www.saturdayaudio.com), which is also a progressive scan DVD player, and it has separate power regualtors for both the digital and the analog sections of the player--leads to cleaner sound. I know this is a bit more costly than your Phillips, but that is what I think it will cost to get what you want.

Your other alternative is to buy an NAD T 742 AV receiver and use its internal DACs for your DVD sound, and letting the Phillips concentrate on the picture. Cost is $449 at Saturday Audio and gives you an start on a HT system.
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