Home theater setup with DS DAC


I’m still waiting for my M700s and the DirectStream DAC to arrive :frowning:
I’ve a question on the possible HT setups.
I’ve a Denon AVC-X6500H as AV receiver and I want to integrate the M700s and the DSD in the system.
A simple solution would be to add a Stellar DAC as preamp, connect DSD to the preamp, the L/R preouts from the AVC to the preamp, the two M700s to the pre amp.

But what about this: I’ll connect the DSD to the analog input of the AVC, then the M700s to the L/R preouts from the AVC. In this case I would use the “Pure direct” mode when listening to the DSD.

And what about this scenario. I’ll connect the DSD to the M700s via XLR, and the AVC’s preout to the M700s via RCA. Would this work?


Sounds complicated. Simplicity is bliss. What don’t you like about the Denon that you feel the need to complicate things by adding those other things?


#1 would work

#2 might work, but is not recommended.

#3 Get the Stellar and use the home theater mode.

Merry Christmas!


There’s nothing about the Denon that I don’t like. I’ve just received it in substitution of a NAD 777v3 that was producing popping sounds, and NAD itself wasn’t able to solve that issue. During the 6 months of experiments to try to solve NAD’s problem, I’ve decided to simplify my life and have a dedicated setup for music ( DAC + power amps).and a simplified solution for movies (soundbar).
That’s why I ordered the M700s and the DS DAC :wink:

But then the AV receiver’s local distributor decided to give me the Denon in exchange of the NAD, instead of the full refund, so I’m trying to understand how to fit the two scenarios.

Frankly speaking I also think that I really need some sort of equalisation or digital room correction in my room, so solution #1 ( DAC -> analog to Denon -> preout-> M700s) would allow me to get DRC from DAC, assuming that the “pure direct” mode is pure enough


"assuming that the “pure direct” mode is pure enough"

That’s the big question with AVRs, isn’t it? Most ‘pure direct’ modes are marketing. Yes they shut down as much circuitry and processing as possible, but the analog signal from the DS DAC gets converted to digital and then back to analog as is makes its way through the AVR. If the subwoofer works with ‘pure direct’ then it is doing ADA conversion inside the AVR. I don’t know what the deal is with your Denon but I suspect it is doing some ADA conversion.

Some AVRs, NAD being one of them IIRC, do have an all-analog pure direct mode, and they usually advertise this fact. Some that have an all-analog path, like Arcam, will say it really isn’t needed with their AVR because the ADA conversion is inaudible and may actually sound worse because you are not taking advantage of their DSP features etc. I’m not sure.

In my case, I decided that I wanted the DSjr to handle all the digital-to-analog duties and went with an analog stereo pre-amp with home-theater bypass mode. This allows me share speakers with movies and music, and ensure my 2.1 listening is all analog after it leaves the DSjr.


You say you decided to simplify your life, but then you decided to complicate it with those other things. I don’t understand. Given you have the new stuff on the way, it has no place connected to an AVR. I’d run the PS stuff separately as a dedicated music system, and let the Denon AVR look after HT duty.