Thank you for the warm welcome @Baldy, @Elk and @badbeef Finding a friendly discussion board it not too easy nowadays.
There was a lot of things going on in your messages, so I will divide this into a few parts.
The practical newbie question (as I’m not too familiar with balanced connections)
Is it possible for an XLR run of about 30 m to affect the sound quality in any meaningful way? The main driver for the original question of mine is the possibility for reusing a nice DAC in multiple places around the house. But based on my experience the difference in DACs can quite often be described as subtle ones (compared to eg. amps), so it possible that whatever I have gained by buying a nice DAC, I could lose by connecting it via a long XLR run? Or is it so that the noise rejection is such a wonderful thing, that I would not hear a difference between a 1 m run vs a 30 m run, given the cable is the same?
The philosophical subjective question for fellow audio enthusiasts
Would you go with a separate DAC for the office setup? I’m actually using most of my time there at least now during the pandemic.
The details of the possible build, just in case there is something absolutely awful in this one
Yep, I’m renovating a '49 log house with a basement and two floors. The middle floor has the bare logs visible, so if I want to run something from the basement to the second floor, I only have a couple of places where I can do this hidden from sight. Another complication is that me and my family are living here all the time as well, so I’m doing the renovation one room at a time. Because of this I have to plan quite a much in advance; I for example had to plan and do last fall for some floor heating runs beneath the kitchen floor, even though I will most probably utilise in 7 years or something like that
I’ve also understood that running balanced interconnects parallel to AC lines is a bad idea, so that takes one possible path out of the picture. Anyway, I can make the balanced runs if I want to, but those just need to take a bit longer route, thus resulting in something like a 25 m or 30 m run.
The Xindak DAC-8 that I currently own has one set of XLR outputs as well as two sets of RCAs. As far as I’ve tried, I haven’t noticed any problems with utilising those at the same time (based on my vague understanding of electronics each of the outputs seem to have their own output stages). And yes, I understand that the Xindak is not super fantastic (even though I have to say I find its SQ lovely), that all of this would be wortwhile just for it. This is more about preparation for an upgrade path.
As I’m a software developer by profession, I was thinking about some kind of custom Arduino/ESP32 control schema with IR blasters. It will be weird, but I’m confident that I can make that work if I want to.
Because of budgetary things, I was thinking DIY cables with some Mogami type + Neutrik connectors. Makes running those easier as well, as well as reduces the problem of “excess wire”.
But all in all, is this really worth it? I could just buy something like Schiit Asgard 3 with a multibit card (I’ve read quite a bit of praise for it) for the office and call it a day. Most probabely the interconnects will cost the same in the end Am I out of my mind here?