In my long and arduous journey towards understanding the ins and outs of hi-fi audio I have hit a road block. What is the difference between a DAC and a decoder? When reading reviews for Blu-ray players or AV receivers I often hear them talk about how they can decode Dolby True HD or DTS-HD Master Audio, does this mean they automatically have a good DAC as well? One would think that a device with the ability to decode the highest quality audio formats, would also come equipped with a very good DAC. Although I think I have a broad understanding of these two functions, I'm still a little fuzzy on exactly what they each do, and what the differences between them are. While I know to look for players and receivers that can decode Dolby True HD or DTS-HD Master Audio, how do I know whether my player or AV receiver comes equipped with a good DAC?
Also, where in the audio signal chain do you recommend having the digital to analog conversion done?