My goal right now is to create a 2.1 stereo setup that will allow me to play music from my Macbook. After much research, I realized that I had two options: (1) external dac -> stereo amp/receiver -> bookshelf speakers or (2) optical line out from my Macbook -> AV receiver -> bookshelf speakers. (BTW, if I'm wrong about anything, please let me know. I'm a fledging audiophile who only recently started learning about all this.) Initially, I intended to go with the first route because many people have stated that the sound quality of an external dac and stereo amp combo would be far better than the sound quality of the internal dac inside of a similarly priced AV receiver. In other words, you'd get more bang for the buck by buying an external dac and stereo amp rather than an AV receiver if all I wanted to do was to play music from my Macbook, as opposed to watching movies on a home theater system (which, at this point, I could care less for).
But JUST when I thought I had it all figured out, I decided to go the second route after seeing a CRAZY deal on a brand new Yamaha RX-A1000 ($1100 retail price, $700 on Amazon) which a local Bestbuy was selling for $430. I bought it because I thought that the internal dac on a $1100 receiver, which I bought for $430, would be of same (if not better) sound quality than that of an external dac priced at ~$400. And of course, that's not even considering the fact that I'd have to buy a stereo amp/receiver (~$200) on top of the external dac in order to complete my setup if I went with the second route.
So here's my question: Should I keep the Yamaha receiver? Or should I refund it and go with the external dac and stereo amp/receiver route since good stereo sound is all that I'm after?
Thanks in advance for all your help guys!