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catfell's picture
Last seen: 6 years 2 months ago
Joined: Aug 30 2011 - 2:10pm
System design/setup question with multiple digital and analog audio sources

So I am in the planning stages of a full gut renovation of our home, and need some advice.  

I want to integrate my old school hi-fi system including a turntable (LP12), analog radio tuner along with some newer digital and non-digital sources.  

So here are all my envisioned source components:


Analog radio tuner

Wii gamesystem

CD player to be used as a transport


Latest generation Tivo or verizon's fios DVR set top box

Blu-ray DVD player

DAC (not purchased yet)

I have an old Audio Research preamp feeding an old Rotel power amp connected to some B&W 805's.  

The turntable, tuner and Wii are analog sources, so they will be connected directly to the preamp.  

However, I am planning on getting a separate DAC (which will connect to the preamp), but I am not sure what is the best way to connect everything digital to the DAC.  

I can either connect all four digital audio sources directly to the DAC, if I can find a DAC that has four inputs or find a digital audio switch of some sort to allow the DAC to receive more sources than it has inputs.  (What kind of effect do such switches have on the sound?)

Or I can plug the CD player (as a transport) and squeezebox directly into the DAC, and since the TV will be fed signals from the tivo/cablebox and Blu-ray via HDMI, connect the digital audio out from the TV into the DAC, and let the TV switch audio between the two sources.  The added bonus of this setup is that I will not have to change the input of the DAC when switching between cable and DVD.  

So I either have three or four digital audio sources.  

Will passing the digital audio through the TV degrade the sound?

Is there another way to connect all of this that I am not considering?

We have a relatively small co-op apartment, so I do not want to bother with a multi-speaker setup.  Two-channel audio should be just fine in the small living room.  Even adding a subwoofer to add some boom for movies would just annoy the neighbors.  

We are building a custom cabinet for most of the gear, so I need to work out all the wiring ahead of time.  

Thanks in advance,


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