Been poking around and I've waded through to the point where I have decided that I likely have too many inputs (3-4) in my secondary setup to rely on a DAC. Currently running out of a monitor's built in speakers, so anything will be an improvement! But I want to do it right.
At this point, do you think it would be better to find a pre-amp with several optical inputs hooked up to a pair of active stereo speakers, or just go for a regular AV Receiver?
Some of my main issues:
Will the DAC in a preamp be any different than the DAC in an AV receiver of similar quality? Marantz/Yamaha/Pioneer/etc.
If I go the receiver route, would passive speakers be best since it is an amp anyway?
Will going with a preamp and active speakers just save a lot of trouble matching speakers and receivers, or would passive speakers be of a higher quality? I am somewhat concerned if the built in amp ever dies I'm out some speakers, whereas I could just get a new receiver w/ passives. I have had my current receiver + passives in my home theater setup for about 10 years, so I know that setup is reliable.
Trying to stay near 2k for the whole audio setup, speakers included.
Here are my sources:
PC w/ FLAC audio- Optical (Primary source - 95% of the time)
Gaming Console - Optical/HDMI (Now that I can't monopolize the home theater anymore!)
Gaming Console - Optical/HDMI ( " " )
Gaming Console - HDMI
All going to a stereo output as the room is too small for surround sound, and I prefer to focus on quality stereo speakers, potentially upgrading at a later date if I find myself with more space.
Have been looking at AudioEngine 5+, Vanatoo T1's, Adam F7, etc for active speakers. Haven't really hunted down passive speakers yet since I'm not sure if I'm even going that direction.
Thanks for the help!