Sorry for the noob question... but why do I need a DAC?
Hi folks - I've already searched the forums and found a few threads entitled "Do I need a DAC?"... but they don't really tell me what I need to know.
At the minute I do all my listening on my PC, but would like to get out of the office a bit more. I use EAC to rip my CDs to FLAC and then Foobar to play those via WASAPI > Asus Xonar DS sound card with the LM4562NA Op Amp upgrade > BeyerDynamic headphones.
I'd like to build a decent Hi-fi in the living room, but I rarely play a CD from start to finish, preferring to create playlists in Foobar, so I'd like to continue this approach through an amp and speakers... hence my question - where does the DAC come in?
Why can't I simply connect a PC (or laptop) containing Foobar and all my FLAC files to an amp directly? What is the benefit of a DAC?
I'm competent working with PCs and Macs (do it for a living) but Hi-fi seems a bit of a dark art.
I'd really appreciate a layman's explaination of the importance of a DAC, or a redirect to some relevant information on "Hi-fi for idiots."
Thanks for your time.