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So this would not work with powered monitors, i.e. Kanto YU3's, etc?
This is a DAC/amp combo intended to work with passive speakers. You could make it work with active speakers by taking the signal from the headphone output but this is less than ideal and a DAC/preamp with line-level outs is what you want. Speaking of Kanto YU3's, it looks like they have digital optical inputs so you don't really need a DAC with them as it is already built in.
Is there something like a DAC/preamp alone? I only saw that as a HP amp with preamp outs, but always secondary feature.
Sure, there are purposely built DACs that don't have a built-in speaker amp but have volume-controlled line-level outputs if that is what you're asking. Optoma DAC80, Emotiva Stealth DC-1, Teac UD-503 , Centrance DACMini CX with variable output mod to name a few but they tend to be pricier. If you have active speakers with volume control you don't really need it on the DAC too so you can use any standalone DAC with fixed line out which is the prevalent kind.
Yeah but it's DAC is not up to par with dedicated units like this..
If active speakers appeal to you, buy nothing else until you know what you want. They should provide everything you want until they don't ( which is not as deep as it sounds)
Not all active speakers have a built-in DAC, so if one needs a DAC it would have to be a separate device.