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Can this be used as a DAC only if I ever wanted to upgrade to a better amp?
Presumably it could assuming your amp has an rca input on it as you could just run the RCA outputs from this to the amp inputs on the other. This would also assume you are using the spdif (optical) or usb connections. Seems like this would be pretty expensive if all you are looking for is a dac though.
What I mean is can you get output from this un-amped, where it is only run through the DAC. Reason being the DAC chip in this is extremely solid (same as Schiit Bifrost) whereas I am less sure about the amp. I am sure the amp is very good especially since it is class A, but it is nice to have the flexibility to upgrade to a better amp without having to spend another $200-$500 on a new DAC.
It is also a really nice feature to have in case you want to use the m9xx as a DAC for powered speakers.
From what I have read and seen the rca output is controlled by the volume knob but it would probably not matter if you just don't touch the volume knob
I guess that means the RCA out is amped then which answers my question. Thanks.