AV Bypass ... or?

I recently set up the AV Bypass on the NAC 282 so as to benefit from having the Hi-Fi speakers when watching TV (whatever source).

I presently have two set-ups: the Naim Hi-Fi through which I stream ripped CDs via the NDX ~ Naim DAC; and a Pioneer AV receiver ~ Panasonic TV, et al. for viewing.

I also connect the Pioneer BluRay to the Naim DAC by optical cable which allows me to enjoy music concerts, etc. through the Hi-Fi.

Question: instead of feeding the optical cable from the BluRay player, could I feed it from the AV Receiver (optical out) to the Naim DAC and hence dispense with the standard audio cables presently feeding from the AV receiver’s Pre-outs to the NAC 282?

My online research has lead me nowhere and I wonder whether this is because it doesn’t work … but worry that it may be harmful to either/both the AV receiver / Naim DAC.

Purpose: I watch streamed concerts via Chromecast Ultra which is connected to the AV receiver by HDMI but “think” the sound would be improved if routed via the Naim DAC.

Any thoughts?
Thank you,

Yes it should work fine, just make sure the receiver is sending pcm stereo only as the Naim dac can’t handle anything like Dolby digital etc surround formats.

Thank you … if I give it a try, I shall report back.

I hadn’t given any thought to the sound format (the AV receiver has several!) so I will allow for that … as and when.

Humm I might be misreading but if you have AV bypass its presumably because your receiver controls volume, and you have 5.1 or 2.1 speaker set up.

Things could get weird if you dont use the bypass if nothing else you will loose left and right channels of your speaker set up when watching content.

Sorry if I have miunderstood.

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Good point from Gary. If you feed the Naim DAC from the AV receiver then you’ll lose the AV bypass functionality. You may also introduce some latency too.

Thank you both for these additional considerations.

According to the Pioneer VSX-LX52 handbook, the Optical Out is to be used for connection to a “CD-R, MD, DAT, etc.” and so, I assume, the signal will carry valid L&R channels.

Volume and Balance would be under control of the NAC 282, being fed from the Naim DAC, in the same way as - presently - I can play BluRays.

It may be that the SQ will be no better than that I already achieve using the AV Bypass but the aim of my proposal is to use the Naim Hi-Fi for both DAC and Amp duties.

Clearly, it would be simpler to find a way to connect the Chromecast Ultra to Naim but if I do that … how do I get the picture? Hence my Heath Robinson suggestion. :grinning:

I suppose it depends on if that digital out is just a passthrough for digital coming in. To my mind you would have HDMI out from the Blueray into the receiver and then AV bypass will feed the front speakers.

This will do you for standard films and what have you. Then hook up the SPDIF from the blueray to the DVD for if you want pure stereo and best sound. That would work.

Again I work on the premise you have a receiver because of 5.1 or 2.1 set up, if you dont. then I really dont understand why you have the receiver.

The AV set-up is 5.1 so that I can watch TV, Virgin cable, Humax Freesat, DVD, BluRay … and now Chromecast … using the Pioneer receiver. This has ProAc speakers but they’re the small Hexa ones, supplemented by the ER1 Subwoofer.

Superb as it is (and it is!) I know the Hi-Fi sound I get through my Naim set-up is far better (more enjoyable, etc.) The NAP 250 feeds ProAc TriTowers.

Several years ago I linked the Pioneer BluRay optical out to the Naim DAC which means that I can listen to the sound via the Hi-Fi instead of (or as well as!) the Pioneer AV receiver. When I select PCM stereo on the BluRay menu I find the SQ via Naim is superior to that from the Pioneer AV receiver.

The standard AV Bypass (AV receiver’s Pre-outs to NAC 282 using stereo audio cables) works well and allows me either to replace the 5.1 Hexa with the Tri-Towers or combine :slight_smile:

Since the BluRay optical out connection to the DAC works perfectly, I wondered if I could move this cable from the BluRay player to the AV receiver’s optical out but was concerned that I might cause damage to either component, hence my query.

The audio and visual sourced from the Chromecast Ultra would still feed into the AV receiver, picture to the TV monitor but audio now routed as if going to a digital recorder (as per the handbook).

It may not work, may be a stupid idea but it appears that it may have inherent problems as mentioned above. If it works I would dispense with the AV Bypass setup.

I know I have too many components and should rationalise … e.g. I won’t replace the 13+ yr old DVD recorder when it fails :slight_smile:

I am struggling sorry. Do you know what the point of AV bypass is? Its there so that you can use the pre outs on your receiver to goto the 282 to give you your left and right channel handled by the naim amps giving you superior left and right sounds whilst your centre and rears are managed by the receivers amps.

You plug your hdmi from the blueray into the receiver. The receiver sends the relevant audio to the 282 and its own amps, and video to your TV.
If you want superior sound by going direct to dac (totally get this) then simply hook up the spdif from the blue ray to the dac and select the relevant inputs on your 282 and dac This will be good for stereo sound from the blue ray only. If what you want to listen to is 5.1 then it must go via the receiver. I get that you want to output the audio from the receiver but you still need the AV bypass for everything else.

If its your plan to have left and right managed by the dac and rear and centre by the receiver that wont work.

Thank you, Gary, for seeking to put me right … and I apologise: my postings have not been clear. I accept all what you say except for the last paragraph. For Chromecast Ultra I already have 5.1 (with or without AV Bypass) or any other of the sound options available on the AV receiver. I’m looking to get 2.0 stereo as if the CU was plugged into the DAC.

I referred to the BluRay (music concerts) simply as an example: whilst SQ using the Pioneer AV receiver is excellent (and improved further using AV Bypass) I find best SQ is achieved by eliminating the Pioneer AV receiver and playing the disc 2.0 pcm stereo direct to the DAC ~ 282. The BluRay~AV HDMI connection continues to provide the visuals.

Even if I could plug the CU dongle into the DAC, I’d have the problem of how to get the visuals to the TV monitor. Hence I’m looking to see how I can get the digital audio from the CU dongle to the DAC whilst leaving it plugged into the AV receiver.

All for now and my thanks to you and the other contributors.

Right I see.

Well i guess the first port of call is if the SPDIF is simply a pssthrough or is any processing happening. But ultimately I think you might be trying to put lipstick on a pig, chromcast is ok, but the efforts you are going to, to improve sound may be in vein, its like 40 quid :slight_smile:

Your main issue may will be lip sync. Ultimately you may just want to try, but I wouldnt assume the digital output is necessarily connected to input, I have a big ol pioneer down stairs probably with the same facility I’ll take a look.

Well, now having tried this out I can report …

… it doesn’t work! :frowning:

I tried adjusting the AV’s sound menu through various options, including Direct, Stereo but if any signal is output via the receiver’s optical out then the Naim DAC does not recognise it.

Oh well, at least I’ve scratched that itch and will continue to enjoy the Chromecast Ultra streamed concerts with the AV Bypass feature.

Is there a setting to ensure output is set to PCM as I’m surprised the DAC doesn’t recognise a 2.0 signal.

On the back of mine (SC-LX86) the optical out is grouped with 2 optical ins, I would imagine its just passing through the signal from those optical inputs

Not that I know of. It’s a standard Pioneer AV receiver with a variety of sound options but I’ve not found anything which controls the Optical Out sound signal.

Mine (VSX-LX52) is the same, albeit there may be three Optical inputs.
Your suggestion appears logical … I gave it a try so now I move forward (and start thinking again about updating the NDX :slight_smile:

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