What if?

I’m just shooting the breeze here - this is not something I’m seriously thinking of doing.

My Nova has a couple of analogue inputs for anything that happens to need them. My understanding is that these analogue signals are converted to digital before being passed through the Nova’s own dac. I have tried passing the output of a couple of other dacs I have in my possession (DacMagic and Mojo) through these inputs just to see what happened. In both cases I preferred the sound of the straight output from the Nova’s own dac.

My question is does the Nova’s dac pose an absolute limit on the output of the Nova? Or what if I were to introduce a really high end dac from dCS or Chord or similar would that quality get passed through. I suspect I’m displaying my ignorance of “how dacs work” but I find these things fascinating.

I did try a Qutest and Chord Dave at my dealers to no avail…….the Nova was better off without the other dacs upfront imo.

Since ‘everything’ goes thru the Nova’s DAC (I am assuming that what you say is right here - I don’t claim to know details of the Nova’s design), then - yes - using a ‘better’ DAC upstream is likely to be pointless.

When I was using my Trinnov (which converts everything to digital) different TTs sounded different as did my Brinkmann Nyquist Dac vs the internal Dac. I would not say it sounded better though, just different. This is why I switched to Naim. I could not see any point of running analog sources through an ultimately cheaper internal Dac.