Posted on: 2011-01-26 21:33:00 -0500

My only significant criticism of our LG 32LE5400 TV was that a headphone jack provided the only analog audio output, and a poor quality one at that. I decided to find a find an external digital-to-analog converter (DAC) that I could connect to the TV’s optical digital output to improve the situation.

The complicating factor was that the TV outputs a Dolby Digital signal in some circumstances, and many DACs can only decode a 2-channel PCM signal. Otherwise, grabbing a used Theta DAC off Audiogon would have been a no-brainer since old digital equipment usually sells for less than ten cents on the dollar.

Some searching brought up a couple of models:

The Denon AVD-2000 ended up as my first choice. It has two each coaxial and optical inputs, decodes both Dolby Digital and DTS, and provides two-channel record outputs that bypass the volume control and six-channel pre-amp outputs after the volume control. This seemed like it would offer the greatest flexibility for integrating the decoder into our system.

I ended up winning one on eBay for $40 plus $20 shipping. The cables for connecting it into our system cost more than that!

We’ll see how I end up connecting it. One option is to run its pre-amp connections into our existing Adcom GFP-750. Another option is to connect it directly to our Bryston 4B ST, connect the Adcom via its XLR outputs, and select between the two using the switch on the back of the Bryston.