Summary: the DAC in the AV10 is good and has very good measurements. However, the lack of analog bypass makes no possible to use any external DAC, as it will get digitized\n\n\nI fully understand the fact that you were told by one Marantz rep that it wasn't possible to bypass the Marantz's internal dac, but since then you must have read quite a few forum members rebuttals of what that rep said, and\/or questioning\/expressing doubts about what's been said For the benefit of other members who might not have investigated this alleged issue, I would quote the following, from that AVSF (surely you read it, as you participated), just so they can have a more balanced view on this alleged issue.\n\nFirst, see their resident expert (I read a lot of his stuff, and I have the impression that he's probably an "insider", and has viewed a lot of service manuals, and evidently knows how to read schematics) bigguyca's comment:\nThe "OFFICIAL" 2022-23 MARANTZ AV 10 Flagship DIRAC Processor Owners' Thread (!!!-READ THE 1st PAGE-!!!) | Page 31 | AVS Forum\n\nIn response to the original question:\n\nGuys don't crucify me, trust me I searched and searched and read and read...but I'm still not 100% certain of one thing: Does the AVR 10 on the XLR input (I want to hook up a streamer\/DAC with balanced output like Cambridge\/Arcam\/Lumin\/etc...still trying to figure out which one) allow an external DAC's analog output on the XLR to pass through directly to the 2ch amplifier I have connected for L & R channels (which will be a JC5 via XLR's as well)?\n\nThe answer depends on your definition of "directly." If the AV 10 is like at least medium level and above Denon\/Marantz AVR\/AVP's, then there is no analog to digital to analog conversion in the AV 10 in Direct or Pure Direct modes with analog inputs.\n\nand the following shows one memember took the time to investigate further, with the help of a dealer:\nMarantz AV10 2-Channel w\/ External DAC | Page 2 | AVS Forum\n\nAgain, the reason I took the time to do this post is, so other members, owners or potential owners of the AV10 can have a more complete picture, not just the one you posted so far. It is not really directed to you as such, as I am sure you have good intention and just want to share what you know on this topic.\n\nActually, I did contact Engulfaudio and they were very helpful and provided a contact at D&M Holdings and answered my question, according to Marantz it is a pass-through via Pure-Direct. Also, thanks for all the feedback.\n\nHere's one post about how a member questioned the rep(s), he talked to 2 reps apparently further:\nMarantz AV10 2-Channel w\/ External DAC | AVS Forum\n\nYou can see in the quote that those reps are not really sure, the part about the crossover thing is sort of a straw man argument, though the rep was at least thinking logically. On that suggestion, I got a response from Marantz that it was explainable as to how they could do the small\/crossover without "digitizing". Actually Gene found that similar thing in his review of one of the old Denon flagship, that it was able to do small and crossover without the signal being digitized (not too relevant but just want to mention it in case someone might be interested to know).\n\nI had a discussion with Marantz customer support a few minutes ago. The fellow I spoke with did not know whether Direct and Pure Direct remain analog from input to output. He consulted a colleague and was told that the loudspeaker crossover section was digital only. Setting the front left and right speakers to Small and using a subwoofer thus required digital conversion of the source input.\n\nI then asked whether setting the front speakers to Large would allow the input to remain fully analog. The two reps did not know if this would bypass the digital section, but promised to research this further with their superiors and get back to me within 48 hours. I will, of course, provide an update here when an answer is received. \n\nAnother post there where the member expressed doubt:\nMarantz AV10 2-Channel w\/ External DAC | AVS Forum\n\nThanks for all the replies, and it's clear as mud :), yes this has been discussed for years, and that is correct I want to leverage the external DAC. I called Marantz and the resource was not sure as well and I asked to have my question escalated and get back w\/ me. I would hope\/assume the "Pure Direct" indeed by-passes the Marantz internal DACS....\n\nAnother post, that seem to be directed to the one above, about doubting the Marantz rep's as he's getting inconsistent responses too:\nMarantz AV10 2-Channel w\/ External DAC | Page 2 | AVS Forum\n\nThat contradicts what Marantz tech support said to me earlier this week, stating that setting the front left and right loudspeakers to Small requires using a digital conversion even when using the Direct and Pure Direct modes. I was told the AV 10 does not have an analog crossover circuit, only a digital one. Thus, a source using an AV 10 analog input combined with high-pass\/low-pass filtering has no way of remaining analog all the way through to the preamp's output.\n\nDifferent Marantz techs and different answers--most frustrating. \n\n\nDespite what has been said, you still seem to insist on the untruth:\n\nBelow is direct quote from your post on AVSF:\n\nIn the former models the only way to bypass the internal DAC was by using the “7.1CH IN” inputs. This way the AV did not process anything and did not allow you to use any DSP, tone control, EQ, etc\n\n@m. zillch then explained to you that you might be wrong, yet your mind seems to be made up just because of one response you got from one Marantz customer rep, and ignore others. That was then, and now, after I took the time to find you more relevant information originated from a product manager who most likely knows more than the first line customer support reps, you still seem so sure that you, and\/or that particular Marantz rep is correct and everyone else including Gene, Amir, and others are wrong.