Digital Source Question.

Paul T

Wammer
Wammer
Mar 6, 2013
27
0
0
Denbighshire
AKA
Paul
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
I have approximately 500 CDs ripped using DB poweramp to a DS114 Synology NAS connected via USB to a Teddy DAC. The assumption being that there should be no difference in sound quality between playing CDs using a transport to that of the ripped files on the NAS using DS audio media player. I would be interested to hear of anyone's experiences with CD transports particularly in view of the wide variations in CD transport costs, Cyrus for example produce several transports, the CDT at £900, CDT XT at £1900 and Audiolab 6000 CDT at a little under £400 (all with very positive reviews).I'm just curious to understand the impact of a transport when logically (to me anyway ) there should be no difference. 

[SIZE=14.6667px]I would greatly appreciate any advice and experiences of such transports including alternatives such as servers (e.g. Innuos Zenith MK3) or any other means of improving my digital front end. I hope to be able to shortlist a number of options for audition[/SIZE]

[SIZE=14.6667px]Many thanks in advance.[/SIZE]

[SIZE=14.6667px] [/SIZE]

 

PuritéAudio

Super Dealer
Jul 10, 2016
6,648
1,715
0
London
AKA
Keith
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
As long as the ‘transport’ sends bit perfect data that is it, although obviously dealers will try and sell you , external power supplies etc etc.

Keith

 
  • Upvote
Reactions: karlinamillion

Fourlegs

WAVE Digital Cables
HiFi Trade
May 5, 2014
6,163
3,693
183
Melton Mowbray
www.wavehighfidelity.com
AKA
Nick
HiFi Trade?
  1. Yes
The important issue with digital data transfer is to keep it free of RF noise which can get into DAC analogue stages and cause intermodulation distortion. One way of doing this is to use optical cables between the source and the DAC (although if there are routes for ground currents to flow eg through power supplies then all bets are off there). So I would sat that if one can use optical then the source of the digital whether from disk or player is not really important. Having said that I use a Zenith which is USB output only but Innuos go to great lengths to minimise RF noise on their digital outputs.

 

Paul T

Wammer
Wammer
Mar 6, 2013
27
0
0
Denbighshire
AKA
Paul
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
Thanks for the replies. I do like the idea of putting a CD in to a player and pressing play. Just seems odd the huge range of transport prices.

 

MartinC

Wammer
Wammer
Jul 29, 2005
8,786
4,979
158
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
Thanks for the replies. I do like the idea of putting a CD in to a player and pressing play. Just seems odd the huge range of transport prices.
Bear in mind selling HiFi equipment is a business. People will sell products they think there is a market for, at prices they feel they can make a profit from. Just because someone makes and sells a £2k CD transport doesn't tell you anything one way or the other about whether there is any benefit to buying one.

 
  • Upvote
Reactions: Tony_J

newlash09

newlash09
Wammer
Aug 10, 2018
2,736
2,167
148
India
AKA
Y.Manohar
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
I recently tried a friends rega CD player ( not sure if it was the Apollo or Saturn. But was top loading )

It was tried as a pure transport, going coaxial into my dac cum preamp. And again tried via its analogue outputs into the same dac cum preamp.

We were 3 blokes trying to pick a difference. But there was absolutely none. So if one already has a good CD player and a big collection of CD's. Then faffing with ripping them into NAS or servers might be more about improving the convenience than the sound quality. Just my 2 cents.

 
  • Like
Reactions: whitehart and Croma

notevenclose

Wammer
Wammer
Aug 31, 2007
2,600
915
158
Perth, Scotland
AKA
Miles
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
 Just seems odd the huge range of transport prices.
Why? Same as with anything else in hifi these days, huge range of prices in every category. The most expensive option is rarely the best-sounding, but then that's invariably true of the cheapest one either.

 

BillShatnersToupee

aka MajorFubar
Wammer
Aug 7, 2018
316
254
0
Lancashire, UK
AKA
Jon Vincent
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
My opinion: if a transport is making a difference, then it's not doing it's job properly. A mass produced USB drive costing £15 from China can rip a CD bit perfectly. I expect a dedicated transport to be no less competent.

Remember the days when we installed computer apps from CDs and DVDs? If the CD/DVD drive couldn't read them perfectly, then the apps would generally neither install nor run. There is no middle ground. Even though data discs are recorded differently to audio discs, fundamentally the same rules apply, because he Reed-Solomon error correction either fixes a read error perfectly or there is an audible artefact (skip). There is no in-between, where one CD transport has e.g. better bass and a more open sound stage than another. That couldn't happen, and would require some element of real-time digital signal processing. Those kind of differences are confined to analog sources, but by and large for the last 35 years the hifi media can't and won't acknowledge that obvious fact, because they obviously have a vested interest in selling you new kit.

DAC is where it's at with digital sources. And compared to the differences between turntables, cassette decks and other legacy analog sources, even the difference between a £10,000 DAC and a £10 made in China eBay special is comparatively small. 

Other opinions are available of course, and I can't and won't argue against them, because one of the fundamental rights of freedom of opinion is the right to be completely wrong :)

 
Last edited by a moderator:
  • Upvote
Reactions: karlinamillion

Fourlegs

WAVE Digital Cables
HiFi Trade
May 5, 2014
6,163
3,693
183
Melton Mowbray
www.wavehighfidelity.com
AKA
Nick
HiFi Trade?
  1. Yes
Other opinions are available of course, and I can't and won't argue against them, because one of the fundamental rights of freedom of opinion is the right to be completely wrong :)
I am glad you defend your right to be wrong. Happy to support you in your quest but you are already there. 

 
  • Like
Reactions: joolz

meninblack

Wammer Plus
Wammer Plus
Jul 20, 2005
24,220
1,349
208
HiFi Trade?
  1. Yes
My opinion: if a transport is making a difference, then it's not doing it's job properly.
Yes.  My old Squeezebox and my dCS transport sound exactly the same playing the same source material into the same DAC.

the difference between a £10,000 DAC and a £10 made in China eBay special is comparatively small. 
Absolutely not.  Cheap (under £1000) DACS sound utterly shit compared to high-end models. But you need to spend about £5k to really hear returns, IME.

 

BillShatnersToupee

aka MajorFubar
Wammer
Aug 7, 2018
316
254
0
Lancashire, UK
AKA
Jon Vincent
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
Absolutely not.  Cheap (under £1000) DACS sound utterly shit compared to high-end models. But you need to spend about £5k to really hear returns, IME.
You did miss a very important key word: comparatively. If you think the difference in SQ between cheap DACs and expensive DACs isn't comparatively small compared to the difference between cheap turntables and expensive turntables, you have obviously been blessed with the fortitude of never having heard a shit turntable.

 

meninblack

Wammer Plus
Wammer Plus
Jul 20, 2005
24,220
1,349
208
HiFi Trade?
  1. Yes
LOL, I have both expensive (~£15k) and cheap (~£250) vinyl rigs.  The DAC difference is comparable, although you don't have to spend as much to get a decent DAC.

 

BillShatnersToupee

aka MajorFubar
Wammer
Aug 7, 2018
316
254
0
Lancashire, UK
AKA
Jon Vincent
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
I am glad you defend your right to be wrong. Happy to support you in your quest but you are already there. 
An old ex alter ego of mine called MajorFubar would once have wasted countless keyboard presses arguing the toss with people who think transports have the capacity to sound different, because if two transports truly do sound different, then one of them is broken. Maybe even both. But what MajorFubar learned, and passed on to me, is that virtually no one comes here to have their cast-in-stone opinion changed, so it's a futile exercise.

If you (or anyone else) are someone who hears 'analog style' differences in SQ between different digital transports, or even between cheap and expensive digital cables, or 'audiophile' LAN cables (!), no problem, enjoy. It's your money and your hobby.

My contribution ends here I think, I believe I've made my point, and further contributions would only be labouring/repeating it.

 
Last edited by a moderator:

PuritéAudio

Super Dealer
Jul 10, 2016
6,648
1,715
0
London
AKA
Keith
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
Yes.  My old Squeezebox and my dCS transport sound exactly the same playing the same source material into the same DAC.

Absolutely not.  Cheap (under £1000) DACS sound utterly shit compared to high-end models. But you need to spend about £5k to really hear returns, IME.
Perhaps that was the case , but you only have to look at the dac measurements over at ASR to see spectacularly good but inexpensive DACs , such as the Octo discussed elsewhere.

Keith