Is a good DAC a waste just for Spotify?

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kernow

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I've pretty much got rid of iTunes and my lossless cd rips, and I'm pretty impressed with how Spotify sounds with a chromecast audio into my cdp2. I can't help but feel a 2k DAC is a waste though what with all this 24bit/384 support when I'm only playing 256kbit through it. Perhaps an all in one streaming box or a cdp with digital inputs would be better?

I can't see myself buying any more CDs really though - I only have about 250, can't see myself selling them either though.

Not sure which way to go really, my main format is vinyl but Spotify is just so convenient.

 

Nagraboy

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Sounds like the Chromecast and Quad are all you need. You could put £2k towards a Tannoy upgrade instead maybe :dunno:

 

SergeAuckland

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My view, which I know many disagree with, is that an external DAC is wasted with ANY digital source, as whatever's provided with the kit is good enough for transparency.

I accept that if you want to change the sound (note, not improve it, just change it) then an external DAC may do that, but then so will tone controls.

S.

 

Jazid

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I listen to free Spotify through my Win7/64 setup and TBH it doesn't sound anywhere near as good as the CD streaming from the HD through jRiver. I'd say if that is your main source then a decent DAC is slightly wasted, but it could be that the premium version is a decent step up from free, I don't know and won't listen enough to it to make the switch viable.

Mind you, looks like you've answered your own question really :D

 

radamel

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My view, which I know many disagree with, is that an external DAC is wasted with ANY digital source, as whatever's provided with the kit is good enough for transparency.I accept that if you want to change the sound (note, not improve it, just change it) then an external DAC may do that, but then so will tone controls.

S.
I disagree with you wholeheartedly!

 

oldius

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I hooked a cheap Beresford external DAC up to a Yamaha CD player at a recent bakeoff and there was a huge improvement in the sound. I can't explain it, and hadn't really heard such an improvement before from a DAC, but the jump in quality was significant.

 

SergeAuckland

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I disagree with you wholeheartedly!
You might like to look at the numbers on any DAC that come with the kit, and tell me what an external DAC will improve on. Distortion? Noise? Frequency Response? If none of those, then what?

S.

- - - Updated - - -

I hooked a cheap Beresford external DAC up to a Yamaha CD player at a recent bakeoff and there was a huge improvement in the sound. I can't explain it, and hadn't really heard such an improvement before from a DAC, but the jump in quality was significant.
I can accept there may have been a change in quality, but an improvement in quality requires there to be some criterion on which the comparison is made. If none, then it's just your opinion as to how the sound changed. I could equally say there was no improvement, or indeed the sound was worse. That would be my opinion, and not anything objective.

S.

 

SergeAuckland

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Well please stop crushing the fun out of this forum. Why can't you let people have an opinion in peace without doggedly whipping out your oscilloscope every five minutes...
Why should having different opinions 'crush the fun out of this forum' What is 'fun' about making statements that aren't backed up by verifiable facts? I might as well say that carpet grippers make the sound better. Just as valid, it's my opinion, which is seemingly sacrosanct and 'fun'.

S.

 

Tamlin

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Well please stop crushing the fun out of this forum. Why can't you let people have an opinion in peace without doggedly whipping out your oscilloscope every five minutes...
Well, on the other hand, he is kind-of trying to answer the OP's question. Personally, I enjoy the differences between DACs. One better than the rest? Nah.

 

oldius

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Serge you have my utmost respect. I just laughed out loud because I love the fact that you have such a steadfast opinion. One I very much respect BTW, I'm certainly not criticising it.

I can only say that the whole room was shocked at what they perceived to be an improvement in sound quality. That's good enough for me.

 

SMEagol

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Maybe sometimes unverified facts just happen to sound better, like as someone once pointed out, how a rare steak and a creme brûlée wouldn't measure well according to a perceived knowledge of food if you were a visiting alien. Musics not a science it speaks on a personal level, people like valves, they are full of distortion, yet do something special, veiled or not. Jamming a femtosecond clock on a a couple of DACs at a bake off, including those fitted with one made a noticeable difference, we didn't feel the need for a technical dissection.

 

rdale

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Why should having different opinions 'crush the fun out of this forum' What is 'fun' about making statements that aren't backed up by verifiable facts? I might as well say that carpet grippers make the sound better. Just as valid, it's my opinion, which is seemingly sacrosanct and 'fun'..
It's not a 'fact' that 16/44.1 khz digital audio is 'perfect' as the Nyquist frequency of 22 khz is too close to the audio band meaning that any anti-aliasing filter will involve compromises and will have effect in the audio band. It isn't possible to debate that because it's maths.

 

ff1d1l

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My Yamaha DVD S-2700 was the one at the bakeoff. I'd actually taken it to see if an external dac would make a difference. I'd say all in the room could hear lowered distortion and increased resolution. This is different to what could be effected by the manipulation of tone controls. In any case, my perception was that tonal balance was unchanged, just a great deal more was coming through, as if accessing a recording a generation nearer the master. Further improvement - not difference, improvement - was again heard by all when the Wyred 4 Sound re clocker was used. If measurements would say these two results were identical, then frankly measurements are measuring the wrong thing. But as neither S A nor his scope was present, forming any judgement on what we heard, in absentia, seems inappropriate.

I'm not a box swapper, and money is only very reluctantly prised from my hot little hand, nevertheless I subsequently went out and bought a dac and the re clocker. I count it as money very well spent. Enough said.

my advice to the original poster would be to try it, and also if possible try the little Wyred 4 Sound remedy, as the improvement wrought is not subtle.

 

notevenclose

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I've pretty much got rid of iTunes and my lossless cd rips, and I'm pretty impressed with how Spotify sounds with a chromecast audio into my cdp2. I can't help but feel a 2k DAC is a waste though what with all this 24bit/384 support when I'm only playing 256kbit through it. Perhaps an all in one streaming box or a cdp with digital inputs would be better? I can't see myself buying any more CDs really though - I only have about 250, can't see myself selling them either though.

Not sure which way to go really, my main format is vinyl but Spotify is just so convenient.
I notice you have an Airport Express as a digital source. I'm using one myself at the moment on a temporary basis. It's fine for background music, but to me it sounds as it always has in every incarnation, a bit grey and grainy. My CD transport demolishes it in no uncertain terms (via the same DAC).

Down Serge.

Interested to see earlier today though that iFi Audio are about to launch a version of their iPurifier gizmo for cleaning up SPDif/optical connections, Airport Express friendly via a 'combo' input.

http://www.digitalaudioreview.net/2016/05/ifi-audios-spdif-ipurifier-debuts-at-fujiya-avic-spring-2016/

 

taff

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I'd say yes. But you'd get a bigger improvement going to tidal and streaming native 16/44 via the bubbleupnp app

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