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New to DAC's..........and this site!

colver

Wammer
New Wammer
Jan 9, 2014
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HI folks im in desperate need to pick some brains. In the quest to find cd sound to challenge my vinyl setup, i have made a couple of recent purchases. My cd player is a Marantz cd6000 oseLE which has a decent sound but no more than that. i recently purchased a used Denon dvd 2930 and have to say that it was a step up from the Marantz but still a long way from the turntable. I then decided on a DAC for the dvd and cd player thinking i would get a big jump in sound. I purchased a Musical Fidelity x-24k very cheap and in pristine condition. How does it sound? Well not really any different. On the dvd player voices may be slightly cleaner sounding but that is about it. Aso i thought it was to upscale cd but the red light on the front indicates 44 when the lights go upto 96. khz i think? What should i be expecting? My coax cable is an entry level Cambridge audio, do i need to invest in something like a Van Den Hul that costs a small fortune or will it be money down the tubes?

 

Radioham

Wammer
Wammer
Mar 8, 2010
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Peterborough.
AKA
Alan Ralph
HiFi Trade?
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Hi and Welcome,

It would be interesting to know what the rest of the system is ? Speakers, amp, turntable ?

I am not aware of many DAC's up sampling, most just play at the native source rate so with CD its 44K and no more. I have several DAC's and to be honest there is very little difference between them. Perhaps a DAC/CD player where you can change filters like the Audiolab Q-DAC (£400) or Teac UD-501 (£700) which does up sample may give a different sound, or the other technique is to rip the cd to a storage device and replayed the stored version to reduce jitter, but at the end of the day you cant replay what's not there. The 96K on your DAC would light if you were replaying material as a download from the web if it was a High Res Flac File.

You may find that you will not challenge your vinyl set up, as there will always be differences between the CD and Vinyl in terms of frequency response, compression, dynamic range etc. If you want to go silver disc you could try SACD or blu-ray Audio , but the source material is limited as are the players. I wouldn't bother too much about cables at this stage.

What were you expecting ? what's lacking with the CD replay ?

Alan

 

colver

Wammer
New Wammer
Jan 9, 2014
7
0
0
Hi Alan thanks for your swift response. You could be right that i may never get what im after from cd, certainly not within the budget that i have! My amp is a Marantz pm 7200 and my speakers are B&W 683. My tt is a Rega p25 connected to a Musical Fidelity X-LPS v3 phono amp which made a massive difference compared to the phono stage inside my Marantz amp. For the tt itself, well if you could think of all the mods/upgrades that you could imagine and then times that by 5 then you will be closer to whats been done to the Rega. Ive fitted an Ortofon 2m Bronze cartwhich i sometimes split between a Nagaoka mp-11 Boron and an mp-15. The sound from the tt is simply magnificent. The seperation between instruments and voices is not like any cd player that ive heard, the sound is very 3 dimensional, it starts behind the speakers and comes right across the room in layers.

My cd and dvd players are quite different. The cd player is very FLAT and you know that its coming from the speakers, the dvd player is not as bad but still not what im afer. Im not saying they sound bad. Voices through the DVD player and dac are very smooth and distortion free, still not there yet though. Im glad you said that theres not much in it between DAC's because i probably would have ended up changing over and over at an expense! Cheers. Colin.

 

Tenson

Wammer
Wammer
Mar 2, 2006
407
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You are posting in the technical section so that might not be best if you want opinions rather than cold facts.

You can never expect CD to sound like vinyl, unless the CD is a recording of vinyl. The two are mastered differently in most cases with the vinyl being more dynamic (since they can't push it as hard and loud as CD) but also vinyl has lots of colourations that often sound subjectively pleasant. In my experience CD can sound far better than vinyl, but only on a few rare recordings that were done well. On the whole, vinyl sounds more bouncy and alive with most albums.

On top of this, digital technology has matured and regardless of cost most CD players and DACs perform very much alike. People will tell you they hear significant differences but in most cases they are listening with full knowledge of which kit is playing. I've done many listening sessions with various people where I hide the identity of the item playing and match the volume levels and the differences almost vanish.

 

colver

Wammer
New Wammer
Jan 9, 2014
7
0
0
Thats a great unbiased reply. But where do i go from here? I have in my kitchen a nice little Revo radio with wifi streaming. I take it that if i connect it up to my amp and stream some homemade FLACS from my pc, then i should get a rough-ish idea of the difference from cd to "non moving music"?

 

SergeAuckland

Certified Measurist
Wammer
May 6, 2008
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Bury St Edmunds, UK
AKA
Serge
HiFi Trade?
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Thats a great unbiased reply. But where do i go from here? I have in my kitchen a nice little Revo radio with wifi streaming. I take it that if i connect it up to my amp and stream some homemade FLACS from my pc, then i should get a rough-ish idea of the difference from cd to "non moving music"?
Welcome to the 'Wam.

If I may add to Simon (Tenson)'s post:- The DAC built-in to any streaming product is by now pretty good as the technology is mature. Consequently, even those who claim to hear differences between digital products will, I'm sure, admit that the differences are small. Small of course is a relative term, but given how few can tell the difference in a level-matched blind test, I take that to mean the differences are small - if they exist at all.

Consequently, streaming through your Revo of FLACs ripped from commercial CDs will give you a pretty good idea of the sound of digital. Just make sure that you switch off any audio enhancements, volume levelling, equalising etc, so that the Revo outputs what's on the hard-drive. Make sure also that whatever software you've used for ripping has all audio enhancements switched off.

S.

 

It Cost How Much!?!

Twisted
Wammer
Oct 27, 2008
16,786
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Hartford, Cheshire
AKA
Bob
HiFi Trade?
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Before you do any buying, open the lid on the Marantz CDP and make sure the press fit connectors on the boards are fully on, as a friends wasn't and it made a huge difference when they were correctly connected.

 

Chumpy

Wammer
Wammer
Dec 3, 2005
14,084
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Bristol UK
AKA
Charlie
HiFi Trade?
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Welcome, and may you economically and enjoyably realise the potential of digital, and continue to enjoy proper analogue.

 

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