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DAC20 and HDCD recordings

Discussion in 'Hi-Fi Stereo Systems & Separates' started by Droogie 2001, Jan 17, 2003.

  1. Droogie 2001

    Droogie 2001
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    I bought a TAG DAC20 about 6 months ago.
    The DAC has the ability to ‘read/process’ HDCD’s.
    Having bought some CD’s recently I noticed that HDCD light appeared on the unit when playing some of them.
    Now I am running the DAC through a Denon 3802 Receiver (I know this not ideal but I am doing something about this).
    My question is does this mean I am getting a HDCD quality playback?
    Does the Denon 3802 support HDCD the manual does not seem to suggest it does?
    Or does that not matter as the DAC is ‘doing’ the decoding and just passes the ‘higher’ quality signal to the receiver?
    The CD itself is a good quality recording (one of Madonna’s compilation disks) so it sounds pretty good anyway. Note. It appears that only 2 or 3 of the tracks on the same CD are encoded as HDCD so I am comparing the quality of these with the non-HDCD encoded tracks.

    I ask this as the difference in quality is hard to judge if not impossible.

    Cheers
     
  2. infomatique

    infomatique
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    I have noticed a huge difference between HDCD and CD. I have checked the list of available HDCDs and cannot find any reference to Madonna. If you go to www.amazon.com HDCD discs are listed as [ENHANCED].

    You should visit http://www.hdcd.com/
     
  3. Droogie 2001

    Droogie 2001
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    Thanks for that Informatique.
    But does anyone know the answer to my original question?

    Cheers
     
  4. CJROSS

    CJROSS
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    Right bear with me here because your description of how you connect to your 3802 throws up 2 scenarios and I am a little confused :

    1) If you run the DAC into the 3802 with analogue ICs, into line inputs on the Amp, then you should be hearing what the DAC is doing in HDCD mode but this is a non starter if your 3802 converts from A-D then back from D-A (this would lose the HDCD info) this is the part Im unsure of with your receiver (some 3802 owner who knows about the analogue to digital conversion the unit provides could advise) IMO you do not want extta conversion after the analogue inputs.

    2) You are running the DAC into the 3802 with a digital connection, and your amp is then reprocessing the signal via its own onboard DACs, so what you hear in effect is the 3802s DAC, and your lovely DAC 20 is nothing more than a buffer, where the CDs signal is processed then reclocked then passed onwards to the 3802 (which would surprise me if you get any HDCD decosing because I don’t think the 3802 has a HDCD decoder onbaord could be wrong though as the Denon 2800/3800 are both HDCD enabled players) The DAC will send on a HDCD signal but if your amp cannot process it (if the manual makes no mention then it looks grim) then you wont hear that extra info from the HDCD discs.

    The reason the HDCD lamp lights up on some Madge tracjks is that the compilation wont have been mastered in HDCD but some of the original tracks will have on the mastertapes, so when they transfer it only shows the HDCDs encoded tracks, Eric Clpations : Chronicles is another CD the same as Madonnas, the first song Blue Eyes is HDCD the rest are not.

    Everyone hears things differently, I think HDCD discs are better than normal CDs, one things is certain, if they have bothered to HDCD encode a recording it’s a good un.

    Good luck if I answered anything.

    Informatique : If you get a chance check out Chris Issak : Baja Sessions the best HDCD disc I have ever heard a wonderful recording IMHO.
     
  5. Nic Rhodes

    Nic Rhodes
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    Yes you are.

    I don’t think it does but it could do with a software update but Denon won’t be doing this

    The DAC is doing the work in the digital filter chip the DAC20 uses internally, so it passes the ‘higher quality’ HDCD analogue signal to the Denon which just passes it to the power amps via the volume control (with or without additional processing)

    No direct comparisons are possible. I only know of one disc where there are IDENTICAL tracks with and without HDCD encoding. A Reference Recording disc. I always prefer HDCD on this disc but sound quality claims are controversial with HDCD. The digital filter Pacific Microsonics supplied were top notch however. Now microsoft own the technology I think.
     
  6. Droogie 2001

    Droogie 2001
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    Thanks for your responses guys.

    CJROSS

    Yes I am connecting DAC20 with Analogue IC's to the 3802.
    Like you say I am not sure whether the 3802 handles HDCD, although I am now almost certain it doesn't.

    Never mind I am saving for a stereo amp. (although I don't know if all Stereo amp's deal with HDCD either!)

    Thanks
     
  7. JSW

    JSW
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    Beekeeper,

    Will a non HDCD player pass the hdcd info via the digital out ??

    Reason I ask is i'm considering getting the Nad S500.
    pro is Tag av32rbp192.

    Cheers
    Bry
     
  8. CJROSS

    CJROSS
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    Stereo Amps do deal with HDCD Mrag, if you imagine that once your DAC has decoded the HDCD info then pas it via the output stages of your DAC then the HDCd signal is included in the analogue output, nothing can fanny around with this signal in the analogue domain as long (as I said earlier) as your Amps does not convert analogue back into the digital domain for reprocessing. A few AV amp do this you see, it can be turned off and is called analogue bypass.

    JSW yup it will, well my non HDCD encoded DVD Transport certainly does, in most cases it would remain undetected until a HDCD filter decodes the signal then passes it via the anlg outputs.

    Power to HDCD Nice player the S500i BTW here is a good thread you may find interesting :

    http://forum.hifichoice.co.uk/viewtopic.php?t=3417
     
  9. JSW

    JSW
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    Thanks CJ
     
  10. Nic Rhodes

    Nic Rhodes
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    Bry

    as Chris has said any standard digital output will pass with no problems what so ever, one of it's big advantages
     

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