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Dedicated CD player, Help me choose!

S

Shahrouz

Guest
I'm in progress of building my first music/HT system. I've purchased my DVD player which is a budget Yamaha player (DVD-S540). However, I'm sure I'll need a dedicated CD player since I listen very much to CD's!

The rest of system will be Yamaha RX-V1400 receiver with B&W 600's S3 speakers and probably a JBL sub.

My search has been narrowed down to NAD C521BEE, which I heard very good reviews. Meanwhile I have an eye on Denon DCD-685.

Could anyone comment on these two CD players?

Also suggestions on other models from NAD, Yamaha, Denon, Onkyo, marantz will be appreciated (no DVD-A/SACD player please!). My budget is up to 400$.

Thanks a lot.
:clap:
 

CJROSS

Well-known Member
Originally posted by Shahrouz
I've purchased my DVD player which is a budget Yamaha player (DVD-S540). However, I'm sure I'll need a dedicated CD player since I listen very much to CD's!

My budget is up to 400$.

Thanks a lot.
:clap:
Erm ? why do you need a dedicated CD player you have a transport already in the shape of your Yammie DVD player ? Use link below and type in DAC will give you some reading to consider, I for one would not buy an integrated CD player in the range you are about to, hwos about a £200 MF X24K or a MSB Link DAC III ?, or a DPA Deltec Little Bit DAC, man theres loads about, Meridian 203 ? Audiolab 8000/DAC 20 ? All available from £2-300. Anyway :

http://www.avforums.com/forums/search.php?s=

"Search By Keyword :" DAC

FWIW Your AV Preamp will hinder stereo playback as much as your DVD player with CD IMHO. So look also to slot a stereo amp into your equation at some point.

HTHs
 

ditton15

Standard Member
as I no longer have a Meridian 203 to sell (hurrah!!), I can second that - they will give you some lift over the dvd used as transport for around £100.

and your avamp will have the pre-out you need to put a second hand stereo amp bewteen it and your front speakers.

you connect the dac direct to the stereo amp when playing CDs on the dvd player, and go via the Yammy 1400 when playing DVDs.

the money you saved by not buying a CD player goes on the stereo amp.

qed, no - QED!
 

CJROSS

Well-known Member
I can second that - they will give you some lift over the dvd used as transport for around £100.
Away beyond what you could achieve from a similarly priced CD player IMHO old chap.

Ditton I find it ludicrous a lot of the time that entry level CD Players are the “first” upgrade that existing DVD-V player owners consider when looking for better CD replay, its got to a point IMHO where the CD player market & hype from the press has overtaken sense, why on earth you never see a DAC mentioned in WHF for example to people thinking of adding better CD replay than their DVD players allow is beyond me (vetsed interests IMHO from their advertising clients). I mean for £300 you could have a DAC 20, which not only offers uplift in CD terms but HDCD decoding (exemplary IMHO) and it also blows the socks off of DVD-V when sent from a DVD-V player for both DD 5.1 downmixing & 48Khz Linear PCM tracks @ both 16 & 24 Bit resolution. Show me a £300 CD player that offers this new or second hand and I will eat my hat, oh and one that can also reprocess digital signal from Freeview Digital Radio, Sat Radio, DAB, Minidisc, CDR & PC.

All IMHO of course
 

overkill

Well-known Member
HI CJ!! Still banging away on the DAC drum I see!!!:D To be honest I wouldn't partner a Yam DVD or any cheap DVD with a decent DAC. The transports are just not good enough. Even the fairly good DVD's (I tried mine recently with a DPA bigger bit) don't give massive improvements when compared to a standard CD player. Sorry. My HS2 with the DPA simply wasn't as good as a standalone CD player. A quality player like a mid price Pioneer DVD might get some extra oomph but elsewhere............

Hence the mags are reluctant to commit themselves. I would agree wholeheartedly that they are constantly compromised by advertising, but in this case, as they are willing to recommend DACS as upgrades to modest CD players, they might be just being cautious.

*puts on tin hat, waits for CJs response*;)


I would recommend the NAD out of the two. The Denons are nice but lack a little "fire in the belly".
 
S

Shahrouz

Guest
Thanks for all suggestions,

To be honest, I'm not into separate DAC's. I just want a standalone CDP.

I'm still waiting for more suggestions :smoke:
 

overkill

Well-known Member
In your price range, if you want to buy new then another alternative would be one of the Cambridge range. Again going 2nd hand may be a better way, and try and pick up an Arcam 7 or better still an 8, for around your price point.
 

Magic

Active Member
I agree with overkill about the Cambridge player. Their new £250 Azur unit has got some decent press recently & wasn't half bad when I heard it demoed. Adding a DAC does make a big difference to the CD replay of a DVD player, but that says more about how awful most DVD palyers are in a 2 channel audio context. The Marantz CD 4000 OSE/KI Sig is also worth a listen as there are some deals around.

Another problem might be your amplification, but just make sure whatever cd you choose doesn't overemphasise any bad habits the amp might have (like being too laidback, or worse sibilant).
 

overkill

Well-known Member
Another problem might be your amplification, but just make sure whatever cd you choose doesn't overemphasise any bad habits the amp might have
Good point Magic. With the Yams they tend to err on the bright side of neutral hence the Azur wouldn't be a bad buy. The Arcams would be even better as they're much more civilised than the average budget player.
 

CJROSS

Well-known Member
Originally posted by overkill *puts on tin hat, waits for CJs response*;)
Incoming !!!! Fire in the hole !! Friendly fire only ole dude. :D:

Originally posted by overkill
To be honest I wouldn't partner a Yam DVD or any cheap DVD with a decent DAC. The transports are just not good enough. Even the fairly good DVD's (I tried mine recently with a DPA bigger bit) don't give massive improvements when compared to a standard CD player. Sorry. My HS2 with the DPA simply wasn't as good as a standalone CD player. A quality player like a mid price Pioneer DVD might get some extra oomph but elsewhere.
OK just to “counter” your experiences in the friendliest terms bro, whats the problem with cheap DVD players then ? Let me guess “Jitter” now IME Jitter is less of a problem than is made out to be by the audiophile crowd, the simple expedient of dealing with jitter in DAC terms is to go for a design which recovery reclocks, another thing that baffles me is why on earth jitter if it is such a problem is not evident in cheapo £200ish CD players as well ? Now it makes me whince when I see someone with a £200 DVD player considering another CD player at that price, what are they rebuying here ? Transport, DAC section and Ppower supply. Now lets split that out for the increased quality you get from an outboard DAC, the DAC you will buy will be of a higher quality, it will have its own isolation & individual power supplies (ala Naim-Cyrus), and the only “worry” you have is if it can “treat” the signal from a CD walkman to a £200 DVD player the same IMHO, if jitter was as bad as is made out into a lot of DACs, the signal would simply not lock, but lo & behold it does every time data is not missing 1s & 0s are passed on without fail, jitter is another term in audiophile land that is used to artificially keep DACs down IMHO (ie to justfiy why some users go to excessive lengths IMHO to eliminate it when some us find it no problem at all). Why on earth is jitter never mnetioned with £200 DVD players when its transmitting Dolby Digital 5.1 or DTS signals ?. Funnily enough how now that Toslink is being touted again as an audiophile connection because it cuts out “circulating intereference” from transport to DAC, can we assume then that using a £200 DVD player in toslink mode wont be “able” to pipe a signal ?

The DAC is where it all happens IME, that’s using a couple of DACs and DVD-Vs / SACD transports in the £200 – 600 region (Toshiba 220, Sony NSV900, Pioneer 717) and let me tell you to these ears (and a couple of audiophile friends they have been good enough), maybe Im hearing things though ? hell even using my Minidisc in toslink mode, and a 10m DIY RCA SPDIF connection from my Nokia 221T Freeview box it sounds fine to me. This carry on about cheap DVD players not being decent transport well it borders on luncay to these ears. A bit like pre-belief clouding ones sonic perception maybe, ie you know your listening to a DVD player, well it is going to “sound terrible” isnt it. I give up sometimes, I just wish people would try it, not that the mags would ever push such an idea, no !! so lets me ask you an honest question here, what would you rather a £200 MF X-24K (off of Yam 540) or a £200 NAD CD player ???, now come on lets be honest here dude, Or hows about a £200 M-Audio S-DAC ?

All IMHO of course.
 

NicolasB

Distinguished Member
I won't disagree with you, CJROSS, but I think one should re-emphasise the importance of a DAC that buffers and reclocks the signal. If the DAC doesn't do that, then the sound quality will be quite significantly dependent on the transport's jitter level.
 

overkill

Well-known Member
CJ I love your posts!! :D Do you sleep with your fave DAC under your pillow! :smashin:

It's not just down to jitter old son. The poor quality of the transport and laser assembly, the poor RF shielding and a whole load of other problems get in the way of the DAC being fed a decent signal for audio purposes from a cheap DVD. Of the repair problems with CD's/Laserdisks we used to get back, and the problem that bugged our engineers the most with sound quality, was the poor Laser assemblies and pickups. Simple really, if it don't read the disk well it won't send dem' 0 & 1 s right................. ;)

Plus what's fine RF wise for Video isn't for CD. Digital signals are degraded by RF interference.
 

CJROSS

Well-known Member
Originally posted by NicolasB I won't disagree with you, CJROSS, but I think one should re-emphasise the importance of a DAC that buffers and reclocks the signal. If the DAC doesn't do that, then the sound quality will be quite significantly dependent on the transport's jitter level.
I would agree 100% Nicolas Im sure Ive said that above somwehere in my rant, But there are plenty of £200-300 DACs about that reclock incoming data, Meridian IIRC, MSB, Theta, MF, PT, Pink Triangle, TAG. One of these over a new £200 CD player well come on. Are we really saying that these are “inferior” to a £200 CD player (one step up from a personal CD player in all honesty) Ive been very lucky in my DAC experiences that the ones Ive ahd exposure to are very good recovery reclockers.

Originally posted by overkill
It's not just down to jitter old son. The poor quality of the transport and laser assembly, the poor RF shielding and a whole load of other problems get in the way of the DAC being fed a decent signal for audio purposes from a cheap DVD.
Are you ready OK put em up !! I say put em up !! :)

Eh ? its purely about jitter IMHO is it not ?, poor quality of transport & laser assembly well that would be evident with gaps in the data because the error correction could not read the pits on a CD then ? Are you honestly saying that a £200 DVD player reads “less information” than a £200 CD player ? the only difference between the 2 is jitter levels, which can be down to nosie from the video circuits et al, Lets be brutally honest here, all that matters is that the transport reads the data (1s & 0s) and if not you have gaps in the datastream (skipping – jumping – dropouts to the listener) there after its purely “jitter” effects. Or am I missing something that has been scientfically proven somehwere rather than audiophile hearsay ?

Originally posted by overkill
Of the repair problems with CD's/Laserdisks we used to get back, and the problem that bugged our engineers the most with sound quality, was the poor Laser assemblies and pickups. Simple really, if it don't read the disk well it won't send dem' 0 & 1 s right................. ;)
Again im at a loss to know why the above if a DVD player is working perfectly cannot read information from a CDs pits, you have said it yourself above dude, unless im missing some higher technological understanding here. Maybe the problem your engineers had was crappy analogue outputs stages (very similar to £200 CD players IMHO), so simply the data is read or its not in digital terms what else apart from jitter could be affecting this data stream ? Jitter I can concede (which can be reclocked & PLLd) well what else is there ? “Circulating electrical interfernce” (a new audiophile term I have noticed) surely using a toslink connector blows away that myth does it not ?, Oh I forgot toslink bad word, bad audiophile word.

Originally posted by overkill Plus what's fine RF wise for Video isn't for CD. Digital signals are degraded by RF interference.
I think you will find that I was talking of the digital output in sound terms for video ie DD 5.1 and CD is exactly the same to me, why on earth are these DVD players not huffing and puffing when putting out a 5.1 48Khz surround mix from Dolby Digital due to the jitter effects ? That ole CD music is more “succeptable” to jitter is an audiophile benchmark, anyway I hope we can disagree in harmony old chap good to see a polar opposite as it were.

FWIW dude I cannot for the life of me abide to see someone starting out in hifi terms with a £200 DVD player in their posession already, walking away with a £200 Cd player as if it’s the key to their happiness in CD terms, they are missing so much that DACs IMPE can supply away and beyond what CD players can at the same price level, nothing to do with DACs under the pillow at all bro. FWIW I know a heck of a lot of DAC users who hear what they can do at all levels of transport usage, maybe they all are imagining things.;)
 

Ed Selley

AVF Reviewer
Originally posted by CJROSS
Pink Triangle
:laugh: If you find one of these that still works I'd be amazed- I've made sandwiches with more longevity than their products. The Cordinal that my Dad splashed some hard earned on had to go back to the factory twice before it did anything and managed just over a year before failing completely.
My 2 pence in this is that in absolute performance terms, I'm sure that the DAC is the best option. However
There are many out there who don't buy second hand
Availability of the really smart DAC's (MF, Audiolab/TAG etc) is hit and miss- they were never exactly thick on the ground when new.
This is a niggle- but attaching a DAC to a DVD means you still suffer the sluggish operation and load up with CD's that you've always had.
We're it my £200 odd, I'd be looking for a second hand one box. There are loads of Arcam Alpha 7se's and a couple of CD72's at this price and both of those are only £250 away from being CD82's (or better if you've got the money and inclination) if you really want to make a go of it.
 

CJROSS

Well-known Member
Hey dude you right about the longevity of PT kit, Ive seen a few reports of problems but I mentioned them in respect to reclocking & jitter which the Ordinal did/does IIRC, your prpbably aware that Pink Triangle went to the wall last year as a going concern.

Originally posted by Tons of fun There are many out there who don't buy second hand Availability of the really smart DAC's (MF, Audiolab/TAG etc) is hit and miss- they were never exactly thick on the ground when new.
I agree, other than specialist hifi outfits that stock & demo DACs your nearest bet to a maintsream dealer is 7oaks who stock & demo Musical Fidelitys DACs, second hand wise what is there that can go wrong ? (well apart from Pink Tris :)) Ive not heard of many DACs just giving up the ghost comapred to CD transports. But 2nd hand wise, I jumped right in buying a used DAC from Midland Audio Exchange with a 6 months warranty, my thinking being if it was unbearable I would sell it on no problems (which I did BTW) when I bought another Ex-dem DAC from TAG with a 2 year warranty. I wont have any problem shifting this one either

Originally posted by Tons of fun This is a niggle- but attaching a DAC to a DVD means you still suffer the sluggish operation and load up with CD's that you've always had.
Yep, tis a niggle indeed, 5 second to read disc type and your off, but lets not just point the finger at DVD players, what about the Sony SCD-1 Sonys SACD/CD player that takes 20+ second before its ready to go. What about CD players with pucks ? Oh another 3 second there, Naims manual drawers another 3 seconds. A very minor niggle to me though but YMMV though.

Originally posted by Tons of fun We're it my £200 odd, I'd be looking for a second hand one box. There are loads of Arcam Alpha 7se's and a couple of CD72's at this price and both of those are only £250 away from being CD82's (or better if you've got the money and inclination) if you really want to make a go of it.
Yep nothing wrong with considering a CD player from yesteryear my bet would be a Sony ES machine from a few years back, rock solid transports and decent sounding, but its second hand and who knows when that transport may just die dude.

ATB
 

dynamic turtle

Novice Member
CJ,

For CD playback, the dvd is hooked up to my A/V amp via optical toslink cable. I thought the a/v amp does the d/a converting, instead of the dvd player in this situation?

Wouldn't this be the case with sharouz's set-up? The rx-v1400 is basically a DAC & DSP with an amplifier bolted on. Will an outboard DAC make that much difference? Wouldn't he be better off spending the $400 on a stereo amp instead?

Sorry if I'm being naive, but I just wanted to know because I've recently been pondering that £200 dedicated CD player "upgrade" question myself.....
 

dynamic turtle

Novice Member
Oh, I forgot to ask:

Most DAC's I've seen only have L/R analogue outputs. Certain DSP functions on my amp will only work with digital signals (the "D" in DSP!). How will my A/V amp manage dts 5.1 via Analogue L/R?!?!!?
 

overkill

Well-known Member
CJ, i won't even attempt to argue mate as you're in a rut!!:D I'm no audiophile but I can tell the difference between a DVD's output via a DAC and a CD's. My ears maybe getting old but they're not that old.

Methinks you're also being a little obtuse here too. Yes, a poor pickup can effect the reading of those lovely little 0&1's. The video output is better capable of hiding these errors than the audio output, although cheap DVD picture quality is often not that great or has blocky artifacts.

I won't argue with what our engineers told me, as with 25 years of audio experience they had the jump on me.They aren't audio/video enthusiasts, they're at the coal face. No slight intended. If you fancy a go i'll find their phone number ................... :D

Beware though, Nick (the cheif engineer) will soon have you wondering what day it is!!!;)

"Yep nothing wrong with considering a CD player from yesteryear *faints*:smashin:
my bet would be a Sony ES machine from a few years back, rock solid transports and decent sounding, but its second hand and who knows when that transport may just die dude".

Sony ES machines yarghhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!:suicide: Nice build but Sonys err on the sharp side. With the yam we're talking an overbright system.
 

CJROSS

Well-known Member
Originally posted by dynamic turtle Wouldn't this be the case with sharouz's set-up? The rx-v1400 is basically a DAC & DSP with an amplifier bolted on. Will an outboard DAC make that much difference? Wouldn't he be better off spending the $400 on a stereo amp instead?
Dynamic, yep spot on my advice for using a DAC is instead of a £200 CD player which seems to be his first choice AFAICT, I always actually say to people that listening to a stereo pre-amp section in a sub £1000 AV Int. Amp that a stereo amplifier is a better way to go. So yes before a £200 DAC/Int. CD player - the AV pre is still hindering stereo playback IMHO. But the source side of things is generally how people approach improving CD playback from their AV setups first IME.

Originally posted by dynamic turtle Sorry if I'm being naive, but I just wanted to know because I've recently been pondering that £200 dedicated CD player "upgrade" question myself.....
Your not being Naiver at all dude, but I think it highlights to you that if you want better hifi or stereo playback from your system, its definitely the case with £1000 Av Int. Amps that both the source (CD or DAC) and a stereo amplifier are the best ways to achieve this, a 2 step upgrade as it were, but further up the chain you hit the Pre & Power amp side of AV, ie you can achieve this source and pre-amp upgrade in one go with the addition of a £1000+ passive AV pre-amp such as TAG AV32, you get the source upgrade in the DAC & a very capable stereo pre-amp section (in addition to a 5.1 DD/DTS or more) then adds PAs to your hearts content. I mean for £2000 you can get yourself a AV32R with 192Khz DACs & a Primare A30.5, thinks how this compares to a £1000 AV Int. Amp, £500 Stereo Amplifier & £500 Int. CD player. I know where my monies would be going dude.

Originally posted by dynamic turtle Most DAC's I've seen only have L/R analogue outputs. Certain DSP functions on my amp will only work with digital signals (the "D" in DSP!). How will my A/V amp manage dts 5.1 via Analogue L/R?!?!!?
Im not the biggest expert in 5.1 amps dude as Im a stereo only fan, but I will give it a go (anyone feel free to correct me) You cant send a DTS signal into a PCM device like a DAC, unless it has onboard DTS decoders, so from your stereo DAC there will be no DTS output at all, this would be done by your AV 5.1 DTS capable amp, stereo DACs (48Khz capable that is) can downsample 5.1 48Khz Dolby Digital Bitstream into 2 channel of PCM for output from a DACs anlg output stages, I use my stereo DAC in this fashion quite regularly and enjoy 5.1 mixes via my stereo system quite a lot, its something I also think that DVD-V is fantastic for in a stereo system. Some of the mixes Ive heard in both 5.1 downmix and stereo L[inear]PCM have been to me staggeringly good. Anyway Ive sort of stumbled around your situation there but if you think of it in stereo v 5.1, in your system, the more elements of your system that camn incorporate a stereo side, the better you will enjoy music from CD IMHO.

HTHs
 

chrisgeary

Member
FWIW, I did a test with my Meridian 506.24 CD player, and Pioneer DV656A DVD player, both as transports only into my Meridian 561 (DAC/Surround Processor). I listened to one particular track on a CD I consider to be well recorded. I played the 506 first then the 656A. My first thought was the presentation from the DVD player might, and I emphasise 'might', be ever so slightly more open. I was a little surprised by that, so I switched back to the 506. I continued this another two or three times and was not sure that the extra open-ness was really there. However, I decided for certain that neither transport sounded better than the other.

Perhaps the 561 is reclocking the signal? Perhaps the DVD transport is very good (didn't it ought to be given that it has to convey data from high density DVDs?).

Either way, I firmly believe that there is nothing wrong with using my DVD player as a quality transport. Perhaps its all down to synergy anyway - I'm sure if I tried this test with a portable player with dig out that I would get different results - although it would be interesting to try!
 

CJROSS

Well-known Member
Originally posted by overkill CJ, i won't even attempt to argue mate as you're in a rut!!:D I'm no audiophile but I can tell the difference between a DVD's output via a DAC and a CD's. My ears maybe getting old but they're not that old.
No need to argue whatsoever OK, but you are implying that £200 DVD player cant make decent transport into a well designed low jitter recovery reclocking DAC, this IME is not the case, I think jitter is the only thing that varies on transports and it can be taken care of by the DAC.

Originally posted by overkill Methinks you're also being a little obtuse here too. Yes, a poor pickup can effect the reading of those lovely little 0&1's. The video output is better capable of hiding these errors than the audio output, although cheap DVD picture quality is often not that great or has blocky artifacts.
Again you are totally missing the point of what I was saying about a DVD-V player jitter when transmitting non PCM material (Video Audio FWIW – 5.1 surround) like Dolby Digital or DTS soundtracks why does jitter not affect these audio streams if its so bad from DVD-V players, so to re-iterate I have never mentioned video output once you have incorrectly read my post IMHO.

Originally posted by overkill I won't argue with what our engineers told me, as with 25 years of audio experience they had the jump on me.They aren't audio/video enthusiasts, they're at the coal face. No slight intended. If you fancy a go i'll find their phone number ................... :D

Beware though, Nick (the cheif engineer) will soon have you wondering what day it is!!!;)
Whats the point in speaking to a audio engineer what is he going to tell me is affecting the audio signal from a DVD player enough for it to “nobbled” into not sending a proper lockable signal towards a DAC ? A signal is sent or its not if its jitter is so high then the electrical conenction will not handle it, if its “impaired” as you suggest for others reasons outisde jitter (with no satisfactory explanation to me - I might add old son) then I would love to hear this, in fact giving you a prompt with “circulating electrical interference” and the use of toslink to break this link (a new one in audiophile terms IME), have they done scientific tests to prove what they think can be heard “audibly” ? That’s a bit like me phoning up Nordost to hear the latest claptrap about cables, when Maplins 69p metre ICs do the exact same job don’t you think ?.

Originally posted by overkill Sony ES machines rghhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!:suicide: Nice build but Sonys err on the sharp side. With the yam we're talking an overbright system.
Sony ES machines bright ? What you been smoking ? I think its abundantly clear we are on vastly differing wave lengths in audio terms dude, Ive never heard a “bright, hard & fatiguing” Sony ES CDP machine in my life, is Sony ES kit now consigned to those other supposedly bright CDPs ala Naim & Marantz then ? OK you should visit some other audio forumss with the views you hold mate, then it would not just be me disagreeing with you.

ATB
 

CJROSS

Well-known Member
Originally posted by chrisgeary FWIW, I did a test with my Meridian 506.24 CD player, and Pioneer DV656A DVD player, both as transports only into my Meridian 561 (DAC/Surround Processor). I listened to one particular track on a CD I consider to be well recorded. I played the 506 first then the 656A. My first thought was the presentation from the DVD player might, and I emphasise 'might', be ever so slightly more open. I was a little surprised by that, so I switched back to the 506. I continued this another two or three times and was not sure that the extra open-ness was really there. However, I decided for certain that neither transport sounded better than the other.

Perhaps the 561 is reclocking the signal? Perhaps the DVD transport is very good (didn't it ought to be given that it has to convey data from high density DVDs?).

Either way, I firmly believe that there is nothing wrong with using my DVD player as a quality transport. Perhaps its all down to synergy anyway - I'm sure if I tried this test with a portable player with dig out that I would get different results - although it would be interesting to try!
Chris, I have used various CD/DVD-V/SACD players into the DACs I have owned, I have been told audiophiles on various hifi fora (and here) that the DVD-V player I currently use is “dreadful-crap-atrocious” etc as a CD transport, for exactly the same arguments you see above (they would say the same about your 656 FWIW), I call it “golden eared batphile behaviour” almost a snide down the nose type of opinion that I love to go up against, who are these people to tell us what we are hearing ?, Im also a cable sceptic of the highest disorder these days again after trying loads of different ICs in blind testing, ive settled on decent shileded DIY ones that are called “dreadful-crap-atrocious” in various places but to me they sound exactly like any other well, do you notice a pattern here ? I think its fine to have an opinion and Im happy for anyone who thinks that DVD-V players are crap etc as transports to hold those views, but when you are told that what you are hearing is not possible well you have to question those opinions FWIW. That’s why I question OK above in the fashion I do.

BTW Ive seen a comment about using a Personal CD player into a DAC 64 on the net before, IIRC all that transpired was a “volume” drop, when this was increased guess what it sounded very reasonable and very usable, Ive also seen a guy who used an PS2 or Xbox into a DAC 64 very happily. It all depends where your “level of acceptance” lies, that affects more of what you “hear” (Ie what you think you hear – eyes & brain are as important as ears) in your auditory senses by “pre-belief” IMHO than any actual sound terms from the equipment. The funny thing is once you hit a point where you know you can be influenced by power of suggestion, pre-belief, peer-belief etc your audio enjoyment can really come on leaps and bounds. I know im affected by this condition I just wish more audiophiles would put their hands up.

ATB
 

dynamic turtle

Novice Member
Thanks for the input, CJ.

So, I might be able to get better performance using a dac and will certainly consider it. I like the fact that most dacs are pretty small and will tuck into a nice little spot out of sight.

Yes, I will have to invest in a dedicated stereo amp at some point, and some "Circular reference interference cancelling" toslink cables to :) . Space & money are the primary concern as always!

Thanks,
DT
 

CJROSS

Well-known Member
Originally posted by dynamic turtle So, I might be able to get better performance using a dac and will certainly consider it. I like the fact that most dacs are pretty small and will tuck into a nice little spot out of sight.
Yep certainly consider it DT, there are plenty of us audiophiles who don’t hear the supposedly negative effects that DACs off DVD-V players (especially Pioneer :D ones) are meant to exhibit. BTW if your serious enough to consider a DAC and a stereo amp upgrade, then you should look into AV Pres that act as DACs and stereo preamps into separate power amps, will cut down your box count and selling your AV Int will add to your budget.

Oh & BTW I don’t buy that “electrical circulating interference” excuse that is being used for toslink connections these days, but its good to see toslink once universally derided for being a crap connection getting use, I find it perfectly acceptable in my DAC. BTW some relative reading for your DAC quest :

http://www.avforums.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=124526
http://forum.hifichoice.co.uk/viewtopic.php?t=9151

Low jitter from a DVD player

I was amazed to discover that using my Toshiba SD-220 DVD player via its digital output through a Theta Pro Prime 2A DAC was quite simply the best musical sound I ever heard from my DAC. Dynamic range, channel separation & enjoyment of the music was greater than with a Denon CD player I was using as the transport before. You have to try this !! The Digital Output Menu option must be set to ‘PCM’ (Pulse Code Modulation) instead of Bitstream.

I telephoned Toshiba and asked what jitter figure my SD-220 had (my idea being that low jitter was making CD sound so good via the DAC), but the Toshiba customer service agent did not know what I was talking about. I asked him to ask his colleagues, but no-one had a clue what ‘jitter’ was !!. This is interesting because in Hifi-News (Oct 03, p54) Paul Miller stated that the Toshiba SD-9500 DVD-A player (rrp around £2000) gave the lowest jitter he had measured on any DVD player, at just 40 picoseconds. Maybe Toshiba has a fresh approach to design that results in low jitter. My own theory is that Toshiba DVD players are much smaller than most CD players (at only 222mm depth) allowing a shorter run of internal digital cable from transport to digital output. On a high end system with my reference DAC, neutral pre & PAs and quality speakers and cable I have proved that this Toshiba DVD player at around £100 can offer CD equivalent to a top flight CD transport, Just stick a piece of expanded polysytrene in front of the DVD player fascia to block out the whirring of the DVD drive. The remote still works through this !! The SD-220 has now been superseded by the SD-330. But it would be fun to read a test of DVD player used as CD transports with a reference quality DAC.

A.N.Other via email

Paul Miller responds : sure enough, if the Toshiba DVD player enjoys both low jitter and low levels of circulating interference than the Denon CD player, then you would expect the player/DAC combination to realise some improvement. The SD-220 is not on my database but its predecessors did offer low (<200 spec) jitter, which bodes well for your model. In more general terms, readers may also care to experiment with between coaxial & optical digital connections. If circulating interference, ratherthan jitter, is the issue, then breaking the ‘loop’ with an optical link can result in a better sounding combination.
 

overkill

Well-known Member
Sony ES machines bright ? What you been smoking ? I think its abundantly clear we are on vastly differing wave lengths in audio terms dude, Ive never heard a “bright, hard & fatiguing” Sony ES CDP machine in my life, is Sony ES kit now consigned to those other supposedly bright CDPs ala Naim & Marantz then ? OK you should visit some other audio forumss with the views you hold mate, then it would not just be me disagreeing with you.
Then you obviously haven't sold them for a living - I have. The very high end ES machines are first class, and the new range topping SACD players are excellent. However to say, sorry to imply, the whole ES range is not over bright is a generalisation too far.

I also resent the implication that by not agreeing with you I either don't know what I'm talking about or imbibe illegal substances. It diminishes greatly any other comments you've made.

Quoting Paul Miller, the darling of the "digital is God crowd" who frankly, are obnoxious as the "audiophiles" you seem to despise, also worries me. Any reviewer who can't even set up test kit in phase (yes, he has done that!) not to mention various other errors, deserves due caution when absorbing what they have to say. Nice guy, but worryingly eccentric.


CJ a lot of what you say here is fine but it's heavily partisan. I am only offering the guy advice, not my personal mantra.
 

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