Digital out from CD player?

michaelab

Novice Member
Is it worth using? I currently have my CD player (old Marantz CD50SE) hooked up to my Marantz SR4200 using both digital and analog connections. I've been switching between the two and can't really decide which I prefer (or if there's really any difference at all!). If I had to choose I'd say the analog connection has a slightly more open, cleaner sound but the difference really is minimal.

Presumably CD players only have a digital out for the purpose of hooking up to a high end separate DAC - I'm guessing that the DAC in my SR4200 doesn't fall into this category :) I just wonder whether DAC technology has advanced so far in the 10 years since I got my CD player that the SR4200 DAC is better than my CD player's built in one.

Anyway - what does everyone here do? Analog or digital?

Michael.
 

Nobber22

Novice Member
Originally posted by michaelab

Presumably CD players only have a digital out for the purpose of hooking up to a high end separate DAC
Or to a minidisk or CDR for digital recording.

P.S. I use analogue.
 

mjn

Distinguished Member
modern DAC's are excellent, they are a couple to look out for. The TAG20 is well thought out.
 

Reiner

Active Member
I prefer the 'digital sound' sound in my setup (2 Yamaha DVD players and a Yamaha DSP-A1). The analog connections seems somewhat "hazy", when using the amp's DAC it's much more clearer and detailed.

Perhaps a matter of personal preference only!?

Using a DVD with 24/96 recording (and thus the DACs in my DVD) it sounds however much better than any CD. Not a fair comparision but it shows that CDs are limited by itself already.
 

dood

Active Member
you need to take price and ranges into account, BUT generally:

Internal DACs in CD players will be better than in home cinema receivers (my 12 year old arcam CD is better than my 2 year old Denon receiver)

Internal DACs for music in DVD players are not very good, hence I'm not surprised with Reiner's findings

The quality of DVD player music DACs vs receivers could swing either way

Stand alone music DACs will probably outshine most budget CD players' internal DACs
 

NicolasB

Distinguished Member
Some receivers/processors have very nice DACs, it depends. One other factor that's sometimes relevant is that many processors have an "analogue bypass mode" which shuts down all of the digital circuitry completely and allows it to function purely as an analogue pre-amp. (Or in the case of a one-box device, purely as an analogue integrated amp). The elimination of all the interference generated by the digital circuitry can have a significant benefit on the sound, so even if the DACs in the player and in the processor are equivalent, using the bypass mode may sound better.

As always, it's a case of trying both and seeing which you prefer.
 

Reiner

Active Member
One other factor that's sometimes relevant is that many processors have an "analogue bypass mode" ...

I would rather correct this to "... that a few processors only ..."
 

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