DVD as CD Player

Discussion in 'Blu-ray & DVD Players & Recorders' started by paiger, Aug 19, 2002.

  1. paiger

    paiger
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    Can somebody techie pleez explain why a £200 CD deck is better than a £900 DVD player at CD replay? What are the compromises forced by DVD playback? Is it in the transport, the dacs, or what?

    We see some decks from Tag and Arcam that claim to be able to do the job. Why and how?

    Also, I always assumed that DVD-A was a relative of DVD and SACD a relative of CD but now I hear that SACD is in fact, similar to DVD. Does this mean that a SACD/ CD player will also not be as good as a dedicated CD player?

    I'm thinking about the new Pioneer 757i but apparently it's flat for CD's, as is my Sony DVPNS700. I'm planning to add an Arcam CD player in future and use the Pioneer for SACD/DVD/DVD-A/DTS.

    I'm also aware that Marantz do an SA-12 (or something) that's also an all in one but much more expensive. Anyone know how this thing comapares to say, a £1000 CD player for CD playback?

    I would really like it all in one box but it don't look like I can have it.

    Any ideas?
     
  2. Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    The Marantz DV12-S1 player was reviewed by Hifi Choice, and in the review they said it was one of only two DVD players they consider to be exceptional with CDs - the other being the Tag transport.
     
  3. karkus30

    karkus30
    Banned

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2002
    Messages:
    13,991
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Ratings:
    +1,261
    Compromises are in the the power supplies and segregation. One power supply usually feeds the audio as well as the video side in a DVD player.

    As the player goes up in price these compomises are reduced, but ultimately you would end up with a one box player with totally seperate circuits, this would cost a fortune and would be bought in very limited numbers so is probably not viable for a manufacturer.

    Arcams top end DVD player gives good results, but will never compete with a dedicated high end CD machine.

    There again what is the rest of your system and how extreme do you want to go?
     
  4. paiger

    paiger
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    That's the point I guess. I plan to maybe get something like a Tag or Arcam FMJ processor at some stage and don't want to buy a one box that will let that down.

    S
     
  5. CJROSS

    CJROSS
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2000
    Messages:
    5,072
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    106
    Ratings:
    +343
    Paiger I agree with Karkus, speaking purely on CD music replay, DVD-V players have to overcome quite a few hurdles before they can compete with dedicated CD players at half the price. The major ones being as Karkus has said being :

    Separate Power Supply
    Separate Music Circuitry
    Quality of Music Circuitry
    The benefit of isolation from video circuitry

    But you do not have to add a int. CDP to your system there is a more cost effective way (especially if you have a DVD-V player) by simply adding an offboard DAC & sending a signal from the DVD-Vs digital output is much more cost effective way of upgrading your sound, a separate DAC has all the specifications listed above with one added benefit (huge BTW) : You are not paying for the transport costs again in another Int. CDP, you are in fact getting the best sound upgrade for your money, for example if your looking at spending say £800 on a Musical Fidelity CDP like say the A3, you could in fact add a DAC like their A3.24 upsampler to run off your DVD-V transport this has the bones of the Nuvista CDP which sold at £3000, In all honesty which one will sound better? The A3 or the A3.24 – I think it is very easy to see is those terms.

    When I went from my Poineer DVD to an offboard DAC I was not ready for the improvement I got, changing DACs proved to me that there is more improvement to be had with the same DVD transport. I accept it is another box, but these days I am a firm believer in that separating out the components of a CDP ie the DAC section, with its own PSU etc & isolated music circuitry makes a huge difference. I think it is a small sacrifice to make for better CD playback (I think you will listen to your CD more than watching movies once you get a good player in place).

    BTW I do not argue that you can get good sounding DVDs at CDs (A88 or say a Tosh 900) but they are a long way off a £500 DVD-V player in tandem with a £500 DAC for CD playback. Depends how much you want to improve your CD playback with the addition of another box or keeping it in one box. Cost wise the DAC option will win hands down IMHO.

    Good luck dude in your quest !!
     
  6. Matt F

    Matt F
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2000
    Messages:
    900
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    21
    Location:
    Chester, UK
    Ratings:
    +4
    In fact, if you use the DACs in your AV processor then it's not even another box. It all depends upon the quality of the processors DACs of course, but I use my TAG AV32Rs DACs (which I presume are pretty fantastic) for CD replay with my Rotel RDV985 DVD player and the results are very impressive.

    I presume, therefore, that there would be little or no benefit (for CD replay) in me upgrading the Rotel, at least not without spending silly money?

    Matt.
     
  7. CJROSS

    CJROSS
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2000
    Messages:
    5,072
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    106
    Ratings:
    +343
    Matt Im very biased with TAG DACs since I got my (2 channel) TAG DAC 20, so in your case I would say the DACs in your AV32R are probably good enough at music replay, you could try a couple of DACs in your system from a dealers and see what the difference is like (ie bypassing the AV32Rs DAC prcoessing) The AV32R is a slightly different case from what were talking about here ie the best sound getting from DVD player with CD, but one thing is certain getting the signal to a 2 Ch DAC or a higher end (£1K and above) AV Processor like the AV32R is a better option than listening to the noisy environment of a DVD-V players DAC processing. But the 2 channel vibes in my say to be sure bypass any AV DACs and use a dedicated DAC for CD, then into the AV pre-amp with ICs from the offbaord DAC.

    Funnily enough Ive read a WHF hi-end review of the Audio Analogue Maestro (£1500) CD player which also has a digital input (so it can be used in offboard DAC fashion) and the transport they used was a Rotel 985, the reviewer felt that the Maestro was 3 stars on sound by itself, but when fed by the Rotel 985 it was a 5 star package. Another report of DVD-V being good at supplying a digital signal to an offboard DAC.

    All IMHO
     
  8. paiger

    paiger
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    So, let me make sure I understand this, using my current low end set up as an example. I have a Sony 940 amp and a Sony 700 DVD player. I have the player hooked up with coax digi and also QED 5.1's.

    For movies I use the coax to the DVD input and set the amp to auto decode, which it does. For music I use the 5.1's set to analogue direct as this sounds far better.

    Now, I assume that when watching movies, I am using the DVD as a transport and sending the raw signal to the amps DACs for decoding. For music, I am using the DVD's DAC's to decode SACD and CD signals and passing them directly to the amps power stage.

    From this I can draw the following conclusion. The players DAC works better with CD than the amp's does.

    What you are suggesting is taking, say the optical out from the player and running through a seperate DAC and then straight through an amp with no messing?


    I think, in the end, it is best to have something like the Tag set-up where you use the player purely as a transport and use a processor.

    But, if I wanted to get good CD sound from say a Pioneer 747, I could hook up a digital output, through DAC and then into an analogue direct channel on my reciever. For SACD, DVD's DVD-A etc, I could use the other digi ouput and the 5.1's.

    Am I anywhere close?

    Steve
     
  9. paiger

    paiger
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    How about this? I'm planning to get some new gear (subject to demo).

    Marantz 7300 (maybe 8300) AV Reciever
    Marantz 8300 DVD/DVD-a/SACD/CD player

    Hook one digi ouput from the player to the amps DVD section for movies only.

    Hook up the 5.1's on amp and DVD with my QED's for SACD and DVD-a.

    Use the other digital output through a DAC and into the amp's CD phonos, set to analogue bypass for CD only.

    What you reckon?

    S
     
  10. CJROSS

    CJROSS
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2000
    Messages:
    5,072
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    106
    Ratings:
    +343
    “Am I anywhere close?” Steve Bang on !!

    “Now, I assume that when watching movies, I am using the DVD as a transport and sending the raw signal to the amps DACs for decoding. For music, I am using the DVD's DAC's to decode SACD and CD signals and passing them directly to the amps power stage.” >>>>> Correct.

    “From this I can draw the following conclusion. The players DAC works better with CD than the amp's does.” >>>>>> Not in all cases Steve ie the better the amp/processor the better the decoding IMO. Depends on the DVD players capabilities as well.

    “What you are suggesting is taking, say the optical out from the player and running through a seperate DAC and then straight through an amp with no messing?” >>>>> In essence yes, although I would always suggest using the Coaxial output for sending CD PCM output from your DVD player to a DAC and then use the Optical Toslink for AV bitstream signals to the AV Amp digital input. I think that bitsream is less senstive to the effects of cable type ie Coax/Optical & conversely PCM signals are more sensitive to jitter ie optical being a higher jitter induced cable.

    “I think, in the end, it is best to have something like the Tag set-up where you use the player purely as a transport and use a processor” >>>>> This depends Steve IMO in what your willing to give for the best CD playback in your system, for example I would always advocate a DAC to someone willing to add a sep. CDP to their DVD player to achieve this, but if the AV amps DACs are rated highly enough then you could use that as your CD decoder. But I would add that not many DACs in AV amps are of a good enough quality IMO. Ie like the Sony 930 (no offence dude) adding a DAC to your system (purely for CD music) as long as your happy with the 700s video performacne is an acceptable route for improved CD playback.

    “But, if I wanted to get good CD sound from say a Pioneer 747, I could hook up a digital output, through DAC and then into an analogue direct channel on my reciever. For SACD, DVD's DVD-A etc, I could use the other digi ouput and the 5.1's.” >>>>>> This I think is exactly the way to go with a “Universal” player IMO, you keep the benefits of SACD & DVD-A and the offboard DAC has you covered for the best playback you can get. Put it this way when my Pioneer 717 DVD gives up the ghost, I will be looking very closely at the Sony NSV-900 or the 747, gaining SACD or DVD-A, but existing DAC covering CD playback. Once you get a good DAC in place it will move from transport to transport IMO ie outlast it.

    “Hook one digi ouput from the player to the amps DVD section for movies only” >>>>> Optical Toslink

    “Hook up the 5.1's on amp and DVD with my QED's for SACD and DVD-a” >>>>> Yep best SACD/DVD-A playback via this.

    “Use the other digital output through a DAC and into the amp's CD phonos, set to analogue bypass for CD only.” >>>>> Use the Coaxial Output to a DAC for optimum CD playback from the 8300.

    What you reckon? >>>>> That’s what I would do Steve I think in broad agreement with what your posting.

    Advisory though : You are still running a CD signal via an AV Pre-Amp no matter what you send in, ie direct from CD this is not regarded as the best stereo reproduction AV amps (all of them) are well known to be quite lacking in hifi terms. So now do a search on that side of better CD replay from your AV system. BTW I run a Stereo Amp that’s good enough for me watching movies as music is my main hobby.

    All IMHO and HTHs dude.
     
  11. paiger

    paiger
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    Thanks for your comments (and time). At the very least it gives me a much better understanding of what I'm playing with. I do like DD/DTS and multi-channel music so it will have to be an AV amp until I can afford something like a Tag set up. I may look into the DAC idea right now because, as you point out, I can simply upgrade amp or DVD at any time and maintain the advantage. It should also help me be a bit more patient with my current set up as I'm getting a bit fed up with the poor CD playback from my 700.

    Cheers

    Steve
     
  12. Nic Rhodes

    Nic Rhodes
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2001
    Messages:
    17,133
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    133
    Location:
    Cumbria
    Ratings:
    +1,277
    Paiger

    Where do I start? Lots of questions.

    Well first I will say that I have heard only two or three DVD players that I thought really good as CD players. Theta DaViD and my Tag. I suspect Charlies DaViD 2 is even better than the mark 1, perhaps one day I will get around to playing with one. For the moment I am happy with my Tag. I find these posh Tosh / Marantz a way off yet from the Tag / Theta class. The differences are more with CD performance than DVD.

    The performance differences are down to a whole host of reasons, largely due to cost cutting to reach a price point. Top CD performance on DVD players CAN be done but you have to spend the money. In no particular order

    Transport / clock stability
    DAC arrangements
    Analogue output stages
    Socketry
    Clock signal
    Screening / interference / signal layout
    JITTER
    JITTER
    JITTER
    Power supply
    Software
    Case / materials / damping

    I can go into more details if you require but much has been written already.

     
  13. paiger

    paiger
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    That'll do for now thanks. I'm off to lie down for a bit. Then I may chuck my AV gear in a skip and go buy an Alba midi system.

    Only joking. I think I'll keep my eyes on the Tag processor and DVD and just go for a good cheapish (Marantz) compromise for a year or two. By then, DVD-A and SACD may have sorted itself out (or died).

    Thanks again.

    Steve
     
  14. CJROSS

    CJROSS
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2000
    Messages:
    5,072
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    106
    Ratings:
    +343
    Hey Nic I hope I was not coming across as saying the AV32R was a lesser beast in stereo I was’nt honest guvnor !! FWIW I chose the DAC 20 as a replacement to my Musical Fidelity X-24K DAC as it did have a fair deal of attention paid to jitter recovery design - muliple PL Loops etc (not to mention beer money price tag). The X-24K also employed a low jitter recovery clocking design and these types of DACs are less succeptable to transport quality due to this (not totally I would add but to a high degree IMO).

    Audio Sythesis there is a nice AS DAC kicking about in here :
    http://www.midlandaudiox-change.co.uk/index.htm

    Audio Synthesis DAX Decade DAC with volume control £3000 £1795
    Theta Digital Carmen CD/DVD Transport £3499 £2295
    Theta Digital Data Basic CD Transport £2395 £795

    Nic regarding your vibes on SPDIF I too agree that PCM is best carried via a very well shielded coaxial cable : but some peoples experience is different, we have a dude over at the HFC forum who has just bought a Wadia X64 DAC & Wadia transport from the dealer above and has had extensive contact with the Wadia team over in the US, he tested out the high grade Glass optical cable that Wadia insist is the best carrier for a digital signal and was blown away :

    “The Wadia glass optical cable and Trichord clock are interesting items. Comparing a £45 Chord co-axial cable and the Glass optical was the same difference between a £500 and £2000 CDP! I was so shocked. If you have not tried a glass optical then see if you can borrow one, you might be surprised! Much, much more detail, separation etc etc. I have no idea how much Wadia the cable cost because it was included with the system”

    Anyway my experience of DACs is adding them to mid range DVD-V players and getting very acceptable results with them, I think it is a no brainer to add a DAC for the same price as a separate Int. CDP – A DAC that has had attention paid to its possible transport supplying jitter that is of course. Obviously as close as jitter free signal is the best scenario but I wonder what spec is acceptable to send to a jitter recovery clock on a offboard DAC?

    Just some random warblings !!
     
  15. Nic Rhodes

    Nic Rhodes
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2001
    Messages:
    17,133
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    133
    Location:
    Cumbria
    Ratings:
    +1,277
    CJ

    Interesting stuff as ever. I think I have encouraged you in your DAC20 quest all along as a big Tag fan:) It was the correct decision for you (and will be for many others, great kit at silly money).

    The Audio Synthesis DAX Decade is a bargain for someone. Mine has the balanced and black gate upgrades but they can easily be applied to this unit for someone.

    For the record I use wideband ST optical connector on my system. I think it is the best as well. :D 8m and no loss of quality. :) though normally I use a much shorter lead. I do have Coaxial RCA (Trichord), Coaxial BNC (my own special), AES (Chord balanced), ST wide band glass optical (AS) and Toslink plastic optical inputs (Chord ) all connected so I can easily demonstrate the differences to people with N code, C code and SPDIF via all five interfaces.:D Sad isn't it. :blush: But if you want to try other cables I am sure I have them somewhere :blush:

     
  16. Gordon @ Convergent AV

    Gordon @ Convergent AV
    Distinguished Member AVForums Sponsor

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2000
    Messages:
    13,999
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Location:
    Living in Surrey, covering UK!
    Ratings:
    +2,803
    Nic,

    Surprised you didn't mention the Linn sync system used in Karik Numerik in your little notes. After all the TAG system works in similar fashion;)

    Here's a moderately interesting thing I did once....Listened to a digital feed on co-ax from FMJ to AV32r then listened to the analogue outputs of FMJ through analogue in on AV32r (yes I know all inputs are digitised by 32r's not upgraded with analgue by-pass). Guess what? I thought the analogue out of FMJ was superior on CD playback.

    When Linn launched Numerik I asked them about why there was no toslink input on it. The ensuing discussion was that they felt it too poor to impliment when most folk would be using Kariks with the thing and would use the supplied BNC-BNC CO-AX. However I also asked about the GLASS optical st interface. The opinion from them was that it was the most superior interface but they wouldn't impliment it as there were no other devices around that used it (wadia did at time I think but their cd players had other issues.....)

    Interesting thread guys

    Gordon
     
  17. Nic Rhodes

    Nic Rhodes
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2001
    Messages:
    17,133
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    133
    Location:
    Cumbria
    Ratings:
    +1,277
    Quite correct by Linn on ST but a little short sighted on it's application on Numerick IMHO. Nice to see they have always championed BNCs though. Big thumbs up in my book. Now why did they put ST interface on that CD12 thingy. :)

    More people have used the ST interface than you might realise, as well as Wadia, Linn and Audio synthesis, Arcam used to have an option for a ST interface for their 170 / 250 transports! Well done Arcam. Unfortunately they couldn't update my 250 transport last year. :( But Audio Synthesis still modify transports / players (as do Trichord) with a VERY hig quality digital interface board:) As well as giving a low jitter the AS also allow N coding to take advantage of that great Dax decade DAC. Both are well worth the effort. I have done a Trichord digital interface and have heard a AS (I think GaryG has one in a Meridian 600 tansport). Both are excellent for those looking to get the best out of their players.

    I don't do Linn :). Seriously many people were doing this. Linn, Wadia, Sony, DPA, Audio Synthesis, Arcam.....Most were incompatible with each other unfortunately and the companies realised that people didn't necessarily want transport and DAC from just Brand X. This led to the rise of the single box CD player as people realised (with Trichods help) that the SPDIF was not all it is cracked upto be. Plugging a CD into a DAC was fraught with potential problems but could give substantial gains as well. This basically led to the demise of the once popular external DAC. Only those with some special in the jitter domain (Audio Synthesis n / c code or Chord buffers / Tga sync link) have survived unless they are touting a dubious fashion icon like upsampling. :)


    I have never actually done this test per se but I concur with all the thinking behind it and my extensive testing does certainly support what you are saying. I prefer a single box CD even if it digitised again (Tag input) to a SPDIF connection on exacting equipment. The only time I don't is with additional jitter reduction measures like a Tag sync link.
     
  18. Nic Rhodes

    Nic Rhodes
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2001
    Messages:
    17,133
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    133
    Location:
    Cumbria
    Ratings:
    +1,277
  19. CJROSS

    CJROSS
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2000
    Messages:
    5,072
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    106
    Ratings:
    +343
    Gordon/Nic

    Dont know where this fits in with your vibes on connections but TAG are pretty explicit about Toslink, from the white paper on the DAC 20 (and in the user manual where your warned off using that connection) :

    "The optical inputs are EIAJ compatible TOSLINK devices - TORX176. These have faster switching times and better skew performance than the earlier TORX174. Optical connections have the advantage of total galvanic isolation between the source and DAC20, but tend to be inferior to their electrical alternatives due to the limited bandwidth of the optical devices."

    Funnily enough I spoke to Chord (a la DAC 64) because I had read in the HFN review of the Chord 64 that the 64 had problems getting a lock on Pioneer DVD players, it transpired from the phone call that it was the optical connection which was at fault and out of spec, the Pioneers that is so Chord had to relax the bandwidth of the optical input on the 64 to make it more friendly to optical outputs on DVD players, another reason to stick with coaxial connection for PCM (at the lower end of the transport market that is IMO) Ive often thought about making my own RCA-BNC coaxial cable, as the RCA interface is more jittered than the BNC, what do you guys reckon.

    Not sure if its the cable in Toslink ie plastic or glass that is making the difference, surely down to reflectibity of the carrier medium, are all Toslink connectors the same? Feel free to advise/correct or laugh at me at will dudes.
     
  20. Charlie Whitehouse

    Charlie Whitehouse
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    Out of interest, is AT&T glass optical the same as ST? Theta still offer this as an option on their transports/DACs/processors. They also have their own proprietary Single Mode optical connection. Having looked at the latter I concluded it was just too expensive to be justified... :eek:
     
  21. Nic Rhodes

    Nic Rhodes
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2001
    Messages:
    17,133
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    133
    Location:
    Cumbria
    Ratings:
    +1,277
    Tag are a quality company hence they don't like Toslink. Toslink cables are generally poorly made (cracks / breaks in the plastic 'pipe' that hinders transmission are COMMON). The plastic plugs are also poorly fitting. The ends are opague as well which doesn't bode well for an optical system ;) They are low bandwidth device. For quality kit they have no place but it not as simple as that. Optical glass leads can work quite well, some even go t the extent of polsihing the ends to allow them to transmit light. :) Quite novel for an optical cable me thinks. :D The low bandwidth actually can work to their advantage with jittery signals and is the reason many cheap systems actually prefer toslink (the low bandwidth filter the mush!!).

    'Galvanic interactions' what a lovely phrase. There was me avoiding diodic effects in a previous thread on this. I should have quoted Tag. :) There is loads to be said for total electrical isolation, hence I use ST optical. Quality optical cable.

    Spec on Toslink is very poorly implemented normally and poor Chord are not alone in having these problems. Unfortuantely they are blamed but as usual the blame lies elsewhere (pioneer this time but by no means the worst culprit). Poor Chord have to relax ther spec (and worsen quality) just because Pioneer can engineer toslink properly. Tag have been in similar situation wrt DVD disc being out of spec. The Tag DVD player played all in spec discs but wouldn't play out of spec discs that some other machines did. Tag had to loosen it's specs to meet out of spec disc. Something wrong ere me thinks. The good guys changing because bods like Pioneer / Pathe have no decent engineers.:(


    Making your own cables is simple. From memory you DAC20 has BNC inputs. Use them. It can make a small but subtle difference. If you are no DIYer Godon has some excellent 75 Ohm cable on his web site.....(about as good as it comes, SDI stuff :) :) ) The actual interface behind the RCA and BNC is the same it is just that BNCs are designed for this job and well RCA are not (polite version :D ). BNC at both ends is preferable but not essential. 75 Ohm well screened cable is esential.

    Toslink cables can be plastic (cheapo freebie ones) or glass. Optical / medical glass are the ones to look for (with polished ends). Chord and QED ae the best I have found, little difference between them IMHO. In fact that reminds me I could do with a long Tosslink for testing. (3-5m if anyone finds any secondhand).

    If you are interested in digital cables and would want to play with some PM me you address and I will send you a selection to 'play' with. Commercial and DIY!
     
  22. Nic Rhodes

    Nic Rhodes
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2001
    Messages:
    17,133
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    133
    Location:
    Cumbria
    Ratings:
    +1,277
    Yes. Get that David 11 sent back to the states for a ST upgrade :)
     
  23. Charlie Whitehouse

    Charlie Whitehouse
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    Not ***** likely! Especially if a £300 HTPC card is going to show it up! :D
     
  24. Jeff

    Jeff
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2000
    Messages:
    5,489
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    106
    Location:
    Basingstoke
    Ratings:
    +256
    I've been thinking about CD playback for a while, what is my best bet? Buy something like an Arcam CD72 and feed it via analogue to my Denon AVC-A1SE or buy a DAC and use my Denon 1600 DVD player? Will either/both be much of an improvement over the Denons connected via Toslink? :confused:

    Jeff
     
  25. winniepoohlove

    winniepoohlove
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    Gordon, I am surprised by your finding with Linn analogue into AV32R. The digital input should be superior to the analogue input as the analogue signal is eventually A/D and D/A by the same DACs anyway in the AV32R, as you implied. So, the digital input bypasses one step of D/A from the naim so should be better!

    Of course, could it be that the Linn DACs are multibit ones, hence why you prefer it even after A/D and D/A by the AV32R? More "tube" like? Or the Linn has a poor digital out connection? Why don't you post this finding on the Tag website (I've seen you post there before) and see if Udo makes any comments?

    Going back to the original question, if you happen to have an AV32R then there is no point getting a DAC20 as the DACs in the AV32R is the best that Tag can offer. Just get an AV32R and pair it with your DVD/CD transport and you have a system that is equally good for stereo and AV! After all, even KEF's people use the AV32R in their development work on the new Reference speakers range, although they may not admit that publicly!!!!!
     
  26. paiger

    paiger
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    Well, guys I've tried putting all these posts through Babel fish but there is no option to convert Vulcan to English.

    I started this thread and now I feel like I have messed with the very fabric of the universe and started a chain reaction that I cannot control and will ultimately lead to the destruction of mankind.

    That Alba midi system is looking even more attractive now.

    Later, I have some reading to do.

    S
     
  27. paiger

    paiger
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    Lets just say I was to go mental and buy myself a Tag AV32R. What is the cheapest way to amplify all 5 channels? I mean it would have to be a few hundred squid and last me a year until I could afford a Bryston or Tag power amp.

    Any ideas?

    S
     
  28. Couch Potato

    Couch Potato
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    You could try the Rotel 985 Mk2, it's a good 5 channel amp that's relatively inexpensive, I'm sure you could pick one up for sub £500 or the second hand route.

    Go for the AV32R it's excellent, you can add better amplification when your budget allows.

    That's exactly the route I took (even down to the Rotel 985)

    Steve
     
  29. Matt F

    Matt F
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2000
    Messages:
    900
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    21
    Location:
    Chester, UK
    Ratings:
    +4
    Yes - Rotel. I went mental a while back and bought an AV32R - never regretted it. I paired it with a Rotel RB985MKII (5x110 watts THX ultra) and it sounds wonderful - amazing for the money really - the Rotel was £625 new.

    So, second hand you'd be looking at £300-£350 for a 985 MKII.

    That I believe could be your answer.

    Matt.
     
  30. Nic Rhodes

    Nic Rhodes
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2001
    Messages:
    17,133
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    133
    Location:
    Cumbria
    Ratings:
    +1,277
    It is no secret that I have ‘reservations’ over HCPC. Most of us can’t get it to work well. Jeff and Jenz obviously can but I think most of us perhaps want a HCPC to do a bit more than just scaling. I think the successful HCPC is probably one where EVERYTHING and I mean EVERYTHING has been disabled however it isn’t always suitable for many of users tasks for it. However, a few recent ‘launches’ have wetted my appetite again. The component / SDI /DCDi video input card and this audio card

    http://www.hometheaterhifi.com/newsflash/holo-card-7-2002.html

    http://www.rme-audio.com/english/digi96/digi96pa.htm

    I have experimented with some of the previous ‘audiophile’ sound cards and have found them severely lacking in performance so I have found High End Comparison: HTPC using RME DIGI96/8 PAD Sound Card vs. Theta David II a really interesting thread. I believe the Theta to be a top performer.

    I think I will try and sneak both into the house.

    I think a few points might need raising re some technical background. CD players (PCM 16 /44) have been optimised for 16 bit performance, despite what the sticky labels show on the front claiming 24 bit DACs. This may sound a slightly daft comment but I will try and explain my reasoning. S/N on CD is disc is an absolute max 96dB as it is a 16 bit system. The electronics may be more capable but any system will always be limited by the least able part of the system. Amps are typically 80 ish Now we all know CD never reach 16 bits and are typically 14 / 15 anyway!! The RME card talked about recent in the HCPC shootout thread has a S/N of 112dB A weighted. Basically a high figure for a system capable of DVD signals. The Audio Synthesis DAC quote here has a higher S/N ratio despite being CD only!

    We all agree toslink is poor as a connector and that PCM signals can be jitter ladened. Perhaps what is not realised is the jitter on these SPDIF interfaces actually decreases with increasing frequency / bit rate. I.e. PCM 24/96 signals have lower jitter than PCM 16/44. I have generally found most people assume it is the other way around. When you actually think about it it actually makes sense. The signal more closely resembles the ideal. In reality you might have less of a problems with DVD (PCM and bitstream) than you do with CD! I have often wondered whether this is the reason that many people claim to hear performance gains with up-sampling. This I think explains why many people have more difficulty with CD systems than DVD systems.

    DVD players are actually optimised for 24 bit performance (not 16) and therefore actually work differently and is one of the reasons why there are differences between CD and DVD performance. Anyone who understands about dither and how digital volume controls work will understand what I mean. Take a Denon 3800 DVD A player for example. This has S/N of 103dB A weighted and no one would doubt it is a higher resolution device than any CD player but compare this 103 figure with the 113 figure of the Audio Synthesis! The figures are therefore not very meaningful.

    Therefore there is a problem, do you optimise a system for DVD performance or for CD performance. I believe if you try both then there are compromises that need to be accepted. There are good technical reasons for doing CD in a single box. Similarly there are good reasons for doing decoding in a DVD player but no one wants to address this. Why not use analogue 5.1 inputs. Gordon has already talked about the advantages with CD, why not DVD? All these signals have to be translated from digital to analogue somewhere, why not in the best place rather than the most convenient place? It is a point I raised a while back but no one wanted to address.

    Re Jeffs issue on CD quality I think I would go the dedicated CD player route (Arcam, cos they know what they are doing) but both the DAC (Tag?) and a new CD player will give a better sound than the Denon toslink connected for CD playing.

    Here is something to think about. My CD player (analogue output) feeding an AV32R (which re digitises the analogue signal) is better than a DVD32R playing the same disc digitally sync link connected, and believe me when I say there is nothing wrong with my DVD32R! If I reverse the situation and feed an analogue output from the Tag to the DAX system then the differences are even greater!!! Don’t assume digital is the be all and end all of a quality system.

    Charlie, I would be very interested in the single mode Theta connection and ST upgrade. Do you know anything more about these? I wish I was closer and I could then demonstrate the benefits of ST to you. You have the kit to really take advantage of it.


    Hope this isn't too Vulcan;)
     

Share This Page

Loading...