1. Join Now

    AVForums.com uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Question from newbie

Discussion in 'Hi-Fi Stereo Systems & Separates' started by mobily, Dec 30, 2003.

  1. mobily

    mobily
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2003
    Messages:
    472
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Plymouth
    Ratings:
    +2
    Hello all,

    I am seeking some advice regarding cd player seperates with a bit of home cinema thrown in for good measure (I hope I have posted in the right forum!) :cool:

    For Christmas I received a Cambridge DAB300 digital radio and I am looking to buying a quality amplifier and cd player to go with it. I currently have mission 701 stereo speakers which seem to suit my purpose but may need upgrading (although they don't allow bi-wiring).

    My question is that on the rear of the digital radio there is a co-axial and an optical digital out socket but on all amplifiers I have looked at there is no input socket for such a connection. The same applies to CD players as they have digital out sockets too. Is there only a digital out connection on the radio and cd player so that they can be hooked up to pro logic and above amps to provide surround sound affect? Also would cd music and digital radio sound better with a stereo amp, or an amp with digital capabilities which are usually used for movies?

    I have my eye on the new Azure Cambridge 640a amplifier and Cambridge Azur 640c CD player which may be wasted on my mission 701's. However as a cheaper option I am also considering the Cambridge A5 amplifier with the Sony CDPXE570 CD player.

    I did consider purchasing an amplifier that would do for both home cinema and music but after reading some magazines I think that two seperate amps would be better?

    Sorry for all the questions but I am new to all this lark.

    Thanks in advance for any help anyone can give :p

    James
     
  2. LV426

    LV426
    Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2000
    Messages:
    12,789
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Location:
    Somewhere in South Yorkshire
    Ratings:
    +4,975
    In general, digital interconnects between source and amplifier are there so that the amplifier can do the digital to analog conversion, rather than the source device.

    Reasons for wanting to do this:

    1: If the source device can only decode into stereo (2 channels) whereas the signal may be encoded with more. Such is true of many DVD players, and most DVD discs have more than 2 channels of signal. Because of this, home theatre amps typically have digital inputs and onboard digital > analog converters (DACs), so as to extract all the available channels. Conversely, 2 channel amps typically do not have onboard DACs and hence no digital inputs, because they aren't needed.

    2: If the source device has a DAC that is inferior to that found in an amplifier you may choose to use a digital interconnect so as to benefit from the better conversion.

    So, to answer your question as regards DAB radio - I'm not a DAB user but my guess is that most or all DAB programming uses only 2 channels at most. In which case, provided that the D>A converter in the radio is up to scratch, you do not need an amplifier with onboard D>A Converter and so won't need to use the digital interconnect.

    On the other hand, if you are going to buy into home theatre, your amp will have onboard DACs and these may be better than those in the radio - in which case you would use the digital interconnect.

    And, before you ask, there is little or no audible difference between optical and electrical digital interconnects.

    As for home theatre amplifier performance - there are those that follow the purist view that a multichannel amp will never be as good at stereo, as a stereo one is.

    The true answer is, of course, that it is all down to the standard of the equipment. A good multichannel amp will make a very good job of stereo. Such an amp will power down or bypass any redundant circuitry when used in stereo mode. And, given that its power supply has to be capable of driving 5 or 7 power outputs, it seems likely that it will have plenty of spare capacity when it is only being used for two.

    I suspect that, for the price of <a decent stereo amplifier> plus <a decent home theatre amplifier> plus <any necessary switching devices to share loudspeakers and/or sources> you could buy a very good HT amp which will perform extremely well for all sources.
     
  3. rupbert

    rupbert
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2002
    Messages:
    544
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    21
    Ratings:
    +18
    Hey Mobily, welcome to the forums :)

    Check January's What Hi-Fi magazine, Cambridge Audio Azur 640a and 640c win a group test...
     
  4. mobily

    mobily
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2003
    Messages:
    472
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Plymouth
    Ratings:
    +2
    Thanks for your answer to my questions Nigel, they are really helpful!

    I am quite new to the whole seperates thing and am surprised at how much detail there is whenr egards to purchasing a new system down to the size of the room to the quality of the speaker cable.

    Is it true that no stereo amplifier has a D>A converter and if this is the case is it the quality of the source i.e. cd player and dab that will depend if the signal is carried adequatly?

    Thanks also to your reply Rupert and your kind welcome. I have read the new issue of what hi*fi magazine and that is what attracted me to the cambridge azur in the first place.

    However, what Nigel says is true that having two seperate amps and switching devices (whatever they are!) would cost much more than one amp that does both tasks.

    I suppose it all boils down to whether I would notice the difference in sound for both movies and music if I were to pay the same and get one amp or get two amps and other paraphenalia that is necessary to make it work. I was always under the impression that the two front left and right speakers in a 5/6/7.1 setup were specifically designed for movies and would not provide the same high quality if music were to be used with the same speakers?

    Thanks to everyone who replies as any help is greatly appreciated and I am learning all the time!

    James
     
  5. rupbert

    rupbert
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2002
    Messages:
    544
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    21
    Ratings:
    +18
    Well it you got a dedicated CD player like the Cambridge 604c, you could use its own high quality DAC.

    As Nigel mentions, you are better buying a good quality amp/receiver and use it for both movie and music playback.

    The sound may to some people not be as good as a dedicated stereo amp, but again as Nigel said you would be spending at least twice the amount.

    As for DAB, the Pure DRX-701e has its own 24-bit/192 kHz stereo DAC...
     
  6. ditton15

    ditton15
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2002
    Messages:
    535
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Location:
    edinburgh
    Ratings:
    +0
    Thought I should just post a contrary view. If music matters to you, then do seriously consider both a CDplayer and a stereo amp. I personally do not believe that you get good music abilities from AVamps unless you pay a very great deal - and then you should look at separate processors & powers. it all to do with interference and where the manufacturer spends the money. buy s/h if necessary.

    but its up to you. try a demo in a shop and let your ears decide.
     
  7. mobily

    mobily
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2003
    Messages:
    472
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Plymouth
    Ratings:
    +2
    Hello,

    Thanks for your reply ditton giving a different view to the one that has already being expressed. I am sorry if my questions seem a little simple but I do find the whole area quite baffling at times.

    If I were to purchase a separate stereo amp and cd player would the 2 be connected using L/R phono leads? Is the D>A convertor in the cd player good enough?

    Also would you recommend upgrading my existing mission 701 speakers?

    Thanks for all your help,

    James
     
  8. LV426

    LV426
    Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2000
    Messages:
    12,789
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Location:
    Somewhere in South Yorkshire
    Ratings:
    +4,975
    In terms of speakers - if music is important then use good quality speakers that you like, for music, as your main stereo pair.

    If you DO decide to go the good quality AV amp (only) route - good stereo speakers will also produce good results for movie material. Of course, they will need to be accompanied by three (at least) more speakers, but they don't need to be all identical. Some element of tonal matching will help the movie exoerience, though.

    I'm not aware of any regular audio amps that have oboard DACs - but I'd be happy to be contradicted on this. They are certainly pretty rare if they do exist. So your CD player would be connected using a pair of regular analog audio cables.

    In terms of choosing stuff - no amount of opinion expressed here will substitute for your making your own choice based on extensive demonstration.

    As a first step (only - don't then go and buy one straight away) pop down to your local Sevenoaks store and ask them to rig up (say) a Denon 3803 to just TWO loudspeakers and let you listen (for an hour or more) to some MUSIC with which you are familiar.
     

Share This Page

Loading...