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Upgrade ideas ??

Discussion in 'Hi-Fi Stereo Systems & Separates' started by Rad, Jan 29, 2004.

  1. Rad

    Rad
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    Hello,

    I currently have a Pioneer dvd737 which I use for both DVD and CD playback, this runs through a Marantz SR7200 to a set of Tannoy Revolution R3's (front) R1's (rear) and RC (centre), I also have a Paradigm PS1000 as a subwoofer.

    The interconnects are decent enough (some Mark Grant made interconnects and others at roughly the same quality), the speaker cable is home made CAT5 cable.

    I was thinking of getting a CD player for cd's and not using the 737 anymore, I have a budget of about £400.

    Any recommendations for a cd player, or would I be better getting some external DAC's or monoblocks or something.

    Any ideas welcome.

    Cheers,
    Richard.

    (PS. What I think is missing is a lack of energy in the mid range, bass is excellent and the highs are excellent too.)
     
  2. MR2Harvey

    MR2Harvey
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    Spend £400 on a good cd player like the Arcam CD73T as from what I can gather the transport mechanism is very important for cd replay and not many dvd players are good at that.
     
  3. Rad

    Rad
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    I've been told that the CD transport in the Pioneer was very good, this is why I was asking if it was worth buying a seperate cd or something else.

    Thanks for your idea.

    Anyone else ??
     
  4. MR2Harvey

    MR2Harvey
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    If the transport in the Pioneer is very good, i.e. very low levels of jitter then the CD replay would also be very good and you would not be looking to upgrade I'd have thought. I'm not sure what to do, either get a high quality DVD player for both DVD and CD replay or get separate players.
     
  5. Rad

    Rad
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    it's just a case of upgraditus mate :D

    Didn't mean to sound ungratefull.
     
  6. Nobber22

    Nobber22
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    ....take a look at the DAC "Sticky" at the top of this particular forum. :smashin:
     
  7. Rad

    Rad
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    I'm glad someone mentioned that as I had a quick look there, but will I still be able to use the DVD player for 5.1 surround if I do that ??

    I thought DAC's sat in the middle and took the digital output from the DVD player and then inputed this as analog into the amp?, I thought I'd loose DTS etc if I did this.

    Please excuse my daftness if I've got this wrong.

    Cheers,
    Rich.
     
  8. Nobber22

    Nobber22
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    Use the Pioneer on it's own for 5.1
    Use it with the DAC for CD/Stereo playing.
     
  9. Rad

    Rad
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    Cool, but I will I need to muck about with unplugging and plugging cables or would the easiest answer be use the Toslink for DVD and the coaxial for CD ??.
     
  10. Ed Selley

    Ed Selley
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    Yep- just choose which one offers the best performance in both fields for you (it could easily end up being the other way around).
     
  11. Rad

    Rad
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    Now we've got that far can anyone recommend any good DAC's :D
     
  12. CJROSS

    CJROSS
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    Hey Richard a man with a DVD player considering DACs rather than an Integrated CDP – nice one good to see someone stepping off the standard WHF advice trolley, I actually use a Pioneer 717 the model before your 737 (and CAT5 cabling FWIW) into a TAG DAC 20 but into a hifi stereo system for music primarily but also DVD-V music & films. Now it sounds excellent to me but a few people (mainly high end users) prefer CD transports for transports, I actually think the DAC can handle a reasonable amount of jitter if designed properly with recovery recloking in mind, I guess I have been lucky that my current DAC and my previous one do this (to my ears anyway). Your lack of midrange energy is IMHO down to your DVD @ CD duties front end, but you actually have a double prpbelm to me in that :

    You are hindered also by the stereo playback from your 7200 AV amp, this has as much effect on what you are are hearing in stereo IMO as the 737. Is there are way around this well yes but it will cost you varying amounts of lolly :

    Add a 2nd hand stereo DAC from £200 – 500 (but may still be hindered by 7200s stereo ability) Many are available at that price.

    At the same time add a £300 ish hifi stereo amplifier (Rotel RA-02 or a Marantz chappie) off the pre-outs of the 7200 for Fronts duty in AV mode & Hifi duties direct from the DAC.

    Or

    Add a double whammy upgrade with say a TAG AV32R £1200 2nd hand for DAC duties and as AV preamp but also very decent streo preamp section (can you use the 7200 with pre-ins as a power amp ?).

    If I were in your shoes dude I would opt for the AV32R TBH especially as you have no existing hifi kit (ie stereo at present) and all your kit is predominately AV 5.1 orrientated, Your R3s are excellent speakers for hifi, so they are adequate. Some hard choices dude, maybe save your monies till you can get to the level of a TAG AV32R, even running a reasonable Rotel PA section this IMHO is the best of both worlds ie AV & Stereo music in one combined system. Ie DAC upgrade, Stereo pre-amp upgrade and AV processing upgrade.

    Actually just separating PSUs from transport & DAC pays an instant dividend to some people, and a good DAC can handle jitter, I also think if jitter was as bad in these DVD players as is made out by audiophiles then would their AV 5.1 aduio not be comprimised as well ?. I actually think that the 717/737 has very decent CD playback ie at the £300 mark for CD players, but there is a huge jump IMO from CD playback at £300 and above £1000+. A high quality DVD player is an option but I think you will pay for audiphile pedigree only to be marked down to the lowest cost “equivalent CD player” the brand makes.

    All IMHO of course.
     
  13. Rad

    Rad
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    Mate,

    You're not going to believe this but I was just about to PM you for some advice as I'd done a search on DAC and someone mentioned in a previous thread that you were the man to talk to and I noticed your 'last post' bit was my thread, weird or what :cool: .

    What I was thinking of was the DAC20 from TAGs website for £400 to fill in for the moment, can't really justify the £1200 at the moment.

    What do ya reckon ??

    Cheers,
    Rich.

    (PS. How long did it take you to make your CAT5 speaker cable ?, what a nightmare it was, but worth it in the end)
     
  14. CJROSS

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    Well you can pick them up from TAG and get a 2 year RTF warranty for £400 or you can watch the second hand pages and get one for £300 or less, I paid £349 for mine when it first came out, Im sure a if you ask TAG £349 they might budge they are a nice bunch to deal with (IMPE) Ive still got a niggling doubt that whatever you do in DAC terms the pre-amp is still a set of chains for stereo to you dude. But if you are hellbent about to add a Integrated CD player @ £400 to your system then the TAG DAC is a better option IMHO. One point about the DAC 20 its original rrp of £1200 was IMO £400 too much, but even as a £800 DAC its blindingly good VFM for £300-400 IMHO.

    Ahhhh the pain of the braiding eh ? after the finger nail lossening of stripping individual conductors then braiding 3 No. 6m lengths (ah the horror !!!!) Ive made about 4 sets in total, lets just say it would have not been possible without SWMBO, all those years of slagging girls about braiding were forgotten in an instant I tells ya. Braiding a set of CAT5s one-self is not something I would even contemplate dude. I heard an ingenious method FWIW and that is to start a braid then attach cables to a drillbit then give it some welly with your black & decker, made me smile anyway.

    ATB dude.
     
  15. Rad

    Rad
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    Cheers for the advice.

    I'll give them a pop at £350 and see what they say.

    Thanks again,
    Rich.
     
  16. alexs2

    alexs2
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    If you're looking for a very good DAC,and the potential to add an upsampler/interpolator also,then have a look at the Perpetual Technologies P1A/P3A combination.
    The DAC is pretty good value at about £600 and the upsampler lifts the perfromance into the realms of Wadia and Levinson.

    The downside...mail order only from www.AV123.com

    I've had these for a few years now with no problems,and the reviews are excellent...try www.audioreview.com for a look.
     
  17. Rad

    Rad
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    Thanks all,

    That's given me a fair bit to think about.

    Cheers,
    Rich.
     
  18. CJROSS

    CJROSS
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    Alex Im not doubting the Per Pet kit, but how will a £600 P3A sound via the stereo inputs of an AV 5.1 amp like the 7200 ? Would a £300 DAC 2hand + a £300 (Rotel Ra-02) hifi amp maybe not be a better use of £600 ? Anyway your suggestion is a good one but the stereo pre-amp will not show its true worth IMO.
     

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