What cd player?


Standard Member
Right i`ve got an av receiver (yamaha 630) I know its not gonna be as good as an amp for music but it sems pretty good at the mom(am using my pooter at the mom for musaic)
The thing is I want a proper cd player. Now I been looking at the nad 541 and that seems like a pretty cool one. what are your opinions on this?

Also I read an faq on hifi choice about cd transports and dac`s.

From what I gather a cd transport just reads the data from the cd and leaves it in digital and a dac changes it to analogue so it can be used by the receiver/amp. The bit that stumped me was that it said you can used a dac on a normal cd player and it will improve the quality. Did I mis read this. I trhough the cd players already changed it into analogue?

My head is hurting so any help would be great.


Well-known Member
I assume that if you have an AV receiver you have a DVD player Kopite ? anway back to your query, Int. CDPs (like the NAD 541) are made up of 2 components : the transport section & the DAC section, now these can be bought separately on the market, ie DACs can be bought on their own, where this becomes relevant is when you are buying another CDP from your existing CDP/DVD player, you can either buy another Int. CDP or buy a DAC, a lot of people think buying DACs is a better upgrade at this point as you get more VFM ie you are not spending half of your money on the transport again, but instead buying a pure upgrade in sound terms with the DAC, as you already would have a transport in the NAD 541 you would simply use that as your CD Transport - this would then send a digital signal to the DAC and the digtal conversion would be done purely via the new upgraded DAC. You say you currently run the CDs off your pooter, you have a digital output on that BTW, you should speak to Pbiirkett who has done precisely that, ie ran a digital connection from his soundcard to his DAC.

But as you have an AV reciever (Not very good for stereo but maybe accpetable to you dude) you may find the best bet is getting a DVD player first, then add a DAC later, in the meantime play CDs on your DVD player, the other benefit being surround sound via your AV amp.



What kind of soundcard is in your PC?

If its a half decent one, then it will output digitally. Not sure if the SB Live does it, but I know the Audigy does it, as does the Videologic Sonic Fury (which is what I have).

Why not add a DAC to your PC, this is what I have done, and it made a huge difference to the quality - basically, made my PC sound like a good quality CD player, and that is when playing MP3's (albeit well encoded ones).

It is a good cost effective way of making a PC into a true hifi standard component. You may well be extremely surprised how good even the much slated mp3's can sound. PC's are more than capable of holding their own in the hifi world with a DAC.

Not only that, but if you get a DAC, you can also use it with other digital devices - DVD player, DAB tuner, even Digital TV if you are lucky enough to own a Sky+ box, and it will enhance all of those things. The main advantage is cost - the majority of your cash (or maybe not, I paid just £60 for mine) goes on the DAC, and you no longer have to buy really expensive CD players or whatever, because the DAC does the all the work.

Try it mate, makes sense.


Standard Member
At the mom I`m only using the onboard sound on my mobo(its the cmi9738(think thst the number) CHip. its supposed to be the best onboard chip around its better than my sb live was) I`ll be buying the audigy 2 when it comes out if it lives up to the expectations so what ur saying makes sense. Does mean I`ll have to buy a cd rom though so that I can play games and listen to music at once :D


You dont even have a cd-rom? Do you not have a DVD drive, this will also play cd's no problem. You can play music on the PC and play games at the same time no problem, it just a case of turning the in game music off, and the sound effects down or off. The CPU hit is minimal.

As for MP3's I just use winamp (with various plugins to improve sound quality, ie MAD + dsound 2.2.3) and this takes about 1% CPU usage also, something I do all the time.

If your getting an Audigy 2 it will certainly have a digital out of some description which means you can plug it into the DAC, but for quality I can highly recommend the Videologic Sonicfury as well, and its quite cheap too at £50 or less.


Standard Member
I got a dvd but it gives me an excuse to buy a cd writer now :D That way I can listen to music whilst playing a game etc :D


Distinguished Member
Nice thread :) I never thought of adding a DAC to the PC. Don't think my SB Live has DIg out (must check). Still, time for an upgrade anyway ;)



Standard Member
The sblive should have a sp dif out although it depends which one you have.

The Audigy2 is looking well tasty and should retake the crown although the sonic fury cards look quite good too.

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