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Dedicated CD Player Vs. Transport/DAC
Dedicated CD Player 21%  21%  [ 32 ]
Transport/DAC 40%  40%  [ 61 ]
Transport matters Yes? 33%  33%  [ 50 ]
Transport matters No? 6%  6%  [ 9 ]
Total votes : 152
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2018 5:40 am 
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This probably has been brought up before but I'm wondering how many CAMmers fall into these two sides.

How many dedicated CD Players sound as good as a Transport with DAC or vice versa?

Does the transport matter if the DAC is excellent? What is the ideal choice?

What do you use? Thoughts?

Audiois1st

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2018 7:29 am 
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Location: Toronto, ON, CA
Not only does the transport matter, even the power supply of the transport matters.

I have a MSB Signature Universal Media Transport (UMT) V. It drives an MSB Diamond DAC IV+.

Upgrading the transport's power supply from MSB's dual "desktop" power supplies to their dual "Signature" power supply made an immediate and obvious difference: deeper bass, overall better detail and separation of instruments.

Nor was I the only one present who heard those improvements.

As to whether single-box disc players or transport/DAC combinations sound better, that depends more on the implementation of the design than whether the transport and DAC are separated. At the same time, most of the very best digital players are separates, although there's no intrinsic reason a manufacturer couldn't build the same quality in a single box. . .


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2018 7:37 am 
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Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2012 12:31 pm
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Location: Kanata, ON, CA
Audiois1st wrote:
This probably has been brought up before but I'm wondering how many CAMmers fall into these two sides.

How many dedicated CD Players sound as good as a Transport with DAC or vice versa?

Does the transport matter if the DAC is excellent? What is the ideal choice?

What do you use? Thoughts?

Audiois1st


I think SONY just blew up the Hi-End space for this ...
just last year they made a Blu-Ray / UHD / SACD / Streaming player called the UBP - X800 ... Coax / SPDIF / HDMI out only (no Analog out)
and some reviewers were surprised at the Audio (nevermind the Video) quality when fed into a DSD DAC via the
HDMI or when fed into a regular DAC via the Coax !!

Subsequently, they added a 32bit DAC with the DSD process capability (all SONY proprietary) plus Analog out ... and called it the UBP X1000ES .. BUT only available Stateside!!

I got both of them .. and have subsequently decommissioned my Trans / DAC combo .. because the 1000ES via analog out
beats it !! :shock:


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2018 8:20 am 
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Location: Burlington, ON, CA
Pretty simple and cheap test for whether transport matters: pick up an old DVD/blu ray player at a thrift store and see if it sounds different from your present setup. Most of these players are selling for about $10.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2018 8:26 am 
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Location: Toronto, ON, CA
yelweh wrote:
Audiois1st wrote:
This probably has been brought up before but I'm wondering how many CAMmers fall into these two sides.

How many dedicated CD Players sound as good as a Transport with DAC or vice versa?

Does the transport matter if the DAC is excellent? What is the ideal choice?

What do you use? Thoughts?

Audiois1st


I think SONY just blew up the Hi-End space for this ...
just last year they made a Blu-Ray / UHD / SACD / Streaming player called the UBP - X800 ... Coax / SPDIF / HDMI out only (no Analog out)
and some reviewers were surprised at the Audio (nevermind the Video) quality when fed into a DSD DAC via the
HDMI or when fed into a regular DAC via the Coax !!

Subsequently, they added a 32bit DAC with the DSD process capability (all SONY proprietary) plus Analog out ... and called it the UBP X1000ES .. BUT only available Stateside!!

I got both of them .. and have subsequently decommissioned my Trans / DAC combo .. because the 1000ES via analog out
beats it !! :shock:


Would be interested to learn what transport/DAC set-up you "decommissioned" in favour of the Sony components.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2018 8:48 am 
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Location: Warman, SK, CA
The more years i spend with this hobby the more I realize that everything matters! Most of the time changes or tweaks sound different but occasionally a new piece of
equipment goes beyond different and reaches "better". My latest example of this phenomenon:

With the addition of a Schiit Yggdrasil I had found that I preferred my Marantz SA 14 as a transport only using the brilliant Yggy for both streaming and CD playback.
I seldom play SACDs now finding that redbook using Yggy sounds more natural to me than the presentation of SACD. As well, we know that SACD never really caught on
as shown by the very limited releases of this format.

I was reluctant to consider a separate transport believing that a highly regarded SACD player would be able to spin discs with the best of them. Right?

For fun I recently bought a Sonic Frontiers transport, circa 1996, from a great CAM dealer. Even with a cold player and factory power cord I heard more detail throughout the
frequency range and improved soundstage depth. With more playing time and the upgraded power cable there was no contest.

Who would have thought that an older transport would outperform the newer SACD player? There are surprises around every corner in this hobby!


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2018 9:07 am 
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I have owned a 2K $ transport with a 1K $ Dac.
I run only amp/ pre combos and my speakers are always revealing enough to hear changes.
I have also run budget minded Cdplayers alone and through budget minded Dacs.
I really think that the law of diminishing returns is a factor in the Op's question.
If you are going to spend 5K $ on a transport eg. Esoteric and 5K $ on a Dac then God knows your speakers and amplification and cables should at least cost enough to reveal what it is supposed to.
But if my whole system is worth say10K $ im going to be fine with a Sony cdp and Teac dac. YMMV

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2018 9:23 am 
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Location: Kanata, ON, CA
Quote:
Would be interested to learn what transport/DAC set-up you "decommissioned" in favour of the Sony components.


Sure ...
Trans - SONY DVP-S9000ES
http://www.laaudiofile.com/dvps9000es.html

DAC - Harman-Kardon HK990 onboard with dual AD1955 chips
https://www.stereophile.com/content/harman-kardon-hk-990-integrated-amplifier


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2018 9:32 am 
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Joined: Thu Oct 30, 2008 8:08 am
Posts: 986
Location: burlington, ON, CA
from interweeb

http://www.rme-audio.de/en/products/adi_2-dac.php
https://www.rme-usa.com/adi-2-dac.html
https://www.rme-usa.com/downloads.html

https://headfonics.com/2016/12/the-adi-2-pro-by-rme/
http://www.superbestaudiofriends.org/in ... 649/page-7

https://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/rme-adi-2-pro
http://dsd-guide.com/dop-open-standard#.WrF4Yf6otc0
http://bs2b.sourceforge.net/

The RME ADI-2 DAC includes an improved SteadyClock, a fine-tuned to perfection analog circuitry, remote control, Extreme Power headphone output and a very special IEM output. It has all the bells and whistles that made the ADI-2 Pro famous, including its perfectly transparent sound signature and full DSP processing with Bass, Treble, Loudness, 5 Band Parametric EQ, Crossfeed, an Extreme Power headphone output, a super low noise IEM output, SteadyClock FS low phase noise oscillator driving the updated circuit reaches jitter specs lower than a picosecond (ps), an area called FemtoSecond. Hence SteadyClock FS. A 4-stage hardware output level control, DSP-based signal processing, external power supply operation, Class Compliant USB compatibility and sample rates up to 768 kHz as well as DSD and Direct DSD playback. The SPDIF input signal can even be recorded via USB - as one would expect from RME the DAC is a true 2 channel Full Duplex audio interface.
balanced/unbalanced analog outputs, and much more. With its simplified operation and stunning design it is the ideal center piece from home listening up to studio reference playback.


Last edited by speedy1 on Tue Mar 20, 2018 1:27 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2018 10:19 am 
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Joined: Sat Mar 12, 2011 1:45 pm
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Location: Toronto, ON, CA
Audiois1st wrote:
This probably has been brought up before but I'm wondering how many CAMmers fall into these two sides.

How many dedicated CD Players sound as good as a Transport with DAC or vice versa?

Does the transport matter if the DAC is excellent? What is the ideal choice?

What do you use? Thoughts?

Audiois1st



For the past few years, I have been running a separate transport, DAC, preamp and amp. And spent literally thousands in cables. I am using Nordost Red Dawn or better cables throughout.

My latest experiment was streaming Spotify through Chromecast (using its internal DAC) through a $100 Behringer mixer directly into my Mac amp. Total cost of this setup including cables (excluding the Anthony Gallo reference speakers and SA sub amp) is about $5k.

The sound quality’s is almost as good as my transport/DAC/pr amp/amp setup that costs twice as much and it is MUCH quieter. Eliminating all these extra components and cables dramatically lowered the noise floor.

I am now looking for a single box DAC/ pre amp/ amp that I can connect to a transport and Chromecast so that I can eliminate a bunch of cables and lower the noise floor.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2018 11:41 am 
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Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2012 12:31 pm
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Location: Kanata, ON, CA
Quote:
For the past few years, I have been running a separate transport, DAC, preamp and amp. And spent literally thousands in cables. I am using Nordost Red Dawn or better cables throughout.

My latest experiment was streaming Spotify through Chromecast (using its internal DAC) through a $100 Behringer mixer directly into my Mac amp. Total cost of this setup including cables (excluding the Anthony Gallo reference speakers and SA sub amp) is about $5k.

The sound quality’s is almost as good as my transport/DAC/pr amp/amp setup that costs twice as much and it is MUCH quieter. Eliminating all these extra components and cables dramatically lowered the noise floor.

I am now looking for a single box DAC/ pre amp/ amp that I can connect to a transport and Chromecast so that I can eliminate a bunch of cables and lower the noise floor.


Quote:
Eliminating all these extra components and cables dramatically lowered the noise floor.

I am now looking for a single box DAC/ pre amp/ amp that I can connect to a transport and Chromecast so that I can eliminate a bunch of cables and lower the noise floor


AND ... Therein lies the-crux-of-the-matter !! ... my HK990 onboard DAC is far quieter and more subtly resolving than the off-board Benchmark DAC III-L that i sampled for awhile. The subtly resolving bit is IMO the result of less inter-cabling, leading to less potential nasty's (including Cosmic Rays!) entering the signal Xfer portions !!
As in my prev comments ... the amount of musical information that the SONY UHD player (US$800) is able to find on CD - Red Book data has made me question all super advanced stuff being done by the Independent Hi-End companies !!
I believe IMO that the folks who developed this stuff from the start a la SONY / Philips .. have been privy to some processing details that they are now implementing in their average consumer products ... after all it's almost 2020 !! :oops:


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2018 1:25 pm 
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The very best CD/Blue Ray source wasn't listed. What is best is a good PC dive. A PC drive can do extended error correction in machine time. Then the "Rip" is available for replay. For those with Linux machines the sky is the limit.

I've had quite a few CD's that were to corrupted to use on a regular CD player but were entirely salvageable using my PC.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2018 2:07 pm 
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I voted for transport and DAC...even when I used to live with like $15K player before....but of course the quality of the transport is very important.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2018 2:32 pm 
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Audio_Guy wrote:
The very best CD/Blue Ray source wasn't listed. What is best is a good PC dive. A PC drive can do extended error correction in machine time. Then the "Rip" is available for replay.

I'm mostly on board with this suggestion, although I have a hundred or so CD's that came with my wife, that are in such awful condition that EAC just can't give me a good rip. Once on the server, a good streaming DAC can completely eliminate the transport from the equation, as the only jitter to be dealt with is the internal DAC clock.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2018 3:33 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2017 7:37 pm
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Location: montreal, QC, CA
I use my bery old proceed dac with different transport including the proceed CD player the best saund I get it’s with my simaudio orbiter ACCD player all true still prefer the saund from the orbiter alone


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