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PostPosted: Mon Nov 19, 2018 4:50 am 
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I have a Musical Fidelity Nuvista CD player which i use regularly, browsing through some old reviews last night i realised that the dac must be pretty ancient, almost last century! So, that made me think, would there be noticable sonic improvements using a newr DAC and, if so, should i aim high (MX) or lower (V90) if i stuck with the same brand or equivalent, like schiit etc. Wondering if anyone else has been down this road recently. I am happy with the MF but wondering ...


Last edited by revbuge on Mon Nov 19, 2018 5:15 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 19, 2018 4:57 am 
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I was in your shoes a few years ago. I have a Rega Apollo cd player which I felt always sounded great. I decided to try out a Chord QUTE Dac and I must say the improvement was very noticeable. I have the Rega as a transport and must say I am more than happy. If only I could play SACDs.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 19, 2018 5:17 am 
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Thanks, that would be the next hurdle, which DAC. I did notice Chord Mojos are starting to appear on CAM regularly, thats what got me thinking how much would i have to spend to notice a difference, i suspect not a lot given the age of the MF


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 19, 2018 9:30 am 
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If interested in a Chord Dacs (which are rather special) the Qutes or Hugos (or higher) are typically paired with a fixed system. The Mojo will need a special 3.5mm to rca connector to connect to your amp which is harder to come by and a limiting factor (though some still happily use one this way). A downside of the Hugo is small connector ports which make some wider interconnect plugs unusable (RCA and coax). Performance wise the Hugos are considered slightly better than the Qutes. In short the Chord DACs are quirky (coloured lights instead of a proper display) and a PITA with regards to getting the right cables but have excellent performance. If you go this route budget for new interconnects.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 19, 2018 9:46 am 
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I bought some DACs for some older model CDPs and also for my JolidaJD100,I find the DAC takes some of the digital edge off of the CDP. I didn't spend a lot of money on the DACs either.I think the most expensive was $365.

I bought them here on CAM so good value for the bucks spent.

I find I can listen to more cds at one sitting then before

I really notice the difference on Jazz cds.

It is a fun experiment and there are more buttons to push


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 19, 2018 9:52 am 
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@OP, yes, as the quicker posters all affirm, you can do this very successfully.

revbuge wrote:
I have a Musical Fidelity Nuvista CD player which i use regularly, browsing through some old reviews last night i realised that the dac must be pretty ancient, almost last century! So, that made me think, would there be noticable sonic improvements using a newr DAC and, if so, should i aim high (MX) or lower (V90) if i stuck with the same brand or equivalent, like schiit etc. Wondering if anyone else has been down this road recently. I am happy with the MF but wondering ...


One caveat : there is a concern with older CD players that the sync function may be a little imprecise for a modern DAC. Strange audio phenomena occur as a result. Personally I think your MF player is unlikely to show such behaviour, but if it does happen you will know to have the player checked as well as the DAC.

Another point I find useful is that in the great majority of cases, a 1.5m S/PDIF coaxial cable will give noticeably better, more coherent sound than a shorter one. Again IME, a coax connection is a better sonic bet than an optical one.

You mention the Schiit name and I don't think you are wrong. I am drawn to NOS DAC technology myself, and the top-of-the-line Schiit Yggdrasil is on my dream list. Obviously, though, you can get cheaper NOS DACs from the same company and having used and enjoyed the entry-level Modi Multibit I am pretty sure I would like them all.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 19, 2018 10:01 am 
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revbuge wrote:
I have a Musical Fidelity Nuvista CD player which i use regularly, browsing through some old reviews last night i realised that the dac must be pretty ancient, almost last century! So, that made me think, would there be noticable sonic improvements using a newr DAC and, if so, should i aim high (MX) or lower (V90) if i stuck with the same brand or equivalent, like schiit etc. Wondering if anyone else has been down this road recently. I am happy with the MF but wondering ...


It's all about the analog output section.

I had a rotel rdc855 that was wonderful.

It was bettered by using the spdif out to a Benchmark DAC-1.

Now that I have ripped all my CD's to FLAC, I still use the benchmark, but use the laptop exclusively.

If you are buying used, ensure that your new DAC has a USB port.

A transport is ancient history.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 19, 2018 10:58 am 
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I have an Arcam CD92. It worked great for several years then starting making noise. The players dac had gone wonky. I put it in a closet and forgot about it.
Thanks to another CAM member, I acquired a Cambridge Audio DACMagic 100.
Just for sh!ts and giggles I decided to hook up the Arcam to the DacMagic.
It not only worked it sounds pretty damn good.
I don't have any plans to replace the DacMagic anytime soon but I suspect that a better dac will improve things further,and
as Toby pointed out, there is no doubt that coax is the way to go.

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Last edited by mahatma1 on Mon Nov 19, 2018 12:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 19, 2018 12:02 pm 
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mahatma1 wrote:
I have an Arcam CD92. It worked great for several for several years then starting making noise. The players dac had gone wonky. I put it in a closet and forgot about it.
Thanks to another CAM member, I acquired a Cambridge Audio DACMagic 100.
Just for sh!ts and giggles I decided to hook up the Arcam to the DacMagic.
It not only worked it sounds pretty damn good.
I don't have any plans to replace the DacMagic anytime soon but I suspect that a better dac will improve things further,and
as Toby pointed out, there is no doubt that coax is the way to go.

:D That puts a smile on my face. It's all about finding something that brings the music! Enjoy! :)


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 19, 2018 12:17 pm 
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mahatma1 wrote:
as Toby pointed out, there is no doubt that coax is the way to go.


Unless you have a ground loop -- then optical is better.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 19, 2018 12:39 pm 
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The V90 is a great DAC for the money; great resolution and dynamics. You should be able to find a used one without having to look too hard.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 19, 2018 12:55 pm 
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Hi,

Toby says digital coax cable (at least 1.5 meter) and Erik says optical TOSLINK. It's a coin toss and will depend A) on the implementation of each transfer function in each specific DAC under consideration, and B) the user's aural preferences. TOSLINK generally offers a little more definition and coax can sometimes offer tube-like smoothness. Depends on your tastes.

Cheers,
David Neice

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 19, 2018 1:04 pm 
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In my case, I use AES/EBU cabling, since my Dac is a 25 ft wire run from the laptop. Sounds fine to me. ( <- the thin end of the wedge when dropping from Audiophilia......I'm still agonizing over using silver plated internal wiring or not..... or even if the silver plated occ copper is really OCC or not. I mean why silverplate OCC copper? Makes no sense, since the silver is not OCC... Yeah, no worries about not being an audiophiliac. )

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 19, 2018 2:15 pm 
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Erik wrote:
revbuge wrote:
I have a Musical Fidelity Nuvista CD player which i use regularly, browsing through some old reviews last night i realised that the dac must be pretty ancient, almost last century! So, that made me think, would there be noticable sonic improvements using a newr DAC and, if so, should i aim high (MX) or lower (V90) if i stuck with the same brand or equivalent, like schiit etc. Wondering if anyone else has been down this road recently. I am happy with the MF but wondering ...


It's all about the analog output section.

I had a rotel rdc855 that was wonderful.

It was bettered by using the spdif out to a Benchmark DAC-1.

Now that I have ripped all my CD's to FLAC, I still use the benchmark, but use the laptop exclusively.

If you are buying used, ensure that your new DAC has a USB port.

A transport is ancient history.


As Eric says, I ripped all my CD collection to FLAC, sold my Apollo and old DAC to buy up to a higher end DAC - all without spending volumes of cash for the upgrade.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 19, 2018 3:18 pm 
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Um, perhaps I missed something ?

buybye88 wrote:
Toby says digital coax cable (at least 1.5 meter) and Erik says optical TOSLINK.


My impression is that Erik favours the optical link as a solution to a ground loop problem, but that otherwise he would recommend coax.

I have been blessed with an exemption from ground loops so far, or at least any which turned me towards optical cable. My own bent for coax is only based on a couple of comparative listening sessions, to both plastic and glass Toslink, but I had no trouble saying which I preferred in those cases.


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