confused over DAC's

Discussion in 'Hi-Fi and General Audio' started by taz, Mar 20, 2011.

  1. taz

    taz

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    After my last thread asking for recommendations for a DAC i seem to be more confused than before?
    If Dac's which are reasonably priced are so good, then what's the point spending thousands on a new cd
    player when you could just buy a cheap cd spinner and good DAC ?
    and can you run a DAC straight through to a power amp or do you still need a pre amp?
    thanks
     
    taz, Mar 20, 2011
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  2. taz

    nando nando

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    unless a dac has a pre-amp then NO.
     
    nando, Mar 20, 2011
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  3. taz

    zanash

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    because the transport also plays a roll in the final sound produced ....

    ie a £25 dvd play will sound sh*t compared to a £1k cd transport through the same dac ...

    best dac you can buy ....imo

    audio synthesis dax decade ...or if you want cheap behringer src2496...will out perform the benchmark dac [of a couple of years ago ..
     
    zanash, Mar 21, 2011
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  4. taz

    Purite Audio Purite Audio

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    Taz Hi, you can use the attenuator in the playback software, you just have to be careful that the attenuator is properly dithered ie, the volume slider in ITunes cuts bits ( decreases dynamic range) as you attenuate.
    Keith.
     
    Purite Audio, Mar 21, 2011
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  5. taz

    mjp200581

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    From my experience the quality of the transport also makes quite a difference. In my opinion the Cambridge Audio Dacmagic is good at the price. You can also find the old CA DAC 2 and DAC 3 on ebay for around £70.
     
    mjp200581, Mar 21, 2011
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  6. taz

    Cable Monkey

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    Taz you need at least one of the following:
    A source with a volume control (properly implemented as Keith says).
    A Dac with a volume control (they are out there, just look)
    A power amp with level adjustment, preferably one sensitive enough to make subtle adjustments.
    Or you can build your own volume control for very little. The parts are very readily available and a passive pre can be very impressive.
     
    Cable Monkey, Mar 21, 2011
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  7. taz

    MattC

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    Hi Zanash,

    have you heard the dax discrete, and do you prefer the decade?


    thanks
    Matt
     
    MattC, Mar 21, 2011
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  8. taz

    Mr_Sukebe

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    +1
    I agree with that lot completely.
     
    Mr_Sukebe, Mar 21, 2011
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  9. taz

    nando nando

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    do you play sacd's? if so the dac must read 194khz and over.
     
    nando, Mar 21, 2011
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  10. taz

    Purite Audio Purite Audio

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    If transports sound different there is either something broken on the DAC or the transport.
    Keith.
     
    Purite Audio, Mar 21, 2011
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  11. taz

    sq225917 Exposer of Foo

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    Agree with Keith, if your transports sound different they aren't up to spec or your dac is useless.

    behringer sounds better than benchmark DAC1, lol, oh do pull the other one.
     
    sq225917, Mar 21, 2011
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  12. taz

    custom-cable

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    Transports will always make a difference and so too will the servo board used on the transport. Try listening to an M1 DAC with a Tesco CD player then try a Cyrus CDXT SE+. There will be a difference....

    Regards
     
    custom-cable, Apr 1, 2011
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  13. taz

    Neil

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    Rob Watts, who knows a thing or two about DACs, reckoned it was : 20% transport, 80%DAC.

    Neil
    (who hasn't yet heard much better than some of his late '90s SX DACs)
     
    Neil, Apr 1, 2011
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  14. taz

    RobHolt Moderator

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    Must admit that I find most well specified dacs sound absolutely fine. I use an Audiosmile DEQ as my regular DAC because I like the ADC function and EQ options but also really like the inexpensive Cambridge and MF units.

    I think that for a transport to have any audible effect it needs to be pretty poor though.
    It can all be verified using null tests and we'll do this as a project soon using a number of different combinations.
    This should give a feel for the nature and relevance of the problem in most situations, though there will always be rare exceptions where a particular combo of dac and transport has issues.
     
    RobHolt, Apr 2, 2011
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  15. taz

    ditton happy old soul

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    if what you want is red book CD replay then if you go for the audio synthesis dax decade (and I did, with all the bells & whistles) then the CD transport to get is their Transcend as then its the advantage of Ncode and ST for minimum/zero jitter
     
    ditton, Apr 3, 2011
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  16. taz

    Mr_Sukebe

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    Just so I understand, sounds like you're saying that a tesco DVD player should sound the same as an esoteric vrds transport when used into the same Dac, correct?
     
    Mr_Sukebe, Apr 3, 2011
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  17. taz

    nando nando

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    what a load of bxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxt
    is a mini as good as a ferrari ? or to put it mild what reads the info from the crap under the cd layer, tesco's, well i'll be dammed, i think from now on we should give up this hi-fi game and buy one get one free,
     
    nando, Apr 3, 2011
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  18. taz

    Neil

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    Back in the day, before DACs became "essential" for streaming audio I spent a lot of time - and wasted a lot of money whilst having great fun ;-) on DACs/transports/coax and optical cables etc. It's interesting to have a rerun nowadays.
    i firmly believe - from a lot of previous experimenting and listening that the DAC is much more important soundwise than the transport. I found it hard to differentiate between reasonably well built transports and -sadly but importantly - between my most expensive transport of the time (a DPA 24 bit E-DAC with Teac non-vrds transport and deltran sync lock thingy) and a Thorsten Loach modified Pioneer 505 DVD Player - it treated CDs as a data disks, not as audio disks (as with DVD, of course.) This means the disk was read asynchronously and multiple reads were attempted on error until it got things right. I would not spend a lot of money on a transport - unless of course it felt good to do so or was for aesthetic reasons.
     
    Neil, Apr 3, 2011
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  19. taz

    nando nando

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    no commet.
     
    nando, Apr 3, 2011
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  20. taz

    Neil

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    If a transport is "up to spec" as sq mentioned earlier there's no reason for them to sound different. There are the usual psychoacoustics/self-justification (I've been there, several times!) ...oh.and profit margins....... as well as other factors involved here.
     
    Neil, Apr 4, 2011
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