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Better Source vs DAC - Page 2

post #16 of 34
Hey guys, sorry for bringing this thread back from near death, but I have a question...

I can get this Cambridge Audio DAC for $140... would this be a good upgrade for my Marantz? - The line outs are dead... but digital still works, would the DAC itself improve the sound of my CDP?

post #17 of 34
I was told by a dealer who doesn't carry Cambridge Audio stuff (so credibility is so-so) that Cambridge's earlier stuff sounded quite bright, glass-like, in a not-so-pleasant way. Their newer stuff is silky smooth though. I will soon get their CD500se player, it's awesome. You'd better have a listen to that DAC to see whether you like it. People can give you general impressions, but I've found that my opinions are the opposite of some reviewers'. For example, in a review on TNT Audio the Arcam Alpha 7 was said to be bass thing - in my system it was a mess of bass flooding the music. So the advice must always be - go listen for yourself.
post #18 of 34
Thread Starter 
Wow! My old thread has been resurected, lol!
post #19 of 34
wow.. how did i miss this entertaining thread between joe and A&M earlier. too amusing.
post #20 of 34
errrrrrrr........ guys... a DAC is part of your SOURCE!
post #21 of 34
I once plugged my DV-414 DVD player into my friend's Levinson No. 30 DAC and the result was unlistenable!! The DVD player sounded better using its own, onboard DAC than the $15,000 Levinson DAC. When I plugged my friend's Theta transport back, the result was sweet, detailed, smooth and very listenable music.

Due to these results, I think I would be very careful in selecting a DAC that works well with your transport. I don't know if what I experienced was excessive jitter or some other anomaly, but I was shocked to hear that my DVD player sounded worse with the Levinson DAC than it did with its own, onboard DAC. Instead of buying blindly, I would bring my CD player to the store along with the headphone amp and headphones and select a DAC that sounds best with your player.
post #22 of 34
that's understandable...better equipement will reveal the imperfections in some part of the chain. i've seen the same thing with CDs that were poorly recorded...they sound better in a cheap system.
post #23 of 34
...and you will have to worry about digital cables too.
post #24 of 34
I used to have a denon 370, and now have transport/DAC setup. I must say, that the denon 370 was quite a disappointment for me. When I upgraded to my audio-alchemy drive (basically, a rebranded sony transport with upgrades) I was amazed. Now my digital rig is pretty darn good. Still not even comparable to my analog rig though
post #25 of 34
Thread Starter 
I'm thinking of upgrading to an art with my denon. . . should have a pretty good setup then.
post #26 of 34

Re: Just a note to potential DI/O buyers:

[QUOTE]Originally posted by zoboomofo
[B]It takes a coaxial digital input rather than optical in.


Hi Zoboomofo !!!

Is there any DAC w/ optical AND coax input?

Best from

post #27 of 34
Thread Starter 
how much are you willing to spend?
post #28 of 34

Re: Re: Just a note to potential DI/O buyers:

Originally posted by Ari
Is there any DAC w/ optical AND coax input?
Most of the mid-fi to high-fi ones should. All of the DAC's I have -- MSB Tech, Audio Alchemy, and Parasound -- take both, and I consider them mid-fi.
post #29 of 34
If you need both coaxial and optical, i'd go with the MSB Link II or III. They give excellent sound, and are also extremely upgradable. Fully upgraded, they can perform comparibly to some of the best out there.

Another option is the Art DI/O...it only has one coax input but gives better bang for the buck compaired to all other DACs. If you have two digital sources, couldn't you just feed one into the other first? I know this wouldn't give the best sound, but TosLink is not as good to begin with.
post #30 of 34
Originally posted by andrzejpw
how much are you willing to spend?

Hi Andrzejpw !!

It's a long term project. Now, I'm waiting a Tangent's META 42 & a JMT CH 47. As you can see, my applications will be most portable, using MDs.

But, and it is a long BUT.... As soon my wallet, wife, etc. etc...........
permits.... I tend to go for a tube amp/say...HD 600 combo for a more "desktop" type configuration.

I have a very nice Nakamichi DVD 10S (optical out) and a loved Pioneer Laser Disk playing very good programs that I collect for long time. And this LD is coax out.

So, I would say I would spend on 300 box range for a DAC.

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