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Are CD transports obsolete these days? - Page 5

post #61 of 144

Hard Disc Audio is Your Friend

Folks,
There seems to be a lot of misunderstanding out there.

First off, computers can do something that cdps can not do (at least most of them can't). They can read a cd more than once. A dedicated transport reads a disc in real time..if it reads errors, you get guesses. A computer will go back and reread that disc. It should read exactly every bit on the cd disc.

Therre are many ways to get that data out of your computer. Wireless, USB, spdif, toslink, firewire, ethernet. While some have advantages over others, each method is only as good as the engineering that went into its implementation. I am sure somewhere out there is an engineer who can make toslink sing. To argue about which is better is pointless.

I switched to computer audio because RedBook sounds more real coming from a hard disc...wether its my main system or my ipod...music seems less compressed and more relaxed than it did from any combo of transports/dacs/player/etc.(Theta, Monarchy, Museatex, Sony SACD,on and on)

The quality of the dac matters. Once you get the data out of the computer, the dac matters. I don't care if its upsampling. oversampling, nonos, whatever.

Steve
ibook-usb-TwinDac plus
post #62 of 144
The real question that no one seems to know is how much jitter is introduced after reading from the hardrive till the reception at an external DAC. It could in reality be much worse than the jitter in a standalone CDP, negating all this "benefit" of jitter free hard drive storage.

Its one thing to store the information without jitter on the HD, it is another thing to get the data to your DAC without jitter.

I hope I'm wrong but my intuition tells me that what a computer does between the hardrive scan and the digital out to a DAC is introduce a ton of jitter. Especially with all the extra components and lack of real audio based clocking circuitry.
post #63 of 144
Regal,
Who knows you may be right, but who cares. I stopped paying attention to numbers long ago. What I know is that I can finally listen to digital without fatigue. The sound is better than anything I've owned in the past. Also, the other computer playback system that I've spent time with (VRS) is mind blowing good compared to any cd player I've heard (no I haven't heard them all...not even close)
Really the only way to find out is to hear one...

BTW, check out Gordon Rankin's website for his explanation of why usb is a superior format. I have no idea if he is right, but it's worth a read.
Steve
post #64 of 144
Quote:
Originally Posted by regal
The real question that no one seems to know is how much jitter is introduced after reading from the hardrive till the reception at an external DAC. It could in reality be much worse than the jitter in a standalone CDP, negating all this "benefit" of jitter free hard drive storage.

Its one thing to store the information without jitter on the HD, it is another thing to get the data to your DAC without jitter.

I hope I'm wrong but my intuition tells me that what a computer does between the hardrive scan and the digital out to a DAC is introduce a ton of jitter. Especially with all the extra components and lack of real audio based clocking circuitry.
I would like to know too. Computers transmit billions of zeros and ones on a daily basis without error. I do that my Benchmark DAC1 does an excellent job, with the computer output.

I won't argue with you as you may well be right. But I would like to know. Just for the record, however, I find that "intuition" with respect to computers is frequently wrong.
post #65 of 144
Quote:
Originally Posted by regal
The real question that no one seems to know is how much jitter is introduced after reading from the hard drive till the reception at an external DAC. It could in reality be much worse than the jitter in a standalone CDP, negating all this "benefit" of jitter free hard drive storage.
Let's see. At every stage you handle your audio as just data, not as real time audio stream, jitter simply out of scope. The later you convert your data into audio data stream, the less factors can introduce jitter. So, use remote network receiver which created audio stream close to your system, instead of the noisy computer, and assuming it's of good quality you'll have better situation.
Otherwise, even if you have to work with audio stream, put a large buffer in the "receiver" in your system, and make it reading this buffer and re-clocking the stream using high precision clock - and again, you'll have much less jitter.
You just need to find quality engineered gear that does something like the above, and you can leave your concerns elsewhere.
post #66 of 144
I agree with 325xi, this is the best way to do it. I love my Squeezebox.

However, I would like to point out, that I do prefer my Eastsound CD-E5 as transport over the Squeezebox [both to my Lavry DAC] for my critical listening as the E5 seems to have better defined bass and a bit more clarity. I am hoping that by modding my Squeezebox with a battery PSU it will narrow the gap.
post #67 of 144
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruppin
I would like to know too. Computers transmit billions of zeros and ones on a daily basis without error. I do that my Benchmark DAC1 does an excellent job, with the computer output.

I won't argue with you as you may well be right. But I would like to know. Just for the record, however, I find that "intuition" with respect to computers is frequently wrong.
Benchmark DAC-1 from the computer works fine for most music. The differences with power conditioning, cables and isolation feet are far bigger than with another transport that gives a little less jitter.
With a reduction in jitter the soundstage gets a little bigger and you can hear sounds behind you with more clarity, but I got a bigger improvement by just upgrading the power cord of my DAC. It seems that a shielded power cord reduces jitter because RFI/EMI doesn't enter the cable which in turn enters the power supply. Big CD players have better power supplies which help with this problem, but none of them are immune to it.
Using ERS paper on the inside of the chassis also reduces jitter and makes it sound smoother.
post #68 of 144
Quote:
Originally Posted by philodox
I agree with 325xi, this is the best way to do it. I love my Squeezebox.

However, I would like to point out, that I do prefer my Eastsound CD-E5 as transport over the Squeezebox [both to my Lavry DAC] for my critical listening as the E5 seems to have better defined bass and a bit more clarity. I am hoping that by modding my Squeezebox with a battery PSU it will narrow the gap.
Hey philodox, are you sending it to RWA or is it a DIY type project? Are you modding only the PSU or stuff in the digital path as well? I'd be curious to know the result. I'm quite tempted by the SB but I'm sure if it doesn't do it for you with the Eastsound it wont do it for me either with my Arcam CDP. Thanks.
post #69 of 144
I'm going to self mod it. I've got a friend who can hook me up with the battery. We are going to have a look inside to see if there are any other obvious mods we can do while we are at it.
post #70 of 144
Quote:
Originally Posted by philodox
I agree with 325xi, this is the best way to do it. I love my Squeezebox.

However, I would like to point out, that I do prefer my Eastsound CD-E5 as transport over the Squeezebox [both to my Lavry DAC] for my critical listening as the E5 seems to have better defined bass and a bit more clarity. I am hoping that by modding my Squeezebox with a battery PSU it will narrow the gap.
The real question should be asked: does it perform better, or sound better?

There are enough components known for better (to many) sound in spite of measured and confirmed loss of resolution, high jitter, bad non-linearity, etc (I by no means mean E5 here), so we can say they sound good but perform mediocre... Theoretically SB should outperform any regular CD player, assuming it has very good clock. However buffered SCSI based CDP with even higher quality clock may do better... I wish there were jitter measurements for everything here...
post #71 of 144
Up to a certain price point. Say $1000. You might not hear much difference in sound between a cd player and hard drive/memory systems.
But, get past the $1000 mark and you hear real differences.
Cd players, $1000 and up are much more resolved and musical.
And their build quality is much better. Dacs are better.
And most importantly, power supplies are much better.





The Best Bet
In the MP3 era, it’s easy to forget that CDs really do sound better, no matter what your teen downloading fiend might claim. Musical Fidelity’s new X-Ray V3 player ($999) should put a definitive end to all arguments. Modestly sized (8.5 by 14.9 by 3.9 inches), it features 24-bit, 96-kilohertz upsampling, a technology that fills in the sonic gaps in CDs, which are recorded at a lower 16-bit, 44-kilohertz fidelity. Translation: three times greater sound resolution than most players, at half the price you’d normally pay for it. With a 75-amp peak current, the accompanying X-150 amplifier ($999) is more powerful than any other of its size, allowing it to effortlessly meet the dynamic requirements of any speaker (Sound by Singer; 212-924-8600 or soundbysinger.com).
post #72 of 144
Quote:
Originally Posted by philodox
I'm going to self mod it. I've got a friend who can hook me up with the battery. We are going to have a look inside to see if there are any other obvious mods we can do while we are at it.
That is very interesting. Too bad you are a bit too far from me because I would ask if you don't mind that I join. I would be forever grateful if you wouldn't mind taking a few pictures and sharing some info on the parts you install and on what you did. Thanks.
post #73 of 144
Quote:
Originally Posted by Taosman
The Best Bet
Musical Fidelity’s new X-Ray V3 player ($999) should put a definitive end to all arguments. Modestly sized (8.5 by 14.9 by 3.9 inches), it features 24-bit, 96-kilohertz upsampling, a technology that fills in the sonic gaps in CDs, which are recorded at a lower 16-bit, 44-kilohertz fidelity. Translation: three times greater sound resolution than most players, at half the price you’d normally pay for it. (Sound by Singer; 212-924-8600 or soundbysinger.com).
LOL
I'll say it one more time for the record. There is NO MORE "resolution" available from redbook 16bit/44.1kHz NO MATTER what you do. One can upsample, oversample, then upsample again, increase bit depth to 64bit squared, throw in Super-duper clocks with negative jitter numbers, and rub the CD with twelve virgins' underwear on the 15th day of Sabbath. Still 16 bit/44.1kHz Maximum possible resolution.
post #74 of 144
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alu
I don't think so. I'll actually be looking into CD transports again whenever I have the money for a new source. There's the noise of the computer, which also comes with the need of a lot of harddisks, since you need quite some space depending on your collection. Then there's the thing of transferring every single CD you own into lossless, which can be quite annoying, and once you've done that there's the risk of losing everything due to hdd crashes.

What's really an obvious advantage to me is the convenience that a PC-based setup has to offer.
no way to say it better than that.

that being said i love pc audio. but it's mainly easy for me as my current selection is small, and through deals i can get 160gb or 300gb hdd's for very little. backing up your collection is rather essential and

every CD i rip gets the full EAC treatment and i have one copy in FLAC and one in AAC (for portable use). it does take time, but if you just put a cd in everytime you sit down at the computer you'll get through it. AND you absolutely NEED to make your PC quiet. this is really extremely easy and cheap, all you need is quiet, hdd, psu, and exhaust and cpu fans undervolted.
post #75 of 144
Quote:
Originally Posted by Taosman
Up to a certain price point. Say $1000. You might not hear much difference in sound between a cd player and hard drive/memory systems.
But, get past the $1000 mark and you hear real differences.
Cd players, $1000 and up are much more resolved and musical.
And their build quality is much better. Dacs are better.
And most importantly, power supplies are much better.





The Best Bet
In the MP3 era, it’s easy to forget that CDs really do sound better, no matter what your teen downloading fiend might claim. Musical Fidelity’s new X-Ray V3 player ($999) should put a definitive end to all arguments. Modestly sized (8.5 by 14.9 by 3.9 inches), it features 24-bit, 96-kilohertz upsampling, a technology that fills in the sonic gaps in CDs, which are recorded at a lower 16-bit, 44-kilohertz fidelity. Translation: three times greater sound resolution than most players, at half the price you’d normally pay for it. With a 75-amp peak current, the accompanying X-150 amplifier ($999) is more powerful than any other of its size, allowing it to effortlessly meet the dynamic requirements of any speaker (Sound by Singer; 212-924-8600 or soundbysinger.com).


mind if i call BS???

jitter isn't an issue until your digital stream is clocked by your sound card. the issue then becomes how good that clock is at sending a jitter-less stream to your external dac. no one needs to worry about what happens between your hdd and your sound card, or go get gold-plated audiophile SATA cables






now........how good the clocks are in available sound cards: now that's a valid question.
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