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post #46 of 255
Quote:
Originally Posted by bf2008 View Post
Hi. So why do you use that headphone amplifier and not the headphone output from a speaker amplifier? Is the quality better?
Yes, you'll get much better quality from a dedicated headphone amplifier. From a non-technical point of view, the way you can think about it is that all the money you pay go for better headphone sound. Technically, my understanding is that component ("speaker") amps are really for speakers. Some will not have any headphone output at all. Those that do have a phone output will have only a minor, much "weaker" amplifier circuit serving the headphones. So that even a $200 dedicated headphone amp will give you better sound.
post #47 of 255
Quote:
Originally Posted by bf2008 View Post
Sorry I don't understand your post much. So, what do you think then, that an ipod is better than cd players of $200 but worse than those of $1000? That's probably no surprise, but what about a $500 cd player, like the Cambridge Audio 640C, the Denon DCD-700AE or the Marantz 6002? Those cost the same as an ipod and a dock, do they sound better? If so, then that would be a very good upgrade option for you. You could start with the denon or marantz cd players, since they have headphone output, and then when you can, you get a dedicated amplifier to go with it.

Cheers!
I must've been a bit unclear, but sounds like we are pretty much on the same page - I am pretty much decided on Marantz SA8001 as my next step, adding an amp hopefully sometime this Holiday season What I didn't mention is that I am really intrigued by SACDs. Although the format seems to be withering, there are hundreds of titles published of music that I really like. This has made the SA8001 an easy choice for me. I only spoke up here because I like to learn more, and from some posts in this thread it sounded like my conception of an external DAC being a more expensive option (compared to an "equal" CD player) might be wrong.
I guess I should not be too serious about that test with a 10-year old Panasonic, but it just showed me for the first time that quality of CD player can make a real difference.

As someone else said earlier in this thread, iPod, reportedly, has a pretty decent DAC, but its analog components downstream that DAC are worse and thus become a "bottleneck". Some enterprising companies have come up with ways to bypass that, the most sensible solution apparently being Red Wine Audio's "iMod" I mentioned. iMod seems to be selling pretty well, so it must be making some real difference.

I considered iMod only briefly and decided on another upgrade route. No iMod user seem to be listening to this thread... There are, however, opinions of a few others who have taken care to do a comparison test of iPod vs budget CD player and found little or no difference. Your Ears May Vary, of course
post #48 of 255
Quote:
Originally Posted by bf2008 View Post
Philips is not really a hi fi manufacturer...
Cough splutter. Philips has made some of the best CD players ever not to mention that almost every CD player ever made in Europe and many from Japan including even Sony use Philips transports and chipsets.
In recent years they have withdrawn from putting their own brand name on finished separates at least in some markets but they still make some pretty highly regarded stuff including I think the multiplayer Steve mentions.

That said I agree with you about the Ipod not being upto comparison with most quality CD players. A decent DVD or Multi player yes but a proper dedicated hi-fi CD player no.

The main bottleneck is probably the line output stage and usage of minijacks though. Has anyone heard the Ipod via digital output on one of the new Wadia / Krell type docks? I'd reckon then it would be able to mix it up with any level of CD player.
post #49 of 255
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post
Why can't a laser pickup do just as good of a job on a CD as a DVD, especially through optical out?
The DVD laser pickup has a far better resolution than that of a CD laser due to the higher density of the data on a DVD.
I have a number of scratched discs that play quite happily in my DVD players, but won't play on any of my CD players.
post #50 of 255
Since Philips and Sony are responsible for the cd i would think they
of all companies would want it to be on the money for extracting disc
info.
post #51 of 255
So, if there is no significant sounddifference between an ipod and a CDP, there would be no difference between CD-players either, right? Damn, I must be decieving myself again, hearing large differences (that is to me the difference between pleasant and unlistenable).
post #52 of 255
Considering a lossless format is lossless, any differences between playback is going to be due to the DAC + preamp + amp.

Considering those components vary from device to device, in order to compare you have to compare two specific devices (or sets of devices).

It's not a generic issue of format.

For example, if you output a digital bitstream via optical cable from a computer playing back from a lossless format vs. a digital bitstream via optical cable from a CD player, it should sound identical, given you use the same DAC, amp and pre-amp.

So I think we either should be saying, is CD player model XYZ sound better than an iPod XYZ, or "I have $300, what is the best lossless setup I can get for that, including CD players".

-john
post #53 of 255
Quote:
Originally Posted by dura View Post
So, if there is no significant sounddifference between an ipod and a CDP, there would be no difference between CD-players either, right? Damn, I must be decieving myself again, hearing large differences (that is to me the difference between pleasant and unlistenable).
If you hear large differences between CD one CD player and another, odds are, there's something wrong with one of them. Compare to a larger sample, and I think you'll be able to figure out which one is funky. (Remember to match line levels.)

See ya
Steve
post #54 of 255
What about people applying those polishes, paints, other stuff to "improve"(?) the sound of their CDs?
post #55 of 255
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post
If you hear large differences between CD one CD player and another, odds are, there's something wrong with one of them. Compare to a larger sample, and I think you'll be able to figure out which one is funky. (Remember to match line levels.)

See ya
Steve
It seems a good idea then to buy the cheapest?

But I do not agree; I know the measured differences are small, but how big is the difference between pretty and ugly?
I've had loads of <€1000,- CD-players for the last 20 years, getting rid of them because I find them unpleasant to listen too, finding myself switching on radio or tv quickly.
The Rega Apollo was the first one ever I encountered I find listenable and -for me- affordable.
Now my ears are okay I hope, they were the last time they were measured, so if the differences measured between CDPs are to small to be significant, either the significance-threshold is stated wrong or the wrong things are measured.
post #56 of 255
Quote:
Originally Posted by dura View Post
So, if there is no significant sounddifference between an ipod and a CDP, there would be no difference between CD-players either, right? Damn, I must be decieving myself again, hearing large differences (that is to me the difference between pleasant and unlistenable).
Well, exactly! I'm using the ipod in a way as a reference point. I'd like people who own an ipod and a cd player to simply post if they can tell them apart, i.e. if they can ABX them, and which one sounds better, giving details about their systems.
post #57 of 255
Quote:
Originally Posted by ccfoodog View Post
Considering a lossless format is lossless, any differences between playback is going to be due to the DAC + preamp + amp.

Considering those components vary from device to device, in order to compare you have to compare two specific devices (or sets of devices).

It's not a generic issue of format.

For example, if you output a digital bitstream via optical cable from a computer playing back from a lossless format vs. a digital bitstream via optical cable from a CD player, it should sound identical, given you use the same DAC, amp and pre-amp.

So I think we either should be saying, is CD player model XYZ sound better than an iPod XYZ, or "I have $300, what is the best lossless setup I can get for that, including CD players".

-john
Exactly! That's what I'd like to know. Is the ipod better than which players and worse than which other ones. Can people tell them apart, and ABX them?
And especially with the Cambridge Audio 640C, Denon dcd 700ae, and Marantz 6002, which cost around the same as an ipod. This would be like saying, I have a budget of around this money, what's the best source set up I can get? And I could stretch my budget a bit more if the difference in sound quality justifies it.
Cheers.
post #58 of 255
Quote:
Originally Posted by dura View Post
It seems a good idea then to buy the cheapest?
The most important thing when buying a CD player isn't sound. There are lots of players under $300 that sound great. When I go shopping for a player, I look at the functions and the ease of use of the remote first. I can't tell you how many remotes I've wanted to fling across the room in frustration.

But like I said, I've abandoned CD players altogether. My Macbook is easy to use for digital audio, CDs and DVDs. It has bitperfect optical out and a very simple remote. To hell with CD players.

See ya
Steve
post #59 of 255
Quote:
Originally Posted by gyrodec View Post
BigShot

Yes, lossless is the same as CD and yes the DAC in the iPod is quite good, BUT the analog section in the iPod is quite poor (good for a tiny audio player, but poor by full-size component standards), also the implementation of the DAC in the iPod also suffers from the packaging limitations. I runs on very low voltages, has a fairly poor clock, so higher jitter, and the passive components (mostly the capacitors) must be picked for size not utmost performance.

The iPod is great for what it is, but it won't beat a decent and reasonably priced CD player. The new digital docs for the iPod (I don't know if the Wadia is the only one at the moment) will allow you to get those perfect lossless bits of the little wonder and into a really good DAC - then you have the best of both worlds.
I have a question.
So is that the reason why people "use" portable amps on iPod or other portables? If I'm not mistaken, the Predator's built-in DAC actually takes over the iPod's DAC when the iPod is docked. Sorry if this has been mentioned all over the forum :\
post #60 of 255
Quote:
Originally Posted by Akabeth View Post
I have a question.
So is that the reason why people "use" portable amps on iPod or other portables? If I'm not mistaken, the Predator's built-in DAC actually takes over the iPod's DAC when the iPod is docked. Sorry if this has been mentioned all over the forum :\
I'm afraid not, when you plug in your ipod to the predator (or any other DAC/amp unit for that matter) using the line out with most ipod docks, only the amp portion is used. the DAC used is still that of the ipod's. The only exception would be the Wadia iTransport which provides a digital output which can then be fed into an external DAC.

I've been pondering over the issue of whether to get a CDP or to continue using my computer as source and i've come to believe that the DAC and amp used will largely determine the quality of sound and not the actual form of the digital stream, be it CD or FLACs/apple lossless. of course, my system may not be at the level where i can hear the difference but the same can't be said for ppl with thousands of dollars worth of amps, cables, speakers or headphones.

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