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How to connect my rig together?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Hello you all again. I just bought a new amp which is Woo 6 w/sophia tube. My source is limited so i'm a bit confused about how to connect it to my current rig.

My current rig is: Playstation 3 (or Creative X-fi) -Digital audio cable-Onkyo Tx-NR801-Littledot MKIVSe-Sen HD650. Where should i connect the new Woo? should i start from the receiver or the output from littledot amp? Which will give the best sound?

Now i also thinking about upgrade my system. Which thing should i upgrade first? DAC( i have feeling that receiver does not give me best sound), Sen cable or CD player(i'm not sure whether to get Marantz 5001 or 5003 or save more money to go for 8003)...? I need recommendations on this.

One last thing, Does the DAC greatly improve sound quality from a cd player? I dont understand this very much because most cd player has analog out, why do we convert from optical to analog? Would you buy a Marantz 8003 or a 5003 with a DAC ?

Thanks for your help. Kevin Nguyen
post #2 of 10
so you want to use the LD as a preamp, and the Woo as an amp? thats a bit strange. typically, youd want to REPLACE the LD with the Woo in this chain, as they both serve the same purpose. or, if you wanted to use them separately, your receiver might have a "zone 2" output which you could connect to the Woo.

now, upgrading the receiver, getting a dac, or getting a fancier cd player are all just about the same upgrade youre either getting a better standalone dac, a better receiver due to a better internal dac, or a cd player that has a higher-end dac in it :P of those, an external dac is probably the best investment, since it can later be used with other equipment rather easily - very versatile


DACs do improve the SQ from a CD player. The CD player does have analog-out, via an internal DAC. However, less very very expensive CD players, an external DAC from a cheaper CD player used only as a digital transport usually yields better SQ.

we convert from optical to analog so that the CD player is nothing more than a purely digital source this way, we can use cheaper CD players (all spdif is pretty much the same).

a 5003 with a DAC is definitely the way to go try checking out accessories4less.com to find refurbished marantz gear. i got a pm15-s1 integrated amp from them, theyre a great company
post #3 of 10
You should put the Woo somewhere on your stereo, much like how your Little Dot is connected. I wouldn't connect the Woo to the outputs of the Little Dot, although a couple people around here seem to do that for whatever odd reason they have.

DACs are essentially half a CD player: The half that converts the bits into a wave, which can be amplified and pumped through to your headphones to make noise.

The most notable improvement in sound quality would be provided by a better CD player or a DAC. If you bought a Marantz, then connected the DAC to the digital output, you would be bypassing the analogue section of the CD player. By doing this, your CD player would function merely as a transport, getting the data off the CD, then sending it to the DAC.

The cable will probably make the least difference of all. Unless your Patrick, cables usually don't make up a large part of the improvement process.
post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 
thanks for the inputs, do you think that most receivers does not have a not very good internal DAC? How about Onkyo TX-NR801?
post #5 of 10
I took the liberty of checking Audioholics, though they dont offer much information beyond saying that your receiver has "High quality 192 kHz/24-bit D/A converters." kinda vague :P

a standalone dac is almost certain to be better. so would the DAC in a high-end CD player, which would allow you to make use of your receiver's dsp-bypass. but in the end, a standalone DAC can be reused with other sources, whereas a CD player with a better DAC can't really be used to improve other sources
post #6 of 10
As Marantz CD5001 uses a reasonably quality Cirrus Logic CS4392 DAC, will having an external DAC (e.g. zero) see a discernable improvement?
post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 
My woo 6 should arrive today ). Can't wait to try it out.
post #8 of 10
You are going to have to spend some serious cash for an upgrade on any of those Marantz CD players. I say get the 5003 and just use that, unless you are a computer audio person, but it doesn't sound like you are. Enjoy
post #9 of 10
I have a Marantz CD5001 using coaxial outputs to a Modified Zhaolu with a passive output stage and it does indeed sound better than the analog outputs, by a fairly large amount.

That being said, find that the Auzen digital output from my computer is actually better than the digital output of the Marantz. I prefer the C-media chipset that is used in the Auzen Cinema (over the X-Fi chipsets which sound odd to my ears) for the digital outputs since the SPDIF is done on chip and not through some extra converter. It only does 96 and not 192 which isn't really an issue because I cannot find any music really encoded at 192 anyway. 24bit at 96kHz is really about as good as is gets.

The Marantz uses a 44kHz, 16bit sampling so I have no idea why they would put a 192kHz D/A converter in there. Most CDP's you will find are 44.1kHz and 16bit so take that into account.

The Zhaolu uses a 192kHz, 24bit DAC which is more than you would really need.
post #10 of 10
I would buy the dedicated DAC. You can use the pretty decent CDP or PC as a source, output to the DAC, and straight to Woo6. that's what I have, and I really enjoy the sound so far.
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