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Digital Outputs and DACs

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

I posted a while ago asking about an affordable CD player. Since then I've pulled out an old (1999) Toshiba SD-2109 dvd player that I used to use. Tried it out with a few of my CDs and it sounds ok-ish, but not great (harsh treble, almost no bass). I think it's probably due in part to the old/cheap DAC. 

 

However, it just so happens to have a coaxial digital output. So I'm thinking about getting a DAC/headphone amp. Like this: SMSL SD-793II

 

My question: are all coaxial digital outputs basically the same? The one on this particular dvd player is said to be a "dolby digital" output, does that make any difference? Will it work correctly with an amp/dac like the SMSL, Topping TP-31, etc?

 

Is this even something I should bother doing? Or would it be more ideal to spend more and get a dedicated CDP?

 

Thanks again, guys.

post #2 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rook View Post

I posted a while ago asking about an affordable CD player. Since then I've pulled out an old (1999) Toshiba SD-2109 dvd player that I used to use. Tried it out with a few of my CDs and it sounds ok-ish, but not great (harsh treble, almost no bass). I think it's probably due in part to the old/cheap DAC. 

 

However, it just so happens to have a coaxial digital output. So I'm thinking about getting a DAC/headphone amp. Like this: SMSL SD-793II

 

My question: are all coaxial digital outputs basically the same? The one on this particular dvd player is said to be a "dolby digital" output, does that make any difference? Will it work correctly with an amp/dac like the SMSL, Topping TP-31, etc?

 

Is this even something I should bother doing? Or would it be more ideal to spend more and get a dedicated CDP?

 

That's an oldie like my Onkyo C600.

 

The optical output is standard TosLink.

 

If the player says "Dolby Digital", it will recognize up to 5.1 channels of Dolby Digital audio on DVD's. It won't even see DTS. My Onkyo is similar.

 

It might be that you're proposing will work because the CD's are encoded in PCM. However, what happens you played a DVD and the player outputs an encoded, Dolby Digital signal? Is the amp going to make loud noises and fry your headphones? Am I just paranoid? It seems like the safest bet is a CDP with digital outs. Hopefully, a genuine expert will respond with the real story.

 

Finally, you might be wary of inexpensive, no-name amps sold from China through eBay. PartsExpress carries a number of Topping amps if you decide to pursue that brand.

post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by HamilcarBarca View Post

 

That's an oldie like my Onkyo C600.

 

The optical output is standard TosLink.

 

If the player says "Dolby Digital", it will recognize up to 5.1 channels of Dolby Digital audio on DVD's. It won't even see DTS. My Onkyo is similar.

 

It might be that you're proposing will work because the CD's are encoded in PCM. However, what happens you played a DVD and the player outputs an encoded, Dolby Digital signal? Is the amp going to make loud noises and fry your headphones? Am I just paranoid? It seems like the safest bet is a CDP with digital outs. Hopefully, a genuine expert will respond with the real story.

 

Finally, you might be wary of inexpensive, no-name amps sold from China through eBay. PartsExpress carries a number of Topping amps if you decide to pursue that brand.

Thanks for the response. Yeah, the output in the dvd player is a coaxial, just like what these dac/headphone amps have. But, like you said, I'm not sure if it outputs the same signal they require. I really don't know much about it. 

 

I'll check on PartsExpress, thanks. I don't really like the idea of purchasing something from China, but the price is really tempting and it looks like what I would need.

 

If anyone else has some input, I'd appreciate it.

post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 

Oh and I forgot to mention, this will be used strictly for CDs (redbook). I won't be putting any actual dvds in there.

post #5 of 7

Hi, I own a meridian 203 d/a converter with 2 digital inputs (optical/coaxle) and 1 analog output. Can anyone tell me if I can safely split the output of my dac between my pre-amp/tuner and my cd player? The reason  I would like to do this is because I use the headphone jack on the pre-amp/tuner so I can use the bass/treble controlls, but this unit is not remote so I must get up to adjust the volume, but my cd player has variable/fixed outputs with remote volume, so I put the variable out from my cdp and connected it to my pre-amp/tuner cd input wich allows me to set the pre-amp volume to my desire and also use the remote volume out of the cdp, by doing this I can no longer use my dac being that my cdp and pre-amp are linked together, so can I put a (Y) splitter on the dac going to both my pre-amp and my cdp? Im new to this forum and dont know if I'm in the correct forum for this sitiuation so please understand if I'm not but please still try to help me. Thank's alot.

post #6 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rook View Post

I posted a while ago asking about an affordable CD player. Since then I've pulled out an old (1999) Toshiba SD-2109 dvd player that I used to use. Tried it out with a few of my CDs and it sounds ok-ish, but not great (harsh treble, almost no bass). I think it's probably due in part to the old/cheap DAC. 

However, it just so happens to have a coaxial digital output. So I'm thinking about getting a DAC/headphone amp. Like this: SMSL SD-793II

My question: are all coaxial digital outputs basically the same? The one on this particular dvd player is said to be a "dolby digital" output, does that make any difference? Will it work correctly with an amp/dac like the SMSL, Topping TP-31, etc?

Is this even something I should bother doing? Or would it be more ideal to spend more and get a dedicated CDP?

My SMSL SD-793II arrived a few days ago, but makes funny lights when I tried coaxial, not sure if problem with SD-793 or cable or sound card coaxial output.

Will post when problem figured out.

 

But using your CD players coaxial output should give you a good 2-channel digital audio PCM signal to work with.

post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post

My SMSL SD-793II arrived a few days ago, but makes funny lights when I tried coaxial, not sure if problem with SD-793 or cable or sound card coaxial output.

Will post when problem figured out.

 

But using your CD players coaxial output should give you a good 2-channel digital audio PCM signal to work with.

Hmm, that definitely makes me more reluctant of buying the SMSL. It looks nice for the money, but if the coaxial inputs are flaky, that would completely defeat the purpose for me.

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