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Am I better off without a DAC?

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 

I wanted to buy a DAC sometime in the future for my Mid-fi. Moderate hi-fi system. It sounds fine now but I heard that a good DAC would boost the quality of sound up a few notches.  I am happy with my system now but I want to experiment on sound quality. 

 

I do not care for in premium cables too much, unless i get them on discount. 

post #2 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by RaymondLeggs View Post

I wanted to buy a DAC sometime in the future for my Mid-fi. Moderate hi-fi system. It sounds fine now but I heard that a good DAC would boost the quality of sound up a few notches.  I am happy with my system now but I want to experiment on sound quality. 

 

I do not care for in premium cables too much, unless i get them on discount. 

it depends on what you have. A dac can, but that relies on your system. 3 main components are the source/bit-rate, power, and phones. Your phones dictate the rest. 

 

I wouldn't say a DAC would make it a completely different phone, but it could possibly improve the sound quality (although I'm not sure how much when you're saying notches). 

 

Haha... cables... controversial subject. IMO you're better getting another set of cans or spending that money towards a DAC/amp. Only if the cable is god awful and has been reported to fall apart do to bad soldering, etc, would I change it. Well... there's also the placebo effect, so I guess you'd probably get better sound one way or another wink.gif jk... there should be blind testing for such a thing.

post #3 of 19

What source are you currently using? Some equipment already has a good quality dac integrated into it, so any recommendation would heavily depend on your current setup.

post #4 of 19
Thread Starter 

I have an older onkyo stereo receiver and a sony CD changer, it has an optical out. The speakers are made by EPI. I'm looking into better cans too.  

post #5 of 19

If the CD changer is old definitely get a modern DAC.

post #6 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by RaymondLeggs View Post

I have an older onkyo stereo receiver and a sony CD changer, it has an optical out. The speakers are made by EPI. I'm looking into better cans too.  

Better cans? Music preference, budget, and uses- we'll be able to tell you. Guess this'll be for listening at home, so open cans are acceptable?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Satellite_6 View Post

If the CD changer is old definitely get a modern DAC.

^yes, but if it's not too old, you're probably fine. My dad has a DVD/CD player that's about a decade old that can run 24/96... but I don't know much about CD Players.

post #7 of 19

It's a CD player great DAC chips that do 16/44.1 have been around for decades shouldn't be a problem there.

 

The only reason I see to get a DAC is if you have noise issues, if you can't hear any noise floor issues then your money is better spent on new.

post #8 of 19
Glad I found this thread, I hope it's o.k. to post here. I have a 10-12 yr old Yamaha 6-disk cd changer to a Woo Audio WA6-SE. I'm wondering if I'm missing out on untapped potential of my headphones by not buying a dac. Also would it be better to buy a new quality CD player or a dac, or both. I love the way my system sounds now, but always wondering if it could be better. Thanks for any response.
(P.S. Headphones are RS1i, hd650, dt990/600ohm, denon d2000, etc.)
post #9 of 19

If CDs are the main way in which you listen to your music, I would say that your next upgrade should be to a high quality CD player, which will already have a good dac built into it. On this forum, standalone dacs get talked about a lot mostly because people are listening through multiple sources, and need things like usb inputs. If you are considering incorporating computer audio into your setup, then I would say go for a dac that you could also use with your current CD player. Otherwise, unless you are looking to go very high end (quality CD transport + DAC), I would say a new CD player is your best move.

post #10 of 19
Thanks for your response giraffe.... I'll start looking for a quality CD player, as that's what I mainly listen to. I love head-fi, we have a wealth of knowledge at our finger tips and friendly members willing to share their experiences.
post #11 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by runningman1960 View Post

Thanks for your response giraffe.... I'll start looking for a quality CD player, as that's what I mainly listen to. I love head-fi, we have a wealth of knowledge at our finger tips and friendly members willing to share their experiences.

 

Check Audiogon.com for used players. You should be able to find a nice Rega, Cambridge, Marantz, etc for $500 or less. Or sometimes you find an older model from a high end brand that sold for thousands when new. 

post #12 of 19
Exellent advice, thanks project86
post #13 of 19
Thread Starter 

My main CD changer isnt that old. Actually I have 2 I have a Denon changer that sounds better than the one with the digital out. 

post #14 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrViolin View Post

Better cans? Music preference, budget, and uses- we'll be able to tell you. Guess this'll be for listening at home, so open cans are acceptable?

^yes, but if it's not too old, you're probably fine. My dad has a DVD/CD player that's about a decade old that can run 24/96... but I don't know much about CD Players.

I am using cheaper sony phones now. I was actually looking for something more portable though. Was looking into the Koss porta pro. I had the sports version but the cat ate the cord. They sounded pretty crisp.

post #15 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by RaymondLeggs View Post

I am using cheaper sony phones now. I was actually looking for something more portable though. Was looking into the Koss porta pro. I had the sports version but the cat ate the cord. They sounded pretty crisp.

So I'm assuming you'll get another one? Cat ate it? eek.gif

 

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