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Why would I need a DAC?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

Hey guys,

 

 

I'm new to this board. From reading some of you guys' posts, it would appear that I really don't know much about audio. I know that I love good audio, though, and would like to learn more. I'm looking to get a stereo component system, with a stereo receiver, cd player, speakers, and a pair of great headphones. I see you guys talk about DAC's a lot, but I don't know what that is. I know that I'll probably want a headphone amplifier. My question is, why would I need a DAC?

 

Here is the system I have these in mind:

 

Cd 5 disk changer:

 

http://www.amazon.com/Yamaha-CD-C600BL-5-Disc-Changer-Black/dp/B002NKM4C2/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1387629657&sr=8-1&keywords=Yamaha+5+disc+cd+changer

 

Stereo Receiver:

 

http://www.amazon.com/Yamaha-R-S700BL-Natural-Stereo-Receiver/dp/B0044779G8/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1387629762&sr=8-1&keywords=Yamaha+R-S700

 

Speakers:

 

http://www.amazon.com/Klipsch-Synergy-F-30-Premium-Floor-Standing/dp/B003XRD9TG/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1387629582&sr=1-1&keywords=klipsch+synergy+F-30

 

 

Thanks for you guys' help!

post #2 of 9
A dac will improve the sound quality of your cd player and allow you to enter the increasingly useful and enjoyable computer based audio, including internet radio.

In this way, you don't even need your cd player. Many of us sold ours years ago, simply recording your cd's on your computer.

Hope this he lps......
post #3 of 9
A better DAC will sound more transparant than the one built in your cd player (you'll hear more details) cause with your expensive speaker you won't get details out of the system if they just don't get decoded by the DAC in the CD-player.
post #4 of 9

OP,

 

First, a DAC is a digital to analog converter. These devices were originally found in CD players. Today,

DAC's are found in computers, as well as receivers, and preamps. Outboard DAC's are necessary when neither the digital media player or its amplifier has an inboard DAC.

post #5 of 9

Of  course, if you have some money to spend, you can always buy add on things to alter the soundprint of your original component. A dac (plus cables) likely to change the sound, whether for better or worse, and whether in relation to invested money, and whether you hear it at all, or you would consider it a change for better - it is an open question. I personally, would not put money into dac or headphone amplifier. The dac of the yamaha is fine enough, and the reciever has an inbuilt headphone amp, which could be unrivalled upto few hundred bucks worth of headphone amp (save you are not looking for a special coloration of sound - be warmish, more detailed etc). I would put the money to buy the best possible loudspeaker and headphone. These are giving 60.-90% of sound, so you more invest in them,the better the sound you would get. 

post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 

Hey guys, thanks for the reply. I don't know much about any of this stuff. I want to learn more about it, though.

post #7 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by sterling1 View Post

 

First, a DAC is a digital to analog converter. These devices were originally found in CD players. Today,

DAC's are found in computers, as well as receivers, and preamps. Outboard DAC's are necessary when neither the digital media player or its amplifier has an inboard DAC.

+1. usually cd players have pretty solid onboard DACs. it's really the portable mp3 player (ipod) revolution that lead to a lot much crappier dacs.

 

It looks like your specific cd player has some sort of Burr Brown dac chip. it should be more than sufficient vs. outboard dac, and if you do end up trying an outboard dac you might end up getting on that is worse lol, so make sure you do your research.

post #8 of 9
Quote:

Originally Posted by kyle2516 View Post

 

My question is, why would I need a DAC?

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by boatheelmusic View Post

In this way, you don't even need your cd player. Many of us sold ours years ago, simply recording your cd's on your computer.
 

 

+1 to that. I don't mind getting up and swapping discs, but the headache of a perpetually broken transport is taxing. Google "NAD C520 problems" and you might run into that as an example of a new CDP acting up; then go to eBay and search for "Philips CDM-4+belt+gear." A computer lasts longer in the sense that you're bound to upgrade it anyway to continue working or gaming on it, unlike when a transport breaks and you can't find an affordable CDP that sounds like what you're using.

Skip the 5-disc changer and just use a laptop or computer with a DAC. Or as I do, use a tablet and/or smartphone with the right peripherals and specs to send out digital audio. Your transport, being general purpose devices that have other uses for you, technically speaking is "free" as per your audio budget. If anything, the problem is upgrading sometimes means the new device won't work - iOS updates kept on fudging with it, and the new Galaxy S4 doesn't do USB audio except for when you use the dedicated USB audio app (not sure if it works if rooted).

 

 

*

post #9 of 9

BTW,if you want computer audio/video integration with home theatre, the DAC in the HT receiver or  in the pre/pro  can be used for all dedicated digital sources, providing the unit has  enough inputs to accommodate all of your source components. In my system I output USB from laptop to X-FI HD to convert to optical S/PDIF; and, from there, signal is input to Sony TA-E9000ES DVD input which accepts 24/96.

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