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Which CD player's DAC is better - BurrBrown 1791ADBR or Wolfson?

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 

Hello everybody,

 

Could you please explain me whether there is any difference between two DAC-s used in two entry-level CD palyer's:

 

  • BurrBrown 1791ADBR or PCM1791A Burr Brown, probably same thing (in TEAC CD-P650)
  • Wolfson (in Onkyo C-7030)

 

Both DAC-s are 24Bit/192khz, both players are in the same price range (with TEAC being a bit cheaper)

 

Which DAC is better (if possible)? And what are the differences?

I would also love if you could comment on the players themselves, beacuse I am not going to buy the DAC without a CDP.

 

Happy holidays!

U6astik

post #2 of 24

Both suck, being S-D architecture devices. But more to the point, seeing as they're very similar parts the implementation is going to make the biggest difference. Get the one with the most attention paid to the power supplies - meaning lots of big electrolytic and ceramic caps on the supplies as near to the DAC chips as possible.

post #3 of 24
Thread Starter 

Unfortunately for me I don't know what S-D architecture means and I am not sure I could recognise how the DAC chip looks like.

However, I would appreciate if some one could comment on the Onkyo's internal photos (could not find the TEAC's photos)

post #4 of 24

S-D architecture means 'sigma-delta' - its a way of building DACs using digital parts in the main which makes them cheap to produce. They're noisy - but not sufficiently noisy for this to show up when using test tones.

 

I'd need to see a bigger pic of the circuit board to make any meaningful comment.

post #5 of 24
Thread Starter 
post #6 of 24

Thanks for assembling the pics - unfortunately I can only view the last one because 'blogspot' is blocked here in China. From the two pics I've seen, the Onkyo looks to have a decent linear power supply (using a normal EI mains transformer). This is a plus, some players have switching supplies which can cause problems with sound quality.

post #7 of 24


Don't assume because you can't find pictures of internals..Its not all that common to see those things on every product

http://audio.teac.com/product/cd-p650/

 

I own the TEAC (I was on a budget when purchased) and it is a very fine unit. If you want a really fine unit for not too much more, go with the Marantz CD6004 (there is a newer CD6005 but being the latest model it is $100 more)

 

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005JK64EC/ref=pd_lpo_k2_dp_sr_2/178-4848553-7091343?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=lpo-top-stripe-1&pf_rd_r=06TGEK7T4ZH6C6WFRDNG&pf_rd_t=201&pf_rd_p=1535523722&pf_rd_i=B00EE18LNY

post #8 of 24
There is nothing wrong with sigma delta DACs. In fact SACD uses a sigma delta signal directly recorded onto the disc and the sound quality is superb.
post #9 of 24

SACD uses DSD, being a one-bit signal it suffers from similar noise modulation as do S-D DACs, superb sound or not.

post #10 of 24

I think you should consider evaluating the CD player's on how they sound rather than just looking at what parts (whether "name brand" or not) go into making them. Yeah, sure, you can open the cases and decide whether you're getting your money's worth by inspecting the build quality, but the sound is all that really matters in the end.

post #11 of 24

Way too many generalities here. "Wolfson" is not a specific DAC - rather it is a manufacturer of many DAC chips, ranging from low end (ie intended for mass quantity, affordable devices) to high end (plenty of expensive "audiophile" gear uses 1 or 2 of their WM874x chips). The PCM1791 is among the top of the TI/Burr Brown range. It isn't all that commonly used, but Naim chose it for their V1 DAC - I'm sure they could have used any chip they wanted, so the 1791 must have some redeeming qualities. 

 

I'd say more important in this discussion is the overall design: specifically power supply and output stage. Realistically both models look pretty decent at a glance, so just grab the one you find more affordable/attractive/available/etc. 

post #12 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by yage View Post
 

I think you should consider evaluating the CD player's on how they sound rather than just looking at what parts (whether "name brand" or not) go into making them. Yeah, sure, you can open the cases and decide whether you're getting your money's worth by inspecting the build quality, but the sound is all that really matters in the end.

 

It's hard to argue with a "if it sounds good, it is good." But it's just as true that "if it's not built good, it probably won't sound good."

 

Regardless, it doesn't seem as is OP can actually try both models before buying, and that's usually the case.

post #13 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Claritas View Post

 

 

Regardless, it doesn't seem as is OP can actually try both models before buying, and that's usually the case.

 

Not necessarily, just have to find the right store with a good return policy. I've returned plenty of stuff I didn't like. Yes it usually costs return shipping and/or some fee, but at least you're not stuck with something you don't like. That might be possible in the UK, maybe not so much in Estonia (OP's location).

post #14 of 24
Thread Starter 

I am sorry for not being able to answer for so long.

 

Sapientiam,

Thank you for your reply and for your help.

Sorry I did not think about the sites that are blocked in China.

I have attached the pictures that you couldn't see - if it is still inetersting for you.

 

Anyway, I am happy that your opinion of Onkyo is quite positive, as I like it very much too :)  ..and will hopefully buy it soon.

Pics (Click to show)

 

 

 

 

 

arcorob,

I hope I did not offend you :)

But again, I couldn't find any photos I am interested in. That's why I've made such an assumption.

I would go for Marantz (by the way, is there any difference between CD5004 and CD6004 apart from USB input?), if it wasn't a bit out of my budget.

 

Sapientiam,

Speaking about DSD, they (audio engineers, probably?) shift the noise generated because of the use of Sigma-Delta modulation to the higher frequensies (higher than 20kHz), so that the noise wouldn't be audible?

 

yage,

I would, but Claritas is right - I can't buy several audio gear components to review them and then make a decision..

 

project86,

I agree with you, however, Onkyo states that it is just "Wolfson® 192 kHz/24-Bit D/A Converter" and doesn't add anything else.

The more expensive model, C-7070, has "two 24-bit WM8742 DACs.", but they don't say if the C-7030 has one WM8742 or some different Wolfson chip..

Regarding the power supply and output stage I again agree with you, but we need internal pictures for that, as there is not so much information in the official user manuals.

I like Onkyo more (than TEAC), to be honest, I don't know why, but I have more trust in that company.

 

Claritas,

You are right :)

 

yage,

You see, I am intending to buy CD player via US Amazon (as you have the lowest prices there on the audio components) and ship it with the help of third party (Shipito). The shipping expenses are quite high (about 50% of the equipment price, in my case), so I would waste my time, money and nerves if I rely on the return policy too much :(

post #15 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by U6astik View Post
 

 

I like Onkyo more (than TEAC), to be honest, I don't know why, but I have more trust in that company.

 

 

 

 

I think that answers your question right there.

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