Older CDP + New Separate DAC?
Aug 1, 2008 at 4:19 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 17

mingde10467

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Looking for advice and informed opinion: Would substituting a DAC such as the PS Audio Digital Link for the one in my Arcam FMJ CD23 be a worthwhile upgrade?

Or should I save my pennies for a new player? If so, any candidates?

Thanks!
 
Aug 1, 2008 at 4:21 PM Post #2 of 17

VeipaCray

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I don't know about substituting, but adding an external dac and turning your Arcam into a transport would probably be less expensive and give you more control over getting the sound you want versus buying a whole new CDP. $0.02.
 
Aug 1, 2008 at 9:33 PM Post #3 of 17

tourmaline

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Quote:

Originally Posted by VeipaCray /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I don't know about substituting, but adding an external dac and turning your Arcam into a transport would probably be less expensive and give you more control over getting the sound you want versus buying a whole new CDP. $0.02.



Nonsense.
You can listen to several cdplayers in a shop before you decide to buy. Same goes for dac's.

The advantage of a cdplayer is that it has less jitter to start with then a seperate transport/dac system. long runs of cable is less for reducing jitter. The internal signal paths in a cdplayer with build in dac are way smaller.

Hence the problem with transport/dac combo's to find a cdplayer that is resistant to jitter. Mostly the more expensive transport sound better.

If you want the sound you like, you can mod both the dac or the analogue sounstage of the cdplayer.

Modding the dac section will also greatly improve the sound of your cdplayer.
 
Aug 1, 2008 at 10:26 PM Post #4 of 17

StanleyB1

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Quote:

Originally Posted by mingde10467 /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Looking for advice and informed opinion: Would substituting a DAC such as the PS Audio Digital Link for the one in my Arcam FMJ CD23 be a worthwhile upgrade?


It depends. Is the CD23 lacking in something that you would like to hear from your system? Adding a DAC will give you a different sound signature than the CD23, but so will a new CDP. And that's the only certainty. My advise would be to try to get a DAC on loan or on a return basis if it doesn't turn out to improve your CD23. Then you can get a new CDP if the DAC route didn't work out. That leaves you with less chances of making an unsatisfactory choice.
 
Aug 3, 2008 at 1:37 PM Post #5 of 17

mingde10467

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Thanks for all your messages.

My question is fueled by the fact that the Arcam is almost ten years old and that's a long time in terms of cdps. It was released about 2000 and Arcam was selling a new model to replace it just a couple of years later.

I don't want (don't have the budget!) to juggle cdps, amps, and headphones as if they were tone controls. Just want to get more information off those little silver disks, if that's possible.

Maybe I expect too much. Certainly the difference between my first cdp (Adcom's first) bought in the late 80s for around $700 and the Arcam, bought in 2002 for $2100, was significant but not night-and-day.
 
Aug 3, 2008 at 2:29 PM Post #6 of 17

nick_charles

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Quote:

Originally Posted by mingde10467 /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Thanks for all your messages.

My question is fueled by the fact that the Arcam is almost ten years old and that's a long time in terms of cdps. It was released about 2000 and Arcam was selling a new model to replace it just a couple of years later.



Released in 2000 means it is less than 9 years old. Only one of my 4 CD players is as new as that, my daily player is 20 years old and certainly no worse than the other three for being older.

Newer doesnt mean better, older doesnt mean better either

Quote:

I don't want (don't have the budget!) to juggle cdps, amps, and headphones as if they were tone controls. Just want to get more information off those little silver disks, if that's possible.


Unless your current player is defective you are already getting ALL (or as near ALL as makes no difference) the information off CDs that is on there to start with. While some early CD players could only deliver 14 or 15 of the 16 bits that is no longer true and unless your player suffers from really serious broadband jitter you are sure to be getting at least 15.5 bits which is utterly indistinguishable from 16 bits.
 
Aug 3, 2008 at 3:11 PM Post #7 of 17

mrarroyo

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mingde10467, in case you are not aware Arcam offers an upgrade program for some of their products. So you might want to contact your local dealer to see if your unit is one of the ones that can be upgraded.

According to the Arcam's website the upgrades are meant to be dealer installed but you have the option of sending it back to the manufacturer for the installation.

As far as cost I have no idea but it might be worth exploring. BTW, if you dealer gives you the runaround then deal with Arcam directly. FYI: Arcam - Technical Support
 
Aug 4, 2008 at 1:50 PM Post #9 of 17

mingde10467

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"Newer doesnt mean better, older doesnt mean better either."

Yes, thank you for the reality check - - perhaps I'm just a victim of advertising.

But hope springs eternal even if, in the end, I'm simply complaining about the variable quality of the recordings I buy.

What I should really do is go listen to some new cdps. I'm in NYC though and, to go to some of the high-end salons, you need to wear top hat, white tie, and tails. I guess Nick and Nora wouldn't have any problems, but you never know.
 
Aug 4, 2008 at 4:44 PM Post #11 of 17

HiWire

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Have you considered modifying your CD23?

Audicom has a modification page here, though I can't vouch for their quality (also - it appears the text is cut off at the end):

.: Audiocom International :. Modifications : Arcam FMJ CD23

Oddly enough, the amount for the upgrades differs from what they are offering in their eBay shop.

As far as I know, the CD23 uses a version of dCS's Ring DAC. That might be the reason the CD23 is considered legendary - dCS engineering in a value player - kind of like a Nissan Silvia with a Skyline RB26DETT Z2 engine.
 
Aug 8, 2008 at 3:21 PM Post #13 of 17

PS_Mike

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not just because I work for PS either..it is a great little product..beautiful build quality, but more importantly, wonderful sound for the money! It's also versatile; 3 digital inputs (Coax, optical and USB)- I have my laptop, squeezebox and DVD/CD transport connected to it...discrete class A output and upsampling to 192 khz..among other great features..It has been raved about all over the world...add reasonable price to the mix and its no surprise its a winner- you'll love it!
 
Aug 8, 2008 at 8:51 PM Post #14 of 17

DocHamm

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Quote:

Originally Posted by nick_charles /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Released in 2000 means it is less than 9 years old. Only one of my 4 CD players is as new as that, my daily player is 20 years old and certainly no worse than the other three for being older.


Ditto! I don't start dusting mine till at least ten years. This is akin to some people's philosophy that when their car reaches 100k miles it's dead Jim and it's time to buy new.

Seriously, unless there is something wrong with the unit, I suggest you take a look at why you really want to upgrade. There is nothing wrong with wanting new features or something cooler, after all, it's your wallet, but if it works and sounds really good to you, why mess with it? I personally would rather spend the money on more music.
wink.gif
 
Aug 12, 2008 at 2:22 PM Post #15 of 17

mingde10467

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Quote:

Originally Posted by DocHamm /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Seriously, unless there is something wrong with the unit, I suggest you take a look at why you really want to upgrade. . .if it works and sounds really good to you, why mess with it?


Sensible advice, but I would like to see if CD playback has improved since the CD23 was produced.
 

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