Please recommend a CD Transport
Jul 3, 2005 at 2:14 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 18

John2e

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I am currently using a Micro Dac with a portable CD player in My Bedroom. I spend a lot of time here as this is where my computer is located.

I want to upgrade to a stand alone CD player. It will be used with the micro Dac.

I am still pretty wet behind the ears (sorry for the pun) so I appreciate any feedback / advise

I have been looking at the Music hall 25 with transport mods (upgraded clock)on audiogon I figure I could get a similar mod to a onnix and save about $200 bucks. Is this my best option considering the external dac and trying to stay under $850??? I also like the music fidelity x-ray 3

Any thoughts !
 
Jul 3, 2005 at 2:31 PM Post #2 of 18

tennisets

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With the players you're talking about, you'd probably be better off just using the player's analog outputs and not using the DAC. As good as the headroom DAC might be, I don't see how it could be THAT good. Another option you should look into is an Arcam CD73T or a Rega Planet. The Arcam is my favorite CD player under $1000.
 
Jul 3, 2005 at 2:37 PM Post #3 of 18

philodox

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You could get the Eastsound CD-E5 for that price... but that would probably make you stop using the microdac.
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Jul 3, 2005 at 3:00 PM Post #5 of 18

philodox

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Cattylink.com

Send them an email and ask for 'Snowy Law'. The price is less than $850, but that is what it works out to with shipping costs and everything.
 
Jul 3, 2005 at 4:59 PM Post #7 of 18

Jon L

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Quote:

Originally Posted by John2e
I am currently using a Micro Dac with a portable CD player in My Bedroom. I spend a lot of time here as this is where my computer is located.
Any thoughts !



Just use your computer hard drive as transport. Get a large HD, say the Samsung 160 gig HD for $80 or so, get a soundcard with bit-perfect digital output like E-Mu 0404 and feed your DAC. Playing lossless files off Foobar, this setup will sound more neutral than any other CDP used as transport in pretty much any price range you care to mention.
 
Jul 3, 2005 at 5:31 PM Post #8 of 18

Oliver :)

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Quote:

Originally Posted by John2e
I want to upgrade to a stand alone CD player. It will be used with the micro Dac.


The Question is: Why?
For your budget, you could
a) get a Benchmark DAC1, ditch the micro, maybe upgrade to a low budget CDP with digital out from the difference.
or
b) get a Mac mini (small, not loud), rip to ALAC & use the micro with that. If you have a WiFi Palm or sth. check SallingClicker & VNC solutions, you might not even need a permanent display on the mini. Plus you can daisychain gargantuan FireWire HDs under it.
c) if you already have a nonobtrusive computer in the room that can run iTunes - do so. Use ALAC. Hook it up with an AirPortExpress if you like.
 
Jul 3, 2005 at 6:21 PM Post #9 of 18

John2e

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Oliver [img said:
http://www.head-fi.org/forums/images/smilies/smily_headphones1.gif[/img]]The Question is: Why?

I use the micro at work with the micro amp and an Iriver HP-140.

If a sub $850 CD player will surpass it, I will just ues the Mico at work.

I was under the assumption the micro would surpass anything in a stand alone player and I should utilize it with a quality CD transport. It appears I am wrong.
 
Jul 3, 2005 at 10:41 PM Post #10 of 18

philodox

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Oliver :)
get a Benchmark DAC1, ditch the micro, maybe upgrade to a low budget CDP with digital out from the difference.


The only problem with this is that the transport makes a big difference... that and you can get better sound than the DAC1 in a CD player costing less. The DAC1 is great if you need a DAC though. [computer setups, etc] Quote:

Originally Posted by John2e
I was under the assumption the micro would surpass anything in a stand alone player and I should utilize it with a quality CD transport. It appears I am wrong.


Yeah, most high end CD players will smoke the micro... the Eastsound should give you a very noticable improvement. The fact that you are listening to original CD's through a good transport combined with its high quality clock, DAC and a beefy power supply should make a startling difference.
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Jul 4, 2005 at 6:20 AM Post #11 of 18

Oliver :)

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Quote:

Originally Posted by philodox
The only problem with this is that the transport makes a big difference... that and you can get better sound than the DAC1 in a CD player costing less. The DAC1 is great if you need a DAC though. [computer setups, etc]


Hm, doesn't the DAC1 reclock anyway? Why would the transport still matter? Of course I am talking a bit like the blind about color (is there such a saying in English... importing from German) since I did not listen to is yet (..later this year..) , but from what I read the difference from a Playstation2 to a high end dedicated transport is *supposedly* miniscule on the DAC1.

Which CDP would you mean, eg?
 
Jul 4, 2005 at 6:53 AM Post #12 of 18

insomniac

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Quote:

Originally Posted by philodox
The only problem with this is that the transport makes a big difference... that and you can get better sound than the DAC1 in a CD player costing less. The DAC1 is great if you need a DAC though.


Never heard the Eastsound, so I can't say if it sounds better or worse than the DAC1, but the DAC1 is supposed to be less dependent on transport than most stand alone DAC's out on the market, if I remember correctly.
 
Jul 4, 2005 at 1:35 PM Post #13 of 18

philodox

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Oliver :)
Hm, doesn't the DAC1 reclock anyway? Why would the transport still matter?


Quote:

Originally Posted by insomniac
Never heard the Eastsound, so I can't say if it sounds better or worse than the DAC1, but the DAC1 is supposed to be less dependent on transport than most stand alone DAC's out on the market, if I remember correctly.


The DAC1 does reclock, but that does not completely negate the benefits of a good transport. There was a really good thread on this a while back... couldnt find it, but this one is pretty good as well.

The reclocking features aside, I think that the Eastsound with its Crystal CS4390 DAC, TCCO clock, and class A output stage which is completely free of OPAMPS and capacitors makes it a better DAC than the DAC1 in any case. In addition, the CD-E5 doesn't need to be able to do all the tricks that the DAC1 does as it is integrated completely with its transport. I know that from what I remember hearing I prefer the Eastsound, but I haven't had the chance to do a side by side comparison since buying the player. To be fair, I may just prefer the general sound signature of the Eastsound as they are both very well made and well thought out products. Quote:

Originally Posted by Oliver :)
But from what I read the difference from a Playstation2 to a high end dedicated transport is *supposedly* miniscule on the DAC1.


Where did you read this? I highly doubt that the Playstation2 could better a high end dedicated transport when output to the DAC1... or any DAC for that matter. Quote:

Originally Posted by Oliver :)
Which CDP would you mean, eg?


I think that should be pretty obvious by now.
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Jul 4, 2005 at 5:21 PM Post #14 of 18

Oliver :)

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Quote:

Originally Posted by philodox
Where did you read this? I highly doubt that the Playstation2 could better a high end dedicated transport when output to the DAC1... or any DAC for that matter.I think that should be pretty obvious by now.
tongue.gif



Thanks for the threadlink, I'll have a look.

In fact I read this comment in a German hifi magazine
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http://www.image-hifi.com/ to be exact. One of those that don't deal with small change. Not that I'd buy magazines anymore, I just had some time to waste in the bookstore and was surprised to see the DAC1 *blush*. They said a great transport would still be good for a slight improvement, but that they were highly surprised about the DAC1's level of indifference regarding transports.
 
Jul 4, 2005 at 5:54 PM Post #15 of 18

Jon L

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Quote:

Originally Posted by philodox
The DAC1 does reclock, but that does not completely negate the benefits of a good transport. There was a really good thread on this a while back... couldnt find it, but this one is pretty good as well.

I highly doubt that the Playstation2 could better a high end dedicated transport when output to the DAC1... or any DAC for that matter.I think that should be pretty obvious by now.
tongue.gif



The problem is that people have Greatly varying ability to tell the difference between components and cables. I don't subscribe to the born-with-golden-ear stance, but I believe a lot of it is patience and methodical ear/brain training. Much like golf, the more you pay attention, practice, and train yourself, the better your game becomes.

The other problem is the resolution of the system and room. If I use my old receiver and mass-market speakers in a poor room, I will not be able to tell the difference between Meitner DCC2 DAc and a cheap DVD player. The cheap DVD player may even sound "better" b/c its weak bass will not produce corner "boom," etc.

I still begrudge Benchmark people for selecting 110 kHz as their mandatory upsampling frequency that's NOT defeatable or adjustable
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