What's a better source computer or CD player?
Sep 8, 2009 at 8:08 PM Post #2 of 32

Sherwood

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A computer is technically a better source, as it has the benefit of perfectly ripping cds once (via EAC or CDparanoia) and then playing them from a sealed platter from then forward. Cd players misread.

That being said, computers need to be optimized for this purpose.
 
Sep 8, 2009 at 8:18 PM Post #3 of 32

atothex

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Am I correct in assuming the lowest jitter transports are word clock or asynchronus USB based? If so, then I vote computer. I don't know of any CD transport/DAC combo using either of those...

Academic, though, because the best DACs don't use those, either. Ha!
 
Sep 8, 2009 at 8:25 PM Post #4 of 32

krmathis

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I would say computers as well, for the reasons pointed out by 'Sherwood'.
As long as you use lossless files, a player capable of bit-perfect playback, and a high quality external DAC that is.
 
Sep 8, 2009 at 8:38 PM Post #5 of 32

Uncle Erik

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Computers have their advantages, however, I like to listen when it's dark and quiet. A whirring fan (even the low-noise ones) can be distracting and I don't want a monitor on, either.

A standalone CD player is whisper quiet and many of them allow you to turn off the display.

Also, computers can't rip or play SACD, so that's another reason to have a standalone player.
 
Sep 8, 2009 at 8:58 PM Post #7 of 32

atothex

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Uncle Erik /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Computers have their advantages, however, I like to listen when it's dark and quiet. A whirring fan (even the low-noise ones) can be distracting and I don't want a monitor on, either.

A standalone CD player is whisper quiet and many of them allow you to turn off the display.

Also, computers can't rip or play SACD, so that's another reason to have a standalone player.



Fanless computers exist, and computers can handle any bitrate you want. Don't even need a monitor, either.
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Sep 8, 2009 at 9:18 PM Post #13 of 32

Sherwood

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I can control iTunes (bit perfect through Core Audio) with my iPhone. Lets me skip, go to playlists, view album art, read lyrics etc. from anywhere in the house. My system is in a separate location, so I relax in a chair, take out my phone, and have full control of 100+ gigs of lossless awesome.
 
Sep 8, 2009 at 9:32 PM Post #14 of 32

atothex

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OK, I'll try to be a bit more useful before I'm done with this thread:
The important part here is not so much what is theoretically the lowest jitter transport available; it's the best transport for your favorite DAC that's relevant. At the very top of the food chain, many audiophile companies pair up CD transports and DACs using sometimes proprietary connections. Spectral has Spectralink, Sonic Frontiers has a weird I2Se or something, etc etc. These combos are pretty much better than anything computer-based EXCEPT for possibly the aforementioned word clock or async USB. Word clock is much more prevalent in pro equipment, as opposed to consumer equipment. The Amarra Four is the "best" converter I can think of at the moment that can send a word clock to a computer, although I'm sure other things like possibly the Digital Audio Denmark or whatever have it as well. Async USB has so far seen very limited use: people basically have to get Gordon Rankin's (Wavelength) permission to use it. The only really fancypants DAC that comes to mind with THAT implementation is the dCS thing.

So practically speaking, the transport differences don't really matter. You have to look at which DAC right for you. Honestly, nothing that I mentioned in this post is on my radar at all. You can get very low jitter from a pro sound card or a SB anyways. I mean, do you really want to pay $8000 for an Amarra Four, $800 for a pro sound card transport, and however much else for a computer? Maybe if your name is Voltron or Barry Diament.
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