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Thread: Dac?

  1. #1

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    Default Dac?

    Hi all,

    Does a DAC only improve sound quality if you are using a computer setup? I've never seen a DAC, so not sure how they work, but does it improve music played through a CD or SACD player? I'm asking because I'm looking at high quality integrated amps, and some have DAC's built in, and I'm not sure if that's something I even need. I have no interest in making a computer based system, just CD's :)

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  2. #2

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    DAC's accept any DIGITAL input. Getting a DAC doesn't necessarily mean you're going to get better sound - I've tried replacing my Pio BDP many times with a DAC and finally found one worth keeping in the loop.
    Usher CP-6311, Shuguang S200MK, Shuguang S845MK, Pioneer BDP-51fd, Douglas IC's, AQ cv-8 SC's, Pangea/Douglas PC's, Epson 8100

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pycroft View Post
    Hi all,

    Does a DAC only improve sound quality if you are using a computer setup? I've never seen a DAC, so not sure how they work, but does it improve music played through a CD or SACD player? I'm asking because I'm looking at high quality integrated amps, and some have DAC's built in, and I'm not sure if that's something I even need. I have no interest in making a computer based system, just CD's :)

    James
    Like DSkip said, it takes a Digital signal and makes it a Analog signal. Both computers and CD players can send audio out as digital. However most cd players CANNOT send SACD out over digital. They send it out over RCA.

    Depending on what integrated amp you are looking at they might not have DAC's in them. If they only have RCA inputs, then they DONT have a DAC as they only take a Analog signal not a Digital one.

    If you are looking at just CD's it might make the most sense to look at getting a nice integrated without a Dac. This allows you flexibility to change which DAC you use as technology advances, or you get the itch to try something else. This way you can upgrade your DAC w/o having to upgrade your integrated.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pycroft View Post
    Hi all,

    Does a DAC only improve sound quality if you are using a computer setup? I've never seen a DAC, so not sure how they work, but does it improve music played through a CD or SACD player? I'm asking because I'm looking at high quality integrated amps, and some have DAC's built in, and I'm not sure if that's something I even need. I have no interest in making a computer based system, just CD's :)

    James
    It likely depends on the age and design of your current source. They have made continuous improvements almost on a yearly basis. Probably the main thing is how critical of a listener you are. If it's for background music it's probably not going to be as noticable. If you sit in the sweet spot and close your eyes and feel there is something lacking or something that annoys you with your current solution, you might be a better candidate. I would say most DAC's in AVR's or integrated's would probably not satisfy a real audio snob.
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    I have a Peachtree Decco65 and have my PC hooked up vis USB so I can play all my loss-less files through it, it takes a driver to do this and doesn't go through the Sound card. also have my cd player plug in using the optical so it uses the DAC also. My DAC in it doesnt support DSD files that you can download now.

    But I did see that Marantz has a new SACD (SA8005) that has a DAC that can so I been looking at getting one of these when they are out. (heard maybe Feb ?)

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    If you want to dip your toe in the water, cheap, try a FIIO DO3K DAC. $27 from Parts Express. Great little unit with both digital and coax out. I have this one and am very happy with it. Have not compared side by side with my Arcam rDac.....but that was over $400.
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    The benefit of most integrateds is the combining of the pre amp and amp stages. The dacs are for the most part an after thought in them. Separate dacs obviously would gain you more benefit but then again cost more too.

    Most higher end dedicated cdp's have some good quality dacs in them. If your using the Sony to do so, I suggest simply moving up to a better player. Just me, but I was never taken with the Sony sound in their cdp's or receivers.
    Last edited by tonyb; 01-24-2014 at 11:16 AM.

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    On my Pioneer elite sc27, i used the internal dac from my old cdp, coax out to the elite, and it did make a difference on the sound of the cd's. What kind of cdp are you running?

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