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  1. #1

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    Default How Do DACS work?

    My limited understanding.
    DAC - Transfer digital signal of source to Analog.

    Issue - Currently I have a marantz 5 disc changer that leaves me a little short in the sound quality. I currently have it hooked up with silver interconnects (analog). I noticed that playing the CD source direct (source bypass feature of the pre) does NOT sound as good as stereo mode of the preamp. My assumption the DAC in the pre produces better sound than my CDP DAC.

    I am now in the market for an upgrade, and don't want to go over 4 or 500 bucks. Problem is I prefer multidisc units for the random feature and most of the referred cd players for the quality i am looking for are single disk.

    Techy question - How much does the transport matter when using a DAC? My first thought was that putting something else in the signal path would degrade, but my understanding of digital, is that they are all 1's and 0's and the transport wouldn't matter that much coming from a digital out. Would a DAC in that price range be a noticeable improvement?
    TV...............Hitachi 42hdS52a plasma (sexy one with the swival)
    Pre/Processor - Emotiva MMC
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    Fronts - Tyler Acoustics 7U's
    Center - Polk LSIC
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    DAC - Music Hall 25.3CD - Marantz cc4001
    Blue Ray - PS3
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  2. #2

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    Default

    I know I am going to get flamed for this, but my source is a 200 disk Sony. With the addition of a solid DAC it sounds great. I ran an Adcom GDA700 for a while, and it was great, but I switched to a DIY style DAC that is a big step above the Adcom.
    Ben
    Please. Please contact me a ben62670 @ yahoo.com. Make sure to include who you are, and you are from Polk so I don't delete your email. Also I am now physically unable to work on any projects. If you need help let these guys know. There are many people who will help if you let them know where you are.
    Thanks
    Ben

  3. #3

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    Default

    A seperate DAC might give you Better SQ.Your ears are your own best judge.You could get a nice adcom GDA-700 for 300.00 or less.Or a GDA-600 for around 125.00-150.00...There are a-lot of options out there of course.Get your read on.AudiogoN and the bay are your best option for a good deal on a used DAC. If you dont like it you could resell it for around what you pay for it.Some even come up for sale here in the for sale section.Check it daily.......Oh, and a better transport will make a difference, IMO.My DAC made a difference----clearer cleaner highs,tighter bass and the mids a little less forward and in your face.
    SDA-2BTL with custom IC
    Adcom 565 monoblocks--Monarchy Audio M-10 preamp
    Theta Data Basic Transport--Camelot Arthur DAC--Camelot Dragon Pro2 MK III
    Harman Kardon T-55c TT
    DH Labs Q-10 Signature Speaker Cables With Furez silver plated copper bananas
    Prophecy Cryo-Silver Reference AES/EBU
    Prophecy Cryo-Silver i2s digital cable
    4 Furutech FP-314Ag with FI-11cu Plugs/FI-11AG IECs--- Power Cords
    DH LABS REVELATIONS ICs-amps
    Revelation Audio Labs Paradise cryo-silver ICs-Source to pre

  4. #4

    Member Sales Rating: (16)

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    SDA-2BTL with custom IC
    Adcom 565 monoblocks--Monarchy Audio M-10 preamp
    Theta Data Basic Transport--Camelot Arthur DAC--Camelot Dragon Pro2 MK III
    Harman Kardon T-55c TT
    DH Labs Q-10 Signature Speaker Cables With Furez silver plated copper bananas
    Prophecy Cryo-Silver Reference AES/EBU
    Prophecy Cryo-Silver i2s digital cable
    4 Furutech FP-314Ag with FI-11cu Plugs/FI-11AG IECs--- Power Cords
    DH LABS REVELATIONS ICs-amps
    Revelation Audio Labs Paradise cryo-silver ICs-Source to pre

  5. #5

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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ben62670 View Post
    I know I am going to get flamed for this, but my source is a 200 disk Sony. With the addition of a solid DAC it sounds great. I ran an Adcom GDA700 for a while, and it was great, but I switched to a DIY style DAC that is a big step above the Adcom.
    Ben
    Well I cant flame ya. I like to load them in and hit the random button. So a DAC did make a big difference?

    That adcom might be worth a twirl, i can always get rid of it if there isn't a jump up from the marantz 4001

  6. #6

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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by fbm211 View Post
    A seperate DAC might give you Better SQ.Your ears are your own best judge.You could get a nice adcom GDA-700 for 300.00 or less.Or a GDA-600 for around 125.00-150.00...There are a-lot of options out there of course.Get your read on.AudiogoN and the bay are your best option for a good deal on a used DAC. If you dont like it you could resell it for around what you pay for it.Some even come up for sale here in the for sale section.Check it daily.......Oh, and a better transport will make a difference, IMO.My DAC made a difference----clearer cleaner highs,tighter bass and the mids a little less forward and in your face.
    ok, now you just hit me upside the head with a wrench with the transport comment. Was trying to talk myself into this being an easy one

    Thanks for the recommendations on the adcom and the ones on agon. I saw them both earlier today. The theta seems to be a popular brand. Must be pretty old with that big of a price drop from new, might be worth a spin to play with.

    See a lot about Cambridge DacMagic. Looks like a hot item for pc and mp3 stuff. If digital sources to the DAC didn't matter, this would be soooo much easier lol
    Last edited by jabrax; 03-04-2009 at 12:04 AM. Reason: adding to post

  7. #7

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    Default

    Hi jabrax.

    You stated that your connection from the CD Changer to the Pre is via analog. That would mean your Changer is performing the D to A conversion. If you connected via digital (optical or coax), the Pre would do the deed. You might try this to see if it results in sound improvement.

    Using "Direct" mode on your Pre has nothing to do w/ D to A; it merely bypasses all uneccessary processing features. My Onk 805 also sounds better in Stereo mode than in its "Direct" or "Pure Audio" modes.

    If your Changer is the CC 4001 then it has a pretty good DAC chip: the Cirrus Logic CS4392. You might be wasting your money if you bought a DAC that did not have a better chip. I don't know enough about DAC chips to say what is better. Maybe someone out there knows? :)
    ____________________________________________
    Home Theater 32"LG LCD; Comcast; 7.1 Onkyo 805; Fronts: Polk M50s; Center: Polk CS2; Sides: Polk M40s; Rear: B&W LM1s; Subs: (2) Sony 12" x 100w; Samsung 1500BDP; Toshiba A-2 HD-DVDP.
    PC stereo: Viper custom PC: Windows XP; ASIO4ALL; JRiver Jukebox> Pop Pulse USB to S/PDIF conv> Monarchy DIP > Musiland MD10 DAC > Parasound 2100 pre> Aragon 4004 MKII amp> Dali Ikon6 towers; Sunfire True Sub; PSA Duet, Ultimate outlet and Noise Harvestors.

  8. #8

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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike21 View Post
    Hi jabrax.

    ...
    Using "Direct" mode on your Pre has nothing to do w/ D to A; it merely bypasses all uneccessary processing features. My Onk 805 also sounds better in Stereo mode than in its "Direct" or "Pure Audio" modes.

    ...
    One would also have to account that when in Direct or Pure Audio Mode, at least this is what I have discovered so far, is that no signal is sent to the subwoofer/LFE, and any XO settings are also bypassed. Just mentioning as that can be a possible reason why non-direct mode might sound better.
    ____________________
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    2-chnl : Pio DV-46AV (SACD), Dodd ELP, Emotiva XPA-1s, XPA-2, Odyssey Khartago, LSi9, SDA-SRS 2 , SB Duet, MSB & Monarchy DACs, Yamaha PX3 TT, SAE Tuner...
    Pool: Atrium 60's/45's

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