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  1. #1
    AR Newbie Registered Member
    Join Date
    May 2005

    Unhappy Outboard D/A; Worthwhile?

    Being unable to demostrate self-control I bought a Adcom GDA 600 for use with a Adcom GCD 700. Actually I got two off eBay; don't ask. Second one has not arrived yet.

    I can detect NO difference in sound quality, good or bad.

    Is the GCD 600 no better technically than the D/A that comes with the GCD 700? Would a GDA 700 be better (not withstanding the HDCD recoding)?

    I also got a Blue Jeans Cable digital interconnect.

    I can do instant head to head comparisons by switching from DAC to CD input. The rest of the system is Adcom GTP 500 ll and GFA 5500 driving Heybrook HB4's. I am pretty happy with the sound. Audioquest Granite speaker cables (bi-wired) and Sidewinder interconnects.

    I should mention that my cable philosophy follows Blue Jean Cables in that low impedance with low capacitance means more than exotic materials, for this level of system anyway.

    So, anyone have similar experiences or suggestions?

    Thanks, Jef

  2. #2
    RGA is offline
    Forum Regular
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    A lot depends on the rest of the system -- many speakers I doubt have the resolving capability to discern a lot of difference, and some amplifiers are so poor that it doesn't make any difference I suspect audibly.

    Then there are DA converters from company's that sound very much the same. I'm not overly familiar with Adcom sources as they're mainly known for amplifiers (and this might be your first clue). Sometimes the DAC a company sells is for upgrading a bad cd player -- if Adcom's one box player is already a certain sound adding the company's dac may not make it noticeably better. It would be like adding the Cambridge Audio DAC Magic to my cd player -- I doubt there would be a significant or noticeable difference.

    Plus a lot of the technology used by many makers is fairly similar and to me variations of the same without necessarily making great improvements -- I intend to buy one I know will make a major improvement - unfortunately it isn't cheap.

  3. #3
    Digs tunes and vids RJW1138's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Regina, SK
    Hey man,

    I don't have much to comment on regarding the equipment that you're talking about, as I'm not familiar with it, but I saw one thing that I wanted to discuss. Are you saying that you're using an AQ Sidewinder as your analog interconnect from your CD source? Your system is definitely a lot higher fidelity than my modest one, yet when I demoed and purchased interconnects for it, I found the Sidewinder to be very sub-par and deemed it necessary to spend more on an interconnect so as not to render it a weak link in my system. I then moved up to the Copperhead and was much more satisfied. I would say that the performance difference between the two is very significant. I was about to get the Copperhead, but was then presented with an unbeatable deal on a Nordost Blue Heaven, which was a lesser but still noticeable improvement over the Copperhead, so I ended up going with that.

    My suggestion is that your interconnect could very likely be a weak link in your system that is preventing you from fully experiencing the capabilities of the other components in your system. It could very well be that the resolution limitations of the Sidewinder aren't letting you hear the differences between the DACs, and if you were to find a better performing interconnect you could then be able to distinguish these differences. The golden rule is always that your system is only as good as its weakest link. Sound like a possible explanation?

    Let me know your thoughts!

  4. #4
    Forum Regular hermanv's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Santa Rosa, CA
    It is possible that Adcom uses the same D to A circuit in both circuits. Like many things in audio, improvements often come at a steep price curve.

    I have an expensive outboard D to A and will never go back. Ditto on cables. But I note that the old cables were fine on my old all Denon system. I would never have heard the changes that I can now easily hear with significantly better and higher priced electronics.

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