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Thread: DACs

  1. #1
    Forum Regular quad121's Avatar
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    DACs

    I'm quite new to DACs and wondered is a DAC a good way to improve the sound from a CD Player?

    Thankyou,


    Regards,

    Paul
    Rega Planar 3 Turntable
    Denon TU-260 II Tuner
    Yamaha KX-580 SE Tape
    Marantz CD6000 KI CDP
    Krell KAV-500 Power Amp
    Krell KRC-3 Pre Amp
    Krell Studio DAC
    Krell KAV 300 CDP

    Red Rose 'Spirit' Bookshelf Speakers

    Chord Cobra 3 Interconnects
    Hovland Gen 3 Balanced XLR Interconnects
    Chord Chameleon XLR Interconnects
    IXOS XHD608-100 Digital Coax Interconnects
    Chord Odyssey 2 Speaker Cables

  2. #2
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Short answer

    Quote Originally Posted by quad121
    I'm quite new to DACs and wondered is a DAC a good way to improve the sound from a CD Player?

    Thankyou,

    Regards,

    Paul
    It depends on the CD player and on the DAC in question. For me a DAC is a no-brainer because I want to play recordings ripped to computer, not just spin CDs.

  3. #3
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    A good DAC can improve a CD player in many situations. Many name brand CD players have decent quality transports but just a so-so built in digital-analog converter. However, the first thing to check is to make sure your CD player has a digital output. This is most often either a single RCA jack or an optical toslink connection. If you don't have a digital out on the CDP, then an external DAC isn't going to do you any good.

    You might want to see if you can borrow a loaner from a friend or get a home trial on a DAC from an audio store before jumping in with both feet. You'll want to do some comparative listening to make sure it is worth the cost and effort. (You could find that the built-in DAC is already quite good or that the rest of your system just doesn't justify the extra cost in this one area.)

    As you can see, there is no one absolute answer. It depends on you, your system, and how you listen to music. Certainly worth a test run if you can try before you buy.

  4. #4
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    As stated, a DAC can be a great way to upgrade your CD playback provided the DAC is better than the internal DAC your player already has.

    Your Marantz, I'd say has a good transport. You can find some decent used DAC's cheap by the likes of EAD or Conrad Johnson. I have a CJ solid state DAC and listened to it for awhile on the front end of my Krell gear and it sounded quite good. CJ has a different presentation than Krell but they actually sounded pretty good together. As I stated on another one of your posts, Audio Note, also sounded good to me with Krell. Musical Fidelity has a new DAC that is switchable between a solid state or a tube output which might be interesting. Good luck experimenting.

  5. #5
    Forum Regular quad121's Avatar
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    Thakyou every body for your advice. I just found a Krell Studio DAC for sale and just wondered if this was a good buy for 600?
    Rega Planar 3 Turntable
    Denon TU-260 II Tuner
    Yamaha KX-580 SE Tape
    Marantz CD6000 KI CDP
    Krell KAV-500 Power Amp
    Krell KRC-3 Pre Amp
    Krell Studio DAC
    Krell KAV 300 CDP

    Red Rose 'Spirit' Bookshelf Speakers

    Chord Cobra 3 Interconnects
    Hovland Gen 3 Balanced XLR Interconnects
    Chord Chameleon XLR Interconnects
    IXOS XHD608-100 Digital Coax Interconnects
    Chord Odyssey 2 Speaker Cables

  6. #6
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    I'm not sure what that would be in U.S. dollars or what the UK market is like. It seems like your other Krell purchases were reasonable enough. It would certainly give you the total package for Krell reproduction.

  7. #7
    nightflier
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    Quad121,

    What is it that you don't like or would like to improve on the Marantz CD6000?

    P.S. Inferring from your login, do you also own Quad speakers or equipment?

  8. #8
    Forum Regular quad121's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nightflier
    Quad121,

    What is it that you don't like or would like to improve on the Marantz CD6000?

    P.S. Inferring from your login, do you also own Quad speakers or equipment?
    Hi Nightflier, My Marantz iv very good at recreating the sounds of he instruments but it does come over slightly bassy. Also i find it doesn't show how the instruments interact very well.
    I'm using a pair of Red Rose Bookshelf speakers.

    Thankyou,

    Paul
    Rega Planar 3 Turntable
    Denon TU-260 II Tuner
    Yamaha KX-580 SE Tape
    Marantz CD6000 KI CDP
    Krell KAV-500 Power Amp
    Krell KRC-3 Pre Amp
    Krell Studio DAC
    Krell KAV 300 CDP

    Red Rose 'Spirit' Bookshelf Speakers

    Chord Cobra 3 Interconnects
    Hovland Gen 3 Balanced XLR Interconnects
    Chord Chameleon XLR Interconnects
    IXOS XHD608-100 Digital Coax Interconnects
    Chord Odyssey 2 Speaker Cables

  9. #9
    nightflier
    Guest

    It sounds like a DAC would be a good upgrade path

    Quote Originally Posted by quad121
    Hi Nightflier, My Marantz iv very good at recreating the sounds of he instruments but it does come over slightly bassy. Also i find it doesn't show how the instruments interact very well.
    Then a DAC is definitely in order. But you may have to try out a few until you find one that you like. You may want to go the used route so that you can resell the ones you don't like w/o too much expense. A couple of companies I would recommend: MSB and Musical Fidelity.

  10. #10
    Forum Regular quad121's Avatar
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    Hi nightflier, I've managed to get hold of a Krell Studio DAC which i'm giving a go.
    I thought i would try a Krell as my other components are also Krell.
    Rega Planar 3 Turntable
    Denon TU-260 II Tuner
    Yamaha KX-580 SE Tape
    Marantz CD6000 KI CDP
    Krell KAV-500 Power Amp
    Krell KRC-3 Pre Amp
    Krell Studio DAC
    Krell KAV 300 CDP

    Red Rose 'Spirit' Bookshelf Speakers

    Chord Cobra 3 Interconnects
    Hovland Gen 3 Balanced XLR Interconnects
    Chord Chameleon XLR Interconnects
    IXOS XHD608-100 Digital Coax Interconnects
    Chord Odyssey 2 Speaker Cables

  11. #11
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    Quad, did you try the power cord yet?

  12. #12
    Forum Regular quad121's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Peabody
    Quad, did you try the power cord yet?
    Hi Mr Peabody,

    I've been looking at some Power Cords and there prices but as yet i haven't tried one.

    Regards,
    Rega Planar 3 Turntable
    Denon TU-260 II Tuner
    Yamaha KX-580 SE Tape
    Marantz CD6000 KI CDP
    Krell KAV-500 Power Amp
    Krell KRC-3 Pre Amp
    Krell Studio DAC
    Krell KAV 300 CDP

    Red Rose 'Spirit' Bookshelf Speakers

    Chord Cobra 3 Interconnects
    Hovland Gen 3 Balanced XLR Interconnects
    Chord Chameleon XLR Interconnects
    IXOS XHD608-100 Digital Coax Interconnects
    Chord Odyssey 2 Speaker Cables

  13. #13
    nightflier
    Guest
    Quad,

    Krell is no slouch, but it does come with a certain Krell sound. If you like that sound and you have easy access to one, by all means, give it a go. But I think that a used MSB Link DAC III with the Full Nelson upgrade (that includes an external power adapter & cord), would give many more expensive DACs a run for the money. They can be had for $400-600 used (of course, they newer DACs are not bad either), but they get up there in price.

  14. #14
    Big science. Hallelujah. noddin0ff's Avatar
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    Just a plug for a previous thread that links to a bunch of $200-400 DACs.

    DAC's for under $400 ??

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