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CDp+DAC or DVDp+DAC

sudhirbhosale

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I am in process of upgrading my setup. Thought of some combinations due to:
1. Long term usage looking at changing trends
2. Not sure how long CDplayer's shelf life
3. Budget

What to know would there be difference in sound quality in below options:

A: CD player > Digital Out > DAC > AMP

B: Existing Pioneer DVD player (24bit sampling rate) > Digital out > DAC > AMP

Benefit of option B:
Would save in new CD player (DVD p sampling rate is good).
Can use my CD collection (would transfer to FLAC later)
DAC can utilized for various sources.
Less compatibility issues e.g. FLAC etc.

Is this sounding good?

Thanks
 
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regeHA

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Go with a Raspberry Pi for source/transport and spend all the money you can on the best DAC. The SQ will be unbeatable.

Later on you can use a PC with HQP and use the Pi as NAA... some of us are doing that and finding it even more of an improvement.
 
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Two digital sources to the same DAC should be identical, unless the source alters the sound through processing.

That said, there is generally no difference with or without a DAC unless the source is badly designed. Both CD players and DACs are grossly overpriced gimmicks and you should spend the money on a more powerful amplifier or bigger speakers.
 
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rikhav

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Two digital sources to the same DAC should be identical, unless the source alters the sound through processing.

That said, there is generally no difference with or without a DAC unless the source is badly designed. Both CD players and DACs are grossly overpriced gimmicks and you should spend the money on a more powerful amplifier or bigger speakers.
Sir
Totally disagree on your opinion about cdplayer and a dac
And this I am saying with personal experience
 

z@m

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Go with a Raspberry Pi for source/transport and spend all the money you can on the best DAC. The SQ will be unbeatable.

Later on you can use a PC with HQP and use the Pi as NAA... some of us are doing that and finding it even more of an improvement.
Hi, what is meant by HQP and NAA? Thanks.
 

rikhav

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Hi, what is meant by HQP and NAA? Thanks.
HQP stands for audio playback software called HQ player and NAA stands for network audio adapter
One can make a raspberry pi Into NAA or any specialized device as sonore renedu is NAA

NAA acts a as bridge between your audio pc and dac

Some might argue why can't we directly connect pc to dac if using USB

If we use naa we don't need audio pc to be in same room as listening room and also it sort of isolates the dac from a noisey pc
 

regeHA

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Hi, what is meant by HQP and NAA? Thanks.
+1 to what Rikhav has said.

Think of it as sending the best audio signal to the DAC. According to many this makes even a $1000 DAC perform like a $5000 or more DAC.

All DACs resample/upsample music. But the logic is the CPU of a PC is more powerful to do it than the chip inside a DAC, so a PC + s/w like HQ Player is used externally and NAA is a further step to also isolate the PC from the actual playback device.

https://www.signalyst.eu/consumer.html for more info on HQP.
 

music4mhell

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I am in process of upgrading my setup. Thought of some combinations due to:
1. Long term usage looking at changing trends
2. Not sure how long CDplayer's shelf life
3. Budget

What to know would there be difference in sound quality in below options:

A: CD player > Digital Out > DAC > AMP

B: Existing Pioneer DVD player (24bit sampling rate) > Digital out > DAC > AMP

Benefit of option B:
Would save in new CD player (DVD p sampling rate is good).
Can use my CD collection (would transfer to FLAC later)
DAC can utilized for various sources.
Less compatibility issues e.g. FLAC etc.

Is this sounding good?

Thanks
I will go with Option B.
Feeding digital audio into DAC from diff sources will have same quality, a digital signal is always same unless it's USB cable(it will have Jitter issue and some noise issue).

Buy at least a decent DAC like entry level Schiit Modi 2 UBER will also work.
And i bet you can listen the difference between CD DAC and stand alone DAC.
 

jls001

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+1 to B, since you already have the DVDp. Try using both coax and optical outputs. I maintain that DVDp are under rated as transports.

On a related note, does your player do 24-bit upsampling of Redbook CDs, and the upsampled data is outputted through the digital output?
 

himadri

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Hi
Well I was in a similar situation.Due to breakdown of my earlier CD player , I was forced to used my old Pioneer DVD player as a transport with the metrum octave DAC for some time till I got the marantz cd 6005 CD player ( for transport).If your rest of the chain is resolving enough , the transport will exert its influence.The marantz is reasonably superior.
cheers
 
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music4mhell

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Hi
Well I was in a similar situation.Due to breakdown of my earlier CD player , I was forced to used my old Pioneer DVD player as a transport with the metrum octave DAC for some time till I got the marantz cd 6005 CD player ( for transport).If your rest of the chain is resolving enough , the transport will exert its influence.The marantz is reasonably superior.
cheers
How a transport can change the sound, if the source file, cable, DAC, speakers are same ?
 

rikhav

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How a transport can change the sound, if the source file, cable, DAC, speakers are same ?
All transports have a different clock implementation, different implementation of psu, how well cabinet is made and what drive is used

All that influences the final sound

If computer is used as transport then one get very different results depending what kind of pc used, psu used, internal hardware used and most importantly what player software is used and how well player and Os is optimized for audio playback

Best way to know is try it yourself
Even I did not believe in such things before I started trying pc as audio source
But it has totally changed my thinking
 
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jls001

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How a transport can change the sound, if the source file, cable, DAC, speakers are same ?
I honestly don't know the "why" but I've seen and heard it again and again that different CD transports have different sounds. And as Rikhav mentioned, I've also observed again and again that file "transports" and renderers also have different sounds.
 

regeHA

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How a transport can change the sound, if the source file, cable, DAC, speakers are same ?
You really need more experience listening to different setups. I used to be like you, bits are bits is what I believed in, till I heard things differently.

Everything remaining the same and with the same digital output and even the same cable the $35 Raspberry Pi walked all over my $2500 PC. That's one reason why the world is moving to setups like NAS, server, streamer, but all with still digital outputs to an external DAC. I personally know people with $8000 to $18,000 source + transport (like Aurender) that still takes digital cable to a DAC. Why would anyone spend so much if all they are doing is sending digital signals to an external DAC? Believe me those folks (and me) can hear a difference between a $2000-$5000 CD player and a $8000 or $18,000 server from Aurender, Auralic, etc.

Even digital needs to isolate a lot of the PC noise, achieve galvanic isolation, achieve lower noise floor, etc. If all digital was the same why would anyone even buy an expensive CDP, DVDP, or BDP?

Sound varies even from digital to digital... in some setups Toslink is better than USB, coaxial, HDMI, etc. and in some USB is better.

Listening + experience is the only way you'll find what really delivers the best SQ.
 

sudhirbhosale

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On a related note, does your player do 24-bit upsampling of Redbook CDs, and the upsampled data is outputted through the digital output?
Thanks....

How to check this on DVP? I have pioneer DVD player 3052.

Another point: As per your opinion there is no difference in reading mechanism in 0 1 format between CD player and DVD player? Hence digital out quality is same?
 

jls001

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Thanks....

How to check this on DVP? I have pioneer DVD player 3052.

Another point: As per your opinion there is no difference in reading mechanism in 0 1 format between CD player and DVD player? Hence digital out quality is same?
I have no personal experience with this model of DVD player but I think the default digital output would be non upsampled and there ought to be a setting accessible from the remote to upsample it. If you connect a DAC that has indications for various sampling rates, you should be able to confirm the sampling rate, if not the bit depth.

But having said the above, I must say that it's very unusual. The more likely scenario would be for the player to upsample what it is playing and outputting it to the analog output. Every DVD player is inherently capable of decoding 24/96 since that's the native audio format of DVD-Audio discs. But the output of a DVD-Audio playback would be from the analog 2-channel or 5.1 channel analog outputs.

Well, I didn't say there is no difference between CDP and DVDp:) I don't know what gives rise to the differences but every transport is different, with some better than others. Unfortunately there aren't black and white answers. You'll have to experiment, or go with advices from others who've walked a similar path.
 
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z@m

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@regeHA, @rikhav, and others, I am keen on knowing more, and incidentally looking to improve sound quality of my system.

1) My current setup is a mini-itx based PC (5350 2.05Ghz Quad-Core, ISK 110 VESA Mini ITX Desktop w/90W Power Supply - System Build - PCPartPicker) feeding music into a Behringer UCA-222 via USB, further connected to a Norge-2060 and bookshelf speakers.

2) I have an old android box (Pineriver H24 - linux-sunxi.org) lying idle.

3) My (limited) understanding is that an independently powered DAC is superior to a USB powered one.

4) I'm curious to know how devices like (https://www.amazon.com/Focusrite-2i2-USB-Recording-Interface/dp/B005OZE9SA/) and others which have different primary purposes, will work in place of a DAC. This thought process is fueled by high prices of most audio DACs!

5) I had not considered the network audio solution as a potential option until now.

Please weigh in with thoughts and shed some light on this - and of course, correct me if I'm wrong.

Thanks.
 

rikhav

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Hi z@m

Sorry for my ignorance but is that behringer device works a as dac for you ?

Yes, any dac or amp or pre with its own linear power supply will surely work better then USB powered device

It will be like a no contest between the two

For starters search for a used dac and that itself will improve the sound by a lot
Later on if you want to continue with your existing pc you can look for a USB regeneration device like Uptone regen to clean up USB

There are endless possibilities later on but base is a need for good decent dac

Many used options on hifiads

Have a look

One nos dac was for under rs 15000
 
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z@m

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Thanks for the response and the info rikhav. I will check out hifiads.

Yes, the Behringer acts as a DAC. I first came across it here: NwAvGuy: Behringer UCA202 Review

With the current setup is there any scope for implementing HQP + NAA as you suggested earlier?

Cheers.
 

regeHA

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@regeHA, @rikhav, and others, I am keen on knowing more, and incidentally looking to improve sound quality of my system.

1) My current setup is a mini-itx based PC (5350 2.05Ghz Quad-Core, ISK 110 VESA Mini ITX Desktop w/90W Power Supply - System Build - PCPartPicker) feeding music into a Behringer UCA-222 via USB, further connected to a Norge-2060 and bookshelf speakers.

2) I have an old android box (Pineriver H24 - linux-sunxi.org) lying idle.

3) My (limited) understanding is that an independently powered DAC is superior to a USB powered one.

4) I'm curious to know how devices like (https://www.amazon.com/Focusrite-2i2-USB-Recording-Interface/dp/B005OZE9SA/) and others which have different primary purposes, will work in place of a DAC. This thought process is fueled by high prices of most audio DACs!

5) I had not considered the network audio solution as a potential option until now.

Please weigh in with thoughts and shed some light on this - and of course, correct me if I'm wrong.

Thanks.
Nice with the Behringer, I've heard good things about it. Many moons ago I had a Behringer Digital Equalizer, excellent for what it cost too. Now I've become a "purist" and don't like using any EQ.

Focusrite is highly regarded, especially by the pros. Its also used by many who prefer "isolation" and a network/ethernet input as opposed to more digital connections found in the PC. Merging is another similar product, but priced in a different category. I've been looking for wireless DACs for a while or anything other than the typical USB inputs, and both of them come with excellent reviews.

I'm not sure the Android box can be used as NAA. You can find more details here, https://www.signalyst.eu/consumer.html. These are the supported h/w, https://www.signalyst.eu/bins/naa/. You can always check with the developer too.

Do note the s/w itself is a paid one, and also its yearly or major release pricing. In addition its interface and library management are horrible so you'll need to pay for something Roon (expensive) or Muso (cheap) to even play/control the PC and also browse your library. Its no different from having to pay for BubbleUPnP to control MinimServer or similar apps to control the Pi.

But the improvement in SQ is worth it. Especially the s/w betters many DACs that cost 10-50 times what it costs.

For starters even before you venture down this path take the Bug (Bug head) for a spin. It will give you a fair idea of what s/w can do to improve SQ. It will also let you know what kind of PC h/w requirements you are really looking at to get better performance.

Performance boost will be huge. My speakers perform at twice their price and it also expanded my understanding of getting the max from existing equipment with simple tweaks to source/transport, clean power, room acoustics, etc.
 
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