cheap CD player with external DAC

Wharfedale Diamond 12.1 & 12.2 Speakers

keith_correa

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Hey Guys:

Anyone here who uses a CHEAP CDP with a digital out to an inexpensive but good DAC [maybe a Beresford]?

Opinions sought on:

How this combo may sound as opposed to an "audiophile" grade CDP.
Whether such a CHEAP CDP with a digital out would be available.
 

moserw

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The audiophile CDP will absolutely butcher the cheap CDP (well good luck in finding one) or even a cheap DVDP with good DAC combo.
 

keith_correa

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The audiophile CDP will absolutely butcher the cheap CDP (well good luck in finding one) or even a cheap DVDP with good DAC combo.

Oh yes, I think we would all presume to know that - I mean the butchering part.
My question here would be - what would "butcher" mean wrt sound quality?
 
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keith_correa

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Cheap CDp- mar5001,TEAC
DAC- Beresford 7520

The MAR5001 would cost around Rs.15000 and though relatively cheap in price is not very "cheap" in SQ - I would consider it budget audiophile SQ.

A Beresford 7520 would cost ~Rs.12000 so combining it with a Rs.15000 CDP would not make sense - costwise.
There is an answer in there somewhere - if I can get the same SQ from maybe a MAR5001 costing Rs.15000 as opposed to combining a Rs.12000 DAC with even a Rs.3000 CD transport - would it be worth it? I think not.
 

spirovious

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The MAR5001 would cost around Rs.15000 and though relatively cheap in price is not very "cheap" in SQ - I would consider it budget audiophile SQ.

A Beresford 7520 would cost ~Rs.12000 so combining it with a Rs.15000 CDP would not make sense - costwise.
There is an answer in there somewhere - if I can get the same SQ from maybe a MAR5001 costing Rs.15000 as opposed to combining a Rs.12000 DAC with even a Rs.3000 CD transport - would it be worth it? I think not.

Well DVDp for 3000(china 1500) + 7520 (12k) = 15k
 

moserw

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Oh yes, I think we would all presume to know that - I mean the butchering part.
My question here would be - what would "butcher" mean wrt quality?

It sounds decent with good quality content like WAV, FLAC. Move to lossy formats and it gets worse. I've also tested the same content on my PC + Beresford and the SQ was definitely much, much better (not surprising since the transport in the PC is much better). With better soundcards the output also was much better. With the onboard soundcard it was not that good.

Funnily the DAC of the Asus soundcard I have performs better than anything else. Much better than the Beresford in fact.

The Beresford kicks in with good content + good transport which is lacking in all budget DVDPs. I've even checked the Beresford with good quality CDPs (costing around 25-30K) and found no improvement at all. The CDPs really did not need the Beresford and nor did the Beresford improve performance to any perceptible levels. The CDPs DAC was better in such instances.

I found the Oppo to be a much better option here. In terms of price its cheaper and also offers very good SQ.

Now all this is subjective so it might differ from person to person.

But if you want figures then a bad transport (budget CDP if any/DVDP) + Beresford will give around 40-50% output of any good CDP. This figure will obviously drop as you start climbing over the 50-60K mark in CDPs.
 

magma

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pair that beresford with any cheap PC having digital out and it should easily be better than most budget CDP's like the marantz5001

im pretty sure
 

moserw

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pair that beresford with any cheap PC having digital out and it should easily be better than most budget CDP's like the marantz5001

im pretty sure

Not sure what's a cheap PC here, but any PC with a good soundcard (good DAC) like an Asus will beat most CDPs not just the cheap ones. The specs on the Asus in fact are better than anything else at this point and in my test the Asus' DAC sounds better than anything else comparable.
 

magma

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moserwji
you have compared most combinations and have more experience in these
Though i subsrcibe in general to most views
i dont completely agree ( well i will be able to put my money where my mouth is soon enough when my beresford arrives) that a budget CDP(14-16k ish) would be better than a DVDP+beresford combo

INMO the cdp is 70%DAC and 30%transport
all that a better transport would do is reduce jitters and theoretically give a slightly error free signal ( not neccesarily a higher SQ siganl - at last not as much that wll be heard by budget/entry levelequip) to the DAC

i think a link above suggests that most manufactures used outsourced transports from DVDP makers too
typically i dont expect the transport of a 15-16k ish CDP to be all that great over a DVDP

my point being that i would probably expect the budget CDP to sound at par with a DVDP+DAC
yes maybe a little better but you may or may not notice that "better"

by cheap PC i meant any PC with digital out even of the MOB
 

moserw

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I'm sure you are right here and do keep us (or at least me posted about the progress). I've not heard a budget CDP. I've heard only the ones costing 30K and upwards in comparison to a budget (4K Philips) DVDP + Beresford and here the CDPs obviously win.

I agree that a DAC is more important that's why I keep stressing the Asus DAC is the best and sounds way better than anything else many times over its cost.

The thing is the Beresford DAC + budget DVDP does not perform as well as a dedicated CDP (costing upwards of 30K). Even when the CDP is only used as a transport the Beresford did not kick in or make a difference convincing me that the DAC of the CDPs was better than the Beresford. This is not surprising since the Beresford costs only 8K so a better DAC like a DacMagic or maybe a more expensive DAC could create magic even with a budget DVDP but that would defy logic since a CDP would work out cheaper.

The Beresford was most impressive with a PC and that too with a decent to good soundcard, not the onboard Realtek.

I will still say a PC with an Asus is way ahead of the back especially with analog outs. It just needs the right player like cPlay or Foobar and the right drivers like ASIO4ALL. The soundstage opens up way beyond anything else, the sound is cleaner and differentiation between each instrument crystal clear. I've found some expensive CDPs fail to do this, so what chance will an 8K Beresford have is my thinking. For the budget conscious though a Beresford makes a good choice as at 8K it will do what no one else can do since there is hardly anything available at 8K these days. If you have a PC though then at 8K an Asus will create sound magic on your system.

moserwji
you have compared most combinations and have more experience in these
Though i subsrcibe in general to most views
i dont completely agree ( well i will be able to put my money where my mouth is soon enough when my beresford arrives) that a budget CDP(14-16k ish) would be better than a DVDP+beresford combo

INMO the cdp is 70%DAC and 30%transport
all that a better transport would do is reduce jitters and theoretically give a slightly error free signal ( not neccesarily a higher SQ siganl - at last not as much that wll be heard by budget/entry levelequip) to the DAC

i think a link above suggests that most manufactures used outsourced transports from DVDP makers too
typically i dont expect the transport of a 15-16k ish CDP to be all that great over a DVDP

my point being that i would probably expect the budget CDP to sound at par with a DVDP+DAC
yes maybe a little better but you may or may not notice that "better"

by cheap PC i meant any PC with digital out even of the MOB
 

magma

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The Beresford was most impressive with a PC and that too with a decent to good soundcard, not the onboard Realtek.

.

moserw
i did not understand the above statement?
if one has a good SC like the ASUS DX/STX then why would he use a beresford

if you will use digital out from the PC(to connect to beresford) what difference will it be whether i use the inboard realteck mobo connection OR use another SC
in the end its digital signal only na?

that means you are asking one to get a decent to good SC + a beresford!?
that would defy the purposse of having a usb DAC altogether
 
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moserw

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moserw
i did not understand the above statement?
if one has a good SC like the ASUS DX/STX then why would he use a beresford

if you will use digital out from the PC(to connect to beresford) what difference will it be whether i use the inboard realteck mobo connection OR use another SC
in the end its digital signal only na?

that means you are asking one to get a decent to good SC + a beresford!?
that would defy the purposse of having a usb DAC altogether

I meant an external soundcard like Creative costing around Rs. 1200-1500 with a digital out. They are indeed much better than the onboard Realtek even for just a digital out from the soundcard. It might have to do with reducing internal PC noise, jitter, etc. but whatever the reason the onboard Realtek is notoriously bad for SQ.

If its an Asus then yes you don't need a Beresford, the analog outs are the best in terms of SQ.
 

Shuvc

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This is not surprising since the Beresford costs only 8K .....
For the budget conscious though a Beresford makes a good choice as at 8K it will do what no one else can do since there is hardly anything available at 8K these days. If you have a PC though then at 8K an Asus will create sound magic on your system.

I find this quite intriguing. Why is it that a 8K Beresford DAC is much much much inferior to a 8K ASUS.

And no, I'm not being sarcastic or questioning the reviews etc. I have heard neither, so am not even in a position to comment on their SQ.

But still .. I find it intriguing how a manufacturer can produce something for 8K, the SQ of which cannot be matched by something costing many times. How much would 'many' be? 5 times (40K CDP) ? 10 times (80K CDP)?
 

magma

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audiophile products like CDP's are grossly overpriced ( by overpriced i mean priced wayy above the cost price) comapred to PC components thats why..b
an asus card at 8k probably does wht many a reviewer say it does

Also the specs of the card are really super and leave behing specs of even inbuilt DAC's of cdp's
(of course i know specs have no meaning in real life but reviewers who have heard both ahve the same opinion as well)
 

spirovious

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Sc has many options,no need for special connection(cable),it can be used for both mov & music,so surr opt present.
 

moserw

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I know it sounds incredible...

All things same i.e. same amplifier, speakers, cables etc. and you consider a CDP and a PC with an Asus soundcard the PC + Asus combo will trump the CDP every single time. The PC + Asus combo will do what the CDP does i.e. play music and transport it but do it much, much better. The PC + Asus will do 192kHz/24bit. How many CDPs will do that? If a person already has a PC (and most do these days) then all that's required is an 8K soundcard. No CDP comes at that price. Now if you want a CDP that will do what the Asus soundcard does i.e. Analog Playback Sample Rate and Resolution 44.1K/48K/96K/192KHz @ 16/24bit, Output Signal-to-Noise Ratio 124dB, Frequency Response 10Hz to 90KHz... well you get the picture and you can only begin to imagine how much such a CDP will end up costing.

I was reading that a free crossover plugin for Foobar does a better job than a $1500 Bryston, free players like cPlay, Foobar will play music without jitter, better soundstage and more warmth.

Coming to why CDPs cost so much more well even I would sell for way over the costs involved if people were ready to pay and audiophiles/stereophiles are a special breed who do want to pay more so cannot really blame the CDP makers here. Also, PC makers are coming up with audiophile grade components like speakers, soundcards, HTPCs only now challenging the monopoly of the CDP makers. A few years ago music on my PC actually sounded horrible in comparison to my Sony CDP and even I used a CDP back then. I used to use the PC only to convert my CDs to MP3s to play on my Motorola ROKR mobile and my iPod, but never actually play music on it. Now of course things have changed and for the better. Still lots of bias against the PC. People want something that looks good like a CDP in their living room and not a PC and still want to pay more for far lesser SQ. Like I said audiophiles/stereophiles are a peculiar breed... no offense meant to anyone!

I find this quite intriguing. Why is it that a 8K Beresford DAC is much much much inferior to a 8K ASUS.

And no, I'm not being sarcastic or questioning the reviews etc. I have heard neither, so am not even in a position to comment on their SQ.

But still .. I find it intriguing how a manufacturer can produce something for 8K, the SQ of which cannot be matched by something costing many times. How much would 'many' be? 5 times (40K CDP) ? 10 times (80K CDP)?
 

prasen_b

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I have tried out the analog out of a Dell laptop and it did sound way better than my Philips DVD player. The thing is an external DAC will probably sound good only with a good SPDIF signal (now this depends on the actual transport as well as the electrical circuitry). A PC or HTPC is the best way of getting a good SPDIF signal. As mentioned use a good soundcard with transformed isolated SPDIF output and then use an external DAC. The good thing is that you can use the analog output of the soundcard and then later on as an upgrade buy an external DAC.
 
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