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Is budget DAC really good vs Mid segment CDP ?

amit_s

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The quality you get out of dac is also dependent on a large extent on the source that feeds your dac which includes computer and its power supply, operating system, music playing software and usb receiver inside your dac.
I realized this after trying multiple options on my dac e.g. laptop with windows, daphile, rpi with runeaudio, volumio, moode, dietpi and now allo usbridge.
It keeps you occupied with playing with it all the time.
 
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sound_cycle

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Spend the most on a DAC, multibit/NOS especially if content is RBCD.

I'd simply use a Pi as source/transport and it costs less than 5K. Many of us are using it and find it excellent. Or put any old PC or laptop to use as a source/transport. Or use the existing TEAC.

The greatest ROI (in your case) will be from a good DAC. Bifrost Multibit or Gungnir Multibit will walk all over the options listed here.
I said +1 upthread.

I have since added a dedicated Pre-.

Better by a clear country mile then my DAC direct setup.

Not bad for something that does nothing :lol:

ciao
gr
 

amitk777

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Thanks Sound_Cycle for the help !
I will come with my CDP and check how DAC boost SQ. Also I bought 2 tracks from Saregama 1 HD format and 2 320 kbps. Can check the difference in SQ of both format (i.e. how HD sounds with DAC)

I will PM you meeting timings...
Thanks again
It has been a interesting comparison for me as well. I have Raspberry PI 3 + hifiberry , if you want to compare you are welcome. I am in Gachbowli.
 

drkrack

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It has been a interesting comparison for me as well. I have Raspberry PI 3 + hifiberry , if you want to compare you are welcome. I am in Gachbowli.


I have a Rpi 3 with hifi berry DAC +
& a Gungnir DAC. The Rpi 3 with USB to Gungnir sounds much detailed enjoyable than through hifi berry. This is with the Wav files. Marantz CD player plays the Wav files much better than Rpi 3 in my setup.

Adding a cheaper tube buffer preamp to My Marantz CD 6006 analog output sounds better ( more forward sounding and details enhanced, like adding more contrast to the display) than Gungnir IMHO. Quality of the Source (both player and file) matters as much as the dedicated DAC. We can plan a weekend meeting for unbiased blind AB testing if possible.


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amitk777

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I have a Rpi 3 with hifi berry DAC +
& a Gungnir DAC. The Rpi 3 with USB to Gungnir sounds much detailed enjoyable than through hifi berry. This is with the Wav files. Marantz CD player plays the Wav files much better than Rpi 3 in my setup.

Adding a cheaper tube buffer preamp to My Marantz CD 6006 analog output sounds better ( more forward sounding and details enhanced, like adding more contrast to the display) than Gungnir IMHO. Quality of the Source (both player and file) matters as much as the dedicated DAC. We can plan a weekend meeting for unbiased blind AB testing if possible.


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Let's plan a weekend drkrack. It will be nice to meet each other all Hyderabadis.[emoji4]

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sudhirbhosale

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Let's plan a weekend drkrack. It will be nice to meet each other all Hyderabadis.[emoji4]

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Let's plan a weekend drkrack. It will be nice to meet each other all Hyderabadis.[emoji4]

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Thank you Amit and drkrack. Should we meet this weekend? I am at Kondapur and Amit at Gachhibowli. Not sure about location of drkrack. In the past sound_cycle also shown interest in AB comparison and he located in Tellpur. So we all in radius of 5km.

We can able to compare digital and analogue sources with some combinations i.e. cheap CDP Teac, good Marantz, Rpi, DACs and result would be beneficial to larger community

We can compare :
mp3/wave>> CDP analogue || digital-out + DAC || Rpi + DAC || Rpi + HatDAC

ACD>> CDP analogue || digital-out + DAC || digital-out + HatDAC
Apart from comparison, this can be Hyderabad member's Diwali meet as well :)

My contact is 9000345653.
 

drkrack

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I'm located at Banjara Hills Road 1. Please check pm


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amitk777

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It went well actually. Myself , Sudhir and Sudhir's friend met at drcracks place. It was a super listening room with acoustic treatment done. We compared Marantz CDP 6006, Hifiberry Dac+ and Gunghnir DAC. Hifiberry was no match for Marantz or as expected Gunghnir.
There was much to learn for me, from drcrack much experimentation with various devices and sources. In his setup even Apple TV at 320kbps was enjoyable.
I brought it my acoustic portrait swara integrated and we played a few tracks on that as well.
The cheap pre with tubes was also a revelation.
I would thanks drcrack for hosting us for a wonderful evening , out of his busy schedule.
 

newlash09

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Thanks for sharing your experience Amit :)
 
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sound_cycle

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It went well actually. Myself , Sudhir and Sudhir's friend met at drcracks place. It was a super listening room with acoustic treatment done. We compared Marantz CDP 6006, Hifiberry Dac+ and Gunghnir DAC. Hifiberry was no match for Marantz or as expected Gunghnir.
There was much to learn for me, from drcrack much experimentation with various devices and sources. In his setup even Apple TV at 320kbps was enjoyable.
I brought it my acoustic portrait swara integrated and we played a few tracks on that as well.
The cheap pre with tubes was also a revelation.
I would thanks drcrack for hosting us for a wonderful evening , out of his busy schedule.
Thanks.

Because I am OCD I have to correct spelling. that would be drkrack :)

That room is rather nice.

I plugged in the Chinese pre- into my rig at home and I was amazed. It was good. But then weeks later we plugged in Saga and then it was a very different story. I was to brining it along with me but got stuck with work.

Apple VBR is kind of iffy. Paul Simons Graceland "mastered for iTunes" is garbage. Many others are rather nice. You add Saga/ Vidar Bifrost (I wanted to hear how much Gungnir adds, that is for some other day) and then some ot the rather nice ones also don't seem that nice relly.

ciao
gr
 

drkrack

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Thanks.



Because I am OCD I have to correct spelling. that would be drkrack :)



That room is rather nice.



I plugged in the Chinese pre- into my rig at home and I was amazed. It was good. But then weeks later we plugged in Saga and then it was a very different story. I was to brining it along with me but got stuck with work.



Apple VBR is kind of iffy. Paul Simons Graceland "mastered for iTunes" is garbage. Many others are rather nice. You add Saga/ Vidar Bifrost (I wanted to hear how much Gungnir adds, that is for some other day) and then some ot the rather nice ones also don't seem that nice relly.



ciao

gr

Sorry because of a hectic Monday I couldn't chip in earlier, yes it was my pleasure to host them at my listening room on Sunday. We missed your inputs and of course your gear and comparison between bifrost multibit and Gungnir ; which we can schedule some time later.

The most important questions addressed were DAC & audio files Format differences. Again the importance of Source, speakers and acoustic treatment for final outcome in SQ was evident for all of us.

Cds were better than Wav in dynamic range and CDP with USB play is better than the Rpi 3. Source matters a lot and investing in a better media player should be a first upgrade before adding a DAC in the chain. We changed most of the Sources, including streaming from Apple TV and finally played directly from Samsung mobile with headphones out directly to Norge poweramp. All sounded decent enough to keep listening.

Which reminds me of the adage I read in some forum, you just need to figure out the best sounding speakers at your room for your source files ; rest everything in the chain don't make a very remarkable difference.

The cheaper Chinese tube Active preamp definitely colored the sound which instantly impresses any SS /Integrated / AVR listeners. Comparison with Saga at my place Will be quite rewarding I guess.

There was a DIY friend of Sudheer who has many ideas on the technical aspects which needed some good knowledge of the stuff beforehand.

It went well actually. Myself , Sudhir and Sudhir's friend met at drcracks place. It was a super listening room with acoustic treatment done. We compared Marantz CDP 6006, Hifiberry Dac+ and Gunghnir DAC. Hifiberry was no match for Marantz or as expected Gunghnir.

There was much to learn for me, from drcrack much experimentation with various devices and sources. In his setup even Apple TV at 320kbps was enjoyable.

I brought it my acoustic portrait swara integrated and we played a few tracks on that as well.

The cheap pre with tubes was also a revelation.

I would thanks drcrack for hosting us for a wonderful evening , out of his busy schedule.

The pleasure was all mine, we could've checked many comparisons at my place and drew a few conclusions from collective listening. If we focus on specific comparison in mind we could even do a blind AB testing for more reliable inferences. Anyways we can plan more properly next time.

I heard the acoustic portrait integrated amp with monitor audio speakers for the first time and I was pretty impressed. It is very clean sound with faithful amplification and more than worth the price its being offered. It comes with a remote as well. It is a good buy for anyone looking for integrated amp below 40k. I had suggested a used Creek evolution 50a for your post if I remember correctly, and I don't see this amp not much inferior to the Creek in anyway.




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tcpip

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always a budget dac sounds better than mid price cdp because of absence of jitter
It's hard for anyone to argue against a "it sounds better" argument, because it is subjective. But the reasoning you have given (jitter) appears to be exactly opposite to facts. An integrated CD player has the transport and DAC combined under a single clock, therefore there is no jitter. Jitter is a factor only when two separate appliances have independent clock generators, e.g. a separate CD player and a separate DAC. This much is fact, not opinion.
 

sudhirbhosale

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It went well actually. Myself , Sudhir and Sudhir's friend met at drcracks place. It was a super listening room with acoustic treatment done. We compared Marantz CDP 6006, Hifiberry Dac+ and Gunghnir DAC. Hifiberry was no match for Marantz or as expected Gunghnir.
There was much to learn for me, from drcrack much experimentation with various devices and sources. In his setup even Apple TV at 320kbps was enjoyable.
I brought it my acoustic portrait swara integrated and we played a few tracks on that as well.
The cheap pre with tubes was also a revelation.
I would thanks drcrack for hosting us for a wonderful evening , out of his busy schedule.
Thanks Amit for coordinating and Thanks drcrack for hosting. Apart from technical stuff there are some other aspects to share:
Nice tea arranged by drcrack - was necessary for discussion :)
There is lot more to check in various combinations, hence time was not enough. Few hours just passed very quickly.
We also had discussion of music tracks, formats, history, artistes etc. that was very interesting as well
Also drcrack show vintage amps. Could not listen due to no time
Overall it was different Sunday time :)

Sudhir
 

sound_cycle

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US$600 gets you a multi bit DAC.

which imeho is much better than the ds stuff for eg I have the PM 6005 (same DAC chip as the CD-P you mention). I would not waste that money if I were doing it today, post MB.

so a1) yes. if it multi bit :p a2) depends. i have heard the pm 6005, i have heard the buber. i dont like them DS things any more For the record, I have not specifically heard all of the ones you list. a3) transport matters I guess, but after you have the important stuff sorted out. I have only the ps3, a dvd player and pc to compare. no difference - all through optical outs. ATM I cannot hear differences across players, but that maybe just me.

ciaoth
gr
I've updated my views on this after some recent experiences.

The clock matters, the player matters and the DAC matters. As does the rest of your electronics, transducers and interconnects.

The question as posed cannot really have an answer.

If you are asking will a mid segment CDP give you better SQ than a budget DAC, I'd say it depends.

A mid segment CD-P **might** have a better clock and internals but what is that connected to ?

If your budget DAC is connected to random PC and your are playing VBR/ itunes, I'd guess the mid-segment CD-P might give you a better SQ, all other things remaining the same.

And ofc if the room is not treated etc, the whole SQ thing is moot anyway.

I'd still reach the same answer a better DAC, but that is because a CD-P cannot stream and you cannot easily/ (relatively) cheaply change out the DAC.

So where does that leave me, I'm thinking a better system to run roon maybe, something with an LPS and at some point I'll move my DAC to USB5 (I am on optical only) to get the benefit of asynchronous USB, or something. This is all idea-in-progress

ciao
gr
 
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