Author Topic: Is a DAC required?  (Read 873 times)

Offline Craigis

Is a DAC required?
« on: April 30, 2018, 06:58:03 PM »
I would just like to ask a quick question,
I am currently using a Marantz CD63 KI CD Player which is obviously a great cdp.
Would this sound any better running through a +- R5000 dac?
Or would a R1000 cdp running through the same dac sound the same?
Thanks

Offline stereosane

Re: Is a DAC required?
« Reply #1 on: April 30, 2018, 07:22:31 PM »
I played around with a few entry level players and Dacs, I preferred all of them with the Dac than on there own. I havenít heard that Marantz  cd player, but I found there was a bit more detail and clarity with using a Dac over just the player. Try lend a Dac first to play around with.

Offline Hi-Phibian

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Re: Is a DAC required?
« Reply #2 on: April 30, 2018, 08:59:28 PM »
Itís complicated.  No simple answers.   







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Offline scrarfussi

Re: Is a DAC required?
« Reply #3 on: May 02, 2018, 01:28:01 PM »
you have to try  its the only way to tell
suum cuique pulchrum est


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Offline Doge

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Re: Is a DAC required?
« Reply #4 on: May 02, 2018, 07:10:23 PM »
All DACs and working transports sound the same :sh1tstirrer:

Just kidding!

Bearing in mind that a portion of the player's cost goes into its DAC; three main things to consider are:
  • Subjective audio quality difference between DACs in isolation (incl. its output stage)
  • Subjective audio degradation caused by any jitter that may exist between two components
  • Measurable read accuracy of the different CD transports

Offline Nidri

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Re: Is a DAC required?
« Reply #5 on: May 03, 2018, 08:15:03 PM »
Itís complicated. No simple answers.   
Agreed.

You have to try, it's the only way to tell.
Agree with this too.

My 2c:
I would argue that your CDP is considered such a classic due to the total overall design.
(As far as I can remember, the CD63KI wasn't specifically noted for being an exceptional transport per se.)
So there might have been a special synergy at work here.
Perhaps the SM5872BS DAC* made by Nippon Precision Circuits (later bought by Seiko, in 2005) had some special mojo in this implementation.
Maybe Mr. Ishiwata really outdid himself with his coppery tweakery.
Who knows.

Depending on your preferences, connecting a modern day R5,000 DAC to your CDP might give you a perceived improvement of some kind. (I.e. If you value detail and transparency greatly, then a modern DAC, let's say a Sabre-based one, might be preferable.)
A different DAC might sound pretty much the same.
A particular combo might even sound worse to your ears.

Like Scarfussi said, you'd have to try.

* http://www.acoustica.org.uk/t/63/datasheets/SM5872.pdf

Offline Nidri

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Re: Is a DAC required?
« Reply #6 on: May 03, 2018, 10:07:05 PM »
P.S. This article was published just today:
https://www.whathifi.com/features/was-then-marantz-cd-63-mkii-ki-signature
They compare it to the present-day CD6006UK.

Offline Rotelman

Re: Is a DAC required?
« Reply #7 on: June 25, 2018, 04:39:41 PM »
Hi Craigis

I have a Marantz CD63 mk ii amongst others.

You're asking some reasonable questions here, but the answers are fraught with danger...

The answer to your 1st question is a 100% definitely yes i.m.h.o. You will pick up a distinct increase in clarity and detail.

The 2nd question is a bit unclear. Do you want to know if an el cheapo cdp would sound the same as the cd63 through the hypothetical R5k new DAC?  Audibly I very much doubt if you'll pick up any differences.


Offline chrisc

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Re: Is a DAC required?
« Reply #8 on: June 26, 2018, 01:01:20 PM »
I think you need to borrow a DAC or two or three and spend an afternoon listening, along with an experienced friend.  Unfortunately, you are in Natal, as I can get 3 different DACs here easily
Even duct tape canít fix stupidÖ but it can muffle the sound

Offline BJ

Re: Is a DAC required?
« Reply #9 on: June 26, 2018, 02:02:57 PM »
Itís complicated.  No simple answers.   







[Anyone who thinks that wealth is measured in money is blind and narrow minded.  Wealth is obviously measured in turntables and records.]
There is one....Get a TT😉😉

Just kidding.

The 63KI was very popular due to its musicality , and not necessarily more detail and dynamics.

So it will boils down to what signature you're after.
Various combinations will give different definitions.
So you will not necessarily improve in definition rather than a change in signature.
You have to try and decide for yourself what you want out of the System
Shunyata - See No Evil; Hear No Evil

Offline Scubadude

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Re: Is a DAC required?
« Reply #10 on: June 27, 2018, 06:47:51 AM »
If I were you I would look forget about modern DACs and look for a period piece. I recently picked up a 90's Theta DS Pro Progeny for about half your budget and it sounds lovely, even in the modern context ... Perhaps even more in the modern context where many DACs compete on meausrements and technicalities rather than engaging musical reproduction. And I can almost guarantee it will give the Marantz a lift.
"We should no more let numbers define audio quality than we should let chemical analysis be the arbiter of fine wines."  Nelson Pass

Offline Hi-Phibian

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Re: Is a DAC required?
« Reply #11 on: June 27, 2018, 07:42:42 AM »
Transports make a difference.  Especially on older dacs.  Hence I wouldnít fund the dac with the CD player sale.  Once you have a dac you can try things out.  Some DVD players have an electronic data stream buffer and make quite nice transports.  Many are dreadful.  If your intention is red book cd playback mostly then a classic high end dac will give a lot of music for your money.   







[Anyone who thinks that wealth is measured in money is blind and narrow minded.  Wealth is obviously measured in turntables and records.]
Proprietor of Croak Audio Exploration.
Fair, not crazy, cash paid for turntables and tonearms from Rega, Linn and Thorens.          http://www.croak.co.za

Offline stereosane

Re: Is a DAC required?
« Reply #12 on: June 27, 2018, 08:17:40 AM »
I just purchased an Audio-GD R2R11 Dac.. what a nice difference from my Delta Sigma Dac, and the sound quality for the price is off the charts, best Dac for the price Iíve ever heard. As much as I loved my Theta this Dac just sounds so much more musical, in the Thetaís defense my transport wasnít great at all, but thatís were the Audio -GD is better as itís not fussy with what transport you use. The Theta had better Bass and the music had an incredible impact to it, the Audio-GD isnít quite on that level, but in my system the Audio-GD is more open with loads more clarity, itís very very musical, the amount of low level info and recording venue atmosphere is incredible, it just gives a better sense of space and openess, the decay of instruments is also so much better. They arent lying when they say it sounds very analogue  :dance:


Offline Rotelman

Re: Is a DAC required?
« Reply #13 on: June 29, 2018, 01:25:12 PM »
There is one....Get a TT😉😉

Just kidding.

The 63KI was very popular due to its musicality , and not necessarily more detail and dynamics.

So it will boils down to what signature you're after.
Various combinations will give different definitions.
So you will not necessarily improve in definition rather than a change in signature.
You have to try and decide for yourself what you want out of the System

This is some great advice on this matter.

I came across this advice prior to going over to a DAC and to be honest, the essence of this advice went right over my head initially.
Only once I got to do A/B testing using the same CDP coupled via coax to a DAC leading to the preamp AND simultaneously coupled via RCAs to the preamp, it became abundantly clear that my ears preferred the sound from the external DAC above that of the onboard one in my beloved CD63 Mk ii.

The outcome was totally unexpected to me as I was under the impression that the CD63 Mk ii had a "better" onboard DAC (SM5872BS) than that in my external DAC (AK4328-VP - CS8412-CP).

The external DACs signature was just in better alignment with the rest of my system and the synergy made a huge difference.