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Arcam CD73T benefit from ext DAC?

NJB

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Nov 28, 2008
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So, is it worth pairing my ARCAM CD73T with an external DAC? I suspect that the CD73T has a decent DAC stage anyway, but it is a few years old. I am tempted to shop around, but the obvious first choice is the ARCAM irDAC. I also use an iPod with lossless files through a Pure i20 dock, and I would expect that to see a more significant improvement. However, as the CD player is my go to source then that is where I need to justify a spend.
 

plastic penguin

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Apr 28, 2008
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Yes the 73T does have a good dac already. But as you want to use losseless files, an additional external dac would be good. The Arcam CDP makes a good transport. However, my only experience was with a Rega dac. Although the sound was slightly improved it didn't quite have the wow-factor for my taste.

You'll need to dem and see which ones give you right presentation.

BTW, what amp are you currently using? Depending on amp and speakers it might be worth looking at Audiolab's 8200, which is a CDP with a built-in dac.
 

NJB

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Hi Plastic, I am still using my 25 year old Naim NAC62/NAP90 combo. I seem to be collecting speakers, I am currently using Totem Dreamcatchers, but have an old pair of Epos ES14s and just bought some Dynaudio Excite X12 for a bargain price. They all have a different presentation and I like the variation.
 

bluedroog

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You may yield small improvements but unless you can make use of multiple inputs I'd suggest your money would be better spent elsewhere. Or better saved until you can afford to make an ungraded that will really count.

I suspect you'd be a little underwhelmed by adding a DAC.
 

NJB

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Nov 28, 2008
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Interesting idea Plastic. Guess the 8200cd would show my 73T a clean pair of heels.
 

jimbofisher

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Aug 17, 2007
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I have a CD73 and Rega DAC. It does change the sound, for the better IMHO. However I got the DAC mainly for the SB Touch I have and it significantly raised the sound of that to the point that it is equal to the Cd. This means that I rarely use the cd but use the Flac files via the Touch which means I can be lazy.

Would it be worth it for the CD73, in my view no, too much money for not a great increase in sound. BUT if you see yourself moving away from CDs to streaming then, for me , it was definitely worth it.
 

plastic penguin

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Apr 28, 2008
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NJB said:
Interesting idea Plastic. Guess the 8200cd would show my 73T a clean pair of heels.
It certainly should do. Alternatively look at a s/hand or ex-dem CD5i-2, this should be a great match with your amps and add a rDac. Again this'll come down to playing priorities: If you still have a stock of cds or not.
 

ErwinC

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Nov 24, 2009
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NJB said:
I seem to be collecting speakers, I am currently using Totem Dreamcatchers, but have an old pair of Epos ES14s and just bought some Dynaudio Excite X12 for a bargain price. They all have a different presentation and I like the variation.
Good choice :cheers:
 

MakkaPakka

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May 25, 2013
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NJB said:
Guess the 8200cd would show my 73T a clean pair of heels.
Why? Just because it's newer and more expensive doesn't change the fact it's ancient technology where meaningful improvements were achieved long ago. I would put money on you not being able to tell them apart in a blind A/B switch.
 

matthewpiano

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Nov 23, 2007
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I have to say, as another example, I'm currently using a Rotel RCD965BX which I've had for a long time. It sounds superb and at least as good as any of the modern players I've owned. Don't assume that something newer is always going to be better. The CD73T was, and remains, a good player.
 

NJB

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I agree, although I am sure that the key components such as DAC chips have matured and so a good implementation of a modern chipset is going to give better results. However, as there are many aspects that make for a good system then a well made older product is always going to have its place. One of the factors that I should be considering, I suppose, is that the CD73T is some 15 years old, and the core transport is probably a mass produced Philips or Sony unit. That has endured 15 years of use and I wonder what the expected life of the laser, stepper motor etc is? The more I think about it, the more the Audiolab 8200CD makes sense. I can feel an audition coming on.
 

damonster

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Oct 30, 2008
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NJB said:
I agree, although I am sure that the key components such as DAC chips have matured and so a good implementation of a modern chipset is going to give better results. However, as there are many aspects that make for a good system then a well made older product is always going to have its place. One of the factors that I should be considering, I suppose, is that the CD73T is some 15 years old, and the core transport is probably a mass produced Philips or Sony unit. That has endured 15 years of use and I wonder what the expected life of the laser, stepper motor etc is? The more I think about it, the more the Audiolab 8200CD makes sense. I can feel an audition coming on.
If you are serious about getting the Audiolab 8200cd,Fanthorpes hifi in Hull may have a pre-owned one going up for sale in the next few days.Could be worth giving them a call.
 

plastic penguin

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Apr 28, 2008
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I think you need to keep the whole thing in perspective: The Audiolab is essentially a £800 player. The 73T, on the other hand, still cuts the mustard in the sub-£500 sector. Having heard the CD73 with Naim XS/Dynaudio Contour S1.4 combo, and had it in my Leema/MA set up it's still a very good player.
 

ErwinC

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Nov 24, 2009
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NJB said:
That has endured 15 years of use and I wonder what the expected life of the laser, stepper motor etc is?
Much longer than the expected life of most modern cd players. ;)
 

BigH

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Dec 29, 2012
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ErwinC said:
NJB said:
That has endured 15 years of use and I wonder what the expected life of the laser, stepper motor etc is?
Much longer than the expected life of most modern cd players. ;)
Thats true my Marantz 63SE is 20 years and still going strong, read about so many cdp on here going wrong after a few years. Instead of Audiolab I may look at the Marantz Pearl Lite they are going for about £600 new now.
 

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