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CA 851A vs AVR

Aug 13, 2020
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Hi I recently bought a CA 851C CD player and was considering purchasing a 851A for music. However when I ran it thru my Azur 351R AVR it sounded better in stereo mode (ie thru the AVR's DAC) compared to the analog direct mode. I assumed that the DACs on the 851C would have been better than a budget AVR. In this case would it be a waste to get the 851A since it doesn't have a DAC?
 

millennia_one

Well-known member
Sep 1, 2014
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Hi I recently bought a CA 851C CD player and was considering purchasing a 851A for music. However when I ran it thru my Azur 351R AVR it sounded better in stereo mode (ie thru the AVR's DAC) compared to the analog direct mode. I assumed that the DACs on the 851C would have been better than a budget AVR. In this case would it be a waste to get the 851A since it doesn't have a DAC?
Hi There, this is not an easy one to answer and you're going to get a lot of different options and lines of thought on the matter.

There are 2-3 lines of thought here,

1. The analog inputs of the amp just aren't that good and more thought has gone into the digital side of things. Which is very possible.

2. the DAC is rubbish in the CD player ( dobut it as its not really the DAC the makes the sound in fact has little to no bearing on sound)

3. You need to buy a better interconnect ;)


Hope i understood correctly, and you're not just saying you turned on a different mode on the amp?
 
Aug 13, 2020
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My understanding is that the CD player is Cambridge Audio's top of the line. Also I have upgraded my interconnects from audioquest forest to the sydney series. I mean I can hear a significant improvement over my old cdp n rca but m just surprised that the AVR stereo mode is better than direct analog ( the soundstage is more spacious n dynamic). I was thinking of getting the matching 851A amplifier to upgrade the output from 70 to 120 watts but am now concerned that the upgrade might not result in better SQ.
 

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