DAC question.....Please help


New member
Feb 11, 2008
Hey guys,
Need some help. I am in the process of building up a cd collection as its the best sound quality i have heard through my system. However, I have a massive collection (nabbed of various friends over 4 years) on my computer and my ipod. At the moment i plug my i pod into my amplifier directly via phono- coax wire. However the sound is no where near as good as a cd (even in high bitrate) and i seem to have to turn my amp up very loud to get any sort of volume. How can i imrove this? Will buying a DAC help? What exactly do they do? I read that all cd players have a DAC. Can i somehow plug my ipod into my cd player to use the cd player DAC (i have a cyrus cd6)? Alternativly I was considering buying a really good sound card and playing my music through my computer? Any other suggestions?

Thanks for readinga and any help is greatly appreciated.

El Hefe

Well-known member
Jun 21, 2008

DAC stands for Digital to Analogue Converter. It basically converts the digital data on your CD to analoque signal in order to reproduce the music that we listen to. A CD player will usually have a built in CD player except for those 2 boxes CD player where they have a transport and DAC separately. The sound of a CD player can also be enhanced by connecting it to a separate DAC either using coaxial or optical cable. Cyrus CD 6 should also have either one of these connections or even both.

As far as I know, iPod cannot be connected to a DAC, let alone your CD player.

For the volume issue on the amp, most probably you have your iPod volume at low level, hence u have to crank up your amp volume. Set your iPOd volume to 3/4 of the max, then adjust your amp volume. Thats what I did. You can also purchase an iPod dock and invest in a good interconnect between your iPod and amp like th CHORD Company iChord Mini Jack to improve the sound quality.


Your CD6 has no optical in, so you cannot use your cd players DAC.

My advice would be to get a matching DAC-X and use the CD6 as a transport. You could then use one of the many optical/coaxial inputs in the DAC for an airport express or similar, but this is expensive.

For less cash, get a cheaper offboard DAC like the Beresford (c. £100). I would advise putting your cdp through this as it's probably not as good as Cyrus's though


Well-known member
Jan 10, 2008
Get a cambridge dock (richer sounds do them for about £30), as the output from the dock port is far better than the headphone socket. It'll charge the ipod as well...


New member
Jan 7, 2008
The gain on the iPod will be lower than the CD player (try turning the iPod volume up).

But if you have everything on the computer anyway, then the best bet is to get a cheap DAC (such as the Beresford), and plug it into your soundcard via SPDIF (assuming it has one). Instant transformatiuo.
There is of course also the Wadia transport, which although extremely overpriced, is currently the only way of directly grabbing the iPods digital output (You still need to buy a DAC).



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