External DAC

Gadusmorhua

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I've been more than satisfied with the used Denon PM600ne amp I bought recently, to my ears it sounds magnificent. My previous amp was a CA A1 to which I hooked up a Chord Mojo, improving the sound massively. Being prone to tinkering I've just connected the Mojo to my new amp, and (think) it sounds warmer- certainly not the game changer it was with the old amp.
I understand that I am inputting an analogue signal into the Denon- do analogue inputs totally bypass the amp's dac? I presume the answer is yes, but I have a vague recollection that sometimes analogue is converted to digital for further processing.
I am also wondering if I could benefit from feeding the analogue output from my CD into my WiiM Pro Plus via the RCA line in sockets to see if the WiiM's dac is superior to the (1993) cd player dac. Will that work and be safe to do? Again, I'm satisfied with the Marantz CD sound, but have the feeling that its thirty year old dac will be inferior to the Mojo.
 

DougK1

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Analogue into your amp will bypass any need for digital conversion processes.
You'd need a digital out from your CDP to use the DAC in your Wiim. Analogue feed from CDP to Wiim will only use the Wiim as an unnecessary pass-through... keep it simple.

PS. Whatever DAC you wish to use would need a digital feed and analogue output:
CDP > analogue > amp
CDP > digital > amp DAC
CDP > digital > Wiim > analogue > amp
CDP > digital > Mojo > analogue > amp
Or multiple variations of this.
 
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Stuart83

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"Doug" is spot on 👍

Also I have been down the dac route indirectly lately with surprising results when replacing an aging Marantz cd52 mk2 which coincidentally is also an 1993 CD player which took the best in budget award from what hifi etc.

I demoed many cd players and transports with various external dacs to find that the Marantz cd52 (with its internal dac) despite age is as my ears always told me very good.

However despite repairing it once already it's now failing via door jitter (which I'm also repairing) as it's always been a favourite with attached sentimental value.

I did however in view of this still get another cd player as its age meant I wanted something more inline with the main hifi it's inclusive with.

I had to "personally" go with another Marantz this time the more expensive "cd 60" to get what's to my ears perhaps a little better than the cd 52 of yesteryear.

I know people like to think things are better with dacs now and on paper without going into the technicalities of why they should be and owning 3 separate "external" DACs all with vastly different prices and age.
I've found other than the support of high Res audio the following :

Past a "certain price point" I didn't and don't hear a big improvement with newer dacs as opposed to the much older quality equivalents.

The Marantz cd52's sounds very good and so does an old "Dacmagic" which I only recently gifted to my father.
Just as always there's sometimes a different type of sound.

It just goes to show how good it was then inline with its various accolades of the day.

I do now have CD players (permitting they have it) connected with both "digital out" and "analogue rca" so I can cycle between two DACs (internal and external to the CDP) but only because this function is already there as my arcam amp has its own very good inbuilt ESS SABER DAC.

The odd occasion I use Spotify via a smartphone Bluetooth connection I use an ifizen which are very good an amazing value.
IMO the best budget "Bluetooth DAC" around.
 
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camcroft

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"Doug" is spot on 👍

Also I have been down the dac route indirectly lately with surprising results when replacing an aging Marantz cd52 mk2 which coincidentally is also an 1993 CD player which took the best in budget award from what hifi etc.

I demoed many cd players and transports with various external dacs to find that the Marantz cd52 (with its internal dac) despite age is as my ears always told me very good.

However despite repairing it once already it's now failing via door jitter (which I'm also repairing) as it's always been a favourite with attached sentimental value.

I did however in view of this still get another cd player as its age meant I wanted something more inline with the main hifi it's inclusive with.

I had to "personally" go with another Marantz this time the more expensive "cd 60" to get what's to my ears perhaps a little better than the cd 52 of yesteryear.

I know people like to think things are better with dacs now and on paper without going into the technicalities of why they should be and owning 3 separate "external" DACs all with vastly different prices and age.
I've found other than the support of high Res audio the following :

Past a "certain price point" I didn't and don't hear a big improvement with newer dacs as opposed to the much older quality equivalents.

The Marantz cd52's sounds very good and so does an old "Dacmagic" which I only recently gifted to my father.
Just as always there's sometimes a different type of sound.

It just goes to show how good it was then inline with its various accolades of the day.

I do now have CD players (permitting they have it) connected with both "digital out" and "analogue rca" so I can cycle between two DACs (internal and external to the CDP) but only because this function is already there as my arcam amp has its own very good inbuilt ESS SABER DAC.

The odd occasion I use Spotify via a smartphone Bluetooth connection I use an ifizen which are very good an amazing value.
IMO the best budget "Bluetooth DAC" around.
You mean the iFi Zen Blue don't you. In case anyone looks it up.
 

Gadusmorhua

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Jan 19, 2024
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Analogue into your amp will bypass any need for digital conversion processes.
You'd need a digital out from your CDP to use the DAC in your Wiim. Analogue feed from CDP to Wiim will only use the Wiim as an unnecessary pass-through... keep it simple.

PS. Whatever DAC you wish to use would need a digital feed and analogue output:
CDP > analogue > amp
CDP > digital > amp DAC
CDP > digital > Wiim > analogue > amp
CDP > digital > Mojo > analogue > amp
Or multiple variations of this.
Thanks, that's clear now.
"Doug" is spot on 👍

Also I have been down the dac route indirectly lately with surprising results when replacing an aging Marantz cd52 mk2 which coincidentally is also an 1993 CD player which took the best in budget award from what hifi etc.

I demoed many cd players and transports with various external dacs to find that the Marantz cd52 (with its internal dac) despite age is as my ears always told me very good.

However despite repairing it once already it's now failing via door jitter (which I'm also repairing) as it's always been a favourite with attached sentimental value.

I did however in view of this still get another cd player as its age meant I wanted something more inline with the main hifi it's inclusive with.

I had to "personally" go with another Marantz this time the more expensive "cd 60" to get what's to my ears perhaps a little better than the cd 52 of yesteryear.

I know people like to think things are better with dacs now and on paper without going into the technicalities of why they should be and owning 3 separate "external" DACs all with vastly different prices and age.
I've found other than the support of high Res audio the following :

Past a "certain price point" I didn't and don't hear a big improvement with newer dacs as opposed to the much older quality equivalents.

The Marantz cd52's sounds very good and so does an old "Dacmagic" which I only recently gifted to my father.
Just as always there's sometimes a different type of sound.

It just goes to show how good it was then inline with its various accolades of the day.

I do now have CD players (permitting they have it) connected with both "digital out" and "analogue rca" so I can cycle between two DACs (internal and external to the CDP) but only because this function is already there as my arcam amp has its own very good inbuilt ESS SABER DAC.

The odd occasion I use Spotify via a smartphone Bluetooth connection I use an ifizen which are very good an amazing value.
IMO the best budget "Bluetooth DAC" around.
Mine is a Marantz 41, I don't think it won any prizes but I like the sound for sure.TBH I bought it because it was only £60 and had a new tray and motor fitted- and I'm impetuous! I would have to listen hard to another CDP before shelling out proper money just to get digital connections.
 

DougK1

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Thanks, that's clear now.

Mine is a Marantz 41, I don't think it won any prizes but I like the sound for sure.TBH I bought it because it was only £60 and had a new tray and motor fitted- and I'm impetuous! I would have to listen hard to another CDP before shelling out proper money just to get digital connections.
Thanks for the model number (y) I can now see you don't have a digital output on the CDP so you're not going to able to use either the Wiim or Mojo as an external DAC for the player. Shame as it appears the CD-42 did have a digital output.
 

My2Cents

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I'm somewhat confused as to what you are doing.
The Mojo only has digital inputs (Coax, optical and USB) and two 3.5mm headphone outs. So how are you 'hooking up' the Mojo to your Denon amp?
 

My2Cents

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Surely he can take a feed, with the right cables, from a headphone out socket to his amp?
It's an analogue out socket after all.
I'm guessing that this is what he is doing, I wonder what the source is?
I'm not a huge fan of using headphone outs into 'consumer' line level ins (e.g. RCA aux ins on an amp.).
Consumer line level is -10dBV which is .316 volts. If the headphone out is set too high it may overload the aux in.
The headphone out volume needs to be set carefully and even then noise can be a problem.
 
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I'm guessing that this is what he is doing, I wonder what the source is?
I'm not a huge fan of using headphone outs into 'consumer' line level ins (e.g. RCA aux ins on an amp.).
Consumer line level is -10dBV which is .316 volts. If the headphone out is set too high it may overload the aux in.
The headphone out volume needs to be set carefully and even then noise can be a problem.
Every output from any Chord DAC needs care, as they are renowned for offering 3v, 4v and more. And trying to remember what colour buttons you need is a nightmare. Great sound, but the most awful ergonomics ever, imv.
 
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Gadusmorhua

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I'm guessing that this is what he is doing, I wonder what the source is?
I'm not a huge fan of using headphone outs into 'consumer' line level ins (e.g. RCA aux ins on an amp.).
Consumer line level is -10dBV which is .316 volts. If the headphone out is set too high it may overload the aux in.
The headphone out volume needs to be set carefully and even then noise can be a problem.
Yes, I learned that with my first amp, a CA A1. knowing even less than I do now I set the line out to 3V which caused permanent distortion on the RCA circuit I used.
Now I have a more expensive amp I'm more careful, and to be honest I've sort of decided the Mojo DAC is just different, not superior to, the amp's onboard DAC.
One day I'll look at external DACs and a CDP that has digital connection, but right now I'm just going to enjoy my music. Thanks all.
 

Stuart83

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Jul 22, 2023
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You mean the iFi Zen Blue don't you. In case anyone looks it up.
Yes indeed I do, it's coincidentally also an ess saber DAC which I've always found to be very good.
I've found it flawless all round even telling me what formats are being received via a changing colour logo 😊

Ps wonder what dac is in the Denon?
I'm in a rush this morning thus can't find it as I've got a house move to see to.
There's an unknown older early 00s Denon amp and cd player there found in a cupboard of an unused loft conversion which will be interesting.
 
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