How important is the source?

admin_exported

New member
Aug 10, 2019
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When I say source I'm not reffering to the actual recording, but the means of replaying it, or getting it to ones amp/DAC/active speakers. I think that a good source is important, but I don't believe that one needs to spend big to get a good source, I'm personally very happy with the quality of Spotify, fed to my ADMs which have an on board DAC.

If I want to listen to a CD I'll stick one in my Sony Blu-Ray player which feeds the digital data to the ADMs, which for me is good enough.

I once had a Marantz CD6003 which I thought was a lovely machine, I compared it to my Blu-Ray player and very marginally preffered it, so it was flogged to release funds.

How important is the source to you? Do you believe that expensive CDPs sound much better than the likes of the Marantz? Do you believe that some makes/models of CDPs sound better with other specific makes and models of amps? And if so, why?

Thanks..
 

CnoEvil

New member
Aug 21, 2009
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Max, what's the best source you've ever heard and what system was it being used in?

Have you heard a decent TT or Streamer?
 

Overdose

Well-known member
Feb 8, 2008
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I had a rather nice Rotel RCD991AE, which sounded a lot better than my previous CD player (CD500SE), now that was probably down to the output stages, if so, an expensive source would have its value in its output stage. If using a good DAC, any digital source plugged in could be very basic indeed and still sound great, in this case, the DAC becomes the source.

I wouldn't bother with an expensive CD player any more though, as apart from being legacy equipment, they are too limited in function and can have a short life due to the transport mechanisms/laser assembly and a lot better VFM can be had with a DAC/Preamp combo IMO.

Anyhoo Max, weren't you off?
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
CnoEvil said:
Max, what's the best source you've ever heard and what system was it being used in?

Have you heard a decent TT or Streamer?
Hi Cno, I once heard a Marantz Pearl CDP of some description, I believe it cost about a grand, I heard it in Munstersounds in conjunction with the matching amp and Some Dynaudio Excite floorstanders, I didn't hear another CDP in that setup for comparison though.

I've never heard a TT.

A Streamer doesn't have a sound beyond perhaps it's DAC, IMO, for example, I'm of the opinion that an Airport Express being fed Spotify, will be as good as any expensive streamer that one might care to mention, nothing can differ in the digital domain, and that means that only the on board DAC can possibly have any influence on the sound, and I don't believe there's much of a difference between DACs at all, certainly not in my limited experience of comparisons, and from what I've read, the results of blind tests etc.
 

simonlewis

New member
Apr 15, 2008
590
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Extremely. ;)

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FennerMachine

New member
Feb 5, 2011
83
0
0
I used my Sega Saturn as a CD source through my TV to my pre-amp (without getting a fancy SCART cable with separate phono connector) to test the sound output for my games consoles.

It sounded 'accurate' but 'clinical', lacking emotion and feeling to the music. Sounded great for games though!

My Cyrus CD7Q is obviously noticeable better in my opinion.

Having said that, I have not demoed a transport/DAC system.

I have however used my PC as a source and preferred my Cyrus CD7Q.
 
T

the record spot

Guest
Yes I think sources matter, or at least some do. I've had a number of CD players over the years and there were noticeable differences between some and less so between others. My current Denon player (£1000 new) is probably the best I've had - more cohesiveness and clarity to the music than I was getting in the room from my Marantz.

I imagine it's because the Denon is apparently a lean sounding player, which means the resulting output suits the constraints affecting the stereo setup in my room.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
simonlewis said:
Extremely. ;)

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
:)
 

BenLaw

Well-known member
Nov 21, 2010
475
7
18,895
the record spot said:
Yes I think sources matter, or at least some do. I've had a number of CD players over the years and there were noticeable differences between some and less so between others. My current Denon player (£1000 new) is probably the best I've had - more cohesiveness and clarity to the music than I was getting in the room from my Marantz.

I imagine it's because the Denon is apparently a lean sounding player, which means the resulting output suits the constraints affecting the stereo setup in my room.
So it has good synergy with the rest of your system?
 

jaxwired

Well-known member
Feb 7, 2009
284
6
18,895
Well, everything is important if you want great sound. Everything in the chain can degrade the sound. As to what is most important, I'd rank them like this:

Speakers

Preamp (if you have a seaparate one)

Amp

Source

Cables

But, I don't think we'll find much consensus on this subject.
 
T

the record spot

Guest
BenLaw said:
the record spot said:
Yes I think sources matter, or at least some do. I've had a number of CD players over the years and there were noticeable differences between some and less so between others. My current Denon player (£1000 new) is probably the best I've had - more cohesiveness and clarity to the music than I was getting in the room from my Marantz.

I imagine it's because the Denon is apparently a lean sounding player, which means the resulting output suits the constraints affecting the stereo setup in my room.
So it has good synergy with the rest of your system?
In this room, yes, there's a good balance. Sounds great.
 

AlmaataKZ

New member
Jan 7, 2009
295
1
0
jaxwired said:
Well, everything is important if you want great sound. Everything in the chain can degrade the sound. As to what is most important, I'd rank them like this:

Speakers

Preamp (if you have a seaparate one)

Amp

Source

Cables

But, I don't think we'll find much consensus on this subject.
+1
 

nopiano

Well-known member
AlmaataKZ said:
jaxwired said:
Well, everything is important if you want great sound. Everything in the chain can degrade the sound. As to what is most important, I'd rank them like this:

Speakers

Preamp (if you have a seaparate one)

Amp

Source

Cables

But, I don't think we'll find much consensus on this subject.
+1
Is that +1 agreeing with this order, or agreeing we won't find much agreement?

I'd say not much chance of agreeing!

As as for the OP, of course it is worth spending more on the source if you can appreciate and afford it. It cannot be improved from that point, so the better it starts the better it will end up.

Do try to hear a hi-end system some time, and ideally a turntable. Even a hi-fi show would do, but a decent dealer would be better. They might even show you a really great source on a modest system - that is worth seeking out.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
nopiano said:
AlmaataKZ said:
jaxwired said:
Well, everything is important if you want great sound. Everything in the chain can degrade the sound. As to what is most important, I'd rank them like this:

Speakers

Preamp (if you have a seaparate one)

Amp

Source

Cables

But, I don't think we'll find much consensus on this subject.
+1
Is that +1 agreeing with this order, or agreeing we won't find much agreement?

I'd say not much chance of agreeing!

As as for the OP, of course it is worth spending more on the source if you can appreciate and afford it. It cannot be improved from that point, so the better it starts the better it will end up.

Do try to hear a hi-end system some time, and ideally a turntable. Even a hi-fi show would do, but a decent dealer would be better. They might even show you a really great source on a modest system - that is worth seeking out.
I have some nice speakers, not sure they'd be considered hi-end as they aren't expensive, but they sound great, I'll try to get an expensive CDP here to demo one day to see if it adds anything.
 

steve_1979

Well-known member
Jul 14, 2010
231
8
18,795
nopiano said:
As as for the OP, of course it is worth spending more on the source if you can appreciate and afford it. It cannot be improved from that point, so the better it starts the better it will end up.

Do try to hear a hi-end system some time, and ideally a turntable. Even a hi-fi show would do, but a decent dealer would be better. They might even show you a really great source on a modest system - that is worth seeking out.
I've heard a few expensive turntables, my favourite was a heavily tweeked Technics 1210 which was very nice. Vinyl has a likable sound with unique character. It's also a lot of fun to use - removing a record from from its sleeve, checking for dust, placing it on the platter, lifting the arm and gently placing the needle on the record feels like an event in itself. With digital music you just select the name of a song from a list and it plays. It's easy and convenient but it doesn't have the same emotional connection that vinyl does. There's no sense of occasion with digital music.

However I do think that digital music has better sound quality than vinyl. I also think that the differences between good quality digital sources are very small. I also think that a cheap but good quality digital source can sound very similar or even identical to a much more expensive digital source.

IMO you don't need to spend a fortune to get a very good quality, low distortion digital source. You're better saving money on the source and putting more of your budget towards getting the best the amp and speakers that you can afford because these will make a much bigger difference to the overall sound quality.
 

Frank Harvey

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Jun 27, 2008
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Ive done many source comparisons, and in my own system about 10 years ago I compared my Pioneer DV737 DVD player to a Teac VRDS10, both acting as transports, being fed digitally into a Tag AV32R pre-amp. The bass performance of the Teac was noticeably better, almost making the Pioneer sound lacking. The Teac was more refined in its top end too.

Many times I've heard systems that just aren't quite working - maybe it is lacking synergy, maybe not, but if your source isn't making the right noises, the rest of the system can't make up for that.
 

lindsayt

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Apr 8, 2011
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If digital music has better sound quality than vinyl, how come my vinyl version of Jethro Tull's Broadsword and the Beast sounds better than my CD version in my system? The CD version sounds as if an incredible shrinking man was given one of those metal scouring pads and then shrunk down to size and given the task of scrubbing all the grooves.

I'd rather listen to this album through my record player with my £500 speakers than through my CD player with my £5500 speakers.

And vinyl isn't even the best sounding analogue source...
 

WishTree

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May 18, 2010
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steve_1979 said:
IMO you don't need to spend a fortune to get a very good quality, low distortion digital source. You're better saving money on the source and putting more of your budget towards getting the best the amp and speakers that you can afford because these will make a much bigger difference to the overall sound quality.
For few years I used to think the same until I heard the Pearl Lite amp with the Pearl Lite Player. Then I realized how a good source can make a big difference. Now if I have to prioritize then source tops the list followed by speakers and amps.
 

steve_1979

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Jul 14, 2010
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lindsayt said:
If digital music has better sound quality than vinyl, how come my vinyl version of Jethro Tull's Broadsword and the Beast sounds better than my CD version in my system? The CD version sounds as if an incredible shrinking man was given one of those metal scouring pads and then shrunk down to size and given the task of scrubbing all the grooves.
Some CD's have limited dynamic range deliberately recorded onto them because of the loudness war. Have you ever heard the RHCP album 'Californication'? The CD is almost unlistenable because it's so bad but if you hear the the pre-mastered studio version the quality is much better.

Recording and mastering are very important factors of the sound quality. But all thing being equal digital is much more accurate than vinyl can ever be.
 

chebby

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Jun 2, 2008
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I don't really have seperate sources any more (certainly none that are analogue).

Our Humax and Blu-ray player are both connected (with HDMI) digitally to our television and the television connected to DAC inside the M-CR603 with optical digital cable. (For when I play the sound from any of them through the stereo.)

Any other sources are all built in (CD, FM, DAB) or are AirPlay 'sources' (iPlayer, TuneIn Radio Pro and iTunes from iPhone or iTunes - lossless - from our iMac).

However, back when I last had seperates, the FM tuner was always my favourite source (as FM still is) and CD was a distant 2nd (or even third back when I had vinyl) and I only started to like CD around 2008 - 2009.

I'd owned various CD players on and off - mostly off - since 1987 and had even accumulated a good collection of discs over the years. But I never really liked the sound of CDs until (a) I started ripping them to iTunes and playing them back via a DAC (b) I got the Naim CD5i.

(Even then the CD5i - despite being very good - spent very little time being played in comparison to the NAT05 tuner.)

On balance, spread out over the last 30 something years, I have preferred FM (75 percent), Vinyl (20 percent) and CD (5 percent or lower). All a bit approximate i'm afraid.

More recently (the last 3 years) I have played more CD material (mostly in the form of ripped CDs) but over 50 percent of that is documentary/drama/comedy/spoken word.

My wife plays CDs 'properly' (as CDs, not rips) far more than I do even though she is a 'radio nut' too :)

So, to summarise a bit...

Buying any CD players at all - about six of them since 1987 - only really benefitted me because of the 'legacy' of the CD collection it resulted in.

I only really enjoyed CD from 3 - 4 years ago (and partly because of being able to rip them).

Vinyl was my primary source - for purchased music - for most of the last 30 years until I got rid of my last turntable two and a half years ago.

FM has been the main reason I owned any hi-fi or stereo since I was a teenager and it still is.
 

hoopsontoast

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Oct 1, 2011
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I would say, that, with digital, it can be very cheap to get to a high level of replay (a £50 CDP can sound excelent) where as with vinyl, there are more variables and you really need to spend a lot more to get the same level of performance.

IME, in order of importance

Speakers

Amplifier

Source

Cables
 

nopiano

Well-known member
hoopsontoast said:
I would say, that, with digital, it can be very cheap to get to a high level of replay (a £50 CDP can sound excelent) where as with vinyl, there are more variables and you really need to spend a lot more to get the same level of performance.

IME, in order of importance

Speakers

Amplifier

Source

Cables
Rob, I agree that cheap digital sources have altered the perception. When sources were analogue only, their mechanical precision (especially with TTs and cassette decks) almost always equalled more cost AND better results.

That said, I'd be tempted to reverse your list!

Vive la difference!
 

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