Spend $$$ on a CD player or a cheap CD player and a good seperate DAC

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Aug 10, 2019
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I was thinking about this the other day. I know too many people that buy expensive CD players and plug it into their receiver via a digital connection - thereby rendering the expense as a waste of money.

I would have thought that what makes a good CD player good is the DAC thats in it. After all, a CD player reads 1s and 0s and then has the ability to convert it to analog. Its the conversion which is the value part of the chain. Also, given that a lot of people have music stored on hard drives these days - isn't it more prudent to buy a good quality DAC that can have inputs from a budget CD player and hard drive?

It amazes me how this simple fact is seldom mentioned and how most audiophiles purchase expensive single disc CD players where they can achieve the same goal by buying a good DAC and have the convenience of having all your music stored lossless on a server. You would lose nothing in terms of quality and gain a lot in terms of flexibility.

Which brings me to the question - how come there are so few DAC options available or reviewed. Surely this has to be the future of Hi-Fi.

Furthermore - CD quality in itself is compressed. I wonder when you can buy music that is stored at far higher quality levels that can be bought digitally. Some say that turntables offer the most natural sound due to its analog nature - but in theory, digital music could be far better than what is currently available - even exceeding CD quality.
 
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Anonymous

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Oh - can of worms argument here.


On your first point - probably - a lot (not all) CD players have bog standard commercial bits in their CD transports.

There are quality difference in CD transport and laser mechamisms, there are also quality differences in the electronics that check the data has been read correctly (and do the error correction) before passing it to a DAC.

I think a lot of folks are starting to wake up to the idea of storing music on a server. Sadly rather than HiFi and computer companies collaborating the Hi Fi companies seem in some cases to be intent on offering expensive solutions to this problem while the computer company solutions, while cheaper, are too geeky / ugly for the living room. With a few notable exceptions - who must be marvelling at the margins they can make off of HiFi!

Not that many DAC's out there to review at the present time. They seem well represented to me in the Hi Fi press.

I think you are talking about SACD which already exists although there has been mention of audio only Blu Ray discs - only time will tell if these catch on.
 
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Anonymous

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Catenaccio:

It amazes me how this simple fact is seldom mentioned and how most audiophiles purchase expensive single disc CD players where they can achieve the same goal by buying a good DAC and have the convenience of having all your music stored lossless on a server. You would lose nothing in terms of quality and gain a lot in terms of flexibility.

Which brings me to the question - how come there are so few DAC options available or reviewed. Surely this has to be the future of Hi-Fi.

Seconded. Post on this thread http://whathifi.com/forums/3/113441/ShowThread.aspx to make your wishes for a dac test clear to the WHF team.
 

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