SQ From Different Sources - Similar DAC

Nico69

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Hi All,

Further to my experimentation ripping CDs to high quality FLACS using EAC and then streaming from my NAS now it’s working. I’m trying to get my head around the sound quality from different sources. I’m considering updating my old Technics SL-PG570A CD player with 1Bit MASH DAC with a Marantz CD6007 and played through my Marantz PM7000n. I believe that the CD6007 and the PM7000n both use the same DAC, the AKM AK4490 (or possibly not due to the fire at the factory making them). However, I’d expect the sound to be broadly similar with some slight nuances. The Technics player is surprisingly good given it’s age and technology (26 years old), though I found the sound from the ripped FLACS and played through the AKM AK4490 DAC to be fuller, rounder and just more of it.

So what I’m asking is how would a Marantz CD6007 stack up against a Marantz SA-10 player costing 11x more VS streaming FLACS from a NAS?

With a FLAC file all the reading and error correction has been done. There is not the hardware issues of CD transport, jitter, error correction on the fly etc. Just pure playing of the FLAC file. So how much ‘musicality’ can the hardware of a very high end CD transport add to the music? Surely if it’s ‘adding’ anything then it is not playing what it reads and is colouring the sound based on the software of the manufacturer? Yes, I understand that all DACS will sound a little different, a bit like cartridges on a Turntable etc.

I’m just struggling to work out why? Why spend £6000 on a player when you can rip and stream for a lot less and maybe have better SQ? Or is it not that simple? I’m sure someone will come along with arguments about Ethernet cable, Multiport Switches, brands of NAS drive all making a difference to the sound etc.

Forgive me if I’m asking stupid questions, but I’m trying to justify in my mind what the best way to get the best sound is.
 
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Vincent Kars

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Digital is using analog (our physical world is) in a very peculiar way. We don't use the absolute value of the signal but a very marked change of state. A gate is open or closed, an element is magnetified N or S, a signal on a buss rises or falls, there is a pit or a land (remember CD's?), etc.
This is what makes digital so very robust by design.

If we talk about digital audio, indeed the samples are the only part of it that is digital. Hence you can shove it around your network or even around the world without generation loss.
Playback is a mater of converting to analog. This is done by applying a voltage to a crystal forcing it to oscillate. We use the absolute value hence this is as analog as hell. Likewise all distortion products like noise, IMD, jitter, etc are analog.

Obvious, as the samples are digital, the transport is totally irrelevant, NAS, SSD, PC, etc. simply send the same bits. Assuming of course proper configuration.

Likewise switches, network cables or WiFi don't matter. As long they are able to transmit your mail, internet, whatever data you are shoving around faithfully, so will they transmit the data we call audio.

Indeed, you need a streamer if you want to use a steaming protocol like UPnP.
You can opt for one with a integrated DAC or one with digital out feeding a external DAC.
This one can do both: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/.../wiim-pro-review-measurements-streamer.42300/
I do think the analog out a bit to noisy.

If you are not in need of multi room, you can opt for file sharing ( you need that anyway to maintain your collection). In this scenario you use a PC (silent) and a USB DAC.
 

WayneKerr

Well-known member
Hi All,

Further to my experimentation ripping CDs to high quality FLACS using EAC and then streaming from my NAS now it’s working. I’m trying to get my head around the sound quality from different sources. I’m considering updating my old Technics SL-PG570A CD player with 1Bit MASH DAC with a Marantz CD6007 and played through my Marantz PM7000n. I believe that the CD6007 and the PM7000n both use the same DAC, the AKM AK4490 (or possibly not due to the fire at the factory making them). However, I’d expect the sound to be broadly similar with some slight nuances. The Technics player is surprisingly good given it’s age and technology (26 years old), though I found the sound from the ripped FLACS and played through the AKM AK4490 DAC to be fuller, rounder and just more of it.

So what I’m asking is how would a Marantz CD6007 stack up against a Marantz SA-10 player costing 11x more VS streaming FLACS from a NAS?

With a FLAC file all the reading and error correction has been done. There is not the hardware issues of CD transport, jitter, error correction on the fly etc. Just pure playing of the FLAC file. So how much ‘musicality’ can the hardware of a very high end CD transport add to the music? Surely if it’s ‘adding’ anything then it is not playing what it reads and is colouring the sound based on the software of the manufacturer? Yes, I understand that all DACS will sound a little different, a bit like cartridges on a Turntable etc.

I’m just struggling to work out why? Why spend £6000 on a player when you can rip and stream for a lot less and maybe have better SQ? Or is it not that simple? I’m sure someone will come along with arguments about Ethernet cable, Multiport Switches, brands of NAS drive all making a difference to the sound etc.

Forgive me if I’m asking stupid questions, but I’m trying to justify in my mind what the best way to get the best sound is.
Purely personal opinions:
1. DAC tech has moved-on in 26 years.
2. I think you'll find the difference in sound between the 6007 and 7000 to be non-existent*.
3. 6007 vs SA-10... not an 11x difference but definitely a substantial one**.
4. Agree DACs do have slightly different flavours, a little like different cartridges.

* Some people are reporting that the DAC in the 6007/7000 is not as good as the previous DAC.
**I'm 2/3rds of the way to the SA-10 with my Ruby and it was a leap in performance over my previous Marantz Pearl Lite. However, you would need something equally as good at the amp end in order to do the source justice.
 
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Gray

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I’m just struggling to work out why? Why spend £6000 on a player when you can rip and stream for a lot less and maybe have better SQ? Or is it not that simple?
Anyone that has spent that much on a digital transport of any description will probably tell you that it's not that simple.
"Bits are not just 0s and 1s".

As someone that streams FLACs from a couple of Raspberry Pis, I'd like to think it is that simple.

Far from stupid, your question is a good one 👍
 

Nico69

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If I was Nico, I'd be putting (digital out) from the Technics CDP I already owned, through the 7000N.

It's only Analogue Audio out I'm afraid. Also it's skipping tracks at the end of long CDs so needs attention/replacement

If ypu are intending to get the CD6007 to play through the 7000N don't bother, just buy a decent CDT.
There is little point in having a redundant DAC anywhere in your system.

I'd like to keep it as a Marantz as I can use the same remote controller. We've got too many kicking about and always losing them. But it's a possibility. CDT's generally tend to be more expensive than the CD6007
 
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This is a big subject, so just a few thoughts from me:-

CD players have always sounded different to each other, and probably always will. Alongside the need to read 100% accurately on the fly - with only the occasional error correction - the DAC, the analog stages, and general quality of parts can all affect the results. Where the value peaks is a personal thing, but my recently purchased Tascam @ c. £250 sounds good through my Linn DAC (inside the streamer). You could do worse than one of those, but it doesn’t look like aMarantz!

Some will swear that WAV and FLAC files sounds different, never mind HDD and SSD sounding different. I’ve never stored more than a handful of CDs on a laptop so I cannot comment.

Streaming your own files from (say) a NAS should be the best sound you can achieve at home. That’s one reason why Linn dropped their CD players decades ago, because they reckoned a digital streamer sounded better. But more recently some reviews are getting nostalgic about good old CD sounding as good or better.

In my opinion, it’s hard to separate the physical experience of playing an LP, from a CD, from streaming. Rather like a concert hall is a different experience to a jazz club!

I prefer to play each era of material its own way. So my LPs are mostly 1960-70-80s. CDs late ‘80s onwards; streaming in recent years.
 

Sixtyten

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I just specially treated audiophile air. It's been processed to remove those pesky negative ions which, as we all know, dull the transient attack of cymbals and neutralise high frequency dynamic response.
 

abacus

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It's only Analogue Audio out I'm afraid. Also it's skipping tracks at the end of long CDs so needs attention/replacement



I'd like to keep it as a Marantz as I can use the same remote controller. We've got too many kicking about and always losing them. But it's a possibility. CDT's generally tend to be more expensive than the CD6007

You can buy remotes that control more than one piece of equipment, if just having too many remotes is your problem.

Bill
 
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It's only Analogue Audio out I'm afraid. Also it's skipping tracks at the end of long CDs so needs attention/replacement



I'd like to keep it as a Marantz as I can use the same remote controller. We've got too many kicking about and always losing them. But it's a possibility. CDT's generally tend to be more expensive than the CD6007
Point taken regarding the relative costs of CDP v Transport.
Strange when you think a good chunk.of the cost must be the DAC section.... :cool:
 
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Nico69

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Thanks for the feedback and info.

So from this I have gleaned that:
  • Streaming FLAC from my NAS is going to sound as good as it gets on my system, unless I spend a fortune on a CD player with a much much better DAC.
  • The sound from a CD6007 is going to sound pretty similar to a FLAC played through my PM7000n as they have similar DACs
  • CD Transports cost more than players with a DAC - so less is more in this case.
  • CD players/transports above a certain value are more or less vanity purchases.
  • Putting a CD into a player and pressing PLAY is a whole lot easier and more convenient than ripping CD's.
  • NAS's have their place and I'll probably persevere and rip a few more CD's. Possibly ones that don't play so well.
  • 'Musicality' added by top end CD transports/Players is just marketing hype around the characteristics of certain DACs.
  • I'll probably buy the CD6007 and be done with it.
:)
 

WayneKerr

Well-known member
Thanks for the feedback and info.

So from this I have gleaned that:
  • Streaming FLAC from my NAS is going to sound as good as it gets on my system, unless I spend a fortune on a CD player with a much much better DAC.
  • The sound from a CD6007 is going to sound pretty similar to a FLAC played through my PM7000n as they have similar DACs
  • CD Transports cost more than players with a DAC - so less is more in this case.
  • CD players/transports above a certain value are more or less vanity purchases.
  • Putting a CD into a player and pressing PLAY is a whole lot easier and more convenient than ripping CD's.
  • NAS's have their place and I'll probably persevere and rip a few more CD's. Possibly ones that don't play so well.
  • 'Musicality' added by top end CD transports/Players is just marketing hype around the characteristics of certain DACs.
  • I'll probably buy the CD6007 and be done with it.
:)
In response to your points... all with a big pinch of "maybe" :) This Hi-Fi game/malarkey is a tough one!
 
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Gray

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Thanks for the feedback and info.

So from this I have gleaned that:
  • Streaming FLAC from my NAS is going to sound as good as it gets on my system, unless I spend a fortune on a CD player with a much much better DAC.
  • The sound from a CD6007 is going to sound pretty similar to a FLAC played through my PM7000n as they have similar DACs
  • CD Transports cost more than players with a DAC - so less is more in this case.
  • CD players/transports above a certain value are more or less vanity purchases.
  • Putting a CD into a player and pressing PLAY is a whole lot easier and more convenient than ripping CD's.
  • NAS's have their place and I'll probably persevere and rip a few more CD's. Possibly ones that don't play so well.
  • 'Musicality' added by top end CD transports/Players is just marketing hype around the characteristics of certain DACs.
  • I'll probably buy the CD6007 and be done with it.
:)
You've given it a lot more thought than many people do, that's for sure.
And by doing so you should avoid wasted money.
Good for you.
 
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