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When using a CD player as A CD Transport

n4d5

Well-known member
Sep 7, 2008
51
1
18,545
Hi

Does using a CD player as an CD Transport play a important part? when you have an external DAC. The transport is only going to read the CD and transfer 1's and 0's to the DAC and the DAC will influence the sound. Right or Wrong?

The reason I ask is i'm thinking of changing my Pioneer PD-S703 cd player that i use as a Tranport which is connected to a external DAC.

Please advise, and thank in Advance
 

Infiniteloop

Well-known member
Jul 23, 2010
48
4
18,545
n4d5 said:
Hi

Does using a CD player as an CD Transport play a important part? when you have an external DAC. The transport is only going to read the CD and transfer 1's and 0's to the DAC and the DAC will influence the sound. Right or Wrong?

The reason I ask is i'm thinking of changing my Pioneer PD-S703 cd player that i use as a Tranport which is connected to a external DAC.

Please advise, and thank in Advance
Some people can hear a difference, other people can't and claim it's just 'expectation bias'. In the end, it's up to you to decide.
 

Benedict_Arnold

New member
Jan 16, 2013
661
1
0
Depends on the CD player. Arguably a newer DAC should improve an older CDP and give it a new lease of life. But, to be honest, the transports in a lot of budget CDPs cost peanuts, so you might be better off tossing the whole thing and getting a new CDP, complete with internal DAC.

If the transport mechanism and laser isnt the best, you may get "jitter" sent down the wire (or fibre optic) to the DAC circuit, whether inside the same case or in a separate DAC all together.

The DAC should remove or correct the jitter before converting digital to analogue.

Arguably any DAC chip itself isn't going to have any serious effect t. Morse code in, analogue voltage out. Simples right?

BUT. The DAC circuit as a whole contains much more than the DAC, e.g. the analogue components downstream of the DAC proper, which can affect the sound the same as any analogue circuit. And it's probably in this downstream of the chip area where most DACs have their effects.

The best DACs probably SHOULDNT have any audible effect. What goes in as Morse code should come out as a nice clean dynamic analogue wave form. Any flat spots or lack of attack indicate potential shortfalls.

Some argue putting the low power consuming DAC shields it from the relatively high power and EM effects of the transport and it's motors.

Some people like DACs with valves in them, to "smooth" the sound, some (like me) don't. Your ears, your choice.

I would suggest taking your CDP out on a trip to your local hi-fi shoppe, trying out a few DACs and new transports or indeed new integrated CDPs, then making your mind up.
 

nopiano

Well-known member
Feb 15, 2009
258
149
19,070
If you believe all digital sounds the same, then a different transport will make no difference. But if you realise that a £150 player probably sounds inferior to a £1000 one, then both transport and DAC have an influence.

Few CD players use a ten pound computer drive for good reason!
 

Benedict_Arnold

New member
Jan 16, 2013
661
1
0
nopiano said:
If you believe all digital sounds the same, then a different transport will make no difference.  But if you realise that a £150 player probably sounds inferior to a £1000 one, then both transport and DAC have an influence.  

Few CD players use a ten pound computer drive for good reason!
Actually, quite a lot of CDPs use ubiquitous transports you or I can source on line for ten Dollars, not even ten Pounds.
For three reasons :
1. They're cheap and generally copies of the original Philips and Sony transports, which should mean they're reliable enough.
2. They're cheap and it saves smaller manufacturers developing their own.
3. They're cheap.
 

Al ears

Moderator
Your Pioneer has a very reliable and good CD platter mechanism. You are going to have to spend a good amount to improve it. Some people think that it is always better to keep DAC and transport as separate items as its usually the DAC that is upgradeable.

It's all a matter of taste.
 

BigH

New member
Dec 29, 2012
97
0
0
The pioneer is meant to have a good transport system, if its playing with no issues I would keep it. Changing the transport in my experience will have little effect on the sound. I agree think you will have to spend a lot of money to hear an improvement.
 

NSA_watch_my_toilet

New member
Aug 24, 2013
7
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In my experience. Changing the transport makes no effect to the sound. It's one of the reason why dvd transports are used even on high end players.

Some will be more generous in Jitter than others, but usual dac don't care because they will correct the faults in the signal during the reading. In rare cases, some DAC don't have error correctors built in for voodoo reasons, THIS can affect the sound quality and make your set dependent from a good transport.
 

n4d5

Well-known member
Sep 7, 2008
51
1
18,545
Hi

Thank you for the valuable advice.

The pioneer is working perfectly fine to be honest. So it's time to grade the DAC.

I want to use the DAC primarily for my CD player, however I also would like to use it for steaming live feeds from my PC and songs from my NAS etc.

Budgets upto £500.00.

Are Network DAC streamers any good? or it is better to stick to a stand alone DAC?

Can someone recommend either or?

Thanks
 

Benedict_Arnold

New member
Jan 16, 2013
661
1
0
Best to peruse the reviews here. Make a list and check which features you want (number and types of inputs, for example) and cross out those that don't meet most if not all your needs.
Then take your CDP and favorite CDs along to your local hi-fi shoppe and try some out.

FWIW Kate Bush's "Eat the Music" on "The Red Shoes" will confuse the snot out of some DACs. That album is my go-to album for auditioning hi-fi. The guys in Holburn Hi-fi in Aberdeen used to describe it as "quite difficult" ;-)
 

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