CD Player or DAC Tough Decision Coming Up

Discussion in 'New Gear - Values' started by Art K., Apr 29, 2018.

  1. Art K.

    Art K. The Voodoo You Do! Subscriber

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    Just as my system was sounding perfect my CD player took a dump. It ain't just a CD player it's the beautiful Line Magnetic 515CD. This the second time and now it's out of warranty. I have over 4000 titles on CD and have no intention of ripping them to a hard drive. I have a small Luxman player as a backup but it's always had trouble reading discs. That leaves me with an Oppo BDP103. Obviously it sounds like ass compared to the LM so with a budget of about $1000 should I get a new CD player such as a Rega Apollo or should I use the Oppo as a transport and buy a DAC?
     

     

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  2. davidflas

    davidflas Easily Confused Subscriber

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    I'd vote to get a DAC, it gives you the flexibility of having your decoding independent from the disc spinning hardware.
     
  3. soundmig

    soundmig AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    +1 on the DAC. Allows you to upgrade as the need arises while you can keep using your spinner for much longer without getting antiquated.
     
  4. awillia6

    awillia6 Super Member

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    How does your non-intention follow from the size of your collection?

    Perhaps you might consider setting up a ripper as an adjunct to your audio system such that after you finish listening to a CD (played on your LM replacement), you drop it into the ripper's drive tray for a few short minutes (rips are at 15X-35X playing speeds, IME) before returning it to its usual storage spot. Over some period of time you should be mostly through your collection and can then make short work of the stragglers over a single weekend. With everything ripped you'll have ALL your options in front of you to choose from.
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2018
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  5. sqlsavior

    sqlsavior AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Long story short, I really wish I could use my Marantz SACD player's DAC separately. Later models have digital input, so you would get both a player and a DAC in one.
     
  6. Dave_1962

    Dave_1962 Lunatic Member

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    Why not have the LM repaired?
     
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  7. hifix

    hifix Active Member

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    I’d go the dac. Digital seems to have moved along since I last looked at dacs.
     
  8. botrytis

    botrytis Trying not to be a Small Speaker Hoarder Subscriber

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    I would go DAC Art. The DACs really make a huge difference.
     
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  9. olson_jr

    olson_jr AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Good morning Art,

    What failed on your Line Magnetic? Looks like they used a pretty standard Sony Transport. I ask as I am wondering if the unit is still usable to others as a USB DAC? Might have some value in it if so.

    Personally, I would go used DAC with the Oppo. It would give you the chance to play around a bit to find a DAC that sounds great to your ears.

    Consider having a look at a used Chord Chordette Qute EX. Great sounding unit that has really fallen in price on the used market. Chord quit supplying the drivers needed for USB use with new Operating Systems. They also seem to respond nicely to an upgraded 12V Linear PS in place of the wallwort. I really should consider selling mine.

    Good luck with whichever direction you decide to go.
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2018
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  10. sonci

    sonci Well-Known Member

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    IME no Dac sounds as good as a cd player for the same money, especially on the spidf input, which is what you're going to use anyway.
    On spidf the dac has to chase the clock generated on the transport, the usb is better in this regard, but you don't use a pc anyway..
    I'd say go for the latest Rega players with digital inputs, so you can use them as standalone dac if transport fail.
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2018
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  11. sonci

    sonci Well-Known Member

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    My Revox B225 has an ancient dac, but no dac comes close to it.
    Unless you use DSD or high resolution, digital was as good as ever in the 90's.
     
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  12. Art K.

    Art K. The Voodoo You Do! Subscriber

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    I will. I have already been in touch with the distributor and repair facility. However I want to free myself from having to resort to ho-hum sound every time a transport fails. Think I'm going with a DAC.
     
  13. Art K.

    Art K. The Voodoo You Do! Subscriber

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    Definitely could still be used as a USB DAC. I don't buy used but there are a couple of DAC's that have me interested. The Schiit Gungniir Multibit and the Border Patrol DAC.
     
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  14. Art K.

    Art K. The Voodoo You Do! Subscriber

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    Yes yours uses an old Philips chip if I'm not mistaken.
     
  15. charles 1973

    charles 1973 Super Member

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    I believe 90% of the SQ from CD's comes from the DAC. The transport is important to get that last 10% from higher end equipment. With my AVR, My Sony 4K Blue-ray disc player is a fine transport for CD's. But for my good stereo I bought this Cambrige CX-C CD transport to feed the DAC module in my Bryston amp. https://www.cambridgeaudio.com/en/products/cx/cxc

    You could of course spend WAY more on a transport, But this is a very good value IMO and should be a fine substitute for the Magnetic 515's transport. It's too bad you can't use the DAC section in the 515, Like with some other high end CD players, Like the Simaudio Moon Neo 260D CD Transport/DAC.
     
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  16. botrytis

    botrytis Trying not to be a Small Speaker Hoarder Subscriber

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    Art - I am using a TEAC UD-501 which is a great DAC. It is last generation DAC but it is can still be had new or refurbished.

    Try High Fi Heaven.
     
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  17. Art K.

    Art K. The Voodoo You Do! Subscriber

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    OK so I have decided to go DAC. These are three top contenders.

    1) Schiit Gungniir multibit - $1250 with tons of flexibility
    2) Border Patrol DAC SPDIF - $1350 limited to SPDIF unless I want to spend $500 more
    3) Musical Surroundings MyDac II - $1200 flexibility and good reviews

    I will have my LM cd player repaired and it depends on which DAC I get what I am going to do with it when it returns.
     
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  18. davidflas

    davidflas Easily Confused Subscriber

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    In that case, I would vote for the Gungnir Multibit, but for reasons that can be seen in my sig, I'm a bit biased.
     
  19. Art K.

    Art K. The Voodoo You Do! Subscriber

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    What is the clicking I keep reading about? Is it between songs? Is it computer audio? How does this DAC sound through the SPDIF with a CD player and is that a seamless play...you know, click free.
     
  20. davidflas

    davidflas Easily Confused Subscriber

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    The clicking is a relay inside the DAC operating the way it was designed. The clicking results when a CD player mutes the its digital signal, say when put into pause, or when first turned on, or when you move between tracks. If you were to put a CD in and let it play without interruption, you won't hear clicks. When used with a USB source, you'll only hear the clicking when the sample rate changes, say from rebook to high-res audio.
     
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