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Denon 1520 CD Player - internal DAC sound quality

Discussion in 'Digital Sources' started by 70'sMusic, Nov 11, 2018.

  1. 70'sMusic

    70'sMusic Active Member

    Messages:
    208
    Hi Everyone,

    Well, connected my Denon 1520 to my Sony HAP-S1 (wired as a DAC) and even though the Sony is a newer DAC with a higher resolution, I find myself preferring the sound using the Denon's internal DACs. Just curious, has anyone else found they prefer the internal DAC to an external DAC when using this CD Player?
     

     

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  2. Yamaki

    Yamaki Not For Hire Subscriber

    Messages:
    4,202
    Location:
    Hillsboro, Oregon
    There are a lot of chipsets out there and to my ear there are differences from chipset to chipset that I've listened to.

    I haven't listened to that particular CD player but my Denon DVD 5910 sounded really good to me. I've since updated my system and use a DAC connected to a music server which plays FLAC at CD quality or higher.

    I would suggest that it's not that one is better than any of the others, it's more about what sounds good to you.
     
    70'sMusic likes this.
  3. 70'sMusic

    70'sMusic Active Member

    Messages:
    208
    Thank you Yamaki, well said and very true.
     
  4. bobschneider

    bobschneider AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,385
    Location:
    Back in Chicago
    The Denon uses an R-2R DAC IC (the Burr Brown PCM-64), while newer players and DACs almost always use Delta-Sigma DAC ICs. Each type of IC does the job in a different way. You may just prefer the sound of R-2R conversion.

    BTW, I had a DCD-1520 when it was a current model, about 30 years ago. It's an excellent deck. That one is long gone, but I now have its big brother DCD-3520
     
    Mark B and 70'sMusic like this.
  5. Moon_Man

    Moon_Man Dreps Crone Maze

    Messages:
    1,014
    Location:
    Snow Country NY
    I have a couple Denon DCD-1500s and I like the sound of them, but they don't have any additional outputs to get around the internal DACs. I also have a Denon DCD-820 which is an 8X 20 times OS machine that does have a coax output that I run through a TubeMagic D1 Plus with the upgraded GE NOS tube and Burr Brown OPA627's. I also connect the regular outputs of the 820 to my amp, this way I can toggle back and forth between the TubeMagic DAC and the internal Denon DAC for comparison with the push of the monitor button. The TubeMagic has it's own gain pot so I can adjust the volume so that they are the same to eliminate the "that sounds better 'cause it louder" issue.

    I have to say that the difference between the external TubeMagic (TM) DAC and the Denon is significant. The TM had a lot more depth and brought out parts of the music unheard in the Denon. I was pretty surprised. By comparison, the Denon sounded flat and dull. Not that it sounded bad, but the TM really opened it up.

    "Your results may differ."
     
    70'sMusic and Audioraven like this.
  6. 70'sMusic

    70'sMusic Active Member

    Messages:
    208
    Cool, haven't heard the DCD-3520, will have to check it out.
     

     

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  7. Powertech

    Powertech Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    536
    Location:
    South Wales, U.K.
    I have a Denon DCD820 and I found the same when comparing it to my Cambridge Audio 550C (using it's internal DAC). And when playing the Cambridge through a Behringer UltraMatch Pro, again there was a difference - it seemed to be more revealing and precise (I hate audiophool expressions, but it's the only way I can explain it). None of these combinations sound bad, just some sound better than others, but you only really notice when they are put side by side.
     
    70'sMusic likes this.
  8. 70'sMusic

    70'sMusic Active Member

    Messages:
    208
    Those DCD-3520's are hard to find, congratulations!
     

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