New DAC vs using current CD Player

Discussion in 'DACs' started by Galaxie500xl, Feb 5, 2018.

  1. Galaxie500xl

    Galaxie500xl New Member

    Messages:
    22
    Location:
    Powder Springs Ga
    Hello to all.
    I currently use a Creek CD50 MKII. It is by far the best sounding CD player I have ever owned. I have had it about 10 years. My question is if I was to upgrade, would I be best to purchase an external DAC and use the current player as a transport? And if so what do you all believe would be a bang for the buck improvement over the current players performance?

    The reason I ask is because I want to get into streaming high res audio like Spotify or Tidal and would need a DAC to do so, but was looking at the same time to maybe upgrade the Creeks performance without breaking the bank.
    70129EFE-622B-4531-81E1-AF483B97D3FC.jpeg
     
  2. Dr Tone

    Dr Tone Active Member

    Messages:
    258
    Location:
    Calgary, AB
    Trying DACs with the Creek as a transport is the right move IMO.
     
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  3. mjw21a

    mjw21a Super Member

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    Location:
    Brisbane, Australia
    An external DAC should make for a very nice step forward.

    The sound you're after will determine the DAC. The Topping D30 is the current budget darling displacing the S.M.S.L M8 with the same performance, a slightly less fatiguing top end and overall lower price. Very detailed and neutral sounding though a little forward, so ultimately a similar sound to my Gustard DAC-X12 for a tiny fraction of the cost.

    My pick, if you've either a bright or revealing system is a Starting Point Systems DAC3 which utilizes a NOS Philips TDA1543 chip, a reclocker, and two NiMh batteries. It provides the most natural and beguiling vinyl sound I've ever heard from a digital source with an incredibly deep (most DAC's manage a wide stage though few seem to have the depth), wide and incredibly three-dimensional sound stage. It can bring dead sounding recordings to life and really makes it sound like you're there at the performance.

    I've a Gieseler Groß DAC being built which should theoretically destroy anything else I've heard though that really seems a tall order after using the DAC3
     
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  4. E.Auer

    E.Auer Super Member

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  5. botrytis

    botrytis Trying not to be a Small Speaker Hoarder Subscriber

    I would not buy an MQA DAC until they fix the issues of auto-switching. As of right now, even with the most Expensive MQA DACs, you have to manually switch between modes. Until that is fixed, I would avoid ANY MQA DACs.
     
  6. E.Auer

    E.Auer Super Member

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    We know your stand on MQA, and frankly it's getting boring.

    If the OP wants to stream MQA he will benefit from a MQA enabled DAC.
    (He has not said he will do MQA, but he mentioned Tidal so it's an option).

    So lets not take this thread down the anti MQA path please.

    Eric
     
  7. botrytis

    botrytis Trying not to be a Small Speaker Hoarder Subscriber

    Not being anti-MQA - just stating some facts about the MQA complaint DAC's out there. If you don't like me informing people. fine. I guess ignorance is really bliss.

    This is kind of like people buying the 1st generation new model car, there are ALWAYS issues. I would wait.
     
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  8. Dr Tone

    Dr Tone Active Member

    Messages:
    258
    Location:
    Calgary, AB
    @Galaxie500xl what is your budget?

    If you can push it up there, I'd try the new Schiit Yggdrasil with it's new Analog 2 board. $2399.00. Qobuz is coming to the US sometime in the middle of this year if you want hi-res streaming. Not other services offer true high res at this point.
     
  9. mjw21a

    mjw21a Super Member

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    Location:
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    Haha, if you can push it to that sort of price a Gieseler Groß will destroy that again ;)
     
  10. Dr Tone

    Dr Tone Active Member

    Messages:
    258
    Location:
    Calgary, AB
    I'd take your word for it if I could find 1 review or one more person other than yourself that thought it was awesome.

    I now see it's something made in your home country and probably easily accessible to you. Good on you for promoting it.
     
  11. gvl

    gvl Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    785
    My best bang for the buck for sound improvement thus far is a vintage Parasound D/AC-1000, less than $200 shipped.
     
  12. mjw21a

    mjw21a Super Member

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    Location:
    Brisbane, Australia
    Lol. We tend not to worry about all that nationalistic nonsense here in Australia. Damn near everything is imported so the reality is we just go with the best bang for your dollar. That mostly means Chinese gear :)

    You're right that this one's easier for me to obtain. The manufacturer is only about a 2 hour drive away :)
     
  13. restorer-john

    restorer-john Super Member

    Messages:
    4,899
    Location:
    Australia
    Unfortunately we seem to live in a world where unsubstantiated hype is the order of the day when it comes to DACs. Seriously, DACs don't 'destroy' each other in terms of sound quality- that's just utter and complete BS.

    Give me measurements. Actual. Test. Measurements. Not datasheet numbers, not manufacturer IC specs on one part of the system. Not numbers you know Joe Average can't confirm himself. Manufacturers, publish your test results and list your guaranteed specifications. Without that, there is zero credibility.

    I don't want to hear glowing emotional opinions made after three glasses of red wine, half a cheese platter and a Fleetwood Mac track. I don't care who thinks it's fabulous- other people's views mean nothing to me. I trust scientific instruments first and my notoriously fallible ears second.
     
  14. mjw21a

    mjw21a Super Member

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    Location:
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    Meh, too much emotion in this thread. I'm unwatching now
     
  15. Galaxie500xl

    Galaxie500xl New Member

    Messages:
    22
    Location:
    Powder Springs Ga
    Thanks for all the replies so far to my OP.

    I would like to stay at 7 or 800 US$ or below, while still gaining significant sonic improvements over the Creeks DAC. It sounds like DAC’s have become much better for the money and improvement over the Creek Player for the cost I’m looking at should not be a problem.........right?
     
  16. Dr Tone

    Dr Tone Active Member

    Messages:
    258
    Location:
    Calgary, AB
    I have not expertise in that price range nor have I heard your existing unit. Sorry.

    The cheapest DAC on my recommended list is the Ayre Codex, but I don't think you can get it used for your budget unfortunately. Maybe $1000.
     
  17. Condorsat

    Condorsat Audio Enthusiast

    Messages:
    4,202
    Location:
    Ohio
    Starting Point Systems DAC3 looks interesting ... TKS for posting this. :thumbsup:
     
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  18. ldatlof

    ldatlof We are all steak Subscriber

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    Location:
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    Buy a DAC online that has a return policy. If it sounds better than your CD player keep it, if not, send it back. This way it won't cost you anything to find out if a new DAC is better than your CD player.
     
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  19. mjw21a

    mjw21a Super Member

    Messages:
    2,546
    Location:
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    No worries, I bought mine out of curiosity, not really expecting much. It's sound quality was a real surprise to me though a most welcome one :)

    Here's a YouTube video from the Frenchman who makes it. I believe he will take a DAC back if you're unsatisfied with its performance though it's worth double checking with him first. He's not particularly fast to reply, though he does reply after a few days:

     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2018
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  20. Condorsat

    Condorsat Audio Enthusiast

    Messages:
    4,202
    Location:
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    Yes ... watched that earlier today. Really intriguing video. Reminds me of the Lounge Audio LCR MK III Phono Pre guy.
    Bought that back in December and have been really pleased w/ the results. I like these "thinking outside the box" kind of products.

     
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