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Do I need a DAC?

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dav1967's picture
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RE: Do I need a DAC?

this should have read

I am thinking of putting my cd collection in lossless form onto a hard drive and plugging it into my Onkyo 809 and I was wondering if i would notice a big improvement in sound if it went through an external DAC?

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ISAC69's picture
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RE: Do I need a DAC?

I don't reccomend to do it , isn't it better to upgrade you CD to one that have a build in DAC ( AIDILAB 8200CD

or CAMBRIDGE AUDIO 840C act. ) ?

You  can hear both your CDs collection and a compressd music as well if you have one .  

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RE: Do I need a DAC?

Hi Isac69

The reason I am asking if I would benefit from an external DAC is because I want to remove my cd collection to free up shelf space for my ever growing dvd collection, and by ripping them to a hard drive and playing them through the Onkyo 809 seemed to be the cheapest and easiest way.

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RE: Do I need a DAC?

dav1967 wrote:

Hi Isac69

The reason I am asking if I would benefit from an external DAC is because I want to remove my cd collection to free up shelf space for my ever growing dvd collection, and by ripping them to a hard drive and playing them through the Onkyo 809 seemed to be the cheapest and easiest way.

 

I don't recםmmend to do it ripping your CDs will damage the quality of the sound , DAC is for a compress music to ones that

don't buy original CDs and prefer instuling it from the internet .

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RE: Do I need a DAC?

Damage sound quality? 

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RE: Do I need a DAC?

Yes by doing it some of the data are lost further more it is better to hear original cds  from a good CD than an external hard drive .

If you are intending to hear high resolutions music files or compressed music files ( MP3, WAV act. ) downloading to the hard drive than hooking  a good DAC can improve the sound . 

 

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RE: Do I need a DAC?

Just to be clear, ripping CD doesn't degrade them at all, so ling as you rip into a lossless file type, FLAC is pretty universal for non Apple devices. Once you have the files stored somewhere (NAS device or simply on your computer) then a decent media player can drive an extrenal DAC, so yes, depending on what DAC you choose, you could have an extremely competent front end. 

My PC is noticeably better sounding than any sub £2k CDP that I have heard, which is why I don't own one any more and spent the money on better downstream components.

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RE: Do I need a DAC?

+1 Steve  Smile

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RE: Do I need a DAC?

Hi Steve ,

 

FLAC files may sound better if there is a good DAC but it seems pitty not the hear original cds in a quality CD that's why

I advised in my first reply to buy a good CD with an intrenal DAC such as the AUDIOLAB 8200CD or CAMBRIDGE AUDIO 840C

so he can hear rip or compress files as well using the internal DAC .

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RE: Do I need a DAC?

Fair comment. Am I right in saying the dac is the cheaper option tho as u say less flexible. An equivalent quality of output from a less expensive dac.

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RE: Do I need a DAC? RE: Do I need a DAC?

SteveR750 wrote:
Just to be clear, ripping CD doesn't degrade them at all
+1 again.

dav1967 wrote:
by ripping them to a hard drive and playing them through the Onkyo 809 seemed to be the cheapest and easiest way.
That's correct.  The USB port has a Direct Digital Connection meaning the audio files are sent in digital form to the internal DAC section of the Onkyo.  I say "section" because it uses seperate TI Burr Brown 24/192 DACs for each channel.

Like SteveR750, I'd recommend ripping to FLAC for archival purposes.  Don't forget to backup everything onto a second HDD, you don't want to have to rip everything again if the main HDD should fail.

The Onkyo also has networking capability built-in via either ethernet or optional wireless dongle (which also plugs into one of the two USB ports).  This allows streaming from a NAS or computer as well as direct access to internet radio, Spotify, Napster and Last.fm.

In short, it's a serious bit of kit and no slouch in either the video or audio department.

dav1967 wrote:
I was wondering if i would notice a big improvement in sound if it went through an external DAC?
As mentioned above, the Onkyo is a very capable bit of kit.  I'd recommend just enjoying music through it at present. 

Later on, you can experiment with DACs by demoing them against the Onkyo at home to determine whether or not you feel like investing.  When you have time you can approach your local Hi-Fi dealers and discuss this with them.  All in your own sweet time, there's no need to rush.

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RE: Do I need a DAC?

ISAC69 wrote:

Hi Steve ,

 

FLAC files may sound better if there is a good DAC but it seems pitty not the hear original cds in a quality CD that's why

I advised in my first reply to buy a good CD with an intrenal DAC such as the AUDIOLAB 8200CD or CAMBRIDGE AUDIO 840C

so he can hear rip or compress files as well using the internal DAC .

 

I'm guessing that English isn't your first language, and am having difficulty in understanding what you mean!

 

It's possible that ripped FLAC files streamed from a PC are actually less prone to data errors than real time streaming off a disc. A CDP cannot go back and re read the disc if there are errors, it has to correct them or simply dropout (the clicks you hear on scratched Cds for example). A PC streaming FLAC files into a DAC has no such problem, the data can in theory easily be "bit perfect"

 

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RE: Do I need a DAC?

ISAC69 wrote:

I don't recםmmend to do it ripping your CDs will damage the quality of the sound , DAC is for a compress music to ones that

don't buy original CDs and prefer instuling it from the internet .

As others have said that's complete misinformation, even though I'm sure you you thought it was correct and you offered it with the best intentions.

As long as you rip to a lossless format, such as FLAC, WAV, Apple Lossless, AIFF, there is no 'damage' to the quality of sound.

To the OP: yes, on the assumption that your Onkyo amp does not have a DAC, you would benefit from an external DAC if you intend to use your computer to host your music.

EDIT: re-reading the replies, it does have a DAC...forgive me, my knowledge of amps made this century is sketchy at best.

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ISAC69's picture
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RE: Do I need a DAC?

I have many original cds and I am hearing them only through my CDP other music files I am hearing through my computer

connected to MUSICAL FIDELITY VDAC II , I realy don't understand why I should  get reed of my excellent original quality cds  collection and rip them !!!???

 

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RE: Do I need a DAC?

ISAC69 wrote:

I have many original cds and I am hearing them only through my CDP other music files I am hearing through my computer

connected to MUSICAL FIDELITY VDAC II , I realy don't understand why I should  get reed of my excellent original quality cds  collection and rip them !!!???

 

 

No reason at all if that's what you prefer!

It's posible to obtain a superior SQ off my PC than I could off a sensibly priced CD player. I preferred to save some money and dispense with a CD player altogether, and spend the money on a better DAC/amp/speakers. I could have bought a CDP instead of the PC, but I needed a good PC for photo editing as well, which I clearly couldn't do with a CDP! 

 

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