Keep us updated on you are getting on!
Will do. I've called the store and explained the problem and they've asked me to take it back for a listen.
Yes, a £400 Musical Fidelity's M1DAC will outperform the Marantz CD6004 by far. No doubt at all! There's no way the mentioned CD player to get even close to the M1 DAC.
You'll be surprised when you listen to M1DAC as it's is capable of outperforming many £1000 CD players. As CD redbook, the referred MF's DAC is actually much closer to Marantz SA-15S2 rather than CD6004.
As regards what you've read about the Apple TV, yes, that's true: an external DA will improve the sound quality. Don't expect an audiophile performance partnering a DAC with you Apple devices, but a good DAC is capable of extracting a much more convincing sound quality from music computer files.
Would a dedicated DAC used with my current Sony BDP out perform the CD6004 considering my £300-£400 budget?
To confuse me further, i have an Apple TV. I have read that an external DAC coupled to my Apple TV with iTunes downloads will also produce extremely good audio? This boggles me as i thought MP3's were bad when it comes to high quality audio?
Advice much appreciated.
any news regarding the dac?
thinking to get rid of my cd6004 and get a bd player and dac....
Marantz CD6004--Chord cobra Plus IC--Marantz KI Pearl Lite Amp--Tellurium Q Black Speaker Cables--Monitor Audio BX5s....happy hours
Really? I'd like to hear this, am not convinced most people would notice a difference. So just changing only the DAC can have a huge difference to sound quality?
HiFi- Cambridge Audio 340C- Pioneer A30- Dali Lektor 2 speakers. Denon FM/AM. Pure DAB.
Marantz CD6004 - Beyerdynamic DT250
From what I have heard and read the DAC would make more difference than changing the transport. How much do you think the DAC in a £250 player costs, to me a £400 DAC will be much better but you need to hear for yourself.
To the OP - you said that you connected the HDMI from the Blu-Ray player 'directly to the amp.' You never said which amp you had but since HMDI only carries a digital signal, then the output from the Blu-Ray player is getting decoded by another DAC, in your amp. Do you have a home cinema amp?
The difference between CD players is mainly the difference in the DAC - everything upstream of the DAC just does the job of getting the 1's and 0's off of the disc and feeding it to the DAC (the one that every CD player has, built-in). And any CD player can get 1's and 0's off of a disc - if you could not do that 100% reliably, then CDs would not work for computer software, since every single bit must be perfect to, say, install an application from a CD. Bad transports can feed timing errors to DACs, so the transport does matter (unless you have a reclocking DAC), but it's mainly the DAC.
So if you are comparing the analogue output of your Blu-ray player to the same player's digital output fed to the rDAC, I can pretty much promise that the latter will be better, since as others have replied, how much can they possibly have spent on the built-in DAC?
But that's NOT what you are doing. If you are feeding your amp with an HDMI cable, then you are not listening to the Blu-Ray player's DAC - you are listening to the DAC built-in to the amp. And if the amp is an A/V receiver, then it might be putting the digital signal through some kind of DSP designed to home theatre applications. Furthermore, if this is the case, then you may have the whole system (and your ears) adapted to that sound, such that the raw analogue signal coming from the DAC to the same amp's analogue inputs does not sound right.
Plus maybe you've got a really sweet amp with a great DAC that's better than the rDAC. I have a friend with a Yamaha home theatre receiver and we determined that the amp's built-in DAC (once we turned of all of the digital DSP rubbish it was doing) clearly outperformed the AudioEngine D1 standalone DAC (which is nowhere near as good as the rDAC, but still).
Living Room: Mac Mini, Oppo BDP95EU disc player, Benchmark DAC1, Balanced Audio Technology VK-50 SE preamp, McIntosh MC150 power amp, DIY 22 litre standmounts based on Scan-Speak 18W/8542, DIY subwoofer based on 15" Dayton Reference HF and a Hypex DS4.0 amp.
Office: A bunch of computers, Cambridge DACMagic, Naim Nait 5, DIY 11L standmounts based on Scan-Speak 15W/8530K00
On hand, testing, or selling: Pathos Logos, ProAc Response D18, B&W PV1D subwoofer, Tripath 2020-based 'Class T' amp, Single-driver speakers based on Fostex FE103EN, PMC DB1i, Boston A25
Recently sold: KEF Q300 speakers, AudioEngine D1 DAC, Mini TL speakers based on Seas W15LY001
If the source is a Marantz CD6004 as in the thread title, I'm assuming the amp and speakers will be of a similar quality/standard. So if a new expensive DAC is added, it should also be important to improve the amplfier and speakers otherwise maybe the benefits may not be so obvious or worthwhile?
Spursgator,do you not use the dacs off the oppo then...i read the sabre's are referance!
What is your set-up mate?
PanasonicTX-P46GT30B..Yamaha RX-A1010...Music Fidelity M3i...OPPO105EU...KEFR100/R200C/3001SE/HTB2SE...SkyHD2TB...QED Copper Speaker Cable /HDMI/Analogue...PS3...IPAD2
Thanks for the replies guys, yes all connected correctly. Ive left it running all night and all of today processing the coax ouput from my SKY HD box. Just to see if indeed it needs running in. Really hope thats all it is.
Does anyone think the shop will take it back or swap it for something else if it doesnt improve?
The only thing that will change over time is your ears becoming acustomed to the sound. If it sounds wrong now, send it back now.
I've yet to see any real evidence of 'burn in' effects with solid state technology and anecdotal evidence doesn't count. BTW, why does everyone who believes in 'burn in' think that the sound changes for the better? To believe that it changes at all is bad enough, but that any change is gauanteed to be good is just wishful thinking.
When you demo/audition at a dealer, the listening room will have, in the majority of cases, a completely different acoustic affect on the sound of the system than your own home and because it has such a large effect, a home demo is the only real way to determine if you like the sound of the equipment.
FWIW, I find the CA Dacmagic Plus to be very good and a far better product in terms of functionality, being a digital preamp, headphone amp and DAC, all in one. Any DAC that you buy, may or may not give you an improvement, but perhaps a chage is likely, even so, these differences if you can detect them will not be so great as the effect of dealing with any acoustic problems in your room or buying a new set of speakers, so unless you absolutely need to spend your money on a DAC, then I'd reconsider your options and get the most important bits right first.
Re. bit rates. I archive in Apple lossless and use 256 VBR for most of my listening. Sounds just fine to me.
Mac mini > AVI ADM9Ts
Guys, I see that cost is being brought into the equation as some sort of measure for quality. It isn't.
DACs are cheap things, really cheap and the DACs that I have built or tinkered with, have been cheap evaluation boards costing about £20 for DAC board and PSU board, only a case is required to finish unless swapping out any semiconductors to 'tune' the sound. These boards sound just fine and it might also be worth noting that an audibly transparent DAC can be had for around £100 as a complete unit, so fortunes are not required to essentially get the very best in audible performance.
What the extra cost will bring, is a fancy case (aesthetics), additional function and/or inputs. So in theory, the very best sound need not cost much more than a few hundred pounds and come with a host of features.
Try THIS and THIS for some info.
Interestingly, Hi FChoice have just a carried out a blind listening test of DACs, with Audiolab M-DAC coming out on top and the DacMagic and M-DAC coming out over £1,000+ DACs from Chord and Cyrus
Music: Stream Magic 6, Denon 1161ud, CA 840a, B&W CM1
Movies: Pana 37" plasma, Denon 1161ud, Humax YouView HDR, Sony DA-2400ES, MS surrounds, REL Quake Sub
Mobile: iPad 4 64GB, iPhone 4, Sony XBA3/Audio Technica ES7
Sorry for the slow reply GSB. On my main system, almost all of my music is in Apple Lossless on a Mac Mini routed through the Benchmark via optical. So that part is pretty simple. The Oppo is connected both to the Benchmark (via coaxial) and directly to the amp (via XLR). It is also connected to my TV via HDMI, along with the Mac Mini and a PS3 (also via HDMI). The digital output of the TV in then connected to the digital input of the Mac Mini.
So basically all three of the sources connected to the TV are sending a digital signal to the Mac, on which I installed a little playthrough app that sends anything on the digital input directly to the digital output (and thus to the Benchmark).
So when I am using the Oppo, I can listen three ways:
1. Directly through the Benchmark via coaxial.
2. Less directly though the Benchmark: HDMI to the TV, then optical to the Mac, then optical to the Benchmark.
3. Through the analogue outputs of the Benchmark via XLR (i.e., using the Sabre DACs on the Oppo).
I cannot hear any difference between #1 and #2 when listening to CDs - in effect I am listening to the Benchmark either way and the extra digital signal path doesn't hurt at all in #2. The Apple Lossless files on the Mac v. the same CD on the Oppo, through the Benchmark, also sound exactly the same as either #1 or #2.
With two DVDs that I tested, I thought maybe that #1 was slightly better than #2. It could be that the Mac is dithering the 24 bit words to 16 bits before sending it to the DAC. Or maybe it's my imagination. The difference is slight, if it even exists.
On the only DVD-A disc I own, a Marvin Gaye compilation, I really felt like #1 was superior to #2. It seems clear that the Mac is not sending the full 96/24 signal to the DAC. I'm sure it's possible to tweak the Mac to fix this but I haven't bothered - easier to just flip the switch on the DAC.
Now, to answer your question: there is always a clear improvement when switching between #1 and #3. I did not try it blindfolded but the first time I flipped that switch, my wife said, unprompted, 'Woah, it sounds better like that.' This was on a DVD. With a Redbook CD the difference was less - I still think the Benchmark is better but it's not the obvious improvement you get with DVD. The Oppo sounds excellent and I would not describe the difference as overwhelming, but the Benchmark DAC is clearly better.
Note that you cannot play an SACD through an outboard DAC - when I listen to SACDs it has to be #3 (in case you don't know, SACDs are encrypted and cannot be streamed digitally except though HDMI with HDCP. An SACD directly though the Oppo DACs sounds very, very good - generally better than a Redbook CD played through the Benchmark (though with newer, well-mastered CDs, the difference is prettty minor). The sound is a bit analytical compared to the very best disc players that I have heard (the WHF review of the Oppo is dead-on, in my opinion).
All of this reporting is to satisfy the curious. The bottom line is that I am really happy with the Oppo. It is versatile, it's a splendid Blu-Ray player that pairs very well with my 3D TV, it will play basically any disc you throw in it, and the sound will satisfy all but the most cripplingly obsesed. It is thoroughly recommended.
But if you are in the market for a DAC, and just want a disc transport to go with it to play CDs, the Oppo is overkill. A CD player in the 200-300 range, a digital cable, and the Benchmark will beat almost any CD playback system on the market save for the most exotic - and play your lossless files from a computer as well as the discs. I have the Oppo because I wanted a Blu-Ray player with great DVD upscaling, that would also play hi-rez discs, that had the attention to detail to satisfy an audiophile. I am really happy with it.
so would a rega dac or mf m1 dac improve a lot to my cd6004?
I have not heard the Rega and I've only heard the MF m1 in a hifi shop, briefly. I definitely think it will be better than your Marantz and if you examine what you are paying and where the money is going, that makes sense. But I don't really know. My Benchmark is clearly better than my Cambridge DACMagic, which is a major improvement over either of my computers' sound cards or my old Toshiba DVD player. The MF sounded fine in the store, but hard to tell how it compares to the BM in a shop (I wasn't shopping for a DAC when I heard it - was part of a demo).
The only thing that makes your question hard is the 'a lot' part. Depends on the rest of your system I guess - and your expectations. Your CD player is pretty good but they get much better. But it's diminishing returns when you get into high end - you have to spend a lot for improvements that are pretty minor. But if you've spent big money on amps and speakers...
IMO you should try to audition the Musical Fidelity DAC since it's caught your eye. Use your CD6004 as the transport and flip back and forth between CD's analogue outputs and the DACs. As hifi A/B tests go, it doesn't get much easier. If you think the DAC helps a lot, then you'll know it's possible and can then start comparing various DACs - in other words, it gets you from 'whither DAC' to 'which DAC.'
Just ordered the M1 dac ,very looking forward to it to test it against cd6004
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