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DAC ? Why not just use your CD player?

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Assuming that they can be used similarly, has anyone ever compared a decent DAC to a higher-end CD player that has a digital input? For example the Cambridge Audio DAC magic to their 840C CD player ?


Except for the lack of USB input, is there any disadvantage to using a CD with an input?




HP Pavillion> J River Media 15> Arcam RDAC > NAD C162> NAD 2400 > Totem Sttafs

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Technically there is no disadvantage to using CD player however there are not that many CD players with the same feature as outboard DAC. As far as I know, most CD player only has either coaxial digital input that may only accept 16/44.1 even those that can upsample to 24/192 usually will not accept native high rez file.

If you have CD player with digital input that has all the feature that you need then they should be ok also.



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My Musical Fidelity Tri-Vista SACD player has both optical and coaxial inputs that will accept any resolution up to 24/192, as long as it's 2 channel PCM. Damn good thing too, as the transport has died, and is apparently impossible to resurrect.


Auctioneer: How much do I hear?[br]Audience member: That\'s metaphysically absurd, man! How can I know what you hear?[br] — The Firesign Theatre, [br] Don\'t Crush That Dwarf, Hand Me the Pliers

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The lavry black bested the Cambridge 840C for me. CD players with digital inputs might lack proper jitter management (reclocking) because if you're buying a cd player, most of the r&d is going into the one box solution with the digital inputs maybe still thought out, but second to the transport etc. Also, the layout will be optimized for cd playback, not the inputs. Good point though, if you have one laying around or in use, may as well keep it and work around it.


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Works for me. I bought the Cambridge 840C CD Player purely to use as a DAC. Jitter coming in on the spdif stream is fully rejected by the reclocking with this model. It, of course, has quite a price premium over the DacMagic but it is worth it imo. - John.


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The obvious advantage of using a DAC is that the PC hard drive is the best transport as it extracts bit to bit perfect data.


MacBook Pro > M2Tech Evo > Stylos SYS HAD > Sovereign Director > Sovereign Power > Tidal Piano Cera (Cabling: Argento)

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