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Using CD player as DAC?


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In my office setup, I connect my Mac to a Cambridge Audio DacMagic, then to my amp. I want to buy a CD player, to listen to CDs that I don't rip, and I realized that, since CD players have DACs in them - some seem to have very good DAC chips - I should be able to use the CD player as a pass-through DAC between the computer and amp, correct? Most standard CD players I've seen have front USB ports; can I use this as input from a computer?

 

Thanks,

 

Kirk

I write about Macs, music, and more at Kirkville.

Author of Take Control of macOS Media Apps

Co-host of The Next Track podcast.

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Some CD players let you use them as DACs, some don't. You have to check and see.

Main listening (small home office):

Main setup: Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>QuietPC Low Noise Server>Roon (Audiolense DRC)>Stack Audio Link II>Kii Control>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.

Secondary Listening: Server with Audiolense RC>RPi4 or analog>Matrix Element i Streamer/DAC (XLR)+Schiit Freya>Kii Three .

Bedroom: SBTouch to Cambridge Soundworks Desktop Setup.
Living Room/Kitchen: Ropieee (RPi3b+ with touchscreen) + Schiit Modi3E to a pair of Morel Hogtalare. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

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Kirk,

 

Not sure, but maybe there's a base assumption you don't have correct, which makes your next questions moot. Look :

 

If it is about CDs you want to play but not rip, stuff the CD in your Mac and use playback software which takes CDs for input (that would be named "CDDA" for playback capability).

 

Wrong thinking ?

Peter

Lush^3-e      Lush^2      Blaxius^2      Ethernet^2     HDMI^2     XLR^2

XXHighEnd (developer)

Phasure NOS1 24/768 Async USB DAC (manufacturer)

Phasure Mach III Audio PC with Linear PSU (manufacturer)

Orelino & Orelo MKII Speakers (designer/supplier)

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If the USB port on your CD player accepts 24 bit FLAC and DSD files, then the output from a PC will work too. However, why not just use a large HDD connected to the USB input and read the menu on the screen

 

I use a SONY BDPS7200 for that purpose

 

Some of the older DVD players would only accept Mp3 via the USB port

The Cape Town Hi-Fi Club.  Achieve better sound and learn how to get it

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If the USB port on your CD player accepts 24 bit FLAC and DSD files, then the output from a PC will work too.

 

Some players can read and play files from USB storage, but that doesn't automatically mean you can use the USB input to connect a PC (DAC function).

 

 

Simple answer: if you see a player with a USB connection, read the online description - or better the manual - to check what the USB connection can be used for.

Claude

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In my office setup, I connect my Mac to a Cambridge Audio DacMagic, then to my amp. I want to buy a CD player, to listen to CDs that I don't rip, and I realized that, since CD players have DACs in them - some seem to have very good DAC chips - I should be able to use the CD player as a pass-through DAC between the computer and amp, correct? Most standard CD players I've seen have front USB ports; can I use this as input from a computer?

 

Thanks,

 

Kirk

 

Audiolab 8200CDQ is a CD Player that will also do 24/96 over USB from Windows PC. Unit also has remote volume control, digital but well implemented

 

sound quality is pretty good for the price, should be plenty of 2nd hand available now

Sound Test, Monaco

Consultant to Sound Galleries Monaco, and Taiko Audio Holland

e-mail [email protected]

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