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Mac to Dac versus Marantz CD-6005


louisjames

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Hope this is the right forum to post this to?

 

I've been going back and forth trying to get the best sound out of what I'm working with. The Marantz has been in my setup for a while and always imparts a good sound quality to the CD's. Recently I set up an iMac running Audirvana 2.4 and connecting via either the optical or USB outputs, both of which have a different sound, but that's a side issue. The iMac is connected to a Schitt Gungnir (DS) and then into my preamp. For the USB side I'm running a REGEN at the back of the Gungnir. Last night I ran another test using a remastered version of Hard Days Night. Ripped the CD to the iMac and then hit play. The optical has the clearest sound with the most space around the instruments but a bit lighter in weight, and some grittiness on top. The USB is fuller and rounder sounding, a bit louder overall but it loses some of the articulation as the instruments sound closer together and there's more bottom end. Then I took the same CD and put it in the Marantz (using the RCA outputs into my preamp). The difference was significant. Much fuller, rounder and louder with each instrument having much more weight but without sounding muddy or confused. The Marantz wasn't quite as clear overall as the optical out on the iMac but made for a much more pleasing and dynamic listen. The Gungnir is a pretty good DAC and the iMac should be able to serve up the sounds. I have more listening to do and although I want the convenience of using the computer, that Marantz is sounding the best. Thoughts?

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Hope this is the right forum to post this to?

 

I've been going back and forth trying to get the best sound out of what I'm working with. The Marantz has been in my setup for a while and always imparts a good sound quality to the CD's. Recently I set up an iMac running Audirvana 2.4 and connecting via either the optical or USB outputs, both of which have a different sound, but that's a side issue. The iMac is connected to a Schitt Gungnir (DS) and then into my preamp. For the USB side I'm running a REGEN at the back of the Gungnir. Last night I ran another test using a remastered version of Hard Days Night. Ripped the CD to the iMac and then hit play. The optical has the clearest sound with the most space around the instruments but a bit lighter in weight, and some grittiness on top. The USB is fuller and rounder sounding, a bit louder overall but it loses some of the articulation as the instruments sound closer together and there's more bottom end. Then I took the same CD and put it in the Marantz (using the RCA outputs into my preamp). The difference was significant. Much fuller, rounder and louder with each instrument having much more weight but without sounding muddy or confused. The Marantz wasn't quite as clear overall as the optical out on the iMac but made for a much more pleasing and dynamic listen. The Gungnir is a pretty good DAC and the iMac should be able to serve up the sounds. I have more listening to do and although I want the convenience of using the computer, that Marantz is sounding the best. Thoughts?

 

Could be that you prefer Marantz to Schitt. Maybe getting a a matching Marantz NR 6005 network player with its digital inputs is the answer.

David

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Have you tried connecting the digital output of your Marantz to the DAC?

 

That could give some indication if the issue is you prefer the Marantz DAC or if there is something lacking with the iMac (it's been said that the screen can cause a lot of EMI which could be interfering with the DAC's performance).

Eloise

---

...in my opinion / experience...

While I agree "Everything may matter" working out what actually affects the sound is a trickier thing.

And I agree "Trust your ears" but equally don't allow them to fool you - trust them with a bit of skepticism.

keep your mind open... But mind your brain doesn't fall out.

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Thank you for the suggestions. I don't think it's as much a matter of preferring the sound of the Marantz to the iMac / Gungnir as it is the difference in sound quality itself, which is pretty significant. Will have time over the weekend to check this out further and will post back once I do.

 

lj

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Had a chance to try the suggestions and it looks like the Gungnir, while having a very good sound has a "thinner" overall voicing and is also lower in volume than the Marantz. Even when turned up to match the "perceived" volume of the Marantz, the Gungnir is "smaller" sounding. I liken it to DIY pop recordings that have a wimpy sounding kick drum as opposed to someone who knows how to properly use a compressor to build a round and full kick drum that fills up it's space but is still defined. That said on some recordings that are muddy to begin with, the Gungnir helps to strip some of that out. So the quest continues. I'll be looking for a new DAC that has a full, round sound with good bottom end, but that also has a clear, articulated sound with excellent dynamics and sound stage. Some of the ones I'm looking at are the Aqua La Voce S2, Mytek Stereo 192 (currently on sale and like the Gungnir has XLR outs which I prefer) and the Audio-gd DAC 19 10th Anniversary with Amarnero USB (from comments I've read this one has a lush sound but perhaps not the articulation I'm looking for). I've also started reading about Burson and a new DAC out of Australia called the Klein. I'll be spending time reading the posts on this board but of course any suggestions are appreciated. At least I now know the kind of sound I don't want though still perplexed about the volume difference between the two units.

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