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3 minutes ago, Muon N' said:

It's a shame you are blind to your own.

 

i'm well aware that your opinion differs, but that doesn't make either of us wrong

 

nor impartial

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Posted (edited)
28 minutes ago, MattyW said:

 

I'm in 100% agreement with everything you've said here. I hear little difference between PC playback and a CD player when using the same DAC.

 

I find the DAC, and cartridge + phono stage make the biggest difference to my enjoyment of my sound system. Then again if the rest of the sound chain weren't so resolving this probably wouldn't be the case. ;)

 

having only recently started playing with variations on dacs, it has been transparently clear the difference they impart to what you hear

 

all the enthusiasm for various cd players seems to implicitly ignore what makes a good cd player good - and that's the implementation of the dac contained therein, and its circuit

 

so an old dac chip well implemented will do magic for sure, but a newer generation dac chip will blow that away with the right engineering (despite resistance from the unenlightened :) )

 

 

my epiphany came from rolling opamps in a high end sound card, which showed how much a single component affected the results, and then swapping it out for a really basic but new generation stand alone usb dac.. and it was just better - crisper, clearer, wider, and lots of other adjectives that audiophiles spout

 

upgrading a good player by modifying the circuit is the same game, but like a plastic surgeon "modifying" old flesh, it can never quite be the same as young blood

 

 

 

Edited by scruffy1

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Guest Muon N'

Wait till you go further than OP Amp rolling, many epiphanies await you :)

 

Everyone has different priorities in sound reproduction, some focus on detail, sometimes macro sometimes both macros and micro, some focus on the tonality, the layering of individual notes, ect'............. what you prioritise will guide the path you take.

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3 minutes ago, Muon N' said:

Wait till you go further than OP Amp rolling, many epiphanies await you :)

 

Everyone has different priorities in sound reproduction, some focus on detail, sometimes macro sometimes both macros and micro, some focus on the tonality, the layering of individual notes, ect'............. what you prioritise will guide the path you take.

 

everyone is playing a game, they just have their favourite toys

 

it's like in model aeronautics when petrol flyers can't appreciate what others see in gliders

 

my preference is to be a really happy cheap arse and broaden my experience; yours might be to tweak a certain combo to perfection

 

s'all good man (to reference breaking bad)

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3 hours ago, scruffy1 said:

the source and the chain are what makes the music

 

so cd versus digital storage is not actually of any consequence if the digital storage is either a direct or lossless copy of a good source

Beg to differ, I've heard it too many times now playing the same thing, yes I agree with you the dac is very important, but my source is a good CD transport, and it has never been better in my system by a streamer or HD play back taking the place of the CD transport, into the same dac via the same digital hookup whether it was , spdif, toslink or aes-ebu

 

Jess   

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so your cd puts out digital signal to an external dac ?

 

what if the input into the dac was via usb with jitter control (which is not listed), because that's the current state of play, and ttbomk optical and spdif don't address that

 

happy to try and understand why it makes a difference

 

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, scruffy1 said:

 

having only recently started playing with variations on dacs, it has been transparently clear the difference they impart to what you hear

 

all the enthusiasm for various cd players seems to implicitly ignore what makes a good cd player good - and that's the implementation of the dac contained therein, and its circuit

 

so an old dac chip well implemented will do magic for sure, but a newer generation dac chip will blow that away with the right engineering (despite resistance from the unenlightened :) )

 

 

my epiphany came from rolling opamps in a high end sound card, which showed how much a single component affected the results, and then swapping it out for a really basic but new generation stand alone usb dac.. and it was just better - crisper, clearer, wider, and lots of other adjectives that audiophiles spout

 

Ok, so my experience has actually in some respects been the reverse. I've found a modern implementation of the old Phillips TDA1541 to be better than the better implementations of modern chips in most respects.

 

The Gieseler GroB + Kraftwerk linear power supply is a lovely sounding combination,  though I've found my tweaked Muji Studio DAC II to be superior (to my ears) in terms of tonality and  timbre of instruments,  the sense of actually being present at a performance and sheer toe tapping pleasure.  It has a sense of solidity that you usually only get from live amplified instruments. Very obvious with piano. On the other hand I have found the bass extends deeper with greater detail with the Gieseler GroB.

 

Part of that matter be that I changed the TDA1541A R1 chip for an earlier TDA1541 S1 which is a bit more veiled in the bass region though better suits my preference across everything else. 

 

That said,  the areas this DAC excels allows me to forgive it's shortcomings in bass. On the outside I can easily see how many others would prefer the GroB, especially if listening to recordings with more extended bass.

 

Me, I prefer a DAC that sounds amazing with great recordings though is also more forgiving of more poorly recorded and mixed material.  I don't want to be restricted to only enjoying audiophile level recordings. Too much of my favorite music was recorded between the 60's and early 2000's and quality varies greatly.... ;)

 

By the way, this DAC has had quite a few upgrades beyond just OPAMPS. There is so much more you can do to improve the sound even after rolling in discrete OPAMPS ;)

Edited by MattyW

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4 minutes ago, MattyW said:

Me, I prefer a DAC that sounds amazing with great recordings though is also more forgiving of more poorly recorded and mixed material.  I don't want to be restricted to only enjoying audiophile level recordings. ;)

This statement could apply to a lot of areas (amp, speakers etc.) it's a bit of an elusive Holy Grail :)

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Posted (edited)
4 minutes ago, lemarquis said:

This statement could apply to a lot of areas (amp, speakers etc.) it's a bit of an elusive Holy Grail :)

Aye, and many people may well argue it's a coloration rather than being in the actual recording itself, and they may well be right. It doesn't matter. It makes me happy  :D

 

I'm willing to sacrifice a little from the best recordings to get better playback from the majority of poorer sounding recordings. So long as I'm not giving up mach its a worthwhile tradeoff for me  ;)

Edited by MattyW

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Guest Muon N'
Posted (edited)
22 minutes ago, MattyW said:

Part of that matter be that I changed the TDA1541A R1 chip for an earlier TDA1541 S1

I'm curious to hear that all Holland TDA1541 S1 (non A) tomorrow, they are pretty rare in the form of that chip, first being a non A 'S1', and secondly a "HHH" chip, so all processes done in the Holland facility :) In general the non A chips are said to be more lively sounding than the 'A' chips.

 

I know my early 'A' single crown is more veiled in the bass and mids compared to latter made 'A' single crowns but over all easily better than the standard non A and A chips I have spare, but that non 'A' you have was produced near the end of the non 'A' manufacturing at around the same time as my 'A' chip, and the R1's were the bottom of the TDA1541A grades, but date of manufacturing is significant, with the processes done better latter on, but there are exceptions.

 

Oh, do I so want a latter Holland Double Crown :x

Edited by Muon N'
typos

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2 minutes ago, Muon N' said:

I'm curious to hear that all Holland TDA1541 S1 (non A) tomorrow, they are pretty rare in the form of that chip, first being a non A 'S1', and secondly a "HHH" chip, so all processes done in the Holland facility :) In general the non A chips are said to be more lively sounding than the 'A' chips.

 

I know my Early 'A" single Crown is more veiled in the bass and mids compared to latter made 'A' single crowns, but that non 'A' you have was produced near the end of the non 'A' manufacturing a6t around the same time as my 'A' chip, and the R1's were the bottom of the TDA1541A grades, but date of manufacturing is significant, with the processes done better latter on, but the are exceptions.

 

Oh, do I so want a latter Holland Double Crown :x

 

If I win the lottery I'll be buying a Holland double crown for sure  ;)

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hahahaha

 

you people have it bad....  and that's good  😊

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, scruffy1 said:

so your cd puts out digital signal to an external dac ?

Yes it's a very good CD transport, that feeds an MSB discrete R2R dac, and I repeat :

" it has never been better yet in my system by a streamer or HD play back taking the place of the CD transport, into the same MSB dac via the same digital hookup whether it was , spdif, toslink or aes-ebu"

Jess

Edited by jessandkerry

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Guest Muon N'
11 minutes ago, scruffy1 said:

hahahaha

 

you people have it bad....  and that's good  😊

:thumb: It's all fun, and fun our hobby should be.

 

Similar is found in all IC manufacturing, latter processes are generally better in the same facility, some people have noticed the differences in sound between O Amp made in different facilities and at different times :)

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Guest Muon N'
3 minutes ago, jessandkerry said:

Yes it's a very good CD transport, that feeds an MSB discrete R2R dac, and I repeat :

" it has never been better yet in my system by a streamer or HD play back taking the place of the CD transport, into the same MSB dac via the same digital hookup whether it was , spdif, toslink or aes-ebu"

Jess

MSB DAC?

 

I can't imaging the transport you use with it being any kind of slouch, likely very good indeed :thumb:

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2 minutes ago, jessandkerry said:

Yes it's a very good CD transport, that feeds an MSB discrete R2R dac, and I repeat :

" it has never been better yet in my system by a streamer or HD play back taking the place of the CD transport, into the same MSB dac via the same digital hookup whether it was , spdif, toslink or aes-ebu"

Jess

 

having just googled msb dacs, i can see i'm in a much junior league  😲

 

it probably sounds way better than what i have, but maybe not better if you had a more expensive computer 😜

 

 

1 minute ago, Muon N' said:

:thumb: It's all fun, and fun our hobby should be.

 

Similar is found in all IC manufacturing, latter processes are generally better in the same facility, some people have noticed the differences in sound between O Amp made in different facilities and at different times :)

this is akin to my experiences in overclocking computers; it's an established fact that cpu chips that were sourced from the centre of a wafer are the bee's knees, and that certain batches are far superior to others from the same factory - certain "steppings" are revered by aficionados

 

phases of the moon ?  raw ingredients ? luck ? i don't doubt all electronic stuff occasionally produces rare magic beasts, and i suddenly appreciate that building a rig to you people is really the same discipline as matching the parts to build a high end gaming machine

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Guest Muon N'
Posted (edited)

Nah, just better production silicon, less flaws on a very small level, So purity is part of that. Think of that CPU die that is able to OC 10% or 20% better than a standard chip, then think of a TDA1541A of better quality in the die purity and production sounding 10% or 20% better than a standard chip.

 

There are similarities with computers, but the subtleties in audio reproduction are vastly more nuanced IMO, where raw data can get by audio may suffer somewhat under the same conditions.

 

But similarities there are, there are transport systems of different kinds not unlike the data BUS systems, some better or just trade off than others, and all that sort of stuff, power purity (quality) is critical for good audio reproduction (think of it like the blood quality that feeds the human systems where systems and organs are healthier and perform better when supplied with a better quality and purity of blood), and so on.

 

Edit: but you get the idea, and understand a fair bit.

Edited by Muon N'
added stuff

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Posted (edited)

Absolutely blown away by the improvement replacing the SAA7220 with a NOS reclock module has made. Better defined bass, quieter background allowing more noticeable detail and incredible dynamics.  Impact is also improved. The hard edges that has always been present with digital content is gone too. Another thing is the slight sibilance the DAC exhibited is now gone. I'm now a fan of NOS DAC's!

Edited by MattyW

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now i'm feeling disappointed that i donated my old luxman L2 to be auctioned for charity, when with my current electronic skills and the knowledge to mine here, i could have re-birthed it to audio maximus

 

ah well, i can still pull out the epicure model 10's if i need a project  :)

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2 hours ago, scruffy1 said:

now i'm feeling disappointed that i donated my old luxman L2 to be auctioned for charity, when with my current electronic skills and the knowledge to mine here, i could have re-birthed it to audio maximus

 

ah well, i can still pull out the epicure model 10's if i need a project  :)

My skills aren't great with a soldering iron.  I did the cap change in my DAC, however installing sockets for the OPAMPS, TDA1541 and SAA7220 were all done by others. The lead free solder in this DAC is horrible to work with as @Muon N' can attest.

 

If it weren't such a nightmare to work with we'd have replaced the small caps around the DAC chips too.

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Guest Muon N'
9 minutes ago, MattyW said:

My skills aren't great with a soldering iron.  I did the cap change in my DAC, however installing sockets for the OPAMPS, TDA1541 and SAA7220 were all done by others. The lead free solder in this DAC is horrible to work with as @Muon N' can attest.

 

If it weren't such a nightmare to work with we'd have replaced the small caps around the DAC chips too.

Yeah It sux, or should I say it doesn't, doesn't like re-flowing either, hard to clear through holes of it 9_9

 

Would be good to replace a lot of those decoupling caps with better quality and better values. Still, in spite of it, it sounds very nice, and the 10 individual choked power regulators helps heaps I imagine. Of course you have used a nice chip along with nice coupling caps, nice discrete Op Amps and nice valves, all help too :thumb:

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29 minutes ago, MattyW said:

My skills aren't great with a soldering iron.  I did the cap change in my DAC, however installing sockets for the OPAMPS, TDA1541 and SAA7220 were all done by others. The lead free solder in this DAC is horrible to work with as @Muon N' can attest.

 

If it weren't such a nightmare to work with we'd have replaced the small caps around the DAC chips too.

 

ha !  when i had my protracted "sabbatical with malignancy" i trained up my microsurgical skills by variously wiring connectors on micro drones to flash their firmware for acrobatics, and in my best effort, substituted a new momentary switch to an otherwise crapped out pixel 5 which i still use

 

soldering is easy (once you can).... but desoldering without the good gear is hideously frustrating

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, scruffy1 said:

soldering is easy (once you can).... but desoldering without the good gear is hideously frustrating

 

Yes, I'm actually seriously considering getting a desoldering station (would love to get Hakko but too much $) and a Hakko soldering iron..... Might make life easier.

 

I'm curious about how far this DAC can go now.... I don't think I can live without listening to it long enough to do the work though.... I was just blown away when Nirvana - On a plain came on. Nirvana normally sounds flat and lifeless on any system I've heard and it was like hearing it for the first time and hearing detail and soundstage I've never heard before. I've not enjoyed it in over 20 years!

 

This DAC is absolutely magical!

Edited by MattyW

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Speaking of performance enhancements for CD playback check out my review of the Marigo Aida CD mat 

 

 

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