Originally Posted by egoss
It's quite possible that the rest of your system is not quite up to revealing the differences between the two, or there is no difference. This is not necessarily a bad thing. Keep in mind that the people who make such pronouncements are usually using mega-mega-buck systems, and are professional listeners. I don't mean that to disparage them in any way, but people who listen to music to evaluate Hi-fi gear listen differently than people who simply like to hear music. I have experience in both fields, and could explain my thoughts on this matter in further depth - but I won't boor you to tears. :-) If you wish to test your original theory you would need a high quality transport and the Olive run through the same DAC. The DAC chosen should have the ability to switch quickly between the inputs. A nice, quiet listening environment, a couple of hours with nothing else to do, some music you are very familiar with, and even then you might not hear any difference. I believe the differences spoken of are so subtle that they probably can be heard in real-world conditions by very few.
BTW, your ears always tell you the truth. :-)
Hi, I consider myself as someone with mega-mega buck systems, or at least I'm getting there. But my cd-player is not at this level, it's a modest Marantz 7001 KI. Because cd-players have real trouble to read cd's properly, I thought it wise to opt for a hard disk player as the Opus is, to get the most out of my cd's. The market for this kind of gear is rather limited still, and the Opus is not the most expensive in this narrow field.
Last week I was at a audiophile friend, who treats his cd's with a green marker, puts them in the fridge one night, sprays some spray on them, and demagnitizes them. We compared one untreated cd with the same fully treated cd, and the difference was striking! It was a difference between ugly and beaultiful.
I don't hear the same difference at home. I ripped the green cd and the original cd, and got exactly the same flac-files (which i expected). So, what the Opus has on his disk is as good as it gets.
Now we only need to get if off the disk, as good as it gets.
The internal DAC of the Opus is not very elaborate. Although the site tells me it can handle up to 96 KHz, it has trouble with 24 bit 96 KHz files (maybe 16 bit 96 KHz does the trick? I don't know).
If you put in another DAC, say the Cambridge DacMagic, the stage is much wider.
that a real good DAC (Benchmark, Buffalo, April Music, Weiss) would make this difference much clearer.
And, to get at the heaven of music, this is the last step to take.
Now, when I compare the Opus with my marantz, I really compare apples and pears. The opus has a better transport, and the Marantz has a better DAC. The result is incomparable. They sound roughly equal.
So my starting point is rather useless, but i hoped to get some views about these matters from other Opus-users. Those that like to get the best.To the point: is an external DAC really the only thing that matters in this regard: getting the most out of your cd's?