DAC in CDP vs DAC in 2-ch. Stereo Reciever - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 04-29-2012, 01:47 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi ... got a qustion maybe someone here might know something about.

I am ordering components for a moderate-low priced 2-channel audio system.

The CD player is an Onkyo C-7030. Onkyo says it has an internal Wolfson 192 kHz / 24-Bit DAC (this player is just for music .. it don't play DVDs)

The reciever I am ordering is an Onkyo TX-8050 Network Stereo Reciever. Onkyo does not say what type of DAC this reciever has.

The way I understand it is that if I connect these two components with a Toslink digital cable, it will be the reciever's DAC that will do the digital to analog conversion, but if I connect the two components with analog RCA patch cables, it will be the CD player's DAC that will do the digital to analog conversion.

Am I correct in stating that?

Do you think either one of these internal DACs are better than the other, thus giving a better quality sound when playing a CD through the system?

I guess I could buy both a set of quality RCA interconnects ... listen to it, and then buy a Toslink optical cable an listen again to see which sounds better?

Do you think I will even notice any difference by useing the DAC in the CD player vs using the DAC in the reciever?

Thank's
Ron
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post #2 of 12 Old 04-29-2012, 01:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flt Simulation View Post

The way I understand it is that if I connect these two components with RCA analog interconnects, it will be the reciever's DAC that will do the analog to digital conversion, but if I connect the two components with a Toslink digital cable, it will be the CD players DAC that will do the conversion.

You got it backwards. The DAC occurs when the signal is converted to analog. So with RCAs, you are using the CD player's DAC; with the optical connector to the receiver, the receiver does the conversion.

You may or may not hear any difference between the two. I'd go with the optical cable.

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post #3 of 12 Old 04-29-2012, 02:04 PM - Thread Starter
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cel ... Thank's again for helping me.

After I read what I posted, I now realize I have it backwards.

If the DACs were the exactly the same in both the CDP and the reciever, I guess you would not really hear any audible differences whether or not you connected the two with analog or digital interconnects?

Just wondering which component more than likely has the best DAC.

Maybe I should correct my wording in my post above, so it's not confusing.
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post #4 of 12 Old 04-29-2012, 02:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flt Simulation View Post

Hi ... got a qustion maybe someone here might know something about.

I am ordering components for a moderate-low priced 2-channel audio system.

The CD player is an Onkyo C-7030. Onkyo says it has an internal Wolfson 192 kHz / 24-Bit DAC (this player is just for music .. it don't play DVDs)

The reciever I am ordering is an Onkyo TX-8050 Network Stereo Reciever. Onkyo does not say what type of DAC this reciever has.

Do you think either one of these internal DACs are better than the other, thus giving a better quality sound when playing a CD through the system?

Do you think I will even notice any difference by useing the DAC in the CD player vs using the DAC in the receiver?

DAC schamck. It's a CD player so all its DAC is ever going to see is 16/44. Its 24 bits, 192 KHz potential is moot.

More to the point is whether an analog output from the CD player gets converted back to digital in the receiver. Be safe, run a digital line from the music player to the receiver.

I'd be more worried about this issue:
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showp...6&postcount=14
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post #5 of 12 Old 04-29-2012, 04:25 PM
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I guess I could buy both a set of quality RCA interconnects ... listen to it, and then buy a Toslink optical cable an listen again to see which sounds better?

Do you think I will even notice any difference by useing the DAC in the CD player vs using the DAC in the reciever?

If you did a carefully controlled scientific listening test, the odds against hearing a difference are overwhelming at this point. As Arny suggests, it's really hard to find a DAC these days that can't convert CDs transparently.

But if you try it both ways as you suggest, it's quite likely that your mind will play tricks on you, and you'll conclude that one or the other way will sound better. Not that it will matter.

I don't know what if any digital signal processing the receiver does, but if it does any then the receiver will re-digitize any analog signal coming into it. So if you use an analog (RCA) connection, you'll be using both DACs. Which, again, won't matter for what you hear.

As a general rule, it almost never hurts to push the D/A conversion as far downstream as possible. In an orderly universe, the DACs would be in the speakers.

If you can't explain how it works, you can't say it doesn't.—The High-End Creed

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post #6 of 12 Old 04-29-2012, 04:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcnarus View Post

. . . In an orderly universe, the DACs would be in the speakers.

In an truly orderly universe, the speakers would be digital.
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post #7 of 12 Old 04-29-2012, 04:56 PM
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Don't want to hijack this post ... but it's DAC/8050 related.

Does it make more sense to run an optical cable from my Mac Mini (I use iTunes) to the optical input of the Onkyo 8050 (using the Onkyo DAC) OR use my Firestone Fubar IV Plus DAC via the USB port & RCA cables? Do you think I would notice a difference?

I posted about this in some other threads, so I apologize if this is a repeat, but I'm still confused .
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post #8 of 12 Old 04-29-2012, 07:41 PM
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Do you think I would notice a difference?

No, I don't think so. Personally, I'd go with the shortest distance between two points.

If you can't explain how it works, you can't say it doesn't.—The High-End Creed

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post #9 of 12 Old 04-29-2012, 11:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcnarus View Post

If you did a carefully controlled scientific listening test, the odds against hearing a difference are overwhelming at this point. As Arny suggests, it's really hard to find a DAC these days that can't convert CDs transparently.

But if you try it both ways as you suggest, it's quite likely that your mind will play tricks on you, and you'll conclude that one or the other way will sound better. Not that it will matter.

I don't know what if any digital signal processing the receiver does, but if it does any then the receiver will re-digitize any analog signal coming into it. So if you use an analog (RCA) connection, you'll be using both DACs. Which, again, won't matter for what you hear.

As a general rule, it almost never hurts to push the D/A conversion as far downstream as possible. In an orderly universe, the DACs would be in the speakers.

Many receivers (including mine) have the option of bypassing all digital signal processing on analog inputs. The signal goes intact as it left the CD player and is only affected by the volume control. The best solution for many mid to high-end CD players.
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post #10 of 12 Old 04-30-2012, 05:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AdamITR View Post

Does it make more sense to run an optical cable from my Mac Mini (I use iTunes) to the optical input of the Onkyo 8050 (using the Onkyo DAC) OR use my Firestone Fubar IV Plus DAC via the USB port & RCA cables?

I'd favor using the optical input on the Onkyo.

Quote:
Do you think I would notice a difference?

Probably not.

But perchance there was an audible difference, the digital input of the Onkyo is probably going to be the most sonically accurate.

With analog cables there is always a possibility of adding hum and noise due to grounding and EMI problems. Digital optical completely avoids that.
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post #11 of 12 Old 05-01-2012, 09:39 PM
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I have a Cambridge Audio 840C which has two digital inputs so it can be used as an external DAC and it works great. Into input #1 I use an S/PDIF coax from a MacBook Pro running Audirvana and it plays hi-res flac fantastically. Input #2 has S/PDIF from a Squeezebox touch streaming which sounds awesome with redbook level Flac's but tends to stutter on 24/96 stuff unless my DSL is cranking.
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post #12 of 12 Old 05-01-2012, 09:44 PM
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Oh, btw, to get 24/192khz stuff out of my Mac I Use the V-Link 192 USB to S/PDIF converter
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