DAC specifically for Redbook CD's

Discussion in 'DACs' started by Bigboi33, Mar 15, 2017.

  1. bimasta

    bimasta Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    502
    Very useful thread. Thanks to all. I was in the same boat as OP, using CDPs, primarily with the TDA1541 DAC. I was happier than OP however, because I liked the sound of my players. I wasn't looking for a DAC, didn't think it mattered.

    I saw an Adcom GDA-700 DAC at my local Goodwill, for the staggering price of $7. Perfect condition. The improvement was dramatic, far more than I expected. It took another quantum leap when I made a proper 75ohm cable. Far better than even a high-end IC, this is one case where a wire alone makes the proverbial "night and day" difference. My digital music is now sheer pleasure.

    $200 is common for this DAC (the earlier 600 is even less, and just as good, lacking only a feature or two you don't need). I think it's the "kind of sound" you'll like, judging from how you describe your preferences.
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2017 at 9:54 PM
  2. SoNic67

    SoNic67 Well-Known Member

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    797
    Oh, I hate lucky people like you!
    Sure, I love my Parasound with PCM63K, but still... $7 for GDA-700?
     
  3. bimasta

    bimasta Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    502
    I know and I'm really really sorry. The worst thing is, it keeps happening! I can't make it stop! Even when I boycott thrift shops, I find stuff on the street! A couple of days ago I listed my current system on another thread, something about high-end on a budget — but I won't give you the link. You'd hate me so much you'll hunt me down and kill me!

    Or maybe you'd rather come over and hear some music...
     
  4. xero-D-hero

    xero-D-hero Super Member

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    1,465
    The Adcom GDA-xxx are very comparable to the Parasound D/AC-xxxx I mentioned earlier.
    I was gonna mention those Adcoms in addition to the Parasound's but I guess I was in a hurry and forgot to do so.

    Point is there are some great deals out there for used high end/high SQ redbook DAC's.
    And if one is into modding these,even more can be gotten outta those units as well.

    FWIW

    Bret P.
     
  5. Dr Tone

    Dr Tone Active Member

    Messages:
    209
    Location:
    Calgary, AB
    I don't think it can be done for less $500.

    My recomendation is way over your budget but I have to recommend it, the Ayre Codex. IMO, Ayre's custom implented minimum phase apodizing filter does a spectacular job on red book. It's also a headphone amp and preamp but the dac is the best part. To sound it's best you want to run it balanced out if you can.
     
  6. bimasta

    bimasta Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    502
    True. If your priority is Redbook, a good DAC (Adcom, Parasound, et al) from that period is ideal. CD was reaching its pinnacle, before the newer formats took over. After that, CD was an afterthought: "Also plays CDs... barely."

    I'm a digi-gnoramus: the only DAC I know is my Adcom, so don't be swayed by me.

    But here is a real recommendation: I Hate Adcom! I had their preamp, preamp-tuner, a 100W stereo and 2 x 300W monos. I found "the house sound" harsh, even painful, and got rid of them fast. I also had their "system turn-on" box and hated that too.

    But I love the Adcom DAC.
     
  7. gvl

    gvl Active Member

    Messages:
    198
    Tubes do have different frequency response, so they are also EQ the signal albeit to change the EQ you need to pick a different set of tubes instead of moving the sliders but the results can be more rewarding as tubes also introduce subtle distortion and make sound more euphoric. Tube rolling is fun, or can be anyway.
     
  8. restorer-john

    restorer-john Super Member

    Messages:
    3,185
    Location:
    Australia
    Tubes are not 'just low pass filters'- they are mostly used after the LPF as buffers in DACs incorporating valves (tubes if you like)

    Jut because you don't 'get why people say they get fatigue with digital' isn't a reason to go down the badly beaten path of Single Bit vs Multibit architecture once again - it's utterly irrelevant in this case.

    The OP will chime in, but I think the 'glare' of digital in the mid/upper is what may cause the fatigue he is experiencing. It is likely perfect reproduction, but not a comfortable sound in the long term for him and his ears. I honestly think a tube buffer stage or a pleasantly distorting, tube, class A amp might just do the trick.
     
  9. Gibsonian

    Gibsonian Super Member

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    2,929
    Location:
    Iowa
    Have listened with iPurifier in system for about a week now. It's a keeper. My digital system now beats the turntable, which hasn't been the case for some time now. Some credit to the new GD Dac, and some to the iPurifier. More analog sounding to me, which is to say it's just more like the real thing (live music) So for OP, might want to consider the IPurifier, it's right at your budget!
     
  10. gvl

    gvl Active Member

    Messages:
    198
    While it's operation is quite different from its SPDIF cousin my recently acquired USB iPurifier also noticeably improved SQ, the highs are now less brittle and more smooth and overall the presentation is much more enjoable, I know this doesn't add much to the original topic but I just want to give iFi a credit.
     
  11. EyeGee

    EyeGee Big Ears

    Messages:
    76
    Location:
    Northern California
    I find my tube buffer DAC does exactly that. Can we say the valve "rounds off" the sheer exactness of all those 1's and 0's?
     

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