Sunday, December 1, 2019

Obsession with Digital-to-Analogue (DAC) converters?

A friend recently asked why do I prefer using DAC(s), to using a dedicated player as I seem to have gained a few el-cheapo DVD players as transport? My friend still uses a vintage Marantz CD-72.

The summarised the PRO and CON(s) after a long discussion are:-

- Using a DAC, your favourite sonic signature will be preserved

- Not necessary to use a expensive and/or hard to repair player to act as transport

- Unlikely to break down often as a DAC does not have many physical moving parts

- Can replace the transport with a decent DVD player that's pretty affordable nowadays since DVD players are no longer the flagship players

- Can be part of a AV setup as long as your Audio-Video equipment has a SPF/DIF output eg android box, streamer etc

- Much improved audio presentation as a DAC hifi component has been optimised for the sole purpose of production of audio only eg best example is the Marantz CD-94 being enhanced with CDA-94

- When your favourite CD/DVD/transport dies, the cost for repair and/or replacement will be expensive

-  May not be able to rescue the player due to way most companies operate today eg stock min parts

-  Need to evaluate many players before you can find a satisfactory audio quality compromise (if not repairable)

I look at it is a way to "future proofing" my setup and preserving the preferred audio signature.

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