Great Giant Killer Wolfsen DAC Dedicated CD player-Onkyo C-7030

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by The Beave, Jul 5, 2014.

  1. Tony Stark

    Tony Stark New Member

    Location:
    New Jersey
    I hear you. I hate using the marketing rubbish of the goalie gear world myself.
     
  2. Sneaky Pete

    Sneaky Pete Forum Resident

    Location:
    NYC USA
    A friend I went to law school with had worked for an electronics company doing refurbs. He told me that he thought they were the best bet, because after they were returned they went through diagnostics and were basically cleaned and rebuilt with firmware updates. Then they were tested to make certain they performed to spec before they were resold. He convinced me, I now buy refurbs without hesitation.
     
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  3. jeffmo789

    jeffmo789 Give The Gift of Music!

    Location:
    New England
    This thread title still cracks me up!

    Nevertheless still enjoying my c-7030 very much.
     
  4. jeffmo789

    jeffmo789 Give The Gift of Music!

    Location:
    New England
    I was getting the Led out myself this evening, playing the II remaster.
     
    Tony Stark and c-eling like this.
  5. grx8

    grx8 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Santiago, Chile
    I think I haven't use the Onkyo CD Changer since I received 7030. Really like the sound from it, there's a click from the left channel when I forward a track, but I almost never do that.

    For the price, i think it can't be beat. But, I'm still thinking to try a DAC (probably a Schitt Modi).
    Highly recommend the 7030.

    Cons? Doesn't read CD-Text.
     
  6. Tizman

    Tizman New Member

    Location:
    Toronto
    Hi All. I received my C-7030 three days ago, which I purchased based upon good reviews here and elsewhere, and based on the performance of the built in DAC in my older Onkyo TX-NR616 receiver. I have played many CDs through it, as well many of these same recordings as digital files through my receiver in order to compare the two. So far the Onkyo receiver sounds better in every comparison. The C-7030 seems to have a bit better bass than the receiver, but the receiver sounds more real. Performers sound like they are in the room with you. The C-7030 doesn't do this. To be fair, the files that I played through the receiver are same artist and song, but not identical files. I am using a pair of Klipsch Heresy II and a pair of Quartets, both with upgraded crossovers and tweeters. For amplification, I have used a number of DIY tube amplifiers. I am going to try to run the CD digital out into my receiver to see if that equalises things, and also try burning the CD files to my hard drive and playing them through the receiver so that I can do a comparison that uses completely identical files. As it stands, and this is disappointing to say the least because of how optimistic I was, the C-7030 doesn't stand up to my older receiver.
     
  7. Tizman

    Tizman New Member

    Location:
    Toronto
    I copied files onto a USB key and onto a network drive, and did some comparison listening. KD Lang's Ingenue and Buble's It's Time. The result was the same. In both cases the files decoded by the receiver are obviously superior. Instruments and, especially, vocals sound more real. The C-7030 is lacking in micro-detail. There are fewer nuances to hear. Everything is thicker sounding and lumped together more. With the receiver, I can hear the vocalists breathing very clearly and they sound real. With the C-7030 vocals sound strangely thick and details are lost. There seems to be a great deal of emphasis placed on DACs, but I think the more important thing is actually how the signal coming out of whatever DAC used is amplified and how it's treated as an an analogue signal. I'm pretty sure that the DACs in my receiver are technically inferior to the ones in the C-7030, but the receiver sounds better. I'll return it and try something else. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
     
  8. c-eling

    c-eling Forum Resident

    I used to have a 600 series Onkyo 5.1 and agree it had a nice sounding DAC. It ended up blowing a channel. I moved up to a 700 series and was disappointed. Possible different DAC manufacturers were used.
    Burr-Brown in your 616, 7030 has a Wolfson
     
  9. DaverJ

    DaverJ Forum Resident

    Location:
    East Tennessee
    Curious what analog cables you are running from the player to the amp? I use short AudioQuest Evergreen RCAs with good results.

    I debated on a stand-alone CD player, and finally settled on the Yamaha CD-S300. Even though I got it because it matches my Yammy amp (no DAC) and can use the amp's remote, I am very pleased with the analog-out sound quality from the CD player. It has a Burr-Brown DAC.
     
  10. martinb4

    martinb4 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Irvine, California
    You haven't tested much of anything yet, then. Maybe you'll still feel the same way but you can't do any judging until you actually test it the right way.
     
  11. GuildX700

    GuildX700 Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    Have you even matched in room playing levels to the same exact level? Does not sound like a very good comparison.
     
  12. DigMyGroove

    DigMyGroove Forum Resident

    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    I use my C-7030 in my bedroom system where it's connected to a Pioneer SX-850. I recently added a Schiit Modi to that system since we added a television and Apple TV, so the DAC was a must have in order to get sound from the Apple TV. The C-7030 sounds wonderful directly connected to the Pioneer, but I was curious how it would sound via digital out to the Modi and then to the Pioneer. What I found was interesting, the Onkyo connected directly to the Pioneer with Better Cables silver-copper hybrid interconnects sounded better than the Onkyo running to the Modi and then on to the Pioneer with the same Better Cables interconnects. When I did the same test using all copper interconnects by Signal Cable I found I couldn't tell the difference at all between the direct connection vs. the DAC connection. I also own a Schiit Uber Bitfrost which is a much better DAC, but haven't yet done the same test, one of these days I'll get around to it.
     
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  13. Tizman

    Tizman New Member

    Location:
    Toronto
    I used two sets of the same cables for the comparison. 24 gauge pure silver wire DIY interconnects. Identical at any rate. With respect to volume matching, I varied the volume many times during the comparison, listening to a few songs many times. In addition to the C7030 sounding less real than the receiver, it also had a grating unpleasant quality in the midrange that was subtle but present in the comparisons.
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2017
  14. GuildX700

    GuildX700 Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    I've heard none of what you describe from mine.
     
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  15. Tizman

    Tizman New Member

    Location:
    Toronto
    The system used for the comparison is a set of Klipsch Heresy II speakers, and a DIY Decware SE84CS clone. Both the amp and speakers are very revealing, so YMMV. Perhaps it's not that C7030 is bad, it's just not as good as my Onkyo receiver. Maybe my receiver is an unknown killer of giant killers, or maybe I got a bad sample of the C7030. I'll try an exchange first for another C7030 and report back on the results.
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2017
  16. Tizman

    Tizman New Member

    Location:
    Toronto
    GuildX700:

    What system are you using your C7030 in?
     
  17. GuildX700

    GuildX700 Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    I've had it in a several of the systems in my house with equally good performance.
     
  18. GuildX700

    GuildX700 Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    Another thought, have you considered the fact the 7030 is revealing the REAL sound of those CD's and not masking it?
     
  19. Tizman

    Tizman New Member

    Location:
    Toronto
    That might be it GuildX700. What do you use as a reference CD? Perhaps you can suggest one or two that you know to be of excellent quality? I would like very much to be wrong about this. I used those two CDs because they were ones that I had as digital files as well as CDs. I also copied them as CD files to my hard drive and to a USB key to play them with the receiver. The CD player did not reveal more than the receiver. The opposite in fact. The receiver revealed more overall including more micro-detail and ambience. There was less detail with the CD player. However, I am happy to give it another go with different CDs. Please recommend a few and I'll try again.
     
  20. GuildX700

    GuildX700 Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    Personally I've always found casual listening much more revealing than picking specific "revealing" CD's and listening and trying to hear differences, YMMV.....
     
    Tony Stark likes this.
  21. basie-fan

    basie-fan Forum Resident

    Yes, please post your impressions with the Bitfrost. The c7030 has been a very reliable transport (for me) and I've wondered whether a quality external DAC would improve upon the already nice Wolfson DAC inside the c7030. Could this be a better upgrade than replacing the entire CDP?
     
    T'mershi Duween likes this.
  22. Tizman

    Tizman New Member

    Location:
    Toronto
    I'm going to exchange my C-7030 for another one and see if it gets better for me. As it stands, and using recordings that I have listened to multiple times and that I am familiar with as personal references, the sample that I have does not stand up to the DAC in my Onkyo TX-NR616 receiver. With respect to GuildX700's comments, it is at best difficult to compare two pieces of audio equipment when you have the same listening material to compare them with, have matched levels adequately, are only changing the units being compared out of the entire system, and are familiar with the recordings that you are listening to. To do it by casually listening to one component and then to another one at a different time, and comparing from memory is a not really a meaningful comparison. I did some casual listening when I plugged in the C-7030 initially. It seemed lacking, so I did a more meaningful comparison and found it still lacking. I'll try another unit.
     
    Kristofa likes this.
  23. Tizman

    Tizman New Member

    Location:
    Toronto
    I would also love to hear your impressions on the Bitfrost as well. I am convinced that the analogue part of every DAC is at least as important as the chip used.
     
  24. GuildX700

    GuildX700 Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    Fact is audio memory is near zero regardless so it don't matter if your listening to familiar music and swap and listen 2 minutes apart or 2 days, what will matter is long term use, how you feel, does this set well with you, does it grate on you, does it pull you in or make you ambivalent?
     
  25. Tizman

    Tizman New Member

    Location:
    Toronto
    I'm going to return it. It is very nicely built, but it never did sound good to me and still doesn't. This is true regardless of the comparisons I did. I will try another sample, but I'm not optimistic.
     

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