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

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

  1. DigMyGroove

    DigMyGroove Forum Resident

    I'll have a listen with the Bitfrost later this week when I have some time. In the meantime I can tell you that when I first got the Bitfrost I tried it with three players. Here's how the combos ranked from the top:

    1) Rega Apollo (Original model, not R)
    2) Philips CD-50 (1989 Belgian made)
    3) Onkyo C-7030

    I also have three Pioneer DV-79 avi players. These are outstanding machines with an excellent DAC. It's CD sound comes close to that offered by the Rega Apollo - Schiit Bitfrost combo. However I use it for SACD and DVD-A in two of my two channel systems, and another in my AV system.
  2. GuildX700

    GuildX700 Forum Resident

    To each their own.

    If I were you I wouldn't bother with another one, you just don't like it or it does not interface well with your rig, & that's ok.

    It's possible they have changed something in the circuitry on recently released units which changed the sound, but I kinda doubt it, although who knows, anything is possible.

    I'm not going to claim to have golden ears or be an expert and I honestly don't hear massive differences in any CD players, DAC's or transports, but I do usually hear some differences.

    I currently own quite a few and have heard a lot more CD players & DAC's and I liked the C7030 enough that after over 2 years of using it last year I actually picked up another one as a spare, a new factory refurb I got for $124.

    I ran the new refurb on continuous play for several days playing an Alan Parsons Mobile Fidelity tourture Test CD to break it in and make sure it would not crap out on me.

    Comparing it to my other C7030 both sound 100% totally identical to me.

    As I stated earlier I like the sound of the C7030, but even moreso after I hooked it up to my Teac UD-H01 DAC which made a really obvious improvement to the C7030. And I got the Teac for only $189 new.

    IMO That setup there, the C7030 and UD-H01 at $328 is pretty much an unbeatable pair for any sort of a budget digital front end, and as a plus the Teac DAC has a superb headphone amp too.

    But....I also tried the C7030 with my more expensive late build model Musical Fidelity M1 DAC, but in that instance I did not notice any improvement or really any change over the Teac DAC when partnered with the C7030.

    But whereas with my Pioneer Elite PD-S95 transport only unit I can tell the difference quit easily between the Teac and the MF DAC's, with the MF DAC sounding much better than the Teac DAC.

    So the C7030 must not have no where near as good of a transport/electronics section when compared to the mighty PDS-95, which in all honesty I would not expect the C7030 to be anywhere near as good seeing the PD-S95 is a $3,500 tour de force 45 pound hulk of killer transport from back in the early 1990's when they were really building transports right.

    The PD-S95 will probably last me a lifetime, the C7030, hard to tell but given the budget transport in it that will most likely be the first thing to go.

    Still, I know of no other new under $150 CD player currently available that sounds as good straight out of the box as the C7030 does, just don't go expecting it to kill giants as the thread title suggests and you most likely will have a nice sounding budget player you can enjoy.
  3. c-eling

    c-eling Forum Resident

    Nice threadcrap Ron.
    Because for one, still using a player for pre-emphasis compact discs is still the best way to get the proper EQ added.
    The 7030 works for both TOC and Sub Q channel tags via analog out
  4. basie-fan

    basie-fan Forum Resident

    Because some of us still like the security and ritual of handling physical media. :righton:
    4thChoice, Kristofa, hifisoup and 2 others like this.
  5. Tullman

    Tullman I prefer analog

    Boston MA
    Yep, let's not forget the 7030 is a $150 CD player. I wouldn't get my expectations too high. Yes, I like my 7030 for what it is, a good sounding cd player. No, it is not as good as my Esoteric.

    Just because many of us like the 7030 doesn't mean it's competes with more expensive cd players.
    bluemooze and c-eling like this.
  6. DaverJ

    DaverJ Forum Resident

    East Tennessee

    I like scanning the shelf for a CD that fits the mood, pulling it out of the jewelcase, popping it in the player, hitting play, and crashing on the couch. I guess it's not unlike the vinyl ritual, except I don't have to worry about cleaning the disc, dusting, flipping, etc. Both encourages album play, which I find desirable, but unlike vinyl, skipping songs via the remote or player is at my fingertips.

    I also have a hard drive connected to a Raspberry Pii3 + DAC that I can control with a laptop or phone that has all my lossless CD rips on the same system, and this method can do hi-res 24/96, but I dunno... I still like playing CDs and records and not worrying about a computer.
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2017
  7. basie-fan

    basie-fan Forum Resident

    Any update on the combination of c7030 + Bitfrost?
  8. DigMyGroove

    DigMyGroove Forum Resident

    Thanks for the reminder! I just did a comparison using the 1997 Kind of Blue CD, here's what I found:

    1) Onkyo C-7030 On Board Wolfson DAC vs. Schiit Modi Uber
    The Onkyo's DAC sounded better that the Schiit Modi Uber. The difference isn't huge, but it can be heard. The Onkyo's Wolfson DAC has a better high end and offers more space around the instruments. The Schiit sounds slightly veiled in comparison, but the difference isn't much, I think a non-audiophile listener would have trouble hearing any difference between the two. In this case there's absolutely no reason to go with an outboard DAC like the Modi, the Wolfson DAC will do just fine.

    2) Onkyo C-7030 On Board Wolfson DAC vs. Schiit Bitfrost Uber
    In this case the Schiit Bitfrost Uber clearly bests the Onkyo's on board DAC. There's noticeably better high end, much greater sense of air in the room and separation between instruments. The mid-tones are improved too,with the saxophones sounding wonderfully lush, and the bass much better defined. In addition there's a bit more volume. As I listened the question arose: Is it worth several hundred dollars for this amount of improvement? To a non-audiophile probably not, the Onkyo really does sound quite nice as is, but for those with the ears and passion for better sound, yes. Now that Schiit has upgraded the tech in their two Bitfrost offerings, the difference between the Onkyo C-7030's on board DAC and those new models should be even more profound. I look forward to upgrading sometime this year and finding out for myself.

    These comparisons were done using my bedroom system with a Pioneer SX-850 receiver and circa 1999 CSW Model Six Speakers (acoustic suspension design) connected with 12 gauge Monoprice wire. In both cases the Onkyo C-7030 was connected to the receiver using Better Cables Silver Serpent hybrid silver & copper interconnect, and the Schiit Modi Uber was connected to the receiver with an all copper Signal Cable Analog Two interconnect.
  9. basie-fan

    basie-fan Forum Resident

    Thank you for posting this! DTC audio equipment from the U.S. is expensive for Canadians (and hard to return) so information like this is very, very helpful. :tiphat:
    DigMyGroove likes this.
  10. Uri Cohen

    Uri Cohen Forum Resident

    Jacksonville, FL
    I'm sorry to bump this thread, but I'm curious on people thoughts on using this unit as a CD Transport? I was planning to use a headphone based setup where I use an Audio-GD DAC/AMP combo unit and this could be a good simple CD transport unit. There is also the TEAC CD-P650-B that can be used for a transport as well.
  11. c-eling

    c-eling Forum Resident

    I had no issues with it being used as such as I preferred my outboard DAC, I would just switch to analog for pre discs :cheers:
  12. DigMyGroove

    DigMyGroove Forum Resident

    It will work just fine as a transport, but it's internal DAC is quite good to start with.
  13. bluemooze

    bluemooze Forum Resident

    Frenchtown NJ USA
    Bitfrost. :shake:

    Bifrost. :agree:

    Just sayin'
  14. Uri Cohen

    Uri Cohen Forum Resident

    Jacksonville, FL
    Because my older Audio-GD DAC uses Dual Wolfson's DACs. :)
    bluemooze likes this.
  15. randy9700

    randy9700 Indian MC Rider!

    I have had the C-7030 since September 2014 and it is used in an office system. Using this as a reasonably priced transport was one of the features I was attracted to. I am just using the internal DAC (Wolfson) in this system but plan to get a mid-priced DAC to use in the office and eventually as a second system at home when I retire (yep...this time I am taking my gear with me. I left a system at my last job and regretted it!).
    I am happy to report I have had zero issues with my unit since day 1. This was one of the best audio purchases I have ever made. It is now $169 on Amazon and $139 at (although out of stock ATM).

    If this only had a front USB, the ability to play SACD and DVD-A, DVD-V, BD, FLAC, DSF etc. it would go from a really nice unit for the $ to a great unit! {Wait...that would be a Sony UHP-H1 ($198 at Crutchfield). I just wish the UHP-H1 would have been $198 when I bought this and I would have gone down that route instead....}
  16. rockin_since_58

    rockin_since_58 Forum Resident

    Simi Valley, CA
    Based on reading through most of this thread, I am going to sell my Emotiva ERC-3 on eBay and get one of the Onkyo C-7030's.
    Dan Steele likes this.
  17. patient_ot

    patient_ot Forum Resident

    So I have one of these on the way, is there anything in particular I should be worried about? Looking through the threads some people have mentioned the occasional DOA unit and some units with loose transport screws inside. Is there an automatic warranty void sticker that peels off if I remove the hood to check the screws?

    Also, I see that people are advising not to see anything on top of this. I don't like stacking components but I'm running out of room in my audio rack (need to get a second one eventually). My choices right now are to stack on top of my old H/K CD player or put it on a shelf where my DAC and phono pre are, and stack those two units side by side on top of the Onkyo. These are small Schiit units not much bigger than a small sandwich...are they going to cause an issue if I stack them on top of the CD player?
  18. c-eling

    c-eling Forum Resident

    Some have reported when forwarding to the next or previous track a slight noise/ pop or click
    Mine did it for about a month or so then it stopped.
    I've experienced no further issues OT
    patient_ot likes this.
  19. rockin_since_58

    rockin_since_58 Forum Resident

    Simi Valley, CA
    I have had no issues with mine and it sounds fantastic.
    patient_ot likes this.
  20. patient_ot

    patient_ot Forum Resident

    The CD player arrived today, mine was a refurb from A4L. Sounding great so far. I have only tried the internal DAC and haven't tried it hooked it up as a transport yet.
  21. Surprising but nice to see this thread still going. I've been very happy with my C-7030 since buying it back in mid 2014, and haven't had any problems with mine with minimal usage. Great little CD player for the price!
    ddarch, jriems and patient_ot like this.
  22. GuildX700

    GuildX700 Forum Resident

    There is no tamper seal. I would not put anything real heavy on top like an amp or receiver, when I did it flexed something inside actually causing the player to skip.
    patient_ot likes this.
  23. cliffy

    cliffy Well-Known Member

    hi, I was able to get a schematic for the 7030c which i passed on to a guy who tweaks amps and cd players , he does this by adding larger caps to parts of the circuit, he says ic's work better if they have their own power supply and by adding larger caps the ic's work better thinking they have their own PS, i haven't done this to my own cd player but i will, hope someone on here who is good with a solder iron might take this on.

    C303, 306 are for the DAC and can go to 4700/10V. C308 is ref for the DAC and can go to 1000/10V. C327, 328 are for the op-amps and should go to 6800/16V. The op-amps are Njm4580's and can be changed to LM4562'S. You will have to determine the package type yourself since it does not say on the schematic. The caps will all be big but it will be OK to have long leads with the body in the air. Not too high, however. There are two resistors, R362 and 363 that can be jumpered out as well. These are inline with the power but the big caps make them unneeded. The head phone amps are also njm4580's if you want to change them too. Their caps are C403 and C404 and can go to 6800/16v. The PCB was not shown so I don't have ant idea of how hard it will be to replace these parts.
    Dan Steele likes this.
  24. GuildX700

    GuildX700 Forum Resident

    Mine is still running perfect.
    Purple and patient_ot like this.
  25. Kristofa

    Kristofa I dream of wires

    Eugene, Oregon
    I don't want to derail, but perhaps this info can contribute:
    I am the same way. I have three DACs, and all three sound different enough to prefer one over the others depending on a situation (e.g., volume listening level, mastering, etc.)

    It sounds like my Denon DCD-1050 internal DAC compared to my other two: Yamaha rx-v775 and OPPO bdp-93. It has that space and air, but perhaps it sounds more "digital" than the other two. It is the oldest by far.

    The Yamaha has the greatest soundstage spread but recessed center image. The OPPO seems the most balanced, but it is missing the air around the instruments that the Denon provides and the center image isn't as crisp--which works with many recordings. The OPPO seems to be a bit of both worlds but doesn't scratch the itch I think more refined DACs may provide.

    Hopefully this will help place the Onkyo somewhat... at least with this mid-fi review of other DACs.

    The two CD/Blu-ray players are using Morrow MA-1 interconnects, and the digital inputs are basic Audioquest coax into the Yamaha.
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2017

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