Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by audiomixer, Apr 28, 2018.
I know in my experience, the MASH and PEM sound different than the Phillips bitstream chips.
My vote is that the poll would have been a more interesting horse race if the comparison was CD transports rather than players. I suspect many of the “no” voters are confused about the distinction.
Yes, this and if all wires sounded the same.
No question for me. I always assumed every player would sound the same but clearly the digital->analog converters make a big difference. I remember the first time I put a CD in my DVD player and then threw it into my 6-CD changer for whatever reason and accidentally A-B'd the two players while connected to the same receiver. I thought I was crazy. The difference in sound was not in the least bit subtle.
I miss the old days when we could see who voted for what.
You still can. Just cursor over the number of votes and "click".
What is a CD player? Usually it’s four components in one box:
1. Disc Drive - the mechanical device that spins the disc and (using a laser) reads the 0 and 1’s
2. DAC - Digital to Analog Converter, converts the 0 and 1’s to low level Analog Audio
3. Audio Amp - brings the Analog output of the DAC up to line level
4. Power Supply - can’t work without electricity!
IMHO, most of the sound differences comes from #2 (DAC) and #3 (Audio Amp), and to a lesser extent #4 (Power Supply) if the PS is of decent quality. Not convinced #1 (Disc Drive) makes a noticeable difference.
I think how much difference we can hear from different sources depends on how transparent our setup are. When I first started in the hobby, I can only hear a subtle difference between players. My first amp was the Audiolab 8000A. It wasn't a very transparent amp although it was very musical.
Different yes. Went from Audiolab 8200CD to Simaudio Moon 260D with no other changes to the system. Massive difference but how much of this is down to the different DACs I don't know.
Different DACs have their own sonic signature. Different AD converters also have their own sonic signatures. What gets deeper into the weeds is that some DAC and ADC pairings can have certain sonic synergies that can make the special sonic signatures of each more apparent.
I have heard many CD players/DACs in the last 25 years. Wadia had the most sound signature I‘ve ever heard. Very warm analogue sound.
Today... the differences are subtle. I listened to DACs by dCS, emmLabs, MBL and Nagra recently.
After the digitally processed data is sent to the analog section of a CD Player this where the difference happens. This is my opinion and not based on scientific proof.
Yes, but I agree that the majority of the difference lies in the analog output section.
Yes, do this for the "no I don't" category, and see the list of trolls. hehehehe
They absolutely do. All day long.
At home my cdp degraded into a "mere" transport. I guess, this will never change again...
Great amp. A bona fide classic.
So, do CD/digital players converting 16/44.1 sound the same/different? The real question I suspect is "how different"!
When I came across this post and the ~90%:1% result, it got me thinking about doing a blind test to see if I can gather some real-world data using my hi-res ADC.
Come and try this test out:
INTERNET BLIND TEST: Do digital audio players sound different? (Playing 16/44.1 music.)
4 "blinded" devices to listen to from different classes, 4 sample excerpts to try. Which ones sound best? Is there a big difference? Lemme know!
Test closes on April 30, 2019. Plenty of time to listen and let me know!
Thanks for the test Arch! Nice work on the recordings and controlling volume. Just gave it a try and submitted my response. "Ear opening" experience!
Looking forward to what devices you used.
My experience may be too old to be relevant now. I bought mine in 2003 auditioned all 5 star review players in £1000- £1500 range, same retailer, amp & speakers.
Audition, Cyrus, Quad, Arcam and around 4 other CDPs and apart from the Meridian 507 they were all horrendous, one of the worst hi-fi experiences I've ever had.
Yes, CD players do produce different results playing the same CD. So can CD transports. I always believed the opposite about the latter until I tried it in my own system.
Wouldn't it be worthwhile to record the analog outputs of several CD players and do the invert phase trick to see if there's any difference? Or would that not work for some reason?
Thanks for the submission Solarophile. I believe that so long as folks have the requisite high resolution DAC and good enough equipment (speakers and headphones), one should be able to assess the "sound" of these different devices should the differences be significant enough to hear.
When it comes time to unblind the devices, I'll make sure to show both the objective differences as well as people's subjective responses/preferences.
Separate names with a comma.