Just curious if anyone has compared the sound quality of the ARC CD-8 and ARC DAC 8 with respect to just the redbook CD application. I recall that the CD-8 uses a single Burr Brown chip. However the DAC 8 uses a quad of Burr Brown chips in a mono configuration (whatever that means).

Although on the surface a "quad of chips" sounds more impressive than just a single chip, I suspect that the DAC 8 architecture is driven by its multi digital source capabilities. So ... in short, the single chip versus quad chip attribute may be an irrelevant consideration.

The bottom line Q therefore is whether anyone actually compared the redbook CD playback of the two units.


The Ref CD8 and DAC 8 are very different units. First off the DAC 8 is solid state while the CD8 uses 6H30 tubes with a 6550 in the power supply. I own both a Ref CD7 and a DAC 8. I use the CD7 to play CDs and the DAC 8 for computer audio. I will say that I prefer the sound of a CD played on my CD7 then the ripped CD through the DAC 8. The CD7 is smoother sounding. One really nice thing is about the DAC8 is that because it is solid state I can leave it on all the time. The CD7 takes a couple of hours to sound its best. I got the DAC 8 to play high resolution downloads. I play CDs with the CD7 about half the time and vinyl the other half.
Bummer, I thought that I could get myself a Dac 8 and a computer audio setup, rip all of my cd's and still sound as good as my ARC cd7. No shortcuts I guess.
Thanks Lostbears. I used to own the CD-7 and then picked up the CD-8. I happen to like the CD-8 a little better, but both are cut from the same sonic cloth. I thought the DAC 8 might edge out the CD-8 in redbook CD mode because the DAC 8 uses a quad of Burr Brown chips configured in mono mode -- whatever that means. However, the DAC 8's topology might have more to do with its other digital capabilities.
Lostbears, if you get a chance, check out my OP re the newly released ARC CD-6. I believe the CD-6 is making its debut at the CES.
I was not impressed with the CD8 . I found a DAC 8 with an Ayre C5mp as a transport to be as good as any digital i've heard .