Cd's released up to 95' not remastered - DAC?


Is there any hope for these CD's? I have many great bands I'd like to listen to but unless I find vinyl I can't tolerate it.. not to mention I have some of this media and would like to protect my investment.. not to mention they are cheap to buy used..

I just upgraded my Onix XCD-88 OpAmps and it was a wonderful upgrade.. but short of canning that player and spending $2k min. on a new player I am about out of ideas.. While my Onix has digital outs I would not be adverse to using a PC to send to a DAC if that is an option.. but I dont want to waste my time and money..

I am sorry of this was covered.. I just spent 3 hours scouring forums and while there is tons of DAC info I did not find a thread that addressed this directly.

Inevitibly someone will ask so:

Onix XCD-88 Op amp mod
Harmon Kardon 825 and Eico HF85 Preamps
Threshold 400a amplifier (and another on the way)
Vandersteen 2ce biwired with RCA 12 gauge (scouring for a wire upgrade)
B&O beogram RX MMC3 cartridge
jprinz
IMO a bad CD is worthless since you can probably get the vinyl version on the cheap and it will sound so much better. I have a musical fidelity A5 CDP that sounds phenomenal on well recorded material but still can't make up all the distance for a horrible CD. You had it right in the original post - find the vinyl.
You must listen to different bands to me.

I'm looking for non-remastered CDs. Those originally made in Japan and Germany before the US plant came on line (1982-1983) were pretty good (although levels are low, which is easy to remedy). I also like early US CDs (up to 1988 or so), and international CDs up to 1992 or so.

Regards,
Anybody have experience with this?
OK, I'll have another crack at this.

Jprinz writes:

While my Onix has digital outs I would not be adverse to using a PC to send to a DAC if that is an option.. but I dont want to waste my time and money.
I don't quite understand. How would you use a "PC"?

If you connect a high quality DAC to the digital outs, you may get better sound. Or you may not. The Onix has Burr-Brown 1732 24-bit/96kHz DACs and HDCD decoding, so it's probably doing a pretty fair job for a $300 player. It's weakness is probably the output stage.

I am sorry of this was covered.. I just spent 3 hours scouring forums and while there is tons of DAC info I did not find a thread that addressed this directly.

Sorry, what exactly is "this"?

I'm a little confused as to what you are asking. Are you thinking of switching over to computer-based digital playback?

Regards,
To be clear what I am asking is: Can old annoying CD's be "fixed".. but I am not really looking for speculation.. looking for someone who has played with this.. I have seen MANY references to improving CD's on a PC via upsampling..etc.. I dont know what the results are and I also wonder what a DAC could do.. I keep hearing non upsample dacs are BETTER? Its very confusing and thats why I would love some real life information.

I hope that makes sense. Questioning my musical taste is definately not what I am asking for, and if you recall I mentioned I am trying to take advantage of my CD's... so suggestion to me to go out and find vinyl (especially when it doesnt exist as is the case of many mid to 80's on up CD's) is not what I am looking for either.

I guess what I am saying is dont kill me cuz I love "The Tubes" or heaven forbid the 80's hair band RATT! :) Definately laughing out loud right now!

I'm guessing I am going to be waiting for the master tapes to be dusted off some day but I thought I'd ask.
"Questioning my musical taste" - not me mate. As far as Ratt go, I have a great copy of "Out of the Cellar" - it's the original Atlantic "target" made in West Germany. Sounds good here.

Can you describe what you mean by:
Can old annoying CD's be "fixed"

What are you hearing that makes them sound broken? What aspects of the reproduction makes them different from modern CDs? Or from good remasters? Try to write down where you feel improvements can be made in what you hear.

I'm guessing I am going to be waiting for the master tapes to be dusted off some day but I thought I'd ask

That depends on who is holding the duster.

Regards,
I understand exactly what you're talking about. There are some albums I haven't bought in the hope that they would someday be remastered, and some I broke down and bought even though the sound is not as natural or involving as I would like. I've even noticed differences in sound quality between copies of more recently issued cds. In this case, I think it has to do with the quality of the pressing plant (later copies sounding less analog and musical). I began a post about this topic a while ago, but got little response. People seem to be more keen on differences between pressings of lps than with cds. Anyway, i've found some benefit to treating these older cds with shine ola- it seems to bring about some much needed warmth.
KB54:Shine Ola huh? Never heard of it.. but did just google it. Seems like a joke to me.. but so many reviews cannot be overlooked. I guess I will be forced to order some up.. makes 0 sense to me.. 0's and 1's are 0's and 1's.. you cant change that.. weird. Also; I did not know Cd's were "pressed".. I guess I assumed they were simply burned.. I have much to learn.

Metralla: Boy, you really want to help me dont you? :) I guess I am assuming everyone knows what a bad cd is.. you can't listen to it for more than 30 minutes tops.. it is basically a buzzsaw effect you can hear just barely.. and it just grinds on you after awhile.

On RATT: I have that one on vinyl.. damn thing is soooo compressed.. but that was the cool thing to do back then I guess. I'd love to remaster that one.. hopefully the tracks are laid down clean with no processing.. ahhhh I can only dream. I guess I will have to find the CD u have.. I heard much about the "target" cd's but own none.

On a related note: I have a Tascam US-122 I am setting up to copy some vinyl to CD.. but it probably had a really marginal DAC in it.. we shall see..

Anyhow.. my question still sort of stands.. wondering if someone has tried to improve these old cd's with success..