Cambridge 840c has digital inputs and claims to reduce jitter.
Many may disagree; try one for yourself.
You can also try Altmann JISCO Jitter reduction device ($550) together with the Cullen Mods. Cullen modsAltmann review
I use RWA Isabellina but that is way out of your price range.
Jak sie masz Mrjstark,
Why would you assume your $5,500 RWA Isabellina is out of Jamesw20's price range? He did not state a price, just that he wanted a high end CDP with digital inputs, and not a stand alone DAC.
Mam sie swietnie.:)
Well, I am not assuming anything Beerad.
But, CDP with Digital ins might be the most economical way of having a silver disc playback with external digital source capability. That is the impression I'm getting from the author's question.
EA Pace Car is a re-clocker device not a DAC.
Is it good at what it does best..........? Yes.
Do you really need it to achieve the best possible digital playback - ????????
Mrjstark, thanks for your suggestions. I would be considering the Wadia/accuphase/audio aero capitol in my search. Certainly these aren't considered economical.
All I am saying is that it isn't clear
what your intentions are.
It would have been a lot easier if we knew from the get go what it is exactly that you are asking and what it is that you are trying to achieve. Not to mention your system components, budget and preferences.
Over and out.
How about something from wadia or accuphase? My budget would be $1500-2000 preowned. Could be more if it would be fantastic.
I have a Cullen moded Sonos going into a Cullen Stage 3 moded PS Audio DAC and I still get a bit of noticeable jitter now and then. I listened to a Pace Car mod and heard less jitter, but was after other things with my mods too and didn't want the cost and clutter of a mod on top of a mod.
So long as you are pushing from a source to an outboard DAC of any kind using traditional connections, you're going to get jitter. Thus far, the ease of use of the Sonos interface outweighs my annoyance with jitter, so I'm happy enough. My hope is that standardized I2S interfaces catch on in the near term and we no longer have to compensate with these ridiculous fixes. Take a look at the new PS Audio PerfectWave to see what I mean.
What does jitter sound like? How can you tell if what you're hearing (that you don't like) is bad source, bad cable, tube problem, jitter, or misaligned stars? (Ok, j/k on the last one). Since going to digital, I hear what I consider harshness and lack of dynamics. Is that caused by jitter?
Mikewdc - that harsh sound, often referred to as "hash" is indeed jitter. It's often difficult to pinpoint exactly what is going on or what will fix it, but we all know that it just doesn't sound "right." The human ear is an amazing thing that can adapt to a lot of different sonic qualities (warm vs. cold, refined vs. vivid) and room treatments (a 'live' room with lots of echo vs a 'dead' room with no echo or dynamics) but it has a very hard time with sound that is just plain 'wrong.'
Digital can introduce things like pre-echo (where the echo of a note precedes the note) and unnatural harmonics as it is anyway and jitter makes them stand out even more. As subtle as they might be, these things don't process as natural to the human ear and therefore stand out. It's one of the reasons so many audiophiles prefer vinyl.
What is the fix? Well, for the Sonos, one of the obvious issues was the clock in the device is a consumer level item, and not audiophile quality. Power conditioning and a good power cable helped as well. And a quality digital cable made a difference as well.
And now you know why this is an expensive hobby.
Thanks Shazam. Like I said, I'm new to the digital bit (other than the Rega Planet CD player I purchased a thousand years ago--and still use, I might add). If I understand correctly, the Sonos player has a DAC in it, it's just not very good, correct? But some folks seem to be adding additional bits between the Sonos player and an outboard DAC. That's where I start to get confused. Also, is there general agreement on which way is best to connect a DAC (optical, coax, or toslink, etc.)?
You are correct - the Sonos has a DAC, but it's not audiophile quality. The things people add in between that and the outboard DAC are re-clockers, upgraded connection posts, and upgraded power (you can even have a battery pack rigged to remove the AC/DC conversion that causes problems).
You'll get plenty of people arguing about optical (Toslink) or coax (SP/Diff) connections. In general, coax seem to be the more consistently implemented connection on most devices, but some people prefer the sonic signature of optical. It comes down to trying each and seeing which you like better.
If you like the Sonos concept, I urge you to try the Slim Devices Transport. It's more expensive, but it is an audiophile quality piece of hardware. I chose against it because it is a little too refined for my tastes (I prefer the more vivid sound I get from my PS Audio DAC). If you are considering mods to Sonos, you will end up ahead of the game with the Slim Devices if you like it out of the box. They offer a 30 day in-home trial - if you don't like it, send it back.