Digital signals arry a clock timing signal. Unless you get a DAC that is immune to jitter (asynchronous type have become common in the last five years) then it can matter what your digital source is.
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I've gone over a few other threads where the oppo was highly recommended. But is that the best I can do for a $1,500-1,600 budget? I don't mind spending it all so long as it is the best I can get for that amount. Used I've seen those for around 800 or so. The MCD201 I mentioned I can pick up for $1,500 new. But I read another thread where someone mentioned that the dacs in the McIntosh sucked. And someone else mentioned in the virtual system thread of mine that I may not get very much improvement over my ps3 routed to a good dac vs. a good cdp. Sooooo... I have no idea where to go from here. If I had $5k to blow I'd start buying and auditioning. But I don't. I need to make an informed decision and hopefully a good one.
Well I got back yesterday from Moon Audio in NC. Drew let me audition a couple of dacs which was great. Also helped me realize the potential of a good dac and other routes I can take as I build up my rig. I'm now dead set on the Cary Exciter dac. I think I'm even sold on the Cary line.
Erikminer... I went ahead and picked up the pandora one for what... $36. It was a nice improvement. Can't wait to see what this dac will do for it. And for the short term, I'm going to leave the cdp idea out. Thanks for your input.
And thanks to everyone else for your inputs as well. The answers here put me on a better path. I do appreciate it.
I'm still curious about the W4S dac but I refuse to buy something in that price ranfge that I don't have the opportunity to listen to first. It was at the top of my list. Even debating the Cullen mod. But no listen= no buy.... sadly. In due time.
And the cds are getting ripped AIFF and pushed to a Seagate BA 1TB NAS. I'd like to order an SSD drive but I'm still waiting for those prices to come down a bit. Flac is a good idea but I'm too iTunes dependent. lol! I don't mind. Between the dac I'm looking at picking up and the the tube preamp stage in my integrated the difference should be minute. If I'm xompletely off here tell me. I'm in the first 10% off reformatting my hard drive on my computer. I'm starting all over when I get it back online tomorrow so if FLAC really is better then maybe i should look into that more. ???
Too bad you feel that way. The Cullen mod for the Sonos is killer.. I've had two of my Zp's modded. And the W4S dac is amazing, and not just for the money. It's bettered a Lavry DA10, a PS Audio DLIII with Cullen stage 4 mods, and crushes a Cambridge dac magic, and it's not far off my PS Audio Perfect Wave Dac.
Well, since I have the Sonos already it was pretty much a given that I'd get it modded since everyone has been saying its an awesome upgrade. That's also not a whole lot of cash either. But the second I approach the $1k mark I get a bit cautious.
I'll tell you what, listening to that Cary dac through a pair of Reference 3A speakers and a Cary tube amplifier beat the hell out of the $80K "reference" system at the local store made up of nothing but McIntosh monoblocks, Cardas Golden Reference cable throughout, and a pair of B&W 800Ds. So I'm happy with that choice. If someone can bring me a W4S and the Cary Exciter dacs and put 'em in my home rig to audition, sure I'll give both an equal listen. Or just give me a nice stack of cash and I'll buy anything that comes highly recommended! ;-D