High end DAC vs DVD

Can I high DAC ever sound better than a regular DVD player? Is that the benchmark? Or the DVD will always give you more resolution but analog conversion may make the DAC sound better.
I have yet to hear a standalone DVD player that sounds remotely as good as a high-end DAC. You get less resolution from the cheaper DACs, analog section op-amps and power supplies, and more digital noise from the extra video circuitry in the DVD player. Where did you get your information?
just trying to learn.

my dvd player with dvd sounds better than my njoe 4000 cdp with upsampler. theres more info on a dvd, its got a natural advantage.
I think I get your logic, but the fact that a DVD holds more data then a CD has nothing to do with the quality of the onboard DAC.

The discussion of resolution with a DVD is traditionally a discussion about the quality of the video. Keep in mind that the amount of audio information per channel is the same.

From your description it doesn't sound as though you are comparing apples and apples...

If you play the exact same material on two devices, it is pretty much a given that one will sound better then the other. This can be due to a very wide range of factors including internal components and circuitry, the comparative quality of the power supplies, the cabling, where they are each physically located in the room etc. If you are not comparing the same recording there are even more variables...

Finally it is not a given that Redbook upsampling sounds better. Many people here on the Gon do not like what upsampling does to music.
Are you talking about DVD-A?
I was not talking about DVD-A since it is anything but broadly accepted.

Obviously there are several audio formats that boast higher native sampling rates - assuming of course that the original recording was recorded and mastered this way, they "should" sound better then a Redbook at 44.1 or a Redbook upsampled to 96 or 192 or beyond.

Problem being of course that most material is not available in this format.
dvds don't have higher sampling rates than cds?

I guess my question isn't dvd audio on a cheap player going to sound pretty much the same as a cd on a great player.
You have done a good piece of thinking. It would be really great if your economic "value" model delivered a high level of satisfaction. Even if it does for you now, my bet is that if you stay with this hobby you will ultimately move to a more refined source...

If you spend any time reading these Forums and others out there, you will find broad consensus that the quality of the source determines the potential of the rest of a system. The logic is classic GIGO - garbage in, garbage out. That is to say, no matter how good the downstream part of your system is, it is ultimately limited by what is upstream from it. Which is why so much emphasis has always been put on the quality of the original recording and the source that brings it to your system.

Turning digits to analog signal is an incredibly complex undertaking involving a complex electro-optical-mechanical device. Simple engineering (Pinto vs BMW) tells us that a better box yields a better signal. Leave the CD out of it and simply consider (and if you can audition) the difference between the sound of a $89 DVD player and a high end Arcam or the like.

Like a fine wine, sound (in the form of an analog out in this case) is the sum of many parts. A cheap DVD player is less expensive because it makes compromises (compared to a higher end player regardless of format) in areas like the op amps, DAC, power supply, plugs, power cord and receptacle, transport, error correction, isolation, quality of feet, rigidity of the case etc.

While these things strike the casual observer as arcane or technical or trivial, in point of fact each of these is an area that is carefully scrutinized and tweaked by people in these Forums as they seek to perfect the sound of a given unit. This is the very essence of the audiophiles interest and obsession.

And if you think that this discussion verges on the wacky, wait till you check out a $100,000.00 record player... make that turntable LOL
Tz7, are you talking about the hi-rez format DVD-Audio, as opposed to a regular DVD player with a 16-bit/44khz audio? If the former, based on what I've heard from cheap SACD players, the hi-rez format on a cheaper player can sound better than a modestly better CD only player, but there are many out there who wondered what the fuss about SACD was all about when they compared cheaper SACD players to their more expensive and better engineered CD playback systems, because of all the other variables that Ckorody so aptly points out in his excellent posts. Make no mistake about it, while the additional information in a DVD-A or SACD makes them potentially better than the standard CD, it's power supplies, analog sections and well-engineered circuits that can dig that information out of the discs, and if manufacturers cheap out in some areas to meet a price point or to deal with space constraints, they will not be taking full advantage of what the new formats have to offer.