If I am buying a DAC, does my CD player matter?

If I buy a DAC, and my CD Player is just a transport...doesn't that mean the CDP is nothing more than a machine that spins a disc and pass info to the DAC? Wouldn't the DAC's sound overrides the CDP's so therefore it wouldn't really matter what kind of CDP I have?

I am asking because I read alot about the synergy between transports and DACS and don't really understand how it all affects sound quality.
There are two types of DACs: asynchronous upsampling jitter rejecting and non-upsampling (oversampling and non-oversampling). In first case (Dacs like Benchmark DAC1) transport doesn't matter (huge jitter rejection) and anything will do (I use server and cheap DVD player) as long as it has decent tracking and is "bit transparent". Digital cable doesn't matter either. In second case you need good transport with low jitter and good coax digital cable. I bought Benchmark DAC1 ($995) but other people prefer non-oversampling sound and are willing to spend more on transport and cable. It is matter of taste - I like Benchmark but to many people sound is too clean (analytical, sterile etc). Jitter is a noise in time domain and like every noise is affecting clarity.

Benchmark DAC1 has volume pot and I use it as a preamp (only digital sources) directly to power amp. It saves me money on pre and one set of interconnects. I also believe "less is more". If you need analog inputs Benchmark makes DAC1 PRE. Benchmark has 30 day evaluation program - try to get new one since early once had problems. It is neutral (not warm) sounding.

If you have decent transport there are many very good DACs within $500. If you willing to spend more then step above Benchmark would be Bel Canto DAC3 $2500.
I used to believe that transports didn't matter. After doing several comparisons I found out I was wrong. Transports do matter and, in my opinion, can be as important as the DAC. Many years ago it was a commonly held belief that turntables didn't matter. After all, they simply spin the record. :-)

certainly. Don't worry about the output stage of the player as that section will be bypassed. But you will need a decent laser pickup stage. The old Philips with those CDM1s are perfect for this. The current production Sonys are s...t...
There has been countless discussions on this, do transports matter? Answer is a huge resounding YES. Sometimes I have heard them make as big a difference as the DAC. Best transports out there are TEAC ones (VRDS. If you can find an old Krell 300cd player and use it as a transport it will be as good as anything before you spend serious $$. This old Krell has the TEAC VRDS transport and it is killer.
The CEC transports are belt driven and that also makes a huge improvement.
Yes,they do make a considerable difference but a better DAC will still give you a much improved sound. Get a Musical Fidelity V-DAC from Audio Advisor. $299 with return privileges. I have one and it works very well. HIFICRITIC rated it ahead of not only the Benchmark, 42 to 24 on their numeric scale when playing CDs, but also ahead of a Bel Canto player by about the same margin.A huge bargain and can be further improved by upgrading the power supply in the future if you wish. You will have to spend big bucks to get something better.

Depending on the jitter reduction circuitry in the DAC, the differences from one tramsport to another may be quite marginal, but noticeable.

Reducing or eliminating jitter is key to attaining great digital audio or video reproduction, both transport and DAC play roles in this action.

The Big Sony SCD 777s were made like tanks and provided solid transport sources as they were very well damped and designed. They are also quite mature now. I tried out two DACs who reportedly are great at jitter reduction, a Lavry DA 10, and BC DAC3.

In both cases the sound improved regardless which DAC was being used. I also had a new Oppo 980 player and attached it to each one in turn thereafter, so as to see for myself a little bit about this topic.

Yes again... the sound was improved upon regardless the one box CD player in use as transport.

BUT... the SCD xa777 used as transport only, was the better and more accurate sounding device of the two drive units being assessed.

How much better? Noticeably, but not by a lot. I've trouble with quantifying that difference numerically. Maybe 20%, perhaps less. Probably less. 15% seems to fit. it took being familiar with both units and with both DACs over a little bit of time for me to distinguish the diffs.

The Sony SCD xa777 cost me $1100 used. The Oppo 980 ran me $175 new... effectively a diff of $2800 or so using MSRP as new pricing for each CDP. Or about a grand going with preowned pricing. A grand for 15% may appeal to some and be within their designs for acquiring… but for myself it usually is not an investment i’d make readily.

Without such a first hand comparison either unit as transport would surely suffice.

you'll have to decide where best to drop the budget... DAC or Trans. My money is on the DAC in that race. however I've proven if only to myself, a better transport (if a two box solution is desired) will be beneficial. Albeit the benefit becomes that of marginal to modest to, ??? as the transport/DAC combo performance and expenditures increase.

Whatever the case though, unless some major bucks are invested and some extensive comparisons are made, I'd not be expecting any of those night & day astonishing diffs from one trans to another. Noticeable though? yeah. Noticeable gains should be easy enough a task to acquire.

that one point alone is likely contributing to so many people exchanging two box solutions for Hard Drive based sources instead of single disc players.

It always is the same thing… how much money and time are you willing to waste well in ascertaining and implementing a thing into ones rig?

Arguably of course, but quite often, in high end audio, I’ve found ignorance is bliss…. and a lot cheaper too.

Good luck
Thanks for all the great responses. Blindjim, at this point I hope ignorance can be bliss....

I have the Audio Analogue Paganini 192/24 that I bought here on Audigon, BUT I noticed the other day it did not have the "Rev 2.0" letters at the bottom left corner. It looks identical to the Rev 2.0, which according to the Audio Analogue website, has the TEAC CD Rom. I am unable to find any information on the the non-Rev 2.0 version and I can only assume mine doesn't have the TEAC. Argh, if only I had known or waited?

I have yet to buy a DAC and am thinking of getting the North Star M192 MK2...but I find myself wondering/considering if I should upgrade to the Rev 2.0 Paganini.
Hello, I am having a VRDS transport with 20 bit DAC and I need to upgrade to 24 bit DAC as externally. Please suggest
best macthing external DAC for my VRDS transport.

without hearing each I suppose it'll have to come down to you getting those options you want instead.

As to the NorthStar, I've seen a bunch of info here on the I2's interface that says it is superior to the normal digital interfaces of coax & BNC, etc., so that might be something to look into prior to making a choice between those two DACs, BUT it requires the transport to have such an interface as well... and the NS trans does.