My experience with using a DVD as a transport

Last week, I had some free time on my hands, so I decided to unplug my CAL Delta and use my Technics DVDA10 dvd and dvda player as the transport. The transport goes to a Merdian 518 digital preamp, and that connecs to an Alpha. My amp is an Aragon 8002, speakers are KEF 103/4, and all cables are audiotruth.

My initial impressions were:

The DVDA10 sounds decent. The sound is very open, a bit more than the Delta, and the details are a bit more apparent, but they are also tremendously edgy at the same time. But I blame this on the DVDA10's lack of iec powerchord input, so I can't use the LAT International powerchord I have installed on my Delta.

The DVDA10 also has a 'remastering' function that upsamples the regular 16khz cds to above 96khz. Stereophile did a 7 page write up on it. I read it long ago and don't want to read it again, so my info can be off. Anyways, I engaged the remaster on the dvd player, and the sound greatly improved. The soundstage opened up even more, but its the gain of airy presence around the instruments and vocals that most impressed me. HOWEVER, the sound is VERRRRRY fatigueing. I wouldn't say the sound is bright, but my ears started to hurt after 10 minutes. My best subjective description is that the sound is very "technical".

After plugging my Delta back, guess what?, the "technical"ness is still there. I got very frustrated. My once dreamy sounding system sounds like cold metal that could not be warmed up. This lasted for about 3 days before my sytem gradually regained its palpability. I was going to murder someone.

I can't explain what went wrong. Maybe it is not a good idea to use a front end that would produce frequencies higher than what the rest of the system is designed to handle. Or maybe it is not a good idea to use a front end that isn't using a good power chord.

I also want to add, I used the DVDA sampler disc that came with the Technics, and they sounded very smooth, clear details, and extended soundstage, but they have absolutely no soul.
Just a side note: I unsoldered the line cord from my Pioneer Elite projection TV and soldered a female IEC connector right onto the circuit board at that location and added a good power cord. I could see the difference. If I had a component I wanted to keep that didn't have an IEC connector, I would add one. If you can't do that yourself, there might be a local audio/video repair shop that would do it. The female IEC connectors cost less than $5.
I have tried about a half dozen different DVD's as players and as transports and had similar results. None of them had the body, warmth or "soul" of a "decent" CD player i.e. they presented a much leaner, edgier sound to my ears that lacked pace. They do sound more "open", but that is only because you no longer have to contend with picking notes or words out through the bass that would normally be present. The Theta DaViD might be a few steps up the ladder in this regard, but i don't have the cash for that right now. Sean
I use a Pioneer DV-525 with a Bel Canto DAC1, (via toslink.) I also have a Stan Warren modified Pioneer DVD player in a second system. They both sound very good, the 525 with a Creek 5350SE and Harbeth C7s/M&K MX-700. Charlie
I too tried the Technics DVD-A10 as a transport only. The "remaster" feature worked best with older, earlier CDs, which seem to benefit from undergoing the process.
Recently mastered CDs sounded strange going through the Technics ?upsampling? remastering process, and definitely sound much worse than without the feature on.
Beyond that, the unit sounded no better than my (then) Rotel via Adcom. Now I have a SACD Sony 777 and use it to play CDs. (which is way better sounding than the Rotel combo, or theA10.)
I have a Faroudga DV 1000 that I have used as a transport for a few months. I ran it through a Genesis digital lens and a Classe Audio Dac 1 and it gave my Classe Audio CDT 1 transport a run for its money and was better then my marantz cd player through the same set up. The sound quality is so good in the Faroudga that I refuse to give up my first generation player for a new one.
Hey Elizabeth,

I had the exact same experience you did when I used the dvda10 as a cd player and not just as a transport.
I have used a Sony DVP-S7000 as a transport since the Theta Chroma came out, and at the time I was driving a pair of Carver Platinum Amazings with Quicksilver 8417 mono's. The results were spectacular, in my estimation, and I have never turned back. I am now on my third DVP-S7000, and my DAC is a Metronome C1A with NOS Tesla ECC83 output tubes going into a Flora-EX DT preamp then to an Art Audio Symphony ll amplifier driving a pair of Ocellia Tilias. I recently upgraded my power cables and interconnects, and I have never heard anything so fine, not at a show, a demo at a high end store, nor from the home systems of any of the many people I have had the pleasure and the honor of visiting in of over 30 years of audiophilia, including systems costing many times what I have spent on my (relatively) modest rig. Maybe it's because this DVD player has two lasers, one for dvd and another for cd playback, but this one seems to be the exception to the trend presented here.
I sometimes get tempted to try something else, and then I listen to what I have and think of the words of my departed uncle/mentor, who told me "Don't fix it if it ain't broke".
Thanks for your kind attention.