The DACs on my reciever good enough??

Hi guys,

I have Marantz SR4300 reciever in a second system, and I was wondering of the quality of the DACs in this unit.

I am considering getting an affordable DVD player and using it as a transport hooked up to the DAC. Is this worth doing or are the DACs in a $150 - $200 DVD player going to be superior to the DACs in the Marantz?

If you are of the opinion that the Marantz DACs are superior, can you suggest a good DVD player to consider as a transport?


It's unlikely that a basic DVD player will have a better (or worse) DAC than a basic receiver. From a manufacturer's perspective, a good DAC chip is a very inexpensive item these days.

Since your receiver will be doing the work, the choice of DVD player isn't too critical. Panasonic, though it's not a high-end name, has a reputation for reliability. But you might want to look at players that also handle SACD and/or DVD-A, simply because they tend to be better designed for music use, as opposed to just movies. (Many DVD players, for example, can't tell you things like elapsed or remaining time on a track or CD, which would drive me crazy.)
Personally, I find the Marantz d/a's a weak point. However, a $2000 d/a is still going to be limited by the rest of the receiver's electronics. Don't get me wrong here, I like marantz for the money. However, I don't think you can get audiophile sound out of this receiver.

The only way to be sure is to borrow a nice dvd player (500 denon or similar) and plug it into the receiver with both digital and analogue cables and switch between the 2 inputs to compare d/a's. Besides volume differences, see if highs and lows are tighter or clearer. See if the voices sound more natural?

My guess is that you will hear a difference if you spend $500 on a dvd player. Keep in mind that you may end up having to buy 6 rca cables (nice extra expense) to hook it up.
Hi Elevick,

I agree with you as to not expect too much oput of the dac in the Marantz, but I have two caveats to your suggestions;

1: I can't borrow such a high end player because noone around me but me has one and its on a different island(I live in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. My main setup is on St. Vincent and I am working in the Grenadines).

2: For this setup, I am looking for a cheap player, Better if under $200 as this is a temporary setup and I am not going to spend almost half a months salary on just the DVD player.

I can try your suggestion with the cheaper player. I would not be me if i didn't :-), but I really cant splurge again. My reference source is an SACDMods Sony DVP-NC555ES that ran me in the $800+ range.

So anyway .... if you think it won't be worthwhile for me to use the reciever's DAC in such a scenario, then can you suggest me a player in this price range that is at least half decent?

I get it.
Some of the lesser expensive dvd's have decent d/a's. Samsung, Sony, Philips all may fit the bill nicely.
For your own enjoyment, try to get one with different specs than the marantz. That way you can still compare the two.
The other thing to keep in mind is simplicity with remotes. It sounds stupid but you will enjoy the player better if you can get away without needing the remote and using the marantz for both.
Happy Listening.
Thanks Elevick,

I understand totally what you are saying about the remotes. I wish that I had a common cable box, but the cable company here has this stupid noname brand box, something like Dalvi, that doesnt even have a stereo output, so you know its a piece of $#!+, especially if I wanted to watch a TV movie. I would like to get a universal, but may have to get a learning one to handle that cable box. And I would definitely look to see what Marantz players are available.

I am looking for a decent universal or DVD player here on Audiogon in my price range but its soo hard to find! Its like looking for the perverbial needle. Do you think the cheaper Yamaha, Denon, Onkyo, Sony, Marantz and Pioneer decks will make good transports as such or do you think its not even worth it?