I've noticed several times in people's messages or their signatures something mentioned about things called DAC's and cd transports. Now, you all know that I am still a bit of a newbie with all this stuff, and I am just trying hard to catch up on all the knowledge to be had around here. I am coming from the depths of consumer electronics, that is where my knowledge started, so please don't be too harsh on me.
I have done some research on the subject of external DAC's. I figured that since Joey's was the first one I could find in his signature, the PS Audio Digital Link III, I would research it first. I like the idea of being able to upgrade the sound without having to get another cd player to do it. Basically getting the sound electronics out of the player and using the cd player as a "transport" device only using the digital outs. So ok, now that I have that concept down, I went on. I noticed that the PS Audio uses a Burr Brown 1798 chip or something like that. I thought, hey I've heard of Burr Brown before, in Denon products. So I checked out Denon's DVD players, and found sure enough, in their 3930CI that it uses a Burr Brown 1796 chip. I thought, hmmm, what is the difference between these two, and I can't seem to find any information on it. Perhaps if anyone out there can shed some light on this, I would appreciate it.
In any case, I also noticed that every DAC I looked at seemed to be only for 2 channel cd's. I've also noticed that most high end audiophile equipment is stereo only, even on the SACD's. I hope I'm not being too pedestrian by saying this, but I REALLY like my SACD's in multichannel! It really has such a neat sound to it. Yes, I like it in Stereo too, but it's neat to hear it in multichannel. In any case, back to my point, I don't see any "DAC's" for SACD or DVD-A, unless I am not looking in the right spots. Though I suppose to make any good use of that, you would probably have to have some kind of a digital out from the player to begin with, like IEEE1394 or DenonLink or something, and perhaps since most audiophiles are stereo only people, that just isn't a priority to build stuff like that? Maybe it's also that the only players that even have those kinds of outputs must already have some amazing DAC's in them so why bother using them to begin with?
I suppose that if I was to go completely into separates that this would definitely be the best way to go, but I think I could still utilize something like this with my current setup. My only real issue is that I am finding even though I like the way my SACD's and DVD-A's sound, I can tell that the Pioneer 588A I am using to play them does not have as nice of a sound as the PCM DAC's in my Marantz receiver. I was able to get a little bit better sound using a better cable, but in the end I think the problem is in the source electronics.
One other thing, if using an outboard DAC using the Digital out, let's say I wanted to play a DVD video using either Dolby or DTS, I don't know if it would play it through these DAC's would it? I'd probably have to have one digital out from the player go to the DAC for music, and the other digital out go to the processor such as the receiver or pre/pro in order to play movies. Is that correct? Either that or I would have to just use two players, one for CD's only, and the other for DVD's, SACD's, DVD-A's and DTS cd's.
I am just trying to make sure that I am understanding correctly.