Discussion in 'Digital: DACs, USB converters, decrapifiers' started by MoatsArt, Oct 18, 2016.
that guy, seriously? <mind blown>
Alright, so I decided to pick up a spinner for the first time in many, many years. Great deal on a used @k4rstar recommended Arcam CD73t. Looking forward to it.
I know the Schiit spinner is coming out at some point in the not too distant future, but not having owned one in such a long time, I figured I’d do a trial run to see if it’s something I’ll actually enjoy owning (not to mention the potential sound quality difference vs my USB streamer).
I’ll likely never invest in a turntable, mainly because of the dollars required to build up a decent library of vinyl, but I do feel like I’m missing something from only listening to files and Tidal. At least it will allow me to scratch the itch and see if I like it, or if I’m just fooling myself and I’m good without the physical media thing anymore. Will post some impressions once I’ve had a chance to spend some time with it.
I’m confused. I know Schiit is working on a transport. Are they also doing a CD player?
They’re developing a CD transport, to feed into their DACs (via their new USB solution). I plan to use the Arcam as a transport as well feeding my Yggdrasil A2 (via coax SPDIF however).
Read more here:
FWIW the term "CD" does not appear in that text.
Somewhat tangentially - given a good quality CD transport, does it matter whether you've burned discs yourself or whether they are factory produced? I know they differ physically, but is bits just bits from the disc to the read buffer?
Yeah he’s just been calling it “the transport” for a while now, which I think is causing confusion for some folks who don’t follow it closely. In a few places he also refers to “the spinner”, like here:
I did an a/b test of this sort with my Onkyo and heard no difference at all. I mean could depend on the transport though.
There are redundant bits and error correction in the CD data pits. The most I can say is that CDRs with scratches become more difficult to read over time whereas pressed CDs seem to be almost indestructible.
Now I have a special CD marker pen that I can sell you. If you apply the marker around the CD, stray photons will be eliminated this making the sound better. Only $549.
The C2 interleaving of redundant data should be the same. I'm just wondering if the dye-based mechanism for burning creates any issues with 'pit' positions, track distortion etc. If it's just a matter of read failures...well just burn a new one .
Weren't people cryoing CDs at one point too?
CDRs are not the same as commercially pressed CDs. Dye vs physical pits. Moreover you can rip a dozen different physical pressings of the same CD master made from the same digital source a dozen times on a dozen drives and extract the same PCM data. Burn a dozen CDRs of that CD, rip them on the same drive, and none of them will be identical to each other or the original CD.
Horseshit. I've burned tons of disks that contained programs, etc, never had a bit error.
I don't have experience with high-end CD transports, only several CD players / transports around 200-400 Euro and the best DAC I've had at home was a Gungnir Multibit A2 (and the same findings applied to an Apogee Mini-Dac as well). However, I have made a lot of experiments with burning CD-Rs throughout the years. I have an old Plextor Premium and I've recorded on another Plextor, a Yamaha and a Teac, I also have an old Philips CDRW4824 and a couple of Lite-on DVD-writers.
My conclusions will raise a lot of eyebrows, but I stand by them with the relaxed certainty of direct, extensive experience. Well, here they are:
1. The correctly copied CD-Rs are, most probably, bit-to-bit identical to the originals. See the end of my post for more details.
2. The CD-R invariably sounded worse than the original pressing, silvery CD. However, if copied from another CD-R (or both copied from the same image on the HDD) it could sound identical, better or worse, depending on...
3. ... two main factors: the dye type (Ftalocyanine, Cyanine, Azo) and the CD writer (not only the recorder brand, but also the model). The brand (Verbatim, TDK, JVC, Tayio Yuden...) or the actual maker (CMC Magnetics, Ritek, Tayio Yuden etc.) of the CD-R does not matter for the sound quality, even when comparing very good CD-Rs with no names (only the rate of coasters and the measured C1 and C2 errors, beta and jitter as per Plextor software). None of these, only the dye and the writer. Same dye on the same writer = same sound when burning the same image.
4. Actually, there is also another factor: recording density. The Yamaha F1 and the Plextor Premium 1 and 2 can record at lower density (so use more disc space for the same track time) and it does increase the sound quality.
4. I don't know if the sound quality of the CD-R is influenced by: the recording speed (I always burned at the lowest speed allowed by the writer, usually 4x), laser intensity (Plextor software allows a bit of user control on this parameter, it's a feature called Varirec) or the individual CD writer (i.e. I don't know if two Plextor Premium 1, for example, create identical sounding copies).
5. I don't know if a different, better computer (with a better power supply, for example, or a different operating system) would have improved the sound of the CD-Rs burned on it.
5. Also, I don't know if a better / much better CD transport would make these differences disappear. My guess is that it wouldn't, maybe would only reduce them to a certain extent. And I haven't tried ultra-expensive CD-Rs (Mitsui Gold, etc.), only "normal" stuff such as Taiyo Yuden etc., nor have I tried a dedicated, stand alone CD recording deck (only PC IDE or SATA units).
I agree with the rest of your reply, but not with the quoted part. While there is a chance that I made a mistake while performing the following experiment, I couln't find it. I ripped a CD on the HDD and burned it on a CD-R (disc 1), then ripped the CD-R to the HDD and burned this second image on a second CD-R from the same batch (disc 2) and so on. I did this 10 times using the correct read and write offset of my particular burner. Disc 1 and disc 10 were, to my ears, identical soundwise. Also, I ripped a track from Disc 10 to the HDD, opened it with a wave processor, inverted the waveform and pasted it on top of the same track from the original CD. The visual result was a straight line, the auditive result was total silence,
Rip them back and the checksums made by the secure ripper will not be the same. That's the point.
Ok so I have a potential issue with the used Arcam I was going to buy.
I had asked the seller to verify that the unit didn’t skip and could read all discs, before I agreed to purchase. Apparently he had the same question from others interested in it as well, and he verified to me that he never had any issues. But before he shipped, he apparently became paranoid (or he’s fessing up) that he tried 25 random discs, and 2 of them wouldn’t read (even though he said that over a thousand CDs he has, he never encountered an issue before.) Those 2 discs will read fine on his Oppo player however.
He has offered to cancel the sale and refund the entire amount, or potentially discount the unit even further. I’m thinking I can probably get him down to about $175 USD (including shipping) or a bit less.
Any opinions of this? Should I walk away? Maybe I should get get him to test more discs and let me know? Or maybe the thing just needs a cleaning (dust), but it seems odd that 2 specific discs wouldn’t read if that was the issue...
I have a few of CDs that couldn't be played with my Ayre 7 player but all of my CDs can be played with my Marantz 6005 player. However, the Marantz, not even 2-year old, just developed a severe skipping problem. So there are some format/code differences among CD players and there are other considerations besides whether they can play all CDs.
It's an old player. I would buy a couple of replacement laser assemblies or, even better, the whole mechanism. Actually, maybe a couple of them if I liked the player / transport. I believe, according to this site, that you need the Sony KSS213CL laser unit or the Sony KSM-213CLDM optical pickup unit, currently unavailable on Amazon or maybe the KSM-213CLCM apparently still available for less than 15 Euro + shipping in my country.
So, yes, I would buy it regardless of those 2 disc it couldn't read, but only if I could replace at least the laser unit
I have the exact same player (bought from @k4rstar). It won't read discs that have specific DRM on it I think. It wouldn't play a UK copy of one of my CDs (but played the US version fine). Another UK disc I have played fine, so not sure what exactly causes it but it's not a mechanical issue with the player. Of all my CDs I have used in the Arcam, it was just that one that didn't work. I even bought another copy to verify it was something with the CD and not the player.
It uses an easy to find Philips laser assembly. K4rstar listed the exact model earlier in this thread.
I figured before people go more into the deep end that I'd say this:
Not all transports are equal, e.g. the Tascam and Oppo are shit - I'd rather use good USB, e.g. XMOS, Gen5, etc. We cannot go out and buy and random CD player thinking it's going to sound good. Although hard to believe, CD transports all have their sonic characteristics for better or worse.
Coax / SPDIF is not automatically better than USB. Most China USB converters should be used with their i2s for best results. IMO, they have not mastered the art of conversion to coaxial SPDIF. The best USB to SPDIF converters are still the Berkeley Alpha and OR5.
Coax / SPDIF from a CD transport is VERY different than coax from a USB Converter. The latter case is still considered "USB". When I refer to coaxial / SPDIF without context, it always refers to the use of a CD player or transport.
Are there any with word clock input?
Also drive chipsets (in the physical mechanism for reading the discs) must be considered. There are only a few and some have problems reading some CDs. You can get super deep into this if you want but a few of my discs (about three out of the hundreds I still own) don't play at all in some players and drives despite being brand new or mint condition.
Separate names with a comma.