HiFi CD player vs DAC
January 24, 2011 9:57 AM Subscribe
Audiophile questions: HiFi CD player vs DAC. What benefit is there to a CD player compared to just getting a quality digital/analog converter? What exactly is a quality DAC? Help me avoid audiophile snake oil!
posted by cotterpin to Technology (15 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Background: I am looking into a hi-fi setup with amp and 2 speakers. It will be for music, especially classical and electronic, and not for home theater. Budget is flexibly around 2.5 - 3k euro.
It seems to me that if you get an external Digital/Analog converter, then all CD players produce the same quality sound. Drives already must have read error correction to read data disc, and read buffers fix jitter. Neither require special "hi-fi" technology. As long as there is digital output, cd players should all produce the same bits.
So why do hi-fi CD players cost upwards of 500€? Does the price then reflect the DAC inside? And just to take a step back, is a Digital/Analog converter a component that you ought to devote a good 20% of your budget to, or is it more like paying hundreds for connectors?
I'm wary of both the nonsense that permeates the audiophile world, but also of creating a weak link in a new setup.