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Using CD player for DAC only

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Anonymous
September 12, 2004 9:40:58 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

I've got an audio source (Apple Airport Express
http://www.apple.com/airportexpress/) that has both digital and
analogue outputs. The sound quality of the analogue output is not that
hot, not bad but you can notice the difference between it and a
reasonable CD player.

I'd like to use the digital out but unfortulately my amplifier doesn't
have a digital input - not many do these days apparently. Stand alone
digital to analogue converters (DACs) are very expensive as they are
generally really high end bits of kit.

What I just thought of doing was getting a cheap second hand CD player
and trying to wire the digital output of the airport into the DAC of
the CD player, so the source would be external instead of the CD
transport. I can cope with basic electronics. The airport output is
optical Toslink but you can get optical -> coax. converters.

Any comments on this plan?

Cheers

Oliver

More about : player dac

Anonymous
September 13, 2004 6:08:25 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

Oliver Kohll wrote:

> I've got an audio source (Apple Airport Express
> http://www.apple.com/airportexpress/) that has both digital and
> analogue outputs. The sound quality of the analogue output is not that
> hot, not bad but you can notice the difference between it and a
> reasonable CD player.
>
> I'd like to use the digital out but unfortulately my amplifier doesn't
> have a digital input - not many do these days apparently. Stand alone
> digital to analogue converters (DACs) are very expensive as they are
> generally really high end bits of kit.
>
> What I just thought of doing was getting a cheap second hand CD player
> and trying to wire the digital output of the airport into the DAC of
> the CD player, so the source would be external instead of the CD
> transport. I can cope with basic electronics. The airport output is
> optical Toslink but you can get optical -> coax. converters.
>
> Any comments on this plan?

Doesn't Airport Express transmit audio as lossy compressed data ? Would
impose a high load on the network bandwidth if it didn't.

That may be the reason for poor quality.


Graham
Anonymous
September 13, 2004 6:08:26 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

Pooh Bear <rabbitsfriendsandrelations@hotmail.com> wrote in message news:> Doesn't Airport Express transmit audio as lossy compressed data ? Would
> impose a high load on the network bandwidth if it didn't.
>
> That may be the reason for poor quality.
>
>
> Graham

No it transmits a compressed but lossless format 'Apple Lossless' -
gets tracks down to about half their original size - a bit of a pity
to have bad conversion/amplification on the other end really.
Related resources
Anonymous
September 13, 2004 7:42:51 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

Pooh Bear <rabbitsfriendsandrelations@hotmail.com> wrote in message news:> Doesn't Airport Express transmit audio as lossy compressed data ? Would
> impose a high load on the network bandwidth if it didn't.
>
> That may be the reason for poor quality.
>
>
> Graham

It transmits in a compressed but lossless format 'Apple Lossless'. The
source audio files are high quality as well.

Oliver
Anonymous
September 13, 2004 4:18:44 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

On 12 Sep 2004 17:40:58 -0700, oliver@gtwebmarque.com (Oliver Kohll)
wrote:

>I've got an audio source (Apple Airport Express
>http://www.apple.com/airportexpress/) that has both digital and
>analogue outputs. The sound quality of the analogue output is not that
>hot, not bad but you can notice the difference between it and a
>reasonable CD player.

This is not, in practice, a hi-fi system. I doubt the digital output
will sound any different to the analogue.
Anonymous
September 13, 2004 4:18:45 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

"Laurence Payne" <l@laurenceDELETEpayne.freeserve.co.uk> wrote in
message news:ee0bk01136mvf18hqlmt8be1p12i67lv7o@4ax.com
> On 12 Sep 2004 17:40:58 -0700, oliver@gtwebmarque.com (Oliver Kohll)
> wrote:
>
>> I've got an audio source (Apple Airport Express
>> http://www.apple.com/airportexpress/) that has both digital and
>> analogue outputs. The sound quality of the analogue output is not
>> that hot, not bad but you can notice the difference between it and a
>> reasonable CD player.
>
> This is not, in practice, a hi-fi system. I doubt the digital output
> will sound any different to the analogue.

Agreed. It was probably what he hooked the Apple Airport Express digital and
analog outputs to that controlled his perceptions.
Anonymous
October 8, 2004 8:24:55 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

oliver@gtwebmarque.com (Oliver Kohll) wrote in message news:<51cfdff4.0409121640.3fe3a1fe@posting.google.com>...
> I've got an audio source (Apple Airport Express
> http://www.apple.com/airportexpress/) that has both digital and
> analogue outputs. The sound quality of the analogue output is not that
> hot, not bad but you can notice the difference between it and a
> reasonable CD player.
[..]
>
> What I just thought of doing was getting a cheap second hand CD player
> and trying to wire the digital output of the airport into the DAC of
> the CD player, so the source would be external instead of the CD
> transport. I can cope with basic electronics. The airport output is
> optical Toslink but you can get optical -> coax. converters.
>
> Any comments on this plan?
I have the same challenge at hand. Analog AX output is pretty poor.
I guess the question is which bitstream format the CD player converter
is using.
I would suggest to look into some of the electronics sites and check
what actual converters are used in CD playser. Another option would be
to use a DAT player.
But then these are likely to be as expensive as used DA converters.

Alas, aren't there any "non high end" external DACs out there?
Anonymous
October 8, 2004 3:26:49 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

On 8 Oct 2004 04:24:55 -0700, ingomar.otter@valtech.de (Ingomar Otter)
wrote:

>Alas, aren't there any "non high end" external DACs out there?

Sure. Look for used MSB and AudioAlchemy DACs. Many others.

Kal
Anonymous
October 8, 2004 4:05:26 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

"Ingomar Otter" <ingomar.otter@valtech.de> wrote in message
news:4c430619.0410080324.126b622b@posting.google.com

> Alas, aren't there any "non high end" external DACs out there?

One example: 1/2 of Midiman's Flying Cow.
Anonymous
October 16, 2004 5:33:29 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

> > I've got an audio source (Apple Airport Express
> > http://www.apple.com/airportexpress/) that has both digital and
> > analogue outputs. The sound quality of the analogue output is not that
> > hot,

Update: In the meantime I got myself a used Behringer Ultra-Curve DEQ
2496, which (among other things) has an OK (from my point of view) AKM
DAC: I hooked this up to the AX through optical cable, set the DEQ to
"S/PDIF optical input"... .. Voila!
Crystal clear & very crisp sound (*1)! Uuuh dude! :-)

(*1) Note to the so called "audiophiles": I use mediocre amps &
speakers but the DEQ this is _still_ a hughe improvement compared to
the build in DAC of the AX.
!