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Phase or Filter?

In my persuit of digital perfection I have this question:

What is most important to good digital reproduction: The phase setting of a DAC or it's filter setting?

Just wondering. I am comparing a CD player analog output to the DAC's analog output and I get some perplexing results, that some CDs sound better on one DAC than with another DAC, depending upon the CD.

Good News: I got really good results with both CDs when played back on the appropriate DAC. But why? I don't know.

CD 1: Marvelous by Michel Petrucianni
CD 2: Live in Paris by Diana Krall

Both CDs appear to be excellently recorded, although Marvelous is from 1994 and Live in Paris I think is more recent.

CD 1 sounds best on my new inexpensive DAC and CD 2 sounds better from the analog outputs of my 1995 SONY XA-7ES.

CD 1 played back on the SONY sounds like the timing is just all wrong.
CD 2 played back on the SMSL DAC sounds FLAT.

But, both sound superb with the right DAC. I'm happy, but I don't know what to attribute it to.

I also have them running through separate headphone amplifiers that do sound different, but I know them well and they are both excellent in their own way, so could be one is inverting phase, I don't know yet. One is also relatively inexpensive, another SMSL headphone amp, but all with custom built power supplies.

I've never been a complete fan of Diana Krall, but I got a lot of her CDs and this one I think is pretty excellent (I always thought she needed a new singer for her group ;-) The Michel CD is quite frankly, out of the ballpark good.

I also have a turntable setup, too, which I like and I alternate mostly towards liking the analog setup, but not always. I've also been to some live concerts recently, in front row seats. So, there you have it. What do you think?

Edits: 03/03/17 03/03/17

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Topic - Phase or Filter? - jedrider 09:33:13 03/03/17 (12)


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