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Will a high quality dac reduce or eliminate the glare that is seemingly
inherent in certain CDs in my collection?
As an aside, I am considering the Border Patrol dac, the Schiit Gungnir
Multibit, and the Schiit Yggdrasil.
Whether or not you can observe a thing depends upon the theory you use. It is the theory which decides what can be observed. - Albert Einstein
I only listen to multibit DACs. That helps. But this week, I listened to a Norwegian disc (Flunk Personal Stereo which I just bought) and heard this, into my multibit Bifrost:
A bit thin and rough, not a great sounding CD, I thought.
then with IFI SPDIF purifier1, very enjoyable, smooth, and more full-range frequency response, etc., and I could crank the volume up.
Then with IFI purifier2, which I got recently for a 2nd system: The CD has all of the music. It sounds like I'm in the studio. It's amazing. I have started to listen to CDs again and really enjoy them for the first time, after 40 years of trying. At times, better than vinyl. This is much better than the original one. I suggest that you try one of these.
This one adds details over the original, but in a very good way; much more clear background sounds, etc.
Both versions will make those common "poor quality CDs" that I have, sound like high quality. Better than SACD in my system. I cannot explain this, but I hear it, and I've been only listening to CDs since I first tried it last night. purifier v1 went back to my secondary system. But now I know that it's deficient in background detail clarity, timbre, etc., compared to v2, but not lacking in smoothness.
I compared AC/DC High Voltage CD to Qubuz 24/96 version through the unison USB. But now I forget which one I preferred; it was close as they were similar.
what you think is a complicated question. ;)
Personally I would not consider the question of this thread a simple one...
If art interprets our dreams, the computer executes them in the guise of programs!
Border Patrol is a great DAC. I really like mine in a headphone only system. It is the SEi version USB only.
As for your question, if all CDs sound that way, an improved DAC might help. If it is only a certain, minority number in your collection, it is probably brightly engineered/mastered disk and nothing will make them sound better.
My 2 cent are worth the $0.00 you paid for them.
"Starting in the middle of a musical sentence and moving in both directions at once." - John Coltrane.
I've had some luck taming glare by switching digital cables.
Might be worth a try if you are otherwise basically happy with your current components.
"I know just enough to get into trouble. But not enough to get out of it."
Switching direction of the digital cable alone might cure the glare or at least ameliorate it. Or it might increase it. That's why you need to try it both ways. Yes, I know what you're thinking: how can the digital cable be directional, it's carrying digital data?!
Garbage in garbage out. No DAC, no matter how good, can correct the errors that occur in the transport. This is not to say there are no differences among DACs. But it's the errors to data that occur during the optical reading that cause the sound of CDs to frequently sound shrill, dull, lifeless, compressed, two dimensional, weak, weird, rolled off, boomy and like paper mache. Yes, I know what you're thinking: but the error correction codes are supposed to fix all errors that occur in the transport stage.
That's why I'm holding on to my Scott Nixon tubedac. It doesn't play hi-rez but plays cd's without glare. Best $600 spent on my system.
I have some tinnitus in one ear and some music sounds tinny/glarey
I got a MHDT Stockholm v2 dac and cds that sounded harsh are much much better, maybe its the tubes, the DAC is said to be euphonic
from Luckbad on Basshead.com
The Stockholm is the most euphonic tuning of the three. Warmer, weightier sound with an undeniable musicality. She's gorgeous and popular, and teases the hell out of you. But damn she's fun. You lust after her.
The Pagoda is the most detailed and accurate, but it has a wild side. She's intelligent, calculating, and utterly capable of rendering you hopelessly in love. She also makes more money than you.
The Atlantis is a little more unassuming, but give it the right tubes and it sings. She's beautiful without makeup and unaware of how pretty she really is. Her kindness, honesty, and sense of humor enrapture you and make your heart skip. You can't stop thinking about her.
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