CA70ES and Denon 3801, analog or digital?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Chriss M, Jan 6, 2002.

  1. Chriss M

    Chriss M Second Unit

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    Hi everyone

    i currently have my CA70ES CD player hooked up with analog interconnects to my Denon 3801. This is mainly because the cd player only has an optical out and all my optical inputs are already filled ( computer, dvd player, playstation2). I was also thinking that the DAC on the dedicated cd player might be a bit better than the one in the receiver. I realize the best way is to switch it around and see what sounds best, but im just curious how people with similar setups have it configured. Would it be worth rearranging things to free up another digital input and using that for the cd player?
     
  2. Nicholas A. Gallegos

    Nicholas A. Gallegos Stunt Coordinator

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    Probably not. I'm willing to bet the DAC in that player is better than the one in your receiver. I don't own that same setup, but at least that's the case for me.
     
  3. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Chriss, as you said, the best way to determine which connection type is better is to try both of them. I have some familiarity with the 'CA70ES, and while it is an excellent value, it does not have as good a DAC as the 'CA80ES, which I once owned and which was a very good changer for the money. For that reason alone, I would try the 'CA70ES with an optical digital cable. I don't own the Denon '3801, but I would expect it to have a capable DAC, so I feel trying out the digital connection is worthwhile.

    By the way, since you are out of optical digital inputs on the '3801, can you switch another component (e.g., DVD player) to a coaxial digital cable to accommodate the 'CA70ES?
     
  4. Chriss M

    Chriss M Second Unit

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  5. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Chriss said:

     
  6. Chriss M

    Chriss M Second Unit

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    Yeah, when i went to buy the cd player, i was originally going to get the Harmon Kardon model in the same price range, which has coax out. The dealer was out of stock on it though, and offered me the sony at a good price, so i took that instead.

    I'm really just curious how everyone else has it configured, but i think i am stuck with analog regardless because my other devices really need to be on digital. The DVD player for obvious reasons, and with DD and DTS appearing in games now the PS2 also. I used to run the computer analog, and it sounded horrible, probably because of the combination of the low quality DAC and the crappy RCA-to-stereo mini plug converter that is required.

    Well anyway, thanks for the feedback guys.
     
  7. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    No problem, Chriss. While I know that the Denon '3801 and '3802 receivers are very good, I have always thought that they are lacking when it comes to available digital inputs. Anyway, hope the 'CA70ES works out for you.
     
  8. Mike Burke

    Mike Burke Stunt Coordinator

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    Chris,

    I have the same CD player and I use the AVR3200 and I'll tell ya the Denon's DAC's SUCK for music! I use a M/C 550i analog cable and I couldn't be happier!! I think maybe if we tried it with the 4802/5800 it might be a different story! Good Luck

    Mike
     
  9. Gil D

    Gil D Supporting Actor

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  10. Andrew Beck

    Andrew Beck Stunt Coordinator

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    one quick thought though. if you don't have the analog out from the cd player going to the denon's analog passthrough (does it have this?) you are using the denon's ADC and DAC regardless. So it makes more sense to use the digital output, once less conversion to be made.
     
  11. Chriss M

    Chriss M Second Unit

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    I was of the understanding that the denon does no extra signal conversions. An analog signal remains analog, even in modes other than "direct". I think i read that somewhere here on this forum. Does anybody know if this is correct ?
     
  12. Andrew Beck

    Andrew Beck Stunt Coordinator

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    i wouldn't think that would be true. does it do bass management on analog sources? DPL? if so then it's going through an ADC->DAC conversion.
     
  13. Chriss M

    Chriss M Second Unit

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    i believe the post on the forums i was referreing to was this one - http://www.hometheaterforum.com/htfo...threadid=32640
    this is the specific post
     
  14. Jeff D.

    Jeff D. Supporting Actor

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  15. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Jeff, the 'CA70ES has what Sony calls an Advanced Pulse DAC, while the 'CA80ES has the more familiar ES Current Pulse DAC. I've heard both changers with the analog outputs, and the 'CA80ES is better.

    By the way, I'm not sure what you meant about price points here. The 'CA80ES was the more expensive changer. When in production, it retailed for $500, while the 'CA70ES retails for $300. When the 'CA80ES was discontinued some months ago, dealers started selling for as little as $350, but I'm not sure if one can still find it new.
     
  16. JerryW

    JerryW Supporting Actor

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    Yep, Keith is correct. The CA70ES is a capable changer (I listened to one on my system for a week), but it's not as good as the CA80ES. The differences are subtle, but they are evident, especially at high frequencies or very complex pieces.

    That said, the CA70ES is a quality changer and the DACs in it are probably as good as the ones in the 3801... but probably have different capabilities. I'd bet the Sony's are more "revealing" and maybe a little bright to some people's ears, while the Denon's may be a bit on the "warm" side. I'd listen to both and see which you prefer. A lot of it will depend on your speakers and tastes.

    g'luck
     
  17. Jeff D.

    Jeff D. Supporting Actor

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    Keith;
    A quick check to both the Sony Electronics website and inside my own CA70ES verifies there is indeed a Current Pulse D/A in the CA70ES.
    The main differences between the two:
    the 80ES has seperate power transformers for analog/digital circuits
    the 80ES has an aluminum as opposed to ABS front panel on the CA70ES
    the 80ES incorporates custom file
    But the D/A and filter stages are the same on both (Current Pulse D/A and Full Feed Forward filter).
    Any differences in sound (when I auditioned, the 80ES had a slight advantage, but they were clearly using the same D/A circuitry) would be attributable to the seperate power supplies (I assume anyway).
    Sony CDP-CA70ES
    /Jeff
     
  18. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Jeff, Sony has changed the description it offers for the 'CA70ES. They used to say the 'CA70ES has an Advanced Pulse DAC, not a Current Pulse DAC, and there was also no mention of the 'CA70ES having an ABS front panel. Note that Sony never claimed the 'CA70ES had an aluminum front panel. They just never said anything about the front panel. In any event, Sony's web site is not always correct, so one should take certain things with a grain of salt. Crutchfield still says the 'CA70ES has an Advanced Pulse DAC. In any event, the 'CA80ES is definitely the better changer and is worth tracking down in lieu of purchasing the 'CA70ES if at all possible.
     
  19. Mike Burke

    Mike Burke Stunt Coordinator

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    GilD says:
    The 3801 is improved over the 3200. Mike I would seriously consider upgrading to the the 3802. I used to run with the 3200 and it served me well, especially the 6 channel input. Dialog Norm on DD used to drive me batty at times though.
    Gil,
    I am looking at the 4802 or maybe the 5800. I bought my AVR3200 in Framingham, MA and can trade it in at full value until March of this year...so a 4802 should be around 1200.00 + my AVR3200...we'll see what the tax return looks like! [​IMG]. Eventually I want to go with seperates (Tag MacLaren and Proceed w/Revel speakers!..hee hee)
    Mike
     
  20. Jeff D.

    Jeff D. Supporting Actor

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