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What dac would be an upgrade to the burr brown 7904 dac in the Gato CDDT1?

klimal

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I am currently streaming using a Asus tinkerboard with Volumio OS through the Gato CDDT1's onboard dac .
This onboard dac is the burr brown 7904, which is ancient by current rate of development imho.
With the current explosion of D/S dacs with extremely good measurements, I am tempted to get one for an upgrade.
What level of dac would be an upgrade and any specifically ?
The dac should have balanced XLR output as it will ne feeding a BAT VK 3000SE integrated amp and juicing a pair of tower speakers.
Budget is around USD $500
Any suggestions greatly appreciated.
 

JSmith

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Gato CDDT1
Did you mean the Gato CDD-1?
If you trust the manufacturer, these are the listed specs;

OUTPUT LEVEL2.2 V unbalanced, 4.4 V balanced
OUTPUT IMPEDANCE100 Ω unbalanced, 200 Ω balanced
FREQUENCY RESPONSE20 Hz – 20 kHz ± 0.2 dB
THD+N0,002 %
SIGNAL TO NOISE RATIO120 dB
DIGITAL INPUTSUp to 24 bits @ 192 kHz (S/PDIF and USB input)
DRIVECompatible with red book CD and CD-R
DIGITAL OUTPUT75 Ω coaxial S/PDIF

SINAD based on these figures alone would be around 98dB. SNR is quite good @120dB.
What level of dac would be an upgrade and any specifically ?
Any DAC tested here that measures well and has the connectivity, aesthetics and functionality you require within your budget. I wouldn't be expecting any major change to the audio though... unless the DAC is poor/broken and the specs above are false.


JSmith
 

solderdude

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I don't think the Gato CDD1 will be 'beaten' by todays DACs other than perhaps on some (pointlessly) smaller or higher numbers on paper.
Put your money towards something that matters.
Why get rid of something that already performs better than human hearing.
Unless you need onboard EQ, support for DSD or something higher than 24/192 (which would be pointless anyway), MQA support, the device is defective in some way or you need an extra DAC there seems to be no need to replace that Gato.
 
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K

klimal

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Did you mean the Gato CDD-1?
If you trust the manufacturer, these are the listed specs;

OUTPUT LEVEL2.2 V unbalanced, 4.4 V balanced
OUTPUT IMPEDANCE100 Ω unbalanced, 200 Ω balanced
FREQUENCY RESPONSE20 Hz – 20 kHz ± 0.2 dB
THD+N0,002 %
SIGNAL TO NOISE RATIO120 dB
DIGITAL INPUTSUp to 24 bits @ 192 kHz (S/PDIF and USB input)
DRIVECompatible with red book CD and CD-R
DIGITAL OUTPUT75 Ω coaxial S/PDIF

SINAD based on these figures alone would be around 98dB. SNR is quite good @120dB.

Any DAC tested here that measures well and has the connectivity, aesthetics and functionality you require within your budget. I wouldn't be expecting any major change to the audio though... unless the DAC is poor/broken and the specs above are false.


JSmith
Yes, it's the Gato CDD-1
The top 20 dacs tested here has SINAD >120dB.
Would it be an audible difference vs 98dB
 
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klimal

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I don't think the Gato CDD1 will be 'beaten' by todays DACs other than perhaps on some (pointlessly) smaller or higher numbers on paper.
Put your money towards something that matters.
Why get rid of something that already performs better than human hearing.
Unless you need onboard EQ, support for DSD or something higher than 24/192 (which would be pointless anyway), MQA support, the device is defective in some way or you need an extra DAC there seems to be no need to replace that Gato.
I am looking for more in terms of staging and imaging.
Used to play records and using BAT tube power amps. Loved the sound I ws hearing especially the 3D imaging.
However, I sold the tube amps and ventured into streaming as records are getting prohibitively expensive.
But i do miss the airy space between the instruments and the huge palpable soundstaging.
Is it possible with dacs costing US$500 ?
 

JSmith

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I am looking for more in terms of staging and imaging.
Then look towards your speakers and room, not the DAC. Measurements are key... take a look at a UMIK-1 and REW (software). If you're unsure what to do or how to interpret the results, members here will assist you.


JSmith
 

solderdude

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I am looking for more in terms of staging and imaging.

This is not determined by a DAC(chip)

Used to play records and using BAT tube power amps. Loved the sound I ws hearing especially the 3D imaging.
Maybe look for a DAC with a tube output stage or add some tube buffer to your existing system.

But i do miss the airy space between the instruments and the huge palpable soundstaging.
Understood. This, however, is not determined by an even better measuring DAC.

Is it possible with dacs costing US$500 ?
Perhaps there are some DACs in that price range that sound audibly different from the one you have now.
Can't predict how you would perceive any of them.

One thing is for sure... that won't be a well received DAC by ASR standards.
You might have to look for DACs with the worst measuring SINAD (and possibly > $ 500.-) to find such gems.
 
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