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Emotiva ERC-1 CD player or a XDA-1 DAC? Also thinking UMC-1.

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I've always wondered if I was missing sound quality when using my DVD or Blu ray player as a CD player. In my mind its all 0s and 1s so in the end it should sound close to the same. I realize the DAC is what matters. I'm using toslink to my Yamaha RX-V663 and using the 663's DAC.

I'm sure it could sound better, but at what cost? I'm playing with the idea of getting either the ERC-1 CD player or getting the XDA-1 DAC and using it connected to my DVD or Bluray player. My thought on the XDA-1 is I can also hook it to my computer and listen to music off of it with some improvement too. I currently have my computer hooked to a cheap DAC I bought off of ebay. It actually made an improvement but I'm sure its not the greatest DAC. I can't remember what the name of the DAC I have currently is, and I guess it doesn't really matter for this question.

To make matters worse I'm talking myself into getting a UMC-1 and using the $100 Emo bucks they have to knock the price of either the ERC-1/XDA-1 down. I've wanted the UMC-1 for a while so this excuse is easy to sell to myself!

Any current Emotiva users out there have any advice?

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I use my old Yamaha DVD I had prior to Bluray as my CD player hooked via toslink. It has HDMI but since the 663 only has two HDMI inputs I used toslink instead. I've read both ways on which sounds better and if I had more HDMI hookups to work with I'd probably listen to both and decide on my setup which sounds better but since I don't have any HDMI inputs to spare I don't bother. Another reason to buy an UMC-1! More inputs.

Anyway here is a link to that stats on my current "CD player" DVD player:

http://usa.yamaha.com/product_archive/audio-visual/dv-s6160bl/?mode=model

It says it has 192kHz/24 bit DAC for audio but I'm sure there are good and bad DACs with that rating. The player got brought out of retirement because my old Bluray player (Samsung BD-P1600) had terrible upscaling and DVDs actually looked better on the Yamaha DVD player. I've since changed to a LG BD550 and have not watched enough DVDs to really decide if I still need the Yamaha for DVDs. Since I got a HD cable box the Yamaha DVD player lost his HDMI spot and is only hooked via toslink so lack of HDMIs had defaulted the DVD duties to the LG regardless of picture quality.

So my question is will I really gain anything huge by going to a true CD player, or a better DAC or is this just the upgrade bug biting again???

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I'm probably one of the people that you want to talk to...

I had an ERC-1. It is a VERY nice sounding CD player. Noticably better than any of the half dozen or so around my house. You notice I said "had". Yes, I sold it. I sold it when I got the XDA-1 DAC.

I have now played with the XDA-1 for about 2 weeks. It will take an otherwise unremarkable CD or DVD player and make what comes out of the speakers sound very good. My current CD transport is a Denon DVD-2900 which is no slouch in the audio department. Even so there is a real impovement by running it through the XDA-1. I'm hooked up so that I can switch back and forth between the internal DACs of the 2900 and the XDA-1. The difference between them is very noticable with the XDA-1 the clear winner.

Also in the mix is an Onkyo TX-SR805 A/V receiver. At various times in the past couple of weeks I've swapped cables and configurations in order to compare the internal processing of the Onkyo to the XDA-1. Again the Emo DAC was the clear winner.

The next experiment has been to pipe my Sony BD player through the DAC. The hope was that I could just use the one player for everything. I was surprised to hear that the 2900 through the Emo DAC sounded better than the Sony BD player did. I'm not sure why that would be though. I would think that the BD player would have a superior motor in terms of rotational stability. Clearly there is something else at play here.

The actual DAC chips being used in the XDA-1 are the same ones as in the ERC-1. There have been a number of reports that indicate an improvement by running the ERC-1 through the XDA-1 and a number who report no difference at all. In my own case I felt like it was "overkill" to pipe the ERC-1 in to the Emo DAC. Especially when the selling price would buy me the DAC with a few bucks left over to go towards a decent transport.

Also tested with the XDA-1 were: a Sony CDP-CA7ES, Sony SCD-C222ES, Sony SCD-CE595, Samsung BD-C6500, and a Sony BDP-S570

My advise... Pick up a decent "older" CD or DVD player to use as a transport and get an XDA-1. You'll want to run the XDA-1 in to whatever inputs on your AVR provide a "direct" connection bypassing all of the internal processing by the AVR.

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I'm probably one of the people that you want to talk to...

I had an ERC-1. It is a VERY nice sounding CD player. Noticably better than any of the half dozen or so around my house. You notice I said "had". Yes, I sold it. I sold it when I got the XDA-1 DAC.

I have now played with the XDA-1 for about 2 weeks. It will take an otherwise unremarkable CD or DVD player and make what comes out of the speakers sound very good. My current CD transport is a Denon DVD-2900 which is no slouch in the audio department. Even so there is a real impovement by running it through the XDA-1. I'm hooked up so that I can switch back and forth between the internal DACs of the 2900 and the XDA-1. The difference between them is very noticable with the XDA-1 the clear winner.

Also in the mix is an Onkyo TX-SR805 A/V receiver. At various times in the past couple of weeks I've swapped cables and configurations in order to compare the internal processing of the Onkyo to the XDA-1. Again the Emo DAC was the clear winner.

The next experiment has been to pipe my Sony BD player through the DAC. The hope was that I could just use the one player for everything. I was surprised to hear that the 2900 through the Emo DAC sounded better than the Sony BD player did. I'm not sure why that would be though. I would think that the BD player would have a superior motor in terms of rotational stability. Clearly there is something else at play here.

The actual DAC chips being used in the XDA-1 are the same ones as in the ERC-1. There have been a number of reports that indicate an improvement by running the ERC-1 through the XDA-1 and a number who report no difference at all. In my own case I felt like it was "overkill" to pipe the ERC-1 in to the Emo DAC. Especially when the selling price would buy me the DAC with a few bucks left over to go towards a decent transport.

Also tested with the XDA-1 were: a Sony CDP-CA7ES, Sony SCD-C222ES, Sony SCD-CE595, Samsung BD-C6500, and a Sony BDP-S570

My advise... Pick up a decent "older" CD or DVD player to use as a transport and get an XDA-1. You'll want to run the XDA-1 in to whatever inputs on your AVR provide a "direct" connection bypassing all of the internal processing by the AVR.

Thanks for the reply. Sounds like you've spent some time testing the XDA-1. I too would like to hook my BD player to the XDA-1 and have an all in one player but am willing to have two if it sounds better.

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I just got off the phone with Emo to order the XDA-1 and its not in stock. Funny how when you can't have something you just want it that much more!

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I'll ditto jhock, I've had the XDA-1 for 3 weeks now. Awesome little unit at $299 with incredible sound stage and detail.

Put one on order, it will be worth the wait.

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I just got off the phone with Emo to order the XDA-1 and its not in stock. Funny how when you can't have something you just want it that much more!

I believe that it will be some time before they fill all of the pre-orders on the unit. Been following some of the gain problems with the XDA-1 on the Emotiva forum. It seems that, if you are running the unit into a preamp or an AVR there is no problem. A lot of guys bought the unit to run directly into an amp and they are having problems with the gain being too loud. Apparently they have found a work-around so it can be used either way but the buyer will have to choose one way or the other. I ordered one to use with my Aragon 2007 and Jolida CD player and I'm undecided now whether I should purchase it.

Frank

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I purchased a new UMC-1!

I also purchased a ERC-1 CD player and some black trim pieces for the UMC-1, ERC-1 and the XPA-5 I currently have.

They should arrive on Dec 24th, so I'll have a few days off of work to play with my new toy!!!!!!

From what I've read about the XDA-1 there is some question about what bit rate it will actually receive from USB and also with my past experience with Emo I'm happy to let the dust settle and bugs be fixed before I buy it. I"ve been living with the dread of what I was missing from not having a "real" CD player for so long I look forward to seeing what I'm missing!

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I should mention that I'm still on the waiting list for the XDA-1 so when my time comes I'll make a decision if its worth getting at that time or if I should just stick with the DAC I have for my computers music and keep the ERC-1 for my CD music.

Time will tell and I'm a sucker when the upgade bug bites!!!! [:P]

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Well I got the email from Emo a few days ago that the XDA-1 is in stock and I can order it for $299 with free shipping. So its decision time now. I'm happy with the SQ of the ERC-1, it definitely is better than using my BD player as a CD player. As was stated above the ERC-1 has the same DAC chip set as the XDA-1 so I don't feel I'd gain much if anything (probably lose some I'd guess) running my BD player through the XDA-1 in its place.

I'm guessing that digital music is the wave of the future but I'm just not that into it. I've got about 275 MP3s and a cheap DAC now but over all I have to think CD music in a good CD player will sound better than MP3 with a good DAC.

Looking for some more opinions on the XDA-1. I've got until Monday to decide or los my place on the list. Its selling for $349 now so I guess I could try it and either send it back or sell it later and probably not lose much.

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