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bierfeldt
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Joined: Oct 26 2007 - 2:30pm
Marantz NA7004 as a DAC vs Standalone DAC and I need a CD Player

So I have finally picked out a preamp, amp, turntable and phono preamp and I already have a tuner for a living room system.  This leaves me with two items that I still need, a DAC/Network Player and a CD. 

I was looking at the Marantz NA7004.  I love the streaming funtionality with Airplay, Pandora, etc... but am concerned about two things:

1. The actual chip is from Cirrus as opposed to Burr-Brown, Wolfson or Sabre.  I see a lot of low to mid priced DAC's that get great reviews and not one uses that Cirrus Chip.  Is this an inferior chip?

2.  Is the added circuitry in a network player going to create too much distortion and increase the load to a point where it is less beneficial to have it.  I know video processors create a fair amount of distortion, wasn't sure if I would see the same issue with these other types of electronics being nearby. 

The alternative would be to get something like the Denon DNP720AE and a Cambridge Audio DACMagic or a Peachtree DAC-it. 

Also, since I am getting a DAC, I need a solid but reasonably priced CD player to go with.  I can get a good deal on an NAD or a Cambridge Azur for $299.  Any reason I should be looking at any other CD player since it is simply a transport and I will be bypassing the internal DAC?

bierfeldt
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Last seen: 1 day 13 hours ago
Joined: Oct 26 2007 - 2:30pm
I have done more research and...

I think this quote from Home Theatre Review sums up the answer to my question pretty cleanly:

"Perhaps gear reviews should be reviews of chipsets: Cirrus Logic versus Anchor Bay, Burr-Brown versus Analog Devices, etc. These days, manufacturers basically make chip and feature choices and assemble the packages to meet price points. However, it’s impossible to evaluate these chips outside the context of their implementation within the manufacturer’s overall circuit architecture, power supply schemes, and analog output circuitry."

This tells me that my focus on the chip is wrongminded.  I really need to be thinking about the overall unit.  That being said, is anyone using the Marantz NA7004 as a DAC and if so, do you like it?  I am extremely familiar with Marantz media features and I am a fan, but not sure if this is a suitable DAC that will perform at the levels of the Peachtree or Cambridge units. 

Regarding CD transposts, it seems like Oppo BDP95, Cambridge Azur 650 BD and the Marantz CD5004 are the best values accross price points and will likely choose one of them.  

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