Better cd SQ

Hi All,

I am considering purchasing an external DAC to use with my Marantz CD6006, trying to squeeze all the SQ from my cd's that I can. I like the sound of the CD6006, but feel like there is something better. Good idea or bad? If good, being that I know very little about DAC's, what DAC would you recommend for better SQ. My primary
Source is LP's. But I play a lot of CD's also.

All help would be very much appreciated.

Thank you,


I too have a 6006 used as transport initially to my PS Audio gain cell dac. Decided to upgrade from GCD got a ARC LS 25 and Pontus and was a nice improvement. I also stream and LP wit P6.

Denon DCD A110…Quad differential Burr Brown 1395’s…a handful of these are hitting our shores by end of month.  As close to vinyl as you are going to get with better dynamic range and lower noise floor.  Price will be extremely sweet…I am not a dealer nor am I affiliated with anyone, just a passionate audiophile who has been through the mill and happened across this special player.

Check out Ferrum Wandla DAC if you can. No personal experience, but got fantastic reviews, Stereophile rates it A+ and says it competes with DAC’s costing $10K or more. They also worked with HQPlayer to incorporate a few of HQ’s more popular filters into the DAC (user selectable of course). A bit over your budget, but not by much. I think it’s $2800 (without the upgraded HYPSOS power supply).

I've got a Marantz SA 8005 CD/SACD player. It's very nice and has the guts (DAC chip, etc.) to sound fine. But...I picked up a PS Audio UltraLink DAC at an estate sale for $25 (yes, that's right), and, well.... Admittedly, the UltraLink is very slightly louder than the Marantz; also, the UltraLink won't play DSD, so I listen to SACDs through the Marantz' internal DAC. But I can switch between the Marantz and the UltraLink with the remote to A/B compare them on Red Book CDs, and I always prefer the sound of the UltraLink. It's hard to describe the difference; the UltraLink just sounds more like live instruments, less like "reproduced" music. But, again, there's nothing wrong with the SQ coming from the Marantz. So, yeah; a stand-alone DAC can up your game in subtle but compelling ways.

Addendum to the PS Audio UltraLink note above. Robert Harley, in Stereophile, loved this DAC. His "Conclusion" begins like this: "The PS Audio UltraLink offers many aspects of high-end digital processor performance at an unprecedented price. The product's soundstage transparency, focus, sense of air, and palpability have not been equaled at this price level, in my experience. Indeed, the UltraLink rivaled the $14,000 Mark Levinson No. 30 in these areas. Moreover, the UltraLink's resolution of transient leading edges and dynamics were superb by any measure. The overall presentation had much more in common with state-of-the-art digital processors than with comparably priced competitors." 

However, this review dates from 1992! I've read several testimonies in this forum that remark on how much better DACs have got in recent years. If that's so, and the 32 year old UltraLink still sounds unambiguously better than a higher-end and fairly recent Marantz SACD player...well, the implication is that the OP would be wise to do what he's considering doing.