Digital Dilemma

I purchased an inexpensive Onkyo C-7030 CD Player more as just a transport, but also to use as a benchmark to compare to streaming music on-line. With intentions to get the streamed content to sound as good, if not better, than the CD player could muster.

After sitting my wife down for a listen (she has better ears than me) and playing Tidal, Quboz and then the same tracks on a CD, the CD was the clear winner every time. It also seems the CD playing without using the Gustard R26 DAC didn’t even sound all that much better than when played through the CD Player only, bypassing the R26. That doesn’t say too much for the R26 DAC or alternatively, it says a lot for the DAC in the CD Player!

I am using the R26 as the renderer via a LAN connection that is optically isolated. There are a few filters and adjustments on the DAC, but tweaking those still didn’t get the sound quality up to that of the CD Player.

A lot of you say you have achieved streaming that sounds as good as your analogue systems. What do you think, do I need a betted DAC?


@axeis1 - I see the Auralic G1 has an on-board DAC, so you're suggesting to bypass it and use the Chord DAC?

Reclocking a signal that is being reclocked again by the DAC. 


37 posts


I believe that the reclocking is the most important part of the upgrade. Before I purchased the Innuos Zenith I was using the Cambridge X50 with the Brinkmann. It was not until I added the reclocker that the system achieved its present level. I have used atomic clocks and upsampling. The key to better sound in my experience is reducing timing errors (jitter) as close to the DAC as possible. There maybe good reclockers on market at a lower price. 


@recklesskelly - thanks for confirming @russ751's comments. Do you know of any reclockers that are on the market as a lower price than the Innuos Phoenix? That thing is almost $4k!