So maybe a re-sampler, transport or DAC?

I recently added a new set of speakers and have started to tune my rearranged man-cave/listening room. Simultaneously, I got the urge to play with the digital side of my system (list below).

Was thinking of targeting my DAC for an upgrade since it's probably long in the tooth (given the rate of change in the digital domain). However, several discussions on Audiogon suggest that the weak link might be the transport or adding some sort of re-sampler.  One goal would be improved soundstaging on this round. 

Would appreciate recommendations that are in line with my current system (price and performance).  Thanks all!


Rega Planar 3 (Jeff Spall's Audiomods arm, Lim pulley, bracing, Groovetracer subplatter, Rega white belt)
Zu Audio Denon DL103 MK II
Jolida JD9 II (stock)

Peachtree Audio DAC*IT
Tascam CD-200 (transport)
Custom PC (USB feed to DAC, silence mods, iTunes, 9 TB NAS storage)

Luminous Audio Axiom II
Bryston 4-B SST
Bluejeans Cables (all)

KEH LS50 (Target stands)
Thiel CS1.6
SVS PB-1000

Room 14' x 20', carpeted concrete / random large boulder walls / untreated


You can improve both the Transport and PC feeds by reducing jitter and other problems:


1) Use Amarra or Audirvana for playback

2) Use .wav files

3) Get a good USB cable, like the Wireworld Platinum in or Audioquest Diamond in 1.5m length

4) Add one of these in the USB cable:

5) add more memory to your laptop

S/PDIF coax from Transport:

1) add a reclocker like the Synchro-Mesh to get 7psec of jitter

2) use a better cable from reclocker to the DAC, like my BNC coax with RCA adapters for $275

3) All coax cables should be at least 1.25m long

Reclocking the coax signal can make a huge difference, but this depends on what kind of reclocking your DAC has inside and how effective this is.

Steve N.

Empirical Audio

Thanks Steve/audioengr. I saw some of those recommendations on your website. Really nice set.  I'll try some of the easy (i.e. cheap) ones first before I look at try to convince my significant other that I need a $1200.00  tX-USBultra...:8)

My PC is a desktop I built (custom built with lots of memory & sound suppression) - sits about 3 meters away from the DAC via a couple USB cables. I can improve the cables but not the distance.

In any case, I'll concentrate on the transport side but it's unclear to me that that will affect something like soundstage. That possible?

Thx, Dan

Jitter is the one thing that really affects soundstage and clarity.

The question is whether or not you can improve it with this DAC without modding it.

Steve N.