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DVD as CD transports
DVD as CD transports
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Old 23rd July 2019, 05:46 AM   #1
Grunnet is offline Grunnet  Denmark
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Default DVD as CD transports

For some time, I have been dissatisfied with the sound from my CD setup. I used an old S.A.T. CD-player as transport and a heavily modified Musical Fidelity M1 for DAC. For various reasons, I suspected that the transport might be the problem.
To test my idea, I bought an old DVD-player with a SPDIF digital sound out socket (Pioneer DVDs apparently have such). Price equivalent to 25 USD.
Surprise surprise, the improvement in sound quality was amazing. Clearly, the old transport was the problem and the DVD is staying in the system.
Does anyone else have experience with DVDs as CD transports?
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Old 23rd July 2019, 06:03 AM   #2
abraxalito is offline abraxalito  United Kingdom
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I used DVD players quite a lot as sources going back a few years - mainly because in those days they were too cheap to pass off. What I found was they could work fine provided I mitigated the effect of common-mode noise from their el-cheapo switching supply. Prior to discovering the noise on the digital output I'd been of the view that the only difference between transports was jitter. DVDs as transports do tend to have higher jitter because the clocks used for video (typically 27MHz) don't divide down exactly to audio clocks so a PLL needs to be used.
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Old 23rd July 2019, 06:09 AM   #3
Grunnet is offline Grunnet  Denmark
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Thanks for your reply. I have considered the jitter problem, but that should be taken care of by having a DAC, which reclocks the incoming signal? I will have to check on the psu noise problem.
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Old 23rd July 2019, 06:14 AM   #4
abraxalito is offline abraxalito  United Kingdom
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Merely from listening, I've not had any subjective problems with jitter using DVD players. But that could be because I'm not using S-D type DACs which output a lot of HF energy. They're considered to be more jitter-sensitive than multibit DACs. The PSU CM noise problem though was clearly audible until I fixed it (partly through re-layout of DAC and partly adding an isolation transformer).
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Old 23rd July 2019, 06:19 AM   #5
Grunnet is offline Grunnet  Denmark
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On psu noise. Did you add a common mode choke inside the dvd, between psu and circuit?
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Old 23rd July 2019, 06:21 AM   #6
Grunnet is offline Grunnet  Denmark
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PS. I have no background in electronics, just diy, so please excuse any stupid questions
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Old 23rd July 2019, 06:30 AM   #7
abraxalito is offline abraxalito  United Kingdom
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So far your questions seem intelligent ones to me, so nothing to worry about!

As CM noise was really a new concept for me at the time, no I didn't add an extra CM choke. I could have done but wasn't up to speed on them. I've since discovered that many CM chokes don't work all that well i.e. don't provide a high enough CM impedance at the frequencies of interest (typically in the region 40-80kHz for the fundamental switching freq).

I've since then experimented with CM chokes on the mains side and developed some of my own segmented versions which cut down on the parasitic capacitance (hence improve noise rejection). However I prefer to put chokes on the low-voltage side as then the wires can be straightforward enamelled copper (this is given that I like bi-filar wound chokes).
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Old 23rd July 2019, 06:47 AM   #8
Grunnet is offline Grunnet  Denmark
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Thanks a lot. I will experiment with the psu noise, as I do experience a bit of "listening tiredness" after extended listening, and that may well be psu noise - based on experience. Jitter gives me that same feeling and I initially thought it was caused by that, but because of reclocking it is unlikely.
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Old 23rd July 2019, 06:57 AM   #9
abraxalito is offline abraxalito  United Kingdom
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Yes in my experience too these kinds of noise issues show up in part by generating 'listening fatigue'. They can also be more explicit and generate sibilance, particularly on vocals. From reading audio forums over many years I've come to the conclusion that a high proportion of what people think is jitter actually is CM noise issues. There does seem to be a fairly high awareness of jitter out there but awareness of CM noise is close to zero.
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Old 23rd July 2019, 07:08 AM   #10
Grunnet is offline Grunnet  Denmark
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Until this last week, I had barely heard of "common mode noise", but you are now the second person to bring the subject up in a week (the other was "MEPER" ,also on diyaudio). I will have to investigate common mode noise, it seems to be important, not least with swiched mode psu's.
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