DACs - Marantz Receiver or Toshiba DVD?


I've got a Toshiba 330 DVD and a Marantz SR4300 receiver.

I've heard the Tosh has "good" DACs so I might want to use the analogue output when playing CDs.

But the Marantz is also noted for it's musical output, so maybe I'm better letting it do the work (ie. output from the DVD in digital).

Help! Which is better for playing music CDs?

If the Marantz is an A/V receiver, you may be listening to both DACs. When listening to your analog outs of the CD player, you are listening to the CD players DAC. Then the receiver will convert the analog audio back to digital, process it, then converts it back to analog. You may as well use the digital out of the CD player because the ADC/DAC converter in the receiver cannot be bypassed. Why listen to 3 conversions when you can listen to only 1?

Hope this helps.

If you have a dvd player there is no reason to also have a stand alone cd player anymore especally if it only has analog outputs. Use your dvd players digital output to play cd's for the reasons stated above. I have a Elite dv45 dvd player and a Onkyo cd recorder with only the analog outputs hooked up and the difference between the 2 in playback is pretty great. The digital playback is much more dynamic and clean sounding. That is not to say the cd recorder sounds bad, it doesn't but the Elite is just better. Stay digital.


You will do no harm to your system by experimenting which works best just be careful to switch the mains off each time. I'm curious as to what you find out as I have your dvd players predecessor the SD220E.


I have a Sony 5 disc carousel CD player and I wouldn't dump it for my single disc DVD unit. The carousel is very convenient when entertaining and track access, calendar display and other features are better than on DVD units. I keep them both and use the DVD for movies only and CD for music.

My CD player actually has optical out but I use analog because of the one second skip when using digital inputs on my receiver. Apparently that's pretty common on many receivers.


I have to disagree. If you use a stereo direct format, on the Marantz I think it is labeled "Direct", you do not go through the receiver's DACs. I almost always use this option on my receiver when listening to a CD.


However, to answer the original post, I think the best way is to try both connections. You may not be able to tell the difference, but then again you very well might hear that one is better than the other and if you do, you will enjoy your system even more. I know I have a hard time keeping up with all of the component models out there, so I don't know whether the Toshiba or the Marantz has the better DACs, but I think it would be worth spending a few dollars for a set of decent interconnects to find out. It is a worthy question to ask and we would all like to know what you find out.

Good luck!

Hawk, good point. Is that Direct mode a full analog bypass or does it simply bypass the DSPs and the Tone Controls?

Most volume knobs these days continuously spin, meaning there is an A/D-D/A conversion for the digital volume control. An analog system can't be controlled with one of these volume knobs with conversion into the digital domain.



It is my understanding that this is a pure analog bypass of the digital section of the pre/pro section of the receiver. I understand your point about the volume control, but I don't think that results in an A/D-D/A conversion of the signal itself. I could be wrong, however. I will have to check with my cousin, the electrical engineer (and Audiophile Nut).


Thanks for the help, I am still waiting for my speakers (Mordaunt Short Premiere, as discussed eleswhere on this board before I made my choice), so the receiver is still in its box.
I will post back with my findings when the speakers arrive.

I wish to ammend my earlier comments. There are times when analog playback is preferable. Some older cds tend to be bright and they are better in analog and I just bought a new pair of Koss a/250 headphones that at times tend to be bright and listening in analog in stereo mode vs direct can tame some of that brightness. Different outputs for different sources is a good rule I guess.
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