CD Players OK, anyone savvy enough to surf the web and find this site knows what a CD player is. However, you may not know that all CD players do not sound the same. If this is news to you or if you donít believe it, thatís good. It simply means that like most, youíve only heard CD players of similar ilk or have never heard them on a system good enough to reveal the difference. Well, if itís that hard to tell the difference, then who cares? You will once you hear a good one properly matched to a good system. Itís good if you donít believe it because I love getting to see the look on your face when I show you. Itís like this; you donít need 20/20 vision if all you ever do is look through a filthy window caked with twenty years of dirt and grime. But if you open the window you could see for miles if your eyes work properly. Good CD players give you 20/20.
DACs Do what now? Thatís what my uncle Jimmy says instead of ďhuh?Ē DAC stands for Digital to Analog Converter. Itís a thingy inside a CD or DVD player that turns the digital data on the little silver disk into analog. Sound is analog so we gotta have some of that to make music. The quality of the DAC inside a CD or DVD player is mostly responsible for the quality of sound coming out of the player. You can get an external DAC that is way better than what is in most players. In fact, you can connect most players to the DACs we sell and dramatically improve your sound. You can even connect the Bel Canto DAC to your PC and play music on your computer through your stereo. The DAC built into your PC pales in comparison; I donít care what kind of computer you have. You wonít believe it. Itís like opening the window.
Turntables No, Iím serious. A good turntable through one of our systems will knock your socks off! As I said, sound waves are analog. Albums or LPs or records or whatever you call them are analog too. There is no need to convert the music to digital to get it onto an LP or convert digital back to analog to play it. All you have to do is get the little bitty analog waves on the LP into your stereo. Thatís what a turntable does. Unfortunately, the turntables most people have heard are pretty awful. However, a good one matched to a good system can make you re-evaluate all you thought you knew about technology and sound. In fact, you may forget all that and just get lost in the music. Ahhh, sweet sweet music.
Phono Stages Oh good Lord. Now what? Why does this have to be so complicated? Well, it isn't really. See the signal that comes from a turntable is much weaker than what comes out of a CD or DVD player or most other kinds of players. Since turntables left the mainstream and went underground, most stereo manufacturers quit including the extra stage of amplification required in their systems. A phono stage is a device or circuit that gives that extra bit of amplification and a bit of the right kind of equalization needed. Some of our systems still have it built in, but most donít. The separate units are usually way better anyway.