The quality of the analog-to-digital converter in GCD

Hello everyone,

I’ve basically already selected the components. So: Gain Cell DAC PREAMP +S300. But I have a question for you because it’s been bugging me. I wonder how good is the DAC in this device? Chord Qutest level? Should I look for a different preamp and external DAC?

You mean digital-to-analog converter (DAC) do you not?

I had a Gain Cell DAC and liked it a lot for the used price. It’s digital sound reminded me somewhat of the first PWD Mk 2 that I had before converting it to the a DSD. Good sound! A bit on the warm side of neutral, a bit forgiving as opposed to ultra detailed.

Yes, thanks for your feedback :+1:

I too have a GCD into a S300 and I am more than satisfied with the sound. I’m using both the coax ins one with a Bluesound node 2i and the other one with a Cambridge cd player. Streaming being my primary listening medium the Bluesound is used 99% of the time. I have found that the GCD responds well to quality coax cables. Blue Jean coax sounded good, Audioquest cinnamon better and now Transparent High Performance coax sounds best (being 4X’s the cost of the AQ I guess it’s supposed to)…. But I was more than happy with the $30 BJC coax for months, if just a little sizzling on the highs. Still have one connecting my cd player.

I have yet to utilize the i2s over hdmi input and will prob add a the airlens like a lot of us here at some point. By all accounts the i2s over hdmi is brilliant…. But the Roon through the node sounds fantastic.

As far as the preamp section it seems to have a ‘do no harm’ approach, and I think it’s worth mentioning if you’re planing on connecting or adding vinyl it is not going to hide any flaws in your playback chain.

What speakers, ect are you planing on pairing it with? My guess is you won’t be disappointed.

I think the DAC in the SGCD is better than it gets credit for. It was a huge improvement when I switched to its DAC instead of the one in the Bluesound Node 2i, but with my next change, from the SGCD’s DAC to a DSD Jr, the difference was much, much smaller.

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The dac in the node is great but yeah you’re right, it’s a huge leap with the gcd.

As for the speakers, there will be a lot of work here. I already have several models selected. But I want to check them out at my house. I tested the speakers in dealer listening rooms. The list is quite short: Harbeth c7es-3 xd, Harbeth 5hl plus xd, Golden Ear Triton Three+, PMC twenty 26, Dynaudio Contour 20i, Dynaudio Heritage Special

When I first got the GCD I was blown away by the resolution of the preamp section. It smoked every lower cost preamp I’ve ever tried.

The dac on the other hand couldn’t match my Schiit Yggdrasil GS. It sounded ok but a little sterile. Yggy brought more dimension, more detail, and more body to the music.