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Help me with SACD / DVD-A

Old 11-18-13, 10:16 PM
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Help me with SACD / DVD-A

Decided to purchase a player just for SACD/DVD-A compatibilities. Upon searching for a player (preferably Pioneer), I've found there are so many variables as to proper playback I'm almost deciding against it. So far here is my understanding...

-DSD is best audio.

-Just because a player supports SACD does not necessarily mean it will output DSD. I'm assuming the audio gets converted to PCM?

-I need to find out if my receiver decodes or accepts DSD. If it does not, will the audio also be converted to PCM?

-Does HDMI / optical / coax all output DSD?

-Some players output DSD via iLink (which I've never heard of). Do all receivers have this input?

-DVD-Audio seems much more simple. Can the signal be passed through all digital connections? Do all receivers decode the DVD-A signal? I know that all DVD players will play DVD-A discs (the VIDEO_TS part, but you need a DVD-A comp. player to play the AUDIO_TS part).

Heres a link to my receiver.
http://www.pioneerelectronics.com/PU...ers/VSX-1122-K
Says it converts DSD to PCM.
Basically I need to know if these formats are compatible with my receiver and what to look for in a player to output DSD to it.
I found a good price on this player on ebay.
http://www.pioneerelectronics.com/PU...layers/DV-47Ai
Thanks!
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Old 11-19-13, 01:10 AM
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Re: Help me with SACD / DVD-A

iLink isn't supported on current equipment. That player looks like one my friend had, he loved it but couldn't use it after he got a newer receiver as it doesn't have HDMI outputs. If you use that player, you'll have to hook up the 5.1 analog jacks to get SACD or DVD-Audio. I have a Pioneer receiver older than yours and it decodes DSD, but most players with HDMI can switch between that and PCM depending on what works. DVD-Audio is sent out as multichannel PCM through HDMI. Regular optical or coax won't output either of those.

Just a shame there isn't more material out on either of these formats, they weren't really pushed by the industry hard enough.
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Old 11-19-13, 01:21 AM
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Re: Help me with SACD / DVD-A

Buy an Oppo 95 or 105 & use the analog outputs for the best sound value for the money. I am a very happy BDP-95 owner. Best value in ANY piece of gear I've ever bought. It would have been worth the $1k even without having the best video quality of any machine I've ever owned. My previous SACD/DVD-A payer was a Pioneer. It was a great value for $100, but sonically they're miles apart.

The Oppo's dac (analog outputs) will be much better than the dac is your receiver.

& yes, most players output PCM for SACD thorough the digital outs; I believe it's part of the licensing.
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Old 11-19-13, 10:28 PM
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Re: Help me with SACD / DVD-A

I recall a lot of debate about SACD and whether or not DSD is really 'the best,' and most people figured it was just more BS from Sony or whoever
Anyway, you need a player that specifically says it outputs DSD over HDMI (like the OPPO 103 and 105) and a receiver that specifically says it decodes DSD from an HDMI source. That, or a player that properly outputs DSD via the 5.1 analog outputs (six cables instead of one HDMI cable), and a receiver that has 5.1 or 7.1 analog inputs.
Coax and Optical cannot handle the necessary bandwidth required for a multichannel DSD or PCM mix.

I have a number of SACDs and DVD-As. They're pretty good, but at this point, I don't think it's worth investing in those formats, as Blu-ray is just as capable of high fidelity sound, and I think "Blu-ray Audio" is supported by every player, since it's just a part of the standard Blu-ray spec, but there's just not a ton of selection out there...
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Old 11-19-13, 10:59 PM
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Re: Help me with SACD / DVD-A

Originally Posted by Dan View Post
I have a number of SACDs and DVD-As. They're pretty good, but at this point, I don't think it's worth investing in those formats, as Blu-ray is just as capable of high fidelity sound, and I think "Blu-ray Audio" is supported by every player, since it's just a part of the standard Blu-ray spec, but there's just not a ton of selection out there...
Yeah sure, but as with most formats it's not about what the hardware can do as much as it's about actually having something to play on it. SACD is making a comeback of sorts, although very, very niche. The advantage of the Oppo as mentioned above is that you could get the best of all three formats via HDMI. That Pioneer player is an antique & not exactly the best option. SACD/DVD-A was a pain to get right back when that was manufactured.

Check out acousticsounds.com for some of the recent SACD releases. There is some good stuff out there.
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Old 11-19-13, 11:11 PM
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Re: Help me with SACD / DVD-A

Thanks for all the input. My receiver converts DSD to PCM over HDMI. Is this what all receivers do or are there some that handle it the same way as DD/DTS with indicator light.
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Old 11-20-13, 05:21 PM
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Re: Help me with SACD / DVD-A

Mine indicates "DSD" when it's receiving that signal, "PCM" when it's receiving that.
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Old 11-21-13, 12:46 AM
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Re: Help me with SACD / DVD-A

Originally Posted by JZ1276 View Post
Thanks for all the input. My receiver converts DSD to PCM over HDMI. Is this what all receivers do or are there some that handle it the same way as DD/DTS with indicator light.
This really doesn't matter. What you want is to convert it into sound coming out your speakers. This comment is only made because any digital processing would be done to a PCM signal, not DSD. So, either the player or receiver must convert the DSD to PCM in order for your MCAAC (or other processing) to work with the signal, if you want it to. Most players and receivers will do it this way to simplify their design.

I agree with the above, just buy whichever level of Oppo you think is worth the money and you'll be fine.

There has been too much talk about DSD and not enough making SACDs. It's a stupid market/world sometimes.
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Old 11-21-13, 06:48 PM
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Re: Help me with SACD / DVD-A

Originally Posted by Spiky View Post
This really doesn't matter. What you want is to convert it into sound coming out your speakers. This comment is only made because any digital processing would be done to a PCM signal, not DSD. So, either the player or receiver must convert the DSD to PCM in order for your MCAAC (or other processing) to work with the signal, if you want it to. Most players and receivers will do it this way to simplify their design.

I agree with the above, just buy whichever level of Oppo you think is worth the money and you'll be fine.

There has been too much talk about DSD and not enough making SACDs. It's a stupid market/world sometimes.
Dont really understand your response. I mean do ALL receivers convert DSD to PCM or do some output the pure DSD signal? Reason Im asking is because of quality loss in the conversion. So basically, I need a player that outputs multi channel DSD via HDMI?
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Old 11-22-13, 12:58 PM
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Re: Help me with SACD / DVD-A

Sorry for the confusion, it's a tricky issue that many seem to not understand completely.

Not all receivers can do what yours can.

You have the luxury of choosing which device will convert from DSD to PCM. Either a player or your receiver. There should be no quality loss in this digital-to-digital conversion regardless. If there is a place where quality will be lost from a digital source, it is in the following places, in order of most likely first:

Room (the shape, furnishings, etc)
Speaker
HDMI cable
Amp
DAC

My opinion, of course. Some will switch the amp and DAC positions. If you are worried about quality, fix/upgrade these things in this order.
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Old 11-22-13, 05:15 PM
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Re: Help me with SACD / DVD-A

Originally Posted by Spiky View Post
Sorry for the confusion, it's a tricky issue that many seem to not understand completely.

Not all receivers can do what yours can.

You have the luxury of choosing which device will convert from DSD to PCM. Either a player or your receiver. There should be no quality loss in this digital-to-digital conversion regardless. If there is a place where quality will be lost from a digital source, it is in the following places, in order of most likely first:

Room (the shape, furnishings, etc)
Speaker
HDMI cable
Amp
DAC

My opinion, of course. Some will switch the amp and DAC positions. If you are worried about quality, fix/upgrade these things in this order.
OK I think I got it now. Thanks for all the responses.
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