How the SACD players on the market now works? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 15 Old 03-29-2012, 10:02 AM - Thread Starter
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Hello guys,
I'm still confused before someone can answer below 2 questions for me,
1. DSD format is the biggest advantage for SACD, but looks like on the market now all the players need to convert DSD to PCM then D/A convert to analog. DSD can direct convert D/A to analog, isn't it?

2.If the first question answers YES, then SACD support 5.1Ch, but most high end SACD players on the market now only support 2ch analog out, like Marantz SA-11S2(i assume maybe at this price , 11S2 decode DSD to analog directly), and there are no DACs with HDMI input which can decode DSD at this moment, so is that means now I can only play SACD by these universal players which can play BD, DVD, SACD etc?

The confused part is if you want to use your high-end DAC, you have to convert DSD to PCM or don't use your DAC and use your universal players internal DAC to convert PCM (which is converted from DSD) to Multi-ch analog, I think what a real SACD player is decode DSD and directly convert to analog Multi-ch, is my understanding right?
Thanks!
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post #2 of 15 Old 03-29-2012, 12:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fubird View Post

1. DSD format is the biggest advantage for SACD, but looks like on the market now all the players need to convert DSD to PCM then D/A convert to analog. DSD can direct convert D/A to analog, isn't it?

Yes, one can convert directly from DSD to analog but that precludes digital channel/bass management.

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2.If the first question answers YES, then SACD support 5.1Ch, but most high end SACD players on the market now only support 2ch analog out, like Marantz SA-11S2(i assume maybe at this price , 11S2 decode DSD to analog directly), and there are no DACs with HDMI input which can decode DSD at this moment, so is that means now I can only play SACD by these universal players which can play BD, DVD, SACD etc?

I do not understand your question but these players support SACD only via 2 channel analog or via HDMI. Multichannel analog is becoming scarce and digital coax/optical is not permitted.

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The confused part is if you want to use your high-end DAC, you have to convert DSD to PCM.....

Not possible since output via coax/optical is not permitted.

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........ or don't use your DAC and use your universal players internal DAC to convert PCM (which is converted from DSD) to Multi-ch analog,

Sure.

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I think what a real SACD player is decode DSD and directly convert to analog Multi-ch, is my understanding right?

Too constraining but it is possible with the Oppo players and their derivatives, like the Electrocompaniet.

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post #3 of 15 Old 03-29-2012, 01:13 PM - Thread Starter
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thank you Kal, I think yo answered my questions. My 2nd question actually asking why these expensive SACD players ask for $7000 but only support 2ch output.
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post #4 of 15 Old 03-29-2012, 02:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fubird View Post

thank you Kal, I think yo answered my questions. My 2nd question actually asking why these expensive SACD players ask for $7000 but only support 2ch output.

Check out the Cambridge Audio 751BD universal player. It supports multi-channel SACD and DVD-A. Very happy with this player.
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post #5 of 15 Old 03-29-2012, 05:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fubird View Post

1. DSD format is the biggest advantage for SACD

Bear in mind many if not most (most in my classical collection) SACDs are derived from PCM recordings in the first place.

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Originally Posted by fubird View Post

DSD can direct convert D/A to analog, isn't it?

Only if the DAC is DSD capable.

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Originally Posted by fubird View Post

2....but most high end SACD players on the market now only support 2ch analog out...

There are still people who are dedicated 2CH followers for music, and I suspect some are traditionally LP and tube amp followers in the past. Remember the first SACD players from Sony were 2CH only and there are 2CH only SACDs.

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Originally Posted by fubird View Post

and there are no DACs with HDMI input which can decode DSD at this moment, so is that means now I can only play SACD by these universal players which can play BD, DVD, SACD etc?

No apart from universal players you can also use Sony's old PS3 or recent BDPs which also play SACDs.

There is HDMI DAC but not DSD capable, there are DSD DACs but not HDMI. It isn't a big deal really because DAC is not the only thing that matters.

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Originally Posted by fubird View Post

or don't use your DAC and use your universal players internal DAC to convert PCM (which is converted from DSD) to Multi-ch analog

Another way is for players to send PCM to the receiver, and some also can send DSD to a receiver which can accept DSD.

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Originally Posted by fubird View Post

I think what a real SACD player is decode DSD and directly convert to analog Multi-ch, is my understanding right?

That perhaps was the norm some years ago. There's no real technical, musical or aesthetic reason why DSD decoding HAS to be done in the player and because of bass management and EQ the conversion (decimation) step to PCM at high enough sample rate is deemed not a disadvantage by most.

Audiosceptics accept audio trials using 25 people. A recent Oxford study with over 353,000 patient records from 639 separate clinical trials shows for every 1,000 people taking diclofenac or ibuprofen there would be 3 additional heart attacks, 4 more cases of heart failure and 1 death every year.

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post #6 of 15 Old 03-29-2012, 05:53 PM
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One of few advantages of really high-end DACs is possibility to select different digital reconstruction filters based on source and listener preference. This is not possible without converting DSD to PCM. That is why there are almost no standalone DACs supporting DSD stream. Direct DSD to analog conversion is universally done using internal decimation filter inside D/A chip.
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post #7 of 15 Old 03-30-2012, 07:46 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kilian.ca View Post

No apart from universal players you can also use Sony's old PS3 or recent BDPs which also play SACDs.

There is HDMI DAC but not DSD capable, there are DSD DACs but not HDMI. It isn't a big deal really because DAC is not the only thing that matters.

Another way is for players to send PCM to the receiver, and some also can send DSD to a receiver which can accept DSD.

Kilian, actually now I'm using Sony BDP-BX58(S580) decode DSD to PCM and send PCM through HDMI to my Marantz SR7005, but the sound quality is not improved that much compare to my regular CDs. So I assume if the player can decode DSD directly to analog, maybe the sound quality will be better. But after y'all said so, now I really don't know what is wrong with my system to play SACD.
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post #8 of 15 Old 03-31-2012, 12:07 AM
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The Sony players and PS3 all decimate DSD to high sample rate PCM at 176.4kHz so it's the best any player can do. So it's not a player issue - I have a Sony S770 and Arcam and there's nothing wrong with the Sony. First you need to check if the receiver is getting this sample rate. Then find out if the receiver can handle this properly without downsampling. Then go through the settings in the receiver about bass management and room correction etc. It is debatable to some people whether SACD sounds better than CD, for me it's subtle at best. With a very good set up it can make CDs sound better, less harsh, like SACDs. Still a lot depends on the recording and mix.

I only recently upgraded to a HDMI AVR and compared to the old 5.1 analogue route it is an upgrade, but not night and day, and I think any improvement is due to room correction, not digital vs analogue as such. If you go the DSD-analogue route you give up bass management and room correction and I doubt would be better.

Audiosceptics accept audio trials using 25 people. A recent Oxford study with over 353,000 patient records from 639 separate clinical trials shows for every 1,000 people taking diclofenac or ibuprofen there would be 3 additional heart attacks, 4 more cases of heart failure and 1 death every year.

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post #9 of 15 Old 03-31-2012, 08:58 AM
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I bought the Ayre C5xe/MP CD/SACD player 6 years ago, because it was IMO the best-sounding money could buy then ($6K). It does sound very good; no question.

Currently any player you can buy for $9000, or $6000, or $3000, is obsolete, because the best-sounding player on the market I have ever heard is the OPPO BDP-95!!! It is only $1000.

I can't believe that it sounds better than my Ayre, but it certainly does!! The sound with CD or SACD is just off the charts; I have never heard anything this good. It completely redefines what CD and SACD playback can sound like.

I am just using the balanced outputs direct to my preamp, so I can't speak to multi-channel issues. The tech guys at OPPO are very easy to talk to, and can certainly answer your questions if you call. I do know that the BDP-95 has a Sabre32 processor chip dedicated to the 7.1 outputs, but I don't know any details.

I would recommend that anyone get one of these; I think this is the most amazing technical achievement in audio of the past 10 years; an awesome engineering accomplishment.







Quote:
Originally Posted by fubird View Post

Kilian, actually now I'm using Sony BDP-BX58(S580) decode DSD to PCM and send PCM through HDMI to my Marantz SR7005, but the sound quality is not improved that much compare to my regular CDs. So I assume if the player can decode DSD directly to analog, maybe the sound quality will be better. But after y'all said so, now I really don't know what is wrong with my system to play SACD.

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post #10 of 15 Old 04-30-2012, 08:01 AM
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BDP-95... 120dB THD is indeed awesome
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post #11 of 15 Old 05-12-2012, 07:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Veda View Post

BDP-95... 120dB THD is indeed awesome

What do you think the dynamic range of the discs you play on it are?

The answer is 65-85 dB.

(1) You know what happens if you play a CD with 85 dB dynamic range on a player with 90 dB dynamic range? The resultant dynamic range is about 84 dB.

(2) You know what happens if you play a CD with 65 dB dynamic range on a player with 90 dB dynamic range? The resultant dynamic range is about 65 dB.

(3) You know what happens if you play a CD with 85 dB dynamic range on a player with 120 dB dynamic range? The resultant dynamic range is about 85 dB.

(4) You know what happens if you play a CD with 65 dB dynamic range on a player with 120 dB dynamic range? The resultant dynamic range is about 65 dB.

Most of the CDs you have are like the one with 65 dB. If we go up to 75 dB, it has no effect on the sense of the 4 statements above.

I can probably count the number of CDs with > 80 dB dynamic range on my hands and toes and maybe even have a few toes left over. ;-)
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post #12 of 15 Old 05-15-2012, 10:28 AM
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Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

What do you think the dynamic range of the discs you play on it are?

The answer is 65-85 dB.

(1) You know what happens if you play a CD with 85 dB dynamic range on a player with 90 dB dynamic range? The resultant dynamic range is about 84 dB.

(2) You know what happens if you play a CD with 65 dB dynamic range on a player with 90 dB dynamic range? The resultant dynamic range is about 65 dB.

(3) You know what happens if you play a CD with 85 dB dynamic range on a player with 120 dB dynamic range? The resultant dynamic range is about 85 dB.

(4) You know what happens if you play a CD with 65 dB dynamic range on a player with 120 dB dynamic range? The resultant dynamic range is about 65 dB.

Most of the CDs you have are like the one with 65 dB. If we go up to 75 dB, it has no effect on the sense of the 4 statements above.

I can probably count the number of CDs with > 80 dB dynamic range on my hands and toes and maybe even have a few toes left over. ;-)

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post #13 of 15 Old 05-28-2012, 08:19 AM
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Do the Oppo 93 or 95 output SACD in DSD or does it decimate it to PCM? I would be using the multi channel analog outputs.

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post #14 of 15 Old 05-28-2012, 12:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fuzzybk View Post

Do the Oppo 93 or 95 output SACD in DSD or does it decimate it to PCM? I would be using the multi channel analog outputs.

First, analog outputs are neither DSD nor PCM since those are digital formats. Second, if you are talking about whether there is direct conversion to analog from DSD or if there is an intermediary PCM conversion, it will depend on how you have it set up. Using any DSP (distance, level, bass management), PCM conversion is invoked.

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post #15 of 15 Old 07-10-2012, 06:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by commsysman View Post

I bought the Ayre C5xe/MP CD/SACD player 6 years ago, because it was IMO the best-sounding money could buy then ($6K). It does sound very good; no question.


Currently any player you can buy for $9000, or $6000, or $3000, is obsolete, because the best-sounding player on the market I have ever heard is the OPPO BDP-95!!! It is only $1000.


I can't believe that it sounds better than my Ayre, but it certainly does!! The sound with CD or SACD is just off the charts; I have never heard anything this good. It completely redefines what CD and SACD playback can sound like.


I am just using the balanced outputs direct to my preamp, so I can't speak to multi-channel issues. The tech guys at OPPO are very easy to talk to, and can certainly answer your questions if you call. I do know that the BDP-95 has a Sabre32 processor chip dedicated to the 7.1 outputs, but I don't know any details.


I would recommend that anyone get one of these; I think this is the most amazing technical achievement in audio of the past 10 years; an awesome engineering accomplishment.
After owning my BDP-95 for a year I sold my Marantz SA-15S1. The Marantz is a 2 channel CD / SACD player which I never thought I would sell.

Steve
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