Need Education on SACD Requirements. - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 09-21-2012, 08:23 PM - Thread Starter
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Allright.

I get bashed pretty regularly for even bringing up the idea of wanting to get into some SACD listening. (beause it's such an antiquated tech).
But here it goes. I was told by an audiophile buddy of mine that in order to listen to SACDs, I have to have 3 pairs of cables going analog out from my compatabile source to a compatable input on an AVR, whatever. Is this true? n order to get the benefits from SACD I have to have six distinct channels?

My situation: I have an OPPO BDP-93 connected to a XDA-1 DAC, USP-1 Preamp, and a XPA5 (Receiver handles HT bypass). The Oppo has HDMI going to the receiver, and an optical connection going to my XDA-1 DAC.

What do I need to get SACD playbakc working on my system? Do I need to have the receiver in the equation, or can I just use the XDA-1, USP and Oppo?

I've changed Oppo settings to SACD playback priority = stereo.
HDMI = Bitstream
2ch = PCM
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post #2 of 13 Old 09-22-2012, 03:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eiger View Post

Allright.
I get bashed pretty regularly for even bringing up the idea of wanting to get into some SACD listening. (beause it's such an antiquated tech).
But here it goes. I was told by an audiophile buddy of mine that in order to listen to SACDs, I have to have 3 pairs of cables going analog out from my compatabile source to a compatable input on an AVR, whatever. Is this true? n order to get the benefits from SACD I have to have six distinct channels?
My situation: I have an OPPO BDP-93 connected to a XDA-1 DAC, USP-1 Preamp, and a XPA5 (Receiver handles HT bypass). The Oppo has HDMI going to the receiver, and an optical connection going to my XDA-1 DAC.
What do I need to get SACD playbakc working on my system? Do I need to have the receiver in the equation, or can I just use the XDA-1, USP and Oppo?
I've changed Oppo settings to SACD playback priority = stereo.
HDMI = Bitstream
2ch = PCM

Use the HDMI connection. Hi-rez playback is prohibited on toslink, so you'll only get 44khz/16 bit. Do you want to hear the sacd in sourround mode or two channel stereo mode? Its not clear to me how you have all this hooked up, but if you want multi channel playback (one of the primary advantages of sacd) then play the disc the same way you play a blu ray disc on 5.1 mode. Have the sacd preference in the oppo set for multichannel not two channel. You don't mention which reciever, but I'm guessing it doesn't do DSD, so set output in the oppo to pcm. (It will be 88 khz/24 bit). If you want two channel do whatever you do to play a two channel cd, same settings except now sacd preference in the oppo should be set on stereo. Recognize some sacds do not have mulitple mulitchannel and stereo layers. In such a case, if you want stereo, have the oppo downmix to 2.0 (through analog connections).
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post #3 of 13 Old 09-22-2012, 09:54 AM
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I think glangford said it pretty well, but I'll summarize the key points again anyway:

1. SACD can be two-channel or multi-channel, and it can also have a regular CD later. It depends on the disc. (Yes, both the SACD and DVD-Audio formats were an ill-conceived mess.)

2. The only digital connection that supports SACD is HDMI.

3. If you use an HDMI connection, you need to know whether your processor supports DSD. If not, set the Oppo to output PCM. (Keep in mind that even if your processor does support DSD, if you apply bass management, the processor is still gonna convert the DSD to PCM internally.)

4. You always have the option of using the Oppo's analog outputs for either two-channel or multi-channel, with or without bass management.

I've never been convinced that "high-resolution" digital is any better than well-mastered Redbook, but the idea of two-channel SACD with with no bass management sent directly to the Oppo's analog outputs (that is, DSD direct to analog) has a certain purist appeal, even to me.
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post #4 of 13 Old 09-22-2012, 09:08 PM
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My Pioneer BDP outputs 2.0 PCM 88.2kHz from SACD via Toslink. This is the first player that does that (the Sony BDPs output 2.0 44.1kHz). Since there are three Pioneer players in the vintage they possibly all do this.

Time to put to rest all the myth about SACD/high rez prohibited via SPDIF/Toslink.

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 #5 of 13 Old 09-23-2012, 07:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kilian.ca View Post

My Pioneer BDP outputs 2.0 PCM 88.2kHz from SACD via Toslink. This is the first player that does that (the Sony BDPs output 2.0 44.1kHz). Since there are three Pioneer players in the vintage they possibly all do this.
Time to put to rest all the myth about SACD/high rez prohibited via SPDIF/Toslink.
There was proprietary DenonLink too, even 10 years ago, and that passed all six channels digitally, but it's a narrow exception, as is what you describe. Unless you want to buy specific gear, HDMI is the only general purpose, widely adopted digital interface that passes all six channels of SACD/DVD-A, and that's what most people coming for advice really want to know.
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post #6 of 13 Old 09-23-2012, 05:55 PM
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Since the OP already has a DAC this could be particularly relevant and make him (and others) think again about choice of player, esp. one that only cost little more than $100. It opens the door to those who like to use external DACs.

People coming here for advice should have all the available facts to make an informed decision. Blanket sweeping generalisation may be enough for him, may be not, that's up to him. The uninformed may get the impression that it's never possible to pass high rez 2CH PCM via Toslink and that itself is simply no longer true.

People have always picked equipment based on their own needs and preference and the Toslink connection isn't specialised or proprietary as in DenonLink which also requires a matching Denon AVR. People often say Oppo can do this or that when other players can't (play ISO, shift subtitle for example) and nobody ever complains or goes on a defensive saying that's a narrow exception.

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 #7 of 13 Old 09-24-2012, 05:42 AM
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But the OP was not asking about what player to buy, he already has an Oppo BDP-93. He was asking the best way to playback SACDs with the Oppo.

From the Oppo FAQ page:

"Why is there no sound from the digital optical and coaxial output when I play SACD?

The SACD license prohibits digital output from "unprotected" digital interfaces. The digital optical and coaxial (S/PDIF) interfaces are considered "unprotected" by the license because no data encryption is used. For this reason all SACD players on the market, including the BDP-93, do not allow digital output for SACD over optical and coaxial. You will need to use either the analog or HDMI output for SACD."
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post #8 of 13 Old 09-25-2012, 01:09 AM
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The OP did not specifically ask about what player to buy: so I'm not allowed to make a statement of fact first, which also happens to be an alternative suggestion for him and the wider audience? In an open forum this happens all the time: someone asks about something and the replies can lead to other directions. What exactly is the problem here?

I know Oppo does not allow SACD via SPDIF, so what Oppo says is the absolute truth and nothing else can make an exception or challenge their official position? They speak and enforce the rule for the whole CE industry? This SACD licence prohibition thing is often quoted by Oppo owners and I've never seen anything concrete in writing to back it up. Anyone has a copy of the SACD licence? What about the Sony BDPs, have they the inventor (and licence holder?) of SACD broken the rules also? Oh dear...tongue.gif

I have a strong feeling that this reaction would not arise the other round, if the OP has a Pioneer and someone suggests an Oppo instead.

No offence intended at all but I will not refrain from publicising what the Pioneer can do as a matter of fact where it is relevant to do so and whenever another claim about SPDIF prohibition comes up.

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 13 Old 09-25-2012, 02:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kilian.ca View Post

The OP did not specifically ask about what player to buy: so I'm not allowed to make a statement of fact first, which also happens to be an alternative suggestion for him and the wider audience?

No that's fine, but we should make clear his question is answered first and not confused with advice he didn't ask for. But in that light of full disclosure of facts. From pioneers DVD universal player. ''

"Connecting the digital output
This player has both optical and coaxial-type digital audio outputs
for connection to an AV receiver. Connect whichever is convenient.
Depending on the capabilities of your AV receiver, you might have to
set up this player to output only digital audio in a compatible format.
See Digital Audio Out settings on page 32 and refer to the operating
instructions that came with your AV receiver.
Note that SACD audio is not output through these jacks, so this
connection should be in addition to, rather than instead of, a 5.1
channel analog connection."

Both there universal dvd players make the same statement. The BD player however does seem to allow some limited playback in two channel mode, but they make no reference at all to its audio resolution. The only reference is that those connections are inactive if hdmi audio is set to bitstream. Weird. But its not just oppo that recognizes required restrictions in sacd playback.


Seems to be an interesting player that bests the oppo by 100 bucks. When did they come out with a universal bd player?

Edit: I looked some more at the player. Its interesting indeed. But it has NO analog connections whatsoever. Maybe they were able to utilize a 2 channel through digital in the absence of analog audio.
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post #10 of 13 Old 09-25-2012, 06:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kilian.ca View Post

My Pioneer BDP outputs 2.0 PCM 88.2kHz from SACD via Toslink. This is the first player that does that (the Sony BDPs output 2.0 44.1kHz). Since there are three Pioneer players in the vintage they possibly all do this.
Time to put to rest all the myth about SACD/high rez prohibited via SPDIF/Toslink.

How very interesting.

So the above players do this for stereo sound only via digital Toslink(optical) cable, and not via digital coax/RCA cable, nor via digital USB cable?

The best is the enemy of the good. Voltaire (1694-1778)

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post #11 of 13 Old 09-25-2012, 08:44 AM
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Originally Posted by OtherSongs View Post

How very interesting.
So the above players do this for stereo sound only via digital Toslink(optical) cable, and not via digital coax/RCA cable, nor via digital USB cable?

Best I can tell, that would be just player, not plural, players. The pioneer universal BDP appears to do this.
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post #12 of 13 Old 09-25-2012, 10:29 AM
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Not to get involved in any debate, here is just an fyi for another option for those who might be interested or not aware of.

"Review: take SACD and BlURay Hirez directly to your DAC!!!! "

http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=82217.0

Monoprice has a $50 unit that works.

Analog: Pioneer SX-950, CT-F9191, AD797MCPS, PL-707, RH-65, RG-1, SR-202, Monitor 10/HE-500 hp's
Digital: Laptop, M2tech Young, Oppo 83, Simaudio i5.3, Dali Mentor
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post #13 of 13 Old 09-25-2012, 07:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glangford View Post


Seems to be an interesting player that bests the oppo by 100 bucks. When did they come out with a universal bd player?

Edit: I looked some more at the player. Its interesting indeed. But it has NO analog connections whatsoever. Maybe they were able to utilize a 2 channel through digital in the absence of analog audio.

The Pioneer BDP-140 (the non-Elite ver.) cost me CAD120 street price (MSRP USD199). It came out last year and is about to be replaced by the 150. I only got it three weeks ago so I haven't said anything until now after I tested it. This player can also be hacked by unofficial firmware to be MR DVD and BD and shift subtitles and do other things.

It was one user who first reported this in the Pioneer thread last year but he had one of the Elites of the same vintage. So if I remember correctly there are now at least two out of three that have been tested to 'work' this way.
Quote:
Originally Posted by OtherSongs View Post


So the above players do this for stereo sound only via digital Toslink(optical) cable, and not via digital coax/RCA cable, nor via digital USB cable?

The player only has optical, no coax for SPDIF.
Quote:
Originally Posted by weverb View Post


http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=82217.0

Monoprice has a $50 unit that works.

I know about HDMI audio de-embedders already some time ago. I don't have one to test nor wish to buy one just for testing since I don't need it.

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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