Originally Posted by tallnick
can owner's chime in on preference for multi-channel music?
via HDMI with EQ
analog direct via RCA's? (no processing)
Overwhelmingly, my choice is HDMI with Audyssey for SACD and BR Mch. It is not close. I listen to classical recordings, and I go to a lot of live concerts. I was there when a number of the Ondine Philadelphia Orchestra SACDs were recorded. To me, my system sounds much, much more like a live concert as I have described. I have heard only one system that sounded perhaps slightly better than my own. That was a Meitner player/Mch DAC with 5 huge Sound Labs electrostats in a near-field listening configuraton in a treated room. Nice sound, but it was hugely expensive, and there was only one listening position. Video was impossible because of the huge center 'stat 5 feet in front of you.
I have also heard quite a fair number of $100K to $400K stereos. They do not come close to room EQ'ed Mch in terms of musical truthfulness to live performance. I would not want them.
I even convinced a well known reviewer of recordings to get rid of his "pure DSD" Mch Esoteric player/Audio Research controller via analog in favor of an Oppo plus an Anthem D2V via HDMI. I demoed my old 9.8 in his system with an Audyssey Pro calibration, and in 5 minutes, he was ready to make the change. That is how obvious the improvement was. He chose the Anthem because it has better sounding analog inputs than the Integra for stereo vinyl, plus he gets a substantial discount as an "industry insider". But, for music listening, he is every bit as much a believer now in room EQ provided by the Anthem's ARC system, which is similar to Audyssey. Personally, I think my system sounds better than his Anthem/Wilson/Pass Labs system, in spite of the far less expensive controller and other components. I use 7 Martin Logans with a mix of amps from Spectron. Bryston and Parasound Halo plus a JL Fathom f113 sub.
I recently sold my 80.1 to a friend who had a Sony 777ES Mch player with analog outputs. He too agrees that his system sounds much, much better via HDMI from a Sony 5400 with Audyssey on than via analog.
So, I do not see any upside whatsoever to analog for hi rez Mch. You also need to spend a whole lot more for a player than my $500 Oppo BDP-83 via HDMI to get halfway decent sound via analog. At best, its still not going to sound as good without room EQ.