Originally Posted by tallnick
I was of a similar view, that there are three possibilities and which one you use depends on which DAC's you want to take advantage of (those in your player or those in your pre) AND if you want to use Audyssey on the source.
if, for instance, like on the oppo bdp-95, you can set trim levels, distances, inside the player and then take advantage of it's DAC's to output analog through it's 7.1 analog output, then having DAC direct "ON" and listening in direct mode on the 80.2 would possibly be best?
yes fitz, I realize that this would NOT take advantage of Audyssey, but would the use of the superior DAC's in the oppo make up for it?
This is what I am going to experiment with. I'm just making sure I'm understanding what exactly is happening so I can adjust the settings correctly.
I have an Oppo 83, not a 93 or 95. I do not know if the restrictions on distance settings or bass crossovers are as severe and limiting on the newer Oppos or not. But, they are unacceptable to me in the 83, especially in comparison to what the Integra has.
Don't forget also that most subs have an internal network that delays the signal. So, measured linear distance is often incorrect - too short - in the sub channel. You should use the more accurate distance setting Audyssey has determined acoustically, copying the sub's distance value from your Integra calibration to the Oppo sub channel.
But, hold on a second. To use pure DSD, HDMI output from the Oppo bypasses its internal DSP anyway, so any distance or bass xover parameters in the player cannot be used with DSD output via HDMI or with the Oppo's analog output in DSD mode. There are no DSP's currently anywhere on the planet that operate in DSD mode. They are all PCM these days. This means that for Mch, your speakers need to be physically equidistant from the sweet spot. It is unavoidable. It's physically also impossible for me and most people to do. That's one reason pure DSD Mch is not going anywhere.
Stereo should work, since you do not need distance compensation for it, and you can do some comparisons that way in pure DSD, without DSP bass management. But, if you need speaker distance compensation for Mch, you would have to output PCM from the player. I see no conceivable advantage to that, and many disadvantages, as opposed to bitstreaming DSD from the player to the Integra, and using full DSP processing, including Audyssey there.
Also, using the player's DAC's and going analog into the Integra, which would have this same no-DSP problem in pure DSD, uses the Integra essentially only as a volume control. I do not think anyone will tell you that the Integra is a great device for analog signal. It's decent, but does not have high end pretensions. It will degrade the analog signal somewhat, contrary to what you are trying to achieve via pure DSD and the supposedly superior DACS in the player. The Integra is as great as it is not because of its analog prowess, but because of its processing in the digital domain, which you would be bypassing. So, 90% of what you paid for in the Integra would be wasted. A Parasound Halo P7 analog controller would be the cheapest way to go for better sound in Mch analog, but it gives up tons of very important features.
And, Pepar is right, my experiments with Audyssey on/off and DSD Direct convince me that I would not want to listen any other way than I do. I have also heard a Meitner EMM Labs player/DAC setup in a treated room in pure DSD configuration. You cannot get much better than that in terms of DACs. I may be biased, but I think my system sounded remarkably close to that, and much better, in fact, in terms of extension and evenness of bass response thanks to the DSP bass management + a sub (no such thing in pure DSD and analog-domain bass management is fraught with problems), as well as EQ provided by Audyssey.
I kill a lot of time over at the sa-cd.net forum, where there are quite a few pure DSD diehards (and blowhards), just about all of them stereo listeners. My opinion about pure DSD is that it is way, way overblown. By the way, the Meitner system owner I referred to thinks so to.
It may not be clear to you, but the reason for Oppo's analog outputs and for the SE and 95 was really about hooking up to older legacy systems, where the processor did not have HDMI inputs, only analog or coax/toslink. With newer gear, I do not think there is a contest at all - HDMI wins hands down. It is growing and Mch analog is shrinking. Those 6- or 8-cable Mch analog interconnect bundles have been rapidly disappearing from the market.
But, to each, his or her own. YMMV.