I'm about to buy a Pioneer DV-48AV, and I was wondering if my receiver is able to play this to its fullest potential. I've learned that this SACD player will not do 5.1 via HDMI, so I plan to hook up the surround using RCA's (multi channel RCA.)
Is there disadvantages to using analog connections other than using more cables? Should my receiver have any issues playing SACD's using analog cables?
the disadvantage is that the receiver's bass management isn't applied over the 5.1 analog inputs. I pretty sure the Pioneer DV-48AV does have some bass management settings of its own though. When using the Denon AVR-1508, the 5.1 analog inputs are your only option since the receiver doesn't do HDMI audio.
I've learned that this SACD player will not do 5.1 via HDMI
Actually the Pioneer player does do SACD 5.1 over HDMI, your Denon 1508 doesn't do any HDMI audio decoding. That's the problem, you'd have to upgrade your receiver.
From Crutchfield page for Denon AVR-1508
1080p HDMI Pass-Through: The AVR-1508 features two rear-panel HDMI version 1.3a inputs that support 1080p video signals and will pass the high definition video signal to your HDTV via its HDMI version 1.3a 1080p monitor output.
Note: The audio signal input to the HDMI input connectors cannot be played on the AVR-1508. You must input the audio signal from your external source through the digital audio input connector or analog audio input connector.
There should not be any problem connecting the multichannel analog outputs of the Pioneer DV-48AV to the corresponding set of analog inputs of your Denon AVR-1508, which Denon calls EXT. IN (as shown on p. 15 of the PDF manual for this receiver). You will be able to listen to multichannel SACDs that way. Although there are disadvantages, as pointed out above.
Edited remainder of message because someone else pointed out that the AVR-1508 has the strange limitation (although maybe not that strange for an entry-level model from the early days of HDMI) that it WILL NOT ACCEPT OR PROCESS AUDIO SIGNALS OVER HDMI.
So, to give a broad answer, your receiver "is NOT able to play this to its fullest potential" because of its lack of any HDMI audio capability, as well as lack of features that newer entry-level receivers have, such as auto set-up with a provided microphone, and room correction. I think you should consider a newer Denon AVR with HDMI audio, auto set-up, and Audyssey MultEQ XT. Specifically, I suggest these Denons:
Thanks for the help everyone! What would be a reasonable price to find a Denon AVR 1712 used? I'm not looking to spend too much money on a HT receiver (my main focus is in my vintage stereo system/car audio). I read somewhere that the Pioneer doesn't do DSD 5.1 over HDMI, but I guess the manual doesn't lie. That was my main concern.
For now I guess I'll have to deal with the multi channel analog, will keep this post updated as I hook up the player today.