HDMI or Analog Audio- Confused as to which to do - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 46 Old 10-11-2012, 08:32 AM - Thread Starter
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Hello,
Here is my situation.
Integra DTR-7.8 Receiver
Oppo-BDP 103 Bluray, CD, SACD Player. (On the Way)

I have the option to connect the Oppo to the reciver via 7.1 analog audio or HDMI. Given the fact that the Integra reciever has a Burr Brown Dac, it is my understanding that I would need to send analog audio for that DAC to come into play. I have no reason to double the quality of the Integra or Oppo, but want to hear advise from true audiophiles.

What I am looking for is the best audio quality for my CD's, SACD's and Bluray's. I have a 7.1 speaker configuration and would like to utilize the best possible gear to drive those speakers.

Thanks,
Justin
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post #2 of 46 Old 10-11-2012, 08:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slytsi View Post

Hello,
Here is my situation.
Integra DTR-7.8 Receiver
Oppo-BDP 103 Bluray, CD, SACD Player. (On the Way)
I have the option to connect the Oppo to the reciver via 7.1 analog audio or HDMI. Given the fact that the Integra reciever has a Burr Brown Dac, it is my understanding that I would need to send analog audio for that DAC to come into play.

Correct.
Quote:
I have no reason to double the quality of the Integra or Oppo, but want to hear advise from true audiophiles.

I suspect that while audiophiles may agree or disagree about the audibility of digital converters in this quality range, all of them would agree that minimizing the number of conversions is very important.

I just scanned the DTR 7.8 manual, and looked for ways to avoid using its converters. Can't find any. Can you?

Bottom line, in order to minimize the number of analog<->digital converters, connect the Oppo to the Integra via some kind of digital connection.

The Integra has other Oppo-compatible digital connections than just HDMI, if the use of HDMI is any sort of a concern for you.

Me, I'd just use the HDMI as I see no evidence that its use necessarily causes a sound quality problem.

There has been some hysteria around here about the use of HDMI inputs on AVRs, but the best evidence we've got so far finds no audible problems, even in the worst documented cases.
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post #3 of 46 Old 10-11-2012, 08:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slytsi View Post

Hello,
Here is my situation.
Integra DTR-7.8 Receiver
Oppo-BDP 103 Bluray, CD, SACD Player. (On the Way)
I have the option to connect the Oppo to the reciver via 7.1 analog audio or HDMI. Given the fact that the Integra reciever has a Burr Brown Dac, it is my understanding that I would need to send analog audio for that DAC to come into play.
Correct.
Um, incorrect, I think, unless I am reading this wrong. The Integra DAC would come into play whether you are sending an analog or a digital signal. The Oppo DAC only comes into play if you send an analog signal.

But I agree with Arny that the better route is to send a digital signal, so that only one DAC (the Integra's) is doing the work.

If you can't explain how it works, you can't say it doesn't.—The High-End Creed

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post #4 of 46 Old 10-11-2012, 02:02 PM - Thread Starter
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Ok, so i get the concept of only doing a digital to audio conversion at the receiver. But, I thought that the DAC only comes into play once. IE, if the OPPO DAC is used, then the audio is analog to the Integra and it does not have to decode anything, and just pushes it out to the speakers. So, does this come down to the quality of the DAC in either component? The OPPO doesn't list the DAC name from what I can tell. I definitely like the convenience of the HDMI, but figure if there is a better way to do, why not do it!

thanks,
Justin
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post #5 of 46 Old 10-11-2012, 02:17 PM
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Originally Posted by slytsi View Post

Ok, so i get the concept of only doing a digital to audio conversion at the receiver. But, I thought that the DAC only comes into play once. IE, if the OPPO DAC is used, then the audio is analog to the Integra and it does not have to decode anything, and just pushes it out to the speakers.

Not true with most modern receivers. Just about everything the receiver does in the way of signal processing including the volume control and bass management are performed by a DSP which runs in the digital domain and sends the audio through the receivers internal DACs to drive its power amplifiers.
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So, does this come down to the quality of the DAC in either component?

The point you seem to be missing is that you generally can't avoid the DACs in the receiver.

There is an additional potential cost in using the DACs in the music source, which is an additional unnecessary conversion from analog to digital in the receiver.
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The OPPO doesn't list the DAC name from what I can tell. I definitely like the convenience of the HDMI, but figure if there is a better way to do, why not do it!

Not only is HDMI more convenient, there are no known sound quality problems associated with using it. It is generally the better way to go.

You know that you've basically repeated your OP, right? Hey, we can do this as many times as you like!

But this circular discussion not increasing my perception of your ability to comprehend simple concepts like the fact that using the DAC in the Oppo is superfluous and involves an additional unnecessary signal processing step involving the ADC in the AVR.

OTOH, maybe you are the kind of person who is more impressed with people who blithely rattle off the names of DAC chips, than those who understand how AVRs and DVD players work and how to keep the processing as streamlined as possible.

I can do that too... Want a thumbnail sketch of ESS's whole line of chips? ;-)
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post #6 of 46 Old 10-11-2012, 02:44 PM - Thread Starter
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Arny,
If the reciever is receiving an analog signal then what is the DAC converting? The way I understand it a DAC is a Digital to Analog Converter. So, if its already an analog signal from the Oppo, the DAC in the receiver doesnt come into play. Right? I get the point that a DSP is involved in the receiver, but is a DAC?

I am not very impressed by chipset names, or sketches, but if I have a choice, why wouldnt I go with the best audio path that my system supports?

As a side note, I dont mind to be attacked since I came here for help. Rather than restate the OP again, perhaps I am just a litle slow and need the logic hashed out for me.
Thanks,
Justin
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post #7 of 46 Old 10-11-2012, 03:05 PM
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If the reciever is receiving an analog signal then what is the DAC converting? The way I understand it a DAC is a Digital to Analog Converter. So, if its already an analog signal from the Oppo, the DAC in the receiver doesnt come into play. Right? I get the point that a DSP is involved in the receiver, but is a DAC?
The receiver takes the analog signal and reconverts it to digital, so that the digital processing functions can be carried out. (This can include room correction, bass management, other equalization, even the volume control). Then it's converted back to analog again by the receiver. That's why the receiver's DAC is always in the chain. (Unless, as Arny suggested, it has some kind of bypass function you can use, but yours does not seem to.)

Don't feel bad about missing it the first time. It's not intuitive, but that's how these things work.

If you can't explain how it works, you can't say it doesn't.—The High-End Creed

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post #8 of 46 Old 10-11-2012, 03:29 PM
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Originally Posted by slytsi View Post

Arny,
If the receiver is receiving an analog signal then what is the DAC converting?

Generally speaking AVRs convert all analog inputs into digital, process them with a DSP in order to implement the desired changes in the digital domain including the volume control and bass management, and then convert the output of the DSP back into analog to drive the power amps.
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The way I understand it a DAC is a Digital to Analog Converter.

Yes.
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So, if its already an analog signal from the Oppo, the DAC in the receiver doesnt come into play. Right?

Wrong. All common AVR front panel controls including the volume control never directly touch the audio signals. They are just encoders that interact with a program running on the DSP to make the desired changes in the digital domain.

A few years back there were a few high end AVRs that tried to keep at least a few analog inputs in the analog domain through the whole receiver. This trend seems to be ending.

The biggest problem with keeping signals in the analog domain seems simple enough, the volume control. However, an analog volume control for a 7.1 receiver is a huge 8-layer monstrosity that is very expensive and never seems to handle all the channels identically enough. If it is controlled by the remote, it has to be motorized. Compare that with the digital alternative that is implemented in software, has no moving parts and handles every channel identically the same.

The next problem with analog signal processing in a receiver is the bass management. If you want to provide different crossover frequency options and support for 5.1 or 7.1 channels you're again talking a lot of circuitry that should match all the channels identically but never really quite does that if implemented in the analog domain. In the digital domain there are no extra parts at all to handle this highly helpful function.
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I get the point that a DSP is involved in the receiver, but is a DAC?

Yes, and there is also an ADC for all of the analog inputs.
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I am not very impressed by chipset names, or sketches, but if I have a choice, why wouldn't I go with the best audio path that my system supports?

The best audio path is usually the one that stays as much possible in the digital domain. The best DAC is no DAC and the best ADC is no ADC. Using the analog outputs of your DVD player violates that rule.
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post #9 of 46 Old 10-11-2012, 03:45 PM
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Looks like your AVR has analog pass through for its multi-channel input. From this review: http://173.203.105.244/receivers/319-a-secrets-receiver-review.html?start=3

In the comments section someone asks: "Does it re-digitize the MCH signal at the input so bass management/time alignment can be applied to it like my 6.4? I've come to appreciate that feature quite a bit (though I wish level settings were also applicable--can't have everything, I guess wink.gif ). "

Reviewer writes back: "written by R. Jones , April 08, 2008

Ovation, the multi-channel inputs are not "re-digitized." Bass management and time-alignment are done through the HDMI port, which eliminates the additional A/D/A conversion. "


Later in the comments this is posted:

Regarding the measured frequency response, here is what Paul Wasek, Marketing Manager - Integra had to say:

'If you have an analog connection and are in Direct or Pure Audio mode then the roll off is in the 100kHz range. In these modes you are bypassing the DSP.

If you have an analog connection and are in any other mode other that Direct or Pure Audio, by default you are going through the DSP and the roll off will be in the 20kHz range

If you have a digital connection in any mode then by default you are going through the DSP and the roll off will be in the 20kHz range.'


If this is correct it means that if you send the AVR analog signal, it will maintain it so and the only DAC would be that of your Oppo. I suggest running a test three ways:

1. Connect analog from Oppo to Integra. This uses the Dac in Oppo.

2. Connect HDMI from Oppo to Integra. This uses the Dac in Integra

3. Connect S/PDIF (coax digital) from Oppo to Integra. This uses the Dac in Integra

You are best situated to evaluate this for yourself. smile.gif Of course, be sure to use the Direct mode mentioned above. For movie watching, I suggest using #2. For music, I suggest picking between 1 and 3. You can hook up multiple outputs and select between them as needed from the AVR. Good luck.

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post #10 of 46 Old 10-11-2012, 03:55 PM
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1. Connect analog from Oppo to Integra. This uses the Dac in Oppo.
True, assuming he is in the right mode. (And assuming this information is correct.)

If you can't explain how it works, you can't say it doesn't.—The High-End Creed

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post #11 of 46 Old 10-11-2012, 04:38 PM
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Originally Posted by mcnarus View Post

True, assuming he is in the right mode. (And assuming this information is correct.)

Amir's comments are basically correct. I scanned the receiver's user manual looking for a bypass feature but not knowing its trade name, it was elusive. Given knowlege of what Integra calls it, I found it and found out how it works.

Basically it does what it says - it connects the analog input directly to the power amps with minimal processing, This means that things like tone controls, equalizer, bass management and Audessey, are all bypassed. It's a pretty high price to pay for what?
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post #12 of 46 Old 10-11-2012, 04:59 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the advice and research. I guess the ultimate test is with my ears. I figured I would do HDMI for movies, but it was the audio only connections that I was questioning.
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post #13 of 46 Old 10-11-2012, 06:09 PM
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I guess the ultimate test is with my ears.
Probably not, actually. Your brain usually overrides your ears, which is not necessarily a good thing in this case.

Movies you'll do HDMI. SACD you'll do analog. For CD, the odds are very strong that it will not matter what you do. I'd go with the non-HDMI digital connection, to take advantage of the receiver's DSP without doing a redundant conversion. But HDMI is almost certainly good enough, as Arny said earlier.

If you can't explain how it works, you can't say it doesn't.—The High-End Creed

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post #14 of 46 Old 10-11-2012, 08:54 PM - Thread Starter
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mcnarus,
Just when I thought I had closure you opened up an new line of questions smile.gif And for that I thank you for keeping the dialogue and learning opportunity going.
Why do you plainly recommend analog for SACD, but do not think that it would matter for CD? Can you explain why it might be suitable to do redundant conversion with SACD?

So to summarize your statement with amrim's statement I have the following scenario:

1.) Oppo to Integra via analog - SACD and CD?

2.) Oppo to Integra via digital HDMI - Bluray/DVD Movies

3.) Oppo to Integra via digital coxial - CD?

Where would DVD audio best be suited? Option 1, Analog? Does it matter if its a multichannel source?

Thanks,
Justin
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post #15 of 46 Old 10-12-2012, 02:44 AM
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You are making this far too complicated than it really is.

The consideration to use analogue only arises for the higher model with the supposedly superior (so they say) 32-bit Sabre DAC or for legacy non-HDMI processors/AVRs. To send MCH analogue from SACDs, you have to deal with the manual +15dB LFE boost in the processor. Do you know how to do that?

A receiver does not distinguish where the PCM originates from, it receives a MCH PCM signal (or an encoded bitstream, decodes it), applies processing and converts it to analogue. The PCM can come from CD (2CH), SACD, DVD-A (2CH or MCH) and movies (MCH). If it's good enough for movie sound track it's good enough for music. The distinction between movie and music audio is arbitrary as the processor can handle different resolutions.

The main advantage of sending everything digital is that the processor can apply digital processing, including room correction. The benefits of room correction generally outweigh any minute differences in the DAC, analogue stage, amp and other things in the signal path.

For 2CH CD, sending digital (SPDIF or HDMI) also makes it possible to have surround matrix modes expanding 2CH to 5.1 or more, which some people like. If you send 2CH analogue and choose Direct/Pure Direct or whatever they call it, most likely the subwoofer is left out. That's the case in the Onkyo and Denon. Do you like to listen to CDs and SACDs (many are 5.0) without the sub?

PS. For CD it may be easier to use SPDIF because HDMI handshake can sometimes lead to the first few seconds of the first track being omitted, just a practical consideration.

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 #16 of 46 Old 10-12-2012, 06:28 AM
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Originally Posted by slytsi View Post

mcnarus,
Just when I thought I had closure you opened up an new line of questions smile.gif And for that I thank you for keeping the dialogue and learning opportunity going.
Why do you plainly recommend analog for SACD, but do not think that it would matter for CD? Can you explain why it might be suitable to do redundant conversion with SACD?
So to summarize your statement with amrim's statement I have the following scenario:
1.) Oppo to Integra via analog - SACD and CD?
2.) Oppo to Integra via digital HDMI - Bluray/DVD Movies
3.) Oppo to Integra via digital coxial - CD?
Where would DVD audio best be suited? Option 1, Analog? Does it matter if its a multichannel source?

What you first need to consider is what it costs you to use you receiver in analog mode. Using it in analog mode turns off the following features:

tone controls
equalizer
bass management
Audessey

Are you using any of them? If so, that is your justification for avoiding the use of analog mode. They will work if you avoid using your reciever's analog direct mode.

Secondly, there is no known reason related to sound quality to pick HDMI over coaxial.

What we do know is that not all audio formats that any good Blu Ray player can play will be fully exploited when choosing coax over HDMI.

There is no evidence that the converters in your receiver sound even the slightest bit difference from the converters in any good Blu Ray player.

What it comes down to is that you can play audio epicure (like many here seem to be affected towards) by fiddling around with different receiver modes and input kinds for different sources, but in the end you are doing necessary work by picking anything but HDMI if the source supports it.
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post #17 of 46 Old 10-12-2012, 09:21 AM
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Why do you plainly recommend analog for SACD, but do not think that it would matter for CD?
To be honest, I don't think it'll matter for SACD, either. I don't pay much attention to SACD anymore, but my recollection was that analog connections were usually the only possibility. Things may be different today.

The real question is, do you use Direct Mode, and bypass the DSP, to get the pure SACD experience, or do you take advantage of DSP when you're listening to SACDs? I'd argue that the latter approach will result in better sound quality.

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post #18 of 46 Old 10-12-2012, 09:53 AM
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Originally Posted by mcnarus View Post

To be honest, I don't think it'll matter for SACD, either. I don't pay much attention to SACD anymore, but my recollection was that analog connections were usually the only possibility. Things may be different today.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Super_Audio_CD

"
SACD players are not permitted to offer an output carrying an unencrypted stream of Direct Stream Digital (DSD).[33] Players initially supported only analog output; later some proprietary digital interfaces such as Denon Link permitted encrypted transmission of DSD. There are now two standard digital connection methods capable of carrying DSD in encrypted form: i.Link and HDMI (version 1.2 or later, standardised in August 2005).

The older i.Link interface is generally found on older mid- to high-end equipment and some current top-of-the-line units from Japanese manufacturers. HDMI is more common, being the standard digital connection method for high-definition video with audio. Most new mid-level and higher 2007 model year and later A/V processors support the HDMI 1.2 specifications DSD over HDMI feature. Most boutique manufacturers still do not support DSD. Some HDMI 1.1 spec DVD players convert DSD to LPCM and then pass it to an HDMI 1.1 spec or later processor. Lower end processors usually convert the DSD to LPCM, higher end ones usually convert it to LPCM for bass management or DSP but can also process it natively at the expense of DSP and bass management. Some new DVD players from Oppo Digital, Pioneer, Onkyo, etc. now support HDMI 1.2 or 1.3 and will pass DSD over HDMI as well as LPCM. Be aware that some players, for instance, Onkyo DV-SP504, will not support DSD or LPCM over HDMI without resampling it to 48 kHz. SACD or DVD-A will be played through analog outputs instead. The older i.Link interface has been dropped from all but high-end A/V processors and DVD players.

Unofficial playback of SACD ISO on a PC is now possible through freeware audio player foobar2000 for Windows using an open source plug-in extension called SACDDecoder
"
Quote:
The real question is, do you use Direct Mode, and bypass the DSP, to get the pure SACD experience, or do you take advantage of DSP when you're listening to SACDs? I'd argue that the latter approach will result in better sound quality.

Agreed.
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post #19 of 46 Old 10-12-2012, 10:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Kilian.ca View Post

A receiver does not distinguish where the PCM originates from, it receives a MCH PCM signal (or an encoded bitstream, decodes it), applies processing and converts it to analogue. The PCM can come from CD (2CH), SACD, DVD-A (2CH or MCH) and movies (MCH). If it's good enough for movie sound track it's good enough for music. The distinction between movie and music audio is arbitrary as the processor can handle different resolutions.
For movies the choice is partially taken away from you because AACS copy protection for Blu-ray mandates that non-copy protected digital outputs such as S/PDIF be limited to 48 Khz. So if the track comes at higher resolution, it will be subject to an unknown quality resampler in the player (they assume you never use this so it is not like they care one way or the other). This forced issue does not exist for music including high resolution content you may download. All comes without copy protection so you can send them digitally without this issue on any interface from S/PDIF to USB. This is why I suggested HDMI is the right path for movies.

As to SACD, its native stream is not "PCM." To send it over HDMI, that stream is usually (always?) converted to PCM. SACD has lots of high energy in its ultrasonic area courtesy of noise shaping. What the resampler does in converting it to PCM as far as preserving or not preserving it is a crap shoot. There are issues both ways with regards to keeping it or chopping it off. And at any rate, one of the merits of DSD (in SACD) was supposed to be that it is the native internal stream of a 1-bit DAC. Once you convert it to PCM, then you have lost anything that it purported to do. So assuming your DAC has a native DSD DAC, it is better to convert it there and play it in analog domain, all else being equal. I quickly looked at the ESS Sabre DAC in OP's player and it seems that it performs an asynchronous sample rate conversion for consumption by a multi-bit PCM DAC even in the case of DSD. So it is not playing the native DSD stream either.
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The main advantage of sending everything digital is that the processor can apply digital processing, including room correction. The benefits of room correction generally outweigh any minute differences in the DAC, analogue stage, amp and other things in the signal path.
If room EQ works, I agree. I have the sister AVR from Onkyo that OP is using and half the time find the Auto EQ in it doing more harm than good. So I often leave it off. I have also bench tested it and found a strange problem where at times it had high frequency oscillations that seemed to come and go. So my money would not be on its conversion quality but that of Oppo.

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post #20 of 46 Old 10-12-2012, 10:36 AM
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Originally Posted by amirm View Post


If room EQ works, I agree. I have the sister AVR from Onkyo that OP is using and half the time find the Auto EQ in it doing more harm than good. So I often leave it off. I have also bench tested it and found a strange problem where at times it had high frequency oscillations that seemed to come and go. So my money would not be on its conversion quality but that of Oppo.

Looks to me like a replay of the AVR HDMI input jitter boondoggle.

In that sad case, a 5 alarm fire was set over an unqualified number posted on some other web site. After hundreds if not thousands of posts, we finally figured that that the worst number from that web site, taken in the worst possible way, still didn't mean that there was an audible problem. Meanwhile every AVR HDMI input has been covered by a thick fog of suspicion to this day, year(s) later.

Here's the apparent logic - if anything like this product has a technical failing in a feature no matter how inaudible, then you need to avoid using that feature for all times and in all situations.

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post #21 of 46 Old 10-12-2012, 10:56 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Kilian.ca View Post

You are making this far too complicated than it really is.
In a post like this I never thought I'd be accused of making it more complicated than it really is!
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post #22 of 46 Old 10-12-2012, 02:59 PM
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Originally Posted by slytsi View Post

In a post like this I never thought I'd be accused of making it more complicated than it really is!
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Your methodology for encouraging complexity was not being satisfied with straight forward answers. ;-)

In post 2 I specifically asked you if there were any ways to bypass the converters in your AVR, and tried to find it myself.

Then you doggedly refused to see that AVRs y put everything through their DSP by default. This means that the AVR has to use its own DACs.
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post #23 of 46 Old 10-12-2012, 08:38 PM
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Originally Posted by amirm View Post

For movies the choice is partially taken away from you because AACS copy protection for Blu-ray mandates that non-copy protected digital outputs such as S/PDIF be limited to 48 Khz. So if the track comes at higher resolution, it will be subject to an unknown quality resampler in the player (they assume you never use this so it is not like they care one way or the other). This forced issue does not exist for music including high resolution content you may download. All comes without copy protection so you can send them digitally without this issue on any interface from S/PDIF to USB. This is why I suggested HDMI is the right path for movies.

What you say does not conflict with what I said, but I could have made it clearer by saying 'if HDMI is good enough for movie sound track it's good enough for music..." so we are saying the same thing. To use one route for one type of content, another for a different type, a third for yet another type is making it more complicated.
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As to SACD, its native stream is not "PCM." To send it over HDMI, that stream is usually (always?) converted to PCM. SACD has lots of high energy in its ultrasonic area courtesy of noise shaping. What the resampler does in converting it to PCM as far as preserving or not preserving it is a crap shoot. There are issues both ways with regards to keeping it or chopping it off. And at any rate, one of the merits of DSD (in SACD) was supposed to be that it is the native internal stream of a 1-bit DAC. Once you convert it to PCM, then you have lost anything that it purported to do. So assuming your DAC has a native DSD DAC, it is better to convert it there and play it in analog domain, all else being equal. I quickly looked at the ESS Sabre DAC in OP's player and it seems that it performs an asynchronous sample rate conversion for consumption by a multi-bit PCM DAC even in the case of DSD. So it is not playing the native DSD stream either.

Bear in mind most SACDs are not native DSD recordings but converted from PCM (some 16/44.1), so DSD as the format on the disc isn't so sacrosanct. Editing is done in high res PCM anyway. The ultrasonic frequencies may or may not be there depending on the recording but since some regard this as harmful to the audible band if it's gone it may even be a good thing.

I have repeatedly argued that a native PCM 24/96 recording converted (decimated) to DSD back to PCM 88.2kHz (what many players inc. Oppo do) is losing something but converting to PCM 176.4kHz is for all intense and purpose good enough. Hence my preference for players like the Sony that do 176.4kHz.

Your point about what happens to DSD in a DSD capable DAC is worth noting.

Also, I keep saying, some people like sending DSD stream to AVRs (some AVRs accept DSD input) for decoding (as if it's the ideal) and that opens another can of worms in what happens to the DSD inside AVRs. I've written more about this in the AVR forum.
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If room EQ works, I agree. I have the sister AVR from Onkyo that OP is using and half the time find the Auto EQ in it doing more harm than good. So I often leave it off. I have also bench tested it and found a strange problem where at times it had high frequency oscillations that seemed to come and go. So my money would not be on its conversion quality but that of Oppo.

That's why I said "generally" and the mainstream opinion on AVS particularly the receivers forum is that RC is beneficial, but it could do more harm than good, depending on the type of RC, AVR brand (implementation), version (level of sophistication), operator measurement skill etc. The Audyssey MultEQ XT has not been the top version for a while.

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 #24 of 46 Old 10-12-2012, 09:47 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the lively conversation. The AVR does have a direct mode which I will try with the SACD player just as soon as I get it. I have never heard an SACD before, which hopefully explains why my questions are rather simplistic and naive.
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post #25 of 46 Old 10-15-2012, 08:21 AM - Thread Starter
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So a found a review of the Integra DTR-7.8 online here:
Assuming that everything the reviewer states is true, my best bet may be to stick with HDMI for everything.

Is this the correct conclusion?


http://173.203.105.244/receivers/319-a-secrets-receiver-review.html?showall=1

And this is a quote from the reviewer:
Quote:
The other benefit of HDMI v. 1.3a is that it will send a raw DSD bitstream to the receiver, allowing the Integra’s three high-quality Texas Instruments DSPs to decode SACD in the receiver if the DVD player is similarly equipped. My Oppo 980HD will send a raw digital bitstream for both DVD-A and SACD, allowing the digital-to-analog conversion to occur in the Integra. This is actually a big deal to me, since I am a fan of hi-rez music formats.
Quote:
It also offers a Direct mode, which turns off the video processing and front panel lights, but does not bypass digital processing. Conversely, the analog multi-channel inputs do not go through an A/D/A conversion, so if you’re playing hi-rez music through the analog inputs, you won’t get any crossover or speaker distance adjustments through the receiver. I don’t consider that a big issue, since one of the major benefits of the DTR 7.8 is its ability to decode and play all hi-rez audio through its HDMI inputs. In fact, I suspect most (if not) all buyers will mate the Integra with a compatible source (Blu-ray) or a universal DVD player with HDMI v1.2 or higher, such as my Oppo 980HD.
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post #26 of 46 Old 10-15-2012, 09:19 AM
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I had linked to that review for you earlier smile.gif. While everything you quote is true, it still doesn't answer the question you had. The review does not compare the performance of one input to another. Take a look the measurement for one of the sister Onkyo AVRs to your Integra: http://www.madronadigital.com/Library/DigitalAudioJitter.html. As you see there, the measured jitter over HDMI can be far higher. So do your own listening tests. If it turns out that HDMI sounds the best or the same as the rest by all means, use that since it is most convenient.

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post #27 of 46 Old 10-15-2012, 09:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amirm View Post

I had linked to that review for you earlier smile.gif. While everything you quote is true, it still doesn't answer the question you had. The review does not compare the performance of one input to another. Take a look the measurement for one of the sister Onkyo AVRs to your Integra: http://www.madronadigital.com/Library/DigitalAudioJitter.html. As you see there, the measured jitter over HDMI can be far higher. So do your own listening tests. If it turns out that HDMI sounds the best or the same as the rest by all means, use that since it is most convenient.

The dead fish in the post above is the suggestion to do your own listening tests. Doing listening tests properly, especially when they involve equipment that it is reasonable to expect to have inaudible differences; is not for amateurs, people with limited resources, or people who have never done such things before. The basic requirement for a good listening test is level matching, synchronization of the music IOW actually listening to the alternatives with the exact same music selection down to the tenth of a second, and bias controls. For example even after repeated requests, we know of no instances where the poster above has actually done this for himself with any AVR, even though he admits he has relevant equipment in his own possession, and claims expertise and experience in the area of subjective testing.

Fact of the matter is that even with the relatively high ca. 5 nsec of jitter mentioned in the self-reference above, a Dolby Labs paper also cited favorably by the poster above indicates that under the most difficult conditions conceivable, the AVR can be reasonably be expected to have no audible jitter.

Why should you do your own listening tests - to prove that Dolby Labs doesn't know what they are doing? Seems like a snipe hunt to me! ;-)

Cynics might say that people who suggest that people do their own listening tests, knowing that if done right the test would result in a no differences outcome, actually hope that a casual listening test be done which will usually have a positive outcome due to the lack of adequate controls over technical and individual biases. Of course I'm not that cynical! ;-)
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post #28 of 46 Old 10-15-2012, 10:39 AM
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Originally Posted by slytsi View Post

So a found a review of the Integra DTR-7.8 online here:
Assuming that everything the reviewer states is true, my best bet may be to stick with HDMI for everything.
Is this the correct conclusion?

Yes.
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post #29 of 46 Old 10-15-2012, 10:40 AM - Thread Starter
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Amir,
Fascinating article. It's a humbling experience to read that level of information on the topic. I have been doing so much reading on all things AV, I must've missed the fact that you not only posted that link, but I read it already smile.gif

It seems like this is a highly debatable topic with convenience pointing to HDMI for all cases, but engineering pointing to more mature interfaces where applicable.

Arnyk,
If you look back at my OP you would see that the Oppo is on the way, meaning I don't have it yet. It comes wednesday. I was proactively asking the question so that when the gear arrived I could setup it up in a manner that would provide me the best audio quality for bluray movies, SACD's, DVD-Audio and CD's.


I now plan to do my own listening tests, but fear as an amateur, as described by ArnyK, that I will not be able to figure this out on my own.

Thanks,
Justin
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post #30 of 46 Old 10-15-2012, 10:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slytsi View Post

Amir,
I now plan to do my own listening tests, but fear as an amateur, as described by ArnyK, that I will not be able to figure this out on my own.

Just ask Amir to post a video of his HDMI AVR DBT on YouTube. ;-)

Those of us who have done such things before will review it, and if its correctly done you can use it as your model...
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