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Best CD/SACD player < $1000??? - Page 3

post #61 of 159
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kal Rubinson View Post

Sure but if the original signal is digital, one can, without redundant A/D/A, transmit it to the pre/pro for DSP, bass management, speaker configurations and EQ. So, my new mantra might be that keeping the signals digital so that one can take advantage of digital processing is, imho, better than an immediate conversion to analog which does not allow for those processes.

The Oppo is $170. The Pioneer is $499. They both have HDMI as they come. The 3xS/PDIF was added to the Oppo (total player + mod < $500) solely to accommodate my Meridian 861 processor.

Probably not but I don't have any opinion on it since my focus is to avoid analog outputs.


well I guess we have to figure out if it is better for the signal to remain in the digital domain from the player to the pre-pro, then converted to analog, OR if the player converting it to analog and using a pre-pro basically to just "pass" the signal.

I have a pretty decent opinion that going from the player and converting it to analog and passing through my Mc Pre/pro would be a pretty good way to go, since they are known for their analog quality (much like Meridian is known for digital). I have heard enough quality analog (LPs and sacd) on Mc equipment to know that "analog" all by itself is NOT the enemy. Meridian fans probably would disagree with that statement.
post #62 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by rodH View Post

well I guess we have to figure out if it is better for the signal to remain in the digital domain from the player to the pre-pro, then converted to analog, OR if the player converting it to analog and using a pre-pro basically to just "pass" the signal.

I have a pretty decent opinion that going from the player and converting it to analog and passing through my Mc Pre/pro would be a pretty good way to go, since they are known for their analog quality (much like Meridian is known for digital). I have heard enough quality analog (LPs and sacd) on Mc equipment to know that "analog" all by itself is NOT the enemy. Meridian fans probably would disagree with that statement.

I do not disagree with any of your points but wish to add that the advantages of digital room EQ, except in the rare cases of ideal room setup and acoustics, trump every one of these arguments. Using any one of the processors I now have in house (Meridian 861, Integra DTC-9.8, Anthem D2-ARC), the advantage of such EQ is striking.
post #63 of 159
Dude, I'm going with the NAD T585! It employs the MLP technology and the price is within reach ($499). Plus I like the size. I'm not concerned with the video because I have the Samsung BD-P1200 Blu ray Player, a Sony DVPNC555ES and a Pioneer Elite DVR7000. This purchase is all about multi-channel SACD/DVD-A playback.
I can appreciate "Kal's" enthusiasm for his modded Oppo DV-980H, multichannel playback via HDMI and all......But, I dig the NAD's overall audio capability.

have a good evening.
post #64 of 159
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kal Rubinson View Post

I do not disagree with any of your points but wish to add that the advantages of digital room EQ, except in the rare cases of ideal room setup and acoustics, trump every one of these arguments. Using any one of the processors I now have in house (Meridian 861, Integra DTC-9.8, Anthem D2-ARC), the advantage of such EQ is striking.

My understanding is that bass is effected by room set up more than other frequencies, this is why I was sure to get this feature on my subwoofer, which handles all frequencies from 80Hz and below. On my calibration disc, I have a couple nasty peaks and valleys, but they seem to be under 60 Hz.
post #65 of 159
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ldgibson76 View Post

Dude, I'm going with the NAD T585! It employs the MLP technology and the price is within reach ($499). Plus I like the size. I'm not concerned with the video because I have the Samsung BD-P1200 Blu ray Player, a Sony DVPNC555ES and a Pioneer Elite DVR7000. This purchase is all about multi-channel SACD/DVD-A playback.
I can appreciate "Kal's" enthusiasm for his modded Oppo DV-980H, multichannel playback via HDMI and all......But, I dig the NAD's overall audio capability.

have a good evening.

looks like a great unit, interesting that this is what it says about SACD on it:

"Unlike many Universal Players that convert SACD's DSD format into CD's PCM format, thus defeating the sonic advantage of DSD"

I wonder if the parasound keeps the DSD format or converts to PCM??
post #66 of 159
Thread Starter 
I guess since "bitstream" is the key, I would guess it does pass the DSD properly, by this statement:

"SACD DSD bit streams are sent directly to the audio DAC's, eliminating intermediate conversion that can be detrimental to audio fidelity."
post #67 of 159
Sterophile had a nice little article on the 980H and Integra DTC 9.8 prepro in their January 2008 issue.
post #68 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by rodH View Post

My understanding is that bass is effected by room set up more than other frequencies, this is why I was sure to get this feature on my subwoofer, which handles all frequencies from 80Hz and below. On my calibration disc, I have a couple nasty peaks and valleys, but they seem to be under 60 Hz.

Well, I would say that frequencies from 80 to 200Hz have more audible problems than those in the sub range. It is just easier for sub manufacturers to include the EQ (and I do acknowledge the value of it). But normal hearing sensitivity drops off precipitously in the low bass and acoustical anomalies in the upper bass demand more attention, imho.
post #69 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by rodH View Post

I guess since "bitstream" is the key, I would guess it does pass the DSD properly, by this statement:

"SACD DSD bit streams are sent directly to the audio DAC's, eliminating intermediate conversion that can be detrimental to audio fidelity."

That is correct.
post #70 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by rodH View Post

I guess since "bitstream" is the key, I would guess it does pass the DSD properly, by this statement:

"SACD DSD bit streams are sent directly to the audio DAC's, eliminating intermediate conversion that can be detrimental to audio fidelity."

"...........that can be detrimental to audio fidelity." I added the emphasis to indicate the hedging. This appeals to normal logic which suggests that any addition process of any kind can be detrimental. General proof is lacking that a DSD-PCM must be detrimental and anecdotal evidence is decidedly mixed.
post #71 of 159
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kal Rubinson View Post

"...........that can be detrimental to audio fidelity." I added the emphasis to indicate the hedging. This appeals to normal logic which suggests that any addition process of any kind can be detrimental. General proof is lacking that a DSD-PCM must be detrimental and anecdotal evidence is decidedly mixed.

I just got done last night researching this whole DSD thing, sounds like the very very high end units are pure DSD and the cheap ones and most "universal" players are DSD-->PCM. I think I will fault on the safe side.
post #72 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by rodH View Post

I just got done last night researching this whole DSD thing, sounds like the very very high end units are pure DSD and the cheap ones and most "universal" players are DSD-->PCM. I think I will fault on the safe side.


Then why is the Oppo 980H just $169?

It's pure DSD out.
post #73 of 159
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Baccusboy View Post

Then why is the Oppo 980H just $169?

It's pure DSD out.

I don't think you will get any argument, what OPPO does for the money is pretty dang impressive.

When I was doing the research they are talking about 3 ways a SACD signal can be moved, DSD is the best, most accurate and highest resolution, case closed!!!

This is from people who designed SACD, researched SACD, and review SACD. If you aren't getting DSD, it is a compromise in some way, and if you can't hear it, that is fine, just let it be known that this was NOT how a SACD signal was meant to be passed, and you are shortcutting the potential of the format. I don't want to buy SACD discs or a player to get the performance of redbook CD, that would be a waste.
post #74 of 159
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Baccusboy View Post

Then why is the Oppo 980H just $169?

It's pure DSD out.


btw, even OPPO admits that the 980 is designed specifically to be the best AUDIO player they have, the others focus more on video.
post #75 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by rodH View Post

I don't think you will get any argument, what OPPO does for the money is pretty dang impressive.

When I was doing the research they are talking about 3 ways a SACD signal can be moved, DSD is the best, most accurate and highest resolution, case closed!!!

This is from people who designed SACD, researched SACD, and review SACD. If you aren't getting DSD, it is a compromise in some way, and if you can't hear it, that is fine, just let it be known that this was NOT how a SACD signal was meant to be passed, and you are shortcutting the potential of the format. I don't want to buy SACD discs or a player to get the performance of redbook CD, that would be a waste.

Superficial analysis.
post #76 of 159
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kal Rubinson View Post

Superficial analysis.

So are you saying that it is all bogus, and that the human ear can NOT hear the difference?

and if that is the case, would you say that CD redbook, DVD, DVD-A, SACD, DD, DTS, XRCD and vinyl ALL sound the same?
post #77 of 159
Quote:


and if that is the case, would you say that CD redbook, DVD, DVD-A, SACD, DD, DTS, XRCD and vinyl ALL sound the same?

How could you possibly infer that from what he said?
post #78 of 159
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by WilliamZX11 View Post

How could you possibly infer that from what he said?

I was just asking, since if you down-convert DSD to PCM, you are losing resolution "in theory", so I was just trying to figure out at what point people, or most people can actually "hear" a difference, or if it is just more based on "theory".

In other words, if you compare DD to DTS, DTS, is supposed to be higher resolution and in "theory" sound better. I think I can hear a difference, but sometimes I wonder if it is a placebo effect.

The same could apply to redbook CD vs SACD and DVD-A, etc...

There is a lot of "theory" and science out there, and there is also reality, but also considering that "reality" is different for everybody based on how everybody does NOT have the exact same hearing or interpretation of what they hear.

I am kind of split on the whole issue, I have heard some super high end redbook CD set ups that sounded amazing. At the same time, I have heard some mediocre SACD systems that sounded MUCH better than I thought they should, probably based on the source being SACD format. I have kind of come to the opinion that SACD can make any system sound better, but that doesn't necessarily mean that it will sound better that ANY system that is using CD as a source. But my opinion on this is always changing.
post #79 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kal Rubinson View Post

Superficial analysis.

Well "Kal",

Why don't you just clear this up so us mere mortals will have a full understanding about the benefits, if there are any, of DSD!
I don't mean to sound sarcastic, but, "rodH" has been trying to gain a better understanding of this technology, along with myself, may I add?, and it seems, IMO that you have at times, been condescending with some of your replies. I may be off base or reading too much into it, with my interpretation of your responds, and if that is so, I do apologize, but geez!, "rodH" has been nothing but polite with his inquiries. You seem to have an impressive amount of knowledge about the technology in general, and obviously held in high regard for it. So, for us little people, would you please be kind enough to break it down?!

Regards.
post #80 of 159
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ldgibson76 View Post

Well "Kal",

Why don't you just clear this up so us mere mortals will have a full understanding about the benefits, if there are any, of DSD!
I don't mean to sound sarcastic, but, "rodH" has been trying to gain a better understanding of this technology, along with myself, may I add?, and it seems, IMO that you have at times, been condescending with some of your replies. I may be off base or reading too much into it, with my interpretation of your responds, and if that is so, I do apologize, but geez!, "rodH" has been nothing but polite with his inquiries. You seem to have an impressive amount of knowledge about the technology in general, and obviously held in high regard for it. So, for us little people, would you please be kind enough to break it down?!

Regards.

You got that impression to? I was kind of wondering if it was just me. every few few hours a teaser, with NO specifics, no details, but vague opinions that point to the direction that I am wrong or somehow uninformed. Thats why I just said "screw it", did the research and ordered the player anyway.

Is this normally how this sub-forum in on AVS, because on the DIY speaker forum people seem to be much more helpful and in depth? No games.
post #81 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by rodH View Post

You got that impression to? I was kind of wondering if it was just me. every few few hours a teaser, with NO specifics, no details, but vague opinions that point to the direction that I am wrong or somehow uninformed. Thats why I just said "screw it", did the research and ordered the player anyway.

Is this normally how this sub-forum in on AVS, because on the DIY speaker forum people seem to be much more helpful and in depth? No games.

Hello "rodH".

I didn't mean to create any controversy. "Kal", from what I've read from some of his other replies in other sub forums, is very knowledgeable and helpful. Maybe, he is just tired of repeatedly explaining the basics of audio to the inexperienced? Who Knows? The cryptic responds seem to suggest that. But regarding the level of sarcasm, criticisms, condescending responses, etc,... will solely depend on where you are and who you communicate within the subforums. It's like dealing in regular life. You know how it goes....for instance, at your place of employment..... there are the respectful, humble, good hearted, helpful, etc,...people and then there's the one's you wouldn't break bread with, even if were the last meal! Not saying the "Kal" falls in the latter example, because I don't know the guy. Maybe he was having a bad day!

I will say, that I've learned a lot about audio/video on this website. My experiences for the most part have been very positive and educational. You will ever so often experience the less then admirable response or post. My suggestion is to take it for what it's worth and keep steppin"!

By the way, congrats on the ordering of your new universal player! You did go with the Parasound, right?!

Regards.
post #82 of 159
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ldgibson76 View Post

Hello "rodH".


By the way, congrats on the ordering of your new universal player! You did go with the Parasound, right?!

Regards.


Yes, Parasound D200 in Silver.

If you have have some time, call them and ask them to explain the difference between the NAD and Parasound, I was conviced Parasound miight be better for my needs.

btw, they have a Black Demo Parasound for $499!!
post #83 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by rodH View Post

Yes, Parasound D200 in Silver.

If you have have some time, call them and ask them to explain the difference between the NAD and Parasound, I was conviced Parasound miight be better for my needs.

btw, they have a Black Demo Parasound for $499!!

Oh really! Thanks for the Heads up. I haven't ordered the NAD yet because I want to sell the 2910 to supplement the purchase. I may just make the move anyway!

The D200 in silver, I bet it looks impressive!
And how was AudioAdvisor.com's response to the DSD inquiry? Where they as helpful as I said they would be?

Regards.
post #84 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by rodH View Post

So are you saying that it is all bogus, and that the human ear can NOT hear the difference?

Not all bogus but not consistent. Some conversions are inaudible. Also, different DACs, those that are direct-from-DSD and those that convert to PCM, vary enough that such generalizations are not useful.

Quote:


and if that is the case, would you say that CD redbook, DVD, DVD-A, SACD, DD, DTS, XRCD and vinyl ALL sound the same?

Nope. Never have.
post #85 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by rodH View Post

I was just asking, since if you down-convert DSD to PCM, you are losing resolution "in theory",

No. Theory says that there is no loss. In practice, there may be or not.
post #86 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by ldgibson76 View Post

Well "Kal",

Why don't you just clear this up so us mere mortals will have a full understanding about the benefits, if there are any, of DSD!

Hard to find the time to do so with care as I am in the throes of my busiest teaching season.

I do like SACD but I do not prefer it to hi-rez PCM (via lossless MLP or direct). The differences are inconsequential in my opinion and dwarfed by differences in the recording, mixing and mastering processes, as well as the available repertoire.

Similarly, the conversion of DSD to PCM is, in theory, a completely lossless conversion and should not result in any audible differences. However, there are also differences in how each device processes the data and converts to PCM and then to analog.

For example, I am now listening to a DSD-converted-to-PCM hi-rez system using the 3xS/PDIF-modded Oppo and Meridian 861 processor and enjoying the best sound I have had in my house. Prior to this, I compared the DSD output of the Oppo 980 to its PCM converted output on SACDs and preferred the PCM when played via the HDMI input of the Integra DTC-9.8. I did prefer the direct DSD-to-DAC in the Esoteric player to the PCM-converted analog outputs but I think the PCM-converted digital output of the Oppo (and processed by the Meridian) is even better.

So, while I have had the benefit of trying lots of these devices, I have not found any emergent and consistent reason to make the blanket statements that RodH does, such as those which dismiss PCM conversion as inherently inferior .
post #87 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kal Rubinson View Post

Hard to find the time to do so with care as I am in the throes of my busiest teaching season.

I do like SACD but I do not prefer it to hi-rez PCM (via lossless MLP or direct). The differences are inconsequential in my opinion and dwarfed by differences in the recording, mixing and mastering processes, as well as the available repertoire.

Similarly, the conversion of DSD to PCM is, in theory, a completely lossless conversion and should not result in any audible differences. However, there are also differences in how each device processes the data and converts to PCM and then to analog.

For example, I am now listening to a DSD-converted-to-PCM hi-rez system using the 3xS/PDIF-modded Oppo and Meridian 861 processor and enjoying the best sound I have had in my house. Prior to this, I compared the DSD output of the Oppo 980 to its PCM converted output on SACDs and preferred the PCM when played via the HDMI input of the Integra DTC-9.8. I did prefer the direct DSD-to-DAC in the Esoteric player to the PCM-converted analog outputs but I think the PCM-converted digital output of the Oppo (and processed by the Meridian) is even better.

So, while I have had the benefit of trying lots of these devices, I have not found any emergent and consistent reason to make the blanket statements that RodH does, such as those which dismiss PCM conversion as inherently inferior .

"Kal"!

Sincerest thanks for the explanation. But I believe "rodH's" assessments and observations can be contributed to his inexperience and lack of knowledge about the format. We all at one time or another tend to generalize when trying to understand and/or explain or when attempting to describe something when we (not all, but most) are not thoroughly versed in the subject matter. That being said, what you stated makes complete sense. Thank you for the clarification.
And thank you for not going into retaliation mode after reading my post regarding your response(s) to "rodH's" inquiries and observations. As usual, you display professionalism that should be and is without question synonymous with your title and position! Please forgive my lack of patience and understanding of your situation. We, or rather I, tend to lose perspective at times.... this is website forum pertaining to audio/video, not the legislative branch of US Government!

Regards.
post #88 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by rodH View Post

I was just asking, since if you down-convert DSD to PCM, you are losing resolution "in theory", so I was just trying to figure out at what point people, or most people can actually "hear" a difference, or if it is just more based on "theory".

In other words, if you compare DD to DTS, DTS, is supposed to be higher resolution and in "theory" sound better. I think I can hear a difference, but sometimes I wonder if it is a placebo effect.

The same could apply to redbook CD vs SACD and DVD-A, etc...

There is a lot of "theory" and science out there, and there is also reality, but also considering that "reality" is different for everybody based on how everybody does NOT have the exact same hearing or interpretation of what they hear.

I am kind of split on the whole issue, I have heard some super high end redbook CD set ups that sounded amazing. At the same time, I have heard some mediocre SACD systems that sounded MUCH better than I thought they should, probably based on the source being SACD format. I have kind of come to the opinion that SACD can make any system sound better, but that doesn't necessarily mean that it will sound better that ANY system that is using CD as a source. But my opinion on this is always changing.

In J. Audio Eng. Soc., Vol. 55, No. 9, 2007 September, Audibility of a CD-Standard A/D/A Loop Inserted into High-Resolution Audio Playback by E. Brad Meyer and David R. Moran, the authors summarize their work as follows.

Quote:


Claims both published and anecdotal are regularly made for audibly superior sound quality for two-channel audio encoded with longer word lengths and/or at higher sampling rates than the 16-bit/44.1-kHz CD standard. The authors report on a series of double-blind tests comparing
the analog output of high-resolution players playing high-resolution recordings with the same signal passed through a 16-bit/44.1-kHz bottleneck. The tests were conducted for over a year using different systems and a variety of subjects. The systems included expensive professional monitors and one high-end system with electrostatic loudspeakers and expensive components and cables. The subjects included professional recording engineers, students in a university recording program, and dedicated audiophiles. The test results show that the CD-quality A/D/A loop was undetectable at normal-to-loud listening levels, by any of the subjects, on any of the playback systems. The noise of the CD-quality loop was audible only at very elevated levels.

The authors do note that many hi-rez recordings have been found superior to their CD counterparts but that this superiority is due to greater care being expended in the mastering since the recordings will not find their way into playbacks that 'benefit' from the compression such as TV, car stereos, and iPod's. Hence it is not the medium per se that makes the difference since the work undertaken in this paper does not support an audible difference due solely to the medium. Rather, it is how the engineers treat and respect the medium with regards to mastering that leads to differences.

A copy of the publication is available upon request. Drop me a PM with an email address and I'll send it along for your perusal. Personally, I wouldn't over obsess over which way you want to go here RodH. To me, if you're a serious enthusiast of recordings, I'd simply look to find the best that are available. Directing one's attentions to the problems and solutions that rooms impose on one's speakers is a more rewarding endeavor. Much harder too. Good luck on finding something you like.
post #89 of 159
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chu Gai View Post

In J. Audio Eng. Soc., Vol. 55, No. 9, 2007 September, Audibility of a CD-Standard A/D/A Loop Inserted into High-Resolution Audio Playback by E. Brad Meyer and David R. Moran, the authors summarize their work as follows.



The authors do note that many hi-rez recordings have been found superior to their CD counterparts but that this superiority is due to greater care being expended in the mastering since the recordings will not find their way into playbacks that 'benefit' from the compression such as TV, car stereos, and iPod's. Hence it is not the medium per se that makes the difference since the work undertaken in this paper does not support an audible difference due solely to the medium. Rather, it is how the engineers treat and respect the medium with regards to mastering that leads to differences.

A copy of the publication is available upon request. Drop me a PM with an email address and I'll send it along for your perusal. Personally, I wouldn't over obsess over which way you want to go here RodH. To me, if you're a serious enthusiast of recordings, I'd simply look to find the best that are available. Directing one's attentions to the problems and solutions that rooms impose on one's speakers is a more rewarding endeavor. Much harder too. Good luck on finding something you like.

Thanks, I have also read some papers on why DVD-A is also much superior than SACD, etc....I have to admit that every SACD I have heard sounds superior to their CD counterpart, BUT I do think a lot of it is based on the recording, the reason I feel this way is because (like I have mentioned earlier) I have heard some really good CD systems, AND I have a few 20 bit CDs and even a couple normal 16 bit CDs that really seem to sound very good. Also, if you compare a CD from the 80s to an audiophile quality CD of today, there is a night and day difference.

Thanks
post #90 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kal Rubinson View Post

So, while I have had the benefit of trying lots of these devices, I have not found any emergent and consistent reason to make the blanket statements that RodH does, such as those which dismiss PCM conversion as inherently inferior .



And I have to agree with Kal, and also say that I really don't hear any big difference between PCM and DSD.
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