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Ayre DX-5 bluray player - Page 18

post #511 of 1424
Quote:
Originally Posted by edorr View Post

by the way, would ARC be implementable through a firmware upgrade?

No, it requires that the player speed up and slow down to match the speed of the clocks in the SSP. We have to replace the master clock in the Oppo to allow for this. Definitely not just a firmware upgrade.
post #512 of 1424
Quote:
Originally Posted by HDMIinfinity View Post

If you are that worried about jitter use equipment that can send and receive a DSD signal over HDMI.

I'm not worried about jitter (I don't even understand what it is), I'm worried about sound quality. By implication, if jitter influences SQ, jitter is part of my worries. Interesting you should mention DSD though. I had a Sony XA5400ES sending DSD over HDMI to my Onkyo and it sounded excellent. Then I got a Denon 2500 for Blu Ray and it sounded crap so I went back to analog for Blu Ray and DVD. Then I found out none of the real high end processors will suppport DSD. This is why I am waiting for someone to crack the code on High Rez audio over HDMI accepting won't be part of the solution, and hedge myself by holding on to a Theta six shooter as the second best alternative.
post #513 of 1424
Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles Hansen View Post

No, it requires that the player speed up and slow down to match the speed of the clocks in the SSP. We have to replace the master clock in the Oppo to allow for this. Definitely not just a firmware upgrade.

May be when the blu ray player is done you should talk to Onkyo and build a SSP on the basis of their platform, and implement ARC....
post #514 of 1424
Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles Hansen View Post

Actually that may not be true.

If you want to connect the DX-5 to a single SSP using both the analog outputs for music and the HDMI audio-only output for multi-channel (movies), there are two possibilities:

a) We have a Pioneer multi-channel receiver we use for general-purpose testing. When you change inputs, the HDMI receiver is deactivated. This would in turn deactivate the HDMI-audio output of the DX-5 and reactivate the analog audio outputs. It is probable that most SSP's work in this same way. Scott, if you have a Classe handy, we can tell you how to measure this and verify it.

b) If there is some SSP that doesn't turn off the HDMI receiver when you change inputs (which is very unlikely), we still may be able to enter a code on the remote control to force a manual override.

Either way, we should be able to solve this potential problem.

Charles,

I own (and am very happy with) an Anthem D2 Pre/pro.
If I were to get a DX-5 the best way to hook it up for maximum audio and video performance would be:
-Connect the primary HDMI from the DX-5 diectly to my plasma.
-Connect the 'audio only' HDMI from the DX-5 to the D2 for multi channel audio for movies and multi channel SACD's and DVD-A's.
-Connect the balanced L/R analog outs from the DX-5 to the '2-ch balanced in' on the Anthem for cd's and stereo sacd's.

I was under the impression that HDMI connections were on(hot) at all times even if a component was in standby. From what you're saying, if I understand correctly, is if I switch the Anthem to the '2 ch balanced' connection it should kill the HDMI input on the Anthem and disable the HDMI 'audio only' connection on the DX-5 and allow me to use the L/R balanced analogs from the DX-5.

I was under the impression that the 'audio only' HDMI connection had to be physically disconnected for the analog outs on the DX-5 to work.
Could you please clarify this for me?

If both the HDMI's and the balanced stereo outs on the DX-5 can remain connected and be active only when I need them, it would make the DX-5 much more user freindly for those of us who would make all the connections to one SSP.

Tom

P.S.-- The Oppo can be set up for automatic firmware upgrades by the LAN connection. The LAN connection can also be used for BD-LIVE (useless IMO) and Blu-TV which has potential to become useful.
If you don't have a LAN port can the DX-5 be set up for auto firmware notification? Do I understand correctly that the Ayre will not have a LAN connection?
From the picture at the beginning of this thread I did not see a front usb connection like the Oppo has. Is the only usb connection on the rear panel?
Can that be used for firmware upgrades?
Are FW upgrades able to be uploaded from a cd?
Are FW upgrades going to be from Oppo or Ayre?
BTW is it possible to post a picture of the DX-5 rear panel?

OK, I'm pretty sure that I've asked enough questions for one post.
post #515 of 1424
Quote:
Originally Posted by HDMIinfinity View Post

And you know for sure that is all they changed? Just asking since sending information out of a computer does not contain high levels of jitter so I don't see how this could be affected.

?? A computer is a lousy place for noise rfi and jitter ; there is more than one type of jitter btw It is not well shielded as you would require.. As Charles has explained a $100 sound card is not up to the job

http://www.tnt-audio.com/clinica/jitter2_e.html

http://www.audioforums.com/resources/sound-card.html
post #516 of 1424
Quote:
Originally Posted by tngiloy View Post

I own (and am very happy with) an Anthem D2 Pre/pro. If I were to get a DX-5 the best way to hook it up for maximum audio and video performance would be:
-Connect the primary HDMI from the DX-5 diectly to my plasma.
-Connect the 'audio only' HDMI from the DX-5 to the D2 for multi channel audio for movies and multi channel SACD's and DVD-A's.
-Connect the balanced L/R analog outs from the DX-5....

.....to a high end 2-channel preamp via high end balanced interconnects

Tom, I also have the D2 and agree with you it's fantastic, but I only use it for movies/multichannel in my system. For maximum audio (using your words) you should bypass the D2 and connect the DX-5 XLR audio outputs to a separate preamp like the Ayre KX-R (which has unity gain SSP pass-through).

I don't say this lightly, I've done extenstive 2-ch testing with every possible setting in the D2 compared to my KX-R in an attempt to improve the sound from my C-5 source. The C-5 connected directly to the KX-R delivers maximum audio IMO. The sonic difference is not subtle, it's significant; just use the D2 as your multichannel solution. Of course, this means you need to purchase the preamp as well as the DX-5, but if you swing it you will be one happy audio/videophile.
post #517 of 1424
Quote:
Originally Posted by edorr View Post

Then I found out none of the real high end processors will suppport DSD.

That's because to implement bass-management, time delays, and room equalization requires that the "DSD" signal be converted to PCM. Again, this is not necessarily a bad thing if done properly. Most companies are too thick-headed to do it properly....
post #518 of 1424
Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles Hansen View Post

That's because to implement bass-management, time delays, and room equalization requires that the "DSD" signal be converted to PCM. Again, this is not necessarily a bad thing if done properly. Most companies are too thick-headed to do it properly....

I know, but on my Onkyo 885 I prefered bypassing the DSP and use DSD direct. So I was dismayed to learn that by going from a mid level processor to a high end processor I would loose this option.
post #519 of 1424
Quote:
Originally Posted by tngiloy View Post

If I were to get a DX-5 the best way to hook it up for maximum audio and video performance would be:
-Connect the primary HDMI from the DX-5 diectly to my plasma.
-Connect the 'audio only' HDMI from the DX-5 to the D2 for multi channel audio for movies and multi channel SACD's and DVD-A's.
-Connect the balanced L/R analog outs from the DX-5 to the '2-ch balanced in' on the Anthem for cd's and stereo sacd's.

Yes.

With the exception that if you don't mind one extra box, then as Uppacreek says, you will get even better sound if you buy a separate preamp with a processor-passthrough mode.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tngiloy View Post

I was under the impression that the 'audio only' HDMI connection had to be physically disconnected for the analog outs on the DX-5 to work.
Could you please clarify this for me?

There are two sensing methods on the HDMI connector. The first is called "Hot Plug Detect" (HPD). What happens is that every display has a ROM chip that contains all the information about the display's capabilities. Without knowing what the display can handle, the source has to transmit 640 x 480 by default.

Since the display may be turned off, this ROM in the display is powered by a 5 volt line from the HDMI in the source. Then there is also a resistor at the display that connects the 5 volt supply to the HPD line. When the source senses 5 volts on this line, it knows that it is connected to a display. But this doesn't tell you if the display is turned on or off, just if it is connected.

This would be OK if you only had one display with a direct connection. But when you have hubs, repeaters, A/V receivers, etc, things get more complex. There is a second way of knowing if the if the source is connected to an active input. The source can send HDMI signals only by "pulling down" the voltage on the line. At the far end are "pullup" resistors that pull the voltage high.

The Pioneer receiver we have in-house (and presumably most, if not all, multi-input devices) only activate the pullup resistors on the selected input. The HDMI transmitter chip that we use can detect this condition. Therefore we can activate the HDMI audio-only output when it is connected to an input that has been selected.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tngiloy View Post

If you don't have a LAN port can the DX-5 be set up for auto firmware notification? Do I understand correctly that the Ayre will not have a LAN connection?

No, there is an Ethernet port on the back. It will connect to the Ayre website and perform automatic updates as they become available.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tngiloy View Post

From the picture at the beginning of this thread I did not see a front usb connection like the Oppo has. Is the only usb connection on the rear panel?
Can that be used for firmware upgrades?
Are FW upgrades able to be uploaded from a cd?

The front USB input is behind the sign, mirror-imaged with the standby button in the lower right. It works just like the Oppo port works.

Firmware upgrades come from Ayre and can be installed in any of the three ways that Oppo has set up.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tngiloy View Post

BTW is it possible to post a picture of the DX-5 rear panel?

I don't have a photo handy. I am finishing up an illustration for the owner's manual and can post that in the next few days. Please remind me if I forget.
post #520 of 1424
Quote:
Originally Posted by edorr View Post

I know, but on my Onkyo 885 I prefered bypassing the DSP and use DSD direct. So I was dismayed to learn that by going from a mid level processor to a high end processor I would loose this option.

I guess that's why there's room for other companies to enter the field and flourish. Look at Oppo. They came out of nowhere. And what did they do? Spend ten extra minutes figuring out how to give people what they wanted. Then they also joined forces with the best video processing people in the world -- Anchor Bay Technologies.

When ABT was formed (as DVDO), they tried to sell their chips to the big Japanese companies. They all had NIH disease so bad that they spent millions of dollars and years of research to come up with solutions that were almost as good. Finally Denon started using it, but I think that was only because our player (which used the DVDO chip) won every single award there was from the Japanese magazines.

Me? I have zero interest in re-inventing the wheel. Why should I spend a quarter-million dollars on licensing and then another million on programming to make a Blu-Ray player from scratch, when Oppo has already done all of that work for us. We just have to do what we know how to do -- power supplies, clocks, audio circuitry, digital video, and computer audio. Even that last was licensed from Wavelength Audio. We know a good thing when we see it.
post #521 of 1424
Quote:
Originally Posted by uppacreek View Post

Tom, I also have the D2 and agree with you it's fantastic, but I only use it for movies/multichannel in my system. For maximum audio (using your words) you should bypass the D2 and connect the DX-5 XLR audio outputs to a separate preamp like the Ayre KX-R (which has unity gain SSP pass-through).

I agree.

But you should also note that the Ayre KX-R is a very expensive preamp. We make a model called the K-5xeMP that is surprisingly close in performance for less than 20% of the cost of the KX-R.
post #522 of 1424
Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles Hansen View Post

That's because to implement bass-management, time delays, and room equalization requires that the "DSD" signal be converted to PCM. Again, this is not necessarily a bad thing if done properly. Most companies are too thick-headed to do it properly....

Does Oppo do it correctly? If not, wouldn't it be useful for the DX-5 to have them improve it for the sake of MCH SACD over HDMI, or is this something y'all are able to handle in your FPGA? And regarding players not doing it properly, what is the nature of the flaw?
Thanks!
post #523 of 1424
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Dressler View Post

Does Oppo do it correctly? If not, wouldn't it be useful for the DX-5 to have them improve it for the sake of MCH SACD over HDMI, or is this something y'all are able to handle in your FPGA? And regarding players not doing it properly, what is the nature of the flaw?
Thanks!

If you send SACD over HDMI you would do bass management and room correction, and time delays in your processor not the player. If you convert DSD direct to analog you will have none of these features.

Getting better bass management, room correction, and time delay functionality in the player is only of value of you are using analog outputs. However, you would effectively be building a SSP and Source player into a single box.
post #524 of 1424
Quote:
Originally Posted by edorr View Post

If you send SACD over HDMI you would do bass management and room correction, and time delays in your processor not the player. If you convert DSD direct to analog you will have none of these features.

Getting better bass management, room correction, and time delay functionality in the player is only of value of you are using analog outputs. However, you would effectively be building a SSP and Source player into a single box.

Oh, so I think you are saying that what Charles referred to wrt not doing it properly was not the DSD->PCM conversion, but all the other signal processing. If that's the case, thanks for clarifying. I had assumed the other.
post #525 of 1424
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Dressler View Post

Oh, so I think you are saying that what Charles referred to wrt not doing it properly was not the DSD->PCM conversion, but all the other signal processing. If that's the case, thanks for clarifying. I had assumed the other.

That was my interpretation/assumption but now you got me wondering. I never considered the player (or SSP for that matter) could screw up DSD to PCM conversion, so I am very curious about Charles' perspective.
post #526 of 1424
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Dressler View Post

Oh, so I think you are saying that what Charles referred to wrt not doing it properly was not the DSD->PCM conversion, but all the other signal processing. If that's the case, thanks for clarifying. I had assumed the other.

No, I meant that they were not converting the "DSD" to PCM properly.

The problem with "DSD" is that it is completely unwieldy to work with for any signal processing. Even a simple time delay is a giant pain. The signal is only 1 bit wide, so it is a mile long and coming in at 64x speed. To build a time delay would require a special buffer. Then you would need six of them. (Thankfully, there is no such thing as 7.1 channel SACD!)

Then to do bass management or room EQ, you have to convert to PCM. And that is where everyone falls on their faces. The problem is that digital circuitry is largely designed by digital engineers. The think in 1's and 0's and don't often ever listen to what they make.

So we end up with the CD format because it is "theoretically perfect!" Yeah, right....

We end up with brickwall filters that ring like bells.

Even when they go to 192 kHz, they use brickwall filters. How stupid can you get? At 192 kHz, there won't be any aliasing unless the signal extends past 96 kHz. Do you know of any musical instruments with harmonics past 96 kHz??? Do you know of any microphones with response past 96 kHz???

NO!!!

At that sample rate, there is no need for any filtering, either on record or on playback. That is the only reason that "DSD" sounds good -- there is no filter on the record side and a relatively (usually 3rd or 5th order) gentle analog filter on the playback side. Even that was stupid. Now all of the "DSD" recordings are made at double-speed. That way the horrible out-of-band noise doesn't start until 40 kHz (instead of 20 kHz like a regular SACD).

We made a "DSD" to PCM filter one time. It took up most of an FPGA, but it sounded pretty darned good. Not quite as good as the original DSD, but very close. And we know more about filters now. Who knows, maybe we could make a filter that sounded better than the direct "DSD"...

I don't know much about the conversion that the Oppo does other than it is to 88.2 kHz. I would rather see it converted to 176.4 kHz. Who knows what they do inside SSP's? Probably not a lot, as DSP power is expensive. Why spend all that money for a niche format that only 2% of your customers have even heard of?
post #527 of 1424
It is getting hard to keep thinking up questions but I have one more.

On the main HDMI out of the DX-5 going directly to a projector, would there be any any advantage to having the signal video only?
post #528 of 1424
Quote:
Originally Posted by GGA View Post

On the main HDMI out of the DX-5 going directly to a projector, would there be any any advantage to having the signal video only?

No.

The advantages of just any old audio-only HDMI output is that the wiring may be easier, depending on your sources and if you are running the video signals straight to your display, and also that sometimes "handshaking" of the HDMI signals is easier if there are two separate paths. But the only quality difference comes from the fact that you don't have to route your video signal through the switcher in your SSP (for example).

The Ayre HDMI audio-only is somewhat different, as it is not just for convenience. We have a super-low-jitter master clock 1/8" away from the HDMI transmitter chip. When the board is engaged, the audio master clock shuts down, and the entire player is slaved to the HDMI audio clock. This provides the absolute lowest jitter possible for conventional operation.

In addition, the Ayre board supports ARC. So when the SSP makers wake up and build something that supports ARC, jitter will be reduce by a factor of at least 10x and possibly 100x.

Finally, all of the audio outputs on the Ayre are electrically isolated from the video outputs. This allows you to keep the video and audio ground separated, which improves the performance of both systems.

For a video output, it makes absolutely no difference to the display if there is extra data in the blanking intervals. It has already been told to blank, so it ignores any data, whether they are 0's or 1's.
post #529 of 1424
Thanks as always for your detailed, informative replies and your great patience and courtesy.
post #530 of 1424
Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles Hansen View Post

No, it requires that the player speed up and slow down to match the speed of the clocks in the SSP. We have to replace the master clock in the Oppo to allow for this. Definitely not just a firmware upgrade.

To allow what, you already said you have not tested it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by edorr View Post

I'm not worried about jitter (I don't even understand what it is), I'm worried about sound quality. By implication, if jitter influences SQ, jitter is part of my worries. Interesting you should mention DSD though. I had a Sony XA5400ES sending DSD over HDMI to my Onkyo and it sounded excellent. Then I got a Denon 2500 for Blu Ray and it sounded crap so I went back to analog for Blu Ray and DVD. Then I found out none of the real high end processors will suppport DSD. This is why I am waiting for someone to crack the code on High Rez audio over HDMI accepting won't be part of the solution, and hedge myself by holding on to a Theta six shooter as the second best alternative.

Some people just assume like ayre that audio will somehow be worse over HDMI then another digital connection but since it is digital it can't be different.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tngiloy View Post

-Connect the balanced L/R analog outs from the DX-5 to the '2-ch balanced in' on the Anthem for cd's and stereo sacd's.

Are you also using room correction or bass management for 2CH audio?

Quote:
Originally Posted by cwt View Post

?? A computer is a lousy place for noise rfi and jitter ; there is more than one type of jitter btw It is not well shielded as you would require.. As Charles has explained a $100 sound card is not up to the job

How is a computer lousy? All the testing equipment is run off a PC or MAC. The older sound card was not up to spec because it was only 16 bit and could only measure to a minimum of 150PS.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles Hansen View Post

The Ayre HDMI audio-only is somewhat different, as it is not just for convenience. We have a super-low-jitter master clock 1/8" away from the HDMI transmitter chip. When the board is engaged, the audio master clock shuts down, and the entire player is slaved to the HDMI audio clock. This provides the absolute lowest jitter possible for conventional operation.

In addition, the Ayre board supports ARC. So when the SSP makers wake up and build something that supports ARC, jitter will be reduce by a factor of at least 10x and possibly 100x.

But you said you have not tested the jitter in the DX-5 so why are you still assuming all of this? Since the SSP-800 is already far less then 100PS for jitter it would be irrelevant. Have you done any testing to see if 10x or 100x reduction in jitter will change anything?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles Hansen View Post

Finally, all of the audio outputs on the Ayre are electrically isolated from the video outputs. This allows you to keep the video and audio ground separated, which improves the performance of both systems.

Have you tested this to see if it makes a difference? Do you have an example of equipment that does not do this?
post #531 of 1424
Charles,

I forgot to ask if the DX-5 will be available in black or is it silver only?
post #532 of 1424
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sharp1080 View Post

I forgot to ask if the DX-5 will be available in black or is it silver only?

All of our equipment except for the 7-series are available in black for a $250 upcharge in the US. Overseas prices will vary by country.
post #533 of 1424
Quote:
Originally Posted by HDMIinfinity View Post

How is a computer lousy? All the testing equipment is run off a PC or MAC. The older sound card was not up to spec because it was only 16 bit and could only measure to a minimum of 150PS.

Quote:
Just asking since sending information out of a computer does not contain high levels of jitter

Your words; didnt know my pc was such a low jitter piece Plainly you didnt read the links to understand why a pc is such a high noise/ jitter environment. On the subject of jitter see if you agree with Robert Harley or is he wrong ?

http://www.avguide.com/forums/jitter...ohnson-comment
post #534 of 1424
Quote:
Originally Posted by uppacreek View Post

.....to a high end 2-channel preamp via high end balanced interconnects

Tom, I also have the D2 and agree with you it's fantastic, but I only use it for movies/multichannel in my system. For maximum audio (using your words) you should bypass the D2 and connect the DX-5 XLR audio outputs to a separate preamp like the Ayre KX-R (which has unity gain SSP pass-through).

I don't say this lightly, I've done extenstive 2-ch testing with every possible setting in the D2 compared to my KX-R in an attempt to improve the sound from my C-5 source. The C-5 connected directly to the KX-R delivers maximum audio IMO. The sonic difference is not subtle, it's significant; just use the D2 as your multichannel solution. Of course, this means you need to purchase the preamp as well as the DX-5, but if you swing it you will be one happy audio/videophile.

Peter,
The last time I talked with you on the D2 thread you had just committed to buying the Ayre KX-R for your music only system.
I have no doubt that using an Ayre optical disc player to an Ayre pre-amp and then to a pair of full range speakers would be the best solution.
This solution would not only involve buying a stereo pre-amp, but full range speakers. This is financially impossible.

My front speakers are Paradigm S4's and I am able to use them with my SVS subs to virtually create full range fronts by employing the bass management in the Anthem D2. Although not optimal it is, to my ears, very good. Using the banaced analog outs from my CX-7eMP through the Anthem 'analog dsp' for bass management to my fronts/subs is very good. Not optimal, but the best I can get within the restraints of my budget.

When I last talked with you I was using a Bryston bdp1 cd player. I soon after upgraded to an Ayre CX7-e. That was a great decision. The Bryston was great. The CX-7e was better.
I then got the MP upgrade to my Ayre. That made it even better. (BTW- is your CX-5e an MP? If not I recommend it. WOW!)

In an earlier post Mr Hansen claims that the DX-5 will offer an 'appeciable sonic improvement' over the CX-7eMP. Since I spend as much time listening to music as watching movies an improvement in cd sound reproduction is important to me.
I would be be interested in getting better audio and going from WOW! to what I would have to assume is, :.

Even though $10K is not cheap, the fact that the DX-5 would play BR,DVD, SACD, etc., plus be able to be hooked up to a computer as a high quality music server,in addition to being a better cdp, puts it on my wish list.

But for the DX-5 to be a consideration to me it must be able to be used at its highest level of audio/video output with my Anthem D2.
It seems that it can. If, after its release, it is reported by other SSP users that it does function well, with both the 'audio only' HDMI port and the balanced analog outs hooked up at the same time, then it is offically on my wish list.

Tom
post #535 of 1424
Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles Hansen View Post

But all of this becomes moot if any of the SSP manufacturers get off of their lazy butts and implement Audio Rate Control. This was announced in the HDMI 1.3a spec in November, 2006 and virtually eliminates jitter. Sony and Pioneer have proprietary versions of it in case you were planning to use a mass-market receiver in your state-of-the-art theater....
I don't know why Arcam or Classe or Theta or you name it aren't implementing this yet. It will radically improve the sound quality of HDMI-sourced audio.

My inference here is that even if the SSP with ARC has an inferior clock to the DX-5, having the SSP take over the clocking will result in better sound. Is this correct?
post #536 of 1424
Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles Hansen View Post

No, I meant that they were not converting the "DSD" to PCM properly.

The problem with "DSD" is that it is completely unwieldy to work with for any signal processing. Even a simple time delay is a giant pain. The signal is only 1 bit wide, so it is a mile long and coming in at 64x speed. To build a time delay would require a special buffer. Then you would need six of them. (Thankfully, there is no such thing as 7.1 channel SACD!)

Then to do bass management or room EQ, you have to convert to PCM. And that is where everyone falls on their faces. The problem is that digital circuitry is largely designed by digital engineers. The think in 1's and 0's and don't often ever listen to what they make.

So we end up with the CD format because it is "theoretically perfect!" Yeah, right....

We end up with brickwall filters that ring like bells.

Even when they go to 192 kHz, they use brickwall filters. How stupid can you get? At 192 kHz, there won't be any aliasing unless the signal extends past 96 kHz. Do you know of any musical instruments with harmonics past 96 kHz??? Do you know of any microphones with response past 96 kHz???

NO!!!

At that sample rate, there is no need for any filtering, either on record or on playback. That is the only reason that "DSD" sounds good -- there is no filter on the record side and a relatively (usually 3rd or 5th order) gentle analog filter on the playback side. Even that was stupid. Now all of the "DSD" recordings are made at double-speed. That way the horrible out-of-band noise doesn't start until 40 kHz (instead of 20 kHz like a regular SACD).

We made a "DSD" to PCM filter one time. It took up most of an FPGA, but it sounded pretty darned good. Not quite as good as the original DSD, but very close. And we know more about filters now. Who knows, maybe we could make a filter that sounded better than the direct "DSD"...

I don't know much about the conversion that the Oppo does other than it is to 88.2 kHz. I would rather see it converted to 176.4 kHz. Who knows what they do inside SSP's? Probably not a lot, as DSP power is expensive. Why spend all that money for a niche format that only 2% of your customers have even heard of?

Charles, what I am hearing is there is a distinct opportunity to build the first state of the art HDMI digital transport that cracks the high rez audio over HDMI code for both BR and SACD, and will dramatically improve performance of high end SSPs on the market. It would be nice if the SSP guys would play ball and implement ARC, but even if they don't lots can be improved. This being the case, and considering that the market for yet another 10K "reference" 2 channel CD player is very crowded. why don't you build at least a HDMI digital transport version of your player. If this player would be the key to elevating MC audio over HDMI over what you can get through say a Marantz UD9004 and a six shooter, I for one would love to have such a digital transport, but would never spend the additonal $$$ for all the 2 channel DAC and analog circuitry that I don't need.

In fact, you could build an I2S interface between this digital tranport and your best DAC and take care of 2 channel in this manner. This would prevent making your current DAC obsolete for those that want your best possible 2 channel configuration once your new player comes out. Just a though...
post #537 of 1424
Quote:
Originally Posted by edorr View Post


In fact, you could build an I2S interface between this digital tranport and your best DAC and take care of 2 channel in this manner. This would prevent making your current DAC obsolete for those that want your best possible 2 channel configuration once your new player comes out. Just a though...

The only DAC Ayre has ever manufactured is the QB-9, which is a USB only unit.
post #538 of 1424
Quote:
Originally Posted by scottsol View Post

My inference here is that even if the SSP with ARC has an inferior clock to the DX-5, having the SSP take over the clocking will result in better sound. Is this correct?

Probably...

It all depends on what is happening at the other end. If ARC is used, then there will be a fixed-frequency audio master clock near the DAC chip. (This assumes that the designer has any brains at all.) Then the incoming audio data is separated out by the HDMI receiver chip and sent to a buffer. It is clocked out of the buffer by the master audio clock at a fixed rate and sent to the DAC chip.

Then there is a microprocessor that looks at how full the buffer is. Too full, and it sends signals up the HDMI cable to the source telling it to slow down, and the converse.

The way that normal HDMI works is really stupid. There is no audio clock, only a video clock. It's because they designed the connector before they specified the system (this is a true story, I am not making this up). Even so, there is still an unused "reserved" pin on an HDMI connector....

Anyway, the audio data gets sent down in the blanking intervals of the video data. The HDMI receiver separates the data -- video, audio, and et cetera. Included in the "et cetera" are instructions on how to create an audio clock from the video clock using specific multiplication and division ratios. The dirty work is done by a PLL, which then creates the master audio clock. This is a pretty nasty way to do it and results in very high levels of jitter.

Now, to answer your question. We do everything we possibly can to send a low-jitter video clock out on the HDMI audio-only connector. Low jitter here means that the PLL at the other end will create a lower jitter master audio clock. But even a $2 canned oscillator at the other end would probably have lower jitter yet. The bottom line is that even mediocre implementation of ARC would probably sound better than great implementation of normal HDMI audio.

BUT there is a huge proviso here -- jitter is only one part of the overall picture. So if someone did a mediocre job of making a fixed clock for their ARC, they would probably also do a mediocre job with the analog circuitry and power supplies. These are the most important aspects and account for about 75% of the overall sound quality.

So I will back-pedal and say that a good implementation of regular HDMI would probably sound better than a mediocre implementation of ARC, even though it would probably have higher jitter.

Confused yet?
post #539 of 1424
Quote:
Originally Posted by edorr View Post

In fact, you could build an I2S interface between this digital tranport and your best DAC and take care of 2 channel in this manner. This would prevent making your current DAC obsolete for those that want your best possible 2 channel configuration once your new player comes out. Just a though...

The problem is that we would only probably sell 20 of them...

Who would buy them? Just Casablanca customers with Six-Shooters that really, really care about multi-channel music on SACD? Anybody else? To me, that is a tough market..
post #540 of 1424
Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles Hansen View Post

The problem is that we would only probably sell 20 of them...

Who would buy them? Just Casablanca customers with Six-Shooters that really, really care about multi-channel music on SACD? Anybody else? To me, that is a tough market..

No. Such an HDMI digital transport would make the six shooter obsolete and be of interest to anyone owning a high end SSP that is now getting sub standard audio over HDMI. You are already targeting this market with your DX-5, but you are forcing them to buy all the 2 channel analog stuff in the same package. What I am suggesting is stripping out the DACs and analog section, optimizing DSD to PCM conversion and marketing it as the ultimate digital transport (for less than the 10K of the version which includes the 2 channel analog section). If Marantz, Denon and McIntosh and Krell are all marketing expensive Universal players with expensive MC analog sections - presumably to be used over the analog bypass in high end processors - there has to be a market for a digital transport that gets you the same or better audio using HDMI at lower cost.
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