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Does Denon Link Really Matter? - Page 2

post #31 of 81
Thread Starter 
^Hi guys. Thanks for your expertise. This is interesting but I'll just restate that I did not mean to reopen broad, highly technical and theoretical debate on jitter. After all, I did not start a(nother) jitter thread in the Audio Theory section of AVS.

I have a practical question essentially about whether it's worth it to buy an expensive Denon player to get DL and I'd like to hear from folks who have tried real-world A/B listening tests wrt SQ improvement heard using Denon-Link ON vs OFF. So far the theory is becoming more abundant and test data remains underwhelming.

It occurs to me that the question with DL is actually akin to the passive biamping (assigning unused AVR internal amps to the same speaker, removing the jumper on the back of the speaker) issue in this sense:
1. we are talking about fairly subtle differences in SQ which is already at a high level
2. the Denon literature says it improves SQ
3. people offer various plausible-sounding theories as to why it should be true.
4. placebo effect, auditory memory and level-matching must be taken inrto account

By and large controlled listening tests reveal such biamping doesn't audibly matter, so one needn't bother. The same goes for biwiring; I hear it all the time from expensive speaker manufacturers and dealers. For example, my Dali Helicon 400s "should" be biwired.

However, unlike the aforementioned examples, AFAIK, the D-L ON/OFF test should be quick and easy to do properly, even blind.
post #32 of 81
the technical side has been discussed before to greater depth in anycase. on this forum for all to read infinitum

as to practical experience, I have already stated that on my behalf. I know the difference made going from a player without denon link to a player with denon link and then going back to a player without it.

what do you want apart from that ? do you want someone to convince you of something ? am not sure anyone in a position to do so. dont believe that is something anyone should be doing.

any one posting their experience is only ever going to tell you their very subjective opinion on things. your not going to get anything else.

if want any better you will have to find out for yourself. you cant expect to get everything in life from a forum or from what others tell you. Some times have to find out for yourself. or go on gut feel etc etc.. roll the dice if cant be bothered...
post #33 of 81
Thread Starter 
^Thank you but please don't take offense. I would appreciate a bit more detail, if you will. Indeed the experience of listening to music is subjective, we both know this. And I assume you know this as well; that when auditioning gear, we try to control some of the variables and reduce subjectivity when possible.

Sometimes, as with changing out an AVR, it's harder to do a good A/B test because it takes so long to switch all the connections, etc. Sometimes it's a lot easier. For ex, I can easily switch Audyssey ON/OFF, and switch between bitstream and PCM output from my Oppo, and switch from analog to HDMI outputs from my Oppo. This reduces the subjectivity problem with long-term auditory memory.

I believe the DL listening test that I've proposed is a fair test and is easy and I'm asking if you, or others, happened to do it. So I'm hoping for a more detailed response to my question I posted to you above:
"When you had it, did you happen to do any of the A/B comparisons I listed at the bottom of the first post of this thread?"

I guess I would also add, "did you have the two players at the same time and did you directly A/B the two players?"
post #34 of 81
yes I did do AB tests. its what I always do. and yes I tried both with and without denon link4. I've owned two non denon link players at the same time as the one with denon link. before that I owned a denon link 3 player in the denon 2930 that I used exclusively for sacd,dvda and cd through my av system.

All enough for me to know that if denon were to bring out another denon link player I would certainly consider it funds permitting. this is all in my context. jut because I think its worth while should you ? who knows *shrug* Do you have even one component in your system the same as mine, suggest not. Your not the same person as me, unlikely have a room remotely like mine. Which is why I would suggest asking people on the net about their very subjective opinions might be a futile exercise. These kind of questions whether something worth it for you, you need to answer for yourself.
post #35 of 81
I'm curious to know as I don't have a Denon AVR. How fast or easy can you switch DL on and off in the playback chain if you have one player and if you have two players (one with DL and one without)?
post #36 of 81
Thread Starter 
Nice post, alebanau, thanks for the added detail and clarification. As to our rooms and gear, we have some similar tastes but you have better gear! I have 2 Velo DD10s and the AVRA100, for ex., vs your DD15s and the Denon flagship pre/pro. I'm guessing your room is probably better acoustically as well, since mine is a nightmare.

As you point out, though not the same gear/room. But given that my equipment is pretty decent, that will not negate the value of your data for me. Especially given that you kept other variables under control.

Could you describe whether you felt any particular modality benefitted proportionately more than the others? (CD vs SACD vs DVDA vs BR, bitstream vs PCM, etc.)
post #37 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kilian.ca View Post

I'm curious to know as I don't have a Denon AVR. How fast or easy can you switch DL on and off in the playback chain if you have one player and if you have two players (one with DL and one without)?

If you have one player, it's complicated. You have to stop the player and go into the setup menu, then you have to switch your AVR to accept the alternative digital connection from the player.

If you have two players, it's easy--you simply switch the receiver input from one player to the other.

But if you plan to compare two players, you will need a sound level meter to match the volumes of the two inputs before doing your A/B test.
post #38 of 81
Useful to know that, thanks. In case anyone isn't aware, the upcoming Pioneer BD universal players will have PQLS with the Pioneer AVRs so that's looking promising and more affordable than the Denon route to have auto rate control and that's where I'm leaning towards.
post #39 of 81
A little late posting on this, but I have several data points to contribute.

I use the Denon AVP-A1 pre-pro and a 2930 player using DL3 over a 25' Cat6e cable.

My System is high-end in a dedicated hyper-treated room, so subtle differences show up pretty clearly there.

The SQ of this combo has been the absolute best of any source I've ever tried in my rig. I consider a DL setup to be the pinnacle of accuracy for a digital linkup in high-end gear.

I compared against same player via SPDIF and Coax to same preamp, and DL is better. Not obvious, but noticeable. Using solo piano music makes it clearest for me.

I've ripped my entire CD collection and my DVD-A collection to FLAC and serve it up to my AVP via multichannel HDMI from an HTPC and FooBar2000. So I'm able to A/B the difference between the same DVD-A over DL3 and over HDMI.

The DL version is noticeably better. I've struggled to identify the root cause of why there might be a (subtle but) noticeable difference and HDMI jitter is the only culprit left.

It's not so bad that I don't use the HTPC for most of my listening, but for critical listening and 'blow-them-away' demos, I use the DL3 player.

So bottom line: yes, DenonLink really matters

PS- Here's hoping Denon releases a universal transport with HDMI 1.4a + DL4
post #40 of 81
I am using DLIII from my DVD-2930 to AVR-3805. Not only that the CD's sound better, but it's the only way I can send DSD (SACD) and LPCM (DVD-A) to my receiver in digital form, bypassing an unecessary D/A-A/D conversion.
post #41 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by JonFo View Post

HDMI jitter is the only culprit left.

Don't just assume. If you do, you'll be had by snake oil shills like the one shown on this thread. http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1326576
post #42 of 81
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JonFo View Post

A little late posting on this, but I have several data points to contribute.
I use the Denon AVP-A1 pre-pro and a 2930 player using DL3 over a 25' Cat6e cable...
The SQ of this combo has been the absolute best of any source I've ever tried in my rig. I consider a DL setup to be the pinnacle of accuracy for a digital linkup in high-end gear...

I compared against same player via SPDIF and Coax to same preamp, and DL is better. Not obvious, but noticeable. Using solo piano music makes it clearest for me.

I've ripped my entire CD collection and my DVD-A collection to FLAC and serve it up to my AVP via multichannel HDMI from an HTPC and FooBar2000. So I'm able to A/B the difference between the same DVD-A over DL3 and over HDMI.

The DL version is noticeably better. I've struggled to identify the root cause of why there might be a (subtle but) noticeable difference and HDMI jitter is the only culprit left...

Hi Jon. I'd just about given up on this thread, so thanks for posting. Very impressive system and website. Thanks for the report. It may well be that few folks have a system discriminating enough to make the added investment in a good DL player worth it vs, say an Oppo 93 ($500). I may fit in that category.

I considered the AVP-A1 pre-pro but an A100 at $1500 was too much value for me to pass up at this point in my HT journey. Are you excited about the XT32 upgrade?


Quote:


...I've ripped my entire CD collection and my DVD-A collection to FLAC and serve it up to my AVP via multichannel HDMI from an HTPC and FooBar2000...

I have been trying to sort out how to eliminate the shiny discs yet get the max HiRes MC SQ out of my A100. Does one require a particularly adept sound card with the HTPC route?
post #43 of 81
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoNic67 View Post

I am using DLIII from my DVD-2930 to AVR-3805. Not only that the CD's sound better, but it's the only way I can send DSD (SACD) and LPCM (DVD-A) to my receiver in digital form, bypassing an unecessary D/A-A/D conversion.

Hi. Wow, when it rains it pours-2 new posters in one day. So Im understanding you to say that in your system CDs sound better DL than via SPDIF. Would you describe your gear and the SQ difference? Your findings seem consistent with this post.
post #44 of 81
I have the AVP and 4010, and have had the 3930. As far as Denon Link is concerned my subjective opinion is that it is worth the investment (over an HDMI unit) for 2ch redbook CD's and SACD music. (I got similar results streaming bit-perfect flac from my NAS with the AVP over ethernet.)
The only 2ch redbook CD performances that came close in my rig were an Oppo to NAD M15 over coax and i-Link from Pioneer DV59 to Yamaha RX-Z9.
I found the only music sent via HDMI that could compete was the hi-rez codecs from Blu Ray concert videos.
I had to temporarily dismantle my rig not too long after I picked up the 4010 so I wasn't able to try out the DL4 with Blu Ray music, apparenly there's a different clocking mechanism in play there too.

The caveat is the differences are subtle, and may not be worth the same to others as it is to me. Also I did notice an appreciable difference in HDMI performance in general at even the lower price points in receivers when they started having to decode hi-rez codecs.
post #45 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoundofMind View Post

Hi Jon. I'd just about given up on this thread, so thanks for posting. Very impressive system and website. Thanks for the report. It may well be that few folks have a system discriminating enough to make the added investment in a good DL player worth it vs, say an Oppo 93 ($500). I may fit in that category.

I considered the AVP-A1 pre-pro but an A100 at $1500 was too much value for me to pass up at this point in my HT journey. Are you excited about the XT32 upgrade?



I have been trying to sort out how to eliminate the shiny discs yet get the max HiRes MC SQ out of my A100. Does one require a particularly adept sound card with the HTPC route?

Look at the Musical Fidelity V-Link with a good quality USB cable!
post #46 of 81
Thread Starter 
Answer-yes, to my ears with my gear.
See this post.
post #47 of 81
Thread Starter 
Well guys, I have finished up several rounds of A/B tests, reported in the DBP-4010/A100 thread on SACD, DVDA, BluRay, DVD and redbookCD.

My conclusion at this point is that for RBCD, SACD and DVDA the advantage to Denon Link with improved SQ for me in my system is quite clear and is significant. But for DVD and BluRay films and concerts, there is little difference for either PQ or SQ compared to my Oppo's digital output.

Perhaps someone with more technical knowledge can chime in and explain this, or at least provide some theoretical basis, but I am a bit confused by the lack of improvement for both DVD and BluRay, especially since bitstreamed DSD is improved by DLink. This is complex technology and admittedly I found the various Denonese instructions and settings daunting to say the least, so I may be screwing something up somewhere.
post #48 of 81
DLIII does not work for Bluray content.
DVD with the sound encoded in DolbyDigital or even DTS will not benefit from DLIII since it takes just one SPDIF connection to send it (so the three digital paths of DL are unused) and... it's compressed lossy anyway.

DLIII showes a difference in multichannel sound (PCM or DSD) or at lest in high rate stereo PCM or DSD, where alternatives are analog connection or HDMI1.3 (no SPDIF options).
post #49 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoNic67 View Post

DLIII showes a difference in multichannel sound (PCM or DSD) or at lest in high rate stereo PCM or DSD, where alternatives are analog connection or HDMI1.3 (no SPDIF options).

So are you saying DL3 is better than analog, HDMI 1.3, or digital coax with stereo (CD-quality) or SACD signals sent as PCM?

Please describe the audible differences on non BluRay material between the different types of digital outputs you are talking about--DL3 and HDMI 1.3. I hear no difference at all between them. I can't hear any difference using my 3109 player.

I'm leaving the analog outputs aside for the moment because there is an additional factor introduced, namely the quality of the DACs in the player, which is of course not involved when the output is digital.
post #50 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoundofMind View Post

^The 4310 and 4311 have the latest, DL 4, which adds BR capability. BTW, you use both HDMI and DL4 cables for BR. But pbarach's 3910 player is DL3.

Right--I can compare SACD and CD and DVD-A on HDMI versus DL3 from this player. And I can compare redbook sound on HDMI, DL3, digital coax, or Toslink.

The 3109 doesn't play BluRays anyway.
post #51 of 81
Thread Starter 
Well, I find DenonLink really matters. I just found a cool reference that I think supports my findings quite well, a positive review about DenonLink by Kal Rubinson in his Stereophile Music in the Round column
here
Excerpted:
"You can only imagine how satisfying it was to be able to listen to SACDs and DVD-As as I and Denon had intended. With Audyssey MultEQxt and the bass management in both player and receiver defeated, SACDs played through DL3 were indistinguishable from Denon's completely analog Pure Direct pathway. Listening this way was suboptimal, because the player's and receiver's bass-management parameters are somewhat different, and the EQ would bias the observations. Nonetheless, my experience shows that there is absolutely no disadvantage to using DL3 instead of the traditional purist arrangement of analog out to analog in. It also says that no price need be paid for getting the ease and sophistication of the AVR-4806 receiver's digital signal processing...
DL3 and iLink were both sonically identical to the Pure Direct pathway..."
post #52 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoundofMind View Post

Well, I find DenonLink really matters. I just found a cool reference that I think supports my findings quite well, a positive review about DenonLink by Kal Rubinson in his Stereophile Music in the Round column

6 years have passed and DL is less significant than Meridian's SpeakerLink.
post #53 of 81
Thread Starter 
^But about as esoteric and obscure?

Kal, I hope I have not taken your comments out of context. I was so happy to have some confirmation from an unbiased expert that it optimizes SQ with a Denon processor. For me, that extra SQ cost about $500, as I sold my OppoSE to cover the majority of the cost of the DBPA100. Not bad...
post #54 of 81
The thread topic is not about how useful and effective DL is but how much does it matter? DL is used on only some Denon products and by no one else, afaik. SpeakerLink, however, is used to interconnect all modern Meridian speakers and other products. See http://www.meridian-audio.com/the-co...nk-cables.aspx How esoteric and obscure depends on who is commenting.

You did not take my comments out of context and I still think that it would have been better for HD/mch audio if DL (or the equivalent) had succeeded. Unfortunately, proprietary interfaces/standards are limiting by their nature and we end up with HDMI.
post #55 of 81
Thread Starter 
^Indeed, Kal my offhand comment reveals my unfamiliarity with Meridian. Thnx for the link, they have some cool stuff.

As to the name of the thread, my connotation was "Does DenonLink Really Matter irt improving SQ?". As to whether DenonLink matters, in the sense of importance in the hobby, this thread bespeaks its unfortunate near total irrelevance. As you note, DL is proprietary. And even amongst those with high-end DL-equipped Denon processors, few take advantage of DL.
post #56 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoundofMind View Post

Well, I find DenonLink really matters. I just found a cool reference that I think supports my findings quite well, a positive review about DenonLink by Kal Rubinson in his Stereophile Music in the Round column
~

well good finally come to that conclusion. for me something I think I suggested way back in the early parts of this thread.

as a past owner of a 4010 and the denon avp I ran it with, denon link was something I strongly valued. my fault selling the 4010. and its for denon link I most miss it.

as kal rubinson, no offence. just another man that walks the earth. I take no more value in his comments as anyone else on this forum. no infallible either. certainly not the last word. and no offence meant kal. its just I think far too many put too much value behind reviewers and their opinion vs their very own that they seem to have some problem taking for granted
post #57 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by alebonau View Post

as kal rubinson, no offence. just another man that walks the earth. I take no more value in his comments as anyone else on this forum. no infallible either. certainly not the last word. and no offence meant kal. its just I think far too many put too much value behind reviewers and their opinion vs their very own that they seem to have some problem taking for granted

No offense taken but I do not see what provoked this or how it is relevant to this exchange.
post #58 of 81
Based on this thread and comments in the 4311 conversation I became interested in the DL3 approach at HD audio and found a used 2930 to pair with my 4311. I feel confident that everything is set up correctly - DL light is active on the 2930 and when playing source material both player and AVR display show Dlink (and no HDMI). However, when I unplug my HDMI cable from the 2930 audio stops. The player continues but there is no audio.

While I understand that DL4 and HDMI might be required together I'm not so sure with DL3. I'm hoping that someone with more expert knowledge than I can confirm that DL3 is in fact the transport, and perhaps despite this why HDMI is still playing a role in this configuration.

Thanks in advance.
post #59 of 81
Not much action in this thread lately but thought I'd post here anyway...have a DL capable player on the way that I plan to use with the AVR-4311. Reading this thread was partially responsible for my upgraditis Looking forward to DL adventures with my new player ( DBP-A100 ). Thanks to all who posted here and to SoM who started this thread.
post #60 of 81
^^

Congrats! I (we?) look forward to feedback on your experience.
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