Originally Posted by WestCoastD
The DSD thing still confuses me, does the Cary actually decode DSD? Or does it convert DSD-to_LPCM?.
In my setup, the Oppo BDP-95 "decodes" DSD to analog; the Sony sends DSD via HDMI to the Cary DACs or uses its internal DACs for analog output. I don't think there is conversion to LPCM unless you set that as an option in the Oppo menu. The LPCM option in the Oppo menu provides bass management which DSD does not. But a Cary bug causes it to treat LPCM as DSD and provides no bass management. LPCM with analog output, on the other hand, does provide bass management. I use DSD with analog output, however, because my speakers extend to a usable 20 Hz and don't need to be supplemented by the subs for music. The DACs in the Oppo BDP-95 are superb -- analog is the reason for buying a 95 rather than a 93 or a 105 rather than a 103. It seems to me that the DACs of the Cary are superior to those of the Sony, and the HDMI interaction between the Cary and Sony is well behaved, so I use HDMI but leave unbalanced analog connected.
The Cary Cinema 11a is buggy, but is capable of fine sound quality, and the bugs that annoyed me are gone with analog input. It has the flexibility to set its analog inputs to bypass so analog input is not digitized. With the Cary analog inputs in bypass mode, the Oppo provides processing like speaker configuration and so forth; the Sony has only stereo analog output, so I rely on HDMI for multichannel and that invokes the full range of Cary processing.