Originally Posted by Gary Seven
Originally Posted by FMW
Every Blu Ray player has those and all of them come from a small number of manufacturers. None of the player makers make their own lasers or their own DAC chips. The Samsung is small, light, cheap and realiable. I have one in my bedroom system. Now that you know they all sound the same, doesn't $69 seem like a bargain? It does to me.
The sound quality is dependent on the quality of the DACs.
Largely so. There are analog buffer stages that usually follow the DACs and the buffers could potentially affect sound quality as well.
But here's a problem for people who want to spend tons of money on music players.
There is a general rule, which is that the sound quality of a system is generally maximized if you keep the audio in the digital domain as close to the speakers as you can. For most of this this means using a digital connection between our music player and our AVR. The sound quality of the DAC in the music player then becomes moot because it is not in the active signal path.
It is possible to avoid the DAC in the AVR's that have a Direct or Bypass mode. However, this usually disables other very useful features of the AVR such as bass management and automated system optimization such as Audyssey, MCACC and YPAO. The bass management in most music players if it exists tends to be inferior or certainly no better than the bass management in the AVR. Generally a bad idea.
Bottom line is that a music player with a digital output, and no to minimal analog outputs, is overall your best choice for sound quality.
Using an Oppo-95 (or 105) will give you high quality DACs that will blow that Samsung, and other of its ilk, away.
I've been hearing claims like this for decades and having them actually prove true in a well-run listening test just doesn't seem to happen. In short, hyperbole like that is indicative of someone who has never ever done a listening test of music players that is level matched, time synched, allows listeners to switch rapidly whenever they want to, and is double blind.
The caveat is you need a system to exploit those benefits or it is indeed a waste of money.
I've heard that too for decades, and the solution is to actually follow up and do the DBT in that person's listening room with as much of his equipment as possible. Frankly, a lot of people who talk that way don't have the best systems. For the rest, the home court advantage gives them no joy.