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Multichannel SPDIF & Vanity

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
I know the new trend is for mod shops to install 5.1 or 7.1 SPDIF outputs on BluRay players.

But what consumer gear actually inputs multichannel SPDIF? Let me be specific here, the Trinnov for example does not. It asks for AES, not SPDIF.

In the pro world, at least on the video side, I have never seen a device with multi SPDIF inputs. It's always AES.

My point is why don't these mod kits output true AES-3 which is still 75ohms unbalanced. Or if the majority of gear is 110ohms balanced, then supply that. The design of the interface circuits is the same, just a few component value changes, that of course assumes the SPDIF mods are transformer coupled. If not, then they are off to a bad start anyway.

I realize AES-3 and SPDIF are usually interchangeable, but there are voltage differences and sometimes that will bite you. SPDIF was intended for consumer single channel interconnection (2 analog channels). If these mod kits are touting superior performance, shouldn't they at least conform to proper electrical engineering standards in the interface? It's kind of silly how a lot of folks ooh and ahh over the Vanity to Trinnov combination yet the interface is kludged.

For what the Vanity costs, it wouldn't be that much more to add a compliant 25pin AES port as well.

And while your at it how about a dip switch or jumper to set the channel status bit between pro and consumer. This is easily implemented inside an FPGA architecture. My DIY AES BluRay mode has this.
post #2 of 17
Could you simply add a 25pin AES port to an Oppo, for example, and forget the SPDIF mod all together?

Thanks.
post #3 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Glimmie View Post

I know the new trend is for mod shops to install 5.1 or 7.1 SPDIF outputs on BluRay players.

But what consumer gear actually inputs multichannel SPDIF? Let me be specific here, the Trinnov for example does not. It asks for AES, not SPDIF.

In the pro world, at least on the video side, I have never seen a device with multi SPDIF inputs. It's always AES.

My point is why don't these mod kits output true AES-3 which is still 75ohms unbalanced. Or if the majority of gear is 110ohms balanced, then supply that. The design of the interface circuits is the same, just a few component value changes, that of course assumes the SPDIF mods are transformer coupled. If not, then they are off to a bad start anyway.

I realize AES-3 and SPDIF are usually interchangeable, but there are voltage differences and sometimes that will bite you. SPDIF was intended for consumer single channel interconnection (2 analog channels). If these mod kits are touting superior performance, shouldn't they at least conform to proper electrical engineering standards in the interface? It's kind of silly how a lot of folks ooh and ahh over the Vanity to Trinnov combination yet the interface is kludged.

For what the Vanity costs, it wouldn't be that much more to add a compliant 25pin AES port as well.

And while your at it how about a dip switch or jumper to set the channel status bit between pro and consumer. This is easily implemented inside an FPGA architecture. My DIY AES BluRay mode has this.

I think it is a form factor issue. The Vanity93 board fits nicely into the player, and actually uses the RCAs of the existing analog outputs on the back panel for the digital S/PDIF outputs. Not very practical considering all processors have AES/EBU I agree.

The only processor I'm aware of that could be connected S/PDIF to S/PDIF is the Meridian. These are now supposed to be fed an encrypted signal from the HD621, but an Oppo with Vanity or JVB board would work also.
post #4 of 17
Thread Starter 
Well here's what I would do:

There is room on the back of most BluRay players for a 25pin D connector. They make 25d punches, I have one.

Put a 26p header connection on the Vanity board with the balanced AES.

Use a ribbon cable to go from the Vanity board to the chassis mounted connector.

Make addition of the 25p D connector optional but at least the board has the connector and the hardware to support it. You can keep the SPDIF jacks too. Both outputs can be active at the same time.

Note that I use a high density 15p connector (analog VGA connector) for this application. But as there is a 25p Tascam standard 25p does make more sense if there is room.

P.S. In case anybody chokes on the idea of ribbon cable, it's approx 100 ohms between adjacent wires. Not that it matters for 12 inches at these frequencies, but the cheap old computer ribbon cable is actually well matched to AES cable impedance wise.
post #5 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Glimmie View Post

For what the Vanity costs, it wouldn't be that much more to add a compliant 25pin AES port as well.

How much do they cost?
post #6 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by noah katz View Post

How much do they cost?

Full feauture (reclocking and custom DSD conversion) = $1000. LITE (just pass through) = few hundred.
post #7 of 17
We can install the Vanity board by ourselves , that is not difficult with clear instruction , if you add 25 pins D connector , you need to drill a hole on the back and that is one thing not everyone could do . We probably do not want to send the Oppo to Audiopraise as that is way too costly ! .
post #8 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by edorr View Post
The only processor I'm aware of that could be connected S/PDIF to S/PDIF is the Meridian. These are now supposed to be fed an encrypted signal from the HD621, but an Oppo with Vanity or JVB board would work also.

It does.

post #9 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Glimmie View Post

I know the new trend is for mod shops to install 5.1 or 7.1 SPDIF outputs on BluRay players.

But what consumer gear actually inputs multichannel SPDIF? Let me be specific here, the Trinnov for example does not. It asks for AES, not SPDIF.

In the pro world, at least on the video side, I have never seen a device with multi SPDIF inputs. It's always AES.

My point is why don't these mod kits output true AES-3 which is still 75ohms unbalanced. Or if the majority of gear is 110ohms balanced, then supply that. The design of the interface circuits is the same, just a few component value changes, that of course assumes the SPDIF mods are transformer coupled. If not, then they are off to a bad start anyway.

I realize AES-3 and SPDIF are usually interchangeable, but there are voltage differences and sometimes that will bite you. SPDIF was intended for consumer single channel interconnection (2 analog channels). If these mod kits are touting superior performance, shouldn't they at least conform to proper electrical engineering standards in the interface? It's kind of silly how a lot of folks ooh and ahh over the Vanity to Trinnov combination yet the interface is kludged.

For what the Vanity costs, it wouldn't be that much more to add a compliant 25pin AES port as well.

And while your at it how about a dip switch or jumper to set the channel status bit between pro and consumer. This is easily implemented inside an FPGA architecture. My DIY AES BluRay mode has this.

It's a very good point and I have wondered the same thing myself.

I wonder if the designers were thinking Oppo to multiple 2 channel DACs mainly for surround music?

As an alternative you could just build a small quiet HTPC and use that to play blu-rays. Stick a Lynx card in and you have 16 channels digital out on a DB26.
post #10 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nyal Mellor View Post

As an alternative you could just build a small quiet HTPC and use that to play blu-rays. Stick a Lynx card in and you have 16 channels digital out on a DB26.

You know I am considering that since I have all my DVHS movies already in a server.

Questions:

1) Does the JRiver software decode all the standard multichannel CODECS?

2) Legality issues aside, can a BluRay be ripped into a server with playback software that still "feels" like a hardware player? I need to interface it to Irule and some playback softare like VLC which I use for my DVHS dumps is not very remote friendly.

3) I need HDSDI output so I would like to use a Nividia FX5500-DI card i have. HDMI with HDCP is no good for me. Again I am not pirating stuff.

Barring questions 2 & 3, is there good HDMI/HDCP raw disk (original BluRay disk, not ripped) player software that works with JRiver?

TIA
post #11 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Glimmie View Post

You know I am considering that since I have all my DVHS movies already in a server.

Questions:

1) Does the JRiver software decode all the standard multichannel CODECS?

2) Legality issues aside, can a BluRay be ripped into a server with playback software that still "feels" like a hardware player? I need to interface it to Irule and some playback softare like VLC which I use for my DVHS dumps is not very remote friendly.

3) I need HDSDI output so I would like to use a Nividia FX5500-DI card i have. HDMI with HDCP is no good for me. Again I am not pirating stuff.

Barring questions 2 & 3, is there good HDMI/HDCP raw disk (original BluRay disk, not ripped) player software that works with JRiver?

TIA

Nyal has spec'ed out this configuration here:

http://www.acousticfrontiers.com/home-theater-blog/2013/6/6/how-to-replace-your-home-theater-pre-pro-with-a-htpc

I have only ripped one blu ray as a proof of concept and played it in Jriver, which worked fine. However, Nyal can probably tell you much more.
post #12 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nyal Mellor View Post

I wonder if the designers were thinking Oppo to multiple 2 channel DACs mainly for surround music?

I doubt it, since volume control would be a problem in this setup (I guess you could use the Oppo digital VC).
post #13 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kal Rubinson View Post

It does.

Kal, I presume you will be using the Meridian 861 to assess the difference between an HDMI based signal path (using HD621), a 4 x S/PDIF direct from player signal path (using Vanity103 and/or MSB UMT - once you get your hands on these units), and possibly switching everything into your ARC MCH preamp to allow comparison with analog output from player (Oppo 105?) signal path?
post #14 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by edorr View Post


Kal, I presume you will be using the Meridian 861 to assess the difference between an HDMI based signal path (using HD621), a 4 x S/PDIF direct from player signal path (using Vanity103 and/or MSB UMT - once you get your hands on these units), and possibly switching everything into your ARC MCH preamp to allow comparison with analog output from player (Oppo 105?) signal path?

 

Umm. Yeah.
post #15 of 17
That's quite reasonable, thanks
Quote:
Originally Posted by edorr View Post

Full feauture (reclocking and custom DSD conversion) = $1000. LITE (just pass through) = few hundred.
post #16 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Glimmie View Post

But what consumer gear actually inputs multichannel SPDIF?

Tact TCS MK3 does this for sure. When I had my TCS I was feeding it with quad S/PDIF. I believe the Datasat RS20 also allows for this, and so does some Goldmund gear...

Oh, and the BSS Soundweb London Architect BLU-160 with digital input cards will do it, which means the JBL Synthesis SDEC-4500P should be capable of it if you swap out the analog input cards for digital ones...
Edited by Peter Nielsen - 8/25/13 at 11:53am
post #17 of 17
The RS20i has the same multi channel digi inputs as the Trinnov units. AES/EBU. But you can run spdif into these inputs so long as the cables used are not too long or you go thru a converter.
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