Originally Posted by Nathan_R
The AVM-50 thread isn't doing so well, so I thought I'd ask this here.
Also, this is my official petition to merge the Official D2 and AVM-50 threads.
I have a dumb question:
I just bought a Sirius SR-H550 satellite radio tuner. Currently, I have the unit set up to ouput to my AVM-50 via optical. Would I be better suited setting the digital satellite tuner to output via analog stereo L+R to the processor?
I could see the benefit of setting a dedicated cd player to output analog stereo, but I'm curious what the preferred output would be from a digital satellite radio tuner.
Nathan, greetings mate! I concur about threads by the way, we have much to learn from each other me thinks :-) So, umm, your question is intriguing, because I too find myself the owner of an SR-H550 Sirius tuner. I am using both the optical output and the stereo output. The reasons I do this are the same reasons I do this for all of my components - that is, I want to have independent switching of sources in every Zone in the house. As Anthem so eloquently notes in the D2 manual, you cannot have independent sourcing of a component in another zone, if you don't have both analog and digital audio, and the corresponding appropriate video, for each zone. So, this makes me a cable supplier's wet dream of course! I have WAY too many cables connecting each of my sources to the D2 - however, this is the price of admission, if you want to truly use the D2 as a multi-zone, multi-source, independent switching demon preamp from hell!
Now that we settled that, I will say that I almost always prefer delivering a digital signal to the D2, rather than analog, for my main listening environment (Zone 1). This way, I can leverage the DAC within the D2 to convert my signal to analog - by doing so, I am making use of a 24 bit/192KHz digital upsampler, which allows the signal to be sampled with greater bit length and at greater range than the SR-H550, or virtually any other, component could do by itself. Now, I will admit that the SR-H550 is probably my worst argument to be made of said upsampling. This thing is receiving compressed signals via satellite, then converting this into digital bits, many of which are lost or "guessed at" in transit, before ever being output as a PCM bit stream. But, in pure point of fact, I will still take my chances with a digital bitstream over analog in this regard. The D2's DAC will get the very most out of whatever signal quality I get in. Normally, and Sirius is to be commended for this, I get VERY good quality satellite radio, and I have been pleasantly surprised on more than one occasion by the quality of the radio content through the D2. It makes FM look like pounding on stone tablets...
So, as for your claim that you would normally deliver a CD player's output over Analog Stereo as opposed to Digital, I am sorry to say that I would throw up a big flag on this one! Unless you are using an incredibly high end CD player, with an extremely good DAC with separate power supply, etc., I would trust the D2's DAC in a heartbeat over just about any CD player's DAC out there. The reasons are familiar to the above - the 24 bit word length, and 192KHZ frame rate of upsampling provides for greater dynamic range, which leads to greater depth of soundstage and higher clarity, than any other method. Of course, with every rule there are exceptions. I myself have a Meridian upsampling CD player as my reference player for all things CD. I have done A/B tests and have found the Meridian's DAC and upsampling to be more full, more rich, than the D2's...so, in my case, I output Analog Stereo via XLR outputs to the "2-channel" XLR inputs on the D2, and I listen in pure, unadulterated "Analog Stereo" from the D2...the soundstage is so wide, and so deep, I find myself calling in sick to work to keep from crying on the job....no really, it is THAT good...I find myself digging into old copies of Toad the Wet Sprocket's "Pale", just to prove that they indeed do have soul...
I say send that Sirius signal via Digital, one day you will indeed hear the difference by letting your AVM-50 do the processing instead of the cheapie DAC within the SR-H550...by the way, I'm curious, what is the best station you've found on Sirius?