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SACD & DVD-A -- IEEE 1394 vs Analog  

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
I'm in the market for a receiver and amd trying to figure out if it's worth making sure my receiver has a IEEE 1394 port. If I understand correctly, the firewire port enables digital audio to be passed between sour & receiver without the need for conversion, yielding better results. Furthermore, 6 high quality audio cables are much more expensive then a single firewire cable.

Since the firewire format is digital, the 'quality' in cable is negligible, as with HDMI and DVI, right?

I'm just trying to figure out if I should get a receiver with IEEE 1394, because it seems as if the audio quality for SACD and DVD-A would be better. I tried searching the forums and googling and found no direct answers for this question.

If anyone could help on this topic, that would be much appreciated.

post #2 of 7
Some people say sound is better with i.Link while others, better with analog 6-ch connection. But the SQ depends on other factors. For example, how good are the DAC and preamp sections of the receiver? And how good are the DAC and analog output sections of the universal player? So, don't be deceived by only a single factor like the firewire connection. I heard that some people had a good result from the combination of a cheap but good universal player with analog outs only (e.g., Yamaha DVD-C750) and a receiver with a good multi-ch input (e.g., Denon AVR-3806 and Yamaha RX-V2600). And also don't be deceived by exotic analog interconnect cables. You can find good cables at a reasonable price.
post #3 of 7
HDMI 1.2 supports transmission of DVD-A and SACD as well.
post #4 of 7
I think the key is how good the DACs are in each component. If you look at highend gear, the DACs are often in a box seperate from the player, and are fed in analog format to the preamp.

Long term you may find that it is cheaper to upgrade the player than the receiver - thus the IEEE feature may not turn out to be that valuable.
post #5 of 7
FYI.. you should also make sure you DVD-A/SACD player has firewire out... kinda obvious but thought I'd mention.
post #6 of 7
I have and use i.LINK (aka 1394 aka firewire) in my system to connect my Denon DVD-3910 to my Integra Research RDC-7.1. It passes all sound formats natively from my player for decoding in my processor, including multi-channel SACD. It works flawlessly and sounds great. I would not however recommend building an i.LINK-based system at this time. As great as i.LINK is, it is essentially being obsoleted by HDMI. The future of DVD is hi-def (BD and/or HD DVD), and the HDMI standard has rapidly evolved to support improved audio and video.

The latest and most advanced HDMI version is 1.3. Receivers supporting HDMI 1.3 should be available next year.

If you can't wait then all is not lost. First generation hi-def DVD players are decoding all formats internally and outputing PCM, which HDMI 1.1 can handle. If you get a receiver that accepts HDMI 1.1, and actually handles hi-rez multi-channel PCM via HDMI, then you have no need for i.LINK. The one exception is SACD. However the latest Oppo player even converts SACD to hi-rez multi-channel PCM.

You will however need to do your homework since not all manufacturers fully implement the HDMI spec.
post #7 of 7
I think gimp's information wraps up the subject nicely.
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