Originally Posted by Alimentall
There would be no real difference though. If the SACD player can turn it into a PCM signal it is the same as the NAD taking it in and then decoding it with a PCM DAC. Besides, what's the point of having expensive DSD DACs on an SACD player if you plan on avoiding them entirely.
I don't claim to have a complete understanding of the differences in DAC's for DSD vs. PCM, but I would think some would argue that a "native" DSD DAC would be beneficial when listening to SACD, because it should be able to decode the DSD stream at its native 2.8Mhz sampling rate. The way I understand it, when the DSD stream is converted to PCM, it must of course be down-converted to whatever rate the PCM DAC's are capable of decoding, which in the case of the new NAD's is 192Khz. Again I'm not an acoustical engineer, but I would think there is some sort of compromise that occurs in this process. For example, if I understand it correctly, when one is listening to an SACD over multichannel HDMI from, say, a PS3 that has converted the DSD stream to PCM, what one is really hearing is a PCM sampling
of the DSD stream itself. Does this conversion create an audible degradation? Probably not, but the purists might argue otherwise, and after all this should be expected as those that back SACD (DSD) contend the superiority of the format against those that back DVD-A (PCM). With these things in mind I can understand why some are bothered that a DSD stream cannot be decoded by the NAD.
I would assume that including a DSD DAC-set would probably have driven the cost of these units beyond a level that NAD deemed acceptable...