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post #1 of 21 Old 10-19-2019, 07:54 AM - Thread Starter
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Using a blu-ray player's analog output for dedicated CD listening

Hi, I have an older spare Panasonic blu-ray player that I'm considering using as a CD player in a 2 channel system: https://shop.panasonic.com/support-only/DMP-BD871.html

I plan on using the player's analog out to a Cambridge Audio integrated amp. The product page doesn't say anything about the DAC except that it's 24 bit/192 kHz.

Is there something to be gained by getting a dedicated standalone CD player? Supposedly, the DAC's should be better - or is this not actually the case? Generally speaking, are DAC's in blu-ray players on par with some of the more "audiophile" CD players out there? (was considering buying a matching Cambridge Audio CD player)
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post #2 of 21 Old 10-20-2019, 04:10 PM
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I have owned many different brands and models of Blu-ray players. (I do not own any UHD players.) The sound quality, when played in our theater system (see below), has ranged from dismal to fairly good. I suggest you give the Panasonic a try.

Music room: Cary SLI-80 tube integrated amplifier, McIntosh MA6500 integrated amplifier, Quad 99 preamp, Quad 909 power amp, Acoustic Research AR9 loudspeakers, Yamaha CD-N500 CD player, Teac UD-503 DSD DAC, Phase Linear 8000II linear-tracking turntable.
Theater room: Panasonic 65S60 plasma television; Yamaha RX-A2020 (preamp section); Adcom GFA-5503 and GFA-5400 amplifiers; Polk LSi25, LSiC, and LSiF/X loudspeaker system; Velodyne FSR-18 servo-subwoofer.
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Originally Posted by goldark View Post
Hi, I have an older spare Panasonic blu-ray player that I'm considering using as a CD player in a 2 channel system: https://shop.panasonic.com/support-only/DMP-BD871.html

I plan on using the player's analog out to a Cambridge Audio integrated amp. The product page doesn't say anything about the DAC except that it's 24 bit/192 kHz.

Is there something to be gained by getting a dedicated standalone CD player? Supposedly, the DAC's should be better - or is this not actually the case? Generally speaking, are DAC's in blu-ray players on par with some of the more "audiophile" CD players out there? (was considering buying a matching Cambridge Audio CD player)
If you have decent loudspeakers, you're not going to get close to the soundstage, separation, depth, transparency that we all like. I suggest you audition the Cambridge AXC35 with your integrated amp. Good luck, have fun, happy listening.

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post #4 of 21 Old 10-20-2019, 08:23 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Alex F. View Post
I have owned many different brands and models of Blu-ray players. (I do not own any UHD players.) The sound quality, when played in our theater system (see below), has ranged from dismal to fairly good. I suggest you give the Panasonic a try.
In your experience, have there been brands that generally sound better than others? or does it just depend on the specific model?
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post #5 of 21 Old 10-20-2019, 08:24 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Panson View Post
If you have decent loudspeakers, you're not going to get close to the soundstage, separation, depth, transparency that we all like. I suggest you audition the Cambridge AXC35 with your integrated amp. Good luck, have fun, happy listening.
I'm tempted to get that just because of the aesthetics and my OCD just likes to have matching brands. But before that, I'd like to figure out what the sonic differences are, if any.
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post #6 of 21 Old 10-21-2019, 02:07 AM
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What's the model number of your Cambridge amplifier?

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post #7 of 21 Old 10-21-2019, 06:00 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by seemoredigital View Post
what's the model number of your cambridge amplifier?
axa25. It doesn't have a DAC - I was referring to the blu-ray player's DAC previously.
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post #8 of 21 Old 10-21-2019, 09:02 AM
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Originally Posted by goldark View Post
axa25. It doesn't have a DAC...
Indeed. That particular (recently released) amplifier does not offer any digital inputs at all. It's the eighties all over again

With regard to your 'older' Panasonic DMP-BD871 Blu-ray player, its analogue audio output circuitry was most probably only added as a legacy feature... So it might sound pants!

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post #9 of 21 Old 10-21-2019, 04:33 PM
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Originally Posted by goldark View Post
In your experience, have there been brands that generally sound better than others? or does it just depend on the specific model?
I first tested CD sound quality via a BD player's HDMI output to determine the sonics of the transport itself. If the transport did not sound good, there is no possibility the analog outputs would be any better, of course. Unfortunately there was never a reason to continue testing using the analog outputs. (One exception I made was with a $500 Oppo BDP-83, which was disappointing via both HDMI and analog outputs.)

A Samsung BD-H5900 was the first player that sounded fairly good, but unfortunately it lacked an analog output. A more recent Samsung (the BD-J7500), their last flagship player prior to UHD, tested briefly in my music room via its analog output, sounded pretty good.

I have a few old Panasonic players sitting in a closet, such as the DMP-BD60 and 320, but I never tested them with CDs.

I will finish up here by saying that every dedicated CD player I have owned outperformed all the Blu-ray players.

Music room: Cary SLI-80 tube integrated amplifier, McIntosh MA6500 integrated amplifier, Quad 99 preamp, Quad 909 power amp, Acoustic Research AR9 loudspeakers, Yamaha CD-N500 CD player, Teac UD-503 DSD DAC, Phase Linear 8000II linear-tracking turntable.
Theater room: Panasonic 65S60 plasma television; Yamaha RX-A2020 (preamp section); Adcom GFA-5503 and GFA-5400 amplifiers; Polk LSi25, LSiC, and LSiF/X loudspeaker system; Velodyne FSR-18 servo-subwoofer.
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post #10 of 21 Old 10-21-2019, 09:26 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Alex F. View Post
I first tested CD sound quality via a BD player's HDMI output to determine the sonics of the transport itself. If the transport did not sound good, there is no possibility the analog outputs would be any better, of course. Unfortunately there was never a reason to continue testing using the analog outputs. (One exception I made was with a $500 Oppo BDP-83, which was disappointing via both HDMI and analog outputs.)

A Samsung BD-H5900 was the first player that sounded fairly good, but unfortunately it lacked an analog output. A more recent Samsung (the BD-J7500), their last flagship player prior to UHD, tested briefly in my music room via its analog output, sounded pretty good.

I have a few old Panasonic players sitting in a closet, such as the DMP-BD60 and 320, but I never tested them with CDs.

I will finish up here by saying that every dedicated CD player I have owned outperformed all the Blu-ray players.
So I tested out the blu-ray player in my system and it actually sounded pretty good - it can also play FLAC. Apparently Panasonic made audio quality a priority in their 2012 blu-ray player lineup. However, I won't be using it for my system due to the fact that it just takes too long to load a CD before playing it.

I just ended up purchasing a Teac CD-p650 which seems to be a good combination of price/performance.
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post #11 of 21 Old 10-23-2019, 03:30 PM
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Same question, but with a Sony ubp-x800m? I know it has only digital outs.
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post #12 of 21 Old 10-25-2019, 01:54 PM
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Same question, but with a Sony ubp-x800m? I know it has only digital outs.
With digital-only output, the player will sound like whatever DAC it connects to in your system. The only to find out is to try it out (there is measurement gear that can show you differences in output from the player via HDMI vs S/PDIF vs TOSLINK vs USB (if so equipped) but the audibility of such differences is a matter of much...discussion).
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I once hooked up a Panasonics DVD player with analog outputs to make do while my Sony X303ES CD Player was being repaired. The sound quality was so bad, in comparison to the X303ES, that I unplugged it. IMHO, no sound is better than bad sound!
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post #14 of 21 Old 10-29-2019, 02:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Ovation View Post
With digital-only output, the player will sound like whatever DAC it connects to in your system. The only to find out is to try it out (there is measurement gear that can show you differences in output from the player via HDMI vs S/PDIF vs TOSLINK vs USB (if so equipped) but the audibility of such differences is a matter of much...discussion).
People here talk a lot about DACs, but, as far as I know, they are a chip inside another component. Is there a device which is only a DAC with digital inputs, analog outputs (how many, I don't know), and a power supply? My Yamaha AVR has this, but it's in another room. I googled this subject, but I didn't see what I want - HDMI, S/PDIF or TOSLINK to multiple RCAs.

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People here talk a lot about DACs, but, as far as I know, they are a chip inside another component. Is there a device which is only a DAC with digital inputs, analog outputs (how many, I don't know), and a power supply? My Yamaha AVR has this, but it's in another room. I googled this subject, but I didn't see what I want - HDMI, S/PDIF or TOSLINK to multiple RCAs.
I am not sure if this is a serious question or not. If it is, outboard digital-to-analog converters (DACs) are a common audio component, available in various forms and with different features. Here is an excellent dealer that offers a wide selection:

https://www.musicdirect.com/equipmen...oducts&c2=grid

Music room: Cary SLI-80 tube integrated amplifier, McIntosh MA6500 integrated amplifier, Quad 99 preamp, Quad 909 power amp, Acoustic Research AR9 loudspeakers, Yamaha CD-N500 CD player, Teac UD-503 DSD DAC, Phase Linear 8000II linear-tracking turntable.
Theater room: Panasonic 65S60 plasma television; Yamaha RX-A2020 (preamp section); Adcom GFA-5503 and GFA-5400 amplifiers; Polk LSi25, LSiC, and LSiF/X loudspeaker system; Velodyne FSR-18 servo-subwoofer.
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post #16 of 21 Old 10-30-2019, 06:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Alex F. View Post
I am not sure if this is a serious question or not. If it is, outboard digital-to-analog converters (DACs) are a common audio component, available in various forms and with different features. Here is an excellent dealer that offers a wide selection:

https://www.musicdirect.com/equipmen...oducts&c2=grid
Sorry, but it is a serious question. I did a search, and most of what I found was for USB wired inputs or Bluetooth wireless, I was looking for HDMI inputs, and everything I found for that kind of input was for video. I haven't checked musicdirect, which I will do now. Thanks for the link.
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Sorry, but it is a serious question. I did a search, and most of what I found was for USB wired inputs or Bluetooth wireless, I was looking for HDMI inputs, and everything I found for that kind of input was for video. I haven't checked musicdirect, which I will do now. Thanks for the link.
Outboard DACs, as you have discovered, focus on two-channel audio, which is what I originally thought you were asking about. I have never before looked for an outboard DAC that included one or more HDMI inputs. Obviously most everyone who wants a component that has a DAC, HDMI inputs, and an analog output purchases an AV preamp or an AV receiver that has preamp outputs.

After a bit of searching, I found these links (a product and a discussion), which you likely already have come across:

https://www.soundandvision.com/conte...-hdmi-20a-dacs

https://forums.stevehoffman.tv/threa...i-dacs.809790/

If you could explain why you need such a product, possibly more help could be provided. I suggest starting a new thread in the 2-Channel Audio forum.

Good luck!

Music room: Cary SLI-80 tube integrated amplifier, McIntosh MA6500 integrated amplifier, Quad 99 preamp, Quad 909 power amp, Acoustic Research AR9 loudspeakers, Yamaha CD-N500 CD player, Teac UD-503 DSD DAC, Phase Linear 8000II linear-tracking turntable.
Theater room: Panasonic 65S60 plasma television; Yamaha RX-A2020 (preamp section); Adcom GFA-5503 and GFA-5400 amplifiers; Polk LSi25, LSiC, and LSiF/X loudspeaker system; Velodyne FSR-18 servo-subwoofer.
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If you could explain why you need such a product, possibly more help could be provided. I suggest starting a new thread in the 2-Channel Audio forum.

Good luck!
Actually, I was trying to make my situation similar to the OP's, but I have a Sony UBP-X800 player which has only HDMI and wired digital outputs, and I want to connect it to a control amp which has no digital inputs.

Sorry for the hijacking!
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Actually, I was trying to make my situation similar to the OP's, but I have a Sony UBP-X800 player which has only HDMI and wired digital outputs, and I want to connect it to a control amp which has no digital inputs.
The solution is not complicated at all. Connect the Sony's HDMI 1 output (labeled Video) directly to your TV. Then connect the Sony's digital coaxial audio output to an outboard DAC. Finally, connect the DAC's stereo analog output to an input (not phono) on your preamp. Many folks here use this configuration.

If you are going to use the DAC for TV audio only (TV shows, films, etc.), an inexpensive DAC will be fine. For more critical music listening (if you seek higher performance) you may need to spend more. I have not heard one, but this is a popular all-purpose budget DAC ($99) often discussed on AVS:

https://www.schiit.com/products/modi-1

Music room: Cary SLI-80 tube integrated amplifier, McIntosh MA6500 integrated amplifier, Quad 99 preamp, Quad 909 power amp, Acoustic Research AR9 loudspeakers, Yamaha CD-N500 CD player, Teac UD-503 DSD DAC, Phase Linear 8000II linear-tracking turntable.
Theater room: Panasonic 65S60 plasma television; Yamaha RX-A2020 (preamp section); Adcom GFA-5503 and GFA-5400 amplifiers; Polk LSi25, LSiC, and LSiF/X loudspeaker system; Velodyne FSR-18 servo-subwoofer.
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post #20 of 21 Old 10-31-2019, 03:33 AM
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Crazy how this topic moved away from the original posters question. Which was this: "Using a blu-ray player's analog output for dedicated CD listening"...

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post #21 of 21 Old 11-05-2019, 09:54 AM
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I have a Sony BDP-S350. I always had it hooked up HDMI but, stupidly, also had RCA from it to an AVR thinking that was how it would work with an audio CD.
But I recently came to Jesus on DACs. My AVR DAC is a good but old Burr-Brown. I like it more than any other DACs I have heard! Using built in DACs on components like CD players is never good IMO. The component maker assumes a person plugging in RCA to RCA is not going to care if the DAC is a 5 cent chip or a properly designed external with a good analog design too. That is how they cut costs.
I hooked up a coaxial spdif cable from the Sony to an input on the AVR. It sounded great.
When I switched to the HDMI for audio, it sounded much better!
I thought “How could the brand new coax be so bad? It is the same unmolested ones and zeros as the HDMI for audio.
After reading the manuals and trying different settings, somehow, I found the right combo and now the coax sounds the same as the HDMI.
The lesson is that: HDMI for audio is really great. If you have a player with HDMI, just use that to the AVR or external DAC. Since most external DACs lack HDMI, then coaxial to the DAC is just as good. Just make sure you read the manuals and, if setting combo A/B does not sound right, try setting combo X/Y for coax.
Note: Toslink is at best OK but, sometimes you have no choice (like a TV with no ARC and just Toslink) but, coaxial and HDMI are just better sounding for audio.
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