Well the receiver will do the Digital to Analogue conversion and if it is a good one, like the Pioneer Elite 49TXi, the DAC conversion is probably better than the DVD/SACD player provides. Another benefit is that through firewire the receiver detects the incoming signal (whether it is a 5.1/4.0/2.0/2.1 etc) and handles it appropriately. Plus the receiver can do the bass manageament in the digital domain.
I highly recommend it.
About HDMI I cannot comment cause I do not have neither a display nor a player.
I have the 49txi and recently upgraded from a rp91 to a pioneer 50avi. With this upgrade I was finally able to make use the ilink.
First, I love the 59avi, and it has several benefits for me over the rp91. However, I am not convinced there is a big sound difference with multi-channel music using ilink with this player and analog-audio with the rp91.
Not exactly a black and white test, but my impressions.
You have all the benefits of directly testing your 59avi and 49txi with i-Link and with analog outs. Could you run a test to confirm the lack of enhancement in hi-res audio via i-Link? That will be great. Thank you in advance.
Yes, that would be a good test, but I cannot perform it. It didn't take me long to see the ease to setup with the ilink and I sold my analog cables. I do not want to go back to the rat's nest I had before.
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