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iLink, It's too good to be true!!! Z9/3910 combo

3089 Views 34 Replies 15 Participants Last post by  gandley
Hi,


I've been reading around about the iLink, firewire, IEEE 1394, what ever you want to call it :) But I have not come across anything where the actual 'qualities', 'drawbacks' have been discussed.


I've got a Z9, and just received a Denon 3910 (also have an A11/5900, but haven't really tested it much)


I setup everything on the Z9 to how I like and how it should be.

I then took the temporary A11 away (unhooking 12 cables!) and put the 3910 in its place.

I then connected in my component cables for video and the provided iLink cable for audio. I was a bit sceptical that this wasn't right, so 'little' connections to make, so I also hooked up the coax and two RCA cables for stereo audio from CD's.


I turned the 3910 on and setup it up; the main change was to turn on firewire.

?? WHAT?? No options to change for digital connections (optical and coax), no analogue connection options, not Muti/Stereo options, no filters, bass enchantments. Odd???


Anyway, I went to the Z9, and made sure everything was recognised OK then started to put in some disks.


After the first DVD and CD, I took out the coax and RCA cables I hooked up, realising they weren’t necessary.


I then played a number of DVD-A, and normal DVD's with multiple formats.

Examples:

LOTR: DTS-ES

Star Wars: DD (EX)

A Night at the Opera, Queen: MPL DVD audio, DTS 24/196, PCM

Cheskys DVD-Audio setup disk: DVD audio, and custom 4 channel music.

Master and Commander: DTS


And the list goes on, not including all the CD's


EVERY single format was decoded and played perfectly. I was impressed! :D the Z9 picked it all up, perfect, correct speaker icons turned on, all formats, etc.

So, my question after all this;


Is there a catch with iLink?


Is the quality over IEEE 1394 not so good (I couldn't tell a difference, even in CD playback with stereo)

Are there drawbacks to the medium, and reasons why you would still use 9 cables to connect your systems up in audio?

But digital is digital, a bit is a bit, a byte is a byte, 101011 is 101011. So theoretically, there should be better connectivity and detail over iLink than analogue, no?


I can see the huge advantage now that HDMI will have, only one cable and everything coming across it.


Please let me know what you think; especially if you would still use analogue connections over digital.

Because really, the only thing I am using the 3910 for, is video, everything on the audio side inside the player is basically by-passed, isn't it. Is that a waste?


Thanks


Cheers

KJ


(i wasn't sure where to post this, so i hope here is OK) ;)
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You'll still need those analog connections to play any SACDs (if you have any or are buying any in the future) because Sony has not "bestowed" us the honor of playing SACDs through a digital connection. Merchants of receivers/DVD players are saying any week now Sony is going to give the go-ahead, but I've been hearing that line for many, many, many months. So...you're not free and clear of all those cables just yet. (Unless of course you have no desire to play SACDs.)
I admit, i do not have a SACD to test with at the momet, but that shall be fixed soon, however . . .


"quote: With Super Audio CD.s, digital audio signals cannot be output. Use analog or IEEE 1394 connections"


in my manual it is on pg. 8, on the online one from Denon USA it is on pg. 12.


also, quote:


"The simple connection of one IEEE 1394 cable permits high quality digital transfer of the following btween devices having IEEE 1394 connectors: the audio of DVD video, DVD Audio that up until now could only be connected by 5-conductor audio cable in analog connection, or Super Audio and other audio"


this is on pg. 10 of my manual and on pg. 17 of the online version


i shall buy an SACD ASAP and test it out :)


cheers

KJ


(edit) also in the features list it says for IEEE 1394 that SACD can be sent via the medium. In fact, the manual says that HDMI cannot output SACD, only the CD part, not multi channel, so iLink seems to be much better.)


(or is it my mistake, the DVD player is just waiting for a firmware update to allow this, it is not avaliable yet, just the hardware is in place, not the software?)
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but anyhow :)


putting SACD aside, putting DVD Audio aside, etc. let's just take standard stereo PCM off a normal CD.


Is iLink - better, worse, the same - to transfer the signal to the amp?

is there a hit to the signal, in detail, clarity or whatever, due to limitations or anything, as opposed to analog connection?


thanks


cheers

KJ
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Quote:
Originally posted by Franchot
You'll still need those analog connections to play any SACDs.
Wrong. Firewire can transfer SACD, no problem. Only Denon's proprietary Dlink cant.
Don't think HDMI can but...... i guess it "will soon. Given DVD-A does. HDMI is becoming more and more common, even on lower $ gear where take the Panny XR70 and i think a Philips unit Ilink is not even available. So HDMI "one for all" perhaps will become the default connect. Makes sense
"Sony has not "bestowed" us the honor of playing SACDs through a digital connection"


i-link is supported to pass SACD as well. Actually i-link is currently the only allowed for SACD.


Michel
Quote:
Originally posted by mfombellida
"Sony has not "bestowed" us the honor of playing SACDs through a digital connection"


i-link is supported to pass SACD as well. Actually i-link is currently the only allowed for SACD.


Michel
There's some question whether Denon's i-link implementation can do a digital transfer of all multi-channel music. I've heard both that they can, but I've heard others say they can't.


Pioneer's Elite i-link enabled DVD players can transfer both SACD and DVD-A digitally.


Yamaha is supposed to be hitting the streets with an i-link enabled universal DVD player, too.


HDMI's transfer of audio, in addition to video (which it already can do), isn't quite there yet. Personal opinion, but I'd say both audio and video being transfered via HDMI is at least a year away.
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Quote:
Originally posted by graphicguy
HDMI's transfer of audio, in addition to video (which it already can do), isn't quite there yet. Personal opinion, but I'd say both audio and video being transfered via HDMI is at least a year away.
I dont know about that. It will be widely available after a year, but there are HDMI devices allready available. The Panasonic XR70 and S97 are here and with them you can have all audio and video with just one HDMI cable. Put a second HDMI cable from the XR70 to a AE700 and you have done all line-level cabling with two wires, audio and video. Quite amazing actually.
Quote:
Originally posted by Landroval
I dont know about that. It will be widely available after a year, but there are HDMI devices allready available. The Panasonic XR70 and S97 are here and with them you can have all audio and video with just one HDMI cable. Put a second HDMI cable from the XR70 to a AE700 and you have done all line-level cabling with two wires, audio and video. Quite amazing actually.
You could be right. As it stands, the XR70 isn't out and no one from Panasonic is talking about it.


No doubt that HDMI pieces are around. I have an HDMI piece with my Elite 59 AVi. But I can't find anyone or information from any company that would lead me to believe digitally passing both audio and video on an HDMI cable is just around the corner. I wish it was. I would love to be able to use just a couple of cables to digitally transfer all audio and video, so I do have an interest in HDMI. But, using i-link for all audio from the DVD player and DVI for all video isn't giving me any heartburn.
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Quote:
The Panasonic XR70 and S97 are here and with them you can have all audio and video with just one HDMI cable.
Unless you want to play SACD disks. Neither HDMI nor any Panasonic product supports SACD so they're still a few fries short of a happy meal. ;)
The Pioneer 59avi or the european equivalent 868avi are using first generation HDMI, they pass audio... but not high-rez: in fact it is nothing more than S/PDIF. In other word HDMI first generation is DVI+S/PDIF in one cable. HDMI second generation adds audio high-rez but PCM only (i.e. for DVD-A) and not DSD.


Michel
"Denon's i-link implementation can do a digital transfer of all multi-channel music."


It was recognised as a bug by Denon. They said they would fix it and the new generation players from Denon don't appear to have the problem anymore.


Michel
Quote:
Originally posted by mfombellida
"Sony has not "bestowed" us the honor of playing SACDs through a digital connection"


i-link is supported to pass SACD as well. Actually i-link is currently the only allowed for SACD.


Michel
Quote:
Wrong. Firewire can transfer SACD, no problem. Only Denon's proprietary Dlink cant.
I stand corrected...or I should say, I was commenting on your DVD player (the Denon 3910) and made an error when I included all other players. As I understand it (and was stated elsewhere in this thread), the Denon cannot use i-link to pass the signal of SACDs, just DVD-As. Maybe I'm wrong on this, but I'm sorry if I led you to a wrong answer. Anyway, I guess you're going to find out if i-link works for both formats when you test out that SACD you went out to buy. Please report back your findings.

Quote:
Please let me know what you think; especially if you would still use analogue connections over digital. Because really, the only thing I am using the 3910 for, is video, everything on the audio side inside the player is basically by-passed, isn't it. Is that a waste?
It's only a waste if your receiver's DACs are not as good as the DACs in your Denon 3910, in which case, you would probably want to use analog connections to benefit from the better DACs of the 3910.
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Quote:
Originally posted by mfombellida
"Sony has not "bestowed" us the honor of playing SACDs through a digital connection"


i-link is supported to pass SACD as well. Actually i-link is currently the only allowed for SACD.


Michel
Quote:
Wrong. Firewire can transfer SACD, no problem. Only Denon's proprietary Dlink cant.
I stand corrected...or I should say, I was commenting on your DVD player (the Denon 3910) and made an error when I included all other players. As I understand it (and was stated elsewhere in this thread), the Denon cannot use i-link to pass the signal of SACDs, just DVD-As. Maybe I'm wrong on this, but I'm sorry if I led you to a wrong answer. Anyway, I guess you're going to find out if i-link works for both formats when you test out that SACD you went out to buy. Please report back your findings.

Quote:
Please let me know what you think; especially if you would still use analogue connections over digital. Because really, the only thing I am using the 3910 for, is video, everything on the audio side inside the player is basically by-passed, isn't it. Is that a waste?
It's only a waste if your receiver's DACs are not as good as the DACs in your Denon 3910, in which case, you would probably want to use analog connections to benefit from the better DACs of the 3910.
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Quote:
As I understand it (and was stated elsewhere in this thread), the Denon cannot use i-link to pass the signal of SACDs, just DVD-As.
As confirmed in several threads over on the DVD forum, Denon's i.Link can pass DSD (SACD) with no problems. It's their proprietary Denon Link that cannot. As Michel noted, Denon's first try at i.Link didn't work at all but they have fixed it. I look forward to Krazykaj trying an SACD disk and confirming that the 3910-Z9 combo works okay. I don't know if anyone has tried that combo yet.
Quote:
Originally posted by Franchot


It's only a waste if your receiver's DACs are not as good as the DACs in your Denon 3910, in which case, you would probably want to use analog connections to benefit from the better DACs of the 3910.
Hi again.


I shall can get a SACD tommorow, are there any good suggestions? Just one which is good multi channel, more like a demo disk, i still need to looking into what music is out on SACD that i like, before buying.


But anyhow, as to my original question, you're saying that passing audio over iLink, is just as good, even possibly better than any other connections i could make between the 3910 and Z9.


I am not loosing any information, nothing is being downsampled, no loss in any way, shape of form. All decoding is done via the Z9. Yes?


That is good to hear, the only 'drawback', if you want to call it that, is with the iLink connection, I can't really use the Z9's Pure Direct mode, as that is for analog inputs only. But i can't tell a difference, so it doesn't really matter.


i'll let confirm the SACD tommorow, i'll also be interested to compare it to DVD audio with the 3910. So any good suggestions for a first, test/demo SACD, let me know :)


cheers

KJ
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 http://www.SA-CD.net/toprecommendations


Some of my favorites from this list are:


Patricia Barber: Modern Cool (I also recommend Nightclub)

Diana Krall: The Look of Love and The Girl in the Other Room

Pink Floyd: Dark Side of the Moon

Alison Krauss and Union Station: New Favorite

Peter Gabriel: So

Roxy Music: The Best of Roxy Music and Avalon


Ron
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Quote:
Originally posted by dr1394
http://www.SA-CD.net/toprecommendations


Some of my favorites from this list are:


Patricia Barber: Modern Cool (I also recommend Nightclub)

Diana Krall: The Look of Love and The Girl in the Other Room

Pink Floyd: Dark Side of the Moon

Alison Krauss and Union Station: New Favorite

Peter Gabriel: So

Roxy Music: The Best of Roxy Music and Avalon


Ron
Of those SACD disks mentioned, DSOTM is a reference disk. If any disk was meant to get the multi-channel treatment, it's this one. And they did a great job with the transfer.


I also own the Avalon disk. Very tasty as an SACD....same with New Favorite and The Girl in the Other Room.
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Quote:
Originally posted by catapult
I look forward to Krazykaj trying an SACD disk and confirming that the 3910-Z9 combo works okay. I don't know if anyone has tried that combo yet.
Well, it works ok. In fact it is better than ok, it is brilliant! :D


i have just gotton

Martin Taylor: Spirit of Django - from LINN records (i don't mind a bit of guitar work)

What sound!!! the cleaness, clearness and detail is amazing. I'll be ordering more SACD's, that's for sure! especially as there is a nice range too.

I came across Acoustic Sounds they seem to have a nice collection of everything, so i'll slowly go through and pick a few goodies. There's not to many places here in Australia that i can just go and pre-listen to SACD or where there is a wide range, pity, it is mostly on-line, but even then the range seems scarce to overseas stores.


But yes, the 3910 and the Z9 works fine and sounds great. I still can't believe that it is only one cable as opposed to 6 that i had before. Now they need decent wireless speakers, fully developed HDMI and cable managment will be a thing of the past. :)


cheers

KJ
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