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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm sorry to bother everyone, but I'm trying to avoid making a mistake, but it's getting hard not to do. A while back we had some discussions about DVD-A and SACD and IEEE1394 and so-forth.


Currently, I don't have either a SACD or DVD-A machine, but I want both. I know that several exist with analogue connections. In a perfect world, I want a digital connection and the corresponding processor to accept these connections, but things are moving slowly. But how slowly?


So my questions are:


If one were to buy a univeral machine right now, is something like the Pioneer DV-45a a decent choice?


When will this insane logjam end so I can have my cake and pie and eat both of them (digitally of course)
 

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I will say that it will never end. By the time SACD and DVD audio are worked out so that a pre-pro could decode them, you will have HD-DVD audio or some other format around the bend.


That is why there is no such thing as a "future-proof" processor. You don't know if it will need firewire, DVI, SPDI/F, Toslink, AES/EBU or some other funky inputs that were not around as long as the industry.


I remember when we went (in video only) from RF input to Composite to S-Video to Component to HD Component (has a higher bandwidth requirement) to RGBHV, VGA, IEEE 1394 and DVI (and DVI has several flavors as well!) There is also SDI!


Audio has RCA plugs, Toslink, SPDI/F Coaxial, AES/EBU and Balanced. I am sure there are others.


This logjam will not end. Older connection forms will be phased out and newer ones will replace them. Some will stay, others will disappear. But if the industry isn't evolving, it is stagnent.


You will find that the processor is the first component in your rack to become obsolete. Sources aren't, as you will still have the old tapes, records, etc to play and need to keep the source, but your new processor won't be able to handle all the features of your new gadgets.
 

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Digital connections imply one thing: Namely that the DACs in your processor are better than the ones in the transport. This is one reason that shopping for processors is interesting; you're *really* shopping for the features *and* your main set of D/A converters. They can make a huge difference in the sound quality of digital sources.


So, to me, your desire for an all digital connection from a DVD-A and/or SACD player to your processor necessarily means that your processor is *way* more expensive than your transport and sounds better than its internal DACs. I'd put the relative numbers something like this: For a $1000 player that supports DVD-A and/or SACD, you'd want at spend at least $3000, if not $4k - $5k to really get better DACs than in the player itself.


For me, this is one reason that I am shopping for a DVD player in the $1200 range. I figure at that price point, the DACs in the transport are probably approaching (if not exceeding) the DACs in my ~$3200 AVM-20. Thus, the analog outs on the DVD should sound as good (or nearly so) as if my processor were handling it.


All that being said, I've heard nearly nothing about digital interconnects from high res audio formats to processors. Denon and Pioneer both have proprietary solutions in one single unit, so I don't count those for now.


Your second question is about the 47a. I've read that the SACD performance of this machine isn't up to the level of even mid level Sony products, but that the CD playback is quite good. Reviews on the video performance vary a little, with most people saying it has a very, very sharp picture. Some people think it is artificially sharp. I've only seen one in person once, and it was on a display I wasn't familiar with. It seemed very sharp, but a little unnatural at times.


Best of luck in your search.


Brian.
 

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Don't discount the 47AI. The 47A is out of production now and the 47AI is a comepltely different player. It has burr brown dacs instead of the crystals used in the 47A and has a better power supply and a better build than the 47A. Don't base the 47AI performance on 47A reviews.


Yes I've owned both, had the 47A for 6 month and have had the 47AI for a month and a half. The 47AI has much better SACD playback. CD and DVD-A playback are a little better but the SACd playback are miles ahead of the older 47A unit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the responses, and I recognize what is being said, but I'm still dissatisfied. I read an article recently regarding DVD-A and SACD, and their arguement went something like this. Let the battle between DVD-A & SACD be carried out in the software area, not in the hardware area. That way people can decide for themselves which format they like better or at the very least, have the option of having both with a universal player.


I also realize that, in some way, the audio arena has become more like the pc field, where the target is always moving. I'm just starting to see recent and future releases in both SACD & DVD-A that I would like, and don't want to have to either compromise or have two players.


And regarding Firewire or HDMI or whatever, I haven't even touched on that area. Basically, I want, need, desire to upgrade my processor, player, and TV. And a suitable industry accepted connection that allows for both high resolution audio and video is preventing me from jumping in.


I'm especially worried in the HDTV arena about plunking down the big bucks for a TV, only to find out shortly thereafter that I don't have the proper connection.


I still may break down and get a universal player, but do you think that after the show in January, we will see more and more universal players?


And if Denon and Pioneer and Meridian have their proprietary links, how far behind can a "generic" link be? And at a much reduced cost.
 

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The Pioneer Ilink is not proprietary it adheres to the basic Texas Instruments standard. I've gotten a lot of enjoyment out of DVD-A and SACD the last 8 months and while I would have saved money by waiting a person can wait forever since formats change so fast these days. If you can afford it without a major problem I'd jump in now, and enjoy what is out there while relizing it is the bleading edge and no matter what you do you will get burned.


I'd rather get burned now by choosing then get slowly cooked for several years waiting and waiting for the industry to figure out what the heck it is doing. With piracy freaking everyone out and the million different purposed interfaces and HD-DVD down the road the confusion will never end and you will literly wiat forever for things to settle down.
 
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