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Discussion Starter #1
I'd like to get good sound out of a PS3 and an Apple TV while still maintaining a stereo setup.


My current setup is a PS3, used for music, and DVD & Blu-Ray movies, and, coming soon, an Apple TV for movies and tv shows. Currently the PS3's hooked up to the tv with HDMI and sends audio to a Yamaha AX-596 stereo amp via its composite out. The sound is mediocre at best with that setup.


What's the best route to upgrade to decent sound?


I'm considering three options:


1. Onkyo A-5VL. This is a stereo amp with one optical and one coax input, and a built in DAC;

2. Peachtree Nova. 2 optical inputs, 2 coax, twice the power (80 watts per channel vs. 40), and also with a DAC; or

3. add a standalone DAC before the Yamaha.


The Onkyo's available for less than $400, whereas the Nova is $1,200. For a standalone DAC, the Cambridge Audio DacMagic looks suitable, and it's also around $400.


Also, I know the PS3 restricts the audio formats it outputs over optical for Blu-Ray movies. How reduced is the sound quality for a good stereo amp with that setup versus an AV receiver only driving two speakers but taking an HDMI input?
 

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That one. The two optical inputs are great and you can tube roll the 6922 tube to your hearts desire. The stock Chinese 6922 is probably fine but there are others out there, new and old, that will very likely change the voice to the better. The JAN-Philips 6922 Low Noise would be a good choice. It will probably last the life of the unit.


Anything will be an improvement over the composite outputs from the PS3. The built-in DAC in that thing has just got to be the cheapest there is...
 

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Can you not get stereo analog audio out of the PS3 directly and have it send video via HDMI to the TV (and the same for the Apple TV)?


That should give you better sound then having the TV do the audio downmix and DAC duty, and it costs you nothing (just change where your stereo audio cable is hooked up).


If that doesn't sound better then make a choice on how to spend money.
 

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Discussion Starter #4

Quote:
Originally Posted by rick240 /forum/post/0


Can you not get stereo analog audio out of the PS3 directly and have it send video via HDMI to the TV (and the same for the Apple TV)?

It's already hooked up that way. The PS3's sending the video to the tv via HDMI and the audio to the amp via composite. The PS3 works miracles for $300, but the analog output is more a concession to compatibility than anything, hence I'm looking for a better sounding option.


It's interesting that it's the small companies like Peachtree and Naim who are rethinking what an audio device should be in the digital era. I don't see the same innovation from the big companies.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Origami101 /forum/post/20893936


It's already hooked up that way. The PS3's sending the video to the tv via HDMI and the audio to the amp via composite. The PS3 works miracles for $300, but the analog output is more a concession to compatibility than anything, hence I'm looking for a better sounding option.


It's interesting that it's the small companies like Peachtree and Naim who are rethinking what an audio device should be in the digital era. I don't see the same innovation from the big companies.

My bad
I misread and thought you were getting the audio from the TV.


In my computer setup I considered the CA DacMagic and ended up with a Beresford Caiman (it also acts as a pre-amp).


Is the Apple TV going to be a digital audio connection too?
 

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Discussion Starter #6

Quote:
Originally Posted by rick240 /forum/post/0


In my computer setup I considered the CA DacMagic and ended up with a Beresford Caiman (it also acts as a pre-amp).


Is the Apple TV going to be a digital audio connection too?

The Apple TV only outputs HDMI and optical, so I'd run the latter to any new DAC or amplifier. Actually, if it was the Onkyo or, say, your Beresford Caiman, I'd add a toslink to coaxial adapter between it and the Apple TV as they each only have one optical input, which I'd use for the PS3. That gave me pause, but it's a digital signal, so I can't think how translating from one connector to another would cause any degradation.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Origami101 /forum/post/20894652


The Apple TV only outputs HDMI and optical, so I'd run the latter to any new DAC or amplifier. Actually, if it was the Onkyo or, say, your Beresford Caiman, I'd add a toslink to coaxial adapter between it and the Apple TV as they each only have one optical input, which I'd use for the PS3. That gave me pause, but it's a digital signal, so I can't think how translating from one connector to another would cause any degradation.

It shouldn't degrade, as you say, it's digital so bits come in as light and the same bits go out as an electric signal on coax.


Just want to make sure there would be any kind of delay/sync issues with the video (and I have no expertise there to offer opinion - I'd guess no issue, but that opinion isn't even worth $0.02).
 

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I use both an original Peachtree Decco in my office playing my Mac via USB and an Apple TV/Dac Magic combo in the main system.


The advantage of using Dac Magic is that it has TWO inputs - so both your PS3 and Apple TV could use it, but it also has a digital pass thru. This means that you can stream music and play it via the analog outs of the Dac Magic, but you can still send the 5.1 digital signal for Apple TV movies to an AVR for proper surround sound.


Both the Peachtree and DacMagic are excellent. The Nova may be overkill though. You might want to consider a Peachtree Decco2 for less money.
 

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Discussion Starter #9

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sugith /forum/post/20895146



The advantage of using Dac Magic is that it has TWO inputs - so both your PS3 and Apple TV could use it, but it also has a digital pass thru.

...


Both the Peachtree and DacMagic are excellent. The Nova may be overkill though. You might want to consider a Peachtree Decco2 for less money.

The DacMagic and the Decco2 both look like excellent options, but I'm leaning heavily towards the Onkyo A-5VL: it seems to offer pretty much identical features to the Decco2 at half the price, and, compared to the DacMagic, throws in a nice amplifier.


Tell me if my logic's off comparing the A-5VL and the Decco2. Both put out ~40 watts (into 8 ohms for the Onkyo , and 6 for the Decco2 ), both have 1 coaxial and 1 optical input, and both have what I assume are reasonably good DACs ( Burr-Brown 1796 and ESS 9006 , respectively).


As for the Nova, it offers twice the power, double the inputs and pass through, but for me, I don't think the improvements are worth the added cost. Researching this, I stumbled across the Naim UnitiQute -- now that looks worth saving for! My plan might be Onkyo now, Naim down the road.
 

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Well, the Peachtree units have a combination tube/solid state amp which matters to me. It also has USB input so you can connect your computer, (which is how I use mine).


Onkyo doesn't have either.


But otherwise, it looks like a nice unit.
 

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Emotiva has a sale for the XDA-1 which I have in my all digital 2 channel setup as my DAC and it also acts as my preamp with it's volume/gain control.
 
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