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Compare: Direct CD listening v. Apple lossless listening - Page 6

post #76 of 255
Quote:
Originally Posted by bf2008 View Post
Well, I've never heard a sacd disc, although I'd love to. But if the difference between a stereo sacd and a cd is like the difference between a 128 mp3 and a cd, then I don't see it worth at all. There are really very few albums on sacd, and even those which were released in this format are difficult to find. Just try finding the albums you already enjoy and listen to on sacd, I couldn't find any! Except for the Beatles Love in DVD-audio.

However, I think listening to 5.1 sacd must be amazing, hence that's a great thing to get even for those few albums I was talking about above. So, I'd recommend you to check that the sacd player has 5.1 outputs. Maybe it just needs a digital out, I'm not sure. And then connect it to a 5.1 speaker system. Also, I'd get a sacd player which also plays dvd-audio. Given all the discussion in this thread, I think it's becoming obvious that the difference between digital sources, even if it exists, is not worth the effort or the money. Cambridge audio, and also denon, do dvd sacd dvd-audio players which look quite interesting.
Thanks for advice... I'm pretty much decided on Marantz SA8001. They say it also plays Redbook well, and it appears I am going to like the looks and feel of this machine - not the smallest consideration, actually. Laugh at me, but I've been wanting to own a Marantz box for a long time... I did look it up of course, what's available in SACD. Enough of the music I really like, jazz and classics mostly, but a few titles of David Bowie, Eric Clapton, too... Doesn't look like there'll be many additions, but right now there is more than I can afford to buy in quite a while. Once I've bought all the SACDs I want, then we'll see.

I remember I was very excited hearing first on the radio some 5 (?) years ago about this new SACD format, how it is "even better than vinyl", how the early Rolling Stones finally sound right... I said to myself then, I'll buy such player once they come down in price a bit. I'd better do now, before they stop making them
I used to have a small vinyl collection, but left it all back overseas. I miss the sound but not the hassle of handling, vibration isolation, etc. Can't afford it right now, space-wize, first of all...

128 kbps mp3s and even Apple's AACs sound really flat through my AKG K701s. 256 kbps AACs (iTunes Plus) somewhat better, but still flat. The difference is very clear to me even straight out of iPod (5G).
post #77 of 255
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Wazowski View Post
Thanks for advice... I'm pretty much decided on Marantz SA8001.
Hi. Will the Marantz output 5.1 through the digital out? Why not try an integrated dvd player with sacd dvd audio capabilities? It could be a good addition to your home cinema system too. Do you think the sound quality may be compromised?
post #78 of 255
Virtually no players can output 5.1 channel (i.e., DVD-A or SACD) via digital out - has to do with the digital rights and encryption.

Those few players which can do so are extremely costly, and output either via HDMI or a proprietary digital output method. As a consequence, there are also very few (and those few are costly) DAC's which can take that 5.1 channel input...also either via HDMI or proprietary connection.
post #79 of 255
Quote:
Originally Posted by xenithon View Post
Virtually no players can output 5.1 channel (i.e., DVD-A or SACD) via digital out - has to do with the digital rights and encryption.

Those few players which can do so are extremely costly, and output either via HDMI or a proprietary digital output method. As a consequence, there are also very few (and those few are costly) DAC's which can take that 5.1 channel input...also either via HDMI or proprietary connection.
Well, the £150 Cambridge Audio DV99 has HDMI output, and its matching £500 7.1 amplifier 640R, HDMI input. I guess then that the 5.1 channels from sacd or dvd audio can be transferred through it. Otherwise, the DV99 still has 5.1 analogue outputs. I think it's quite a good starting point for the world of sacd dvd audio. What do you think?
post #80 of 255
I personally prefer the likes of the Marantz SA7001 (European model, very similar to the US's SA8001). It is a strictly 2-channel player. The analog output is the SACD stereo layer, playing directly (DSD).

When I was looking into players a while ago, I found that quite a few - often the moderately price ones - which would ouput analog 5.1 would do so by downconverting to PCM. Also, if for example you want to run the analog out to a stereo amp (be it hi-fi or headphones) it would do so by downmixing the 5.1 channel to 2-channel. The SA7001/SA8001 play the DSD audio without tampering.
post #81 of 255
Quote:
Originally Posted by xenithon View Post
When I was looking into players a while ago, I found that quite a few - often the moderately price ones - which would ouput analog 5.1 would do so by downconverting to PCM.
This is quite interesting. Do you have more details about this, for example which players would do this?

Quote:
Originally Posted by xenithon View Post
Also, if for example you want to run the analog out to a stereo amp (be it hi-fi or headphones) it would do so by downmixing the 5.1 channel to 2-channel. The SA7001/SA8001 play the DSD audio without tampering.
Well, obviously I'm talking about using complementary multichannel amplifiers and speakers. Again, as I said before, I think the multichannel capabilities of sacd is the whole point of it, not so much the increase in resolution.
post #82 of 255
An example is the Oppo players that were around +/- 6 months ago when I was looking (e.g., the 970HD). Most of their models at the time used the MediaTek chip which converts the DSD to 24/88.1. In addition, even if they outputed the SACD via digital, it did not output the original DSD in tact......it sent out PCM-converted SACD over HDMI.

Many other players too did not preserve the true DSD signal of the SACD up until analog stage, converting it to PCM in the process.
post #83 of 255
Quote:
Originally Posted by xenithon View Post
An example is the Oppo players that were around +/- 6 months ago when I was looking (e.g., the 970HD). Most of their models at the time used the MediaTek chip which converts the DSD to 24/88.1. In addition, even if they outputed the SACD via digital, it did not output the original DSD in tact......it sent out PCM-converted SACD over HDMI.

Many other players too did not preserve the true DSD signal of the SACD up until analog stage, converting it to PCM in the process.
And do you know of any player amplifier systems which play sacd at full resolution and 5.1?
post #84 of 255
Any amplifier fed by full resolution analog input. If you are using the system for 5.1 channel output, just hook up the 5.1 analog out of the player to the 5.1 input of the amplifier.

If you want to do it through digital for some reason, I cannot help as I do not know. At this point I need to step out of the thread as I do not really keep tabs on any multichannel playback
post #85 of 255
Hi. I found quite a lot of information about this issue in SA-CD.net - FAQ. Quite a good site actually.
All in all, equipment has to use HDMI 1.2 to transfer 5.1 dsd (sacd resolution) audio.
According to sa-cd.net, the cd players which do this are Sony’s SCD-XA9000ES and Yamaha’s DVD-S2500.
The amplifiers are Sony’s STR-DA5300ES (called TA-DA5300ES in Japan), Marantz SR60001, SR7001, SR8001, SR7002 and SR8002 receivers, Yamaha’s RX-Z11, RX-V661, RX-V761, RX-V861, RX-V1700, RX-V2700, RX-V1800 and RX-V3800, Denon’s AVR-3808 and AVR-4308 and Onkyo’s TX-SR805, -SR875 and -SR905.

I tried to check some of the product descriptions but they are really too many, and besides they don't specify very clearly whether the systems are capable of transferring sacd quality audio.
However, I could check that Yamaha's amplifier RX-V1700 does this, but then according to the user's manual, Yamaha's dvd player DVD-S2700 (which should be the current version of the DVD-S2500, I guess) doesn't.
It also seems that Pioneer's DV-LX50 is capable of transferring dsd audio through hdmi 1.2, but I'm not sure. Anyone else can check this?

The Yamaha RX-V1700 seems to sell in the uk for £700 and the Pioneer DV-LX50 for £300. Good options to consider, I think, to take the full potential of sacd and dvd audio.

(also, I don't see the point of buying a sacd only player which doesn't play dvd audio, like all sony's ones. There are loads of albums in dvd audio as well, so why not get a universal player?)
post #86 of 255
Quote:
Hi Tim.

I'm sure there is an element of my CD player that has more responsibility than others for the sound, but it is within the box.
Of course, and if it sounds good, that's what matters.

Tim
post #87 of 255
Quote:
Originally Posted by xenithon View Post
Any amplifier fed by full resolution analog input. If you are using the system for 5.1 channel output, just hook up the 5.1 analog out of the player to the 5.1 input of the amplifier.

If you want to do it through digital for some reason, I cannot help as I do not know. At this point I need to step out of the thread as I do not really keep tabs on any multichannel playback
Hi. I don't understand you post now! You were the one who pointed the fact that multichannel sacd players actually downsample to pcm through the analogue out. I checked and this is correct. All 5.1 analogue outs from a sacd player are downsampled, that's the reason why digital HDMI has to be used.
post #88 of 255
Quote:
Originally Posted by bf2008 View Post
Hi. Will the Marantz output 5.1 through the digital out? Why not try an integrated dvd player with sacd dvd audio capabilities? It could be a good addition to your home cinema system too. Do you think the sound quality may be compromised?
1) I understand SACD goes out only in analog on all SACD players. And actually, SA8001 is only 2 channel, but it people say it does those 2 really well. I'll be listening with headphones... Don't have any speakers yet, and not planning to, not until the headphone setup is complete (SACD player -> amp ->some cables -> a pair of Senns 600, to compare with my K701s).

2) While I don't have personal experience nor much technical knowledge, I can repeat what I read, here and at other audiophile places - that yes, those extra circuits, DVD and all, in integrated players, reportedly interfere with the SACD signal. And I will simply feel better knowing that most of my $900 are being paid for getting the SACD playback right.
post #89 of 255
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Wazowski View Post
1) I understand SACD goes out only in analog on all SACD players. And actually, SA8001 is only 2 channel, but it people say it does those 2 really well. I'll be listening with headphones... Don't have any speakers yet, and not planning to, not until the headphone setup is complete (SACD player -> amp ->some cables -> a pair of Senns 600, to compare with my K701s).

2) While I don't have personal experience nor much technical knowledge, I can repeat what I read, here and at other audiophile places - that yes, those extra circuits, DVD and all, in integrated players, reportedly interfere with the SACD signal. And I will simply feel better knowing that most of my $900 are being paid for getting the SACD playback right.
1. Hi, as I found out today, some sacd players are capable of sending 5.1 digital out through HDMI connection, but through analogue only the stereo outputs feed full sacd quality, the 5.1 analogue ones downsample the signal to pcm. For the price of a sacd player like sa8002 I'd go for a full 5.1 setup, but it seems we've got different tastes. However, the stereo sacd player could be a good idea if there are really a lot of albums you like in sacd (although they'll probably end up costing a fortune anyway) and you can really tell a difference. If I was you, I'd go to a shop with your headphones, and hybrid sacd albums you like, and compare how the cd and sacd layers sound. I think it'd be very difficult to tell them apart, hence not justifying buying a sacd player which only outputs stereo, and rebuying all those cds you like. What do you think? Also, if you go to a shop, please tell us your thoughts on the comparison between stereo sacd and cd!
Thanks and good luck.
post #90 of 255
Quote:
...multichannel sacd players actually downsample to pcm through the analogue out. I checked and this is correct. All 5.1 analogue outs from a sacd player are downsampled,
From my knowledge and understanding, this is not correct. Some output full resolution in multichannel (generally the higher end players), some downsample (generally the lower end players).

Quote:
I understand SACD goes out only in analog on all SACD players. And actually, SA8001 is only 2 channel, but it people say it does those 2 really well
Yes, because it does NOT take the 5.1 channel and downmix to 2-channel. It reads the stereo layer of SACD discs. If you put in a multichannel only SACD, it will not play - at most it will play the stereo CD layer.
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