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SACD on blu-ray player, as digital input to external DAC? How?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

I just bought a blu-ray player, and was unhappy to discover that it can't output the digital information from an SACD into the external DAC I want to buy.  I may have found a solution: an HDMI switcher from Monoprice that will accept HDMI input, and send output via either HDMI or toslink or coax.

 

Do you think this will work?  I don't know whether the HDMI switcher sends the full-resolution SACD information to its toslink or coax outputs.  Or will the non-HDMI outputs be limited to some down-sampled Redbook CD version of the SACD information?

 

The blu-ray player is an Oppo BDP-93, but I believe the digital output restriction applies to all blu-ray players, for legal and contractual reasons.  The external DAC I want to get is a Schiit Bifrost, which, like most DACs, lacks an HDMI input.  The DAC will then feed my old-school preamp, an Audio Research LS3b, which only has analog source inputs.

 

And here's the switcher: 

 

Monoprice 5557 -- $43.21

HDMI Switcher w/ Toslink & Digital Coaxial Port (Rev.2) w/ 3D support

For only $39.15 each when QTY 50+ purchased - 4X1 HDMI® Switcher w/ Toslink & Digital Coaxial Port (Rev.2) w/ 3D support. | Auto & Powered HDMI Switches

 
I chatted online for quite a while yesterday with a Monoprice tech support guy.  I don't think we were communicating, but he sent a ticket up through his company to try to get me an answer.  I also asked Schiit, and co-founder Jason Stoddard replied within 24 hours to tell me that he didn't know the answer.  (I was impressed with his quick reply, though!)
 
So I'm looking for a way to play SACD recordings as 2-channel audio on my blu-ray player, and feed that into my external DAC, without dropping the resolution down to Redbook CD specs (else, what's the point of SACD?).
 
The Monoprice unit is under $50!  This seems like a great solution for those of us who have a blu-ray player and lack a receiver with built-in DAC.  The question is, will this strategy work?
 
Thanks in advance!
 
--Dave
 
post #2 of 7

I'm doing exactly this using an Oppo DVD player, and can confirm that it works.  I'm actually using a different HDMI de-embedder, but the process seems to work the same with most of these units. The key is that the player has to be able to pass the SACD content as PCM rather than DSD. The Oppo players can do this, but not all blu-ray players that support SACD can.  Many DSD purists don't like the conversion to PCM, but it's a necessary process if you want to send it to an external DAC.

 The only other possible glitch is if the Bifrost doesn't handle the 88k or 176k sample rate correctly. I"m running my output into a pro audio interface which has no problems with it. I should be getting my Bifrost today, so I can verify whether it handles 88k correctly soon-ish.


Edited by dwk - 2/13/12 at 10:36am
post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 

Very cool!  Thanks for the report.  Could you let us know how things work out with the Bifrost, also?

 

-Dave

 

post #4 of 7

Hello. My Blu-Ray universal player is a Marantz UD7006; DAC is the Audiolab M-DAC.

 

I was able to set the UD7006 to output SACD as PCM via the coaxial connection. The M-DAC reads the signal as 23bit/88.2 for the tracks I am playing.


Edited by tkteo - 2/14/12 at 6:10am
post #5 of 7

Hi tkteo, regarding your post... I was thinking on a setup using UD7006 as source connecting my schiit valhalla to it for running a 600ohm headphone. Do you think I would still need an external DAC? Thanks

post #6 of 7

I have also connected the UD7006 to a Schiit Lyr to listen to SACDs. Personally I don't think there is a significant difference between UD7006 playing SACD + headamp versus UD7006 converting SACD bitstream to PCM then to DAC. Because the UD7006 to me is very good for a universal player in terms of doing what I bought it to do (play CDs, SACDs and Blu Ray).

 

That said, I can't be too positive about the build quality of the UD7006. But for its price I got what I paid for.

post #7 of 7

Full HDCP support means it should not work. I'd look for another HDMI converter, but who knows, it may do trick anyway...

 

Tell us if you go for it,

 

Edit : Oops, old thread...

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