If I already have an awesome DAC, can I get away with a less expensive universal CDP?
Aug 6, 2007 at 2:51 AM Post #31 of 36

CanMad

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jun 7, 2006
Posts
223
Likes
72
Location
Oz
Even if an SPDIF connection could output DSD from an SACD player, the Opus 21 still could not convert it to analogue. DSD is a fundamentally different digital sampling method/encoding than the PCM that the Opus can convert.

Please read my post #11 for more detail. There are DACs from companies such as EMM labs and dCS that can accept a native DSD digital signal via a firewire connection also a number of home cinema amplifiers that also can do this, Pioneer and Yamaha spring to mind. Denon have their own proprietary interface, Denonlink, the third version (Denonlink 3) has also been approved to pass DSD. There is also HDMI that can pass DSD to AV amps with HDMI inputs, from such machines as the Sony PS3.

Getting around the copy protection would not help you in this case. Earwicker I understand your frustration. SACD is a great sounding format with equipment of a certain level, and it is a shame to me that Sony seems to have lost interest in it. There are however still many great new recordings coming out every month, but they are mostly classical and Jazz, so if those are not your music genres then the selection of music is pretty small. I did just pick up an excellent remastered SACD of the classic Pixies album Surfer Rosa, so there are other genres out there. A lot of modern POP recordings would not do SACD justice (they don't even sound as good as they could on CD), so no great loss there.
 
Aug 6, 2007 at 3:27 AM Post #32 of 36

tourmaline

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Nov 10, 2003
Posts
3,112
Likes
15
Quote:

Originally Posted by CanMad /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Even if an SPDIF connection could output DSD from an SACD player, the Opus 21 still could not convert it to analogue. DSD is a fundamentally different digital sampling method/encoding than the PCM that the Opus can convert.

Please read my post #11 for more detail. There are DACs from companies such as EMM labs and dCS that can accept a native DSD digital signal via a firewire connection also a number of home cinema amplifiers that also can do this, Pioneer and Yamaha spring to mind. Denon have their own proprietary interface, Denonlink, the third version (Denonlink 3) has also been approved to pass DSD. There is also HDMI that can pass DSD to AV amps with HDMI inputs, from such machines as the Sony PS3.

Getting around the copy protection would not help you in this case. Earwicker I understand your frustration. SACD is a great sounding format with equipment of a certain level, and it is a shame to me that Sony seems to have lost interest in it. There are however still many great new recordings coming out every month, but they are mostly classical and Jazz, so if those are not your music genres then the selection of music is pretty small. I did just pick up an excellent remastered SACD of the classic Pixies album Surfer Rosa, so there are other genres out there. A lot of modern POP recordings would not do SACD justice (they don't even sound as good as they could on CD), so no great loss there.



Dcs etc. was designed as a 2 or 3 way box system. So, if it is able to transport dsd, you would still need the converterchip.

It is not allowed of unencrypted streams.

Also read this:

"SACD players are not permitted to digitally output an unencrypted stream of DSD. Players initially supported only analog output; later some proprietary digital interfaces such as Denon Link permitted encrypted transmission of DSD. There are now two standard digital connection methods capable of carrying DSD in encrypted form: i.Link and HDMI (version 1.2 or later, standardised in August 2005).

i.Link is generally found on mid- to high-end equipment. HDMI is more common, being the standard digital connection method for high-definition video+audio, but as of December 2006, there are only a few A/V processors supporting DSD over HDMI 1.2 (such as the Marantz SR7001), but no players.

Some players, such as the PlayStation 3, don't output DSD over HDMI, but instead convert it to PCM."

AND

"Because of the nature of sigma-delta converters, one cannot make a direct comparison between DSD and PCM. An approximation is possible, though, and would place DSD in some aspects comparable to a PCM format that has a bit depth of 20 bits and a sampling frequency of 192 kHz. PCM sampled at 24 bits provides a (theoretical) additional 24 dB of dynamic range. Due to the effects of quantization noise, the usable bandwidth of the SACD format is approximately 100 kHz, which is similar to 192 kHz PCM."

(copyright: wikipedia).

So, sacd doesn't have to be any better then cd in theory. DSD is max. capable of 20 bits 192 khz, cd upsampling 24 bits 192. So, cd can be as good as sacd.

This could also explain why old high end cdplayers were able to outperform sacd players!

Dynamic Range of 16-bit digital audio = 20 Log10 (216) = 96.32 dB

Dynamic Range of 20-bit digital audio = 20 Log10 (220) = 120.4 dB

Dynamic Range of 24-bit digital audio = 20 Log10 (224) = 144.5 dB

So, in theory 20 bits cd could match dsd's dynamic range and 24 bits 192 upsampling exceeds the dynamic range of dsd!

So theoretical could a very good build 20 bit cdplayer match or exceed the quality of dsd and the best 24 bit 192 upsampling devices could beat dsd by a margin.

"DR is simply the ratio between the reference level and the noise floor, expressed in dB. DR is often called Signal-to-Noise Ratio (SNR) by novices and marketers (but not engineers - more on that in a later post). The dynamic range of a signal describes the ratio between the loudest point of the signal and the noise floor recorded in the signal, usually introduced by the recording equipment. After you've captured a recording, the DR of your signal effectively limits how much you can amplify it, because you amplify the noise floor with it. Obviously, it pays to keep the noise low and the DR high when you record a signal."

More dynamic range could simply be translated as more details.
 
Aug 6, 2007 at 3:49 AM Post #33 of 36

earwicker7

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Jun 18, 2007
Posts
1,741
Likes
11
Quote:

Originally Posted by CanMad /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I did just pick up an excellent remastered SACD of the classic Pixies album Surfer Rosa


Yep, I have that too... I ordered it before I figured out that "The Opus reads Hybrid SACDs" isn't the same as the Opus playing them
rolleyes.gif
. Holy misleading advertising, Batman! Still a great CD.
 
Aug 9, 2007 at 6:54 AM Post #34 of 36

howiebrou

Head-Fier
Joined
Apr 25, 2007
Posts
51
Likes
0
Quote:

Originally Posted by tourmaline /img/forum/go_quote.gif
It's protected digitally. It is only allowed to playback analogue, hence the 2 or 6 analogue outputs on most sacd players. The signal will be downsampled to pcm stereo. But if i am not mistaken there are a couple of sacd dacs around somewhere. I have the idea that only some ultra high end dacs like dcs etc. can handle digital sacd input.


Yes. DCS, Esoteric, Accuphase, and AV Amps from Denon, Pioneer etc. Same problem with DVD-Audio although some have been allowed to digitally output that as well e.g. Meridian
cool.gif


howie
 
Aug 9, 2007 at 6:36 PM Post #35 of 36

MatsudaMan

aka JohannesBrahms, KittlesLittles, Bigglesworth.
Joined
Jan 17, 2006
Posts
820
Likes
18
Absolutely not. Unless of course, you can't tell the difference. That said, even if you're DAC is good, you still need a great transport to take advantage of such DAC. If you invested in an audiophile grade DAC, why would you skimp an a cheapo universal disc player that is not made for audiophile nirvana? It's like hooking up an amazing aftermarket turbo charger to a Toyota Tercell.
 
Aug 10, 2007 at 5:47 AM Post #36 of 36

ldj325

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Oct 24, 2006
Posts
839
Likes
10
Quote:

Originally Posted by earwicker7 /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Oh, that's vile!
mad.gif


As far as I'm concerned, this pretty much ends my association with SACD. I'm an ex-musician and therefor somewhat in favor of copy protection (hey, ya gotta get paid), but this is ridiculous.



Another option is to get an Oppo 970 ($150) or the new 980 ($170) universal player. It has geed SACD playback. See Stereophile 6/07 for a write up.
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top