Analog Direct a must for SACD?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Rob Peloski, Aug 19, 2001.

  1. Rob Peloski

    Rob Peloski Agent

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    I'm just wondering if Analog Direct is pretty much a must to get any real benefit from SACD.
    My system is a Sony STR-DE945 with Athenas for speakers. The STR-DE945 doesn't have Analog Direct (almost wish I got the DB940 instead but I really wasn't into home theatre/audio at the time)
    Any opinions will be appreciated.
    Rob
     
  2. Saurav

    Saurav Cinematographer

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    I would think so, because you're not allowed to have a digital output stream from a SACD player, and if you re-digitize then you're back to teh resolution of the A-to-D converter in the receiver. Note, I'm not terribly familiar with the technology, but this is what seems logical to me.
    Of course, you always have the option of buying an integrated amp or pre- and power amps, instead of replacing your receiver.
     
  3. Brian Perry

    Brian Perry Cinematographer

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    It depends. As Saurav said, there is no digital interface, so an analog connection is a must (for now). Now depending on your receiver or preamp, the incoming analog signal will either be passed on with no processing (analog bypass) or redigitized. Obviously the downside to redigitizing the signal is the loss of resolution in going through an extra conversion with potentially inferior a/d and d/a converters. However, the problem with analog bypass, especially for 5.1 channel recordings, is that you lose the bass management and time alignment features that your receiver/preamp offers.
     
  4. Christopher Chung

    Christopher Chung Stunt Coordinator

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    Hey Rob,
    I too own the Sony STR-DE945. What are the biggest differences between the DB940 and the DE945? Hangin' around these forums, I'm starting to think I should've done more research. Regaurdless though, I'm still happy with the 945.
    Chris
     
  5. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    One should absolutely have analog bypass on a receiver when dealing with SACD. The encoding scheme used for SACD is known as Direct Stream Digital or DSD. No A/V receivers at present possess DSD DACs. They all have PCM DACs. So, with no analog bypass mode, analog signals from an SACD player will be converted to PCM by the receiver's A/D converter and then decoded by the DAC as a PCM bitstream. This is not the way to do SACD.
    Christopher, Sony DB receivers are built better inside and out than it's DE models. The DB models possess a better amp section and carry better specs. than the DE models and sound better as a result. With the DE models, you will typically notice higher total harmonic distortion (THD) than with the DB models, for example. Also, from what I have read, there are far more reliability issues associated with the DE receivers than the DB units. I owned a 'DB930 for awhile last year and was very pleased with it before getting an ES model at a very good price.
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  6. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    I can't say that the DB series sounds better, as I listened to a friend's DB940, and the overall sound was identical to my 6yr old DE-815 in my bedroom (with the same speakers). THD is identical for the DE and DB series, though the power output is significantly improved by the use of ES amp sections. The chassis construction is nearly the same as the ES line, but the processing section is still basically DE. I was amazed at the difference between the ES line and the DE and even the DB line. The sound difference is very noticably superior on the ES line.
    I decided to go with Marantz this time though, after listening to a few of my friend's systems.
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  7. Rob Peloski

    Rob Peloski Agent

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    Yeah Keith is right. The DB series is pretty much a "hybrid" that falls between the DE and ES line stuff. I'd describe it as a Receiver for people who want more then what the DE offers but who don't have enough money to go up to the ES line.
    As I said, I wish I had gotten the DB Receiver but that doesn't mean that I'm not very happy with my DE945. I'm satisfied enough now that I couldn't justify spending money to upgrade to a DB Reciever (although I'd gain the Analog direct I wouldn't see that much improvement anywhere else).
    Thanks for the info everyone. I think I'll wait until I can afford either an ES Line Reciever or a high end Reciever from another manufacturer before I bother with SACD. Who knows, maybe by then there will be a Receiver that have DSD DAC's in it. That would be nice as I could avoid all the bass management issues.
     

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