Combo SACD/DVDA Players - Is this true?

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Jane Spellman, Jul 14, 2003.

  1. Jane Spellman

    Jane Spellman Auditioning

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    I was talking to a salesman at Good Guys in their "high end" department. He stated that the new combo SACD/DVDA players actually convert the SACD DSD to PCM! If this is true isn't this just wasting the sonic advantages of SACD to begin with?

    Glad I have my "old fashioned" Sony 222ES player. Still trying to figure out if the Sony converts redbook to DSD, I have read this but can't confirm.
     
  2. JamesHl

    JamesHl Supporting Actor

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    I know that the Philips 963SA does, and it isn't a universal player, though it plays dvds.
     
  3. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

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    Jane, the really inexpensve combo players are all going to convert DSD to PCM. The Denon 2900 does not but it's a grand. The 2900 may have better bass management than your player but that's about the only thing better so far as SACD is concerned. I've aditioned the 2900 3 times and I find it lacking on stereo SACD's. Your 222ES proably sounds better? Depending...? They're aren't any birds in the bush worth your worry yet, IMO...[​IMG] Best wishes!
     
  4. Scott Kriefall

    Scott Kriefall Second Unit

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    Yes, many of the new lower-cost combi-players will convert DSD to PCM to allow for the use of a single set of DACs. Will this audibly impact SACD playback sonics? The manufacturers may know, but I don't think anyone else will until the players finally start to ship. Then there will hopefully be some comparisons to native SACD players.

    The initial comparisons may be misleading, however... since the audible differences (if any) could be due to the use of other cheaper components (DAC, transport, etc) rather than a result of DSD->PCM conversion.

    DSD was supposedly designed to allow for easy conversion to PCM with minimal affect on sonics, so my guess (or hope) is that any negative affects of the conversion will be small.
     
  5. Nick V

    Nick V Second Unit

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    I thought even the Sony players (222,333,555ES) kept a DSD signal path ONLY if they were set to bypass any bass-management. In the event of any bass management, I understood that the signal was converted to PCM in orded to perform that bass-management.

    I may be wrong, but I'm sure that I've read this on more than one occasion.
     
  6. Dan Hitchman

    Dan Hitchman Cinematographer

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    Nick V,

    You are right.

    The new Sony SACD players that are to be announced are supposed to correct this oversight with a new DSD decoder chip.

    Dan
     
  7. Lewis Besze

    Lewis Besze Producer

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  8. PhilMays

    PhilMays Stunt Coordinator

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    I do not know this to be truth, but, my dealor said that the reciever has to have a "chip" to properly decode SACD. She said so far the only reciever she knows of that has it is the new Denon 3803.

    Any thoughts on that as I am in the market for a universal DVD player in the $1,000 range.
     
  9. peter m. wilson

    peter m. wilson Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi,

    With the advent of the new combo players, dealers seem to be deeply discounting single use players.

    You might be able to take your $1000 and pickup a couple of mltidisc dvd-a and sacd players.

    I got the 7disc JVC FA92SL progscan dvd-a for $199cdn and the Sony DVP-NC650V 5 disc (interlaced) sacd for $299cdn.

    Can you imagine what a fabulous deal that would be in US dollars.

    BTW I use the Panny rp82 (also does dvd-a) for video only.

    Everthing is connected to a Denon 5800/03

    Peter m.
     
  10. Stephen Dodds

    Stephen Dodds Second Unit

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    Your dealer is incorrect about the SACD 'chip'. There is no such thing. You will need 5.1 inputs for surrond, but no other decoding is necessary.

    It would be nice if there was so you could use a digital connection.

    As for the DSD-PCM myth, most universal players do not convert DSD-PCM. Certainly my Pioneer has a Sony DSD chip in its innards.

    Steve
     
  11. PhilMays

    PhilMays Stunt Coordinator

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    If you do purchase two seperate units, then wouldn't one need two sets of inputs on their receiver?
     
  12. ManW_TheUncool

    ManW_TheUncool Producer

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    Stephen,

    RE: the myth, are you sure it doesn't convert for bass management (and other DSP purposes)?

    From what I understand, that's where DSD-to-PCM happens on most players. If such processing is bypassed, then usually, the conversion is also bypassed although that may not be the case w/ the new low-end units.

    James,

    The Philips 963sa is like most other SACD players, AFAIK. It does NOT convert when BM is bypassed. I have seen a couple reports that its BM circuitry degrades the sound even if you actually don't make any adjustments (but don't bypass also) much like other SACD players it seems, including the Sony ones. Also, there was a claim in AVS forum that it uses 26-bit/352Khz PCM for the BM circuitry.

    But as Scott pointed out above, the jury's still out on whether it's really the conversion process that significantly degrades the sound or something else (eg. like the BM circuitry itself).

    Phil,

    Yes, w/ separate players, you need 2 sets of inputs. If your receiver only has 1 set, you'll need an external switcher.

    _Man_
     
  13. peter m. wilson

    peter m. wilson Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi,
    I don't know what analog switchers go for, but the issue of bass management is a red herring.

    there are concepts for hirez which are 6.0 ala Chesky. "secrets of ht" have an excellent and unbiased report on all of this including speaker placement for the different concepts. I handel it directly on the sub if i think it's needed.

    If Bass Management is your hot button ICBM has an answer to that prior to the digital connection being uniform and kosher for all.

    It's tough for me to rationalize a combo player that reviewers always seem to say "it works great in this format but not so great in the other" and so far there arn't to many, if any mltidisc players.

    The whole world is begging for convergence and the industry is building dual format single disc players "HELLO".

    The really positive note to all of this is that both of these new formats really are leaps ahead of what we've been listening to for 20 years, particularly if a cd player was the tool of either choice or necessity.

    I don't necessarily need mltich (some muisic just doesn't lend itself to it) but once youve heard 192/24 2ch, you've purchased your last RedBook philisophically.

    Peter m.
     
  14. Stephen Dodds

    Stephen Dodds Second Unit

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    Sorry, I should have done a caveat about bass management. However, the bass management of most players is so bad to be useless anyway.

    Steve
     
  15. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

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    BTW Guyz, a Pioneer dealer told me that a new reciever with an i-link is on the way. I can't remember if he said it was the replacement for the 41 or 45...?
     
  16. Dan Hitchman

    Dan Hitchman Cinematographer

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    Pioneer's last ilink receiver internally converted DSD to PCM after the bitstream was digitally passed into the receiver via the FireWire connection.

    Hope this time they include pure DSD decoding.

    There is no myth to this DSD to PCM scandal (IMHO), especially in most universal players. All players have a DSD chip to decode DSD bitstreams. That's a given. However, it could convert to PCM during DSP mode usage and/or bass management. Even if it doesn't at that time the last pathway is through the DAC's. Many use PCM only DAC's and the DSD must be converted.

    In order to get pure DSD from input to output, a universal player must have separate pathways and separate DAC's that are designed to handle PCM or DSD correctly. This gets expensive.

    The only universal player that I know of that may have pure DSD is the Denon 2900 as they claim to use Burr-Brown's newest dual purpose DSD and PCM compatible DAC. However, I don't know of any tests completed that verify this.

    Hopefully, in this latest release of SACD players coming down the pike Sony & Philips will have corrected all oversights and created pure DSD transports.

    Why it is taking so long for manufacturers to get universal players right, and for everyone to come up with a single digital output for all players is beyond me. It's gone into the ludicrous zone.

    Dan
     
  17. Steve_AS

    Steve_AS Second Unit

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  18. Lewis Besze

    Lewis Besze Producer

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  19. JimmyK

    JimmyK Second Unit

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  20. peter m. wilson

    peter m. wilson Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi Jimmy,
    But it is getting more popular in leaps and bounds if you believe the music producers and equipment manufacturers.

    As soon as dvd-a conquers the portability that hybrid sacd's provide It's going to explode.
    Once youve heard HIREZ on even a cheap setup, there's no going back, and it doesn't have to be mltich.

    Have a listen to the new CHICAGO dvd-a at 2ch 192/24 and you've bought your last RedBook.

    Recently I got a dvd-a of The Canadian Brass, it came packaged with a redbook cd of exactly the same material. I'm not sure of the cost efficacy of that but the product was priced the same as other dvd-a's.

    I have the upgraded Denon 5800 which includes the Denon Link which is proprietary. At the time of the upgrade Denon also did something to the unit that would prepare it for whatever digital direction the industry decides to go.

    But I honestly have to tell you that even though I've got a shitload of cables coming out of my dvd-a and sacd players to the analogs on the Denon, if it gets any better than this I'm not sure I can stand it, and this is with what audiophiles (which I don't consider myself to be, just a music lover)would call entry level players.

    Peter m.
     

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