receiver or DVD DACS?

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by Ferran Mazzanti, Jul 21, 2003.

  1. Ferran Mazzanti

    Ferran Mazzanti Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi everybody,
    I have a question but I'm not sure this is the right forum to post. Anyway here it goes. I have a Marantz receiver, a 6200, and a Marantz DVD player, the 4100OSE. I bought this DVD because the dealer I work with told me it has great DACS and it is very good for music. I can connect it to the receiver either through the digital or the analog connections.
    Well the analog connection is supposed to be better than the digital one, but I don't think so. Connected digitally, music looks considerably brighter than connected analogically, and dynamics are richer. Now my question is about your experience... what is supposed to be better in a good player, the analog or the digital connection? Is it a normal thing that the digital output sounds brighter and overall better than the analog one? I don't think so, I guess that depends on the DVD and the receiver, but still I'd like to know what you have to say.
    Thanks...
     
  2. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    Often the output level going to the speakers is different if you run analog as opposed to digital. I'm betting that if you were to put a multimeter across the speaker terminals that you'd find that to be the case. Once the levels become matched, its often supremely difficult to determine which is which.
    Which DAC is better is not the easiest question in the world to answer. And certainly saying that this unit has Burr Browns doesn't mean anything without qualifying which model. Kind of like saying I've got a Chevy engine...ok, is it a 4-banger or the one in the Z-06? The trend, if that's the right word, is for the inclusion, where needed, of anti-jitter circuitry into the DAC circuitry and it seems as if the players are finally starting to catch on how to take advantage of this.
    Marantz is one of the companies that appears to be on the right track with respect to their implementation of well performing DACs (at least in the past few years). While not your player, consider the technical analysis of the Marantz CD-67SE player. I'd say you most likely have a very compentent player. As to which way to go, in many cases using a digital input allows you to bypass one layer of digital->analog->digital conversion. Some people think having fewer conversions is better. No doubt that DACs and ADCs are imperfect beasts. The question is do the imperfections add up to an issue of audibility. It's not such an easy question to answer without some rigorous attention to detail in the evaluation.
     
  3. Ferran Mazzanti

    Ferran Mazzanti Stunt Coordinator

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    Aha. I've already noticed that the digital output sounds louder than the analog one because I can connect both terminals to the amp (receiver in this case) and switch from one to the other. But then I tried to listen both at the same level (by adjusting the volume) and still find important differences between analog and digital. Digital sounds brighter and has more depth, while analog sounds, overall, worse. That's why I asked what I asked, because in the end I do believe there's something wrong with my unit...
     
  4. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    maybe yes, maybe no. it'll either take more careful detective work by you in diagnosing the situation such as burning test tones and generating a frequency response of sorts to see if something is amiss or taking the unit in for service. i will say this though, that it's not unknown for certain capacitors on analog end of cd or dvd players to lose some of their capacitance and that often does affect FR. me, i'd dig deeper and if the analog end is shot, i'd either look towards repairing it myself or just run digital. like i said earlier, to level match you HAVE to adjust the levels using a multimeter. an SPL is notoriously inaccurate. your call though.
     
  5. Ferran Mazzanti

    Ferran Mazzanti Stunt Coordinator

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    @Chu Gai,
    thanks for the advices. Looks like you are right, but I can not check that myself with a multimeter: the warranty of the player has not expired yet and I do not want to open it. It is easieer for me to send it for repair (or check) at no cost. Furthermore, I have another dvd player which costed me ten times less than the Marantz (it's a crappy cheap one), and guess what... analog output in the cheappy sounds better than the analog output of the Marantz. This could not happen, so it'll go for repair.
    Thanks.
     
  6. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    Ferran, you wouldn't need to open the player to check the voltages. It's simply a matter of putting the leads of the multimeter across the speaker terminals while playing an arbitrary tone, say 1 or 2 kHz sine wave, and adjusting. But as you said, if you're unsure and they can examine your unit, you might as well go for it. Don't know when you'll get it back though!
     
  7. Ferran Mazzanti

    Ferran Mazzanti Stunt Coordinator

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    True. fifteen days they say... not a big issue since I still have my old CD player, so I can listen to my favourite records in the meantime at least. But think the other way around... I check by myself with the multimeter and there are two possible ssceneraios:
    1- Readings are normal. What then? I've heard other players (same model) and they sound better than mine. So what would I have to do then?
    2- Readings are wrong... I would have to send it for repair.
    In both cases I can not open/repair it myself because I would not like to void the warranty. I would do it if the warranty had already expired...
     
  8. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    Well if your self-diagnosis was accurate, then you could pass that information along to the service place which might get them to focus specifically in an area.
    As far as hearing other players that sound better, if that was done in your home it may suggest something is amiss but if it's in other people's homes, that may have more to do with their speakers and rooms.
    If you don't want to take a stab at diagnosing it yourself, then by all means, take it in. Good luck [​IMG]
     
  9. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    The OSE should be a very good player, but it has not even broken in yet. You need to run this thing for at least 50-100hrs before you really say how it sounds. I had a 6200 and a CC4000 (not OSE) and I could not tell the difference between the DACs in either. When I switched to a Sony CA70ES, I heard an immediate improvement in music via analog with it. In your case, I would expect the OSE to sound better in analog. Fill it with discs, let it run all day to let it break in.

    Chu may smack me around, but I have to ask what interconnects you are using for both analog and digital?
     
  10. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    Nah, you guys in California got enough headaches with the deficit [​IMG]
     
  11. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    I just take asprin [​IMG] (coincidentally, I DO have a headache right now, weird) Looks like Davis will be looking for work. Recall should be announced today, but lets not get off topic. [​IMG]
     
  12. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    just showing you my kinder, gentler, non-confrontational side is all [​IMG]
     
  13. Ferran Mazzanti

    Ferran Mazzanti Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi again,
    well the player has been running for 10 months at an average of 1-2 hours per day, so I would say breaking-in it's not an issue. You may wonder why didn't I notice anything before... well that's because 3 weeks ago I replaced my speakers with much better ones. I can now hear things in my records I couldn't hear before, and one of these things is the difference between analog and digital inputs in the player. Everybody seems to agree that the DV4100OSE should have better DACS than those of the SR6200, but that does not happen with my machine. Let's see what the guys at the service have to say...
     
  14. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    Well, I was not impressed at all with my CC4000, so what you may try auditioning a different player for comparison.
     

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