Stonewall15

SACD Question

33 posts in this topic

Far better, actually. The separate DAC is likely better than the onboard DAC in your CD player. 

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2 hours ago, Stonewall15 said:

Kevin- you are correct- my player is the Sony BDP-BX37. Thanx to your information I was able to re-set the playback mode and now I can play my "Kind Of Blue" SACD.

I use the optical output from my player which goes to a separate DAC and then to my pre-amp. Is this satisfactory instead of using the RCA cables?

For stereo SACDs, I think you you can use the RCA audio outputs straight to your pre-amp. No need to run it through the HDMI cable to your DAC. For SACDs, you're adding an extra data conversion step that you don't need.

However, if you do hook up these stereo outputs and it works that way, switch between the 2 playback modes and stick with whatever sounds better to you. There's no technical reason saying you HAVE to use those audio outputs. :) Switching should be as easy as selecting the different input on your preamp.

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5 hours ago, Kevin Bresnahan said:

For stereo SACDs, I think you you can use the RCA audio outputs straight to your pre-amp. No need to run it through the HDMI cable to your DAC. For SACDs, you're adding an extra data conversion step that you don't need.

However, if you do hook up these stereo outputs and it works that way, switch between the 2 playback modes and stick with whatever sounds better to you. There's no technical reason saying you HAVE to use those audio outputs. :) Switching should be as easy as selecting the different input on your preamp.

How is running it out digital to a DAC adding an extra data conversion step? Once it hits a DAC, all conversion is done. Either the CD player converts it, or the outbound DAC does. 

Or am I misreading what you’re saying? 

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9 hours ago, Scott Dolan said:

How is running it out digital to a DAC adding an extra data conversion step? Once it hits a DAC, all conversion is done. Either the CD player converts it, or the outbound DAC does. 

Or am I misreading what you’re saying? 

The Sony player converts the DSD digital on the SACD to PCM digital so that it can output the digital stream on the HDMI cable. If you use the RCA stereo connections, there's a DSD-to-analog converter in the Sony player. You skip the DSD to PCM conversion going that way.

And again, I'm not saying it WILL sound better, but it's pretty simple to set it up for a fast A/B listening test. All you'd need is an RCA stereo cable from the player to an AUX or CD input on your pre-amp/receiver and switch between the two inputs while playing some music.

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Ah, ok. That makes sense. I wasn't aware the DSD had to be bounced down to PCM. Thanks for explaining that! 

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6 hours ago, Kevin Bresnahan said:

The Sony player converts the DSD digital on the SACD to PCM digital so that it can output the digital stream on the HDMI cable. If you use the RCA stereo connections, there's a DSD-to-analog converter in the Sony player. You skip the DSD to PCM conversion going that way.

And again, I'm not saying it WILL sound better, but it's pretty simple to set it up for a fast A/B listening test. All you'd need is an RCA stereo cable from the player to an AUX or CD input on your pre-amp/receiver and switch between the two inputs while playing some music.

I am using the optical cable output from my player going to a DAC, not the HDMI cable output. I think I am skipping the DAC in the player, which I want to do. Does this still result in an extra data conversion step?

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1 hour ago, Stonewall15 said:

I am using the optical cable output from my player going to a DAC, not the HDMI cable output. I think I am skipping the DAC in the player, which I want to do. Does this still result in an extra data conversion step?

For SACDs (only), yes, it still does an extra conversion. It converts the DSD on the SACD to PCM to send it out the back of the player via any of the digital outputs.

Also, your Adcom GDA-600 DAC is only capable of converting PCM to analog. It cannot decode DSD as it does not have a DSD converter in it.

BTW, for CDs and other media, you are bypassing the internal (PCM) DAC in the player with your current set-up.

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In case this was not made clear, the Mobile Fidelity Labs SACD has all material at the correct speed.

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