Review: take SACD and BlURay Hirez directly to your DAC!!!!

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ted_b

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Re: Review: take SACD and BlURay Hirez directly to your DAC!!!!
« Reply #40 on: 13 Jun 2010, 10:47 pm »
Just a head's up: The link to the Atlona, which Ted posted on page 1, gives a 404 page not found error now. This appears to be the updated link: http://www.atlona.com/Atlona-HDMI-1.3-Audio-De-Embedder-with-3D-Support.html

Thanks  Changed it...they updated their website.

mikel51

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Re: Review: take SACD and BlURay Hirez directly to your DAC!!!!
« Reply #41 on: 14 Jun 2010, 01:05 am »
and you can buy it through amazon for ~$25 less

Robin Hood

Re: Review: take SACD and BlURay Hirez directly to your DAC!!!!
« Reply #42 on: 15 Jun 2010, 07:38 pm »
According to this review for SACD playback:

1st Place - 24/88.2 PCM via HDMI/Atlona
2nd Place - 24/88.2 purchased HDTracks file
3rd Place - Pure DSD via Oppo analog outs

On BluRay the fight was over before the opening bell stopped ringing.  The Oppo was midfi in comparison.

Since I don’t believe that DSD is sonically superior to 24/88.2 PCM, I will conclude that the
Oppo Sabre DAC is sonically inferior to the Weiss DAC, to the point of being midfi by comparison.

Sounds to me that we need some superior HDMI DSD DACs.  Or an alternative, something better than the Atlona, that decodes SACDs to 24/192 PCM.

ted_b

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Re: Review: take SACD and BlURay Hirez directly to your DAC!!!!
« Reply #43 on: 15 Jun 2010, 07:59 pm »
According to this review for SACD playback:

1st Place - 24/88.2 PCM via HDMI/Atlona
2nd Place - 24/88.2 purchased HDTracks file
3rd Place - Pure DSD via Oppo analog outs

On BluRay the fight was over before the opening bell stopped ringing.  The Oppo was midfi in comparison.

Since I don’t believe that DSD is sonically superior to 24/88.2 PCM, I will conclude that the
Oppo Sabre DAC is sonically inferior to the Weiss DAC, to the point of being midfi by comparison.

Sounds to me that we need some superior HDMI DSD DACs.  Or an alternative, something better than the Atlona, that decodes SACDs to 24/192 PCM.

Agree on almost everything (especially that the Weiss's signal path is quite a bit better than a $500 player, almost regardless of Sabre DAC chip or not), but don't agree on the last comment.  The Atlona does not decode anything...the 24/88.2 decoding "choice" is a function of the mediatek chip in the Oppo.  The best DSD decode mathematically would be 24/176.4 (i.e even divisor of DSD at 2.8 or 5.6mhz).  there are a couple SACD players that dumb down DSD to that, but of course don't do BlURay or DvD-Audio.

Robin Hood

Re: Review: take SACD and BlURay Hirez directly to your DAC!!!!
« Reply #44 on: 15 Jun 2010, 08:10 pm »
"The Atlona does not decode anything...the 24/88.2 decoding "choice" is a function of the mediatek chip in the Oppo."

Thanks for the clarification.  I wasn't exactly sure what the Atlona did.  Am I correct in stating that the Oppo does the decoding but you cannot get any digital out from a SACD playing in the Oppo without the Atlona? 

ted_b

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Re: Review: take SACD and BlURay Hirez directly to your DAC!!!!
« Reply #45 on: 15 Jun 2010, 08:18 pm »
"The Atlona does not decode anything...the 24/88.2 decoding "choice" is a function of the mediatek chip in the Oppo."

Thanks for the clarification.  I wasn't exactly sure what the Atlona did.  Am I correct in stating that the Oppo does the decoding but you cannot get any digital out from a SACD playing in the Oppo without the Atlona?

Correct, although technically HDMi is digital, and via HDMi your can do PCM or DSD.  It's ironic that there are now so many DSD decoders (via HDMI) in even mid-priced AVR's but few if any in stand alone audiophile DAC (under $12k).

Napalm

Re: Review: take SACD and BlURay Hirez directly to your DAC!!!!
« Reply #46 on: 15 Jun 2010, 08:46 pm »
Correct, although technically HDMi is digital, and via HDMi your can do PCM or DSD.  It's ironic that there are now so many DSD decoders (via HDMI) in even mid-priced AVR's but few if any in stand alone audiophile DAC (under $12k).

Apparently they don't like licensing HDMI/HDCP.

Nap.  :thumb:

Phil A

Re: Review: take SACD and BlURay Hirez directly to your DAC!!!!
« Reply #47 on: 16 Jun 2010, 03:12 am »
This is just HDMI 1.1 but it has a coax digital out too - anyone try one or hear anything about it?

http://www.kramerelectronics.com/products/model.asp?pid=614&sf=80

ted_b

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Re: Review: take SACD and BlURay Hirez directly to your DAC!!!!
« Reply #48 on: 16 Jun 2010, 04:27 am »
This is just HDMI 1.1 but it has a coax digital out too - anyone try one or hear anything about it?

http://www.kramerelectronics.com/products/model.asp?pid=614&sf=80

I downloaded the user manual, but no real info.

Robin Hood

Re: Review: take SACD and BlURay Hirez directly to your DAC!!!!
« Reply #49 on: 16 Jun 2010, 12:51 pm »
One thing you did not discuss is how all of this compares to playback of the RDBK layer of the SACD through your Weiss DAC, either at 16/44.1 or upsampled to 24/176.4.  I am assuming that upsampled playback would be from a computer music server, while 16/44.1 could be from either the Oppo or computer.

ted_b

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Re: Review: take SACD and BlURay Hirez directly to your DAC!!!!
« Reply #50 on: 16 Jun 2010, 01:48 pm »
One thing you did not discuss is how all of this compares to playback of the RDBK layer of the SACD through your Weiss DAC, either at 16/44.1 or upsampled to 24/176.4.  I am assuming that upsampled playback would be from a computer music server, while 16/44.1 could be from either the Oppo or computer.

I don't use the Oppo for redbook.  I have everything ripped to a Mac music server and external hard drive.  I never upsample, I listen natively.  The redbook layers of these same songs are not nearly as good as their SACD counterparts.

Robin Hood

Re: Review: take SACD and BlURay Hirez directly to your DAC!!!!
« Reply #51 on: 16 Jun 2010, 06:48 pm »
The recommendations from the Oppo website comparison page are:

BDP-83 Special Edition: For use with high-end audio systems via analog audio connections

BDP-83: For use with all audio systems via HDMI and digital optical/coaxial connections

Thus according to the manufacturer it would seem that the Special Edition architecture is wasted for digital out and that if your goal is digital out you are better off with the standard BDP-83.  Is this a correct interpretation and are the manufacturer's recommendations sound?

doctorcilantro

Re: Review: take SACD and BlURay Hirez directly to your DAC!!!!
« Reply #52 on: 16 Jun 2010, 06:50 pm »
So it has a pass-through for HDMi and then I could simultaneously connect the optical to my DAC> My wife likes to use the TV speakers and CDs over HDMI, simple, but oh how archaic  :icon_lol:

If you have an HDMI player like the Oppo why wouldn't you have any HDMI processor, receiver or display?  But to answer the question: yes, if you don't have an HDMI destination this box doesn't work.  It's an HDMI-based solution (that's where the HiREZ digital resides).


doctorcilantro

Re: Review: take SACD and BlURay Hirez directly to your DAC!!!!
« Reply #53 on: 16 Jun 2010, 06:51 pm »
The standard would be better as a digital transport; the SE has the Sabre chip, thus you'd be paying for a nice onboard DAC chip that you would never use.

The recommendations from the Oppo website comparison page are:

BDP-83 Special Edition: For use with high-end audio systems via analog audio connections

BDP-83: For use with all audio systems via HDMI and digital optical/coaxial connections

Thus according to the manufacturer it would seem that the Special Edition architecture is wasted for digital out and that if your goal is digital out you are better off with the standard BDP-83.  Is this a correct interpretation and are the manufacturer's recommendations sound?

ted_b

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Re: Review: take SACD and BlURay Hirez directly to your DAC!!!!
« Reply #54 on: 16 Jun 2010, 07:16 pm »
The recommendations from the Oppo website comparison page are:

BDP-83 Special Edition: For use with high-end audio systems via analog audio connections

BDP-83: For use with all audio systems via HDMI and digital optical/coaxial connections

Thus according to the manufacturer it would seem that the Special Edition architecture is wasted for digital out and that if your goal is digital out you are better off with the standard BDP-83.  Is this a correct interpretation and are the manufacturer's recommendations sound?

I have a whole thread and several paragraphs of reviews I did on the SE vs stock.  Net/net, the way we're using the Oppo (via HDMI and Atlona) the changes to the DAC chips and analog outs are meaningless in our scenario.  Buy the stock Oppo if using an external DAC (via Atlona or via stock optical/coax) or if using HDMI to your AVR.  Buy the SE or NE if using analog outs (NE improves even more the dedicated stereo analog out over the SE, but very little upgrade to the mch outs).

Robin Hood

Re: Review: take SACD and BlURay Hirez directly to your DAC!!!!
« Reply #55 on: 16 Jun 2010, 07:38 pm »
Your statements also seem to support the following FAQ from the NuForce website:

Question - “I am running HDMI from my Oppo BDP-83 to my AVR/AVP. Does this give me better performance?"
Answer - "Unfortunately, no. The Oppo SE and Nuforce Edition’s superior performance centers on the analog audio board. This has no impact on HDMI’s digital performance.”

The NuForce website also states that the Oppo BDP-83SE player incorporates ESS Technology’s state-of-the-art Sabre DAC, widely acknowledged as one of the industry’s best. 

The thing I’m trying to understand if the stock Oppo and an external DAC via the Atlona is sonically superior to the Oppo’s internal Sabre DAC then how can anyone acknowledge the Sabre DAC as one of the industry’s best?  I assume that the sonics that you hear are not just different but clearly significant and superior.

While the Weiss DAC2 is no slouch, I assume one would achieve similar results with many other external DACs such as those from Benchmark, Bryston, Wavelength Audio, Berkeley Audio, or Metric Halo.

doctorcilantro

Re: Review: take SACD and BlURay Hirez directly to your DAC!!!!
« Reply #56 on: 16 Jun 2010, 07:41 pm »
Because soley the DAC chip makes not the DAC.  :green:

ted_b

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Re: Review: take SACD and BlURay Hirez directly to your DAC!!!!
« Reply #57 on: 16 Jun 2010, 07:43 pm »
Because soley the DAC chip makes not the DAC.  :green:

+100  :thumb:

For example, I'll take Dan Wright's analog stage with pretty much any DAC chip made in the last ten yrs vs the Sabre 32 and an analog stage from Onkyo.

Robin Hood

Re: Review: take SACD and BlURay Hirez directly to your DAC!!!!
« Reply #58 on: 17 Jun 2010, 05:49 pm »
On SACD the Atlona box optical out provided the most musical of the three examples, with the HDTracks file a close second.

Upon further review, does this mean that your optical disc player and toslink connections provides superior sonics to your Mac music server and software? 

Do you find this to be also true with playback of RDBK CD/Oppo digital out/Weiss DAC2 vs. 16/44.1 rip/Pure Music/Mac digital out/Weiss DAC2?  If not, would the Atlona tip the balance back to favor the optical disc player?

Since many people have reported superior sonics from a computer music server/DAC vs CD transport/DAC, do you think the problem is with the HDTracks download or the Mac music server and software?

ted_b

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Re: Review: take SACD and BlURay Hirez directly to your DAC!!!!
« Reply #59 on: 17 Jun 2010, 05:56 pm »
Upon further review, does this mean that your optical disc player and toslink connections provides superior sonics to your Mac music server and software? 

Do you find this to be also true with playback of RDBK CD/Oppo digital out/Weiss DAC2 vs. 16/44.1 rip/Pure Music/Mac digital out/Weiss DAC2?  If not, would the Atlona tip the balance back to favor the optical disc player?

Since many people have reported superior sonics from a computer music server/DAC vs CD transport/DAC, do you think the problem is with the HDTracks download or the Mac music server and software?

I think the HD Tracks download is fine, and on further listening is basically identical to the Atlona realtime optical feed (Atlona seems a few percent more dynamic; HDTracks/PM seems a bit smoother...we are splitting minute hairs here and you'd never win via blind a/b..so it may simply be my subconscious...it's that close).  For redbook, this is not true...Macbook/Pure music trumps every time.  However, redbook is better via Atloan than vai Oppo analog, by a failry good margin.