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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
According to this review for SACD playback:1st Place - 24/88.2 PCM via HDMI/Atlona2nd Place - 24/88.2 purchased HDTracks file3rd Place - Pure DSD via Oppo analog outsOn 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.
"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).
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
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.
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).
The recommendations from the Oppo website comparison page are:BDP-83 Special Edition: For use with high-end audio systems via analog audio connectionsBDP-83: For use with all audio systems via HDMI and digital optical/coaxial connectionsThus 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?
Because soley the DAC chip makes not the DAC.
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?
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