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Which receiver for SACD?

Discussion in 'Integrated Amplifiers & Receivers' started by pycut, Feb 20, 2009.

  1. pycut

    pycut Member

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    Hi everybody, this is my first post...

    I just decided to upgrade my old stereo & tv to everything in one room.

    So far, I just bought a Sony KDL 52W4000 LCD TV and have a dedicated media computer with Blu-Ray and HDMI (Full-HD) out.

    However, I want a receiver between those two for a surround setup that will also handle an SACD signal. I read about the Onkyo SRxx6 series but don't understand enough about the "DSD processing".

    I read somewhere that Sony receivers have a dedicated SACD input and wonder if I should instead be looking at this. Having searched and read about SACD over the past week, I still am unsure about the DSD onboard processing, if I lose that high-res signal of the SACD if I choose the wrong receiver.

    For an SACD player, I was thinking of an Oppo 980/981/983 or a Pioneer DV-610.

    Would somebody please recommend me a receiver and/or player? I would also appreciate any explanation about the SACD/DSD things to look out for.

    Thanks!
  2. gpl1968

    gpl1968 Guest

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    DSD explained: Link

    Both the player and receiver need to be DSD compliant to use this feature. Of the UK spec sony receivers only the STR-DA5300ES and STR-DA5400ES support DSD over HDMI.

    As it happens I'm selling my 5300 if you are interested. Link
  3. pycut

    pycut Member

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    Does the Sony 5300 convert the incoming DSD signal to PCM, or does it play the full DSD signal (i.e. direct mode)?
  4. gpl1968

    gpl1968 Guest

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    From what I've read, it accepts the pure DSD stream from a DSD capable sacd player.
    Quote from the 5300 manual:
    "This receiver supports DSD transmission (Super Audio CD), extended by HDMI ver1.2."

    I guess that players/receivers that don't support DSD, need to convert to pcm for transmission.
  5. axel71

    axel71 Member

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    Hi. Also the following Marantz, Yamaha, Pioneer, Denon & Onkyo receivers support DSD. The new Yamaha range also supports it such as the RX-V1900 which i have that has a DSD indicator on the display. Im very happy having gone with Yamaha because i play a lot of music and DVD-A. If you are looking at a multichannel receiver that you wish to use regularly for music, Yamaha and Marantz are the best for music.

    Info from SA-CD.net - FAQ (written before the most recent models, see about 2 thirds down the page)-

    "Are there any amplifiers or AV receivers that accept DSD input?


    There are two digital connections that can provide DSD input:

    * i.LINK with DSD is not a common feature (yet) but it's available on various receivers, including Sony's STR-DA9000ES, Pioneer's VSX-59TXi and VSX-84TXSi, and Yamaha's RX-Z9.
    * HDMI from version 1.2 up supports DSD but although several receivers are compatible with this HDMI version, so far few of them decode DSD. Models that do include Sony's STR-DA5300ES (called TA-DA5300ES in Japan), Marantz SR60001, SR7001, SR8001, SR7002 and SR8002, Yamaha's RX-V661, RX-V861, RX-V1700, RX-V2700, RX-V1800, RX-V3800 and RX-Z11 (DSP-AX661, DSP-AX761, DSP-AX861, DSP-AX1700, DSP-AX2700, DSP-AX1800, DSP-AX3800 and DSP-Z11 in some regions), Denon's AVR-3808 and AVR-4308 and Onkyo's TX-SR805, TX-SR875 and TX-NR905 receivers.
    "

    I'd go for an Oppo player, you get reference quality performance from its features, at a decent price.
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2009
  6. pycut

    pycut Member

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    Today I went to look for receivers at my local store. I was shown a Denon 1909 which does not support DSD, but the salesman suggested that I take the 5.1 analog out from the SACD player and plug it into the receiver's 5.1 analog intput. My HTPC can connect with it via HDMI.

    This seems feasible to me, since I won't have to spend a ridiculous amount of money to play SACD's, of which there is a limited and overpriced selection anyway. As much as I want to get into SACD, the fact that a DSD-compliant receiver costs several hundred more is unfortunately a big turn-off.

    Now I'm wondering about the quality of the SACD signal. Do I lose quality if I do it this way, by plugging the 5.1 signal into the Denon receiver? I have been reading how some signals get converted to lower-quality PCM, instead of the SACD 192k, which leaves you only with a surround signal, but no hi-def audio. Is this a valid concern, or have I gotten my facts messed up?

    Finally, I'm looking at the Oppo 980/981 as an SACD player, or a matching Denon 1940 DVD/SACD player. Would these fit at all with what I want to set up with the Denon 1909 receiver?
  7. Fred the Oyster

    Fred the Oyster Member

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    My Denon 1909 accepts a rather nice quality 5.1 SACD signal from my Pioneer 600 quite nicely over HDMI. I have a HTPC wired to my 5.1 analogue ins so it was a nice surprise to find that HDMI works.

    If the 600 does it I reckon it's safe to assume that the 610 does it too.
  8. pycut

    pycut Member

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    Thanks for your "hands-on" report!

    I noticed that the HDMI output on the Denon 1909 is labeled "monitor". Can both audio and video be transmitted via this HDMI out? I'm a bit worried that the "monitor" label might imply that it doesn't carry sound...
  9. Fred the Oyster

    Fred the Oyster Member

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    Yup both audio and video are carried.

    I have a DVD player and a HD-DVD player connected via HDMI to the 1909, with the output HDMI going to my TV. The TV auto-switches to that output when either players are switched on. I am able to get audio, video and amp menu output on my screen.

    The 1909 will also output video via the HDMI when analogue connections are used too, i.e. component or S-video connections. So basically it will convert analogue video to digital video.
  10. axel71

    axel71 Member

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    But if as your original concern is still wanting a multichannel receiver that supports full SACD sound, in other words direct multichannel DSD>analog without PCM conversion through the multichannel analog inputs you propose, i'd ask on the SACD.net forum if the Denon 1909 is compliant, as only the Denon CI models appear to offer 'direct' modes without converting multichannel DSD>analog to PCM http://www.sa-cd.net/showthread/30517/30517/y#30517

    "Post by dobyblue November 13, 2008 (75 of 112)

    There are plenty of receivers that decode DSD to analog and they don't need HDMI 1.3a to do it. Denon Link (firewire) and HDMI 1.2a are all capable of native DSD handling.

    Denon - 2808CI, 2809CI, 3808CI, 4308CI, 5308CI, AVP-A1HDCI
    Marantz - SR7002, SR8002, AV8003
    Onkyo - TX-SR805, TX-SR875, TX-NR905
    Yamaha - RX-V1800, RX-V3800, RX-Z11

    For these receivers DSD>Analog conversion will only be done in "DIRECT", "PURE DIRECT" or "PURE AUDIO" mode, the nomenclature depending on the receiver.

    With the Pioneer Elite DV-48AV costing only US$99 and the Onkyo TX-SR805 going for US$600, it's not a bad price to be paying for DSD>Analog conversion.

    No doubt the SC-09TX is a monster, but Pioneer have been dodging DSD>Analog conversion for far too long.
    "
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2009
  11. pycut

    pycut Member

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    Axel, thanks for your insight!

    What I've been readin about DSD-compliant receivers in confusing. While DSD-direct receivers will give you the full 192k HD sound, apparently you cannot adjust levels of individual channels, resulting in some bass/subwoofer problems. To get around this, a lot of people downgrade the signal to PCM (44.1k) and then listen to it as a surround mix in regular cd-quality. Mind you, I may have understood this completely incorrectly. But this keeps coming up, that people either don't realise their SACD signal is coming out 44.1k, or they have such a big issue with the sub that they willingly downgrade it.

    I did see something that suggested that the signal could come out of the SACD player at 192k as an analog signal and then into a receiver from there. I just wonder if that means the signal remains at 192k after passing through the receiver, and out through the speakers.

    Frankly, spending 600 EUR more to be able to listen to "Gaucho" in 192k is not worth it to me.
  12. Iain-

    Iain- Member

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    Wonder if new Denon AVR-2310 will do DSD over HDMI as well?

    It does.

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