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SACD Stereo Amp - HDMI for DSD?

DazNEUK

Established Member
Having recently got an Oppo 203 I've just ordered some SACD's and was looking to buy a stereo amp. From the sounds of it the only way to get DSD is via HDMI but stereo amps don't appear to have HDMI inputs?

Are there any such stereo amps?

How much would I be losing going via analogue / PCM?

Thanks

Darren
 

BlueWizard

Distinguished Member
I would guess that you only need HDMI when you want Multi-channel 5.1 SACD. For standard Stereo SACD, the analog or other digital outputs would work. Though I'm just guessing.

Steve/bluewizard
 

k-spin

Established Member
SACD players generally won't output the hi-Rez layer over their optical/coaxial s/pdif outputs so you would just end up being able to listen to the CD quality layer of the disc.

Stereo amps don't tend to have HDMI inputs, at least none that I am aware of, so your best bet in this set up would be to let the Oppo do the digital to analogue conversion and use its analogue outputs.
 

Mark.Yudkin

Distinguished Member
The Oppo UDP-203 has decent stereo and multichannel analogue outputs, probably as good as you're going to get with a (stereo) AVR, and as a solution it's a lot cheaper.

Your options for stereo if you should decide to carry out the digital - audio processing in the amplifier would be the Arcam SR250 or the Lyngdorf TDAI-2170 (or the NAD C 388 + DD HDM-2 module).

OT: you would have been better off with the UDP-205 (see sig), which is designed for high quality analogue output. Have you considered or discussed swapping the 203 for the 205 with your dealer?
 

andy1249

Distinguished Member
Having recently got an Oppo 203 I've just ordered some SACD's and was looking to buy a stereo amp. From the sounds of it the only way to get DSD is via HDMI but stereo amps don't appear to have HDMI inputs?

Are there any such stereo amps?

How much would I be losing going via analogue / PCM?

Thanks

Darren

For SACD the ideal scenario is to get the DSD signal converted to analog " without" decimation.
Decimation, the conversion of the DSD 1 bit signal to 24 bit PCM prior to analog conversion, causes artifacts.

The oppo has a number of options.
1: output DSD over HDMI , this relies on the target DAC performing without decimation.
2: Have the Oppo DAC convert and output through the stereo analog or multichannel outputs.Oppos do this without decimation.
3: have the Oppo decimate to PCM and output over HDMI or other digital output.

Option one or two are the best.
Stereo amps dont do HDMI , so looks like you are stuck with option 2

It used to be that DACs that handled DSD without decimation were expensive and rare....( 3 years ago..) Sabre Dacs are one of these, however these days Sabre dacs are in everything and are not so expensive.
 

DazNEUK

Established Member
Thanks everyone.

Andy - So in regards to Option 2 will any decent stereo amp (Cambridge CXA60, Arcam A29 etc) give me the high res SACD audio?

Mark - I wish I'd waited for 205, I bought the 203 on launch from Richer Sounds so I'm not sure I'd have any option to change now.

Thanks

Darren
 

andy1249

Distinguished Member
Thanks everyone.

Andy - So in regards to Option 2 will any decent stereo amp (Cambridge CXA60, Arcam A29 etc) give me the high res SACD audio?

Mark - I wish I'd waited for 205, I bought the 203 on launch from Richer Sounds so I'm not sure I'd have any option to change now.

Thanks

Darren

You will get SACD the best it can be with option 2 and a good stereo amp.
Thats my setup , but 105D not 203.
 

BlueWizard

Distinguished Member
Thanks everyone.

Andy - So in regards to Option 2 will any decent stereo amp (Cambridge CXA60, Arcam A29 etc) give me the high res SACD audio?

Is your goal Multi-Channel (5.1) Playback, which I will remind you you can't do with a Stereo Amp. If you have an AV Receiver, and it has Individual channel Analog Inputs, that is one possible option.

You specifically said, STEREO SACD PLAYER, which my its very nature is a Stereo Device.

As others have said, the best choice for SACD Playback would be the Oppo 203 or the Oppo 205, with the 203 being the least expensive. But, it you have a AVR then HDMI Multi-Channel is possible, and if you don't have an AVR but rather a Stereo, then it makes the most sense to simply use the Stereo Analog Outputs of the Player.

Mark - I wish I'd waited for 205, I bought the 203 on launch from Richer Sounds so I'm not sure I'd have any option to change now.

Thanks

Darren

Regardless of the type of Amp you have, Stereo or AVR, something like the Oppo 203 is probably your best choice, but don't make your life any more complicated than it has to be. If you have a Stereo, then use the Analog Stereo Out of the Oppo, if you have an AVR, then use HDMI.

Steve/bluewizard
 

DazNEUK

Established Member
Thanks Andy, glad I'll get the high res/dsd sound.

Steve - Yes, purely 2 channel.
 

fyonn

Established Member
Stereo amps dont do HDMI , so looks like you are stuck with option 2

Well, there are stereo amps with HDMI, but I’ll grant you, not many :)
 

andy1249

Distinguished Member
Well, there are stereo amps with HDMI, but I’ll grant you, not many :)

Now there are a couple, this thread is almost a year old.
 

fyonn

Established Member
So it is. I didn’t go looking for necro threads, it came up as current in the app for some reason.
 

marcd5123

Prominent Member
I have a Denon X4100W 2015 AV AMP connected to a Marantz SA-15S1 SACD/CD player . I also have a matching Denon UD-3313 Blu-Ray player which is Denon top spec player . I have have quite a handfull of SACD's and I am a big fan of them . I have used both units to play back SACD and I can say whole heartly that using a decent pair of Analogue cables between my Denon AV AMP and my Marantz SACD/CD player sounds amazing . When using HDMI it sounds great but quite cold and Harsh very ''digital'' sounding . Using analogue cables just gives you the same great sound but gives you that great analogue sound beats it hands down in my opinion.
 

peter the butcher

Established Member
coming late to the party on this. I am looking for a new DVD/Blue ray/SACD player and a AV amp that can play the sound, how it was meant to be heard.... any suggestions?

Regards
 

gibbsy

Moderator
coming late to the party on this. I am looking for a new DVD/Blue ray/SACD player and a AV amp that can play the sound, how it was meant to be heard.... any suggestions?

Regards
It's the player that has to be able to read the SACD. Any blu-ray universal player will play SACD, or you can get a dedicated stand alone SACD player for stereo only replay. What amp you use will depend on what speakers you have not what SACD player is involved as the stereo signal will be analogue. You will need a receiver for 5.1 playback via HDMI.

For stereo replay I use a Rega stereo amp and Marantz SACD player. For 5.1 I use a Denon receiver and Pioneer UD Blu-ray player.
 

peter the butcher

Established Member
thank you for that, it like trawling through a minefield, all these amp, and what will do what and what it will not play properly.. The Sony seems like the av amp now, as the Marantz unit I was recommended before I realised some amps do not handle DSD, as a feature that is require,,,, or so I have read from an e-mail I just got from Richer Sounds in Leeds
 

gibbsy

Moderator
DSD is pretty much standard on the majority of receivers as it is a requirement of streaming. If you're going to use the surround sound properties of an SACD then you will have to use a receiver. If you prefer your music in stereo, or if the majority of your disc collection is CD then playing stereo through a receiver is never going to be anywhere near as good as a stereo amp, even with SACD stereo.

The last two SACDs I bought were just stereo only. Simon and Garfunkels' Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme and Cat Stevens' Tea for the Tillerman. Putting those two discs through a receiver would murder them.
 

BlueWizard

Distinguished Member
There are indeed Stereo Amp that have HDMI, but count on paying dearly for them -

Arcam FMJ-SR250 2-Channel AV Receiver - £2500 -

Arcam FMJ SR250 2 Channel AV Receiver

There is also an Onkyo at a more tolerable price -

Onkyo TX-8270 Network Receiver - £500 to £550 -


Onkyo | TX-8270 Network Receiver

Onkyo TX-8270 Black Network Stereo Receiver - Mini Systems - AudioVisual Online - UK Home Cinema and Hifi Specialists

Onkyo TX-8270 Stereo Receiver - Black- Audio Affair

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Onkyo-TX-8270-Network-Stereo-Receiver/dp/B06Y15DWXZ

For what it is worth.

Steve/bluewizard
 

andy1249

Distinguished Member
There are indeed Stereo Amp that have HDMI, but count on paying dearly for them -

Arcam FMJ-SR250 2-Channel AV Receiver - £2500 -

Arcam FMJ SR250 2 Channel AV Receiver

There is also an Onkyo at a more tolerable price -

Onkyo TX-8270 Network Receiver - £500 to £550 -


Onkyo | TX-8270 Network Receiver

Onkyo TX-8270 Black Network Stereo Receiver - Mini Systems - AudioVisual Online - UK Home Cinema and Hifi Specialists

Onkyo TX-8270 Stereo Receiver - Black- Audio Affair

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Onkyo-TX-8270-Network-Stereo-Receiver/dp/B06Y15DWXZ

For what it is worth.

Steve/bluewizard

The Arcam doesnt do DSD.
According to stereophile its limited to 24bit 96khz over HDMI and 48Khz over both USB and the ethernet port.
DSD is an optional feature of HDMI.

The onkyos all list DSD as “ only after PCM conversion”.

As said earlier in the thread, if you want an amp for SACD then look for one with an ESS sabre dac, they are very common these days , or a universal player with an ESS DAC and use its analog outputs.
 

fyonn

Established Member
The Arcam doesnt do DSD.

If you're interested in a stereo amp that takes DSD via HDMI (or USB for that matter) then the lyngdorf 2170 or 3400 can be optioned with HDMI ports and a USB port and it supports DSD64 and DSD128 over either.

And it doesn't convert DSD to PCM either.. and has a pretty good room correction system for 2 main speakers and up to 2 subs.

it's not cheap though...
 

peter the butcher

Established Member
DSD is pretty much standard on the majority of receivers as it is a requirement of streaming. If you're going to use the surround sound properties of an SACD then you will have to use a receiver. If you prefer your music in stereo, or if the majority of your disc collection is CD then playing stereo through a receiver is never going to be anywhere near as good as a stereo amp, even with SACD stereo.

The last two SACDs I bought were just stereo only. Simon and Garfunkels' Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme and Cat Stevens' Tea for the Tillerman. Putting those two discs through a receiver would murder them.
most of my CD collection is pipe organ, and I have a friend who is a sound engineer, who has released a sacd of organ music, so it seems fair to play it as it was meant to be heard. Other than that 1 disc... at the moment, my dvd blue ray collection is of a cathedrals organs, John mMchelle Jarre and others in the standard format. I am looking to purchase a whole new system, as have been out of the hifi game for many years, but used to have, back in the day, rotel pre and power amps, TDL transmission lines and a half decent cd player (1992)
 

kenm

Established Member
Mr Butcher has posted in the AVR section as well, to which I replied before finding this. TDL transmission lines, ancient as they are, might be rather good for organ music. These, plugged into a decent stereo amp rather than a cheap AVR, may be worth an audition if he can heave the speakers to a dealer or get a home demo.
 

peter the butcher

Established Member
They were good for the time, always had the neighbours complaining:Dthey were just the base model Studio 1's, cost a small fortune in 1990.... for a butcher, £700
 

gibbsy

Moderator
Now knowing what you are going to listen to and with what layout then you will be looking for a universal disc player along with a good receiver. New players all seem to be UHD so you may have to look at the used market for just Blu-ray UD players. Two good ones come to mind in the Denon DBT 3313 and Pioneer BDP LX58.

Receivers are down to how much you are prepared to spend. The more money you tend to throw at them the better they are. For music Arcam are probably the best. Marantz or Yamaha would take preference over Denon for musical ability.

With pipe organ music perhaps the most important bit of kit is going to be the speakers and especially a sub when listening in 5.1. I believe pipe organs produce the deepest musical notes, certainly far deeper than the vast majority of speakers can go. SACDs will probably mix the lowest notes to take advantage of the LFE channel and for that you would need a good musical sub and for that REL subs are hard to beat. I only have one CD with a pipe organ on it, Hans Zimmer's Interstellar OST and just listening in stereo on my KEF R300s the deep notes disappear into the ether.

The good news is that you can pick up new 5.1 classical SACDs for as little as £8 and there are a lot of discs on the market with plenty of new classics being released.
 

peter the butcher

Established Member
I watched a Hans Zimmer thing on You Tube, yesterday, very good
I have very wide musical tastes, but classical pipe organ has been part of my life since I was a child, am now 58. I have a particlar liking for Wakeman, Trance, ELO, Suzanne Vega, Sinatra and a lot of others. I also do my own recordings in churches and cathedrals, so know how it should sound. The low pedal pipes can reach 32' in length producing a tone of 16 Htz. I am going to go for the sony Blue ray/SACD player and a Marantz AVNR1608 and for the bass, a BKXXLS400
 

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