• New Patreon Tier and Early Access Content available. If you would like to support AVForums, we now have a new Patreon Tier which gives you access to selected news, reviews and articles before they are available to the public. Read more.

Transport options feeding DAC and old TV

A

AlecF

Guest
Hi all,

Please point me to the most-economical/bang-for-the-buck DVD transports for my intended usage.

My main concern is 2 channel redbook CD playback, so I'm thinking of getting a Bel Canto DAC2 or Benchmark DAC1 to take care (bigtime) of the audio side of things

Hence I'm not fussed about the DVD's onboard converters, so much as having a well-made, reliable transport to feed the DAC optimally with its digital output.

Re: video quality, I've only got an old, old Sony Widescreen with SCART and S-Video inputs - so I've not got any projector needs or anything like that, but obviously I would still like to get the best video quality as I can.

Also, I'm not fussed about SACD or DVD-A.

MP3, DivX, and good DVD media compatibility would be nice, though.

What would you recommend at different price points? Say up to about £500?
Also, what's the cheapest I could get away with?

Presumably, I won't see much benefit in going above that price range?

TIA. :thumbsup:
 

CJROSS

Prominent Member
Toshiba

SD-900
SD-9500

Stunning devices. For a number of reasons, Not sure about DIVX support though.
 

CJROSS

Prominent Member
Rrp was £2000 for the SD-9500, a boatload of us recently (at Xmas funnily enough) bought end of line stock from Toshiba for £299 (Not MR unfortunately) these are all gone now but there is an outfit on Ebay DVD players called MK Televisons selling them for £399 (Buy now) the only aspect is to buy one new & MR from LEConcepts @ £699.

Second hand wise SD-900s go for £300 and if your lucky enough you may catch a SD-9500 second hand (only ever seen one and that was someone who could not live with the R2 state of his £299 machine).

ATB.

Do a search on the forum for SD-9500 for more info - plenty of posts
 

dynamic turtle

Established Member
Christ on a bike CJ, you only paid £300 for it!! Bargain or what?

Alec, there are other options at this price point (Denon 2900, Sony DVP NS999, Pioneer 747/757, Arcam DV78), but the 9500 would probably be the best fit for you.

Technically, if you are after the absolute highest perfomance, you should look at less well-built/cheaper players that have been modded to increase clock accuracy.

In this case, £3-400 would buy you a Trichord or AudioCom modded Pioneer 656/565, which should have SPDIF audio jitter of less than 10 picoseconds, which is extremely low.

OK, so build quality isn't as good as the Toshiba or Denon, but they will read the disc more accurately. Depends if you think its worth sacrificing the build quality for absolute performance?

DT
 
A

AlecF

Guest
Damn da damn damn damn. Why do I always miss out on these deals?
They're never on when you need them. :suicide:

How would a Pioneer DV-668 do? Or an older Arcam like the DV78?
 

dynamic turtle

Established Member
You haven't missed out. £410 seems like a very fair price. Looking at the stats, its still up there with the best of today's players (14 bit 108mhz video dac - tasty!)

You might find that the DV78 is good enough with cd's to save you buying an offboard dac. It has a good reputaiton in this regard. Depends how fussy you are!

You might not use a 668 to its fullest given that it has digital outputs and prog scan etc. The 747 or 656 would fit your needs better and be several hundred pounds cheaper.
 

CJROSS

Prominent Member
dynamic turtle said:
Christ on a bike CJ, you only paid £300 for it!! Bargain or what?

DT not only me but a whole busload of others :

http://www.avforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=56705

Alec as I said there is an outfit selling that player on Ebay for £399 - £100 more than I paid but one of the dudes in the SD-9500 paid £499 for it happily before the price went down. As DT says you've not missed out - still available.

Not only is it a great transport, but it feature XLR output & can also be used as a DAC itself with 2 digital inputs, its rigged up for pretty stunning PAL PS image work too and its S-Video performance is noting short of stunning to these RGB eyes (I think its better than RGB from my old Pio 717), and as a small bonus its plays DVD-A (very well). SD-9500 Images :

http://www.wvip.co.uk/images/hardware/DVDPlayers/Toshiba/ToshibaSD-9500.jpg
http://www.homecinemachoice.com/reviews/wvreviews/DVDPlayers/Toshiba/ToshibaSD-9500_rear.jpg

dynamic turtle said:
OK, so build quality isn't as good as the Toshiba or Denon, but they will read the disc more accurately. Depends if you think its worth sacrificing the build quality for absolute performance?

This is where I disagree with DT (not very often as he’s planted well into the terra firma) data is read off a disc pure and simple, if its not error protection will kick in, this does nothing to the datastream until the error correction cannot handle the errors any more, thus gaps or skips will appear. If you have a transport that reads data without sign of error detection failing I fail to see how it can read it more accurately (no-one has ever measured this “accurate” reading as its virtually impossible to do – if it can be done I would love to read about the tests done). Thus we have to concern ourselves with jitter, and from what Ive read from Benchmarks own data & tests of the DAC-1 its impervious to incoming jitter. As was the Chord 64 with full RAM buffering.

All IMHO of course.
 

dynamic turtle

Established Member
Yes CJ, you're right. In saying "read the disc more accurately" I meant that a transport rated at 10ps should deliver a bitstream with lower overall timing error than one rated at 100ps.

The lower the jitter, the better the transport (technically speaking). Build quality and ease of operation are of course very important. Hence why I said that a modded 565's might not be the answer.

DT

PS, I had no idea the 9500 was £300 - I thought it was still £1000+. Would've had second thoughts about the 2900 had I known :rolleyes:
 
A

AlecF

Guest
Both the DACS I'm looking at are meant to have (the same) capability of reclocking and dealing with jitter from the incoming stream, so I'd rather buy a current model that's better made.

The 9500 from Ebay still looks like a go-er, but it's not got a Scart connector?
My old Sony CRT's only got Scart and S-video inputs - what'd be the best connection to optimise video quality I'm going to get out of the 9500? S-video to Scart? Component to RGB Scart?

The TV's s-video input is on the front! Visions of horrible leads are entering my head.
 

dynamic turtle

Established Member
You'll have to use S-video. Although technically inferior to RGB, most folks (including myself when the 2900 is being tempremental), get along fine with it.

One of your scart sockets will be wired for s-video (most sony wega's are), so just buy an s-video to scart cable. Note that you'll have to make seperate audio connections because s-video doesn't carry audio signals.

You can't use component to scart I'm afraid - they're totally different video systems (though you can use a converter, but good ones are expensive).

DT
 
A

AlecF

Guest
With Scart, the telly automatically change channels to the DVD when playing a disc. Will this still be the case with s-video?

Also is there any particular s-video to scart cable you'd recommend?

So I need to be running s-video to (s-video) scart? Is there such a thing as s-video to RGB Scart?

Thanks for the help and sorry for being an interconnect numpty.
 

CJROSS

Prominent Member
Alec

Im currently using the S-Video connection of the SD-9500, from S-video to Scart (S-Video) An old Sony CRT (Has one RGB Scart & 1 Composite/S-Video Scart) Your is probably similar, I can easily say the S-Video output of this device is better than my old Pioneer 717 in RGB mode. Then upgrade to a display with component input at some point (like Im hoping to do soon).

Auto-switching happens on RGB scarts but not S-Video AFAICT, You simply need to change the TVs AV inputs (Ie Scarts AV1 – RGB, AV2 – Composite, AV2S – S-Video). Not a major hassle, I use a 2m Vivanco S-Video – RGB scart cost £15 IIRC. Picture looks stunning. Heres one for £8 :

http://www.unbeatable.co.uk/CatalogueItem_3032.html

ATB
 
A

AlecF

Guest
FWIW, I got the SD9500 off MKA TVs on ebay. It's big, black, and MR! :clap:

Great PQ from s-video to scart. Onboard DACs not so super for redbook, but I just teamed it up with a Meridian 563 and it's an awesome combo! Cheers for all the advisements, esp CJROSS :hiya:
 

CJROSS

Prominent Member
Cool my fellow SD-9500er. Im just waiting on my Toshiba 36"ZP48P CRT set to be delivered this weekend.
 
A

AlecF

Guest
MR! For real. Loaded my B5 Season 3 - display popped up saying "RESTRICTED NOT PAL" or something. I was bummed. Then changed Region in setup menu to AUTO. Popped the disc back in and booyaakaaah - MR! :clap:
 

CJROSS

Prominent Member
AlecF said:
MR! For real. Loaded my B5 Season 3 - display popped up saying "RESTRICTED NOT PAL" or something. I was bummed. Then changed Region in setup menu to AUTO. Popped the disc back in and booyaakaaah - MR! :clap:

Hooooolllllllllllllllllleeeeeee shhhhhhhheeeeeeettttttt !!!!! :eek:

Edit : Nope still Region 2 :(
 

MarkP80

Established Member
AlecF,

What version of the firmware is your machine running - I'm sure lots of owners would love to know! FWIW I got my 9500 from MKA not that long ago, and it's definitely R2.

To check the version, press zoom 606 zoom.The latest version we've seen is 2.7-R2, displayed on the front panel. Also on the TV, it displays the following:

***SD9500TE625P-R2 Info***
Firmware Version: 02700 R2
Chip Version: 0x30154c0
ADP Version: 0x9cbb006
BPU Version: 0x9070000
Core Version: 09.04.68.00
API Version: 0x4090303
NAV Version: 0x5090301
SRV Version: 0x81090097

Maybe MAK can do a mod?!?!

MarkP
 

CJROSS

Prominent Member
AlecF said:
However, I have to disagree with CJROSS on the actual quality of the (stereo) analogue output - I find it bad, bad, bad! The main reason is the cheapo, bottom-of-the-barrel opamp-based analogue section - it's full of the "it-measures-well but sounds-like-total-dogsh*t" NE5532s :thumbsdow that Musical Fidelity are so fond of charging people for in their "£1,000" wonder-boxes from China. :mad:

These jellybean chips are the audio equivalent of a mass-murderer; they are responsible for massacring more pieces of hi-fi equipment than anything in history
Universal law - nothing sounds good with the NE5532 inside!

Loads of cheap voltage regs, too, and low quality RCA sockets don't help, either.

As a transport, it seems OK, but unfortunately, it's just got cheap crystal clocks, which could also do with replacement.

I wonder how it would sound if modded. The drive mechanism is fantastic, as is the chassis construction.

Alec if we all agree it would be a boring world my friend.

I currently use the XLR balancec outputs for stereo use towards my Primare A30.1, I cant say what I hear is bad. In fact I don’t even think the sound I hear is bad from RCA is bad either, once voulme is corrected to suit 4.0 XLR output it sounds pretty stunning too. Those RCA sockets that are machined from solid billets by the look of it, I don’t think Ive seen as substantial a RCA socket as is on the SD-9500, low quality how do you think they are low quality ? If they are low quality then every piece of hifi Ive ever seen with RCAs on them is low quality then.

toshiba_sd9500_back.jpg


ToshibaSD-9500_rear.jpg


PS why do you wish to mod a transport that has been measured at 40 spec of jitter ? That’s the same as a Theta David FWIW.

http://www.thetadigital.com/upsampling.htm
 
A

AlecF

Guest
Hi CJ,

I got the parts list so I found out the component inventory.

Running balanced, the differential output from the DAC is sent to some NJM4580s; the NJM5532s are taken from them to form the single-ended output. Maybe you like the sound of these chips - I'd have to say, good, fair enough.

But I'd also say the sound quality can be improved IMMENSELY with better sounding op-amps. The JRC chip designs are about 20 years old and cost about 50p each; personally, I HATE them!

How MF can get away with charging 1 grand and using these in their amps and CDPs is truly shocking. Basically, the parts cost of their analogue sections is about £10. :eek: Don't tell me the rest of the gear comes anywhere near to £990.

The RCA connectors may look nice but they're very cheap PCB units, I can give the part number later. The XLRs are good, though, being Neutriks.

Why mod this? Well, the analogue stage can be improved as described above. As a transport, the RCA connector needs replacement as explained above, the clock could be improved, probably parts on the power board can be better, too. Clean power is essential for good sound. Measured jitter isn't all there is to a good transport.
 

CJROSS

Prominent Member
AlecF said:
Hi CJ,

I got the parts list so I found out the component inventory.

Running balanced, the differential output from the DAC is sent to some NJM4580s; the NJM5532s are taken from them to form the single-ended output. Maybe you like the sound of these chips - I'd have to say, good, fair enough.

But I'd also say the sound quality can be improved IMMENSELY with better sounding op-amps. The JRC chip designs are about 20 years old and cost about 50p each; personally, I HATE them!

How MF can get away with charging 1 grand and using these in their amps and CDPs is truly shocking. Basically, the parts cost of their analogue sections is about £10. :eek: Don't tell me the rest of the gear comes anywhere near to £990.

The RCA connectors may look nice but they're very cheap PCB units, I can give the part number later. The XLRs are good, though, being Neutriks.

Why mod this? Well, the analogue stage can be improved as described above. As a transport, the RCA connector needs replacement as explained above, the clock could be improved, probably parts on the power board can be better, too. Clean power is essential for good sound. Measured jitter isn't all there is to a good transport.

Ah Alec you’re a modder and a tweaker then, that rare breed never happy until a unit is tweaked within an inch of its life. Im a simple man, who generally likes a stock version or not.

So I do like the sound of these chips, I compared them directly to my old TAG DAC 20, and felt the SD-9500 gave the TAG a real runs for its money thus I sold that on. Also using the LP12 as a benchmark Im more than happy with CD, DVD-V & DVD-A from this machine. In fact I just took hold of Fleetwood Macs : Rumours on DVD-A, 24 Bit 96 Stereo and frankly I was stunned what I was hearing. That’s comparing it to the CD version. But I have plenty of material CD, HDCD, DVD-V & DVD-A that lets me hear what a stunning machine this is – from its own DAC & Anlg outputs. I also think the SD-9500 is very special at downmixing a 5.1 mix to stereo too.Mind you I also think a £500 Sony NSV-900 is a stunning CD player, so I think we possibly diverge on “quality”.

As for jitter not be all there is for CD transports, well Ive had plenty of discussions with audiophiles thru the ages to tell you that is not the standard gun toting opinions of audiophiles Ive met on my travels, but mind you now that DVD deck like this give spec measurements @ 40 and sub 200 spec jitter DVD players are available, Ive had this mentioned to me elsewhere recently that something elusive makes a better CD transport than say the SD-9500. No-one knows what “something” is from what I can see.

Anyway good luck bro in whatever you do to your SD-9500, some of us are very happy with it in stock form though.

PS here is a good test review that is worth running through babel for translation :

http://www.area-dvd.de/hardware/toshiba_sd9500.shtml
 
A

AlecF

Guest
Hi CJ,

That's a good link.

Think I should add my comments were strictly based on the redbook quality - I've not got any hi-rez material. Regardless, I would definitely recommend turning the upsampling on in this unit.

Myself, I'm just starting out in tweaking but basically I'm highly skeptical of most commercial hi-fi gear now I know a bit more about electronics and component selection.

Tell you what, I'll keep on with my mods and report back how I get on. I'm pretty confident this bird can be improved....a lot! For not much cash!


Cheers.
 

The latest video from AVForums

Is 8K TV dead? Philips OLED+907, Pioneer LX505 AVR plus B&W 700 S3 Reviews & Visit + AV/HiFi News
Subscribe to our YouTube channel

Full fat HDMI teeshirts

Support AVForums with Patreon

Top Bottom