Buying the right equipment to play multi-channel SACDs

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gene_stl

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You could buy Kal Rubinson's Exasound eight channel DAC. I don't know whether that solves the volume control problem but I think it can take native DSD.
or Marantz 8805 Pre Processor
 
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newslane

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I hear you brother. Money and our own brains can get in the way sometimes. I think you have what it takes. It will work. One thing that I notice with others is that sometimes there equipment which is good equipment has no displays, so there is an element of guessing, is it DSD, is it 5.1, is the center channel working or how well are the rears working, stuff like that.
If possible and affordable to you the purchase that you make as a preamp have the capaibility to display the signal it is recieveing. I believe all hard discs of SACD are going to only be DSD64, I could be wrong, but most for sure, wehereas the digital downloads offer the higher DSD rates.
Good luck, keep us posted.
Thank you for that great suggestion about the display!
 

newslane

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The least expensive way to do this is to buy a used Oppo 103/105/203/205 and use it as a player/preamp. The only caveat is that you have to be careful that the digital volume control is in operation at all times!
Beyond that, I see three options:
1. Find a used 6-channel preamp to accept the analog output of your player. None are made but there are many on the used market.
2. Rip your SACDs to files and play them via USB/LAN to a multichannel DAC/streamer.
3. Buy a suitable AVR or prepro that will accept DSD over HDMI from your player.
Thanks Kal...this summarizes things nicely. Perhaps it's just us in this group, but the name "Oppo" comes up so often that I wonder why these devices are no longer being made. Much to learn and investigate from your three options. #2 seems to make a lot of sense!
 

ubertrout

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Thanks. Although the Marantz SR5015 is apparently discontinued, Crutchfield has an open box return one for just over $1000. I'm tempted, but I feel that I need to do more research about all of this.
It's still being made I think? Marantz lists it on their page and Best Buy will sell you one for list: https://www.bestbuy.com/site/marantz-8k-ultra-hd-av-receiver-sr5015-7-2-channel-3d-audio-with-dolby-atmos-height-heos-alexa-black/6431232.p?skuId=6431232

The Denon AVR-X3700H and presumably other models from them also have multichannel analog preamp outputs. Yamaha and Pioneer probably have models as well. You get a warranty and such and it seems a much better idea than getting a used Oppo and futzing with digital volume control.

Oppo left the sector because, as much as enthusiasts loved their products, there wasn't enough of a market for an enthusiast disc spinner, especially after Sony undercut them dramatically on price with the X800.
 

newslane

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It's still being made I think? Marantz lists it on their page and Best Buy will sell you one for list: https://www.bestbuy.com/site/marantz-8k-ultra-hd-av-receiver-sr5015-7-2-channel-3d-audio-with-dolby-atmos-height-heos-alexa-black/6431232.p?skuId=6431232

The Denon AVR-X3700H and presumably other models from them also have multichannel analog preamp outputs. Yamaha and Pioneer probably have models as well. You get a warranty and such and it seems a much better idea than getting a used Oppo and futzing with digital volume control.

Oppo left the sector because, as much as enthusiasts loved their products, there wasn't enough of a market for an enthusiast disc spinner, especially after Sony undercut them dramatically on price with the X800.
Thanks...one thing about this thread is that I found that this is not as simple as one would think, and my inability to understand it quickly is somewhat understandable.
 
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LuvMyQuad

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Many thanks....I don't think I have ever seen a more thorough comparison site. This is a more complex task than I thought. I guess most people are listening to multi-channel SACDs in PCM?
Actually most are probably using an Oppo (or similar, if there is such a thing) with analog outs. That's what I did before I started ripping SACDs
 

newslane

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Actually most are probably using an Oppo (or similar, if there is such a thing) with analog outs. That's what I did before I started ripping SACDs
Thanks...what would I need to be able to rip SACDs? And when you rip them, do they play in multichannel format in DSD? Thanks for continuing to address my questions.
 

ubertrout

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Many thanks....I don't think I have ever seen a more thorough comparison site. This is a more complex task than I thought. I guess most people are listening to multi-channel SACDs in PCM?
I use the DSD output of the Sony X800 to go to a Sony ZA-2100ES AVR. Sony doesn't disclose exactly how that unit processes it and I don't know either - if anyone would do actual DSD processing it would probably be Sony, but I don't know for sure. There's a lot of fudging about whether various devices really do direct DSD, and a lot of questions as to how much difference it makes, especially since you can't do room correction and such with direct DSD. I just know it sounds good.
 

ProgRules

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I have an old AVR I'd be willing to sell that has 7.1 analog inputs and pre-outs. It was a nice receiver for it's time; retired because of lack of newer digital inputs, but would be suitable for your use. You could get any DVD/sacd player that has analog outputs and be ready to go. You wouldn't be doing DSD over hdmi, of course; the dsd would be decoded to analog in the player. But you could get a used Oppo 5 series (95, 105 or 205) with great DACs and you'd have about the best quality DSD you could get short of a very expensive multi-channel DAC.

It's a Denon AVR-2805 if you're interested.
 

LuvMyQuad

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Thanks...what would I need to be able to rip SACDs ? And when you rip them, do they play in multichannel format in DSD? Thanks for continuing to address my questions.
A working PC.
Software, which is free.
A disc player with a certain chip in it. Oppo 103's and 105's are capable as are a handful of Sony and Pioneer players. None of them are available new.

This thread discusses Sony Players

This thread discusses Pioneer and Oppo players

I think there are a few other compatible players with less common branding. Those threads will probably lead you to them. The original way was with a hacked PS3.
 

ubertrout

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Thanks...what would I need to be able to rip SACDs? And when you rip them, do they play in multichannel format in DSD? Thanks for continuing to address my questions.
You hack a older blu-ray player (easier than it sounds - and the Sony 5100 goes for under $50 used, others work as well) and then you rip the disc from the player to your PC over the network. Typically takes 20 or so minutes per disc. Then you typically need to convert and tag and the files. If you're listening in multichannel uncompressed DSD is about 8-9 GB per disc.

A lot of people here love doing it. I've backed up a few discs it would be a pain to lose, but it's too much of a pain for me to bother with my entire library. But it depends? If you have a small library with discs you listen to a lot that might be a good investment.
 

newslane

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I have an old AVR I'd be willing to sell that has 7.1 analog inputs and pre-outs. It was a nice receiver for it's time; retired because of lack of newer digital inputs, but would be suitable for your use. You could get any DVD/sacd player that has analog outputs and be ready to go. You wouldn't be doing DSD over hdmi, of course; the dsd would be decoded to analog in the player. But you could get a used Oppo 5 series (95, 105 or 205) with great DACs and you'd have about the best quality DSD you could get short of a very expensive multi-channel DAC.

It's a Denon AVR-2805 if you're interested.
Thanks...please let me consider all options, this included.
 

LuvMyQuad

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You really think that's true? I know some people do for various reasons, but I suspect most are using PCM over HDMI.
Now that you question it, you have made me question it.

Most folk have a very healthy respect for the DACs in the Oppo players. So those who have an Oppo, probably use it that way. And a few years back I would still say it was the most common way to play SACD. But MCH analog inputs are getting rarer all the time now and as that gear gets replaced with newer gear offering only HDMI for MCH connections, you may very well be correct.
 

paligap

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Now that you question it, you have made me question it.

Most folk have a very healthy respect for the DACs in the Oppo players. So those who have an Oppo, probably use it that way. And a few years back I would still say it was the most common way to play SACD. But MCH analog inputs are getting rarer all the time now and as that gear gets replaced with newer gear offering only HDMI for MCH connections, you may very well be correct.
Yeah, I know the DACs in the Oppo players, especially the "5" models, have good reputations, and some people have setups, like the original poster, that don't use a receiver much, if at all. I've had various Oppo players over the years, but the only time I can remember using analog outs is when I had a receiver without HDMI.

Since I replaced that receiver, I've always used HDMI, and I even stopped sending DSD, even though my receivers were capable of processing it. I've kind of forgotten exactly why, but I think it had something to do with volume differences and implementing Audyssey.
 

LuvMyQuad

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Yeah, I know the DACs in the Oppo players, especially the "5" models, have good reputations, and some people have setups, like the original poster, that don't use a receiver much, if at all. I've had various Oppo players over the years, but the only time I can remember using analog outs is when I had a receiver without HDMI.

Since I replaced that receiver, I've always used HDMI, and I even stopped sending DSD, even though my receivers were capable of processing it. I've kind of forgotten exactly why, but I think it had something to do with volume differences and implementing Audyssey.
Yeah, using the analog inputs and no conversion of DSD to PCM would disable any DSP like Audssey. So you are probably correct. The most popular way now to play SACD would be PCM over HDMI.
 

paligap

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Yeah, using the analog inputs and no conversion of DSD to PCM would disable any DSP like Audssey. So you are probably correct. The most popular way now to play SACD would be PCM over HDMI.
I think Audyssey has to convert any signal to PCM, so that's probably why I started doing that. I know lots of people don't care for Audyssey, but it works for me. By the way, I like your avatar. That has always been my favorite Supertramp album, and the cover itself is so cool.
 
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