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Old 30th August 2008, 09:55 PM   #1
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Iain McNeill's Avatar
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Default SACD over S/PDIF

Having difficulty tracking down information on this so was wondering if anyone had researched already.

With this interest in A/B/X testing of SACD vs CD I was thinking a suitable switching box could be made using a CS8416 S/PDIF receiver in software mode. But then I got to thinking the DSD audio from SACD is not compatible with S/PDIF format. What actually comes out of a S/PDIF when you play an SACD? Is it just the 16/44.1 CD layer?

I did find this device:
which implies that there is also copy protection issue with SACD over S/PDIF.

Anyone know the inside scoop?
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Old 31st August 2008, 01:24 PM   #2
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If you find a SACD player that does output via S/PDIF please let us all know! I don't think there is such an animal out there. I've tried to find one. Really. The closest thing is the link you provide which is a tool for intercepting the PCM stream after the SACD decoder.

The folks over at 2L have some raw DSD files that you can download and experiment with which is interesting. I converted a DXD master to a 24bit/192khz FLAC and then compared the output to 16/44 on a Emu 1212M soundcard. I can tell the difference with good headphones.

It wouldn't be difficult to convert a DSD stream to something like FLAC, but I don't know of any why to fetch the DSD stream off of a SACD. You have to hand it to SONY for creating an effective copy protection, but that is also the reason I've just about given up on the format. I can't use the 1212m with my mediocre SACD player. As a result I find that a cd on a good DAC is better than a ho-hum SACD player.
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Old 31st August 2008, 05:41 PM   #3
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I am using Denon DVD-2930. There is a source direct option in the menu. If I enable the source direct the DSD signal go to the DAC directly. If I disable the source direct the DSD translates to PCM with the internal processor. The sampling rate is about 24/176K so you can use a SPDIF transmitter such as SRC4392, DIT4192 transmits to DAC.

See this thread, Upgrade Denon DVD-2930

Do you accept this idea? Or you may use your own transmitter transmits the DSD signal directly.
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Old 31st August 2008, 06:38 PM   #4
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Great link to some quality recordings - thanks, I'll enjoy those.

I need to learn more about DSD and the conversion to PCM. It seems that this could be a problematic transform that introduces errors & noise.

Interesting project. This is the same approach of intercepting the data on its way to the DAC and processing for S/PDIF, right?
In your linked thread you say you sample rate convert. Can you explain why you need to SRC? Why not just output straight to S/PDIF?
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Old 1st September 2008, 05:27 AM   #5
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I send out the raw PCM to the balanced SPDIF port. The SRC does the up-sampling for the internal DSD1794.
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