SACD - HDMI to USB-B

12th Monkey

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I've been trying to see how my very few SACDs play on my OPPO UPD203 through my CPD's DAC. Spent a while in the OPPO's menu, only to find out that it won't output hi res digital audio via coax or optical - it directs you instead to use HDMI - there is a dedicated HDMI audio output.

My CDP has coax and optical inputs (no use here, obviously) and a USB-B input, but the OPPO's USBs are all inputs.

So, two questions:

1) Do we think an HDMI to USB-B cable would do the job? I think I have a few bits stashed about the place that I could jury-rig together, but maybe someone can save me the bother if it sounds like a non-starter.

2) Is it worth bothering with anyway? (I have tried SACD vs CD comparisons in the past, and it took me a long time to finally conclude that I couldn't tell the difference. It wasn't an entirely definitive test though - SACD's via the OPPO and CD layer from the same disc on the Arcam CD23t I had at the time. A proper test would obviously be from the same source.)
 

abacus

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SACD are normally multichannel whereas CD is just stereo (SACD also carry a CD stereo layer so that they will play in a CD player)

HDMI and USB are 2 different protocols so you would need a convertor.

It’s not worth the hassle if you are just listening in stereo.

Bill
 

ClarkNovember

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I don‘t think the hdmi to usb would work, I googled ‘sacd decoding hdmi to usb’ and the first result came up with a similar question and the first reply was:

It's a little difficult to get DSD data from any form of optical disk player, Oppo or otherwise, to an external DAC.
The only method provided by Oppo for doing so, as you correctly point out, is DSD-over-HDMI. This protocol is not particularly common - usually the devices intended to receive such a signal are Home Theatre Receivers, not standalone DAC's. I understand this is because Sony places restrictions on how SACD can be accessed - so it's a legal/licensing issue.
However:

a) I think the main benefit of SACDs is that (in theory) the mastering of the album is better (hopefully - as someone has gone to the trouble of making a special release) so you would benefit from it even on the red book layer (again hoping that they have also used the same master!).

b) The Oppo is a good player so why not just use the analogue outs of that happy in the knowledge that it is doing the decoding?
 

daytona600

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Analogue out of a SACD player as standard , almost impossible to get DSD digital out a Sacd player unless you have a very expensive Sacd transport or ripped on a PS1 with correct software most will normally output PCM & not DSD
Sony put a lot of software in the Sacd standards for copyright protection
 
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EricLeRouge

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The Oppo muliplayer series will only output DSD through HDMI when you play a SACD. You need a DSD compatible DAC, otherwise your DSD signal will be converted to PCM. (I have the same issue with a Cambridge CXU, which is based on the Oppo 203).
 
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I don‘t think the hdmi to usb would work, I googled ‘sacd decoding hdmi to usb’ and the first result came up with a similar question and the first reply was:



However:

a) I think the main benefit of SACDs is that (in theory) the mastering of the album is better (hopefully - as someone has gone to the trouble of making a special release) so you would benefit from it even on the red book layer (again hoping that they have also used the same master!).

b) The Oppo is a good player so why not just use the analogue outs of that happy in the knowledge that it is doing the decoding?
Like your section b)......
My Oppo was the only item in my system that I paid full retail price for and very glad I did. Not so happy I didn't fork out for a 203 when they were still available though.... :)
 
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iMark

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We have a Sony UHP-H1 Bluray player. It's got analogue stereo outputs. Our SACD's, Bluray Audio discs and the 6 DVD Audio's we have sound fine on our stereo system through the analogue connection. The player is also connected to our network stereo receiver by coaxial cable. I use that connection for playing the occasional CD or the CD layer of an SACD and let the Yamaha R-N602 do its work as a DAC.

The only way to get the digital signal out of the player is to use an HDMI-stripper. But you obviously need something to convert the DSD signal to PCM. Many multichannel amps can do that. For stereo equipment it's not so straightforward.

SACDs are still around but they're a bit of a confusing product because they come (came) in different sorts and sizes.
* Stereo only SACD layer
* Stereo only SACD + CD layer
* Multichannel SACD + stereo SACD (mainly Japanese SHM-SACD)
* Hybrid SACD: multichannel SACD + stereo SACD + CD layer

I have a couple of Peter Gabriel SACDs from around 2002 and they're stereo SACD + CD only. And there are even a few mono SACDs around.
 
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12th Monkey

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SACD are normally multichannel whereas CD is just stereo (SACD also carry a CD stereo layer so that they will play in a CD player)
I only have three, and all are plain vanilla stereo. Having heard a DVD-Audio mix of one of the albums, I am mightily glad about that!

I don‘t think the hdmi to usb would work, I googled ‘sacd decoding hdmi to usb
OK - thanks for that and to others who've made similar comments - you've saved me the bother of jury-rigging something that won't work anyway.

I think the main benefit of SACDs is that (in theory) the mastering of the album is better
They are all remasters, and they're slightly better than the original releases.

My CDP will read the CD layer of them so I can play them, but as SACD via the OPPO was on a par with my previous CDP, and the current CDP is a significant step up from that I can't see any point in playing SACDs via the OPPO's internal DAC - it's not going to be as good as CD layer via the M6s.

Thanks one and all. It's slightly frustrating to see several options shown in the OPPO's menu about tinkering with SACD output via coax, only to see in the troubleshooting section of the manual that for copyright protection this option is not available!
 
I only have three, and all are plain vanilla stereo. Having heard a DVD-Audio mix of one of the albums, I am mightily glad about that!



OK - thanks for that and to others who've made similar comments - you've saved me the bother of jury-rigging something that won't work anyway.



They are all remasters, and they're slightly better than the original releases.

My CDP will read the CD layer of them so I can play them, but as SACD via the OPPO was on a par with my previous CDP, and the current CDP is a significant step up from that I can't see any point in playing SACDs via the OPPO's internal DAC - it's not going to be as good as CD layer via the M6s.

Thanks one and all. It's slightly frustrating to see several options shown in the OPPO's menu about tinkering with SACD output via coax, only to see in the troubleshooting section of the manual that for copyright protection this option is not available!
Yep, that's Sony for you :)
 

iMark

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I still think the concept of the Hybrid multichannel/stereo SACD is very good. People with a home cinema setup can play the multichannel track. Others can play the stereo SACD tracks. And if you only have a CD player you can play the CD layer (or rip the CD layer to a computer). The record companies should have embraced the hybrid SACD much more than they did. It's much more flexible than bluray audio which can only be played on a bluray player and are a pain to rip for personal use. Most SACDs we've got sound excellent in stereo.

I'm currently ripping some music DVDs. They are a pain too if there is no stereo PCM on the disc and you have to convert lossy AC3 to AAC (or mp3).
 
I still think the concept of the Hybrid multichannel/stereo SACD is very good. People with a home cinema setup can play the multichannel track. Others can play the stereo SACD tracks. And if you only have a CD player you can play the CD layer (or rip the CD layer to a computer). The record companies should have embraced the hybrid SACD much more than they did. It's much more flexible than bluray audio which can only be played on a bluray player and are a pain to rip for personal use. Most SACDs we've got sound excellent in stereo.

I'm currently ripping some music DVDs. They are a pain too if there is no stereo PCM on the disc and you have to convert lossy AC3 to AAC (or mp3).
I have always ripped the CD layer of my SACD discs to computer. I own a few bluray audio discs which are excellent but never intended to attempt a rip even if it's possible.
I believe that restrictions put in place by Sony were the main reason the SACD format never grew as it should have, that along with current exorbitant pricing.
CD s were good enough for the majority and their current prices mean they will continue to be the item of choice for many who wish to physically down their own music content.
 

ClarkNovember

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There are still some SACDs at reasonable prices for classical music and people like Dutton Vocalion are putting out other genres at non-eye-watering prices.

However, all the mainstream labels have pretty much dropped them so we are left with the very expensive US imports from audiophile labels for the more popular artists.

If Sony hadn’t hampered the format, the prices probably would have come down to something more reasonable.
 
There are still some SACDs at reasonable prices for classical music and people like Dutton Vocalion are putting out other genres at non-eye-watering prices.

However, all the mainstream labels have pretty much dropped them so we are left with the very expensive US imports from audiophile labels for the more popular artists.

If Sony hadn’t hampered the format, the prices probably would have come down to something more reasonable.
Most of mine were designed for the Japanese market that is still thiving although the last one I purchased was a MOFI production.
 

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