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In Reply to: RE: DSD Numbers. posted by Disbeliever on February 20, 2017 at 01:11:02
" Sony UK technical say it uses the full resolution of the DSD signal (32 bit) "
Sorry if I am posting a bit too much in this thread, but Sony tech actually told you that DSD is 32 bit resolution? DSD is a one bit delta sigma system. One bit.However even if they meant 32 bit as an equivalent it has no reality.
32 bit is, of course, a nonsensical resolution for audio use as it has the ability to capture sound with a dynamic range of around 193dB which just about exceeds any sound on Earth from the thermal movement of molecules to the greatest volcanic eruption.
The loudest sound ever heard on earth in modern times was the eruption of Krakatoa in 1883. Estimated at circa 180dB. Remember that decibels are logarithmic and that extra 13dB is even more preposterous. It cannot be catered for in any existing audio system. It's a "useful for marketing purposes " only number. Put it another way, if you could reproduce a recording with 193db dynamic range you will never hear again.
Edits: 02/20/17Follow Ups:
Yes that was in the email I received and you will note that Air Studios said it was misleading & blatantly incorrect. To be completely accurate the email was from Sony Area Sales manager after he presumably contacted Sony Technical after I had specifically requested this info from the retailer if the DA5400ES outputs DSD before I purchased, It is only recently after configuration from the remote that the DSD 3/2 appeared on the AVR display, I can definately hear the difference between PCM & DSD the later is sharper with slightly better definition and I prefer it.
The DA5400ES is an AV receiver. Of course it does not output audio formats, it receives them (input not output). The receiver's output is power to loudspeakers.
I am sure that DSD 3/2 on the display shows that the input received is DSD and that the output speaker configuration is 3 ( front L/ centre/front R) and 2 ( rear L/ Rear R). I just mention that as I thought ( no doubt mistakenly) that you might be indicating in the context of this thread that DSD 3/2 might mean DSD 32 bit.
Incidentally the actual dynamic range of DSD is about 120db or the equivalent of around 20 bits. Perfectly adequate for music audio.
This makes no sense to me as it was not until I reconfigured with the remote that the receiver displayed DSD 3/2, always used with the XA5400ES player, previous output being PCM. Furthermore I use the pre-out of the receiver into my stereo amplifier to drive front speakers, only centre & rear get power from the AVR
OK, so you play an SACD in the player with output sent via HDMI to the AV receiver. The DSD layer on the SACD is selected in the player and either stereo or MCH is also selected as is the requirement at the time ( maybe both via the receiver's 2 way communication with the player, see below).
The AV receiver takes the DSD data and converts it to analogue. The analogue output is sent via the pre out jacks to the stereo amp feeding the front L and R speakers. The analogue output for the remaining channels is amplified by the AV receiver and used to power front centre and rear L and R speakers.
Is that your system's connectivity?
If correct, so as far as I can tell from the manual, you can remotely select the configuration of the HDMI connected player via the receiver (but it's still an output from the player) and configure aspects of the speakers. The receiver is not itself outputting any DSD. It may do this using its connectivity to a Zone 2 component i.e. another system in another room but you haven't mentioned this.
So the display is showing DSD input from the player and that the output of the receiver is for a combination of 3 speakers front and 2 speakers rear. However you are actually not using all of the amplified channels but are taking 2 of them via the pre out.
Does this make sense?
Not completely, stereo or mch is selected by player and receiver.all my SACDs are mch. For the past 8 years or so I have been listening only to PCM as mentioned in the email from Sony. It was only by chance that I inadvertantly pressed a button on the remote and the DSD 3/2 was displayed. , there is no mention in the receiver manual saying that DSD can be selected. In the Manual all it says re DSD , Audio format used for SACD DSD converts analogue signals to digital and records them directly,without adding any processing,so that no information is omitted. Recording and playback of high fidelity, quality sound is achieved. The connectivity is as you say. I do not use Zone 2.
" there is no mention in the receiver manual saying that DSD can be selected. In the Manual all it says re DSD.."
Manual p.125 "HDMI Settings" Audio Out (Setting HDMI audio
Lets you set the HDMI audio signals output
from the playback component connected to the receiver via an HDMI connection".
The DSD quotation you have is from the glossary and is just a general description of what DSD is. Rather poor from a technical point of view I am sure you will agree.
So for 8 years you have had a multi channel audio system but have , until recently, been using it only in PCM mode. Thereby you have been listening only to stereo from your MCH SACDs. Is that correct?
NO, I have been listening to mch SACD in PCM , now in DSD This a very complex receiver.
I do not understand your answer. There is no such thing as PCM multichannel from an SACD. I am unable to find anything in your receiver that does digital to digital conversion so that a DSD signal is converted to PCM.
Of course you can send a PCM stereo signal from the player to the receiver and have the receiver do some DSP processing to create a fake surround sound effect ( p.83 in the manual).
Par,unless I have misunderstood Kal's interesting intervention,you are incorrect to say there is no such thing as PCM multichannel from a SACD. I was always suprised that Kal never tried out the DA5400ES AVR which is the natural partner for the XA5400ES to evaluate digital mch. I believe he dislikes receivers preferring pre- pros which are of no interest to me. I hope Kal gets a Marantz SA-10 for a Stereophile review.
I posted this message ( approx) before but it seems to have disappeared.
" ,you are incorrect to say there is no such thing as PCM multichannel from a SACD"
Not quite. There is no such thing as PCM multichannel from SACD*. However some players like yours can convert the DSD stream from the SACD DSD layer to PCM. This is what appears to have been happening for you in the past.
According to Kal the player needs to have a handshake with the receiver so that it knows that the receiver is capable of handling DSD data. Once it knows this then it stops converting and sends DSD via HDMI to the receiver. I would guess from your postings that when you reconfigured the settings you unknowingly sent the handshake code. Thereon the player stopped converting DSD to PCM and you had a full DSD experience.
* The CD ( PCM) layer of an SACD disc is redbook standard. Redbook has no provision for multi channel. If there was such a thing as a redbook protocol for multichannel then the disc playing time would be very short on a 12cm disc due to its data capacity in this format.
Too few channels.
The XA5400ES will output DSD (mch or stereo) via HDMI but it will also output PCM (mch or stereo) from the DSD layer of the disc depending on the handshaking with the connected target component.
I became familiar with this when I tested the XA5400ES and was surprised to find that it output mch PCM when I connected it to 2-3 preamp/processors which were supposed to be capable of handling DSD as can Disbeliever's Sony AVR. It turns out that the player demands a particular handshake code and, with a trivial firmware update to those pre/pros, they immediately elicited DSD output from the player.
It is unfortunate that Disbeliever has been listening to PCM rather than DSD but he was getting real multichannel and high resolution (24/192, most likely).
Kal, that is very interesting and I am, like you, surprised.
In fact I was walking home from the supermarket 30 or so minutes ago and used the time to ponder on what the OP had said. I started to wonder if the player had a D to D conversion capabilty. So when I returned I had a look at the XA 5400ES manual and there is no mention of any such thing.
It isn't however my first accidental discovery of this type of thing with a Sony transport. I was suprised to find with an early dCS transport which used a Sony 555ES mechanism, that even though the SACD layer was selected and DSD was therefore available on the Firewire outputs there was still output duplicated in PCM on the SP/dif ports. Speaking with dCS they advised that this was a factor caused by the Sony transport design rather than being the result of anything from dCS. It also was not mentioned in the user manual.
The really odd thing to me is the need for a handshake code when both of the OP's components are from Sony and are meant to be mated together.
This is not unique to Sony. For example, until a recent firmware update, all Oppo players would automatically output PCM from HDMI unless the handshake indicated that the target component was DSD-capable. The new firmware offers options of PCM only, DSD only (with silence if the target cannot handle it) and Auto (what it had before).
In addition, until the relatively recent appearance of DoP, it was not possible to output DSD over S/PDIF, so a default to PCM should be no surprise.
SONY said the receiver converts to PCM at the final stage. So are you saying that I have been listening all the time to DSD mch,despite the receiver display only now showing DSD 3/2.
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