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In my newest stereo system I take the analog out of a high end SACD player directly into AD/DA conversion (24/96 Cirrus Logic) within the amplifiers to provide DSP processing for the active cross over of my speakers. Is the high quality of the analog out of the player corrupted by this secondary conversion or is the signal passed on without harm? Is the "magic" performed by the player somehow lost with this secondary conversion process?
What you are doing is not ideal in theory, but I am not sure how much sleep I would loose over it. Most modern ADCs are completely transparent.
This is the way I feel. The DSP in the Crown amps is being performed by 24/192 Cirrus Logic Shark which is a correction to my original post where I had stated 24/96. I believe DSP controlled active speakers are an advance over passive ones, and trumps any disadvantage of the extra processing.
The conversion is certainly less of a factor than the handoff: the sound will be almost entirely due to the DAC in his amp (and other factors that would remain constant). If the OP likes the sound he can sell the expensive SACD player and pocket the change. But...
Wouldn't errors in both the time and frequency domain be cumulative?
Looking at your system (up to date?) I'm guessing you'd get better sound by using the Oppo BDP-95 and converting SACD to 24/88.2 and doing bass management in the Oppo - and passing on the conversion in the amps (if possible). But in my experience any conversion of DSD to PCM is a sonic disaster.
Full disclosure: I do a secondary conversion of the subwoofer channel - on a separate analog copy of the signal - with a 40 Hz crossover for room mode correction (anti-mode 8033 s-ii). Some critical listeners prefer a PCM conversion with Dirac Live.
Maybe you don't really like the Marantz - I know I didn't like my SA-14. At any rate, rest assured that what you are hearing with this topology is not the Marantz at all.
Jim - I don't disagree very much with your suggestions. But, "sonic disaster" in DSD - PCM conversion is audio hyperbole, I suspect you would agree. I believe that D-A-D-A changes the sound much more than an all digital chain involving DSD -PCM conversion and only one final D-A.
I have tried it all, but not recently. For me in my Mch system, DSD-PCM conversion for speaker distance correction, bass management and Dirac EQ offers far better sound than straight DSD does. If I could avoid DSD - PCM, I would. But, I find the sonic penalty for the conversion to be small and far from a disaster.
I'm not sure we disagree for multi-channel, but I'm pretty sure that the OP was referring to 2.1 using his Marantz. Since I don't have Dirac Live I can't comment, but I will say that the anti-mode was a big improvement in my room for multi-channel with LFE; so I can't discount the advantages of room correction. I have a quasi-ITU layout with 5 full range speakers (and a large soft listening room) so I simply do without time alignment and bass management for multi-channel.
Stereo SACD is trickier. What I currently do is derive the bass channel from an extra copy of the front L,R from the Oppo into an Outlaw Audio ICBM-1 analog bass manager, apply the 40 Hz crossover, and send the signal on to my Anthem AVM 20's 5.1 subwoofer input. With this kind of super-sub arrangement the crossover frequency is critical to avoid overlap. On a number of discs I've made the comparison between:
1. this method;
2. stereo through the Oppo's xlr output; and
3. conversion to PCM and full bass management in the Oppo.
In general I prefer 1. or 2. (2. often with stuff like solo piano or guitar), never 3.. But I'm looking forward to getting a new Emotiva XMC-1 when they get the V3 HDMI boards so that I can compare four methods: the fourth being full conversion and Dirac Live.
Anyway, we agree that what the OP is doing is just plain bad practice.
Let me say this direct, if you are doing this, you wasted money on your "high end SACD player". It is now a nice paperweight. Just being straight!
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