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In Reply to: RE: Secondary AD/DA conversion okay? posted by jim.gandy14 on June 26, 2017 at 15:15:28
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.
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