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View topic - HDMI to RCA Converter?

HDMI to RCA Converter?

This forum addresses questions on installation, configuration and troubleshooting you might encounter with your Sony MD/CD/SACD.

Moderator: jttar

by sterling1 » Wed Jun 15, 2011 9:30 am

I'm thinking about buying a Sony SCD-XA5400ES. It has HDMI output to support playback of multi-channel SACD. Thing is, I do not have a HDMI input on my pre/pro. Without some sort of converter, which I have not seen from Googling, I will not be able to enjoy multi-channel. Has anyone here seen a converter?
-----------------
TA-E9000ES, TA-N9000ES, TA-P9000ES,
DVP-S9000ES, TC-K950ES, PS-4750, ST-SA50ES, TA-N80ES, (2) PCM-7010F, RM-D7200, RDR-GX7

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by nightmare » Thu Jun 16, 2011 7:46 am

A while ago I was looking for something to do that conversion too and found this: http://www.octavainc.com/HDMI%20switch%204x2_7_1audio.html.

I never got one due to the price, but surely there must be cheaper alternatives around now.
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by sterling1 » Fri Jun 17, 2011 2:46 am

Thanks, I'll look into it.
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by jeromelang » Fri Jun 17, 2011 7:41 pm


On 2011-06-15 13:30, sterling1 wrote:
I'm thinking about buying a Sony SCD-XA5400ES. It has HDMI output to support playback of multi-channel SACD. Thing is, I do not have a HDMI input on my pre/pro. Without some sort of converter, which I have not seen from Googling, I will not be able to enjoy multi-channel. Has anyone here seen a converter?
-----------------
TA-E9000ES, TA-N9000ES, TA-P9000ES,
DVP-S9000ES, TC-K950ES, PS-4750, ST-SA50ES, TA-N80ES, (2) PCM-7010F, RM-D7200, RDR-GX7




you will be better off buying a used scd-xa777es.
if you can only find the scd-xa9000es, it is ok too, but some simple internal modifications are necessary (you can do yourself).

both will give you better sound than the scd-xa5400es.

btw, avoid using hdmi, unless you have a partnering sony receiver equipped with HATS jitter reduction scheme like the str-da6400es or str-da5600es. hdmi jitter specs is so much worst than even optical or coaxial.

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by mykyll2727 » Sat Jun 18, 2011 7:54 am


On 2011-06-17 23:41, jeromelang wrote:

On 2011-06-15 13:30, sterling1 wrote:
I'm thinking about buying a Sony SCD-XA5400ES. It has HDMI output to support playback of multi-channel SACD. Thing is, I do not have a HDMI input on my pre/pro. Without some sort of converter, which I have not seen from Googling, I will not be able to enjoy multi-channel. Has anyone here seen a converter?
-----------------
TA-E9000ES, TA-N9000ES, TA-P9000ES,
DVP-S9000ES, TC-K950ES, PS-4750, ST-SA50ES, TA-N80ES, (2) PCM-7010F, RM-D7200, RDR-GX7




you will be better off buying a used scd-xa777es.
if you can only find the scd-xa9000es, it is ok too, but some simple internal modifications are necessary (you can do yourself).

both will give you better sound than the scd-xa5400es.

btw, avoid using hdmi, unless you have a partnering sony receiver equipped with HATS jitter reduction scheme like the str-da6400es or str-da5600es. hdmi jitter specs is so much worst than even optical or coaxial.




I have a XA9000ES could you explain in more detail?_mykl
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by jeromelang » Sat Jun 18, 2011 8:53 am


I have a XA9000ES could you explain in more detail?_mykl


many people had mentioned the scd-xa9000es (analog rca out) sound worst than the cheaper scd-xa5400es (even just the analog rca out), but i can certainly understand their reasons for saying so. in my experience, the more expensive, and heavily built scd-xa9000es certainly sounds (via both analog outs / iLink) flat, lean and lethargic out of the box with factory settings, when compared to the scd-xa5400es. the interesting thing is, the scd-xa5400es uses vastly inferior parts compared to the scd-xa9000es. there are no new, no advanced dsd decoding technology update, so it shouldn't sound any better than the scd-xa9000ES. but the reality is that it does!

the issue is that the scd-xa9000es is afflicted by 2 major design problems:
1. uneven power supply loading between 2CH / MCH default play mode.
2. pollution of power supply from the iLink processor board

it has already been know that when the scd-xa9000es is switched to 2CH mode as the default, sound quality is much better - lower noise floor, more silence between the notes, more papable imaging, and greater imaging depth delination, more musicality - in other words, closer to the way it was designed to sound. some users who had done so on their scd-xa9000es or the earlier scd-xa777es have acknowledged affirmative results.

see link below.

http://db.audioasylum.com/cgi/m.mpl?forum=hirez&n=110624&highlight=jaybo+default&r=

http://db.audioasylum.com/cgi/m.mpl?forum=hirez&n=110391&highlight=jaybo+default&r=

the simple explanation is that when the sony m-ch players are left in the factory default setting of m-ch play mode, the-still active circuits feeding m-ch play mode is thought to be causing extra loading onto the power supply and that somehow is degrading sound quality. i never received a definite reply from their engineers, but they acknowledged the problem, and at the time when they finally agreed to remedy the situation, it was during the early design stage of the scd-xa5400es. the solution was either to set the player to 2ch mode as factory settings (as part of the onboard menu settings), or, to implement a physical switch to toggle between 2-ch / m-ch mode. they chose the later. that's why the scd-xa5400es now has a physical 2-ch / m-ch mode switch at its rear panel. they also accepted my 2nd request to implement balanced XLR audio outputs on the scd-xa5400es. however, my third request to include an absolute polarity switch was rejected. which is a pity..., that would have helped restored back some of their audiophile credentials.

however, the scd-xa9000es, unlike the scd-xa777es is afflicted with the second problem - it's iLink circuit board is still affecting its power supply. even if the iLink mode is switched off (when operating in analog mode), it is still affecting the power supply.

the solution is simple. just remove the power supply cable feeding the iLink board, and the problem is fixed!

the 2 terminations connecting the iLink board to the main mother board can be easily unplugged by pressing the sides of the terminals and with a gentle tug. unless you are using the iLink mode in partnership with an iLink equipped AV receiver, removing this cable does not affect all its playback operation in anyway.

take note: this is something you can do yourself.
no authorised service centre will do this for customers.

***but take special note: before removing this iLink power supply cable, make sure you press the iLink button on the front panel to check that the iLink function is switched off first.
when the iLink power suplly cable is removed, and the iLink functionality is engaged (via the front panel), the sonic problem will still persist.

see pix:




in the pix above - the arrows pointing towards the iLink power supply cable that needs to be removed for better sound.

remember to disengage the iLink function first.
AND TURN OFF the player before fiddling inside!
there are total 5 screws (2 on top panel , and 3 at the flab that covers over the rear panel)
after all 5 screws are removed, you need to lift up the top panel vertically
.
you can't slide the top panel horizontally out.

***while you're at it, avoid touching any of the dsp chips on the motherboard....to prevent any potential static issues from affecting sound quality.


after removing the iLink power supply cable, do not ever press the iLink button again.
if you accidentally engaged the iLink functionality, you will need you put back the iLink power supply cable first, before you can successfully disengage the iLink functionality on the front panel.

the sonic difference from this is quite remarkable. doing so brings the scd-xa9000es to just a hair breath from the robust sonic qualities of the scd-1. the scd-xa9000es with this iLink power supply cable removed no longers sound flat, lifeless and lethargic.

other audible tweaks:
- don't use the slow filter setting (for CD playback)
stick to the standard filter setting.
first of all, this slow filter is design to implement a roll-off of top end frequencies with a more gradual gradient. but in order to successfully remove aliasing noise, the roll-off has to start much earlier from within the audible frequency spectrum - which means some of the top end octaves of the music will be truncated.
another reason not to engage the cd slow filter is that, in doing so will truncate bass performance. and this will also affect SACD playback! explanation is probably the same as the above 2 issues. any functionality that uses dsp implementation will have some drastic sonic effect on the power supply, leading to impaled sonic performances.

other issues
- use the dedicated stereo outputs. they sound better.
- make sure all repeat modes are switched off totally.
doing so will allow music to flow more effortlessly.
this is related to the "ram" issue"
but that's a story for another day...

- switching off the digital outputs (coaxial and optical) on the xa9000es also improve sound.
- make sure to disengage the dc lineariser on the str-da9000es str-da7100es receiver.
set it to off mode to enjoy more opened, and more transparent sound.
if you are bi-wiring your front speakers, make sure both sets of speaker cables are connected to one set of amplifier terminals only on the str-da9000es and str-da7100es (either A or B, but never connect both A+B).
- connect the scd-xa9000es' dedicated analog rca outputs into the front left and right channels of the str-da9000es and str-da7100es' multi-channel external inputs to bypass all on board eq and dsp processings.
this way of connection sounds sure as hell better than having i.Link connection between them.
(incidentally, iLink cables do have signal flow directionality as well)

hope this helps




-----------------
Main System: Sources Sony SCD-1, Michell Gyro SE, SME V, Lyra Skala. Amplifiers Pass Lab Aleph Ono, Pass X2.5, Pass X350. Speakers Sony SS-M9ED. Cables Straightwire Crescendo interconnects, double run speaker cables.



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by sterling1 » Sat Jun 18, 2011 2:02 pm

Maybe I should just get an Oppo BD95.
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by mykyll2727 » Sun Jun 19, 2011 1:43 am

I apologise to all for highjacking this thread. It's just that I have the SCD-XA/STR-DA9000ES combo and was very interested in this info. Hopefully the info will be of interest to others as well.

  jeromelang_Interesting! Thanks for the detailed info!!! I have total respect for your knowledge of audio gear especially Sony's which is why I'm always asking you so many questions. I hope you don't mind. I know many have reported that the 5400 sounds better on analog than the 9kES despite it's superior build quality. I always attributed this to the 5400 having more advanced and better sounding DACs. I felt they much be far better to overcome the difference in build. Your observations definitely suggest there's more to it than I thought. 3 things have me curious though and I'm sure you can set me straight. First I thought that the 2ch/mch switch on the rear of the 5400 was for HDMI only as both units have a button on the front for switching SACD modes. Second I thought the standard and optional filter settings in the XA9kES only worked on digital playback. (It says so in the manual but I've run into erroneous info in owner's manuals before particularly Sony's.) Do they work on analog as well? Third I use my 9kES combo thru iLink where I've found it to sound it's best on both CD and SACD. Do you feel that with these tweaks to the XA9kES it sounds better thru analog than iLink with HATS? BTW my analog connections were thru the 2ch outs (as I realise these use the "Tri-DAC" configuration as Sony calls it) to the MCH ins on the DA9kES._Mykl
  



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by mykyll2727 » Sun Jun 19, 2011 2:06 am


On 2011-06-18 18:02, sterling1 wrote:
Maybe I should just get an Oppo BD95.


I haven't heard the Oppo BD95 yet to make a sonic comparison but owning it will give you a universal player (3D BluRay, SACD etc.) with MCH analog outs if owning a uni player has any appeal to you. At $999.00 new it runs a little cheaper than what I've seen new 5400s going for. One person I know that has heard the two stock felt the 5400 sounded better than the Oppo but there are companies doing mods to the 95 that greatly improve it's performance. If price is no object and audio performance is all you're concerned about for around $2k more you could have your 5400ES or BD95 modded by ModWright. By all accounts Dan's version of the 5400 is truly a world beater and he says his version of the 95 is right there with it and that "it's too close to call " on which is better. Considering that Dan has chosen these two units for his top mods I'd say it speaks volumes to their stock performance._mykl

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by sterling1 » Thu Jun 23, 2011 2:04 am

So, it's your understanding the 5400 sounds better than the BD95?
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