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View topic - CD player observations

CD player observations

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

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by scott1019 » Tue Aug 16, 2011 8:45 am

Well I thought I knew the differences until I read a bunch on the web and my head started to spin.  Thanks for your explanation which now makes sense to me the way you just  described it.   I will definitely be running my preamp and amp as balanced..  and I'll let you know my results.   Finding a CD source to run as balanced has got me to thinking about possibly finding a DAC that has XLR's use for my PC audio to send directly to my Classe Preamp.

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by scott1019 » Tue Aug 16, 2011 9:05 am

I had a bit of a revelation which may be beneficial to the both of us..

I was long considering the use of this Behringer DAC before I found my Sony EP9ES and it hit me like a sack of potatoes. It has XLR's! And its fully differential!

http://www.behringer.com/EN/Products/SRC2496.aspx

How about this combo.. PC>Belkin Pro Hi-Speed USB 2.0 cable>Musical Fidelity V-link>Dayton Glass Toslink>Behringer SRC2496 DAC>Balanced pre-amp input>Amp>speakers.

I know there are a lot of connections and this is a long chain, but the result could very well be the best possible sounding audio there is regardless of price. Its a bit cumbersome getting a PC to play songs on command, but I know there are remotes which will work for PC audio. I would just have to hook it up to my system and get a wireless keyboard, mouse, and remote. This idea has promise.

I could get rid of my MegaChanger, EP9ES, Escient Fireball, and Audio Alchemy gear all in one shot.

I could even get a PC with a Blu-Ray drive and would eliminate the need to get the Oppo.. but not sure I'll be able to send DSD via i.link or HDMI this way. I was planning on using the Oppo for its multi-channel analog outputs. I will have to look into audio cards for this purpose and drives that can recognize SACD.. but I may be onto something here!
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by jehill » Tue Aug 16, 2011 9:23 am

I recall looking at the XLR output circuitry of a Sony product and all they did was invert the unbalanced output and connect the two outputs (inverted and non-inverted) to the two XLR output terminals.  This means that while one output is going positive with respect to ground, the other is going negative with respect to ground.  This effectively doubles the output voltage.  Is this a truly balanced output?  Due to the propagation delay through the inverter, the two signals are not precisely 180 degrees out of phase.

Let me be sure that I understand what you mean by a fully differential circuit.  Nearly all amplifiers utilize a differential input; however, the signal is on one input terminal while the other input terminal is grounded.  The output is single ended in that one speaker terminal has the signal on it while the other is grounded.  If I am following you correctly, what you are referring to is a differential input with a positive going signal on one input and a negative going signal on the other input (180 degrees out of phase).  Similarly, the voltage at one speaker terminal would be going positive with respect to ground while the other is going negative with respect to ground (180 degrees out of phase).

I believe that the issue is that not all balanced outputs are precisely 180 degrees out of phase, such as the Sony example discussed above.

The advantage of balanced connections is noise rejection.  I would expect an XLR cable to be twisted pair shielded.  Noise picked up by one conductor would be cancelled out by the noise picked up by the other conductor.
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by mykyll2727 » Tue Aug 16, 2011 2:32 pm

John_I'm glad you chimed in here. I was hoping you would as I was sure you'd have a far greater technical understanding than I do. You make a great point about some signals not being 180 degrees out of phase and is one I wanted to delve into but was hesitant as I didn't want to become too confusing. I guess I'm guilty of the same thing I accused Wiki of. ( BTW I've gotten my info from what I've read and the guy who designs and makes my amp. So this is my understanding from that and I could certainly be less than 100% right in some of my statements.) I guess it's even possible to even have "fake" XLRs. By that I mean XLRs that pass an unbalanced signal and are there simply for show or expediency. I don't know if that's true or not. In my experience when audiophiles refer to a true balanced signal what they're really talking about is the circuitry it came from. Not if the signal is exactly 180 out of phase or not. What I'm refering to as a fully differential circuit is that it takes in a balanced signal and maintains it thru it's circuitry without any conversions. At no point does it "unbalance" the signal and return it to balanced. Which I've discovered is what most audiophiles are refering to when they say "true balanced" signals. (IMO kind like mixing apples and oranges) Which is why in his post Harley described a fully differential circuit, which he called "true balanced", as being the only way a "true balanced" signal is generated . He never refered to an outgoing signal as not being exactly 180 out of phase. He doesn't say that if a signal is exactly 180 OOP then it's a "true balanced" signal. He's making the point that the only way to produce an exactly 180 OOP signal is from a fully differential circuit. It's my understanding that's not true. A fully differential circuit may theoretically have the potential to do a better job but it's not the only way to do the job.

 I agree that the point of balanced cables is noise rejection thus sending a "quieter" more accurate and therefore better sounding signal. I'm not sure that balanced cables would have to be twisted pair. I know of some ribbon XLRs in use in both home and pro audio. You might be right I really don't know how that works._mykl
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by mykyll2727 » Tue Aug 16, 2011 2:44 pm


On 2011-08-16 13:05, scott1019 wrote:
I had a bit of a revelation which may be beneficial to the both of us..  

I was long considering the use of this Behringer DAC before I found my Sony EP9ES and it hit me like a sack of potatoes.  It has XLR's!  And its fully differential!  

http://www.behringer.com/EN/Products/SRC2496.aspx

How about this combo..  PC>Belkin Pro Hi-Speed USB 2.0 cable>Musical Fidelity V-link>Dayton Glass Toslink>Behringer SRC2496 DAC>Balanced pre-amp input>Amp>speakers.     

I know there are a lot of connections and this is a long chain, but the result could very well be the best possible sounding audio there is regardless of price.   Its a bit cumbersome getting a PC to play songs on command, but I know there are remotes which will work for PC audio.  I would just have to hook it up to my system and get a wireless keyboard, mouse, and remote.   This idea has promise.  

I could get rid of my MegaChanger, EP9ES, Escient Fireball, and Audio Alchemy gear all in one shot.  

I could even get a PC with a Blu-Ray drive and would eliminate the need to get the Oppo..  but not sure I'll be able to send DSD via i.link or HDMI this way.  I was planning on using the Oppo for its multi-channel analog outputs.  I will have to look into audio cards for this purpose and drives that can recognize SACD..  but I may be onto something here!


I'm with you entirely as I was comtemplating something on the same order myself when I 1st began considering a new setup!!!! It's why I was asking about using the computer for all my digital sources. The info I got on the BD drive sorta thru me off but yeah it's exactly what I meant by simplifying and reducing the # of components. Especially "disposable" audio gear. I'm not surprised the Behringer is fully differential. It is from the pro arena. I have to check in to that as I'm not familiar with what they really have. I've only investigated their amps. Believe me I looked at alot of amps before I made that bank account crushing buy of mine._mykl
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by scott1019 » Tue Aug 16, 2011 3:35 pm

Check your PM< I found something you may be interested to know... it may suit your needs perfectly..
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by mykyll2727 » Tue Aug 16, 2011 4:49 pm

 Got it. I agree that your setup is a longer chain than I was most hoping for but it still eliminates alot of stuff. Don't really mind an external DAC if the cost can be kept down without sacrificing SQ. When looking at the Vlink I looked at the Vdac. price was right if it does the job SQ wise. I don't want to invest much $ in a DAC if it can be avoided as I feel because of constant improvements they're disposable. The biggest problem I'm running into in accomplishing my goal is between the DAC and amp. It's the preamp - processor situation that has me stymied. I can go the processor and great seperate pre-amp route. Not so bad as a great pre I'll have for awhile and won't be disposable but it's the processor that's a snag. Because the system is still at the mercy of the processor SQ forcing a substantial $ outlay for a disposable unit. The thing I most wanted to eliminate and the driving force behind a new setup. If I have to have a great pro I might as well go on and get a great pre/pro and be done. But then i've still defeated the main reason for a new setup. The problem is how to have modern processing cheaply without sacrifing SQ. That's what I need a solution for more than anything else at this point._mykl
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by scott1019 » Tue Aug 16, 2011 4:54 pm


The problem is how to have modern processing cheaply without sacrifing SQ. That's what I need a solution for more than anything else at this point._mykl


I have run into this time and time again with newer gear.  They have all the features I need, but not the sound I am looking for.   I think that V-link V-DAC combo I sent to you is the ticket.  

If only Sony made a E9ES which will decode the modern formats.   What formats are you wanting to be able to play and what do you need decoded?  

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by mykyll2727 » Tue Aug 16, 2011 5:10 pm

 You know I've been kicking that around. Alot will depend on the BD unit. If it handles decoding or not. What I absolutely need is HDMI 1.4, pre-outs to the amp, and not degrade the SQ of the system and do it cheap enough that I won't mind it being disposable.

 No question the vlink?dac upstream is the way for me. If not the vdac something like your Behringer. Got a real handle on that. Thanks. Now it's what to do after that and before the amp I've got to work out. A BIG problem so far. Thought I'd be Ok with a lower garde pro and using a great seperate pre. No such luck as it seems the pro will affect the SQ of eveything and defeat the purpose of having great SQ from everything else._mykl
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by scott1019 » Tue Aug 16, 2011 5:37 pm

For what its worth I too have pulled out my hair getting HDMi to work properly for audio. It has never sounded right. Nothing at ALL like i.link or analog outs. I have just decided to remove it from the equation and use HDMi for video only. Unfortunately the only way to send the LPCM stream and be able to play the newer audio formats for Blu-Ray is via HDMi for the most part. It can also send DSD on certain players, but whats the point if none of the receivers out there decode it properly?? And trust me, none do, no matter what they tell you. And to get it right is too expensive and too complicated.

If you need something that will decode all formats, go with the Oppo and send the analog outs to your amp. I KNOW this will work and sound good. For my purposes, I am just wondering if I will lose something by not using i.Link for audio. This is still the best interface for digital audio transmission and can send DSD. If ONLY they would have stayed with i.Link and DVi none of us would be having these problems.

It really pisses me off that HDMi is now the standard for everything and while I appreciate its convenience, its shortcomings for audio playback and the lack of good pre/pros to decode the DSD stream properly is equally frustrating.

The Emotiva Pre/Pro was supposed to solve this issue and failed miserably. So have many of the other offerings. I am told that Denon does it the best, but you will have to spend a couple thousands for it. Not something I can stomach.
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