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5.1 DSD playback with Anthem 710. Possibilities?

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Hi, I am new to this forum but I have searched the threads and think that I might be right.


OK, here is what I am trying to figure out. My goal here is to play 5.1 SACD files from my computer. They are in SACD-R, dsd or dff format and I am playing them with Jriver. I have no problem playing them with my onboard graphiccard via HDMI to the reciver. BUT then the conversion to PCM 5.1 is done by my GPU. That can not be the best way to do this? Right?


I would like to output pure DSD 5.1 from USB on my computer to a Sabre 9018 DAC of some kind. Then the signal should then be converted and output to 5.1 analog. Now this is where my real problem starts. I do not have 5.1 analog in on my Anthem mrx 710 and it will not decode a pure dsd signal. I would need the DAC to output a HDMI analog signal? But that would couse jitter? Can the SPDIF send 5.1 pcm? Is that a possiblity?


My setup today is:

Computer with Jriver

Anthem 710 mrx

Classé CA-5300

Usher 5.1 dmd speakers (8571 in front)


My goal is to play 5.1 SACD files from my computer in best possioble way!

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Sorry, I missed the part about your Anthem AVR not supporting analog inputs.

The exaSound e28 starts at $3300 and is an 8-channel DAC which supports up to DSD256.

However you would also need a 6+ channel amplifier with analog inputs.


I really don't think you would hear an appreciable difference in quality buying a new DAC and amplifier/AVR, compared to having your player output LPCM over HDMI.


HDMI is a digital connection. There is no conversion happening in the GPU.

S/PDIF can only handle stereo LPCM. 5.1 has to be compressed using Dolby Digital 5.1 or DTS 5.1

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  1. Computers cannot output DSD over HDMI
  2. Your AVR doesn't appear to support DSD over HDMI anyway
  3. Your AVR apparently does not support analog inputs, so it cannot be used as a multichannel amplifier when paired with an external DSD DAC


So the only way for you to get native multichannel DSD playback is to either:

  1. Find an AVR which does DSD over USB, if such a thing exists
  2. Replace the AVR with a multichannel USB DAC that supports DSD ($3300+) and a multichannel amplifier (or AVR with analog inputs)

Or you could convert DSD to PCM and output that over HDMI to your existing AVR.


I cannot imagine that it would be worth replacing the AVR (which appears to be a new model) just to get native multichannel DSD, instead of converting it to PCM.



Even though my DAC supports DSD, I prefer to convert that to PCM, since it allows for additional processing of the signal. (volume leveling, room correction/crossfeed for headphones)


I don't hear any meaningful difference - at least not in favor of DSD - when comparing DSD64 vs DSD64 converted to PCM for example (in a 2 channel system) so I cannot possibly imagine that it would be worthwhile to do this.

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