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Everything posted by gmgraves

  1. You just asked the $64,000 question! The answer is anything but simple. I have regular CDs that sound infinitely better than SACDs of the exact, same material, and I also have SACDs of older analog masters that make them sound like the best modern digital masters. It seems that how carefully a release is produced is just as important, or possibly even more important than the format. Same is true with LP vs CD! But, given the best source material, the Pontus makes the best SACDs show the original promise of the format, and show that CDs can sound much better than they rightly shou
  2. First of all, your player does not need to have a dedicated audio-only HDMI output connector to output DSD over HDMI but the Blu-ray player itself must support playback of SACD to either rip or play (through an outboard DAC) an SACD disc. My experience is that those “cheap” Sony Blu-ray/SACD players don’t make very good sounding rips (stands to reason, they don’t sound very good as transports to play SACDs through outboard DACs via I2S, so why would a rip from these players sound any better?).
  3. I believe that it does. As I understand it, there is more to the SACD standard than just a DSD audio file.
  4. I hear you. The SCD-777ES is so well built, sounds so good, and is so elegant, that it’s a crying shame to have to have to relegate it to a closet, throw it away, or sell it on EBay for parts.
  5. I don’t see how a “wire” can introduce jitter, anyway, I’m not sure that would matter in this case. Anybody know for sure?
  6. I don’t see how a “wire” can introduce jitter, anyway, I’m not sure that would matter in this case. Anybody know for sure?
  7. That’s next. I have a friend’s Oppo 105 (from which SACDs can be ripped with the proper software). Just bought a new Windows laptop and am waiting for it’s delivery. When it arrives, I will install the needed software, and rip some SACDs for comparison.
  8. Can’t say for certain. The differences in presentation between the transports I’ve tried seem to be pretty much across the board; bass, mids, treble, image specificity, overall sound-stage etc.
  9. The Oppo UDP-205 as a stand-alone SACD player is mediocre at best, but it does seem to be an exemplary transport for streaming DSD data to an outboard DAC. I’ve tried several Sony Blu-Ray players and an Oppo 105, and the UDP-205 sounds superior playing SACDs through the I2S converter to the Denafrips Pontus via HDMI with the Oppo 105 as a close second.
  10. You are, unfortunately, barking up the wrong tree, here. I wouldn’t know the “Stones” from Adam. I certainly wouldn’t know them (or mostly any other rock or pop group, for that matter) when I heard them as I neither listen to nor generally appreciate this genre of music. Not knocking it, understand, it’s simply not my cup of tea. My musical tastes run mostly to classical, movie scores and jazz. Light listening will extend to folk, big band from the 30’s and 40’s, and from my misspent youth, the likes of Sinatra and even the Beach Boys!
  11. Thanks for offering, but I can’t imagine a stand-alone SACD player sounding as good as my Oppo UDP-205 through the Denafrips Pontus. I’ve been listening, almost non-stop, since just before Christmas to all of my . I can’t imagine the many of the best ones sound any thing but almost identical to the capture tapes from which said albums were originally derived. I have several streaming MQA versions on Tidal, of titles of which I also have SACDs. Through the Denafrips the SACDs always sound head and shoulders above the streaming MQA versions from Tidal (through the same Denafrips DAC).
  12. If you happen to have (or can find) an Oppo 103 or 105. Don’t try it with a 203 or a 205. It won’t work...
  13. I think I made that quite clear. I used the Sony because I wanted to see if this methodology would work with other Blu-ray/SACD players and the Sony was what I had on-hand. No more, no less.
  14. Yes, that’s already been pointed out by someone else. But, thank you for reiterating it. The fact remains, however that the ESS PRO’s decoding of the DSD file on an SACD is sonically inferior of the same SACD played via I2S through the Denefrips DAC.
  15. I must be missing something because I fail to get your point. Irrespective of the provenance of the BDP-BX37, or its price point (bought mine used on E-bay incredibly cheap - less than 50 bucks), I included it to show that the HDMI to I2S converter will work with any Blu-ray player that will play SACDs and has an HDMI output and that the extent to which the playback quality through the Denefrips DACs is more than a little influenced by the quality of the transport used to read the SACD and parse the DSD from the disc. I also fail to see the relevance of mentioning the Burr-Brown DAC which
  16. Absolutely! That’s what I found. The quality of the SACD playback is determined fairly, largely, by the quality of the transport. The Oppo 205 gives incredibly analog-like playback through the Denafrips Pontus. But the same SACDs played on the Sony’s transport, was pretty poor. One experiment that I tried after I had submitted the above article, was to compare an SACD sampler of releases from Reference Recordings, with the Reference’s CD ROM of the same material through the same Pontus DAC. The material on the CD ROM, was in the form of a group of 24/192 WAV files. The results surprised m
  17. Just regular HDMI cables. It never even occurred to me to try boutique HDMI cables. You can if you wish, but that’s a road I don’t want to travel down.
  18. While that’s very true, the solution mentioned in the Stereophile article costs about US$1000 vs around $60 for this solution. One has gotta want to play one’s SACDs through an outboard DAC very badly, to be willing to go that route. Luckily, now one doesn’t have to...
  19. Could be. I was under the impression that as a 1-bit (delta-sigma) DAC that the ESS DACs would do a direct conversion of DSD.
  20. At Long Last! Listen To Your SACDs Through an Outboard DAC George Graves When Sony/Phillips Announced their new Super Audio CD format (SACD) in 1999/2000, Sony opened a marketing office in NYC to advertise and promote the new format. They reached out to a number of audio writers (including, yours truly) with the “gift” of a new Sony SCD-777ES player (listing for $3500) and a “subscription” to all SACD releases as they came out – regardless of label! As a result of that, and the many SACDs that I received from companies such as Telarc and Reference Recordings, etc, after S
  21. Uh, DC resistance of a speaker is irrelevant and not the same thing as impedance. Also, speaker impedance is spec’d as “nominal”. Because it changes with frequency. I have no doubt that speaker cables can change the sound of a speaker. I wouldn’t go so far as to say that different cables let different amounts of “info” through or that price has anything to do with it. The physical characteristics of the wire determine the performance of the cables, not the price. Of course, the larger the cross-section of the cable (AWG) the lower the cable’s impedance (resistance, capacitance, inductance
  22. They are both wrong only if they both change the sound! One advantage of Integrated amplifiers is no interconnects.
  23. Like I said. It’s just an incontrovertible fact of physics that if two interconnects sound different, it’s because the two cables are attenuating different portions of the audio spectrum and both are wrong. Speaker cables are different in that the impedances involved are low; less than 1 Ohm usually for the amplifier (assuming solid state here), and nominally four or eight Ohms for the speaker. That means that the longish cable runs add significant resistance to the overall impedance characteristics of the amp/speaker interface. Again, different brands of cables affect the speaker sound dif
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