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Sony BDPS-480 SACD playback question
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I recently bought a Sony BDPS-480 and a Sony KDL 46NX720 television, which sits in a SU-B461S speaker stand. I chose to get the BDPS player mainly because I have a few hybrid SACD discs, of which I had only previously been able to play the CD layer, and I was curious to hear the SACD sound.

That said, I wanted to play it through the speaker stand, thus via the TV. I've been told that the benefits of SACD are questionable and, more relevantly, that they only show up in surround sound. There is a simulated surround function on my TV - which I haven't tried out except when trying to solve the problem I'm working up to: the player reads the SACD - you can see that because the time counter display shows on the TV, track titles are shown etc - but I can't get any sound out of it at all. (If I switch the setting to select the CD layer it plays fine.) I've tried every permutation of settings I can come up with on the TV, to no avail.

I'm assuming the problem is in the TV/speaker-stand setup, most probably the TV itself, since both BDPS and speaker stand function fine with all the other formats I've tried, viz CD, DVD, blu-ray. (There may be a fault in my logic here of course.)

Anyway, one salesperson has told me that SACD will not play at all except when it is integrated in a surround system. Apart from the fact that the other sales staff signally failed to tell me this before I'd forked out the money, nothing else I read about the format on the net has mentioned this.

So: does anyone know if it's true; or preferably, that it isn't true and what I can do get my SACDs audible?

Thanks a lot!:silenced:

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RE: Sony BDPS-480 SACD playback question

Hi banana

If I read you correctly, you've got the BD player connected to the stand, then the stand connected to the TV.

Does it play if you connect the HDMI from the BD directly to the TV? I'm not suggesting this as the final setup, just as a way to see what is and isn't working.

 

Anonymous
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RE: Sony BDPS-480 SACD playback question

banana wrote:

I recently bought a Sony BDPS-480 and a Sony KDL 46NX720 television, which sits in a SU-B461S speaker stand. I chose to get the BDPS player mainly because I have a few hybrid SACD discs, of which I had only previously been able to play the CD layer, and I was curious to hear the SACD sound.

 the player reads the SACD - you can see that because the time counter display shows on the TV, track titles are shown etc - but I can't get any sound out of it at all.

There's a very good reason for this.

If you're outputting the sound output from SACD using the SACD layer, then it normally outputs the signal digitally as DSD (Direct Stream Digital).  Both the player and the device receiving the signal have to be capable of handling DSD, or else (as you've noted) you'll hear nothing.

According to its manual, the SU-B461S can handle Dolby Digital, DTS and Linear PCM, but not DSD.

The easiest way to sort this is go into the sound settings on the BDPS-480, and there's a setting called "DSD Output Mode".  Set this to OFF so that it outputs SACD as PCM instead, which will work with your stand - it'll effectively do the conversion on the player to 5.1 PCM sound, possibly not as good, but should still be audible.  The setting's on page 22 of the manual, having checked it online.

Fingers crossed that works for you!

I should add that a lot of Sony AV receivers (including the STR-DH820 don't handle DSD either, which to me seems daft considering Sony were one of the inventors of SACD in the first place.  Thankfully the STR-DA3700 and STR-DA5700s do seem to handle it according to the manuals, and fingers crossed the STR-DH830 does too.  So if you do decide one day to get an AV receiver and all the speakers, make sure your AV receiver can handle DSD.

Anonymous
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RE: Sony BDPS-480 SACD playback question

Does the B461S accept LCPM at a sample rate greater than 48kHz ?

From the spec sheet -

"Audio inputs Linear PCM 2ch/5.1ch/7.1ch
Dolby Digital
DTS
Each signal is compliant with 32, 44.1,
48 kHz."

I'm not sure if the last line means absolute or multiple of. If it's the former DSD is typically decimated to a higher sample rate LPCM such 88.2kHz, 176.4kHz etc. 

 

Anonymous
Anonymous's picture
RE: Sony BDPS-480 SACD playback question

Hi Petherick,

 

Thanks for the suggestion. I tried it and sadly, no, still no sound. (And I did, eventually, remember to changing the sound settings to TV speakers after changing the connection.)

 

Anonymous
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RE: Sony BDPS-480 SACD playback question

Thanks very much - that works! At least it's the best solution so far in that it is the only permutation of settings that gives me any sound when I have the SACD layer selected.

I'll need to spend some time listening before deciding if there's any quality benefit as compared to the regular CD layer. My initial reaction is that there is, but I am conscious that I could easily be imagining it, and I don't know of any way to test it objectively.

Since you mention the idea, is there an DSD-friendly AV receiver you'd recommend - say in the range £250-£500? And speakers in the same sort of range?  I'd want to connect my record player and the BDPS. Main argument against is that it would make my speaker stand instantly redundant. That and the money, obviously, but I'd quite like to get a decent system together now and forget about it for another ten years.

Anonymous
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RE: Sony BDPS-480 SACD playback question

Thanks for the input - I'm afraid it's a bit over my head. And as you'll see, WazP has provided a solution of sorts. I say "of sorts" because, having just skimmed the wikipedia articles on SACD and DSD and the discussion of PCM therein, I'm essentially none the wiser - but at least it's good just to be able to play my SACD layers!

Anonymous
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RE: Sony BDPS-480 SACD playback question

banana wrote:

Thanks very much - that works! At least it's the best solution so far in that it is the only permutation of settings that gives me any sound when I have the SACD layer selected.

Glad that works for you.  I suspected that the speaker stands themselves wouldn't accept the pure DSD signal.

banana wrote:
Since you mention the idea, is there an DSD-friendly AV receiver you'd recommend - say in the range £250-£500? And speakers in the same sort of range?  I'd want to connect my record player and the BDPS.

A lot of AV receivers don't have a turntable (phono) input on them.  What I suspect some would do is to buy a good quality AV receiver and added a separate phono stage to amplify the turntable signal, although that means two boxes.

As an example, all Onkyos ending in 09 (even the TX-SR309) happily take a DSD signal, so you could get the TX-NR609 for around £400, or the one below, the TX-NR509 for around £250.  These don't have a phono input so you'd be looking at around £50-100 for a decent phono stage add-on.  The TX-NR709 is around £600 at a certain large hi-fi retailer, and this model does have a phono input.  The NR-709 also has more HDMI inputs and also multi channel in and out should you wish to use them, so maybe more room for expansion as well.

Maybe have a chat with your local hi-fi dealer and see if you can arrange a demo of a few receivers?  That way you get to hear them before you buy and make sure that the sound's going to be acceptable for you as well. Everyone's different and so the sound needs to suit you.

Not many AV receivers as a rule have a phono input.  In fact I've only been able to find a few that do:

Onkyo TX-NR709, 809 and 1009
Marantz SR-6006 (around £550)
Denon AVR-3312 (around £650)
Sony STR-DA5700ES (price unknown, due later in the year)

The Sony and Onkyo definitely handles DSD, not 100% sure about the Denon and Marantz. 

 

Anonymous
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RE: Sony BDPS-480 SACD playback question

Thanks for all the further info, duly noted & I'll follow it up.

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