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Kdjjdk Will

Why bother with multichannel analog outs ?

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Forgive me if it’s a stupid question but with the possible demise of high end Blu ray and UHD players I thought I’d ask

 

since the first flagship Blu ray players came out about 10 years ago from Sony and pioneer I haven’t met a single person who sends audio to a receiver (or av pre amp) via analog multichannel outs 

 

is it for people who have legacy receivers without HDMI ?

 

99 % of all receivers ever made ( or av pre amps ) have DIGITaL volume control

 

so even if u connected your high end UHD player via multichannel analog outs there are still multiple analog to digital conversions occurring in the av receiver 

 

manufacturers like oppo Panasonic and Pioneer wasted so much money on 7.1 analog outs and I never saw or heard anyone use them : sure u could use their fancy DACS in the player and then have the benefit negated by all the conversions your receiver has to do

 

i can understand why oppo Panasonic and pioneer have 2 channel analog outs but I’m stumped by the decision to carry 7.1 analog outs 

 

oppo pulled out because not enough profit from disc spinners . I wonder if they should have left out all the expensive 7.1 analog outs 
 

below is my pioneer Blu ray player , the most expensive paper weight in Melbourne . Same analog outs on my Panasonic uhd 9000. Am I missing something here that could give me better sound ?

5D8EBB7F-B479-438E-B87D-02E9874439C7.jpeg

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I used the 7.1 outputs from both my Oppo 95 and Oppo 203 players into my Denon 4810 AVR even though I could (and did) also connect both to the Denon amp via HDMI.

 

The simple reason is that the DACs and processing in the Oppo's make the sound much clearer / open and enjoyable ln my opinion. 

 

For 5.1 and 7.1 and 2 channel I would often switch between HDMI and Analog In and in my case always found Analog in superior

 

When using Analog in my understanding is all the processing is done on the Player and the AVR is just doing the amplification.

 

Agree that HDMI connection is much easier and neater and would also be my preference if my AVR's DAC sounded better.

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Yes the avr is doing the amplification 

 

after it does an analog to digital conversion of the audio signals , the volume knob is all digital volume control. The signal is again converted from digital to analogue again so it can run into speaker cables 

 

many avr’s have excellent DACS themselves not just the players 

 

But if you can hear the benefit then that’s a good thing , I just cant understand how the sound is better with all the conversions I guess

Edited by Kdjjdk Will

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It is most useful when a new player with analog is paired with an older AVR without the latest audio formats.

 

If using a modern AVR, the player with a good DAC and better analog stages can produce better sound than the AVR.  Yes, some AVRs have better DAC chips but that itself is not enough because the analog circuitry may not be as good.  AVRs are capable jack of many trades but budgetary considerations often mean reduced power, poorer components including analog stages.

 

Have a NAD T758V3 and a Pana UB9000.  No doubt that the UB9000 2 channel is superior. With 5.1, the UB9000 is slightly better than T758V3 without Dirac. The T758V3 with Dirac is better than UB9000 5.1 analog. Am using better RCA inter connects as well.

 

So, multi channel analog output can be useful and sometimes better than an AVR.

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its for folks with legacy AV pre / AVR that dont upgrade and use analog outs from player instead. however can assure you its not worth it. better off to use hdmi and update the pre or avr instead.  

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3 hours ago, Kdjjdk Will said:

after it does an analog to digital conversion of the audio signals , the volume knob is all digital volume control. The signal is again converted from digital to analogue again so it can run into speaker cables 

jsut as heads up this isnt the case with denon and marantz and many AV pre /AVRs they are very mcuh done in analog domain. however this is better no doubt as spend more .... get what pay for and analog gear 2ch $ for $ is going to be better ...

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Yes some AV Receivers and Integrated Amplifiers have very very average DAC’s. Some CD, DVD, DVA-Audio, SACD and Blu-Ray players can also have very very average DAC’s. Sound quality of an AV Receiver and Integrated Amplifier with average DAC’s can be improved by using a source device that has higher quality DAC’s. Analogue inputs and outputs provide the flexibility to overcome the shortcomings of lower quality DAC’s in either.

Edited by bizzibee

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3 hours ago, Kdjjdk Will said:

99 % of all receivers ever made ( or av pre amps ) have DIGITaL volume control

 

so even if u connected your high end UHD player via multichannel analog outs there are still multiple analog to digital conversions occurring in the av receiver 

Anthem AV have analogue volume control. This was confirmed direct from the Anthem themselves when I enquired. So I assume Anthem only sell 1% of the worlds AVR's and no other manufacturer offers analogue volume control.

 

Manufacturers are offering the consumer a choice, If said consumer chooses to run it through a digital volume control AVR that is their choice. I am assuming that you did not buy your blueray players based on the fact that they had 7.1 analogue outs, they had other features/choices that appealed to you, which other consumers wouldn't really care about.

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4 hours ago, Kdjjdk Will said:

99 % of all receivers ever made ( or av pre amps ) have DIGITaL volume control

 

so even if u connected your high end UHD player via multichannel analog outs there are still multiple analog to digital conversions occurring in the av receiver 

As others have said. I’m not sure that quoted figure is correct.

 

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If modern pre pros /. Receivers like Denon and Marantz are using analogue volume control that’s news to me

 

if it’s true then I understand why 7.1 analogue outs from players still exist and I retract the question

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10 hours ago, Kdjjdk Will said:

99 % of all receivers ever made ( or av pre amps ) have DIGITaL volume control

 

so even if u connected your high end UHD player via multichannel analog outs there are still multiple analog to digital conversions occurring in the av receiver 

To go back to the start Kdjjk ' when multi analogues were introduced they were a necessity as hdmi 1.1 could pass dvd-a and it wasn't until 1.2 that dsd from a sacd could be passed digitally . Of course hdmi 1.0 couldn't send any bitstream and the ce's like sony had a problem with ''piracy" so conversion to analogue was something they loved ..

The vast majority of avr's have an analogue passthrough and it was only the rare upmarket one like Harmon Kardon that put in adc's on the multi analogue ins so bass management ;dsp processing etc could be done in the digital domain before being routed to the dacs ..

Most avr's ; pre pro's [or the good ones ] use analogue volume control on a digital soc chipset . I like to look for fine resolution volume ladder network potentiometers like the cs3318 ; upmarket and popular :) click here to see the download

https://pdf1.alldatasheet.com/datasheet-pdf/view/167484/CIRRUS/CS3318.html

Other options can be volume pots built into the dacs themselves which saves on the bom[bill of material] .Multi ins aren't needed these days due to needs like auto room eq ; extra atmos dts-x chanels and simplified circuit design . As said its not just the dacs its the total analogue stage including the volume after that's important..

Edited by cwt

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For a long time I ran my Oppo UDP-205 via analog 7.1 out to my Anthem AVM 50 3D processor. 

I ran in AnalogDir mode, ofcourse meaning direct - this meant the Anthem was only doing signal pass thru, using the Oppo's superior DACs and huge dynamic range. 

 

Where it fell over is I still need additional processing for my Krix speaker set-up; the QSC DCM 10D cinema processor that manages active crossovers and the like does not handle LFE settings.... 

Once I removed my managed Velodyne DD Subs and replaced with Krix Cyclonix I needed Bass Management. 

So I had to run AnalogDSP mode, which invokes ADC... 

 

My sound suffered. It got thin but yes, now I can manage bass. 

 

Instead now I run HDMI bistream to the Anthem and let it decode. It's still arguably very good and removes a conversion that only then needs to be converted back. 

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Bass management in itself is a problem with mch analog and legacy pres. but there’s also no support means for latest audio formats including 3D audio and plethora of processing modern pres run

 

theres also one huge potential issue ... same problem as using separate hdmi and splitting audio and video and that is the dreaded lip synch boogie man. And there’s no getting away from that ... as soon as start processing audio and video separately will get varying delays. And they do vary as different signals require different levels processing so not like one lip synch setting going to fix it

 

mch analog was for era gone by at dawn of hdmi, for those that didn’t keep up. That time was 16-17 years ago. Time to move on ! :D

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I've been using Universal Disk Players now for almost 20 years and have always bought players with multi-channel analogue outputs.  Initially to cater for SACD & DVD-A playback, and then later to cater for Dolby True-HD and DTS-HD when I got the CA751BD.

That, of course, meant that the AV Processor/Receivers that I have owned over that time have also required multi-channel inputs.  A Yamaha DSP-E800 and then a Yamaha RX-V667 both served me very well in that respect.

 

If you have late model gear that supports those HD audio formats via HDMI, then multi-channel analogue outputs are probably redundant.  Unless you really prefer the sound of your player's DAC over your AVR's.

 

End of 2018 I decided it was time to upgrade the AVR to access all the newer HD & multi-channel audio formats, UHD Video, Room correction, App Control and the other features provided by Network & Bluetooth connectivity.

In doing my research it was evident that multi-channel outputs/inputs on Players/AVRs were starting to become scarce.

 

In the end I settled on a Marantz NR-1508 which doesn't have multi-channel inputs, as I worked out that the combination of SACD/DVD-A settings in my Player, and the formats supported in the new AVR meant that I could get full HD Multi-channel audio from those formats via the HDMI connection.

I would say the DACs in my player were superior to what was in the previous AVR, but I have no complaints about the AK4458VN DAC in the NR-1508 that supports up to 32/768 PCM & 11.2 MHz DSD.

 

Footnote: Yes, compact AVR's like the NR1508 have lower power output ratings, but the front mains in my system have always been driven by a separate 2-channel integrated. The AVR only drives the Centre & Rears.  Marantz, in their wisdom, did include Front L/R & Subwoofer line outputs on this model.

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Could it be for people that want to just forgo a receiver or pre-amp altogether? These flagships can be connected directly to power amps (multichannel or separates for each channel). They also include multiple HDMI inputs, therefore essentially making it the AV pre-amp (but with a built in disc player). Hook whatever device up to them (although limited in number), use them as an input switch, volume control and DAC.

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24 minutes ago, Midget said:

Could it be for people that want to just forgo a receiver or pre-amp altogether? These flagships can be connected directly to power amps (multichannel or separates for each channel). They also include multiple HDMI inputs, therefore essentially making it the AV pre-amp (but with a built in disc player). Hook whatever device up to them (although limited in number), use them as an input switch, volume control and DAC.

very rudimentary pre amp it would make though. with very basic switching and processing functionality. no 3D audio and what not. most basic pre amps would surpass i would suggest...

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10 hours ago, betty boop said:

very rudimentary pre amp it would make though. with very basic switching and processing functionality. no 3D audio and what not. most basic pre amps would surpass i would suggest...

Yes true, it wouldn't make much sense to buy a top of the range player and then be limited in features. 

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I’m glad they do have analog outputs,always wanted to try a Macintosh preamp , picked up a C45 , no digital processing, so I use the outputs from my oppo.

 Works a treat 

 

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Posted (edited)

Experimented tonight with some good quality RCA cables 

 

disabled HDMI audio on my Panasonic 9000 UHD player to connect via multichannel analog outs - to see if there’s was an audible improvement by using the AKM dacs. Speakers are Wilson Benesch with Denon POA amp ( the one with the three UV metres that weighed a tonne ). Wilson Benesch Torus sub

 

my pre is a marantz AV8003 circa 2008 which from memory uses cirrus logic DACS

 

there was a slight improvement in sound quality by using the AKM DACS but nothing to justify the headf*** of having to buy 6 RCA cables , lip synch delays and lose bass management  afforded by HDMI audio. But at 50 maybe I’m tooo old to hear the differences 

 

 

Edited by Kdjjdk Will

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Nice one. At least you went out and tried it for yourself. Thanks for coming back and updating the thread with your findings. Appreciated.

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