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how to get the best cd sound from my blu-ray player?

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Showing 1-25 of 26 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Oct 24, 2010 10:57:57 PM PDT
I curently have a denon 1910 receiver & a sony bdp-s1000es blu-ray player that are connected with a pangea hdmi cord. I've been told that if I hooked a separate set of analog cables from the blu-ray to my receiver for the cd's it would sound better on my cd's than through the hdmi like i'm doing. Does any one know if that's true before I go buy a set audio cables? Acording to my receivers connections it says the hdmi is the best way for sound. Also, can I hook up a dac to the blu-ray for cd sound,and how would I do that if it can be done? Thank-you for any help!

Posted on Oct 25, 2010 3:00:04 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 25, 2010 3:13:52 AM PDT
MikeT says:
There is no definitive answer to this question as the outcome relies on so many factors. I suggest you try it both ways to compare for yourself. You may hear a huge difference, a subtle difference, no difference. Basically you are comparing which DAC is better, player or the AVR. Depending on your player you may have to go into the menu's to tell it to output via analog.

Standalone DAC's require a digital audio input from the player, optical or coax in your case. Again, how much (if any) difference you may hear with such a standalone DAC depends on so many factors. Source material, digital transport (player in this case), AVR, speaker quality, speaker placement, speaker settings, listening position, room acoustics, your ears, etc...

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 25, 2010 8:22:16 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 25, 2010 8:28:17 AM PDT
A/V guru says:
I have an Integra DTR 7.8 paired with the Integra DPS 6.7(no it isn't blu...but it plays SACD/DVD-A, so the relevance is there).

They are connected HDMI, Digital Coax, Tos-link and 6 channel analog (I work for an electronics distributor and get free demonstration cables and a ridiculous discount on new cables).

Anyway. When I put in a disc (cd, SACD, DVD-A or DVD) it does a quick "micro sample" of all connected inputs. It determines which it thinks is best. On the fly you can change the connections right from a button on the remote without even going in the menu.

It depends more on what is on the disc...rather than "the disc". SACD and DVD-A have to be 6 channel no matter what. But on DVD and CD there are numerous discs where the 2/6 channel analog trounces the dig coax, tos or HDMI. Where the digital tends to fair better is on "new stuff". The analog on older stuff.

Case in point.

La Roux sounds better via tos link.
AC/DC Back in Black (original cd from "back in the day") sounds better analog.
AC/DC Back in Black re-mastered...sounds better dig coax (technically, digital coax and tos-link "should be" the same)


Last of the Mohicans sounds better 6 channel
Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist sounds best HDMI.

The DPS 6.7 when paired to the DTR 7.8 has a setting to automatically turn off the HDMI (actually the video circuits in their entirety) on audio only discs...I have to turn the HDMI on to use the HDMI for the audio...which is pointless.

If playback of audio only is you reason to ask (rather than lossless audio during BD)...if the ES has a setting to turn off the video circuits during audio only playback...then it probably will make a difference.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 25, 2010 12:34:10 PM PDT
KBIC says:
Deciding if your CDs sound better via analog interconnects over HDMI would be an experiment that you would need to do do decide for your self. The same for your digital outputs. Just make sure that you have your receiver settings changed depending on what cable you are using (HDMI, Digital or analog).

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 25, 2010 12:49:29 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 25, 2010 12:53:42 PM PDT
A/V guru says:
Yeah switching between the 4 types of connector is much easier when the brands match.

But...I would imagine a ES BD player probably has better DAC's than a low to mid level Denon receiver. (but...since for some odd reason it lacks SACD playback...maybe this is an ES clone of a BDP S560???)

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 25, 2010 5:35:15 PM PDT
KBIC says:
Hey, good point A/V.

It is an easy experiment though.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 25, 2010 9:33:07 PM PDT
I think you could be right because why else would it say in the manual for set up on the denon the following; digital audio-good, componenet-better, hdmi-best. I read in this month letters in sound&vision mag a guy asked something similar about oppo's bdp-83se player he has hooked with a hdmi cord. They told him it depends on his receivers dac processor it has in it. You probably have a good point that I doubt my receiver's dac can process it through anolog cables to sound any better. If I try it anyhow, do I need expensive cables to do it, or will just any old cables work? Thank-you again, and to everyone else!

Posted on Oct 26, 2010 6:53:27 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 26, 2010 6:56:06 AM PDT
Mike T got it right in his initial post - which DACs are better is the question and a bit of experimentation is needed. I think any SHORT analog cables, with gold connectors, will work just fine.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 26, 2010 2:44:58 PM PDT
EdM says:
I agree with MikeT. I would add that I have had Sony ES DVD players, which were okay for playing SACDs, but pretty poor for CDs. I also started in Blu-ray with a Sony BDPS-300 [whatever] which was slightly better than the ES DVD player, but mid-fi was the best that could be said for CD playback. I use the player for analog out.

OTOH, I switched to the OPPO BDP-83 and was surprised at how much better CDs sounded. Then I upgraded to the OPPO BDP-83 SE [as in sent back to OPPO for the upgrade] and by this time, the CD via analog out to a high end system was truly to a high standard.

So, the quality of the BD player matters, the quality of the Denon receiver matters, and the quality of the speakers and setup matters. It is possible to get high end audio with a BD system playing a CD, but it takes optimization of all the factors/devices in use.

AS to analog out from the BD player vs. analog from the receiver via HDMI cable from the player, try it both ways and listen to how it sounds. I very happily play CDs from my OPPO SE via analog out, and the quality is quite high. I don't know of any good rep for Sony BD players for playing CDs. OTOH, some Denon receivers are pretty well regarded for their DACs and audio sections.

Some CDs are so ordinary in audio quality, that having good gear provides no audible benefit. As MikeT says, everything in the setup matters, and it's quite complex. Your audio cables are unlikely to make any difference, unless something is seriously wrong with the cables you have.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 26, 2010 3:55:27 PM PDT
Michael - If you have a subwoofer, be aware that many receivers do subwoofer crossovers and other processing in the digital domain, which means that if you feed it analog cables, it would do an internal conversion to digital again, and then back to analog to your speakers, which defeats the purpose of running analog in the first place. In my opinion, you should just forget about the whole idea. It's a lot of hassle for little gain.

Do you have a high-end preamp or does your player cost $500 or more? If not, then I doubt the DAC would make much difference in either case.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 26, 2010 9:57:58 PM PDT
First off, thanxs again for all the responses, I would like to comment on edm's comment about two things. First is that your wrong about the sony bdps-300, that's what I first started off with when the blu-rays first came out and I got my panasonic plasma tv. The sony es blu-ray was there higher end players that have the dts hd master audio sound that wasn't available on the s-300, not to mention the es was over twice the cost. I was pretty suprised at the differance in picture between the two, it was better than I thought it would be. As far as the sound goes, the es definitely has a more warmer sound to it, not as flat sounding. I hope i'm saying the right words here. As for your oppo, I wouldn't doubt it's better than my sony but I'd be currious as to how much. I have seen in different magazines that the oppo has gotten much praise, but I've seen to that the sonys seem to do pretty good also. Keep in mind that I'm using mirage omni60 book-shelf speakers with the mirage prestige10 sub-woofer, there very nice speakers, but there not real high-end stuff either. From what I've heard out there, until I can spend alot more for an upgrade over what I got, I'll happily be stuck with my mirage! Lastly, to mr.chang, I'd probably have to agree with you and one more side note; I've been going through my owners manuals and I did find one thing that someone did mention, on my receiver, there's a botton on the back remote that says "pure" that it says it recreates the original sound most faithfully and that the on-screen display is not displayed and the display on the main unit is turned off. I would have to imagine this would give me the best sound.

Posted on Oct 27, 2010 5:38:09 AM PDT
MikeT says:
The "pure" modes turn off all unnecessary functions utilizing the least amount of circuitry in the unit. How much this enhances the resulting audio quality depends on many factors from the source material all the way through to your ears (and a dozen other factors in between). If it sounds better, use it. :)

Posted on Oct 27, 2010 9:31:10 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 27, 2010 10:01:47 AM PDT
A/V guru says:
Almost every receiver made today has "pure mode". Yamaha, Onkyo/Integra, Pioneer/Elite....

@JAC..."receivers re-digitize" when using analog in" they don't. That defeats the whole purpose of using the speaker set-up in the DVD/BD player.

You can set up the Sony ES player to play minus the sub if you want, except the Mirage you have are on the "tiny" side. It should allow separate speaker set-up analog vs digital(which covers the coax, tos and HDMI). IF the Sony ES is set-up "sans sub" then the Denon isn't going to magically change that setting. IT takes what the Sony gives it.

Again...we are also dealing with a Sony ES BD player, that when it debuted, many people were trying to figure out why it cost $ is now $180??? Tells me Sony either "badged it" from a lesser end one, or the 2000ES is so much superior.

Although...a $180 BD player with a 5 year warranty is tough to pass up...even if all you use it for is BD.

Also...I bet this would smoke the Sony in CD playback anyway... or its bigger brother the 390 for another $100. Or buy one used from Ebay. The DCM 290 has been around long enough...and CD players have no resale value...

There is also this little upcoming "bad boy"...its "sister/clone" (which I won't tell you what that is...) is already out and is getting rave reviews...the one out already costs $200 more.

Denon DBP-1611UD Universal Blu-Ray/DVD/CD Player, Black (lacks an actual 6 channel output though)

or this...which I am sure upscales DVD better than that Sony ES does... (again, used on ebay is a great place to find one...Denon killed off their "standard dvd" players for 2010....the "2910" is just an example...there is 19, 29, 39, 49 and some years 59....then the last 2 digits 10, 20, 30 or there are 2930, 5910, 1940...etc...any combination are GREAT universal players)

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 27, 2010 11:42:49 AM PDT
"..."receivers re-digitize" when using analog in" they don't. That defeats the whole purpose of using the speaker set-up in the DVD/BD player. "

Yes they do if you want subwoofer processing and delay functions. Unless you're running an Aragon (which Klipsch bought) processor that does analog bass management, or an ICBM-1 analog bass management from Outlaw Audio. Not many receivers do anything in analog.

If you're running 7 towers for each of your channels, and crossing over is a waste of time, then you don't worry about this, but you have a whole host of other "problems" to worry about.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 27, 2010 12:41:44 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 27, 2010 12:50:54 PM PDT
A/V guru says:
UHM I checked with Pioneer/Elite, Yamaha and Onkyo (all of which we do wholesale) and guess what...

When using the analog input on the receivers (assuming you mean the 6 channel, cause that is the discussion I thought we were having here...not the regular 2 channel marked cd, dvd or whatever else) you completely bypass EVERY single digital doodad in the receiver. When you "pick 6 channel" on my Yamaha...golly gee can't pick Roxy Theater, Dolby Digital or anything else.

Also...2nd zone and when applicable, 3rd zone...can't be "digital". They are the analog connections. So "yes" you can use the analog 2 channel for a cd, bd player then choose to do "Roxy Theatre". But that is a waste of time. If you are going to digitalize your music...leave it there. Don't "DAC it", send it to the receiver to "un-DAC" it to do something, then "DAC it" again to hear it.

IF you are going to use the BD, DVD or whatever player to go for "better sound" use the DEDICATED 6 channel analog.

And yes, I know "un-DAC" is the wrong term...but it is funny...

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 27, 2010 1:24:44 PM PDT
"When using the analog input on the receivers... you completely bypass EVERY single digital doodad in the receiver."

Including the subwoofer crossover, phase, and speaker timings, exactly.

"IF you are going to use the BD, DVD or whatever player to go for "better sound" use the DEDICATED 6 channel analog."

Only if your receiver has a better analog stage and your blu-ray player has better DAC's than your receiver. Last I checked, that doesn't happen often.

Posted on Oct 27, 2010 1:31:04 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 27, 2010 1:32:14 PM PDT
A/V guru says:
I am willing to say it is a 50/50 crap shoot on the BDP S1000ES if it can best his Denon 1911. (any higher up the Denon line I'd definitely say not to bother even trying)

But I am sure the DCM 290 beats the 1000ES without even breaking a sweat.
I am also sure the DVD 1910 through 5940(if that exact model number exists...I didn't look) would completely smoke the 1000ES even if it had a faulty cord going to the wall.

Posted on Oct 27, 2010 1:40:26 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 27, 2010 2:41:49 PM PDT
A/V guru says:
This is a question (I could try this when I get home...just never occurred to me) that seems appropriate here.

Do the "digital games" work on the phono input? I've never tried playing a record into a receiver then seeing if The Beatles (The White Album) could be played with the effects of The Roxy Theatre.

Does it work? or does the phono input bypass all that?

And pardon me if the very notion of doing that makes some people run to their bedrooms, hide under the covers whilst sucking their thumbs.

Edit...since EdM missed the jist of the entire post here, including the part where I even put in the link of the Beatles White Album....

"digital games" here means "DSP modes", such as "Roxy Theatre" which Yamaha's have. "digital games" here does not mean your XBox or PS3.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 27, 2010 2:31:08 PM PDT
EdM says:
"Do the "digital games" work on the phono input?"

Gulp, NO. A phono input is for two things. One is to add in RIAA curve processing, and the second is to amplify the phono cartridge output from low millivolt or microvolt levels up to normal line level voltages [depending on what kind of cartridge - MM or MC - the phono input is intended for]. Using some normal auxiliary input like from a game, etc., into a phono input would be horrible, and might overdrive/break the amplifier due to voltage mismatch.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 27, 2010 2:39:49 PM PDT
A/V guru says:

"digital games" the context here meant the DSP modes a receiver has...not an XBox.

Although I'll edit the above to make sure somebody else reading along doesn't read it the way you did...

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 27, 2010 9:33:31 PM PDT
The mirage speakers I have are 6 1/2"book-shelf speakers, not those real tiny 2 1'2" you're probably thinking of. I bought them over 4 years ago when they were being discontinued. Anyways, I have a completely different question to throw out there if you or somone else has an opinion on this. I was thinking about getting a turntable for around 400.00 dollars, probably the pro-jet debt that I read about in sterophile. Would that sound better than playing good cd? Or would I need to spend alot more for something else to realy here a differance? If that's the case, then i'll stay with cd's, I can't afford to spend anymore than that. I renember back in 82 before I went into the service, I used to have alot of Lp's that my dad at the time, sold off most of them; he thought I wouldn't need them or my stereo anymore being in the sevice. But I always felt that at the time , the Lp's sounded alot better, which they did! The only thing is now the cd's have improved alot since then, and I question if a 400.00 dollar turntable would sound any better? From what i'm seeing in my stereo books they all seem to say the albums sound better than cd's but, that's with some pretty expensive turntables there talking about. Was woundering what you or anyone else that about that, and keep in mind the system i'm using this with. A guy at a stereo shop by me said that for what I have, it wouldn't make sense to bother with a turntable. As usual, thank-you for any help!

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 27, 2010 9:46:33 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 27, 2010 9:50:27 PM PDT
A/V guru says:
As with everything is the content on the medium, more than the medium itself.

Are there records better than the cd? Of course there are.
Are there cd's better than the record? Of course there are.

The Pro-Ject Debut turntables are a terrific starter. The Ortofon it comes with is mid-pack, which is the best part of the turntable. A $400 turntable with a mid-pack cartridge(arguably the most important part of any turntable) is a great deal.

Audiogon is a great place to buy records. For $400 that would be a wise purchase.

There is a "used but not really" one on Ebay for $300.

Posted on Oct 27, 2010 11:44:52 PM PDT
What is a mid-pack? Also, is it hard to burn cd's on my pc if I got the pro-jet with the usb, i'm not one of these computer geeks! If I get the turntable it would be my christmas gift. Is the mid-pack the needle & cartridge? One other thing, on I was looking at a music hall usb-1 turntable for $249.00 dollars as a cheaper alturnitive incase I can't get the pro-jet. That one looks like my old technics I had. If I get a turntable, i'd have to buy a new one, i'd rather be safe than sorry than chance one on ebay! If posible, see what you think of the music hall at, there in chicago where I live in the suburbs. Sorry if my spelling isn't the best, not one of my strong suits!

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 28, 2010 10:04:10 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 28, 2010 10:06:18 AM PDT
A/V guru says:
Music Direct does not sell junk. Even the least expensive turntable they have is good.

The only USB turntables I have any knowledge of are Ion. But I would presume pretty much any over $250 would be a good starter.

An older Dual or Technics from Ebay would be a good choice. If you can pick one up for $100, then repair it for $ are ahead of the curve. And that one for $300 on Ebay. I believe that is barely used. You could ask him why he is selling it. He probably bought it then got a really good deal on better one.

Music Direct has a "used/demo/return" page where the best deals are. One of mine is from them. It is a modified Sota from Music Direct(they don't sell Sota anymore). The one I have is a Sapphire that with its upgrades should have been $1600. I bought it for $650 cause it had a few scratches. I took it apart, re-finished the base...and now it looks 95% of new (was a bid ragged...but it was their service loaner, so it had been mailed a few times)

Matter of fact Music Direct has a red Demo Pro Ject for $320 right now.

Mid-pack means....mid-level. Not junk, but not uber expensive either. Mid-pack is usually "the price point" where things actually sell.

In turntables...$400 starts off the "better" turntables....with $1500 being the top end of "mid-pack".

Posted on Oct 28, 2010 2:51:32 PM PDT
MikeT says:
Why stop there? Go for this turn table. :)
Goldmund Reference II ($300,000)
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Discussion in:  Home Theater forum
Participants:  7
Total posts:  26
Initial post:  Oct 24, 2010
Latest post:  Oct 28, 2010

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