24/96 DAC + DVD Player - Help

I recently picked up a Musical Fidelity X-24K 24/96 dac, and have it hooked up to the coax output of my cheap Sony DVD player. I have yet to see the DAC indicate a sampling rate above 48k. Is this normal? Is it a function of the recording, rather than the DVD player? When I turn off Dolby Digital at the digital output, it defaults to D-PCM. Is that the issue?


There are a number of threads on this, so you should check the archives as well as any responses here. Basically, not all DVD players have a coaxial digital output which will output a 24 bit/96khz data stream. Most of the Pioneer units did, and my Marantz DV-18 does (but only after some on-screen programming of the unit), but some players do not. Check your owner's manual on this. In addition, if you play a CD, the only digital data that can be transmitted will be the 16 bit/44khz signal; you need a DAD with 24 bit/96khz data to have a chance at the higher rez data stream. Hope this helps somewhat.

Not all DVD players allow 24/96 to go out. Some will down sample 96k to 48k. Some will simply block it. Please double-check the user manual to make sure your player actually allow 24/96 digital out.

Also, which DVD did you play? Not all DVD contain 24/96 PCM track. Even if it does, you might need to select the right audio track from the DVD menu because 24/96 usually is not the default.

When you said "When I turn off Dolby Digital at the digital output, it defaults to D-PCM". I assume you meant changing a setting from the setup menu of the player, not from the DVD menu. If that is so, when you set it to D-PCM, it might be telling the DVD player to block Dolby Digital from digital out because if you are connecting to a regular DAC, Dolby Digital will cause loud noise and may damage your speaker. This is just my educated guess without knowing what player you are using.
FYI, the Technics DVD-A10 has a "re-master" function that upsamples redbook cds from 16 bit 48 khz to 24 bit 88 khz. And, the digital out transmits up to 24 bit 192 khz.

With only a generic powercord, the DVD-A10 with the remaster on and only with a stock powercord sends an equally good signal to the Meridian 563 as good as the Meridian 500's transport with a Virtual Dynamics Audition Cryo PC.
As far as I'm aware the only discs that have 96/24 tracks are Digital Audio Disks (DAD, very rare species, some on Chesky). This format has failed to make an impact and is overtaken by SACD and DVD-A. To play this over your DAC, you would have to set the digital output to this resolution somewhere in your set-up, if indeed your DVD player allows you to. Normal "Movie" DVDs will only output at 48Khz. Anyone that's aware of high rez soundtracks, please correct me if I'm wrong on this one.
Just because it is a 24/96 or 24/192 DAC means little by itself, regarding at what sampling rate it will play a CD. Without some kind up upsampling devise, a Redbook CD will play at 44.1 simply because it was made to play at that sampling rate.
As usual, Sugarbrie is correct! Your transport/player needs to have an "upsampler" to output anything above 44.1K when playing a standard (redbook) CD.

Interestingly, my Cary CD-308 is an "upsampling" player and outputs a 24/96 signal at the digital out when set to the upsampling mode. I was surprised that the upsampling was done at the "transport" level and not in the DAC(analog) section.

BTW, my Birdland Odeon Lite DAC sounds much better (to my ear) when feed a 24/96K signal.


Thanks for the info everybody! I did not expect anything above 44k from CDs, but was surprised to only see 48k on recent DVDs, like Live in Paris from Diana Krall, and All This Time (Sting). It is correct that I was talking about the setup menu when turning off DD and defaulting to D-PCM. But my DVDs don't have any menus that allow for sampling rate selection. Looks like I have to get a different DVD player to make the most of this DAC. I'm not concerned about upsampling my CDs, because this DAC is warm and detailed, perfect for most CDs. I do need to snag a Monarchy DIP 24/96 to see what this thing can really do.