Why would you do this? It encumbers redundant A/D/A conversions.
The anolog inputs may or may not use an extra a/d to d/a conversion depending on how it can be set up. My HK avr 7200 can be used either way with 8 channel straight anolog or 8 channel a/d to d/a. Straight anolog does not utilize digital bass management wich may improve some speaker/sub crossover arrangements.
As for DD proccessing, I prefer the HK over my Marantz DV8400. It is more agressive and a bit quicker which I find apealling for movies. With music I prefer straight anolog without any a/d to d/a conversions for both stereo and multichannel.
The only way to take advantage of new audio formats with the Sunfire is through the anolog outs of your bluray player. If you want to keep the Sunfire I would get a bluray player with quality anolog outputs such as the Denon for 2k or at least the 1k Pioneer elite.
The other option is a new processor and a player that will output the new formats as bitstream. This is probably the best solution feature and sound wise depending on what you get.
Don't fear the analog connection! Done properly it does sound excellent. I continue to use a "dolby digital ready" receiver (Sony GA7-ES) in my system so I have never used a digital connection from my DVD player (Sony DVP-C600D) for DD. I cannot directly compare the sound of the analog connection to the digital connection but I can tell you that it sounds very dynamic and transparent in my system. When I select the 5.1 mode on the receiver, it routes the audio directly though the volume pot to the amplifier stage, very much like a high-quality 2ch integrated amp would do on stereo only it's getting a 5.1 signal.
The big argument against decoding 5.1 surround in the player early on was because of limited bass-management on the earliest DVD players. The Sony C600D addressed that issue and was the first player where the decoding was on par with the receivers of that era (late '90's). The clean decoding for DD (96/24 DACS) coupled with complete bass-management and a high-quality analog output stage earned the player excellent review in Home Theater magazine and has never caused me to want to upgrade. I invested in a good power amp instead (Arcam Alpha 10P X 3 channel) and my system rocks on movies.
If I do decide to go BluRay I will probably buy the Sony 2000-ES for similar reasons - quality analog stage and decoding- and it would drop right into my system without replacing the receiver and amp. I route all video directly to the projector anyway so I can live without HDMI in the receiver. I'm waiting to see if the next version of the model Sony 2000 player will decode DTS-MA like the new Sony 550 player. That would be a nice upgrade indeed. Now, if they would also include multi-channel SACD/DVD-A capability as a bonus, that would be sweet! Are you listening, Sony? -jz
"Yes I prefer analog outs from the dvd player to an analog multi-channel preamp, then to a multi channel amp, instead of a avr processor/amp.
Think the idea is if you have a good dvd player you can use it's dac processor straight to a dedicated amp or amps."
"Don't fear the analog connection! Done properly it does sound excellent. I continue to use a "dolby digital ready" receiver (Sony GA7-ES) in my system so I have never used a digital connection from my DVD player (Sony DVP-C600D) for DD." (John Z)
Now I'm certainly not bashing anyone's opinion. And cerainly I don't know of every connection and setup out there. But I've yet to hear ANY DD/DTS setup where processing in the DVD player and passing it "analog out" to a preamp or amp HAS EVER SOUNDED BETTER THAN DIRECT DIGITAL PROCESSING IN AN OUTBOARD PRE!!! (let me quantify: the sound is basically flatter, more two dimmensional, and less dynamic sounding, from my experience - at least for DD/DTS)
I've certainly plaid with lots of av gear over the last couple decades, including lots of retail and custom experience.
Yes, I've tried using expensive DVD players to process DD/DTS, and sending to integrateds, 2 channel pre's, receivers and pre/pro's - EVEN DIRRECT TO AMPS - and it just never sounds right to me. At least that's my experience anyway. Others experiences might differ.
At the very least, I can't immagine any of these "analog out" Dd/DTS setups winning any dynamics awards!
Well, maybe things are changing. But I doubt it, in this case.
Infact, I challenge anyone who has a HD/Blue Ray player and a 1.3a capable HDMI pre or receiver to "AB" both connection methods, and get back to us!!! I for one would like to hear more people pipe in here, and give their feedback on this p-point. Cause things could have changed over the last few here. Dunno.
I never said the analog connection sounded better than a digital connection, but I stand by my opinion that it is certainly an acceptable alternative. In my situation, I chose to invest in a receiver years ago prior to DD/DTS becoming defacto in receivers, so my priority at the time was good quality 2-channel, Pro-Logic processing, and a analog 5.1 input to ensure compatablity with future formats. And guess what? Nearly ten years later it's still at the heart of my A/V system and performing just fine.
Uncompressed PCM at 24/96 sounds terrific through an analog connection in my system and I have a hunch that the uncompressed Dolby Tru-HD and DTS-MA will sound awesome too. Maybe a hair or two less dynamic than digital HDMI, but still very enjoyable nontheless. Splitting hairs at most between the two.
As an aside, if an analog connection is so limited dynamically, explain why the two most dynamic music formats, SACD and DVD-A, are only available via analog connections? You'd think that the industry would have passed on that option if it were so inferior for their new flagship high-res format? -jz
1. SACD/DVD-A are now available, as digital, on HDMI and, in my case, on 3xS/PDIF. The prior restrictions were based on the intention of keeping the digital output away from those who would copy it, allowing them only the analog. That should tell you something.
2. Well, the best justification of keeping it digital, for me, is not any dynamic limitations but the ability to make use of the DSP in modern AVRs and pre/pros, most especially modern roomEQ.
"Uncompressed PCM at 24/96 sounds terrific through an analog connection in my system" (john Z)
YEP! Indeed, I have been running PCM 24/96 and redbook from a superb CD player direct to an analog input on 2 channel pre's for years, WITH EXCEPTIONAL RESULTS TOO! Infact, until the advent of the DSP room correction, that was the ONLY WAY I'd run my 2 channel setups! And, I agree, it sounded terrific (considering a solid setup in an an acoustically sound room) HOWEVER, processing DD/DTS with this connection setup (processing in the DVD player) was another story entirely!!
Perhaps its likely do to the quality of the DD/DTS decoders and how it's processed and amplified from the analog out's of the DVD players. However, nontheless, it just never worked well in this regard. That's all my experience has said here. Also, if you read many of the back articles over the past years, you'll hear reviewers commenting on these options and saying they recommend digital connection processing in an outboard pre/pro for dd/dts dubties (heck, if you didn't need to do it this way, all us av-phile guys could do without pre/pro's completely!!!)
"As an aside, if an analog connection is so limited dynamically, explain why the two most dynamic music formats, SACD and DVD-A, are only available via analog connections?" (John Z)
Again, see above. I agree, PCM cd's work well from the analog outs of players - just not well for the movie processing.
I agree with both points of view here.
I have a denon 5900 hooked up to a denon 5803, and have both analog and digital interconnects. The digital connection sounded better because I could manipulate the sound in the avr.
But then I added a cj met1 6-channel, analog, tube pre and was forced to use 6 analog outs to pre and 6 more over to avr. The sound improved based on quality of interconnects and the addition of a quality pre amp.
Now I have added the cj met150 5 channel amp and eliminated the avr all together , and it sounds much better than dvd to avr via digital.
The 5900 is outdated but has quality dacs from what Im told, so that could play a role. and all those interconnects leave room for degradation, but I am very happy with both sound and future expansion using a analog pre and amp, plan on adding a denon blueray with analog out and a transporter for server setup to feed analog out of that as well.
Works for me :)
I guess like most things audio, the outcome depends on many variables. It's expensive to include a quality analog output stage in an audio component, as a result there are many popular DVD players on the market (like Oppo) where a digital connection is the only way to go if you want the best performance. They focus on the digital HDMI performance (very successfully) within a given price target and the analog performance suffers as a result relative to what's possible with analog.
Flrnlamb, I don't disagree with what you've said and if/when I decide to replace my receiver I will probably use digital connections for digital sources, except for my cd player, which has the DCS Ring-DAC built in :-)
The room-correction eq they are building into today's receivers can work wonders in the typical home setup, as you know.
However, I have come across more than one review where they have praised the analog connection route on certain higher-end two-channel systems that pull double-duty as a home cinema system. Specifically, an Arcam FMJ DV29 player feeding decoded 5.1 DD/DTS to their analog C30 preamp (with the optional multichannel module) feeding a giant stack of five (or seven!) Arcam P1 monoblocks.. Strap that system into your typical living room and hold on to your hats! -jz