BDP-95 & XA5400ES: HDMI v analog

In his comparison of the BDP-95 and XA5400ES in the recent Stereophile, Kal Rubinson wrote that the audio of either was excellent for HDMI, but he preferred the BDP-95 for analog. I would have found it interesting had he had compared the HDMI audio from the BDP-95 with its analog audio.

Good idea. Looking forward to your post after you complete the eval.

I don't have a BDP-95 to make such a comparison. I think I slightly prefer HDMI to balanced analog (XLR) from the XA5400ES, but it's such a close call it's not worth the quibble. I use a Cary Cinema 11a pre/pro.

I also have a BDP-93 connected via HDMI. I have been toying with the idea of selling the BDP-93 and XA5400ES and buying a BDP-95 after reading Kal's review in Stereophile.

As a generalization, I think the BDP-93 sounds a bit "warmer" than the XA5400ES in my system, but I'm not sure what the acoustic correlates of warmer might be, a bit more mid-range, a bit less detail, I just don't know.

I cannot make the comparison between HDMI output and analog output in any way that it would be meaningfully useful to others since it would depend on the device(s) to which the outputs were connected. For example, I could connect the HDMI output to a Meridian 621/861 or another prepro (with their intrinsic DSP and room correction) and I could connect the analog outputs to these devices or to the Parasound JC2. Any conclusions would be entirely dependent on my choice among those options and not applicable to other situations.

So, with that proviso and with the understanding that I listen to multichannel sources most of the time, I can say that I prefer use the 95 connected via HDMI. If anyone has a 95, he can make the comparison in the context of his system, the only one in which it would be relevant.

I understand your point, Kal. Had I been a bit more reflective, I should have realized how fruitless such a comparison would be. I too enjoy multichannel, but won't accept multiple analog lines, so I'll stick with HDMI and the BDP-93 and XA5400ES.