See the thread Upsampling and Stereophile from the other week. There are some Pioneer and Marantz models that will transmit a 24/96 signal, and there is also a website referenced there. In addition, a while back (couple of years ago) Classic Records had a newsletter, which I believe is archived on their website, which heralded their new 24/96 discs and had a list of players which had 24/96 digital outs. If you're looking for older DVD players as transports, that would help.
I beleive my Electrocompaniet Emc-1 does. it has a Coax cable out put on it.
The Pioneer dv525 does. I have a 7 month old unit I am selling on audiogon for $150.
My Pioneer DV 333 does, Crutchfield and others selling now as low as $199.00.
No CD player can do that since CDs only work up to 16bit/44.1kHz. Some DVD players will output 24/96. Add the Meridian 800 to that list.
I have a Theta DaVid that puts out a "TRUE" 24/96 digital signal. Beware, many (most, actually) DVD players do not put out a true 24/96 signal. Be sure to check first. I wish I could comment more on the sound of 24/96 audio discs, but I just received my Counterpoint DA10 with the power supply and 24/96 upgrade back, but am waiting for some 24/96 discs to get shipped to me.
Alruhl, you brought up a good point. Do I have to look specifically for 24/96 CD's?
Dsweeney: Yes, and there aren't many. A regular CD will only play a 16 bit/44khz signal, whether you play it on a dvd player, a CD player or a 24/96 DAC. Chesky and Classic have most of the few available titles of 24/96 discs, and they do provide excellent sound. There a few new DVD-Audio discs being released, bur I don't know if they can be played with 24/96 resolution (or even played) from an existing DVD player, either from its own D/A converter or through a true 24/96 digital out, or from a 24/96 player like the Muse. Perhaps Mr. Halverson could enlighten us here, because this area hasn't been the clearest to me--do you need a new player to play the DVD-A discs because of their surround sound and the need to do some electronic gymnastics to get a two-channel 24/96 mix?
As I have been asked to make a comment on this thread, I will attempt to give a brief response. Since this thread is titled "CD Players that transmit 24bit/96kHz" we should address this aspect first. In a word, there are none. CD players (as opposed to DVD-V players) output 16 bit - 44.1 kHz data as this is the ONLY data that a CD contains. As for DVD there are basically two flavors. DVD-V and DVD-A. DVD-Video is a format that was released in 1997. DVD-V has within its specifications the following types of audio capabilities: Dolby Digital, DTS, MPEG and LPCM. It is the LPCM capability that allowed our group (Advanced Audio Disc) to launch the series of 24 bit 96 kHz discs and players that we introduced in January of 1998. When a disc is authored, a decision to "allow" the data to exit the chassis "in the clear" is made. As I did the authoring on many of the Chesky and Classic discs (and have been involved in the many of the others) I can tell you that all these discs allow the output of non - degraded data. Should the content provider choose to prohibit data transmission, the player is still allowed to output data in a degraded fashion. This involves limiting the sample rate to 48 kHz and the sample size to 16 bit (this is basically DAT quality). These limits apply equally to all players using bi-phase interfaces (S/PDIF, AES, etc). An exception would be the use of an interface that protects the data (by encryption) such as the Universal I2S. DVD-A is a new format that in many ways is similar to DVD-V with a few small (but notable) exceptions. DVD-V has a data rate limit of 6.144 Mbits for the audio portion of the stream. This allows for a stereo pair of 96 kHz - 24 bit audio channels. DVD-A has the same audio capabilities that I previously mentioned, but adds MLP and increases the audio data rate limit to the full capacity of the disc (9.6 to 9.8 MBits per second). It is MLP or Meridian Lossless Packing that allows DVD-A to accomplish 6 channel 96 kHz - 24 bit surround. DVD-A also has the capability to handle 192 kHz - 24 bit 2 channel, but I know of no content providers even considering this as a consumer format. Frankly, there is almost no quality improvement going from 96 kHz to either of the 2 higher (176.4 or 192 kHz) data rates that DVD-A allows. The main thrust behind DVD-A is its multi-channel features. In getting back to the theme of this thread, I should point out that there is no intention to allow DVD-A data to be output by a bi-phase interface, only via its analog outputs (protected interfaces aside). A DVD disc can contain content in both the DVD-V (VTS) and DVD-A (ATS) structures so as to be playable on both types of players. This is the intention of nearly all content providers as they fully understand the difference in the installed base; specifically that DVD-A capable players exist in few thousand homes, while DVD-V capable ones make up the rest of the estimated over 80 million devices (players, computers, automotive, portables, etc). I will take a minute here to announce that the work being done by Chesky Records in promoting the 6.0 format is something that is worth watching. This format is so clearly superior to simple stereo and other forms of surround (Dolby Digital, DTS) that I won't even attempt to describe the differences, as I can't find adequate words to convey the scale of the improvement. Kevin Halverson
Kevin: Thanks for responding, although I'm still a little confused on one point. Do the DVD-A discs being released now, if they"re compatible with DVD-V (and will they say so on their label or packaging?), play with 24/96 resolution through both the DVD player's internal 24/96 dac and through its digital output (if capable of transmitting that data stream)? For example, you have the fine Muse transport/dac combination which I've heard playing the Classic discs. If you put a DVD-A disc into that transport, would it play, and would the resolution from the dac be at the 24/96 level? The Chesky work sounds very encouraging, by the way.
DVD-A and DVD-V are both playable on new DVD-A players since all these seem to be of the 'universal' type. DVD-A will not play on the large installed-base of DVD-V players. Moreover, it is unlikely that any of the major labels will permit the non-down-sampled digital output of their software.
If what you say is true, it may not be wise to get a separate 24/96 dac at this point, given the small inventory of 24/96 DADs and that the DVD-A discs won't be playable on anything other than a DVD-A player, which won't send out a 24/96 digital signal. Or have I missed something?
I have been told that the Pioneer Elite DV-05 DVD/CD transport will pass that signal rate. I own one, but have yet to experiment (this unit does very good job with AC3 and DTS sources).
In continuation to my previous post, I will attempt to clarify the matter further. The content provider will make the determination as to what content will be available (if any) in the VTS (the portion of the disc which can be read by a DVD-V player). It is possible that a disc might have a MLP encoded multi-channel material in the ATS. Since a project such as this might be strongly geared towards surround playback, they could choose to include Dolby Digital in the VTS, since that would be the only way to preserve surround compatibility on a DVD-V player. If the project were stereo, then it would not make any sense to put PCM in the ATS, simply include all the content in the VTS only, as there would be no motivation to be redundant. In the end, each label will determine the type of content. We may offer a listing on our web site giving information as to the type of content available should enough people express an interest. Kevin Halverson