External DAC for PS3

I own a Linn 2-channel (stereo) music system that is in the same room as my 50-inch HDTV plasma TV. While saving up for a true home theatre set-up, I would like to use the music system for better sound when viewing movies on my plasma.

Would anyone know if I can connect a PS3 to an external DAC like the Benchmark DAC1 (digital optical connection) and in turn connect the DAC to my music system (analog RCA)? This would allow me to "see" the movie on my plasma via HDMI and "hear" the movie via my music system (volume set to off on the plasma).
Of course you could.

The question is whether you'll really get $1K to 1.2K (cost of the Benchmark) worth of improvement over plugging the PS3's analog stereo outputs directly into your Linn system.
I think high end cd players are highly over rated. I just laugh anymore at these crazy prices some poeple pay. Its 2008, you think it takes $10k to get top knotch cd sound?
No.... bad idea. It does not give a good sound. Don't know about the Benchmark though cos I am using the Bel Canto DAC3 which is supposedly rated higher than the Benchmark. The sound lacks any form of richness whatsoever with cds. Even Blu-ray sounds lacklustered through it so I only use it for gaming now.
No idea why since re-clocking should have solved of the problems.
That does not seem correct. Have you checked your settings in your PS3? I don't have a PS3 but there are several sound options on my Sony Blu-ray player of which one includes downmixing. I found that it was necessary to get the settings correct or else the Sony BD player did indeed mess up the sound (for example movies came out as stereo).

You are correct that "re-clocking should have solved of the problems." So I would suspect something else. One possibility is that the PS3 being a high powered computer might be inducing a lot of noise on your AC power (switched mode power supplies are notorious) and this might affect the DAC through its own power supply.

FWIW I use a power conditioner and keep my computer equipment well away from the audio gear (on a separate conditioner in a separate wall socket).

What you propose is essentially what I do. HDMI out from my PS3-80 goes to my Sony LCD for video; I zero the audio level. Digital out goes to my Proceed PDSD digital signal processor for audio. The result is excellent picture and surround sound.


Your Quote: "Its 2008, you think it takes $10k to get top knotch cd sound?"

My Answer: My answer is NO. While a few years ago, it may have taken at least several thousands of dollars (and yeah...... even up to $10K) to get top notch CD/Digital Sound. Now, today??? That's no longer the case. While my aging Meridian 508.24 (which was a $4K player when it was new...... I got it for about $1,600.00 a few years ago as a used player) is still kicking right now and so forth. But when it finally dies, you think I am going to spend $1,500.00 on it's replacement??? No sir(ee). If and when I finally do replace my Meridian, it's probably going to be with either a Marantz CD-5003 (about $350.00) or an Arcam's new FMJ CD Player (which I understand, will cost no more than $600.00 or $700.00 when it finally hits the states).

Right now...... I got a Wadia i-Transport 170 i-Pod Docking Unit linked to a Cambridge Audio DAC Magic DAC. For a little over $1,000.00 (including an Apple i-Pod Classic (160 GB)), I got a digital playback system that crushes the hell out of my $4,000.00 Meridian 508.24. That's why spending more than $1,000.00 on a CD Player today is considered laughable by today's standards.

Today...... you can do well for a whole LOT less than that. My i-Pod/Wadia/Cambridge Audio Playback System proves that point convincingly.

But what do you think about the latest top of the line offering from Meridian? Reviewers thought that normal cds sounds like DVD-A through it. I believe that it is very true that it cost a lot less to produce good cd playback, however, now that the benchmark has been upped again maybe we should reassess our definition of a good cd replay?
Anyways haha... when I compared the measured performance of an expensive cd player to an affordable alternative of today, it is really laughable. The sine wave output from that high end player several yrs back looked like the jaws of a shark while the current affordable option looks more like real sine wave ( nicely stepped sine wive ). Wonder what the future holds for red book cd replay.

Your Quote -- "But what do you think about the latest top of the line offering from Meridian?"

My Answer -- I "REALLY" don't know. Because up until recently, I have been satisfied with my 508.24. So, I haven't auditioned any of Meridian's new offerings in a long time. But being that the 508.24 is an older player, I have every reason to believe that today's equivalent would probably supersede the 508.24 though. But then, the question remains, do you think that you have to spend upward to $10K to get a top quality CD Player??? My answer to that question remains no. I am willing to bet that there are EVEN affordable alternatives available today that would probably smoke my 508.24. And you have to remember that the 508.24 is about 10 years old. And yes, it is still alive and kicking right now, and I still use it. But if it does kick the bucket, you can best believe I won't be spending NO WHERE close to the $1,600.00 I paid for my (used) 508.24 a few years ago. Its replacement is going to be a WHOLE LOT cheaper, which as of now, I am using my i-Pod Classic with a Wadia i-Transport 170 Docking System and a Cambridge Audio "DAC Magic" DAC.

Getting the sound quality that tops my Meridian 508.24 combined with the convenience of not having to get up and change CD's all the time is intoxicating.


I'm in entire agreement with you. The gap - at least in digital - has narrowed in the past 15 years. This is the benefit of 25 years of digital. Many of the worst offending problems have been dealt with and one can now more blame the recording quality and not the playback system.

I am not saying that differences do not exist - but part of it is just the presentation rather than a specific fault with one product versus another.
I already have the classic DAC1 and have been using it with a computer system and uncompressed audio files. I do not have blu ray or HDMI support yet. I am looking into getting the Integra 9.8 processor and a PS3. My ultimate goal would be to use the optical out to my Benchmark DAC1 for 2 channel music via 44.1 khz and the HDMI to the Integra for movies. Will the PS3 determine the output format depending on the media I'm using or will I have to go into the settings each time to tell it whether I want to output via optical or HDMI? That would be annoying if I had to change the settings every time I want to change between the HDMI with movies and optical for music.