HDMI 24bit 192khz Playback using AVR

I was looking at purchasing some of the new recordings from Chesky Records, save them to my hard drive, connect the computer via HDMI cable to my Denon AVR-4308Ci and basically use it as a D/A converter then route it to my preamp for playback. Has anyone tried something along this lines yet? If so what were your results and what did you think?
Hi Ig.

Why not use the Denon as your preamp?

Are you running a seperate pre and amp for your main speakers for stereo music only?

Correct, I run a seperate preamp and amp combination for 2 channel listening and have the Denon connected for home theater use. I noticed that the AVR could decode 24/192 so I thought I would give it a shot.
The online specs for your 4308Ci show that it can do 24bit 192khz but lists Denon-link and 1394. I do not know what the 1394 means since there is no Firewire connector on this. It also shows 24bit/96khz capability *without* the Denon-Link/1394 note. ...though webpages can be wrong.

I was going to try it on my 4306(same input specs) but am trying to figure what input type is needed—my computer does not have HDMI out. Actually my computer can only do 24/96 out. BTW I also have a separate preamp amp connected to my denon.

I need to find some free sample files in 24/96. ideas?

cheers, ed
OK I found some free sample files in 24/96 at HDtracks....

That will at least give me the material to do the comparison. I am not in a hurry though. I need to find a FREE Mac OS FLAC player or FLAC converter since the hi res files are in that format.

I plan to use the Denon's internal DAC (via Toslink) to compare 24/96 to 16/44 as the same songs are avail at HD Tracks.

I am just curious about the sound difference in my system. Though in the big picture I won't try to assemble a HiRes system since, at this time, the amount of music available in hiRes is very, very limited for my musical preferences (indie and electronica to blues to 80s). I'll update here once I've done some listening.

cheers, ed
Well it works.

It = Denon AVR4306 used as 24bit/96kHz DAC converter. Then the analog output sent to separate 2ch preamp + amp. My macbook pro max's out at 96khz--other computer systems may have 128kHz output. My audio system details below. I used Toslink from computer to Denon. I'd describe it as a moderately resolving, musical system.

Step one
Download hi-rez files or use 24/96 files. My post above.

Step two
Download a FLAC to AIFF converter: Max. this allows 24/96 playback in iTunes (only on certain macs). Another option is the standalone FLAC player "Play. both are at http://sbooth.org/

Step three
Open Audio Midi Set Up Preferences (Mac OS 10.4)

**Close iTunes when changing settings in AMSU-settings may not change otherwise**
Confirm "Properties For" tab is set to "Built-in Output"
Change Audio Output to 96000Hz(or higher if avail) and 2ch-24bit.

Step Four
Launch iTunes. Listen...

My observation

It was a quick 1 hour+ session. I listened to both 24/96 and 16/44 AIFF songs in itunes, back to back. 3 songs played about 2 times each. I probably won't use the most standard terminology. I checked SPLs with both songs both formats were consistent.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Violin Concerto in G major - Allegro24
Classical. Not familiar enough with this genre to hear nuances.

Misery - Dave’s True Story.
This seems to represent a favorite type of music of many audiophiles: female jazz vocals, acoustic instruments, and simple arrangement. The vibraphone/keyboard and drums were very defined and much more separated with the 24/96 version. Kelly Flint's vocals were crystal clear, conveying all of her sultry voice. The sound stage size didn't seem to change between the formats in my system.

I also listened to the 16/44 version of this song via my USB NOS tube dac (without the Denon in the chain) there was a noticeable difference in the weight of the music and midrange. The tube dac was not as defined as the Denon playing 24/96.

Lucia - Marta Gomez
This is Latin jazz. Very similar differences to Misery song mentioned previously. I especially noted the definition of the wood blocks was much clearer and almost creating a 3-D vision. In comparison the 16/44 version was woody but diffused.

It would be really cool to compare using songs that I am very familiar with but not readily available. Hi-res music could be addictive for those serious focused listening sessions on a detailed audio system.

Good night, ed