Thanks for the thoughtful and insightful comments. I tend to side with many of your thoughts.
I had a short discussion with an Oppo Tech not long ago about using the 95 or 93 sanws proc or preamp, given it’s volume control ability. The Tech said blatantly oppo does not recommend using their device in such a ‘stand alone device’ configuration.
Albeit no real in depth reason (IMHO) was given, aside from the fact a dedicated pre/proc ought to have a better volume control hardware, and the possibility of more gain being available from that dedicated controller.
Those thoughts then bring me back to and certinaly begs the question be asked, “If then, the BDP 95” carries their best perspective on analog audio output, Why then would they implement a sub standard volume control on their top tier audio/video product?
BTW… the volume control installed on the BDP 95 is the same one as the BDP 93.
Immediately, there are obviously two connection interfaces, nominally a loss of as much as 3db occurs at each ‘hard’ connection point, hence you now have a 6db loss at least to overcome.
Add to that mix perhaps an impeadance shortfall, or the gain of the added appliance is attenuated to overcome said shortfall, and quality might be hamstrung.. Or there becomes that as a risk.
I do agree with your comments on the addition of another device in the signal chaim affecting the ‘voice’ of the presentation in a more positive fashion, although NOT primarily due to ‘dynamics’ per se.
Adding my line stage preamp into the mix between source and amp has inevitably in each case, improved the sonic presentation, every time. I feel it should be said as well, the Thor TA 1000 MK II is one of the best line stage preamps ever made IMHHO.
The problem with the ideal of the shorter the signal path the better precludes any consideration of instituting a better quality, higher level device into the fray. It’s a quite short sighted viewpoint, and applies only on paper…. And where no other experience of trial and error with top tier componentry has been examined.
Theory always fuels contention, but practice provides proof. Limited practice yields only incidental or limited truth (s).
Naturally, the exact opposite is true too… adding in a preamp or processor of lesser proficiency and/or quality hinders the A/V outcome…. Or does nothing to improve it.
So the question which haunts all of us ‘perfectionists with poor track records’, is this:
“Which one? At this price ?? will garner us better AV results and not denigrate the signal instead?”
It seems then, daunting enough a task to have on hand a $1K source, or more, and weld it to a preamp or processor which reputedly is able to reformulate and increase upon it’s own characteristics giving us a better show as the result of that joining.
I suspect too, it amounts to more than a better volume pot in the controller.