Sorry to ask this SACD question, but

What equipment do I need to play the Stereo layer on a  SACD at 176.4khz .  I have searched the forum for more than an hour and I'm stumped.  Lets say I have a

Or a 

and I want to use a  Schitt Bifrost Multibit DAC, instead of the internal DAC.  What else do I need?

What else do I need to play  SACD at 176.4khz 

Please don't flame me, I really am stumped.



Unfortunately unless your disc player manufacturer provides a proprietary format you cannot output DSD data to an external DAC. dCS use dual AES for example, and others have their own formats.
What equipment do I need to play the Stereo layer on a  SACD

You need an sacd player, even though sacd is just dsd with a flag.
From memory the first Sony Play Stations from memory, played sacd and gave out the digital stream, so then it could be used on a dsd dac. And also I believe the one of the very expensive dcs transport did also.

Cheers George   
By the way neither of the two players you link to will output anything other than 16/44.1 digital

i believe some of the Oppo players may allow for SACD (DSD) output

as I just use a dCS stack it all works peachy for me, but that’s not helping you, sorry

So folkfreak,

Why do so many companies have players labeled SACD if they can't play SACD?  Isn't that more than kinda illegal??  My Oppo plays them through HDMI, but I want to play just the stereo layer through my main system, not my HT.

SACD players will play the disc through the internal dac  what they will not do is output the signal through the digital out to an external dac. Those that do have paid a fee in order to do it. 
Any SACD player will play the discs and output the converted analog signal from its analog outputs (either RCA or XLR). It will be playing the actual DSD layer from the disc converted to analog by its internal DAC.

The problem is trying to output the digital DSD data to an external DAC which is what you stated was your objective, and that can be a problem due to licensing restrictions with SACDs and not generally allowing the extracted DSD to be transmitted digitally. There are some exceptions as noted in posts above with specific transports and DACs which can only pass the DSD data between specific devices.

The Bryston BDA-3 DAC is an unusual implementation which is able to accept a DSD signal via its HDMI input from an SACD player with HDMI output, which its DAC is then able to convert to analog. Hope this helps!

SACD is a 1bit 2.8224 MHz format. You will need SACD player to pay it.
What @bill_k said, run the analog outputs into your main system and enjoy! You can even switch between the CD and SACD layers to see if you prefer what DSD brings over red book, you just cannot use your stand alone DAC 
Wouldn't this issue be resolved if Apple and Sony would get along so that Apple could create a super drive that reads SACD?
I found on my old Pioneer sacd player that it will not play the sacd layer over analog outs if a digital cable is even plugged into the rear as well.
Very odd or ultra cautious.

So I just have analog outs connected to it now.

I think some of the later OPPO like the 105 will also output SACD over HDMI as well as the Bryston
Hey uberwaltz,

I believe all the Oppo's will play SACD's from the HDMI output.  I have a 93 that will.

But I want to play the SACD stereo layer without going the HTMI route and am confused why I can't.  RCA and Optical can't handle the amount of info and I'm not sure about Balanced.  It looks like USB will work but there are only a few SACD players in my price range that have USB outputs.

How's everyone else playing SACDs?


When I set my Oppo to SACD and use Digital RCA, Optical or the analog RCA outputs all I get is silence.  With my Oppo, I have to use the HDMI to hear SACD whether its stereo or 5.1.

Something is wrong somewhere.
SACD for the most part ( odd exceptions already mentioned) is ONLY output over analog outputs either RCA or xlr.

The OPPO might be like my Pioneer and will not play the SACD layer if it senses a digital cable connected as well.
Try it with just the analog RCA connected.

That is how my Pioneer is now connected, just RCA outs to my integrated and I can choose between SACD or regular CD layer.
You might want to check the OPPO menu for output of SACD.
You have 2 choices, dsd or pcm.
You should set to pcm for analog output I believe.
How do I hookup my 2-channel (stereo) audio system (to play SACD and DVD-A) to the player since it does not have stereo outs?
You have to use the FR and FL channels from the 7.1 analog outputs to get the stereo output (set the BDP-93 to do a stereo down-mix for > 2 channel sources). Also, just in case you are not aware, the BDP-95 will be released in the near future as a replacement of the BDP-83SEwhich will have much better DACs for analog outs. You may want to wait for it if you have a high end stereo setup.
This from an OPPO forum might help.
I output DSD from my Oppo 105 over HDMI into the HDMI input of my Bryston DAC3
That works Mahler but Jim wants to output over rca analog
I think he just needs change some menu settings and he should be all set

The Bryston DAC-3 looks like just what the Doctor ordered. It is on my list in all caps!

Thanks again for the tip.


NAD makes a DAC that accepts HDMI as well.  There are companeis that make I2S DACs, which use HDMI cables, but require an I2S transport.  PS Audio and Wyred4 Sound are the ones that I know but there are others.

uber, I was responding to one of the ops posts when he says something like "How are others playing SACD?"


There is a menu setting on the Oppo for SACD.  It shows it on but it will only play through the HDMI output.  There is dead silence when I use ANY other output.  Most of the problem ( So I'm told )  seems to be that RCA and Optical cables cant handle all the information from the DSD layer.  Just like now you need a new HDMI cable to play UHD/4K.  HDMI 2.2 is what I bought.  Sound will still play on most any HDMI cable.

I am going to try and find a Bryston DAC-3.  If the DAC sounds good to me, then I'll  be all set.

  "That works Mahler but Jim wants to output over rca analog
I think he just needs change some menu settings and he should be all

Thanks for your thoughts.  Keep em coming.


The final answer is that you cannot do what you want to do with the units you have.

The license from Sony for SACD prohibits a digital output (as for into an external DAC) except for digital output through an HDMI cable to a device (like the Bryston or some mid-fi receivers with built-in DACs) that can receive the HDMI signal.

Moreover, as I understand it Schitt devices do not accept a DSD signal no matter what the source; they are exclusively PCM devices.  Schitt owners please correct me.

Other than the Bryston (and I think a PSAudio) unit, the only way to get a DSD signal from an SACD disk into a separate DAC  is to rip it and play it on a DAC that will accept a DSD signal.  Most good ones do.  And thousands of audiophiles do rip their SACDs to send the music through their favorite separate DACs.

My apologies!


Imho you should STILL be able to output the sacd layer over rca analog outputs.
Why does my old Pioneer manage the trick?
I don’t think you can do it with dsd but pcm?

When I get in going to play with my very old OPPO bdp80 and see if what shakes.
The new SimAudio Moon 390 DAC/Preamp/Network player also can take the DSD stream via HDMI. Feature wise it is an impressive unit.

This video explained that. I had to use my phone to play the link.


Straight from my OPPO menus.

Playback setup.... SACD priority ... Stereo

Audio format set up... SACD output ... Pcm.

Audio format set up ... Hdmi audio ... Off

I can play the sacd layer over rca analog outs.

Not sure what might be occurring with your OPPO?
SACDs are meant to be decoded internally by the player, just use the analog outs on the player over to your preamp and good to go.
According to the OP they cannot get any sound over the analog outputs, which is most peculiar.

Maybe my OPPO menu settings will help.
"How's everyone else playing SACDs?"
Maybe by bypassing the player altogether. Rip the files into DSD and play through any DAC you wish (as long as it works with DSD).
"According to the OP they cannot get any sound over the analog outputs, which is most peculiar."
I am not sure about Oppo, but some machines disengage internal DAC when something is connected to a digital output.

In this case, I would disconnect HDMI (or whatever digital connection is there) from the player when attempting to listen to a SACD via RCA/balanced outputs. I would not even just turn those off but rather pull them out from the player for a test. Just a thought.
Best way to hear DSD is via ripped or purchased files playing via a streamer or computer through a stereo or multichannel DAC you can use for example an early PS3 or Oppo 105  to rip. Or buy from native DSD online etc.

Most importantly the best sound is achieved playing it as DSD not PCM so outputting 24/176 is not ideal.

Oppo can play SACDs via its internal DACS and output via RCAs and sounds pretty good. Oppos can also output DSD over HDMI but this is pointless as the AV amp you connect to will downconvert to PCM and most do this at 16/44

SACD uses copy protection to prevent the data being sent via a digital cable as others have said. Early examples of digital connection were proprietary to Sony (SCD XA9000es) and DCS using FireWire cables. HDMI can be used to send it as it has the High Definition Copyright Protection standard. 

However it was possible with early PS3 see thread here and that may be your cheapest option.



I said that about 20 posts ago!

My Pioneer does EXACTLY that!

If a digital cable is connected, sacd output to the analog outputs is shut off.

It is very likely the OPPO is the same.

I did everything my manual said. I did everything you said, and the Tv screens says yes, but the speakers say no.  The CD layer plays just fine. I added a digital rca, CD. I added aToslink, CD. RCA only, nothing.  
You just said that the RCA’s are shut off when you plug in a digital or Toslink cable.  Not on mine.  Could the problem be there?  

From you and others are saying, I’m beginning to think it’s the 

Hello Google my old friend.

Thanks again for your help.


The Oppo has an HDMI audio output and a HDMI Video output.
The audio has never been plugged in.

Logically, what you are saying makes sense. But it still is working in this case. As I just said to uberwaltz, I am getting the feeling that the issue is with the spinner.

Thank for your input.


Only one thing I can add possible as both myself and Glupson have said.

I fear that if the OPPO sees ANY digital cable plugged in regardless of menu settings it will not output over rca.

So only suggestion I have left is to make sure you ONLY have the rca analog outs plugged in while trying, if the hdmi is plugged in or a toslink or a spdif it will likely be the cause.

If that has already been tried or does not work then yes Google may be your best friend!

When I said rca are shut off if a digital cable is plugged in I meant just to the sacd layer, it would still output over rca from the cd layer . Yes it is confusing, blame the corporations involved in the money side of it!

Sorry it is giving you so much grief!

I don’t think Sony has anything to do with this.  I’m sure Oppo paid and installed what ever they had to in order to play SACDs.
 I’m thinking that my issue is with the Oppo, but for mechanical issues.

I’ll be sure to let you know.



I might just look around for a used SACD player to make the test.

And uberwaltz, if I haven't said it before,  Thank you for taking some of your time to help me with this. I have been puzzling over it for months, but now I might have a lead. 

You are more than welcome, hate to see people struggle especially when have been there too many times to count myself.

However just one more thing that may work for you.

This is actually how I run my OPPO as I really only use it for movies, I play sacd most of time on the old pioneer on my second system.

So my OPPO is connected to my tv by hdmi and set to output sacd over hdmi. Then I take a toslink digital out from the tv back to my dac where I now have sacd sound from the sacd layer on the disc.

Sounds klutzy but it works and the sq is actually pretty good although I am sure somebody will come along and poopoo the method!

Now I think you said you had success with playing sacd layer over hdmi so if your tv has a digital output you may be able to do the same as I do.

Good luck!
Actually I have to retract that last statement.

I could have sworn with that setup as described I played SACD but it seems not so my bad!
CD,BluRay audio and DVD audio yes, SACD no.

So just SACD out of OPPO over RCA analog outputs only with NO other cables plugged in at all( besides power😇).
I guess the last word on this belongs to OPPO.

DSD from SACD can be output over hdmi to any compatible hdmi device ( tv, av receiver, dac etc)

DSD from SACD can be output over RCA analog output to any compatible device, (pre amp, integrated, receiver etc), providing hdmi is set to off.
Both my Oppo 105 and 203 can be programmed to export DSD from SACD.  Not sure about earlier models

My old bdp80 will output dsd from sacd over HDMI.

So the OP has OPPO 93 or 95 I think so should be Ok over hdmi

Not entirely sure why it does not play sacd over the RCA analog outputs.

It has been a while so I got a bit confused.

Your original post links to Yamaha and Denon, but we are trying to fix Oppo. It might have gotten added along the way as you already have it.

We are all talking about analog RCA outputs playing converted SACD/DSD but one of your posts implies that you are also interested in digital SACD output...

"RCA and Optical can’t handle the amount of info and I’m not sure about Balanced. It looks like USB will work but there are only a few SACD players in my price range that have USB outputs."
In original post you are asking about playing SACD through an outboard DAC for which would be logical to be interested in digital SACD output.

Could you rephrase/clarify your intentions (models included) so we can try to rephrase/clarify answers? If it is many of them, we will dissect each separately. Right now, it is way too tangled.

In essence, in your original post you seem not to be interested in playing SACD through an outboard DAC in its native DSD(ISO) form but converted to PCM. Is it because the Schiit DAC you mentioned cannot play DSD, but does play 176.4 PCM files?

To answer the end question from your original post,

"What else do I need to play SACD at 176.4khz "
You would need:


-appropriate SACD player (that gets very specific and, surprise, cheap)



-program for conversion from DSD to PCM (dbPoweramp, for example, although I do not think it will get you to 176.4, Korg Audiogate may but I would need to check it)

-cable for connecting computer (file player) and DAC

At that point, you will not be spinning actual SACDs anymore, but files of some sort from a hard drive of some sort.

I recently contacted Oppo as I want to compare the SACD hybrid layer on my 195. Apparently it cannot be done, or it might, IF connected to a monitor where I can switch settings. Even it that works it would mean keeping the monitor connected

And since the 105 is currently my only source it auto selects SACD only, but via the analog outs, which in my case is XLRs

I also have a dac pre connected via Optical and coax, but the hybrid layer will not play through them

Odd, but true
So last night I hooked a Sony to a smart tv with HTMI and Optical out to a receiver. I played the SACD stereo layer.  I hooked up the Oppo the same way and it also played the SACD stereo layer.
Than I did something I hadn’t tried before, I plugged in a Toslink and a digital RCA into the Oppo and removed the HDMI, and plugged in the Analog RCA’s back in.  Both the Toslink and the Digital RCA were plugged into other devices and are working as they should.   IT WORKED!  I was able to listen to the SACD stereo layer form the Analog RCA’s! Than I went to bed, confused but happy.

Later today I’m going to unplug the Toslink and then the Digital RCA and see what happens.

I need coffee...


Glad to hear success Jim!

I think what is happening is that even with HDMI turned off in the menu, if the OPPO sees one actually connected( even on the video side) it takes over as priority.

Good move!
Confusing, but excellent that you can, at least, use it for SACDs in the way they were designed to be listened to.

Unfortunately, it does nothing for your wish to play it via an external DAC as you stated in the original post.

We keep on adding players. We started with Denon and Yamaha, switched to Oppo along the way, and now added SONY.

Can we also add what model numbers we are talking about? They may not all work the same (from the same manufacturer). Not because of curiousjim, uberwaltz, or me. Some day, someone may revisit this thread looking for similar answers and she/he may find it helpful to know what exactly we were talking about. It may save that person some time of tapping in the dark.

"...SACD hybrid layer on my 195."
I assume it is 105 and not 95. (I make that 9 to 0 or vice versa error all the time).

So I'm just finishing my third cup and I have unplugged the Toslink and the Digital RCA from the Oppo and I am still happily listening to the stereo layer. I'm guessing something was stuck with the Optical hardware, but I'm not an expert.  The HDMI video is still plugged into a TV so I can see the menus, and the HDMI audio was never plugged in before last night, and is now unplugged once again.

One final question ( I hope),  So both you and my Oppo manual ( same thing ;) ) say to use the PCM setting, and it works. YEAH!  The question is so does the DSD setting.  I have turned the Oppo off and on with each and every change so I'm pretty sure it's not a fluke.

Maybe a 4th cup of coffee in called for?


Well not exactly. I did state which however what I wrote was, 

"Oppo as I want to compare the SACD hybrid layer on my 195."

so I missed that I hit the 9 instead of the 0, but, Oppo doesn't make a 195.

Shouldn't we all have been able to make that correction
This may be one of the more confusing threads in recent memory that actually had some meaning in the beginning.

"One final question ( I hope)…….The question is so does the DSD setting."
That is the statement, what is the question?

Is the original post still relevant? Were the answers satisfactory or we abandoned it, or we somehow tangled them with Oppo instructions?

Are we still welcome to try to help with answers or we are welcome to read about the progress with items we do not know what they are?