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DVD players- are optical outputs created equal?

Discussion in 'Digital Sources' started by Phillyfisher, Apr 14, 2017.

  1. Phillyfisher

    Phillyfisher New Member

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    My old Sony DVP-CX850D changer died. I used it for all my cds and a handful of music dvds. It was connected via an optical connection to my Denon AVR 1082. Was very pleased with the sound, worked well for many years. When the changer died a couple of months ago I swapped in an inherited
    Sony CDP-CX355 CD changer for the cds and a Sony DVP-NS300 player. Cds sound fine, but I swear the DVP-NS300 does not sound as good as that old DVP-CX850D. Is this even possible condsidering the new player is connected with the same optical cable that used to go to the old DVD changer? I seem to remember the changer having a more extensive setup menu than the new player, but I can't check that to verify.

    I am asking, as I am looking for to a way to stream music from Spotify to my old system. The cheaper methods I have tried using some relatively cheap Parts Express devices sound noticeably flat, so I am exploring options of a blu ray player with streaming capabilities, network streamer, or simply picking up a newer used network capable AV receiver. Just beginning to wade into these options and feel like such a beginner! Thanks for any advice in advance.
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2017
  2. E.Auer

    E.Auer Well-Known Member

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    I use a Network receiver, but for the money a Chromecast Audio is hard to beat and I'm about to get one for another streaming setup.

    Eric
     
  3. Phillyfisher

    Phillyfisher New Member

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    Thanks Eric. I guess what I am asking if you use an optical cable to a receiver, do all DVD players sound pretty the same, since the DAC on board the AV receiver is doing all the conversion?
     
  4. E.Auer

    E.Auer Well-Known Member

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    The receiver would handle the conversion if fed optical, yes.
    So they would all sound the same as all they do is transport duty.

    Eric
     
  5. motorstereo

    motorstereo the wonder of it all Subscriber

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    ^^^^^^This should be the case but it's not as I've found that transports do sound different.
     
  6. audiotemp

    audiotemp Active Member

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    The DAC derives its clock timing from the incoming data stream. Lousy timing at the source can mess up even a good DAC. Or so I'm told.
     
  7. Tim64

    Tim64 Well-Known Member

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    I have a Magnavox DVD player and a Toshiba DVD player and using the same DAC they both sound slightly different go figure.
     
    E.Auer likes this.
  8. whoaru99

    whoaru99 Epic Member

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    Go figure. My brother and I tried several different players used as transports through the same DAC and concluded neither of us could tell the difference in our own little blind test.

    We did conclude, however, we preferred the sound of one player using its analog outputs vs. the other players analog out or via the external DAC.
     
    E.Auer likes this.
  9. Tim64

    Tim64 Well-Known Member

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    Location:
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    It's funny when something should have a predictable outcome but some little thing is in play and makes a slight difference. Little things like this make this hobby all the more interesting.
     
  10. Phillyfisher

    Phillyfisher New Member

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    Thanks guys. I am far from understanding all the ins and outs of digital audio. I need to look up and research just about every single acronym posted in this forum! But the engineer in me kept thinking that a digital signal be the same regardless of the source. But I swear this single player just sounds different. I have double checked my setup, balance, speaker distances, etc. But there is one Phil Collins DVD I have that just sounds harsher than I remember. Honestly it could very well be a change in my hearing that I just noticing. I wish I could do an A/B comparison to see if I am crazy or not.

    So my next quest is to find a good sounding source to stream audio. I tried an inexpensive Bluetooth connector with a digital out from Parts Express, simply because I wanted to see if a cheap solution would be satisfactory. It wasn't. I tried a Ethernet/wifi connector with analog out, again an inexpensive unit from Parts Express, and it was better, and good for background music. The fact I can use it to stream to the extra channels off my receiver (will only use an analog source) that I use in my living room is a great feature. It drives me crazy that a Bluetooth connection on my stock car stereo produces better sounding audio than at home. I know I am dealing with compressed audio, so if I could even get my home system to sound that good, I would be satisfied. (I know, I say that now!)

    Back to my options-

    1. BluRay player with streaming capabilities- would also give me more opportunities to purchase music/concert videos
    2. Some type of network audio device
    3. New to me AV receiver upgrade- switchable hdmi, multiple optical inputs, network streaming ability, etc. Thinking a used Denon, Pioneer, or Marantz.

    So I guess it comes down to budget. Let's say under $500. Best bang for the buck?
     
  11. E.Auer

    E.Auer Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    519
    Location:
    Lobster Pot
    You can get Wi-Fi streamers for under $50. And they will sound better than BT. Even BT AptX is lossy compressed.

    For the money I would try a Chromecast Audio.

    Eric
     

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