Im trying to play HDCD encoded files to My Cary 303/200 but they dont seem to be recognised bythe Cary as such. Im Using the HDCD plug in for foobar. When i put in an HDCD CD the HDCD light comes on on the Cary. However when i run the ripped file hrough the spdif into it the light doesnt come on.
Not sure if its just not passing the hdcd signal(set at 24bits/96khz default in HD Audio manger, at 16/44 doesnt help get hdcd) or if the Cary will only recognise HDCD from a disk.

How does it sound?

That really is the only part that should be a concern. If you have the physical media it will not matter anyway. Put it in the player and enjoy!
Thanks for all the feedback and info.

With an HDCD it does trigger the light and recognisesthe content. On some Cds it sound better other upsampling is better. Better meaning more dynamic and detailed. There is no way to turn it off and on. Just use the upscale and the HDCD light goes off.

I renmoved the HDCD plug in from foobar and that wasnt succesful. Also tried with Real Tek Audio manager at 16/44 and 24/96 and no success. Unofrtunatly I havent found a way to let the reak tek manager use the sources sample rate and bit depth. Maybe the issue is that is filtering out the 'magic'.

It does sound great and works well having the spdif input. I use a switch box that has HDMI/SPDIF for the inputs. So the Sat/Bluray/HDdvd signal travels to through the to Cary. Sounds much better than the analog outputs.

Ill look around and see how to send the PCN signal unmolested from foobar and if that does it. Anyone awrae of a diffrent audio manager to replace the realtek one?
Bozzy, you shouldn't need the "audio manager". You need something like ASIO or WASAPI to allow Foobar to send unmolested PCM straight to the USB or S/PDIF output.
I'm definitely not as knowledgeable as the other posters, but I'm thinking that once HDCD encoding is taken care of by foobar, then the DAC should not "know about it" and the HDCD light not coming up is correct.
The Cary is now fed a 20 bit word PCM stream, "synthesized" by foobar from a 16 bit, HDCD-encoded stream, from which the HDCD "marker" has been removed.
Here is some more explanation of the HDCD encoders in foobar (and other software implementatons) and why it is not as good as the original hardware implementation. The 16 to 20 bit extensions are done, but the digital filters are not implemented in the software versions. The Cary 303/200 has the original Pacific Microsonics chip, so should be better than the software implementations.

From the person who wrote the HDCD decoder in foobar "only gain and peak extension are applied. Transient filter is not supported, as there is no reference software to base the filter on. Besides which, the transient filter is really only useful if you're also upsampling the output to 88200Hz, or at least so I've heard." Quote from hyrogenaudio thread, post 97 of this thread

foobar HDCD discussion on hydrogenaudio

From Goodwins High End website

"Every CD player has a digital filter that is an integral part of its sound reproduction electronics. In addition to decoding HDCD recordings, the HDCD decoder chip used in consumer products also contains the HDCD high-precision digital filter that improves the sound quality of all types of digital audio recordings."