SACD is VERY confusing

Seems there are thousands of folks out there buying and playing SACDs using coax or optical from a player to a DAC and thinking they are listening to the SACD layer and they are listening to the CD layer. I was assured the Denon DVD-2910,3910,5910 would play SACD through the digital outputs but on the back of the units they clearly state PMC from the digital outputs.....Seems the ONLY way to truly play a SACD is HDMI to HDMI.....Even stripping the audio off the HDMI signal returns it to PMC ..... And everything I've read states the analog outputs, stereo and 5.1 are PMC...


Oppo’s User Manual states: “Due to copyright restrictions, SACD audio cannot be sent through the coaxial or optical digital audio output. To listen to SACDs, please use the HDMI or analog audio connections.) IOW, with a DAC that is connected via coax or TOSLINK, you might be limited to playing the CD layer of a hybrid SACD.

I can't believe they would allow DSD files through analog outputs....Wouldn't this violate the whole copyright issue?

.....There are thousands of people out there buying SACDs and listening to them on their OPPO, Marantz or Denon ..."SACD" players, either through digital or analog and they are listening to the CD/44.1 layer.....This is nuts!


@rbertalotto OK, I could see that...the thrill of the chase to find something, just as many do with trying to find 1st pressings of vinyl albums in VG+ condition. 

The SACD multi channel layer of a SACD disc can be played

- if the SACD player has a full set of 5.1 channel RCA analog outputs

- and the AV Receiver has a full set of 5.1 channel RCA analog inputs


AFAIK, multi channel doesn't work with a HDMI connection.



Yes, I was aware of this from very beginning of using my SACD player. All you need to do is just read manual before using, however my player (Cambridge CXU) won’t even let me play SACD through any other connection except HDMI. The signal won’t even pass through. 

My above comment refers to DSD output. Output trough HDMI is of course possible, but DSD will be converted to PCM.

+1 on the PS Audio explanation.

I use the hdmi from a Sony BluRay player (x1000es)  into a Moon 390 and it decodes at DSD (when available) and sounds pretty swell. (You have to fiddle a bit with the x1000)

But... how many DACs, let alone preamps, have an hdmi board capable of DSD?

So, yes, it is confusing. I think the reason SACD players are so pricey is that you MUST use the internal dac to hear the SACD layer.