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!


Well, after following this thread thus far I have to agree that SACD is very confusing. 

Denon SACD players only play the SACD layer through the Sony S400 output which was inputted on the surround receiver 

There are several older SACD players (Oppo, Marantz, Denon, among others) that, when used with third-party Sonore freeware, can easily rip the SACD layer from the player to your computer over a network connection.  Once the SACD layer is ripped, you can use your streaming solution of choice to stream a bit-perfect DSD stream to your hi-fi system.  I've ripped hundreds of SACDs to my NAS using this method.

I recently added a stand alone DAC to my Esoteric DV60 Universal player. Before, I could play back SACD’s...through the DV-60. Now I cannot play these discs as SACD's. BUT, and here’s the thing, the improvement that the DAC made to the whole SQ is far superior than what the sound of SACD’s was through just the player alone. Surprisingly, even true with the CD layer of SACD played through the combo. ( and the DV-60 is no slouch on playback!) OTOH, the combo can play back DVD-A’s as this digital stream is passed through to the DAC. I looked at Paul’s very interesting video, and of course it made perfect sense. BUT, I do wonder if DVD-A’s could be ok from a copyright and artist royalty scenario, why SACD’s could not? Seems odd.

Also, I think that the idea of SACD is good, except I also think it was hyped too much. IME, the quality of the sound one is going to get is far more dependent on the quality of the original master recording, and a lot less on the the fact that is is a CD at 44.1 vs a SACD at DSD.

Not sure what the confusion is about SACD.

You buy SACD players to play SACD discs and connect the RCA/XLR out to preamp or integrated amp. The only way to get DSD out is through HDMI/I2S cables of some blu-ray players and get the output to the DAC.

Last option is to rip SACDs as DSF/DFF files and lay them through the DACs using USB or I2S cables. You will never get DSD through coaxial unless you use players like Meitner which state the following:

  • Up to 24bit/192kHz & DSD support over all inputs: USB Audio, AES, TOSLINK, COAX and Network(RJ45)