How important are digital outputs on an SACD or DVD-Audio player?

How important are digital outputs on an SACD or DVD-Audio player?
Won't buy without 'em
44% (105 votes)
Extremely important
16% (38 votes)
Very important
10% (23 votes)
Kinda important
6% (15 votes)
Not very important
10% (24 votes)
Not important at all
5% (11 votes)
Don't care
10% (23 votes)
Total votes: 239

Sony has finally released SACD hardware, and DVD-Audio is promised for sometime next year, but none of the first players have digital outputs. Is this a problem for you?

COMMENTS's picture

There are too many different digital outputs anyway.The only type I can get good sound with is a 'balanced' type (IEC/EBU ?) so an 'optical' output like Sony often puts on CD players would probably sound like crap.....

Dave W.'s picture

Have to have an upgrade path. As good as SACD sounds, there's going to be improvement. Being unable to get the bitstream to an outboard processor is not forward thinking.

Anonymous's picture

I will wait for a player that comes with a digital output for SACD and a D/A converter that is able to receive such signals, before deciding on the purchase of SACD hardware and software.'s picture

It will be important when the jitter issue will be addressed. For now I think that one box players are better than two boxed ones. For flagship machines, however, I believe that a full 24/96 or 24/192 output should be the norm.'s picture

Anyone who buys a unit without digital outputs is just another sucker who keeps the "screw the masses" sector of the marketing divisions of the major corporations awake and rigid all night long, devising new and more sinister ways of making the impatient/gullible slice of the pie poorer than necessary ASAP. Do you think

Oystein G Holter's picture

i buy music on a personal not per machine (dvd,cd, dat, etc) basis

Perry Pecker's picture

as far as i am concerned there are many aspects which are importent, but the priority is a realistic settlement on which format will be accepted. Until then my next serious purchase for a source is a top of the line turntable setup.i know thats not going in spastic directions. I own a hi end audio video retailer in Canada, and really believe this format nonsense can seriously be a legitamit catalyst for vinyl>

Health Nut, Phila./Pittsburgh's picture

Universal DVD-A/SACD transports with digital output are the only way to go. I'll be waiting.

Al's picture

With no digital output, it will not be possible to use a separate, outboard D/A converter. This would be an enormous disadvantage to obtaining the highest possible sound quality from the new SACD and DVD-A formats.

Martin Bruczkowski's picture

I voted "Won't buy without 'em"

Teresa Goodwin's picture

If the D/A converter is of high-end quality, it doesn't really matter

M's picture

I don't want to have to send an analog signal to a pre-amp and then to a power amp. A transport should be just that...a transport.

Alan Maher's picture

I own a very expensive digital preamp/processor. What good do 6 analog channls or 2 for the Sony offer me?

Cady's picture

Since I plan to buy either a dac or player that supports all formats that is very important to me

Paul Van Dyck's picture

I prefer to use an external processor, the main reason being the extra effort that is spent on the analog driving stages, which can never be matched by the single-box player. The architecture of the future DACs should be in "smart" digital input receivers and digital filters

Tore Neset's picture

I have a Meridian all-digital system, and plan to upgrade to 24/96 DACS in my DSP5000 speakers. It's therefore essential that any new player I might buy has a digital output.

Dan Landen's picture

Not unless Sony plans to share Theta's dac designs and I don't think that will happen in my lifetime!

Jim B.'s picture

Given the (claimed) inherent superiority of the new formats, I hope that the DAC section of whatever I buy one day (probably a universal machine) will be good enough that I won't feel the need to upgrade to an outboard DAC unit.

Erling's picture

No digital outputs leaves us in the analog world without any option of digital room correction or digital amplifiers. Is this really the future?

Hector Caraballo's picture

At higher prices than conventional CD Players they should offer as much improvment as possible to warrant replacement of ingrained technology.

Jeremy Close's picture

I've never heard a two-box player sound better than a one-box player for the same money, and I've got no use for a digital recorder.

Jo's picture

I think that we are all considered pirates by the major electronics companies, before we can conduct any piracy. Usually, all people are innocent until the contrary is proved. I want digital outputs to get the maximum quality from a high-end external converter. It is a high-end technology, after all.

Warren Osten's picture

How could a built-in DAC sound anywhere near as good as an external DAC? After all, isn't ultimate sound quality the goal we are trying to achieve?

Adrian Lebena's picture

If DVD-Audio and/or Super Audio CD wants to be taken seriously, they need digital output.

Michael Duffy's picture

SACD is meant to be pure, the player should output a pure, analog audio signal. As for DVD-A, not a sould seems to be exactly sure what that format is supposed to be for!

Linwood Stowe's picture

If the D/A converters are better than what I have it is not important.

Andy Lim's picture

I am sure one day we will have DAC DVD-Audio, thus digital output is a must. Sony must have a reason for not having a digital output. But whatever it is, it is certainly not a good one for marketing reasons.

YC's picture

It's more important for DVD-A, as it appears that DVD-A players will include lower-end (under $2k) players that could definitely benefit from a DAC for DVD-A. As SACD is targeted at the audiophile, I trust manufacturers like Sony to continue to release good-sounding SACD players not in need of any DAC. And if you really need HDCD (which Sony doesn't support), the SCD-1 does have digital outs for 16/44.

Louie's picture

You pay the big bucks, you expect the extras. Outputs are expected. In this day and age, when everything is obsolete just after release, an upgrade path has got to be present!

BT's picture

We're still on the learning curve with digital audio and no audiophile should run the risk of obsolescence.