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?

Charles Martyn's picture

I just want MUSIC.. Who cares if it has a digital output? My ears have no digital input, thanks.

Pirapong Patumraat's picture

Sony released SACD to save a large sum of its money putting down on old recording technic. It does want to throw them right away. It is only a marketting.

John Broughton's picture

Gives me the flexibility to upgrade as it has with my current machine output to an Audio Alchemy DDE.'s picture

I am SICK of these guys WHINING about piracy!!! I have a CD-RW at home and rarely use it. I compile my own discs, I make MP3-to-CD copies (but I don't pirate), and I back up data. MiniDisc technology is even better for the mix-it-yourself crowd. All of these technologies rely on being able to digitally copy music cleanly and easily. Digital outputs are essential to anyone who wants to do any home recording! The people these companies are worried about are the mass-duplication folks out in Hong Kong and China. Well, these guys copy first and worry about quality later. Do you think they mind when they downmix an analog signal back into digital for duplication? Do you think the average purchaser of these pirated goods cares? Hell NO! They only care that they can get the latest Backstreet Boys CD for $3! Or the latest Hollywood blockbuster for $5! Quality takes a backseat for these people. What Sony and the rest are actually doing is depriving us of the freedom to copy what we want when we want. If it were up to the recording industry, we would NEVER see DVD-R in the home! They HATED the idea of VCRs being able to record copyrighted material off TV. New digital copy protection will severely limit our ability to record programs in the future. It's all about control, and any way the industry can limit our choices, they will use. I advise people to NOT buy these devices until they provide the features we want.

Michael Crespo's picture

I am not planning on purchasing the new format until there is more software support. However, when I do buy into one of the formats, the players must have a digital output. I consider this a necessity.

erich's picture

If the player doesn't have digital outs I'll just go and get it from the input to the DACs.

Tony B.'s picture

If it's an SACD player, it won't make much difference to me whether or not the digital output is theret. My concern is always how good the analog section sounds. SACD and DVD-A won't mean much if companies release products with low-quality analog parts.

Bruce Guisti's picture

They must be kidding?

Mark Glover's picture

I will not purchase AACD/DVD-Audio hardware without digital out. I purchased the Proceed PMDT, which can be upgraded to support either or both formats.

Scot's picture

I would assume with the sony that the d/a converter is ample; however, I couldn't be to sure witht the dvd-a unit. Without the digital outputs it limits your options of using an outboard converter.

Stephen Curling's picture

I'd like my music to be digital for as long as possible.

Erik Leideman's picture

I use a separate transport and DAC today, and intend to do that also with the new formats. Which means that I will wait until there are digital output machines available.

Scott Mallonee's picture

I own expensive Meridian digital gear. I don't want to pay for varying-quality digital processors in EACH front-end piece I buy!

Dave Smith's picture

I think if you'll look at the data on the Sony site, you will see that both models DO have digital outputs for the CD side of the player. I don't see any reason to have a digital out for the SACD side.

Joel Mack's picture

What's the point if you have to reprocess the signal to get something other than 2-channel playback? The copyright concern is simply nuts. People have been copying 16/44 music for years, the mass market thinks MP3 sounds good, so who cares if 24/96 copied to a CD sounds a bit better? Folks are still buying music. The hardware guys are pretty craven, in my view, to buckle under. The music and movie software industries are in for a tough time and will need a new economic model, with or without digital outputs. I say good riddance.

Vic.'s picture

What a asinine question. You people are idiots! It's this very kind of mentality that prompted me to cancel my sub just a few weeks ago. Don't any of you have an idea of what we (audiophiles) want? An outboard DAC is a must for any of the main steam players! And probably for most of the so call high-end stuff. Does anyone at this rag have ears? Where is the reviews on the (now defunct) Pope recordings? In some ways Pope got it more right then ANY recordings I have heard to date! Granted I was only a subscriber for a few months, but most of the issues I have read, have managed to piss me off in at least one article, if not more. If any of you really care I will expect to hear from someone personally. As far as making the full data stream available at the digital outs, Pioneer is the only one I know of that has gotten it right! The sample rate and bit depth is only limited by software, AS IT SHOULD BE! You see hear is a very important service a mag like Sterophile could provide. Which releases on DVD-A offer the full data stream? Like Pioneer does in hardware? Chesky and Classic do! I would kill for music recorded using the technique that Gene Pope uses! Only at 192k/24bit! I would gladly pay for such recordings. Say 20 - 30 bucks a crack. (Gold foil of course) Vic

Chuck's picture

I really want to hear DVD-A and SACD, so I will probably get Pioneer's new DVD player without digital outputs. I can't believe it is taking manufacturers so long to address this issue and take care of copyright-protection issues.

Bill Ehrig's picture

A number of us have digital-in-only processors

SERGE's picture

WHY BUY A DAC 24/96 OR 24/192

Gregg's picture

Are they saying that their DAC is better than everything out there? I doubt it! I will still want to use my DAC with CDs.

David Weisenbloom's picture

I would not spend real money on a mashine without a way to upgrade it.

Bill Maddison's picture

Sending digital data instead of analog from source components just makes sense to me. I would be hesitant to invest in components that wouldn't fit into this style of system.

Tibor Zavrl's picture

Maybe we will need another external DSP processor for room correction, like RCS from TacT Audio. The best solution is a digital signal, but not composite output

Peter Earnshaw's picture

I have invested a lot of money in an external DAC that will decode higher-sample-rate material, including SACD when a standard is ratified. I don't want to throw that investment away, and feel that the copy-protection issue is simply a smokescreen.

Brian Hueske's picture

If I'm going to purchase an SACD player from Sony, I'm going to have to leave the D/A up to the company that came up with SACD in the first place. It'll be a while before we see any offboard processors that are any better than what Sony offers.

Bill Atkins's picture

What were they thinking?

John P.'s picture

I won't buy SACD/DVD-A till: 1) there's a healthy variety of high-end hardware for it on the market; 2) I can get a player or separates combo that will play all three: CD, SACD, and DVD-A; and 3) the price of such wondrous machines begins to descend.'s picture

having no outputs defeats the point of buying one.

LouisLau's picture

ability to connect to external DA is extremely important.

R.  Bennett's picture

A dumb question, please come up with more relevant & insightful questions!