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  1. #1
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    Choosing Blu ray player

    Hi Everyone,

    I may need little help and recommendation.
    I'm using Arcam 137 DVD player as transport, I'm connecting digital coaxial output to processor for surround, and HDMI to display for picture. Now I'm thinking to go for blu ray, I don't need sophisticated D/A converter because I want to use the player as transport, the only output I need is HDMI and digital coaxial, so I was thinking Sony BDP-S790 but I wonder would I get same picture and sound quality as Arcam 137 or as high end player If I use sony as transport.

    Please let me know.
    And many thanks.
    Magnepan MG20/ Krell FPB 200 watt amp/ Krell KAV-500 amp/ Krell KPS 20 IL CD player/ Krell Audio Video Standard Preamp & processor/ Project 9.1 turntable Denon 304 cart/ Arcam FMJ tuner/ Arcam 137 DVD/ Tascam 322 tape deck/ JVC vhs/ AQ interconnects: Colorado/ Transprent cable: Super, Ultra, Rference, XL Reference.

  2. #2
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    The Sony S790 is an excellent choice, a lot of features for the money like Wyfi and internet streaming, I also read a review that said the video playback was as good or better than the Oppo 93. If wanting a bit more status you could opt for the new Oppo 103 or Cambridge Audio 751. I think the Sony would get you what you need though. However, if I had your system the Oppo or Cambridge might be my choice and use the multichannel analog outputs to take advantage of the Dolby Tru-HD and DTS-MA (master audio), these formats are said to be equivalent to the master tape, I can at least vouch they are noticeably better than DVD. I'm assuming since you used toslink for audio the Krell doesn't have HDMI inputs,

  3. #3
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    Thank you Mr Peabody for reply. Sadly my processor does not have 5.1 inputs, so a high end player that have 5.1 output is useless.

    My I ask is the digital coaxial output and SD DVD upcale of Sony s790 is good as Arcam 137?

    I was thinking digital coaxial output sound different from player to another due to jitter noise, I wonder if this apply to blu ray players as well. Also I have many DVD that I want them at least to look good as Arcam 137 when upscale to HD.

    Anyone care to answer.
    Many thanks.
    Magnepan MG20/ Krell FPB 200 watt amp/ Krell KAV-500 amp/ Krell KPS 20 IL CD player/ Krell Audio Video Standard Preamp & processor/ Project 9.1 turntable Denon 304 cart/ Arcam FMJ tuner/ Arcam 137 DVD/ Tascam 322 tape deck/ JVC vhs/ AQ interconnects: Colorado/ Transprent cable: Super, Ultra, Rference, XL Reference.

  4. #4
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    The Sony will sound slightly better with Blu ray audio using the optical digital, Blu ray will be less compressed than DVD. I would suspect the DVD video should be comparable based on the 790 reviews, what you could do is buy the 790 from a retailer who will allow a 30 day return if not happy.

  5. #5
    Suspended Smokey's Avatar
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    Sony along with with Panasonic bluray players always seem to get good remarks regarding their DVD upscaling capability. Here is a review of Sony BDP-S790 where is was chosen "Awards 2012 Product of the Year", and also check out reviews for Panasonic players:

    Sony BDP-S790 review from the experts at whathifi.com

  6. #6
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    Thank you all for reply, and Smokey for the link. Is optical better than coaxial? As far i remember coaxial have 75 and optical is 65.

    As for players, I hope Sony will do the job If only does not sound bright or less realistic when playing DVD movies.
    Magnepan MG20/ Krell FPB 200 watt amp/ Krell KAV-500 amp/ Krell KPS 20 IL CD player/ Krell Audio Video Standard Preamp & processor/ Project 9.1 turntable Denon 304 cart/ Arcam FMJ tuner/ Arcam 137 DVD/ Tascam 322 tape deck/ JVC vhs/ AQ interconnects: Colorado/ Transprent cable: Super, Ultra, Rference, XL Reference.

  7. #7
    Suspended Smokey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by K-High-Fi View Post
    Is optical better than coaxial?
    Although both are same, if given a choice I would go with coaxial. Coaxial is less finicky than optical and don't use conversions in the signal chain (electrical to optical and vice versa).

  8. #8
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smokey View Post
    Although both {optical and coaxial S/PDIF} are same, if given a choice I would go with coaxial. Coaxial is less finicky than optical and don't use conversions in the signal chain (electrical to optical and vice versa).
    There is a school of thought that says between computer and DAC one ought to use optical because the DAC from radio frequency noise, (RFI/EMF), created by the computer. Personally I use coax.

    If you use coax, a LONGER cable length is desirable to minimize the effect of source/target impedance mismatch; opinion varies as to the best length but 15 feet/5 meters would be conservative. On the other hand, optical cable should always be as short as possible.

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    Theoretically your DVD playback should sound the same, keep in mind whether the Arcam or Sony the signal coming out is still digital and will be converted by the Krell's internal DAC. So any potential difference would be whether you could detect any difference in transports.

    I prefer coaxial digital connection based on reliability. I've never had issue with coaxial but have had an optical cable go bad and some compatibility issues. The optical cable was expensive so trouble seems to occur no matter the price range. Also, I've read papers claiming if the optical is bent or has to curve it could cause the optical information to become corrupt, as in timing changes or distorting the bit to where it can't be read.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Feanor View Post
    If you use coax, a LONGER cable length is desirable to minimize the effect of source/target impedance mismatch; opinion varies as to the best length but 15 feet/5 meters would be conservative.
    The formula for [coax] cable impedance does not include cable lenght as one of its derivative. So it cable lenght should not be an issue

  11. #11
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    It's apparently more complicated than that. The issue is signal echo/bounce that occurs when the source and target impedances are mismatched; it hasn't to do with the impedance of the cable itself. The result, by analogy, is a little like ghosting we used to see on our off-the-air TV. The result in digital terms is jitter, i.e. playback timing problems which affects the sound.

    There is a lot of discussion of this issue over at Audio Asylum's Computer Audio Asylum.

  12. #12
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    I wouldn't think that to be the case with DVD or CD players, I don't no of any pre-fab cables 15' long, most manufacturers advise to keep the coaxial cable run short, in fact, Audio Note recommended a .75 meter as optimum. So they either have a standard impedance which makes this a non issue or perhaps the impedance issue is off base for non-computer gear. I don't know, it's just contrary to what the consumer electronics companies say. You would think the shorter the distance the better.

  13. #13
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    I hooked up a new Sony S590 in our living room, it was one of the easiest set ups I've ever done. I had the manual sitting beside me but never needed it. Wyfi hook up was a breeze and the family had a lot of fun with the aps. Something to keep in mind if loading time is important, it has a feature to automatically search the internet for Blu ray extras when a disc is inserted, if you turn that feature off the movie loads quicker. I like the looks of the slim line unit but it's light as a feather, it may look out of place with all the rugged Krell .

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Feanor View Post
    It's apparently more complicated than that. The issue is signal echo/bounce that occurs when the source and target impedances are mismatched; it hasn't to do with the impedance of the cable itself.
    But there is no impedance mismatch between the source and target for coaxial digital protocol. Like the video connection, the source will have 75 ohm output and the target will have 75 ohm input impedance. And to keep the effects of cable minimum, the cable should have 75 ohm impedance.

    If cable is not 75 ohm for these type of connections, then you will run into problems like signal echos and noise pick up.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Peabody
    Most manufacturers advise to keep the coaxial cable run short, in fact, Audio Note recommended a .75 meter as optimum.
    Whether we like it or not, the cable will have an effect on the signal it is carrying. The longer the cable, the more cable resistance, capacitance, inductance and noise ratio effects will have on the signal. So keep it short

  15. #15
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smokey View Post
    But there is no impedance mismatch between the source and target for coaxial digital protocol. Like the video connection, the source will have 75 ohm output and the target will have 75 ohm input impedance. And to keep the effects of cable minimum, the cable should have 75 ohm impedance.

    If cable is not 75 ohm for these type of connections, then you will run into problems like signal echos and noise pick up. ...
    I suggest your seek & read the discussion at Audio Asylum; I'm not an electrical engineer and can't provide you with a full discussion. There are people at AA who are and can. One thing, though, the actual impedance of the cable itself is far less than 75 ohms; the 75 ohm specification pertains to the source and receiving circuits.


    Quote Originally Posted by Smokey View Post
    ...
    Whether we like it or not, the cable will have an effect on the signal it is carrying. The longer the cable, the more cable resistance, capacitance, inductance and noise ratio effects will have on the signal. So keep it short
    There's no question of my likes & dislikes: I agree that cables can effect the signal. However I use a 30 foot coax cable myself with excellent results.

    BTW, Mr P, I wouldn't take any comment pertaining to things digital coming from Audio Note as authoritative.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Feanor View Post
    I suggest your seek & read the discussion at Audio Asylum; I'm not an electrical engineer and can't provide you with a full discussion. There are people at AA who are and can.
    There are other sources of information beside AA

    One thing, though, the actual impedance of the cable itself is far less than 75 ohms.
    And why would that be?

    One specifcation of [quality] digital coaxial cable is is having 75 ohm impedance (same with video cables too).

  17. #17
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smokey View Post
    ...
    And why would that be? {coax cable actual impedance much less that 75 ohms}

    One specifcation of [quality] digital coaxial cable is is having 75 ohm impedance (same with video cables too).
    No need to take my word for it. Grab yourself a length of coax and measure the resistance with you handy dandy multimeter. I just now took a 6' length and measured: signal (core) = 0.3 ohms; ground (shield) = 0.7 ohms.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Feanor View Post
    No need to take my word for it. Grab yourself a length of coax and measure the resistance with you handy dandy multimeter. I just now took a 6' length and measured: signal (core) = 0.3 ohms; ground (shield) = 0.7 ohms.
    What you are measuring is "DC" resistance of cable as cable impedance can not be measured with a multimeter. Special instrument is needed to measure cable impedance since we will be dealing with AC signal, cables inductance and capacitance. AC signal will see the cable impedance, but DC willl not
    Last edited by Smokey; 11-19-2012 at 03:02 PM.

  19. #19
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smokey View Post
    What you are measuring is "DC" resistance of cable as cable impedance can not be measured with a multimeter. Special instrument is needed to measure cable impedance since we will be dealing with AC signal, cables inductance and capacitance. AC signal will see the cable impedance, but DC willl not
    I stand corrected in as much as there is a difference between AC impedance and DC resistance. However as between one purpose-made coax cable and another versus other components in the source/cable/receiver system, I suggest differences are slight. I note that specified DCR's vary and are specified by unit of length, where as nominal impedance is simply specified as 75 ohms regardless of the length.

    HERE is an article by Steve Nugent wherein he argues the coax S/PDIF ought to be at least 1.5 meters (5 feet) in order to minimized jitter resulting from signal echos caused by source/receiver impedance mismatches.

    Excerpt ...
    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Nugent at Positive Feedback
    When a transition is launched into the transmission line, it takes a period of time to propagate or transit to the other end. This propagation time is somewhat slower than the speed of light, usually around 2 nanoseconds per foot, but can be longer depending on the dielectrics used in the digital cable. When the transition reaches the end of the transmission line (in the DAC), a reflection can occur that propagates back to the driver in the Transport. Small reflections can occur in even well matched systems. When the reflection reaches the driver, it can again be reflected back towards the DAC. This ping-pong effect can sustain itself for several bounces depending on the losses in the cable. It is not unusual to see 3-5 of these reflections before they finally decay away, particularly when using the best digital cables, which are usually low-loss.

    So, how does this affect the jitter? When the first reflection comes back to the DAC, if the transition already in process at the receiver has not completed, the reflection voltage will superimpose itself on the transition voltage, causing the transition to shift in time. The DAC will sample the transition in this time-shifted state and there you have jitter. Letís look at a numerical example: ...
    Elsewhere Nugent suggest a 10 foot maximum, although I've hear others argue for 30 feet of more. Personally I'm using Blue Jeans Cable coax, Belden 1694A cable with Canare RCAP compression-fit connectors, HERE, with excellent results. (In my case the longer length is partly because of my own computer and DAC placement requirements.)

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Feanor View Post
    [I]HERE is an article by Steve Nugent wherein he argues the coax S/PDIF ought to be at least 1.5 meters (5 feet) in order to minimized jitter resulting from signal echos caused by source/receiver impedance mismatches.
    I read his article and he does make sense. I agree with him that RCA connectors and its wiring may cause reflection due to not being 75 ohm. That is something we don't have control over unless doind some serious DYI wiring

    But there might be a flaw in his assumption of timing reflection. He assume that that space timing of digital signal is constant as for rising and falling time. But if one look at the coaxial signal itself, we can see that timing between rising and falling signal is not constant:



    The signal is encoded in Manchester coding and and as you can see the timing vary between when signal fall and rises. So when we do have a reflection as Steve Nugent mentioned, one will never know whether the reflected signal will arrive at rise/fall time of source signal, or when the souce signal is at steady state.

    Also he mentioned that we may have reflection at these point along transmission-line components:

    The traces on the Transport circuit board that connect to the driver chip
    The wiring to the output connector
    The output connector jack and plug (BNC or RCA)
    The digital cable
    The input connector jack and plug at the DAC input (BNC or RCA)
    The wiring to the circuit board
    The traces on the DAC circuit board that connect to the receiver chip

    So how do we accont for the timing of all these reflected signal?
    Last edited by Smokey; 11-20-2012 at 09:52 PM.

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    I wonder if K-high ever got the Sony

  22. #22
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smokey View Post
    I read his article and he does make sense. I agree with him that RCA connectors and its wiring may cause reflection due to not being 75 ohm. That is something we don't have control over unless doind some serious DYI wiring

    But there might be a flaw in his assumption of timing reflection. He assume that that space timing of digital signal is constant as for rising and falling time. But if one look at the coaxial signal itself, we can see that timing between rising and falling signal is not constant:



    The signal is encoded in Manchester coding and and as you can see the timing vary between when signal fall and rises. So when we do have a reflection as Steve Nugent mentioned, one will never know whether the reflected signal will arrive at rise/fall time of source signal, or when the souce signal is at steady state.

    Also he mentioned that we may have reflection at these point along transmission-line components:

    The traces on the Transport circuit board that connect to the driver chip
    The wiring to the output connector
    The output connector jack and plug (BNC or RCA)
    The digital cable
    The input connector jack and plug at the DAC input (BNC or RCA)
    The wiring to the circuit board
    The traces on the DAC circuit board that connect to the receiver chip

    So how do we accont for the timing of all these reflected signal?
    Well I don't understand Manchester encoding and I suppose we do have to account for all those reflection points.

    Do you suppose the Nugent might say that any reflections would be significant only if they affect the trailing edges of their related square waves, Manchester encoding notwithstanding? All the earliest & strongest reflections would, I presume, arrive within a few nanoseconds.

  23. #23
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    Unhappy

    Well Mr Peabody i was just about to purchase S790 until friend recommend Marantz 7007, which has balance output. So I'm thinking over.

    However, i just compare the digital Coaxial output between Sony DVD player DVP-S900 (which was popular in 2003 and around $900) and Arcam 137 and i found Arcam sound a lot better, its more realistic and warm. I'm using high end power cord with Arcam, which is Furutech AC plugs and DH lab power cord, both they enhance Arcam performance. After this comparison I'm hesitating for S790 or similar level player.

    Its really hard for me now to leave Arcam

    Anyway, may i ask Is it big different in picture quality between blu ray and DVD?
    From what I see the picture quality from DVD player is good enough in my Sony HX750 LED 40 inch, also I heard some people found little improvement from blu ray over DVD movies.
    Last edited by K-High-Fi; 12-03-2012 at 02:45 PM.
    Magnepan MG20/ Krell FPB 200 watt amp/ Krell KAV-500 amp/ Krell KPS 20 IL CD player/ Krell Audio Video Standard Preamp & processor/ Project 9.1 turntable Denon 304 cart/ Arcam FMJ tuner/ Arcam 137 DVD/ Tascam 322 tape deck/ JVC vhs/ AQ interconnects: Colorado/ Transprent cable: Super, Ultra, Rference, XL Reference.

  24. #24
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    With Blu-ray you are talking 1080p resolution compared to 480p, yes that makes a difference. On a 40" screen I still would think the benefit is there but maybe not as much as a larger screen.

    I looked at the UD7007 and it seems much more comparable to an Arcam in build. The XLR outputs are only stereo, you still could use the coaxial digital though. You are wanting performance so the 7007 may be a better choice, however, the Sony has Wyfi, depends on how important internet streaming is and how close you are to your modem. On the other hand the Sony would look like a toy beside the 7007. I have an old 7003 and love it even though it's a bit slow. Good picture quality and I just like the feel of a better built unit with a full remote.

  25. #25
    Music Junkie E-Stat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Feanor View Post
    If you use coax, a LONGER cable length is desirable to minimize the effect of source/target impedance mismatch; opinion varies as to the best length but 15 feet/5 meters would be conservative.
    Agree only to an extent. Like many parameters, there is a sweet spot where values below and above are less ideal.

    RE: Long S/PDIF cable - audioengr - Digital Drive

    Steve Nugent of Empirical Audio is the most vocal proponent of appropriate cable length. He prefers longer than one meter to reduce the reflection issue and shorter than five meters to reduce jitter.

    RE: Long S/PDIF cable - audioengr - Digital Driv

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