computer vs standalone player

Discussion in 'Computer Audiophile: Software, Configs, Tools' started by jerryk, May 4, 2021.

  1. jerryk

    jerryk Rando

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    Hello - I use my PC as a source to play ripped cds via foobar and also blu ray movies. However, for playing the actual movie on disc a standalone blu ray player is much more user friendly. My dac is an idsd dac with both usb and coax inputs; I ran the PC via usb and my standalone blu ray player via coax. However, the movie's sound quality was MUCH better when played from the computer. The disc and settings are identical - is there any explanation for this? I would like to get level of the computer's sound quality from my player. Many thanks. Jerry
     
  2. Armaegis

    Armaegis Friend

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    My best guess is that the blueray player is processing/mangling the audio file before outputting to coax. Can you tell us what the player is?

    Have you tried using the player's analog outputs directly?

    What exactly sounds better when played via pc?
     
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  3. jerryk

    jerryk Rando

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    The player is a sony 4k player X700. My understanding is that the player, like the computer, decodes the losslessly compressed audio files (dolby tru hd, dts master audio) to pcm and sends to the dac. No I did not use the analog output because I want to use my dac - not the dac built into the player.
     
  4. Armaegis

    Armaegis Friend

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    Just for the sake of completeness, can you try using the player's analog outputs and see how they sound? This is just part of troubleshooting. Does it sound better/worse/different? Can you qualify the differences in sound? You will have three things to compare: playback from pc to dac, playback from coax to dac, and playback from direct analog. So far you haven't told us how the pc playback sounds better. Is it just a detail retrieval thing, or is the sound so far off that you think there's actually something wrong withthe bluray player?

    I have a list of guesses:
    - the player has internal re/upsampling and not doing it right
    - the player is trying to automatically process to surround sound somehow and messing it up
    - the coax output circuit is buggered
    - the coax cable is buggered
    - the coax input on the dac is buggered
    - angry ground loop
    - the player just sucks
     
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  5. jerryk

    jerryk Rando

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    Thanks. I don't own a preamp with volume control so I can't use the analog outputs. Sorry - the computer sound is fuller, punchier, has much more detail and a more holographic sound, better imaging and soundstage. Both the player and pc should in theory be outputting a 2 channel pcm stream, so my instinct is it has something to do with the usb vs coax thing. I don't think there is anything wrong with the player because I tried a different blu ray player with the same result. Another option would be for me to try a different (perhaps legacy) dac that has a better coax implementation - the dac I am using is a "usb dac" with a coax input.
     
  6. jerryk

    jerryk Rando

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    also I forgot - the coax cable I was using was a new cable from monoprice …..
     
  7. bixby

    bixby Friend

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  8. jerryk

    jerryk Rando

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    thanks I already checked and tinkered with the settings and they are correct - my instinct is that the coax vs usb does not explain this difference, but that for whatever reason the computer sending the PCM stream to the dac just sounds better than the player doing the same thing. Could be a software issue or the computer has a better power supply? If that is the case I will continue to use the computer to play the blu rays even though it is a pia.
     

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