An HDMI De-embedder for SACDs . . . Cool Idea, but How is this Legal?

GeerFab Audio claims that its upcoming “D.BOB” product (Digital Breakout Box) can accept an SACD disc’s DSD bit stream via HDMI and output DSD64 via TOSLink and S/PDIF coax to any external DSD DAC. It is a cool idea, but I am wondering how it could be legal, as no SACD player I know of can output a DSD64 bit stream via TOSLink or S/PDIF, and AFAIK no one has done anything like this in the 20-year history of SACD.


I’ve met Kevin a couple of times; he’s very helpful.

Or you could just rip your SACDs and bypass all that mess entirely…

1 Like

I’m a bit out of touch on this, but in the past it was my understanding the only way to rip an SACD was one and only one version of the Sony Xbox has this changed? Is there another way. I also knew of a hack method for the Oppo 103 that was quite involved to allow it to rip SACD’s, but the operation was not reversible.


I use a Sony BDP S5100 and Sonore software. It’s easy to do.

It is actually pretty simple. I spent $50 on hardware. See here:

The Manuals note that a DSSr or DSJr only accept 96kHz, 24bit digital via TOSlink, so DSD ain’t gonna happen there. But their coax inputs are claimed to be capable of handling up to 192kHz, 24 bit of PCM or DoP data, so an SACD’s DSD 64 sent via DoP after switching by this device from HDMI to S/PDIF seems plausible. 'Nothing unique about DSD over DoP, at least via USB.

GeerFab’s website states that the D.BOB is “Fully HDCP (High-Bandwidth Digital Content Protection) and copy protection compliant.” I don’t opine on legal matters on-line, but it doesn’t look like the D.BOB facilitates ripping.

FWIW, Steven Stone references this piece in his report on RMAF in the December, 2019 TAS.

That sounds like possible digital watermarking. Whatever it means, will it have an impact on sonics?

Since your OP has a link to the manufacturer’s phone number, why not ask Eric directly?

Thanks, just downloaded the Sonore software but my Mac Pro will not allow the program to open. Stated error that needed to be dealt with on the Console, but couldn’t find anything there regarding this. Oh well.

Thanks, lots of info here. Still can’t get the Sonore software to work on my Mac Pro though. I’ll keep fussing with it.

Before I would buy a newfangled product from a company I never heard of, I would likely contact the company with any questions I might have. Since this particular product is not yet available (and apparently has been delayed for months), and since I would be very pleasantly surprised if any company were to volunteer to a prospective purchaser that its product outputs a digital signal which is degraded due to watermarking, I thought I would pose the ‘watermarking’ question to the group.

The GeerFab Audio D.BOB is no longer newfangled or delayed! In fact, it can be found for sale at Music Direct ( and Elusive Disc ( The copy protection is not watermarking from GeerFab, rather it is the copy protection that is already on the SACDs and Blu-ray Audio discs. The D.BOB merely keeps it intact. The CP recognizes the D.BOB and thus, the downstream DAC as part of the same sort of closed-loop system as a universal player or a surround-sound receiver. Had we used a USB output, the CP would have been lost and the D.BOB would have been illegal. Extracting hi-res PCM and DSD64, implementing DoP via S/PDIF Coax and Toslink and keeping the CP intact wasn’t easy, it took some time, but it works. The consumer needs a universal player with HDMI out (usually 2, with a dedicated audio output) and the DAC needs to accept DoP over S/PDIF Coax and Toslink. Coax can also handle PCM up to 24/192 (LSO Live label has a few Blu-ray Audios @24/192) but Toslink only up to 24/176.4, which is the PCM carrier signal (so to speak) for DoP, so Toslink can do DSD64.


Thanks for the update, and good luck with the product. ($1K is too rich for my blood, and my OPPO UDP-205 sounds fine spinning SACDs, so I am probably not the target audience for this device, but I like the concept and I hope it is a success.)

I listen to 176.4PCM, 192PCM and DSD64 (DoP) via Toslink on my DS DAC all the time. It’s a little bit luck-of-the-draw regarding the actual performance of the Toslink receiver component on your particular DAC. PS Audio only guarantees 96kHz because that’s all the component manufacturer guarantees, but some parts do work at higher rates anyway.


Do I take it from this that the Stellar Gain Cell DAC, which has a DoP I2S input that’s HDMI, won’t work with the D.BOB because the D.BOB requires coax and/or Toslink?

The D.BOB would work fine with your SGCD @Craig_Burgess. Just not over I2S.

Ex. Oppo BDP/UDP -> HDMI cable-> D.BOB -> Toslink or S/PDIF cable -> SGCD

But aren’t those limited to lower resolution than DSD (96/24 Toslink, 192/24 for coax)? Sorry if the question betrays my ignorance.

Yes, you’re exactly right. COAX and optical are not able to decode DSD.

Especially when you can rip SACDs with free software and hardware that costs under $100.