DirectStream for the movies


#1

I’ve been searching for a way to power my front L&R speakers of a 7.1 theater. The front speakers have a dividing network so the Oppo 205 stereo out will always feed two subs to fill in the bottom, both in stereo and 7.1. This Atlona unit may be just what I need: https://atlona.com/product/at-hdr-m2c/


#2

HI this is a great topic, as I have also been wanting a device to de-embed L/R channels from 5.1/7.1 sources and send them digitally to the directstream.

I just spoke to Atlona and according to the person in pre sales I spoke with the device in the link above will NOT send the channels digitally (analog over mini jack works). Unless someone has different info than I was given. He mentioned this device would do this digitally however over toslink https://atlona.com/product/at-hd570/

Atlona does however have a link to submit requests for new features and new products. So perhaps if enough people requested it, we could get them to add I2S (over Hdmi) and or USB output of de-embeded audio channels.

Here is the link to submit requests - but perhaps if we here could Agree what features a device should have and all request that specific concept, they would see the need and Offer that device.

https://atlona.com/contact_us/submit-ideas/

The hd750 I mentioned has an msrp of $370 so their devices are not expensive.

Aside from the number of outputs we should also pay attention to the power supply and isolation so the device doesn’t pollute the Dac with switching noise, etc.

It would be great to get people’s thoughts on this.


#3

I know this is not directly like the 4K HDR Multi-Channel but what experience does anyone have with the Singxer SU-1 USB digital interface which does have i2S.


#4

I’m a bit confused as to why you’d want the D to A done by a different device for only 2 out of the 6 channels? It just seems a bit odd to me. What are your end goals?

If you wanted a full surround sound system using Directstreams, Pink Faun sells a card that will output i2s for all six channels via 3 HDMI ports. You’d need three Directstreams, but it would give you a more appropriate sound signature as all channels would be converted to analog by the same device.


#5

Won’t there be sync problems with the channels ?


#6
Seegs108 said

What are your end goals?

I'm using a Oppo 205 as a Pre for a 7.1 Magnepan system. One Oppo DAC outputs XLR for the FL & FR speakers. Another DAC outputs RCA for the same front speakers (full signal). The XLR cables have an inline dividing network (capacitor). The stereo cables go to two subs. I want to leave the XLR cables in the DirectStream. In 205 settings, stereo will be set for two channel listening and the RCA stereo will go to the subs. For 7.1 the settings will change to FL and FR of the 7.1/5.1. Again the RCA stereo will go to the subs. When I played a 5.1 movie I attempted to use a Coax cable from the 205 to the DS. The side and center speakers were fine coming from the 205 but the FL and FR speakers had pops that got worse in time. The https://atlona.com/product/at-hdr-m2c/ combines all the HDMI channels to two stereo channels. This is what I want to send to my FL & FR speakers. I'm 95% sure that this is what I want the Atlona. I don't know anything about the Singxer SU-1 USB except that it has i2s connection. I was asking if anyone has had any experience using it with DS.

#7

I’m at a bit of a loss in understanding what you’re trying to do, and why. The DS is a stereo DAC, I don’t see how it has any purpose in what you are trying to do. What are you expecting the DS to do by connecting it to a 5.1 digital source?


#8

Let’s break all of this down. Here’s the back of the 205:

x768UDP205-B.jpg

“One Oppo DAC outputs XLR for the FL & FR speakers.”

To be clear, the XLR output on the 205 are always stereo outputs, which means that if you’re playing 5.1, these stereo outputs are a downmixed version of the 5.1 surround channel. (This seems to be exactly what you want to use the Altona device for).

“Another DAC outputs RCA for the same front speakers (full signal).”

yes, these outputs are non-mixed discreet channel outputs. So the information is different between these two analog output options when using a surround sound format.

“The XLR cables have an inline dividing network (capacitor). The stereo cables go to two subs. I want to leave the XLR cables in the DirectStream.”

So if I’m understanding you correctly you’re saying you’re going to only use the unbalanced RCA outputs that are next to the XLR outputs on the back of the 205, correct?

" In 205 settings, stereo will be set for two channel listening and the RCA stereo will go to the subs. For 7.1 the settings will change to FL and FR of the 7.1/5.1. Again the RCA stereo will go to the subs. "

So if I’m understanding you correctly, you’re saying that anytime you’re listening to a 2 channel audio format you will select the “Stereo Audio Output” in the settings. When you change to a 5.1 or 7.1 audio format do you plan on swapping the RCA cables from the “Stereo Audio Output” to the discreet FL and FR unbalanced outputs? Again, the signal will be different because one is mixed down to 2 channel and the others are discreet channel information.

" I attempted to use a Coax cable from the 205 to the DS. The side and center speakers were fine coming from the 205 but the FL and FR speakers had pops that got worse in time. "

When you say “Coax” I assume you mean you’re trying to send the Directstream an SPDIF signal via the coax output on the back of the 205. But that means you’re sending the Directstream a 5.1 surround signal which the Directstream doesn’t support. The only way it’s going to work is if you’re choosing a 2 channel output via SPDIF/Coax. I suspect this is why it sounds terrible. It’s not a format the Directstream supports.

“The https://atlona.com/product/at-hdr-m2c/ combines all the HDMI channels to two stereo channels. This is what I want to send to my FL & FR speakers. I’m 95% sure that this is what I want the Atlona.”

Are you saying you want to use this device when you’re listening to surround sound? If so, you DO NOT want to do that. For surround sound you want each channel to get it’s own discreet channel information. It’s going to sound horrible if you have the center and surrounds getting discreet information while also having the front left and right speakers outputting those channels too (as all of the channels are now mixed in to 2 channels).


It’s really difficult to understand your end goals here but more specifically how the Directstream comes into play and why you want to use it. When you say “I want to leave the XLR cables in the DirectStream.” what do you mean by that? The only XLR output on the 205 is an analog output signal, which means it has nothing to do with the Directream because it only accepts digital signals. This is the only place where I see the Directstream coming into play here other than you using the Coax output, but I explained why you don’t want to do this. To use the coax output, you would need to have the 205 downmix the surround mix to stereo, but again, you don’t want to do this if you plan on using the rest of the your speakers via the analog discreet outputs on the 205. You don’t want to be listening to discreet and downmixed at the same time. It’s going to sound awful.

If I’ve misunderstood this, I apologize, but from how you’ve explained things this is how I’ve interpreted what you’re trying to do.


#9

Since OPPO 205 already has a DAC , why would you want to double process the same signal ?


#10

For movies you need a surround sound processor. DS has no use in this application unless you want the Oppo player to decode and down mix the movie soundtrack bitstream to stereo PCM and use the DS as a DAC/pre. However it wouldn’t make any sense to do that as you might as well just use the XLR stereo output of the Oppo. If you want to listen to multi-channel audio for movies I suggest you buy a surround sound processor. You will also use it for stereo music. I don’t see the purpose of DS in your system.


#11
Seegs108 said

It’s really difficult to understand your end goals here but more specifically how the Directstream comes into play and why you want to use it.

Seegs108,

My original goal was to primarily use the DS w/bridgeII as a stereo streamer of Tidal with MQA processing. My components are in a large cabinet with a 65" OLED on top. My 3.6 Magnepan speakers are amazing and I wanted to use them for both DS streaming duties as well as part of a full 7.1 Magnepan theater. Since the DS was already connected to the 3.6 amp I didn’t want to move the whole cabinet to reconnect the 3.6 amp to the 205 FL & FR speaker out of the 7.1 system. I wanted Atlona to allow DS to pre amp the FL & FR speakers.

I really appreciate your detailed step by step efforts to understand how the 205 and DS could work together. As I was going through your details and explaining the setting effects in the 205 of choosing “stereo downmix” or “FL & FR”, I realized I had made a major error with my sub connections. The 3.6 speakers are much more efficient if they don’t have to deal with very low frequencies. With speaker settings set to “large”, an engineer friend of mine helped me build an inline dividing network (a capacitor in the XLR cable) to cut off below 72hz. Then the full range stereo RCA cables went to two OB GR Research subs to fill out the bottom of the stereo signal. What I had overlooked until I went through all of your details was that I would also need to do the same thing with the cables from the DS. Unfortunately, I cannot use both of the DS XLR and the RCA cables since they are coupled. PS Audio says to use a Y connector for main speaker/sub use.

I now want to have two separate systems. I’m searching for a switching box so I can use the same amp and 3.6 speakers with subs for both stereo DS and separate Oppo 7.1. Any suggestions for a box that will switch two stereo XLR/RCA systems.

Charles


#12

If you wish to operate a 2ch stereo system for music side-by-side with a multi-channel system for movies - and many of us do - the OPPO should be connected to a surround sound processor via HDMI, the OPPO coax output goes to the DS, the outputs of the SSP go to the amplifiers, the XLR output of the DS gets connected to XLR input of the SSP.

The SSP does the source switching between movie source and music source, and it looks after volume control for both. Again, you don’t need the DS. Instead you can connect the XLR stereo outputs of the OPPO to the SSP in-lieu of the DS, or of course the SSP can do everything you want - movies and music - by itself over the HDMI link to the OPPO.


#13

Thanks Brodricj, Is that a Welch name? We were there last year.

Would you offer a preferred Surround Processor that I could make make all this happen. I assume the higher quality of the DS DAC would be passed through SSP. The same with the audio quality of the 205 DAC’s. This would be a much simpler solution than what I was thinking of doing. The 205 does give me the option to use two full range stereo outs for different purposes. I assume I could do the same and more with a SSP. I would also like to get a good room correction system also.

Charles


#14
oneartist said

Would you offer a preferred Surround Processor that I could make make all this happen.


I use and recommend Krell Foundation for movies, and it’s good for music also. Using a SSP brings auto-EQ to the party which is a useful feature standalone DAC’s typically don’t have, and the simplicity of a single box solution to do everything you need is also quite appealing. I might listen to music sources with my Krell and feel that I’m not missing much compared to listening to the same music on my DSJ. In my case however I’m using a pre-amp for source selection, rather than the Krell, so my music system is quite independent of my surround sound system (for movies the pre-amp is in HT bypass mode).

#15
oneartist said

My 3.6 Magnepan speakers are amazing and I wanted to use them for both DS streaming duties as well as part of a full 7.1 Magnepan theater. Since the DS was already connected to the 3.6 amp I didn’t want to move the whole cabinet to reconnect the 3.6 amp to the 205 FL & FR speaker out of the 7.1 system.

I have one of these and it is magical! Decware Ultra 6-Channel Preamp: http://www.decware.com/newsite/ULTRA.html

It solves the very problem you are agonizing over. I have been using mine for about 2 years now and it is the LAST component in my system I would ever get rid of, and I have some pretty decent gear. It allows me to use a single set of my beloved front channel speakers for both duties - 2-channel and HT without disconnecting anything.

I run the Oppo surround RCA preouts directly to their corresponding inputs on the Ultra. I run my DS DAC into the Ultra as a separate 2-Ch input. I simply turn the input selector knob on the Ultra and I can go from my DirectStream 2-Ch listening to 5.1 surround sound out of my Oppo UDP-205. The Ultra allows for 4 different 2-Ch inputs which accommodates my turntable and reel-to-reel tape rig as well.

Now, the only caveat is the Ultra supports 5.1, not 7.1. But not a big deal. You would just run the two side channel surround RCAs from the Oppo out directly to the amp powering those speakers, bypassing the Ultra preamp. That amp would control the volume for those two particular surround speakers instead of the Ultra.

You can read the description at the link above, but it is also very handy for controlling/adjusting output to all 6 channels at times when sound engineers were on crack while producing the movie soundtracks.

It has become the most indispensable component in my repertoire!


#16

Thank you Jeff. Your solution is very appealing to me. One thing I don’t like about AV processors is the constant production of new models every year or two. It reminds me of the craziness of Digital recorders. They were outdated and replaced with new models constantly.

Your Revox caught my eye. I loved reel to reel recording using my Sony electret condenser mikes and home built Dynaco tube amps with my Altec A7 speakers. I’m intrigued that you still use your Revox. Buying the DirectStream with bridgeII stretched my budget so I’ll have to do some saving for awhile for the Decware Ultra 6-Channel Preamp. For now, I’m building a dual system with the DS stereo to the 3.6 amp and the Oppo 205 including the same 3.6 amp in a 7.1 system by using passive 4X2 switcher boxes.


#17

Do you do any room correction such as MiniDSP DDRC-88A ? Also, since the Oppo 205 now does MQA processing, have you done any listening comparisons with the DS MQA? What settings would you choose in the 205 for MQA streaming?


#18

Hello
What is the best way to connect my newly acquired OPPO 205 to the Directstream DAC , for two channel listening since the OPPO 205 also has a very capable sweet sounding DAC I have a separate Two channel speaker system with a tube pre and QS Mono amps ( Daedalus Poseidon speakers )
a HT system with a 7 year old Marantz SR6006 in the same room ( all Kef speaker LS 50 )


#19

The best way is what sounds best to you. Just experiment.


#20

I would use the Oppo’s coaxial digital output for two channel sound directly into DirectStream’s input. I would then use the Oppo’s HDMI output for my surround system.