Does a 5.1 Analog to Digital Converter exist?

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by velo_TX, Jan 25, 2023.

  1. velo_TX

    velo_TX Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Austin TX USA
    Hi all - the title of the thread says it all. I’ve seen plenty going the other way (D to A), but haven’t seen multichannel A to D. The digital output can be either optical, coax, or HDMI, anything 16/44.1 or above.
    Why? Seems like there aren’t many modern day units that have 5.1 inputs; present-day preamps/processors/AV receivers have plenty of digital but just stereo analog ins. So, if one has a oldish SACD player you’re stuck with stereo in the digital realm - multichannel DSD is outputted via the 5.1 analog outs.
    Hope there’s such a device…Thanks!
     
  2. Mike-48

    Mike-48 A shadow of my former self

    Location:
    Portland, Oregon
    You are most likely to find what you want as a professional-audio "interface" -- meaning a device with both ADC and DAC in multiple channels. They start at 2 channels and go up.

    As one example, Lynx offers the Aurora interface. For 5.1 conversion, one could use the 8-channel version, with two channels going unused.

    Here's another, by Prism.
     
  3. DyersEve726

    DyersEve726 Schmo Diggy

    Location:
    Michigan, USA
    If you're looking for one on a budget, the Focusrite 8i6 has 6 analog inputs. Just enough for 5.1 for $300. Of course, you'd then need to capture the audio to a DAW and mix it in surround so all the tracks come out of the correct speakers. Not all DAWs offer surround capability.
     
  4. Synthfreek

    Synthfreek I’m a ray of sunshine & bastion of positivity

    You want to take the 5.1 analog outputs from an SACD player and listen to it live by using a digital in of a receiver?
     
  5. DyersEve726

    DyersEve726 Schmo Diggy

    Location:
    Michigan, USA
    I think he wants to capture the audio for computer storage, like a needle drop from a digital source.
     
  6. Synthfreek

    Synthfreek I’m a ray of sunshine & bastion of positivity

    I wasn't sure why the mention of AV receivers.
     
  7. velo_TX

    velo_TX Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Austin TX USA
    That’s the general idea.
    SACD (and DVD-Audio) players of early vintage had 5.1 analog audio outputs; the industry didn’t come out with multichannel digital outputs for DSD via HDMI until sometime around the late 2000s/early 2010s, probably because it took them that long to address concerns over digital copyright protection. On the source switching and amplification end, good luck finding a box that’ll accept 5.1 analog inputs these days; again, it’s digital in, and the only analog inputs are in stereo.
    ( You’ll also find these older players also had component video outputs instead of DVI and HDMI. Also, most (if not all?) modern AV units don’t have component video inputs. TVs and monitors with component video inputs? Fuggettaboutit…Those are gripes for another thread and/or forum.)
    I already have the capability to get native DSD into my Yamaha TSR-7810 (HDMI from my Sony UHP-H1) and I’m plenty happy with it. It would be nice though if I could use some of my older units, which are multi-disc players. I have no real expectations that the converter will change the analog into DSD; just multichannel PCM would be fine.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2023
  8. velo_TX

    velo_TX Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Austin TX USA
    That would be nice too, to capture the 5.1 analog and convert it to digital file. However, for me it seems there are a good number of hoops to jump through for digital multichannel capture. Plenty happy with physical format SACD, just want to get some usage out of those old multi-disc SACD players.
    In terms of digital capture, stereo’s not a problem; indeed, I‘ve been digitizing 2-channel vinyl, cassette, and r-t-r for some 10-15 years.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2023
    DyersEve726 likes this.
  9. velo_TX

    velo_TX Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Austin TX USA
    Thanks, I’ll check it out.
    BTW, as your avatar’s MTT @jfeldt, there’s an article about him and Daniel Barenboim in the New York Times recently; check it out, if you haven’t already.
     
    jfeldt likes this.
  10. jfeldt

    jfeldt Forum Resident

    Location:
    SF, CA, USA
    Thank you! I went and found it and it was a nice article. Interestingly, the most I have ever seen MTT spent was after a performance of Mahler's Ninth (many years ago, before his illness).

    I deleted my original post since I mis-read what you were looking for. There are many multichannel ADCs out there, if you look at brands like Emu, M-Audio, etc. Here is a random one I just found: M-Audio

    If you look for 6 channel or 8 channel "audio interface" or "ADC" you should find many. Maybe a search for "5.1" is too limiting. You yourself mix and assign the channels later.
     
    velo_TX likes this.
  11. harby

    harby Forum Resident

    Location:
    Portland, OR, USA
    "The digital output can be coax, optical, hdmi....": You are not talking cables and formats that are good for multichannel recording. Those operate primarily by using lossy consumer codecs. High-definition discs did not use these native encodings like Dolby or DTS like you'd have on a DVD.

    SACD and DVD-audio were released alongside receivers with 5.1 analog inputs, which still exist.

    Basically you're asking for something: 1. for which consumers were provided an analog-only output due to DRM. 2. for which consumers were provided receivers with 5.1 analog inputs to play. And then you want to pipe it back into a poor consumer digital format instead of having full fidelity 5.1 playback.


    Multichannel audio is carried professionally by MADI, firewire (lightpipe), Dante, etc, or multiple AES3. For computer, USB2/ASIO, Firewire, Thunderbolt, or interface cards with those same pro formats (or proprietary crap like Avid).

    Here is an old Dolby Digital rack encoder Dolby DP569 DIGITAL AUDIO ENCODER , it uses three AES3 digital inputs that are similar to S/PDIF voltages with BNC. 48kHz. It won't continuously encode, because it needs a digital "start" timecode like from a digital tape, and is configured by com port win98 software. The result being you can master a DVD with it that has digital out, and preview with digital out from the hardware encoder.

    Then you need an ADC to feed it. First, forget about dumb little mixer recorders with guitar inputs and mics with their own knobs.

    Here's your top-shelf bargain, with Firewire also: Mytek 8x192 ADDA FireWire | Reverb

    then just DB25 AES3 7 volt to BNC 1 volt hardware (not a simple snake or patch panel).

    Of course you don't need any digital conversion if you have real 5.1 channels and not just a receiver that will only play prepackaged consumer 5.1 digital.
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2023
  12. shug4476

    shug4476 Nullius In Verba

    Location:
    London
    There probably is such a device but why would you bother? You would be converting DSD to analogue from the player, then analogue to PCM for the amp, for the amp then to convert it back to analogue so you could listen.

    That will be very 'lossy' as it is three stages of conversion and you will lose something in each stage.

    I personally wouldn't bother.
     
  13. Synthfreek

    Synthfreek I’m a ray of sunshine & bastion of positivity

    The easiest solution is to just track down a receiver with 5.1 analog inputs.
     
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  14. Barry_NJ

    Barry_NJ Forum Resident

    Location:
    GSP Exit 165, NJ
    My Marantz SR6015, still currently available via retail, has a 5.1 analog input, and my old Emotiva UMC-200 Pre/Pro actually has a 7.1 analog input.

    I'm willing to sell the later if you're interested (?)
     
  15. velo_TX

    velo_TX Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Austin TX USA
    I had several before I got my Yamaha TSR-7810; just prior to the Yamaha I was plenty satisfied with my HK AVR635. Unfortunately, the DACs in all of them were limited in PCM resolution (max 24/96) and didn't do DSD, and the 5.1 analog inputs bypassed any tone controls, bass management, and/or DSP.
     
  16. velo_TX

    velo_TX Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Austin TX USA
    Thanks for the reply! The SR6015 looks interesting; I'll investigate further to see if it'll meet my desires, as there are other audio-related things that take precedence over putting back the old players back into commission.
     
    Barry_NJ likes this.
  17. velo_TX

    velo_TX Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Austin TX USA
    Yup, lots of hoops for perhaps minimal gain.
     
  18. quicksrt

    quicksrt Senior Member

    Location:
    City of Angels
    I know this is really not exactly the answer to your question, but it resolves the issue at hand. There are tons of older AVRs that have analog inputs in addition to HDMI inputs/outputs. These are the ones I have been using. I've tried out different models and switched them out for different reasons. One model did not have a good enough phono pre-amp, another one I could not adjust each speaker level without the TV on as monitor. So I have been trying out different models and found one that has what I required.

    The current one I am using has 120 watts per channel, 7.1 and is very clean and sweet sounding. The various channel levels can be adjusted without a tv or monitor, but the remote control is to be used. I paid $180 for my current Yamaha with analog inputs. I am feeding it three 5.1 analog devices (RCA) with a switcher box.
     
  19. TarnishedEars

    TarnishedEars Forum Resident

    Location:
    The Seattle area
    It used to be possible to link Tascam DA-3000s together to get as many channels as you wanted before they discontinued these great little recorders.
     
  20. quicksrt

    quicksrt Senior Member

    Location:
    City of Angels
    They still make 6 and 8 track recorders. The OP simply wants analog ins on his late modern amp / receiver, that's all. I'm in the same boat - but I'm happy with slightly older equipment so long as it's working well.
     
  21. velo_TX

    velo_TX Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Austin TX USA
    Actually, what I'm looking for is a 5.1 analog to digital converter; there are plenty of consumer-grade 2-channel ADCs around but I haven't for the likes of me seen a multichannel ADC. As for multichannel analog ins on a modern amp/AVR, there are a number of units that do have this but almost always in a price point of >$1.5K USD. As suggested by @Barry_NJ, I looked at the Marantz SR6015; there are 7.2 analog inputs, but like my older AVRs that have 5.1 analog inputs they bypass any tone controls or DSP (so forget about using Audessey or DIRAC processing on those multichannel analog ins). I haven't looked at other modern AVRs/processors to see if the multichannel analog straight-thru is just the way it is...But then again, why should I bother, when these units that have the multichannel analog ins are at a price point that's above my pay grade? (Perhaps as a hypothetical exercise, to see what's out there? Like, when I looked around for true HDCD support, a Berkley DAC would be great :sigh:...but I don't own a mansion und a yacht, so it looks like I'm sticking with my Denon DC390, or through the PC use Foobar2000 or Windows Media Player.)
     
  22. harby

    harby Forum Resident

    Location:
    Portland, OR, USA
    Here's your bottom barrel USB ADC with six line inputs on the back: $300 - Behringer U-Phoria UMC1820 USB Audio Interface

    Then you take an old PC, and install jack audio and ac3jack on Linux, and route the 6x analog via encoder to the SPDIF out.

    All to get the 448 bit-per-second lossy AC3 audio an old receiver will support (Dolby Digital). For more than the price of another two Craigslist receivers just to play analog center and surround because you don't have speakers that sound good flat.
     
    velo_TX likes this.
  23. velo_TX

    velo_TX Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Austin TX USA
    "AC-3...so quality will suffer somewhat, but it is the price you pay for easy surround sound." So...DSD decoded into analog in the player; then analog into the Behringer UMC1820 set to 24/96 out to Linux on a PC; into ac3jack to get a Dolby Digital stream into an AVR...Yup, like I said before, lots of hoops for perhaps minimal gain. Scratch that, no gain - you've gone from lossless to lossy.
    There's got to be an easier way...:cry:
     
  24. quicksrt

    quicksrt Senior Member

    Location:
    City of Angels
    Wait a minute, you want to go from digital converted to analog by the players, then converted back to digital by some device (you have not yet found) and into a receiver which will convert back to analog and send out to your speakers.

    Indeed quality will suffer with needless A - D conversions in the chain.

    Yeah, you might be heading in the wrong direction here. I would not convert to digital and back to analog just for the sake of doing it. A little tone control is not worth the extra conversion here.
     
    Barry_NJ likes this.

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