Sony UBP-x800 - DSD Question

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by dkmonroe, Nov 14, 2017.

  1. jeffmackwood

    jeffmackwood Forum Resident

    Did you try using the X800's HDMI OUT 1?
  2. toptentwist

    toptentwist Forum Resident

    Houston, TX
    The problem with using HDMI1 is I don't have an ARC function on the TV (or the Onkyo).

    I've never been able to get a stable 1080i or 1080 p signal to go thru the Onkyo. The big thing that attracted me to the
    X800 was that I could split the sound and video on separate cables.

    I don't understand, however, who is expected to be the HDCP handshake peer on that "audio only" port. Given the
    way it's wired, it has to be the Onkyo...

    I guess I was hoping there is no handshake required for the "audio only" port. But it seems like that only holds
    true if the player is sending 480i or 480p video on the "video only" port.

    Using the coax digital output on the X800 is a nice workaround for some things (i.e. streaming content from internet
    sites like Amazon, Pandora, Iheart, etc) but it seems to have a problem if the streaming source wants to use something
    that requires a high bit-rate (like Dolby Plus)

    I'm going to go out today and buy the most expensive HDMI cable I can find at Walmart. If it works fine. If it doesn't, it's
    going back to the store.
  3. In a few days I'll receive a Topping D30 D/A converter which does up to 192/24 and up to DSD 128, it also does DSD over PCM (DSD files fit into a wav of FLAC container, hence the name DoP) via USB and digital coaxial. As I have all my SACD's ripped to ISO's and their DSD files extracted with ISO2DSD (that's how I play my SACD's now, ripped and extrated/converted to dsf files stored on an external SSD and output via HDMI to a Pioneer Elite A/V receiver from 2012), I have converted using dBpoweramp and the help from a forum member to FLAC (No Compression option used, so it's just DSD in a FLAC container), that's a way of DSD over PCM. The Sony X-800 recognizes the files as FLAC 176.4/24 but via HDMI I get no sound on my Pioneer receiver. Connecting the X-800 to the Pioneer Elite receiver I get no sound but the stereo left and right leds light up and the display info shows 176.4/24, but no sound. No surprises here as I don't know of a receiver that plays DSD over PCM,they don't need to as they have HDMI inputs for that, but it's obvious that the DSD in a FLAC container is being played by the Sony X-800 and signal is being output, just not recognized by the Pioneer receiver. I think the Sony X-800 DOES play DSD over PCM right and in a few days, a week or so, I'll be able to check it out by myself when I receive the Topping D-30. As soon as I get it and do the check I'll post the result here.
    jamesc likes this.
  4. A Pioneer Elite Receiver from 2012 should read straight DSD over HDMI. I've never heard of hiding them inside the FLAC format.
  5. sunspot42

    sunspot42 Forum Resident

    San Francisco
    Are you sure a Pioneer that old does DSD over HDMI? My new Pioneer supports it, but my impression a few years ago was that it was a kinda unusual feature. It only seems to have become common since about 2015 or thereabouts - it seems like now all receivers support it.
  6. High Fidelity

    High Fidelity Well-Known Member

    The UBP-1000ES is vastly superior especially audio with the 32bit DAC. also functions much quicker , I went through 4 samples of X800 , last one worked Ok, however I sold it.
  7. jeffmackwood

    jeffmackwood Forum Resident

    I have a Pioneer VSX-1019AH-k in my family room HT that does - and it was bought new at 07:39 on December 26th, 2009.
    Kiko1974 likes this.
  8. You answered his question and answered it right :agree: . Thank you.
  9. I received the Topping D30 D/A so I've been doing some tests this afternoon. I connected everything the usual way and to my surprise the Sony X-800 played DSD files (dsf extension) through the Topping D30 straight from the SSD I have my Hi Res files on. That was interesting, I never thought the Sony X-800 would do DSD over PCM with DSD dsf files. I then played a stereo SACD disc, Analogue's Production The Planets by Zubin Mehta and The Los Angeles Philarmonic originally released by Decca, and it played also. I thought that this could not be possible as no SACD player outputs any form of DSD out of a SACD disc via digital coaxial which is an unprotected/unencrypted output conection. That rose up my suspitions. The Topping D30 only has two led on its front panel, one lights when it's on, the other when it doesn't lock to a signal so there's no way to really tell what is really decoding. I conected the coaxial digital output of the Sony X-800 to one of the coaxial digital inputs on the Pioneer receiver and it's not playing DSD, the X-800 is converting DSD to 176.4/24 even when playing SACD discs, that's new, SACD players use to mute their optical or coaxial digital outputs when playing SACD.
    I also tried DSD files formatted to DSD over PCM both as wav and FLAC and it doesn't play them so unless I use a computer or a tablet I'm not getting DSD with the Sony UBP X-800 via digital coaxial only via HDMI as with 99.99 (or 100%?) of SACD or multiformat players.
  10. toptentwist

    toptentwist Forum Resident

    Houston, TX
    I got lucky. For some reason, Target was selling a Monster HDMI cable cheap. It was supposed to be normally $25, but
    it was being sold for $8. Sealed packaging.

    Packaging was marked with all of the things I'd hope a "hi speed cable supports".

    I put that cable in the my rig.

    No change.

    It's got to be something in the source or sink.
  11. arbuz

    arbuz Active Member

    How about other multichannel files form Home Network Server? Will it do FLAC, ALAC and WAV mch files? Owner manual does not even say stereo or multichannel, it only says that files may not play from Home Network Server.
  12. jeffmackwood

    jeffmackwood Forum Resident

    Sorry but I don't know. If I had examples of those files I would try it, but unfortunately I do not. I only have stereo 320MP3 and DSD, and multichannel DSD music files on my server.

  13. arbuz

    arbuz Active Member

    2L in Norway (2L - the Nordic Sound ) have all possible test files in various formats. Real music in HiRes for tests. Highly recommended.
    PhantomStranger likes this.
  14. jeffmackwood

    jeffmackwood Forum Resident


    I had a bunch of those on a hard drive up until a few days ago when I was cleaning house and freeing up space. Seeing as I never listened to them they got deleted.

  15. Meo

    Meo Active Member

    I have a synology NAS and a Sony UBP-X800.
    I could not play DSD files via my server until I found this:
    By adding two customized MIME types in the media server configuration, I can now play all my DSD files via network.
    Just add: dsf=audio/dsd,dff=audio/dsd

    I hope this will help others like me.
  16. toptentwist

    toptentwist Forum Resident

    Houston, TX
    Another example of counter-intuitive behavior by my UBP-X800.

    I like the "DSEE HX" features. When it's on, I notice that my Onkyo sees 88.2 Khz PCM or 96 Khz PCM from streaming sources
    (e.g. Pandora, Iheart Radio, Tubio) and from discs (i.e. compact disc).

    I realize that it's an up-sample and it's not necessarily creating real audio data, but it seems to somehow give a boost to the DSP processing
    features of the Onkyo and I believe it sounds better. Whether or not its a placebo effect, doesn't matter... it's a harmless feature and
    I don't have this feature with other products, so I like it :)

    The other day, when my brother in law was at the house, I noticed that the DSEE feature didn't seem to be working. It was bugging me,
    but I didn't freak out or start troubleshooting until the house emptied.

    The only thing I could think that "broke" the DSEE features, was my mom had put a DVD-R in the UBP-X800 so she could show
    my sister and her husband a short little slide show that a family member had given her of a wedding.

    So I started with the idea that it was the DVD-R that "broke" the DSEE upscaling capability.

    That was it. After the DVD-R was inserted in the machine, the DSEE feature didn't work on Iheart, Pandora, Tubio, Crackle, etc.

    When I took the DVD-R out of the machine and replaced it with a compact disc, and played the compact disc... the Onkyo showed
    88.2 Khz PCM for the compact disc and suddenly started working for the streaming sources.

    Until I put the DVD back in the UBP-X800... then it went back to being off.

    So something about the DVD pushed the UBP-X800 into a mood where it refused to operate properly until its mood changed
    with a compact disc.

    Huh ?!?!?!?!?!?!

    This held true for both the coax digital output and the HDMI output.
  17. If the DVD-R has a mono soundtrack with only a single channel the DSEE HX feature doesn't work.
  18. toptentwist

    toptentwist Forum Resident

    Houston, TX
    The DVD had a stereo track...

    I'm not talking about whether it worked for the disc...

    Simply putting the DVD disc into the machine and playing it broke other things that were working (like Pandora, iHeart Radio)... and the only way I could do to get them to
    start working again was to put a CD in the machine and play it. And then the streaming features started working again.

    What it does with a disc and what it does with streaming sources should not have anything to do with each other.
  19. ghost rider

    ghost rider Forum Resident

    Have not had time to read through this thread but is there a way to add streaming options mainly Amazon prime?
  20. mistyvales

    mistyvales Active Member

    Minneapolis MN
    Old thread, but thought I'd chime in to add that the UBP-X800 has a rare feature which allows the user to output stereo layer SACD's through its COAX output via PCM conversion, although the conversion is limited to 16-bit 44.1Khz due to copyright restrictions. Not ideal but it works in a pinch. I've yet to see another player (other than maybe one other Sony unit in the past) that allows you to do this.

    As a side note, I played a stereo disc with SACD layer only, so it's not playing a CD layer if people are thinking that it is.

    Sound quality is still pretty good, but it depends on the master of course..
    BGLeduc likes this.
  21. Espen R

    Espen R Forum Resident

    I also have the UBP-x800. Very good on K4 and blu-ray as my primary use of it.
    But also SACD sound is good. ( I have a Yamaha high end player for my daily use). But I tried it with singel layer SACD’s right thru my JBL soundbar connected to my TV, and the SACD sound was much better than CD sound. So for those thinking that you have to have high end equipment to hear the benefits of SACD, think again :)

    Sony has just released a new 4K blu-ray player that also supports DSD 11,2 MHz.
  22. I would not have thought it possible, but sure enough, I tried with my own using a single layer Police SACD (Ghost) and it does work. Very interesting.
  23. Old news also if you read this thread. Initially the Sony X-800 output 176.4/24 via digital coaxial when playing SACD but around a year ago with one of the firmware "updates" the digital coaxial output was downgraded to 44.1/16 when playing SACD's.
  24. Blair G.

    Blair G. Senior Member

    Delta, BC, Canada
    I recently bought one of these (old version) on clearance as a back up, just in case.
    Maybe I got older stock and the coax will output SACD at the higher rate.
    If so I’ll avoid the firmware update
  25. If this DOWNGRADE had been advertised on the "update" I wouldn't have applied it. I got really ungry when I checked that SACD output was 44.1/16 after it.
    sunspot42 likes this.

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