Secrets Q & A

SACD from Marantz DV6600 to Anthem MRX 500?

Question:
I have a Marantz DV6600 SACD/DVD player, and I updated my receiver to an Anthem MRX 500. How do I connect them to hear SACD content?

George Clark
Eden, NSW
Australia

Answer:
The DV6600 sends SACD audio only from its analog outputs, not from the digital-audio or HDMI outputs. To listen to 2-channel SACDs, simply connect the player's left and right 2CH Audio Out jacks to one pair of analog-audio inputs on the MRX 500 (which is a great-sounding receiver; see our review here.)

Unfortunately, you're out of luck when it comes to multichannel SACDs. The Marantz outputs multichannel SACD audio only from its 5.1 analog-audio jacks, but the MRX 500 has no 5.1-channel analog inputs. (Neither does Anthem's top-of-the-line MRX 700.) The only way to hear multichannel SACDs from the DV6600 would be to get an AV receiver with 5.1-channel analog inputs.

On the other hand, the DV6600 will play 2-channel and multichannel PCM audio on DVD-Audio discs from its HDMI output. All you have to do is connect the player's HDMI output to one of the receiver's HDMI inputs and you're good to go with DVD-A.

If you want to play multichannel SACDs with your Anthem MRX 500 receiver, you need to upgrade your player. My best recommendation is the Oppo BDP-103 or BDP-105, both of which are available in Australian versions from Merlin Audio Design (www.opposhop.com.au). Both models can convert 2-channel and multichannel SACD data to PCM and output it via HDMI to your MRX 500. The only difference between them is the BDP-105's upgraded analog-audio section, which isn't important in your case, so I'd get the BDP-103 at half the price of the 105. Granted, even the 103 is expensive at $699 Australian ($499 US), but most other truly universal players are even more than that.

The previous generation of Oppo players, the BDP-93 and 95 (same difference as between the 103 and 105), were also available in Australian versions, so if you can find one of those, it might be less expensive, and it will also convert SACD data to PCM and output it via HDMI. So will the original BDP-83, but that one was not available in an Australian version. However, any US-model Oppo player can be configured for PAL operation, so if you can find one, that will do the trick as well.