I am awaiting the much anticipated Oppo BDP-83 Bluray Disc Player, which, among other capabilities, plays SACDs. Furthermore, it is one of the only SACD players which can output as DSD rather than first converting to PCM. Sounds great, I think - I've clearly heard the sonic improvement with SACD over redbook discs, but I'm also certain that every SACD player I've ever listened to has first converted the DSD signal - what sets SACDs apart from the pack - to PCM.
To accomodate the necessary bandwidth for DSD (1bit at 2.4Mhz) the output must be HDMI 1.3, but unfortunately my Anthem AVM30 preamp doesn't have that capability. Finally, my question: is conversion from DSD to PCM accompanied by a loss in sound quality? If the signal is sent as DSD to the preamplifier, won't it have to convert the digital signal to an analog one anyhow? I suppose there's an extra A/D-D/A step in there if I have to transmit SACD information as PCM, but I'm not sure what the consequences are of that. Thoughts?