DCS VERDI - How can I get SACD playback?

Is there any way other to get SACD from a DCS Verdi other than an Elgar Plus DAC. I ask becuase none are available to buy on the UK at the moment.

Verdi uses IEEE1394 o( firewire) outputs for DSD ( the format used in SACDs). No DACs other than Elgar have the IEEE1394 inputs to match. At its time this was the only interface fast enough for the purpose.

At its time of introduction the Verdi/Elgar combination was uniquely a two box SACD player and this initially contravened the patent which forbade sending a digital signal outside of the player box itself. In corder to ircumvent this with authorisation from the patent owners ( Sony), dCS devised a way of encrypting the signal. It can only be decrypted by a dCS DAC.

These are two reasons for not buying a used Verdi if you do not have the matching Elgar or Elgar/Purcell. A third is that the Sony mechanism used in Verdi tends to get through OPUs comparatively quickly ( I got through 3 in the time that I hade one). Replacement OPUs are now virtually impossible to source .

I also warn that even if you have the above two dCS units with IEEE1394 ports it is not guaranteed that any firewire cable will work as the depth of the dCS casework prevents many designs making an electrical contact.

Of course its up to you but bear the above in mind even if you find one for sale.

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Thank you very much indeed for replying so promptly. I had thought that it would be a good CD only transport and then again I begin to wonder about the SACD capability. I’ve actually bought one. It sounds as if I’ve made an error. I shall use it for a bit of CD playback and then decide if I need to start again.

Thank you again for your reply. Best wishes,

Adrian, Munsey.

My Delius has got 1394, but my friends up the road hasn’t (Mk1 and MKII?)

Adrian, there’s a dCS Delius up for sale on US Audio Mart FYI

There’s also a Verona clock going for sale. You could build a complete stack relatively affordably :slightly_smiling_face:

(I’m not related to the sellers in any way).

Hi John and welcome to the community forum.

What you say sounds about right. Elgar, Purcell and ( I think) Delius were all released before the advent of SACD and DSD. Later models which catered forSACD/DSD carried the suffix " Plus" although I cannot recall what legend was displayed on the chassis. The originals could, of course, be upgraded to the Plus specification so as to be compatible with Verdi which I seem to remember was the last unit to join the range. I had my own Elgar and Purcell upgraded at the time.

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Paganini and Scarlatti also still had the firewire interface so should work with Verdi as well.

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That is correct. However although the physical ports are there I would imagine that most units will have the final software upgrade for these units installed. This allowed dual AES connection for DSD instead of using irewire. It was termed something like " Vivaldi Emulation" and I think may need to be disabled via the menu to revert to firewire.

That leaves the question of the firewire cable itself. I am trying to recall if these later models than Elgar Plus had the same issue regarding casework thickness. However I found that SQ is very dependent on the cable and these days not many brands appear to remain available especially those intended for use in an audiophile context. Firewire comes in a number of pin permutations but I cannot remember the correct type for use with dCS. if anyone has better information please post.

Hi Pete, I believe you can use the dual AES Vivaldi mode in parallel to a firewire connection. At least with my precious Paganini I could just switch inputs and compare them.