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5.1 bypass what advantage

Discussion in 'TAG McLaren Audio Owners' Forum' started by Neale, Feb 18, 2005.

  1. Neale

    Neale
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    What is the advantage of 5.1 bypass
    If you have an analogue signal turntable are you not better off using the inputs so you can benefit from TMREQ
     
  2. Teejoo

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    Hi Neale,

    I think you answered your own question!
     
  3. NicolasB

    NicolasB
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    The advantage of analogue bypass is if you have an external 5.1-channel source which only outputs in analogue. A typical example would be a "universal" player of the sort that can play DVD-Audio or SACD music discs. There is, as yet, no industry-wide standard for transmitting either DVD-A or SACD data digitally. There are some proprietary solutions from (e.g.) Meridian and Pioneer. But to play DVD-A through your Tag you would have to have the player produce an analogue signal and then simply use the Tag as a multi-channel pre-amplifier.

    Having said that, a) there really isn't a heck of a lot of material available on DVD-A or SACD, and b) the quality of the analogue bypass on Tag processors is really bad even when compared with other processors, let alone with dedicated analogue pre-amps. So yes, if you can possibly get the processor to do the D/A conversion, you should, as it will sound much better.
     
  4. ArchieK

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    Strong opinion! In what set up did you hear the 5.1 bypass operate? I do recall TAG extolling the cleverness of their 5.1 bypass solution and clearly to your ears at least it hasn't proved a success. More input please :)
     
  5. NicolasB

    NicolasB
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    I've listened to Tag processors in 4 or 5 different setups, and the bypass was terrible in all of them. It is far and away the worst feature of Tag processors.

    If you want to hear a really good analogue bypass on a processor, check out the Bryston SP1.7. For a fairly good one, check out the Arcam AV8.

    The last time I demoed a Tag (it was an AV192R on that occasion) the player was an Arcam DV27. Listening to it playing a CD using the Tag's DACs was rather nice - a little bright, but that could have been corrected with TMREQ. Certainly the speakers and amplification were fine. Switching to analogue bypass mode (with the player doing the D/A conversion) it sounded so awful I literally couldn't stand to listen to it for than a minute or two.

    I now use (at home) an Arcam DV27 with a Bryston SP1.7, in analogue bypass mode, and it sounds really good - so it clearly wasn't the fault of the player, either.

    I never used to be very keen on the original AV32R for all sorts of reasons, but the AV192R (and the dual-SHARC version of the AV32R which sounds similar) are very different animals. In fact I very nearly bought a dual-SHARC AV32R instead of my SP1.7. But the bypass remains its one truly bad feature.
     
  6. DanielB

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    Hi Nicolas
    i can not believe that you heard that, or all your different setups wasn't as good as it could be. I heard the bypass on an VIP Event at the formerly TAG factory, most of the people participated on a blind test. As i know, more than 95% could not definitely tell afterwards which input was used to play what they heard!

    Regards
    Daniel
     
  7. Thunder

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    None :rotfl: Which is why I never had it fitted :)
     
  8. Thunder

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    Just remember what this piece of equipment is called; AV processor, Audio-video-processor. e.g its designed with PROCESSING in mind :) 80% of its features (and what you pay the money for) are geared towards digital surround sound processing. Dont buy a bus just for the front two seats :) :lesson:
     
  9. @Home

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    Does this mean I can plug my TT in to the 5.1 bypass on my AV32 dp and It will act as a phono stage?

    Cheers
     
  10. Kenny Glasgow

    Kenny Glasgow
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    Nicolas B

    I have strongly disagree :eek:
     
  11. Kenny Glasgow

    Kenny Glasgow
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    @Home

    You'll still need a phono pre-amp I'm affraid. Set-Up would be TT -> Phono Stage -> by-pass
     
  12. Dr Udo Zucker

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    Hi Nicholas, based on everything I have seen, heard and experimented, I strongly believe that there is another reason for the effects, you heard, then the AV32R/AV192R bypass. This bypass, does absolutely nothing to the incoming audio signal, but it also doesn't load or filter the audible signal, hence any "noise" disguised by other solutions, might come through "unfiltered". Very experienced external testers confirmed TAG McLaren Audio's design team's findings.
     
  13. alexs2

    alexs2
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    Looking at Nic's post,the other variables include the amp/speaker combination,the environment(room),and the various interconnects being used for the Arcam DV27.

    I'm not coming down on the side of either Nic or Tag here,as my own AV32R isnt used in this way,nor is the system in any way similar,so I would say that the other variables have also to be discounted before laying the blame for the poor sound quality at the Tag's door so to speak.
     
  14. Kenny Glasgow

    Kenny Glasgow
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    Udo/Alexs

    I totally agree :thumbsup:
     
  15. GrahamMG

    GrahamMG
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    Sooooo, Back to Neale's question, NO...... Just plug up the Turntable via a PPA20 (while you can still get one?) and output that into one of the analogue inputs on the AV192R, adjust the input sensitivity to match the tohers and job done...... Oh and dig out all those old 12" black things and listen to what you have been missing all these years ;)
     
  16. NicolasB

    NicolasB
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    Well, no, because I also listened to an Arcam AV8 and a Meridian 568.2 at the same demo - the same interconnects, the same amplifiers, the same speakers, the same listening room, the same player. The 568.2 was (of course) not a valid comparison because it doesn't have an analogue bypass. But the AV8 does, and the difference in bypass quality between the AV8 and AV192R was simply huge; so much so I actually felt obliged to open the cupboard and inspect the Tag processor at close range to make sure it was actually in bypass mode and not doing spurious A/D and D/A conversions.

    But, as with anything else in the field of audio, you shouldn't believe that I'm either right or wrong, you should listen for yourself. Just make sure you do actually listen to the analogue bypass quality before buying, if it matters to you.

    I should reiterate that the quality of the sound from the AV192R when using the processor's DACs is very good, so it's unlikely that you'd ever want to use the bypass anyway, unless you're into either DVD-Audio or SACD.
     
  17. lovegroova

    lovegroova
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    I use the analogue bypass with my Densen CD player (which itself has some clever DACs). I prefer the sound it makes to that produced by my DVD32R/single processor AV32R.

    The bypass works very well indeed for me.
     
  18. Plump

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    Same here, I also use it for two channel listening.

    The only thing is that too many people complained about TAG bypass to call that just a coincidence. I however prefer using it for two channel listening since TMREQ makes almost no difference (in two channel) in my room. IMHO it is completely neutral, but it might also vary from case to case as shown in the past (diverse problems with many upgraded DPs)
     
  19. GrahamMG

    GrahamMG
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    Is the 5.1 bypass configured as 3 off stereo inputs or as the 5.1 input in NicolasB's case?
     
  20. alexs2

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    Fair enough Nic.....wasn't clear that all of those had been excluded....intersting though,given what others,incl Udo have said about the way the bypass works in the Tag,but won't affect me!
     
  21. Dr Udo Zucker

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    Hi Plump, during my time at TMA, there were no complaints about the sonic quality of the bypass, so I feel your statement might be somewhat an oversimplification.

    TMA's bypass is in my opinion very cleverly built to prevent down-grading of the other analog/digital inputs: you might remember the extensive literature which existed about its construction on the old-TMA's website.

    In bypass mode the signal is routed straight from input to output, using even relays in favour of cheaper solidstate switches. The bypass is rock linear up to 50kHz, at which point the usual very soft output filtering of the AV32R/AV192R is applied to prevent intermodulation distortion in the amplifier or speakers.

    In actual fact, in the past, people were comparing the bypass' quality to the other analog inputs (which are -if no processing is applied- "unneccessarily ADDC DCAC converted), as some felt that the bypass was that little cleaner because of the unnecessary processing.
     
  22. Plump

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    I never claimed I could hear any difference myself, I simply heard same claim over and over from too many sides, TAG friendly sevenoaks dealer, one huge german dealer and many people on diverse forums. Too many people to call it wrong or claim it is conicidence.
    I still frequently use my bypass for both CD and record listening.
     
  23. jayla

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    Hello NicolasB
    I've also heard all that mentioned stuff above (especially the bryston and arcam one also at home)and really cannot agree with you :confused: . But may be you can give a hint of what kind of music you were listening to (me its mostly classic).
    2nd: There is a standard for processing digital high resolution audio material and today there are some equipment supplier that support it: Its IEEE 1394 with its A&M Protocoll (or sometimes called i.link) It works pretty fine and its said that TMA (or audiolab) doesn't support it.
    3rd: In Germany there are every day more and more SACDs on the market (have a look in amazon.de; doesn't look that good for dvd-audio). And once you compare a SACD with the same CD mostly you will forget about the CD even with tmreq as long as you have a player that supports bass management and time delay correction.
    So I find my bypass really usefull :thumbsup:

    Best regards
    Joachim
     
  24. GrahamMG

    GrahamMG
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    The only thing I ever wanted was the choice of having the 5.1 input as a bypass or more usefully as a full 5.1 input so the AV could do its stuff with SACD etc. In fact the only serious misgiving I have with the AV32/192R is this.....All it really needed was some quality relays to switch in the DSP (or out). Re-configuring the un-used analogue inputs was the other way...... All water under the bridge now as the time for that has long since passed, 4 years ago when we all wanted it was the time.....
    Made me smile about DVD-A being a dead duck......
     
  25. Stevesky

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    I agree that there are some very good (re)recordings on SACD, but I do feel there is a certain amount of foul play going on when comparing the CD layer on SACD. I have dabbled with SACD and DVD-A and one thing that annoys me is that it's very hard to do direct comparison with the original CD as so much work has been done on the remastering. I've also got some Japanese released CD's of the same albums and some of them sound better than the SACD layer version and are another league to the SACD CD layer... go figure.

    As for 5.1 bypass one way to make it sound lousy is to feed a signal in that is a bit hot. At around 3volts RMS it will start to clip the CS3310 volume control chips resulting in a harsh sound. Some universal players do have a habit of kicking out quite a level.
     
  26. mabu

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    Since here has been a lot said about the quality of the 5.1 bypass I put my question to this rather old thread:

    I wonder if the internal wiring of the 5.1 bypass has any impact on quality. I like to use the 5.1 bypass as 3xStereo real analog input for turntables using phono pre-amplifiers. The cable I use outside is just of solid quality. Inside I see that the wiring is only simple unshielded ribbon cable with basic connectors known from computers. I know that short distance is not very important but the wiring inside should be shielded against the digital stuff and power supply. Then I wonder about the connection, outside there are solid chinch jacks while inside a very simple connection.
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2011
  27. GrahamMG

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    I doubt it.
    After all it is inside a big metal box that is grounded...
    Cable voodoo aside, I doubt it makes any difference.
     
  28. mabu

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    And as Kevin said in a talk about this issue:
    I still think about this issue sometimes. Having solid cinch connectors outside and using solid shielded cables I cannot understand why the bypass is connected via cheap so called box header connectors and ribbon cable. Don't they have a fair resistance and crosstalk? Even computer ribbon cables sometimes have blind wires between as shielding from crosstalk, but of course this could be a high frequency issue only.

    Even the analog inputs have no such connection in its way but are hard connected to the PCB board. Having a basic 192bp version without TMREQ it would be as Udo already said "unneccessarily ADDC DCAC converted" for the analogue 12" record.

    As for the other variables I think its like Udo and Stevesky say (of course :) ): The signal has nothing in its way but the CS3310 volume control chips and the relais. About the volume control chip it could be questionable if real potentiometers could give better quality.
    For me analogue playback still has as much significance as digital playback. I have to admit that I use one of the two AV32R I own only as stereo pre-amp. I know this is only a few percent what the AV32R was made for. For this purpose I think about if it would better to only use the stereo DAC functionality of it and connect the tape-out to a analogue-only pre-amp... but still not sure about it.

    Regards,
    Massimo
     
  29. JonathanAV

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    Hi all,

    Still staying on the 5.1 bypass issue, but i've a slightly different question..........

    Is it possible to have "7.1 bypass" on the AV32R DP or AV192? Is there anyone that has the means/knowledge to do this?
    I would like my AV32R DP future proofed as most sound formats
    (blu-ray) will eventually have both 5.1 & 7.1 audio tracks.

    I'd be grateful if someone can help :lease:
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2011
  30. Mr_Orange

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    Bit of a guess on my part, but I would say, "no chance". That said, though, you could do a lot worse than sending an email to Kevin Green at the Audiocellars, see the FAQ above for details, and see if he thinks if it is feasible.
     

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