Could you tell the difference?

Discussion in 'TAG McLaren Audio Owners' Forum' started by Stereo Steve, May 1, 2004.

  1. Stereo Steve

    Stereo Steve
    Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2003
    Messages:
    1,939
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Location:
    UK
    Ratings:
    +7
    A hpothetical question. Take a good SACD player ie Linn Unidisk/ Sony 9000 etc. and then couple it with a nice Bryston 5 channel power amp and some high quality speakers.

    Now, in the middle we'll put a Denon 3803 using the pre-outs and play a CD with the signal going to the amp via coax. Then, we'll swap the Denon for an AV32R. Same connections. We will hear a difference right? I've heard it myself so I know this is the case.

    Now put the 3803 back in and connect the SACD player via the 5.1 analogues and set up the amp to bypass the signal right through to the power amp. Play a good multi channel SACD disk. Then swap for the AV32R again using the 5.1 bypass. Will we hear a difference now? I mean is the Tag bypass discernably better than those on cheaper amps?

    I ask as I have tried this and can't hear a difference but I have not done it back to back and wondered if others have done back to back bypass tests?
     
  2. Thunder

    Thunder
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2004
    Messages:
    1,830
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    41
    Ratings:
    +14
    If the bypass is transparent then it shouldnt impart anything on the sound in which case its the quality of the D to A stage in the SACD player that should dictate the sound quality. So neither bypass should sound better than any other. The whole bypass thing is a mess in any case, just because the studios didnt want high resolutuion audio transmitted in digital form to prevent piracy. Personally I'm happy to wait for the second implimentation of HDMI. Tag were forced into installing a bypass in the first place by reviewers constantly going on about it. I would have been much happier if they had just left the rear panel space free to make it easier to fit HDMI, which is why I never had the bypass installed. Maybe they can figure a way of ripping it out and replacing it with HDMI sockets when it comes along (heres hoping!)
     
  3. Stereo Steve

    Stereo Steve
    Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2003
    Messages:
    1,939
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Location:
    UK
    Ratings:
    +7
    That's my point. I'm a fan of SACD and to an extend DVD-A. Some of the recordings (DSOTM, Gaucho etc.) make the format a winner in my book. So, I'll be seeking a fine SACD/CD player.

    Now, until a good processor comes along with a high res input like HDMI or iLink, what's the point? I'm totally dependant on the conversion in the player itself and if I'm buying one that handles CD's well then I may as well use the analogue outputs for that too. So, all that electronic wizardry in a top end processor is used for the odd movie.

    I'm just wondering if I should sell my Rotel 1066 and move to the Denon 3803 that I have just bought, freeing up some money towards that quality source. If I were able to go for something like the new Sony 9000 then I would be setup when processors get ilink.

    In the meantime, why would I want a high end processor when I am just using the bypass anyway.

    Unless the bypass on a tag would sound significantly better than that on a 3803, which I doubt.
     
  4. Stereo Steve

    Stereo Steve
    Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2003
    Messages:
    1,939
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Location:
    UK
    Ratings:
    +7
    Well I did a back to back test today, swapping the 1066 with the 3803 using the bypass on both. If there was any discernable difference, it was definately in favour of the Denon. I've always felt that the bypass on the Rotel 1055/1066 sounded 'veiled'. Not anything major, just a sense that there was a little punch lacking.

    I have read things that hint that the 'bypass' on the rotel is actually not a bypass at all but has conversion done on it like the other inputs. Not sure on this but it would make sense.

    So, it's sold. Good processor but for my needs, it had no benefit over a mid range receiver. Plus, I can now use one of the Denons amps for the back channell, allowing me to biamp my fronts with my power amp.

    Result.
     
  5. sticker

    sticker
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2003
    Messages:
    1,155
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    Ratings:
    +0
    Steve,
    Slightly off thread, but out of interest what SACD players are you looking at?

    Regards
    John
     
  6. Stereo Steve

    Stereo Steve
    Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2003
    Messages:
    1,939
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Location:
    UK
    Ratings:
    +7
    Not sure yet. I have a cheap Sony 900 at the mo as a stop gap and it's quite a capable machine, especially for the silly money they make. I guess the new Sonly looks appealing and also the Denon A11 which has ilink for future use as a transport once a capable processor comes out.

    I also like the look of that Teac although it's a bit pricy.

    I kind of feel that in 18 months there will be a lot more hardware about that's capable of dealing with SACD/ DVD-A in a reasonable way so I'm kind of figuring I'll stick with a cheaper amp with a good bypass (3803) and try to improve the source.
     
  7. GrahamMG

    GrahamMG
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2004
    Messages:
    4,459
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    86
    Location:
    UK
    Ratings:
    +194
    Hi Guys.
    If it helps (and it probably won't) we have been trying the TEAC and it is very good, almost (maybe even better) than the DVD32R and SACD/DVD-A thrown in for good measure....DSOTM never sounded so good.....
     
  8. Stereo Steve

    Stereo Steve
    Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2003
    Messages:
    1,939
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Location:
    UK
    Ratings:
    +7
    Hi Graham,

    Yes, it looks a stunner and I have heard much praise. Of course, there is the question of several thousands of squids....

    Anyway, what's your opinion of the bypass situation? Say I bought the Teac, is there any point in me buying an AV32R over a 3803 if I only ever use the bypass? I have only ever heard one 'bad' bypass and that's on the Rotle 1055/1066 but all the rest seem to make no difference whatsoever.


    Any thoughts? I'm just trying to decide where to invest first, source or processing. A pioneer 757 would probably make a fairly good transport for a top line, iLink enabled processor (which doesn't exist yet) or a top line player like the Teac will not be harmed hugely by a mid range bypass with good speakers and power amp.
     
  9. GrahamMG

    GrahamMG
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2004
    Messages:
    4,459
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    86
    Location:
    UK
    Ratings:
    +194
    Hi Steve.
    I attended the TAG blind bypass test ages ago and almost everyone (Liam I seem to remember was the only one that could) couldn't tell the difference between the digital input and the bypass analogue on the AV32R, as they were using TAG CD tranports for this and the TEAC is in the same league, I'd assume similar results (well we think so anyway), the Denon isn't in the same league as either of these two transports so I'd expect to hear a difference. The by-pass on the AV32R adds nothing nor takes anything away so it is all down to the quality of the stage fitted within the source unit. Denon isn't bad but TEAC is better IMHO. Frankly the Pioneer has pretty average CD playback but its SACD ability via its iLink into their flagship receiver isn't at all bad but not a patch on the TEAC, you pays your money etc.....
    What price an SACD DVD32R that should have been made available ages ago.....Mind you SONY are just as much to blame for that one as anyone else with their licencing rules/costs....I've largely given up on an all digital link from SACD to AV192R so am investigating bunging the firewire link from a SONY 9000 into a HTPC and come up with a way of getting sound out after all the multichannel DSD signal is on the firewire link all I have to do is find a way of getting it into the AV192R in a form it can understand......
     
  10. Stereo Steve

    Stereo Steve
    Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2003
    Messages:
    1,939
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Location:
    UK
    Ratings:
    +7
    I accept that the 757 is not up in the same leauge. It's symptomatic of my unwillingness to invest in expensive gear until this is all sorted out.

    My real question is, how would the bypass on the AV32R compared to my Denon 3803 using pre-outs to a good power amp? If there's not a huge difference then until a processor comes out that can hadle digital DSD then what's the point?

    May as well go for the Teac and use a 5.1 bypass innit?
     
  11. GrahamMG

    GrahamMG
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2004
    Messages:
    4,459
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    86
    Location:
    UK
    Ratings:
    +194
    Having re-read my earlier post, I'd admit to rambling a bit (early morning start and all that).

    If you are ONLY ever going to use the bit in the "middle" (Denon or whatever) for the bypass from a SACD player then just get one that doesn't put a load of crap in the way (clean volume control is all you need). However if your going to view/listen to DVD/CD's then there is a world of differerence between a Denon and a TAG AV32R assuming a decent source.....
    The only problem is that the TEAC is everything and you would only use the bypass for SACD/DVD-A, everything else would go via digital co-ax bitstream, it is there that significant differences will apply depending on the "bit in the middle", the TEAC is also a bit rich for a Denon 3803, it deserves far better......
    I can understand the wait and see approach as DVD-A sales are on a slippery slope and I wouldnt be surprised if SACD went the same way eventually, people should have bought these things a couple of years ago so they would get fair use out of them really. The old saying that "any new technology only lasts half as long as the one it replaced" is fairly accurate and you either have one new box that does it all or several "legacy" devices that do bits and save your collection from being obsolete. HDMI 2 is what most wait for both on source and processor as that might just be a stable platform for a couple of years. Of course we don't know if SACD will be carried on it though:suicide:
     
  12. Stereo Steve

    Stereo Steve
    Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2003
    Messages:
    1,939
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Location:
    UK
    Ratings:
    +7
    I guess the next thing will be solid state music eg. flash cards, when they become cheap enough to make. I can see SACD taking over from CD as it's so similar and I should think, will become as cheap to make. Given the hybrid thing, I can see a lot of sense in the companies going for it as it will encourage many people to replace parts of their collections (which is what they like most) and also may boost hardware sales.

    DVD-A I fear is going nowhere. Despite many fans, I try to remain objective (I have many of both formats). I just can't see how they are going to persuade people to buy music on what is essentially a video format.

    I appreciate my 3803 is no match for a Tag for movies, I had an AV32R a while back but that's not really my thing at the mo. I'd rather allocate more funds to a good source.

    You mention CD in the same vein as DVD. Surely a good player should be able to output CD via analogue, through a bypass and sound as good as an AV32R with a good transport? At least close anyway.

    I'm not arguing with you, just thinking out loud really. I think if I could get an AV32R with the bypass for under a grand I would go for that in the near future but I fear I may be spending a lot of cash just for better movie performance.
     
  13. lowrider

    lowrider
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2003
    Messages:
    676
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    21
    Location:
    Riga, Latvia
    Ratings:
    +1
    I just helped my brother selecting an AV system, he got four Kef Ref 201 + 202C + PSW4000 subwoofer...

    For the electronics I decided for Denon 3805 (it has a 5.1 analog bypass, unlike the 3803), an A11 (it has bass management, so he can use the receiver bypass unless he wants DPLII), and a Bel Canto eVo 6 power...

    We set it up last night, great sound, better in bypass mode using the A11´s DACs, as I guessed...

    So Steve, I agree with you, but I think you need 5.1 analog bypass + bass management in the player to succeed... :thumbsup:
     
  14. Miron

    Miron
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2002
    Messages:
    1,435
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    51
    Location:
    Vienna, Austria
    Ratings:
    +54
    :)
     
  15. lowrider

    lowrider
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2003
    Messages:
    676
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    21
    Location:
    Riga, Latvia
    Ratings:
    +1
    I helped him spend his money to get a good sounding surround, I decided what to buy... :devil:
     
  16. Stereo Steve

    Stereo Steve
    Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2003
    Messages:
    1,939
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Location:
    UK
    Ratings:
    +7
    So, my 3803 doesn't have an analogue bypass? The manual says it's a 7.1 input controlled by the master volume control. Also, I can't add digital effects to it.

    Lowrider, how does the 3805 input differ from the 3803?

    By the way, how is the 3805 and A11 using the Denon link for DVD-A?
     
  17. lowrider

    lowrider
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2003
    Messages:
    676
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    21
    Location:
    Riga, Latvia
    Ratings:
    +1
    Funny, we had a 3803 first, but the list of inputs doesnt mention the 7.1 input, and I couldn´t find it in the back of the unit, I wonder if they are different for Portugal... :rolleyes:

    Thats why we replaced it with the 3805...

    The guy at the store said the A11 included a Denon-link cable, instead it had the firewire wich isnt available on the 3805, so we used normal coaxial...
     
  18. Stereo Steve

    Stereo Steve
    Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2003
    Messages:
    1,939
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Location:
    UK
    Ratings:
    +7
    OK, well my 3803 does have a 7.1. Just checking.;)

    Anyway, this is getting a bit off topic for a tag forum.
     
  19. lowrider

    lowrider
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2003
    Messages:
    676
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    21
    Location:
    Riga, Latvia
    Ratings:
    +1
    :laugh: :rotfl: :censored:
     
  20. GrahamMG

    GrahamMG
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2004
    Messages:
    4,459
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    86
    Location:
    UK
    Ratings:
    +194
    You had an AV32R and now have an 3803???:oops:

    The 3803 is no match for a AV32R on CD replay either mate (assuming decent amplification)....
    Connecting up a CD player via analogue is not realy done these days, let a quality processor do the work as the bits inside it are always better than the onboard stuff in a CD player (with one or two very expensive exceptions maybe).

    DVD-A is indeed going nowhere fast, SACD stands a better chance mainly for the reasons you suggest as people can carry on buying CD's with the hybrid SACD layer and take advantage of this as and when funds allow. The problem is SONY though with the daft licencing policy that was one of the reasons TAG never did it.....

    Isn't the Denon Link cable just a bit of CAT 5??
     
  21. mlinhares

    mlinhares
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2001
    Messages:
    354
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Portugal
    Ratings:
    +1
    No, Graham. The 3805 belongs to António's brother. António now has a Krell.
     
  22. GrahamMG

    GrahamMG
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2004
    Messages:
    4,459
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    86
    Location:
    UK
    Ratings:
    +194
    Oh dear:suicide: Please send my sympathy's:rotfl:
    Krell was one of the things I actually agreed with Udo on:rolleyes:
     
  23. Kenny Glasgow

    Kenny Glasgow
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2004
    Messages:
    3,350
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    86
    Location:
    Livingston, Scotland
    Ratings:
    +227
    The only Krell that I have heard that I liked over the years was the intergrated.

    I agree with Graham that SACD has a better chance over DVD-A and of all the discs I have on both formats, I prefer the SACd discs. Could be my machine though. My AV32R does a great job in by-pass mode.

    Just got the new Diana Krall Hybrid and the sound is sublime on SACD and very good on the CD layer. Not really my type of music but I got her Live In Paris DVD-V and enjoyed that.

    It is however not turgid like the jazz CDs you get from Linn, Carol Kidd - ughh!
     
  24. lowrider

    lowrider
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2003
    Messages:
    676
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    21
    Location:
    Riga, Latvia
    Ratings:
    +1
    Hi Graham,

    You dont know what you are missing, actually I think Udo had Krell before TAG... :smoke:
     
  25. Stereo Steve

    Stereo Steve
    Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2003
    Messages:
    1,939
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Location:
    UK
    Ratings:
    +7
    The move from AV32R (firstly to Rotel 1066) was to free up funds for a better power amp as I was using the power section of a Sony 930 receiver at the time! The Rotel was dissapointing and now that I have a Parasound 1205a sorted out, I'll be looking to upgrade the processing department too. That is really the crux of my question. Should I direct all my funds toward a great source like the Teac and hold off on the processing side or shoud I direct said funds toward a great processor with a 5.1 bypass and stick with my 757.

    In the end I hope to end up with both a great source AND a great processor but money is an issue so growing my system organically is the way forward.

    The thing that holds me back from looking at processors just yet is their inability to accept DSD digitally. You say that CD is usually passed digitally nowadays. It therefore follows that SACD will also be that way in a couple years. That being the case, I don't want to end up with a processor that can't do it.

    I think we can be pretty sure that ilink will take over from spdif in the next while.

    I also agree it's a shame that Sony are being greedy with licensing again. The likes of Tag and Arcam seem reluctant to invest in SACD. Mind you, Primare, Lexicon, MF etc seem to manage. Yeah, I know, their all Pioneers.
     
  26. Stereo Steve

    Stereo Steve
    Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2003
    Messages:
    1,939
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Location:
    UK
    Ratings:
    +7
    And while we're on the subject, I've heard someone say that the Denon A11 is as good a transport as their Levinson.
     
  27. lowrider

    lowrider
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2003
    Messages:
    676
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    21
    Location:
    Riga, Latvia
    Ratings:
    +1
    The A11 is very good, also it decodes all formats and has good bass management, variable xover and all...

    It sounded better through the 5.1 bypass than using the 3805´s processing...
     
  28. GrahamMG

    GrahamMG
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2004
    Messages:
    4,459
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    86
    Location:
    UK
    Ratings:
    +194
    Hi Antonio.

    Udo was less than complimentary about the Krell, not just because he worked for TMA but the fact that he had been ripped off and only found that out when they were designing the TMA stuff. The power of the name "Krell" is not in dispute, the quality of the end result/cost is though. Makes the TMA gear look something of a bargain really......:rotfl:
     
  29. lowrider

    lowrider
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2003
    Messages:
    676
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    21
    Location:
    Riga, Latvia
    Ratings:
    +1
    Well Graham,

    They might have changed a bit since those days... The Showcase processor cost me about the same as the AV32R DP, and it is better in many ways, (even has balanced outputs), the only big disadvantage is its EQ doesnt compare with TMREQ, but since I found out my bass "small problem" was feedback from the speakers to the player and got decent supports, I no longer need EQ... :smashin:
     
  30. GrahamMG

    GrahamMG
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2004
    Messages:
    4,459
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    86
    Location:
    UK
    Ratings:
    +194
    "better in many ways", OK I'll listen, what? Apart from balanced outputs (which I doubt are properly implimented) which of course you can get on a AV192R anyway for those that "must" have them.....I assume the Krell has all the current sound formats (Height, DLPIIx, etc.), you make the point about TMREQ being better but things like that do make the small precenage point difference surely as no room is acoustically perfect now is it?

    I'm eager to learn here but remember no kidding a kidder eh;)
     

Share This Page

Loading...
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice