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Dvd-a & Sacd

Discussion in 'AV Receivers & Amplifiers' started by Cadire, Dec 16, 2003.

  1. Cadire

    Cadire
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    A couple of months ago I purchased a kit from HomeCinemaHeaven, consisting of a Pioneer 565A DVD and a VSX-C301 tuner (and some Canton speakers).

    I'm very happy with the film/tv side of things as far as this kit goes, but I've just realised that the tuner doesn't have analog inputs to enable me to play DVD-A & SACD!

    I've played the latest R.E.M. DVD using 5.1 and it sounds pretty good.

    Is the difference in sound quality, between DVD-A/SACD and 5.1 such that it's worth replacing the tuner with say, the VSX-C501? (I need a slimline tuner to sit under my Tosh 36ZP38).
     
  2. twacky

    twacky
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    In order to play multichannel SACD/DVD-Audio you will need a amp/reciever with 6 channel (5.1) inputs. your suggestion i dont think has these, you will need to go for something like the pioneer VSXD712 or VSXD812, which sounds like in your price range.
    Multichannel SACD/DVD-Audio is a whole new ball game to a 5.1 DVD, with far superior sound and since you have bought the universal player i recommend you going for it.
     
  3. wilber

    wilber
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    Ask yourself how many DVD-A & SACD titles you are likely to buy over the next two years, lets say the cost to upgrade is £150 divide the 150 by the number of discs & that's how much each will cost over the price of purchase - is the expense worth it in your mind or not?

    OR if you're like me (glass half full) ask yourself, isn't it rather stingy to worry about £150 compared to being able to play Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon on SACD
     
  4. Stereo Steve

    Stereo Steve
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    The lunatics are on the grass.

    Norah Jones is worth having SACD for too. Steely Dan and the Eagles are good on DVD-A.
     
  5. Brogan

    Brogan
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    Steve,

    Where did you get your copy of Norah Jones on SACD and is there a big difference between this and standard CD?

    Do CD WOW do SACD? I guess not?
     
  6. Cadire

    Cadire
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    Thanks for the input chaps.

    Twacky, the VSX-C501 uses the Scart socket for one of it's channels (I have no idea why either!), so that wouldn't be an issue... hopefully. I have looked at the models you mentioned, but I'll have to do some measuring of my TV cabinet first as they look quite tall. I would prefer a slimline tuner though, unless there's a difference in quality in favour of the big boys (I'd guess something pretty fundemental had to be redesigned/swapped to get it all to fit into the wee case).

    If the sound quality is indeed better, then I don't mind shelling out for a new tuner (though it will be more than £150 as I doubt anyone would do a part-ex), especially to listen to Pink Floyd's classic (and Tubular Bells if they ever decide on a release date, mines been on back order for about 6 weeks).

    Thanks again.
     
  7. CARLOS

    CARLOS
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    Try here though its out of stock at the moment :)
     
  8. Brogan

    Brogan
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    Thanks Carlos.
    I'm a bit of a novice when it comes to SACD so are they designed to be listened to as stereo or multi-channel?
    I the latter, which decoding type should one use? DPLII, Pro logic, etc?
     
  9. agendrano

    agendrano
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    Brogan,

    Most DVD-A and SACD comes with stereo and multi-channel tracks. Some SACD's are only available in stereo.

    The DVD-A and SACD players will do the decoding and will output a 6 channel (for multi-channel) or 2 channel (for stereo) analog outputs, depending on your setting.
     
  10. Brogan

    Brogan
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    Thanks for that.
    I've never heard an SACD or DVDA so have no idea what I'm missing. If listening in 2 ch stereo is it really possible to hear the difference considering SACD goes up to 100Khz but the average human ear has a maximum upper limit of around 20Khz?
    I'm confused how one would be able to hear any difference.

    As for the output - I've got an 868 which has iLINK so no nest of cables for me :)

    Think I'll pop into town to see if I can get Norah on SACD...
     
  11. twacky

    twacky
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    Brogen,
    Its more the fact that the music is in 5.1 (with multichannel music) than the actual quality itself that makes the difference. With normal SACD stereo you may not be able to tell much difference and will depend on the quality of your equipment and speakers.
     
  12. Brogan

    Brogan
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    Ah OK, didn't realise that.
    I'm not a fan of listening to music in 5.1 so I think I'll just stick to vanilla stereo.
    Besides, it seems nowhere stocks SACD - you have to order them.
    Yeah, really good sales/marketing technique that...:rolleyes:
     
  13. NicolasB

    NicolasB
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    An SACD or DVD-A player, given a decent disc to play with, should sound better than the same player playing a CD. But it may well not sound better than a CD player that costs the same money. All of the DVD Video components of the player (for example) add to the price.

    Something like an Arcam DV27A playing a good DVD-Audio recording would, I think, comfortably outperform a CD player costing the same price (£1800). But the lower you go down the price ladder, the smaller the proportion of the money you're paying for the player goes towards DVD-A or SACD performance.

    On top of that, there's the problem of the processor/amp. A 5.1-channel processor/amplifer system will definitely not sound anywhere near as good as a stereo pre-amp/power-amp combo (or a stereo integrated amp) that costs the same money.

    The there's the problem that many AV processors are primarily designed to do their own D/A conversion. At the lower end of the price scale you may have trouble finding a processor/amp that has 5.1 analogue inputs. Then there's the problem of finding one which has a 5.1-channel analogue bypass. Then there's the problem of finding a 5.1-channel analogue bypass that actually sounds good.

    Then there's the problem of management - plenty of DVD-Audio players can't do it, bass management for SACD is almost impossible without throwing away much of the advantages of the format, and hardly any processors can do bass management on a 5-channel analogue input.

    So you may well find in practice that you will get better sound quality per £ (or per $) by using CD than you do by using a higher resolution format. If you can afford to buy an Arcam DV27A player, Bryston SP1.7 or Krell Showcase processor, and a decent multi-channel power amp, DVD-Audio will sound very good. A Meridian 598 player hooked into a 568.2mm processor and a good amp will probably sound better still. But these are combinations where you're talking six to eight thousand pounds for the player and processor alone (and neither will play back SACD!) Using a Linn Unidisk player instead of an Arcam DV27A would probably sound stunning, but unless your processor was a Linn Kisto or a Lexicon MC-12 there'd be no bass management!

    And you're having to pay for 5 good speakers instead of 2.

    All in all, it's a bit of a pain.
     
  14. Brogan

    Brogan
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    Blimey!
    Sorry I asked now....;)
    Based on that damning indictment from NicolasB I think I'll just stick to CD.
     
  15. slingshot

    slingshot
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    NicolasB has a point, however it's not just sound quality itself you have to consider. Yes my CD player playing the CD version of Dark Side Of The Moon is probably better quality sound than my DVD player playing the SACD version.

    However the multi-channel SACD version is more fun, and probably more involving (or more annoying depending on your point of view).

    With multi-channel SACD and DVD-A you are getting something the a CD can't provide. Wether you like it or not is a different matter.

    I mean you don't watch DVD's in stereo because the quality of sound is probably better if it's not as compressed as the 5.1 channel track.

    Not much help I know, really you can only tell if it's worth it by listening, and checking if you like much of the music currently available.

    Cheers

    Slingshot
     

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