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DVD-A sound problem

Discussion in 'Hi-Fi Stereo Systems & Separates' started by europop1978, Apr 8, 2004.

  1. europop1978

    europop1978
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    Today I tried my first DVD-A (The A.I. soundtrack) on my Pioneer DV-565A. I hooked up the analogue 6-channel outputs with cheap phono cables to my amp. Mostly the sound is superb, but there seems to be a problem with how the centre speaker integrates with the front speakers. I didn't notice this until there is a clear voice singing on the soundtrack - it sounds echoey and hollow, as if the sound is out of sync between centre and fronts. Change the DVD-A to stereo and the voice is fine.. but with 5.1 the distortion of the voice is too annoying to listen to. The distances are set correctly and the centre and fronts have the same phono lead connecting them, so I have no idea what the problem could be.
     
  2. jameslindsey

    jameslindsey
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    I take it that you do not experience similar dialogue issues when watching films, using the 6Ch output of your DVD player. You may be looking at differences between settings in the decoder on the DVD player and settings on the decoder of the amp if you use the amp for movie decoding that is.

    This possibly could be related to the master you are playing. Do you have another different disk to test with?

    I've found that I get the best sound wilth all the levels/delays/distances set the same, however this may not be possible or sound best in all situations, especially if your speakers are not ideally placed. I think the advice I'd give is don't be afraid to spend some time adjusting the settings etc to get what sounds best to you. As long as you note down what the values were before you make any changes you can always go back to where you started where you will be no worse off.
     
  3. europop1978

    europop1978
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    Hey, thanks for the reply.

    I have no issues with DVD sound, but then I've always used a digital coax for that.. I've not tried a DVD using the 6Ch output, as I only hooked up the 6Ch for use with DVD-A. I don't have another DVD-A yet, I only bought one to see what it sounded like. I've tried messing around with the level and distances but it's no help (I cannot change the delays).

    I will try a DVD with the 6Ch output tonight to see if it has the same problem. As an aside, is there any difference in the audio quality between digital output and 6Ch output for DVD movie sound? What do most people use?
     
  4. nthornhill

    nthornhill
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    most people use digital output to the amp for movies, because leaving the D/A conversion to later is nearly always beneficial, and amps generally have better digital signal processing equipment for DTS / Dolby Digital signals than DVD players. This is particularly true for things like bass management.

    Of course, you can always try out both options and see which you like. You can even send CD sound to your amplifier digitally and see if you like that. :)
     
  5. jameslindsey

    jameslindsey
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    I agree.

    If the processing is much better in the DVD player then it will sound better with the 6Ch ouput from the DVD. However in theory sending an analogue signal from DVD to Amp over cable introduces losses in quality where as in theory digital cable is lossless (some people disagree). Most people use processing in the amplifier as generally this is a higher standard, takes the electronics away from the disk spinning mechanism and means that you only need to use 1 cable instead of 6.

    In practice try it and see which you prefer.

    In my case music audio sounds a little nicer processed in the DVD player with the amp switched to direct mode, a touch warmer maybe. There is more detail and precision in the amp's processing and for me it is more enjoyable for movies in this mode. But these differences are miniscule and probably only detectable by fussy old gits like me.
     
  6. Stereo Steve

    Stereo Steve
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    As James says, you must set up the speaker distances and volumes again on the DVD player itself for DVD-A and SACD. Go to the settings menu, it's near the bottom somewhere.
     
  7. europop1978

    europop1978
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    Thanks for the advice everyone. I've been trying out normal DVD via the 6Ch output and I can't hear the vocal distortion that I get with the DVD-A. This makes me think it's the DV565 that isn't playing the DVD-A correctly, and not a problem with the cheap connections.

    Stereo Steve, I have tried changing the speaker distances and volumes on the DVD player itself and it can't fix the problem.

    Do I have a case for returning the DV565?

    About 6Ch vs. digital for movie sound, the 6Ch can't compare at all, though some of this is probably down to the bog standard phono cables.
     
  8. nthornhill

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    can you borrow/find another DVD-A from anywhere? It would be a shame to send back your player if the problem turned out to be the AI soundtrack DVD-A itself!

    Regarding 6-channel out for movies... I suspect the DD/DTS digital signal processors in the DV565 are very low price - more there for spec sheet listing than serious use, since all AV amps have DD/DTS signal processing these days.

    If you are wondering about spending more on analogue cables for the DVD-A and SACD sound, I suggest the following: Hook up a more expensive pair of interconnects for front left/right and see if you can hear the difference. If you can, then you know the answer...
     
  9. europop1978

    europop1978
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    I haven't yet got another DVD-A , though I'm trying to get Holst's The Planets.

    I was looking through my amp's manual and found this:

    "This unit cannot process other digital signal formats, such as PCM signals with sampling frequencies of 96kHz and 192kHz"

    I took this to mean that my amp can only manage 48kHz signals, and so I set the "Linear PCM Out" option on the DV565 to "Down sample ON" instead of OFF, which converts PCM signals down to 48kHz. This seemed to improve the voice distortion, almost to the point where it's no longer annoying to listen to, though it is still noticeable.

    Does the fact that my amp won't take signals above 48kHz mean that I'm going to be missing out on the benefits of DVD-A and SACD?
     
  10. nthornhill

    nthornhill
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    I think you are confusing things... Analogue outputs from DVD player to amp mean you are getting all digital to analogue (D/A) conversion in the DVD player, so the amp is just amplifying the sound, and nothing more.

    This means it doesn't matter what the digital sampling rate of the music was, because it has been converted by the time the amplifier sees it.

    As for the digital path between DVD player and amplifier:

    At this time only i.Link (firewire-based connectors) and a few proprietary options let you transfer SACD and DVD-A digitally between player and amplifier for conversion in the amplifier, and very few devices have this technology. A standard digital input on an AV amplifier (which is either coaxial cable with a tulip plug or an optical toslink connector) is designed for receiving sound off DVDs or CDs, which can be any of the following:

    - PCM (2 channel 44.1KHz 16-bit) -> this is standard CD format
    - Dolby Digital (up to 6.1 channels compressed)
    - DTS (up to 6.1 channels compressed)
    - PCM (2 channel 96 KHz 24-bit) -> only on DVD-videos

    The last option is the one your amplifier manual is referring to. It gives manufacturers the option of providing higher resolution sound in 2 channel only format along with DVD videos. Very few manufacturers use this, since it is basically a lesser version of DVD-A and not supported by very many amplifiers for D/A conversion. Chesky records has made some recordings in this format, which actually sound very nice if you have an amp or DVD player capable of converting them well.

    Note for your information: DVD-A has two options: 5.1 channel 96 KHz 24-bit, or 2 channel 192 KHz 24-bit...


    So final conclusion: That option you changed will only effect the replay of a few recordings via digital out from DVD player to amplifier. DVD-A recordings have to be transferred via analogue cables, as do SACDs, and your kit should be fully capable of replaying them fine.
     
  11. europop1978

    europop1978
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    I see I still have a lot to learn! Thankyou very much for the information.

    I will now wait until I get a 2nd DVD-A to see if it has the same problems.
     
  12. ncpl

    ncpl
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    Nthornhill,
    In addition to the 96KHz M-ch and 192KHz 2-ch that you note above, there are also some discs at 96KHz for 2 ch, 88 and 48KHz for M-ch.

    (examples that come to mind are Bjork and Tubular Bells...I am sure I have others too)

    Cheers
     
  13. nthornhill

    nthornhill
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    These are DVD-As mastered at lower than maximal resolution you are talking about?

    I had assumed lesser resolution DVD-As might be released, but as of yet I have no experience with DVD-A (very hard to find in Holland).
     

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