How to get 5.1 music from my speakers?

Trek

Novice Member
I have a Sony str-dh590 AR with five channels and a subwoofer.

It supports these decoding formats with HDMI:
DSD, Dolby® Digital, Dolby® Dual Mono, DTS-HD Master Audio™, DTS-HD High-Resolution Audio, DTS®, DTS 96/24

Do I need to get a Blu Ray player, and a Blu Ray version of an album to get the "real 5.1 surround" out of my system? And I cannot use a PS4 for this?

And is there a big difference between "virtual surround" and "real surround"?
 

noiseboy72

Distinguished Member
There's not many albums recorded or mastered in 5.1, so your listening options will be a bit limited. There's a few live concerts with a surround mix, but normally it's just a bit of ambiance into the rear channels.

If you want to give your stereo recordings more space and depth, you can use some of the audio effects built into the AVR. These will process the audio and send some of the instruments and effects to the rear channels, expanding the stereo effect. It's not a true rendition of the album, but some people like it!!

Have a look for settings such as DTS NEO MUSIC or similar.
 

Mark.Yudkin

Distinguished Member
Your choices are BluRay Audio disks, which need a Bluray player or a PS4, or SACDs (much more common, at least with classical music anyway), which needs a universal player (one that plays Blurays and SACDs). Your Sony STR-DH590 supports all BluRay Audio formats and SACDs (DSD format). Your PS4 can play BluRay Audio disks, but cannot play SACDs, or even CDs (!?!), although the PS3 supported both (🤬).

Yes there is a big difference between real surround sound and the having the AVR convert a stereo input to use all speakers. Nevertheless a subtle "virtual surround" can be an improvement (meaning that I like it).

As Noiseboy72 points out, surround sound recordings of music styles other than classical are reputedly thin on the ground and command a premium price.
 

gibbsy

Moderator
You can use the upmixing modes on the Sony to bring in all channels for stereo sources such as CDs but it never sounds great. As has been mentioned above there are 5.1 sources such as blu ray audio or DVD-A and SACD which along with CDs is not supported on your Sony.

Outside of classical releases both SACD and DVD-A are more into the collectors market than freely available to buy and can cost a pretty penny.
 

MaryWhitehouse

Well-known Member

MaryWhitehouse

Well-known Member
Are you sure about that? I know DVD-Audio needed a compatible player (to play the higher resolution audio) but I thought Blu-ray audio discs were compatible with all Blu-ray players.
I’m certain about that.
 

k-spin

Active Member
I've only got a couple of Blu-ray audio discs but the information in the accompanying booklet says:

What equipment will the disc play on?
High-Fidelity Pure Audio is compatible with all Blu-ray players, PlayStation consoles and other Blu-ray devices. This disc will not play in a CD or DVD player.
Are there maybe different types of Blu-ray audio discs?
 

gibbsy

Moderator
Blu ray audio will also send a video to the TV. Bob Marley's Legend has to have the TV on to select any options and start playback. You can turn the TV off once play has started but if you leave it on you are treated to various stills of the great man. The three blu ray players I've had, Denon DBT-3313, Pioneer UDP LX58 and current Pioneer UDP LX500 all play blu ray audio.

There is only one type of blu ray audio. It's official title is High Fidelity Pure Audio (HFPA).
 

k-spin

Active Member
Interesting. Mine work on my UD7007 without any screen connected. I just need to press play or type in the number of the track I want. I’ve only got a couple so far mind.

I bought the UD7007 specifically to use as an audio player connected to my Hi-Fi, rather than my AV system, so am hoping the need for a screen isn’t too widespread.
 

gibbsy

Moderator
I’m certain about that.
Even a cheapo LG UBK90 will play BR audio. Not getting mixed up with SACD will is certainly confined to certain makes as will DVD-A playback. Some Sony (if not all) can playback SACD, BR audio but not DVD-A.
 

dazed&confused

Well-known Member
Blu ray audio will also send a video to the TV. Bob Marley's Legend has to have the TV on to select any options and start playback. You can turn the TV off once play has started but if you leave it on you are treated to various stills of the great man. The three blu ray players I've had, Denon DBT-3313, Pioneer UDP LX58 and current Pioneer UDP LX500 all play blu ray audio.

There is only one type of blu ray audio. It's official title is High Fidelity Pure Audio (HFPA).
Audio wise, would there be any difference between the quality of the Blu ray version and the quality of the SACD version?
 

gibbsy

Moderator
Interesting. Mine work on my UD7007 without any screen connected. I just need to press play or type in the number of the track I want. I’ve only got a couple so far mind.

I bought the UD7007 specifically to use as an audio player connected to my Hi-Fi, rather than my AV system, so am hoping the need for a screen isn’t too widespread.
It's the case with my Pioneer LX500, unless I too lazy to look for a different solution. Yep I probably am too lazy. The LX500 also plays films so is always connected to the TV. For stereo playback of CD or SACD I have a standalone stereo player connected to my stereo amp.
 

gibbsy

Moderator
Audio wise, would there be any difference between the quality of the Blu ray version and the quality of the SACD version?
I think multi channel blu ray is better to be honest, providing that is that the original masters are up to the job. Problem is the availability of titles, it's just another format that seems to be dying on it's feet. I've got over 50 SACDs, most of them stereo only, yet only two BR titles. Most of my BR discs are of the concert variety with video of performances and some of those are stunning in audio quality, Hans Zimmer Live in Prague is one outstanding example with it's Atmos soundtrack.

Still prefer my music in good old stereo though and for that a quality integrated stereo amp will simply blitz any receiver.
 

k-spin

Active Member
I’ve got my SA8005 in my stereo Hi-Fi system for SACDs and CDs but wanted the option to be able to play music DVDs (e.g. concerts), DVD-Audio discs and Blu-ray discs (both concerts with video and audio only discs) as well. My plan B, in case it proves to be too difficult to navigate these discs without a TV, is to pick up a small HDMI monitor (e.g. the sort of thing for use with a Raspberry Pi) and connect that up.
 

gibbsy

Moderator
I’ve got my SA8005 in my stereo Hi-Fi system for SACDs and CDs but wanted the option to be able to play music DVDs (e.g. concerts), DVD-Audio discs and Blu-ray discs (both concerts with video and audio only discs) as well. My plan B, in case it proves to be too difficult to navigate these discs without a TV, is to pick up a small HDMI monitor (e.g. the sort of thing for use with a Raspberry Pi) and connect that up.
My stereo speakers also serve the surround sound so they are all interconnected in a way and all the players are in the same cabinet with a Rega Elicit-R using HT by-pass. The LX500 is connected to both TV and Denon X6500 with my Denon DCD 2500 SACD player going direct to the Rega.
 

k-spin

Active Member
Unfortunately my stereo and TV set ups are totally separate and the stereo is far better from a sound quality perspective.

I would rather have things like you but I am where I am ;)
 

Mark.Yudkin

Distinguished Member
Audio wise, would there be any difference between the quality of the Blu ray version and the quality of the SACD version?
Not with 5.1. Any audible differences would have a cause unrelated to the format. However SACD is limited 5.1, whereas BDA permits more channels.
 

Trek

Novice Member
Thanks for all answers! I ended up spending some extra money on a decent pair of front speakers to get the most out of music in stereo. Had a pair of QLN Artech 5s bookshelf speakers before. Bought a pair of Klipsch RP-160M. I'm very satisfied with the sound from these in my small room.
 

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