Pre-Out's, in's, and DD-EX/DTS-ES 6.1/7.1

Discussion in 'AV Receivers & Amplifiers' started by StuartBooth, Dec 23, 2000.

  1. StuartBooth

    StuartBooth
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    I'm a proud owner of a Denon AVC-A10SE, and this has meant I have an Arcam Delta-290 amp and some Mission 752 speakers 'spare'.

    I then received the new Seven double disc set yesterday which looks fantastic. Even the opening sequence sounded amazing so I'm looking forward to viewing that tonight. But this disc has a DTS-ES Discrete 6.1 soundtrack and this set me thinking...

    I realise the AVC-A10SE doesn't support DTS-ES Discrete 6.1 (which kinda makes me wish I had a 3801 now), but it does do the DTS-ES Matrix 6.1/7.1 if I add a Power-Amp such as the Denon POA-A10.

    I'm thinking of not going down this route as I'd originally planned as I'll probably end up wanting an A1-SE soon enough for Discrete 6.1.

    So my question is, is there any way I can use my spare integrated Delta-290 amp to power my spare Mission's as a rear centre channel?

    I'm not clear on what these pre-out's are exactly and how this all works with Pre-Amps and Power-Amps vs Integrated-Amps.

    I'm really just curious to try it. I've tried my rear Dynaudio's at the side and noted how directional such normal 'forward firing' (?) speakers are, so I'm thinking that I'd need some bi/di-pole side surround-A speakers and keep my current rear's as the surround-B set.

    Guess the Delta-290 and Mission's are destined to end up in the bedroom. [​IMG]

    Any thoughts?

    Stuart

    ------------------
    Stuart Booth
    Somewhere in Buckinghamshire, England, UK
     
  2. Stuart M. Robinson

    Stuart M. Robinson
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    Stuart,

    "So my question is, is there any way I can use my spare integrated Delta-290 amp to power my spare Mission's as a rear centre channel?"

    Sure, connect the Surround Back line-outputs of the Denon to your Arcam. In the Denon’s set-up menus, tell it you have a seven-channel loudspeaker configuration and it will then enable Surround Back bass-management and calibration.

    "I'm thinking of not going down this route as I'd originally planned as I'll probably end up wanting an A1-SE soon enough for Discrete 6.1."

    I wouldn't let DTS 6.1 Discrete sway any decision, there's only a handful of software titles and it would be akin to discarding your current equipment for the sake of MPEG-Audio support, after all, there are more MPEG titles! There are better reasons for wanting an AVC-A1SE.

    Actually, I wouldn't suggest a £2,500 receiver to anyone.


    Stuart M. Robinson
    SMR Group – http://www.smr-group.co.uk/
     
  3. StuartBooth

    StuartBooth
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    Well, if it's as easy as that, I'd be foolish not to at least give it a go, eh?! A new Xmas project.

    On the topic of a £2,500 amp, I think I see where you're coming from. I've pondered this myself a little, wondering about the merits of a cheaper decoder for pre-out's and then partnering some carefully chosen power amps for all the speakers.

    This would seem to offer what part of the chase for Hi-Fidelity is all about.

    I bought the A10-SE with this in mind, upgrading it with a power-amp for the main front channels and thus benefitting from 7.1 audio as an aside. But now I feel Discrete 6.1 will win over Matrix 6/7.1, which the A10-SE doesn't do. d [​IMG]

    Still, having heard Seven last night which sounds absolutely fabulous, I'm not too distressed. It's just there's always the next step after you've taken the first...

    Stuart

    ------------------
    Stuart Booth
    Somewhere in Buckinghamshire, England, UK
     
  4. Stuart M. Robinson

    Stuart M. Robinson
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    Stuart,

    "Well, if it's as easy as that, I'd be foolish not to at least give it a go, eh?!"

    Absolutely, especially as you already have the additional hardware you need. If you find that the additional 'speakers don't work in your room then nothing is lost, which isn't the case for most folk who have to go out and buy more gear.

    "On the topic of a £2,500 amp, I think I see where you're coming from. I've pondered this myself a little, wondering about the merits of a cheaper decoder for pre-out's and then partnering some carefully chosen power amps for all the speakers."

    Expensive receivers and surround amplifiers have a lot going for them; dozens of bells and whistles and all the features most folk need all in one package, plus they don't sound half bad. But I've always felt that £2,500 for a product like the Denon was going too far.

    I often find that folks who have purchased a behemoth receiver or surround amp are quickly disappointed when a newer model replaces it. You've found this with the Denon, and Yamaha DSP-AX1 owners are in the same boat. It's not that the equipment suddenly becomes disappointing in any way, it's the uncomfortable feeling of having spent all that money on something that no longer gives one access to the latest and greatest surround formats.

    In my own system I have a Lexicon MC-1. Sure, it was expensive to begin with (even allowing for Lexicon's trade-in scheme) but then one could always purchase a DC-2 or the home theatre bargain of our times, a traded-in DC-1. The DC-1 was a 7.1 product back in 1997 when it was launched. All three were equipped with THX Surround EX processing in the autumn of 1999 and in mid 2001 its safe to expect DTS 6.1 Discrete and Pro Logic II. These upgrades aren't free, historically they’ve been somewhere between £100 and £500, but that's still a whole lot cheaper than replacing the likes of a DSP-AX1 each time something new comes along. And… if you’ll allow me to say so, the Lexicon sound a whole lot better, check out Bob's reviews in HCC and Rai's in WV.

    Add a Rotel RMB-1095 (circa £1,500 if you haggle with a dealer) to begin with and you're away, two additional channels can be added when funds allow.


    Stuart M. Robinson
    SMR Group – http://www.smr-group.co.uk/

    [This message has been edited by Stuart M. Robinson (edited 25-12-2000).]
     
  5. Stuart Wright

    Stuart Wright
    AVForums Founder Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2000
    Messages:
    14,744
    Products Owned:
    7
    Products Wanted:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    167
    Location:
    Birmingham, UK
    Ratings:
    +10,630
    Stuart - glad to see you're surfing with AV intent first thing Xmas day !!!
    I wonder if anyone else has the same problem as me re Lexicon boxes...
    They are simply plastic boxes with an LED display, a few buttons, some connectors, a transformer and some chips. The expensive bit would be the chips, I expect. Or more specifically the software. I hazzard an uneducated guess that the hardware costs in the region of £100 or less to produce, and the rest is software, R&D, profit etc. etc.
    I can't help thinking that on a box with an RRP of £5,600, £2,500 of that is profit.
    If we had the right algorythms, couldn't we plonk a Creative live drive like box in a PC (for the connectors) and have a Lexicon plus more flexibility for a couple of hundred quid?
    Maybe developed the same way as dTV (as seen on the AVS forums)?
    That's my problem, anyhow. It's all software and it's expensive.
     
  6. Stuart M. Robinson

    Stuart M. Robinson
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    Spectre,

    "glad to see you're surfing with AV intent first thing Xmas day !!!"

    What else is there to do while awaiting Santa?

    "I wonder if anyone else has the same problem as me re Lexicon boxes...
    They are simply plastic boxes with an LED display, a few buttons, some connectors, a transformer and some chips. The expensive bit would be the chips, I expect. Or more specifically the software. I hazzard an uneducated guess that the hardware costs in the region of £100 or less to produce, and the rest is software, R&D, profit etc. etc."


    Yep, and a Ferrari is a hunk of metal and plastic... but seriously... You'll probably find the parts are a little more expensive than £100, given that manufacturers such as Lexicon try to produce high-quality boards and tend to use cutting-edge (limited quantity) processing engines and/or D/A and A/D converters. When they were released, SHARC engines, for example, were expensive and their design tools non-existent, which is why products using a SHARC couldn't compete on an affordability level with the likes of a Sherwood from Richer Sounds.

    But there is some truth to your claim, just look at the supposedly high-end processors I reviewed for HCC last month, the majority used off-the-shelf processing (and an off-the-shelf user-interface and feature-set). There's nothing special in a receiver either, the processing heart is simply selected from the range of Analog Devices, Motorola or Zoran and their bundled decode modes used.

    However, I'd set some manufacturers apart, Lexicon and Meridian being two prominent examples. The heavyweight price tag is not just for high-quality hardware, but in the main, the proprietary processing modes loaded into the decode engines. You won't hear anything like Lexicon's Logic 7 from a mass-market receiver, and that's what you pay the big-bucks for. A lot of R&D time has been invested in such modes, one only has to read the AES papers from Meridian's Bob Stuart or Lexicon's Dr. David Greisinger for an inkling of what's involved. Take a look at: http://www.world.std.com/%7Egriesngr/

    "If we had the right algorythms, couldn't we plonk a Creative live drive like box in a PC (for the connectors) and have a Lexicon plus more flexibility for a couple of hundred quid?"

    And what did the PC cost? Besides, to get half-decent audio out of a PC you're going to need to invest a little more than a "couple of hundred quid" don't you think?

    "Maybe developed the same way as dTV (as seen on the AVS forums)?"

    Misinformation capital of the cyber-world... please don't send me there!


    Stuart M. Robinson
    SMR Group – http://www.smr-group.co.uk/
     
  7. Matt F

    Matt F
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2000
    Messages:
    900
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    21
    Location:
    Chester, UK
    Ratings:
    +4
    Stuart, the AV10SE is great AV amp - have a look at this months HiFi Choice if you want some reassurance - they loved the thing and they are not often impressed by AV amps.

    As for the lack of DTS-ES discrete, I wouldn't worry about this too much because as I understand it (and please correct me anyone if I'm wrong) any DVDs that have DTS discrete will also (always) have DTS ES matrix as well so you won't be missing out on anything (the matrixed channel has the full bandwidth unlike pro-logic). Although discrete is better technically than matrix, I'd be surprised if there's much between them in practice.

    As for upgrading the 10SE to discrete, I e-mailed Denon about this a while back and you can see their reply on my message dated 4/12 on this bulletin board.
     
  8. StuartBooth

    StuartBooth
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    Hi Matt,

    Interesting you mention HiFi Choice. I just subscribed to that (and not because they rated the A10SE!). During the last several months I've bought many HiFi/HC mags and enjoyed reading this one the most. As an aside, I just got a confirmation letter from them stating that "[my] subscription will commence ... due on approximately 26-Mar-01" - hmmmm, that's got to be wrong!

    As regards Discrete 6.1 vs Matrix 6.1 I'm not entirely sure myself on the differences, but, albeit without any experience, I instinctively prefer the technically 'cleaner' discrete implementation. I worry a bit about the matrixed surround centre channel 'stealing' effects for lack of a better description.

    I was all ready to give DTS-ES Matrix 7.1 a go until it dawned on me that I don't have enough speaker cable for the new surround B speakers using my Delta-290 amp. Doh! It's all in quite a large room and I have 12m of cable running around the sides for each of the the two rear channels already, with only about 2m of front channel cable kicking around in my spares box. Not even enough to run down the centre of the room for test purposes.

    I did read your report on your reply from Denon about the A10 having been designed pre DTS-ES Discrete (I think that's the same topic). Interesting that these Denons aren't as upgradable as the other Stuart here has been noting with regard to his Lexicon system. That flexibility is a winning solution for a long term system.

    To be honest, it's more of an interesting project right now, as out of all the movies I've watched, only a small handful have really impressed me by generated an atmospheric aura from all 5 speakers I currently have. Seven and Fight Club are both impressive and I feel I must next try The Haunting I think it is which has DTS-ES on it.

    ------------------
    Stuart Booth
    Somewhere in Buckinghamshire, England, UK
     
  9. Matt F

    Matt F
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2000
    Messages:
    900
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    21
    Location:
    Chester, UK
    Ratings:
    +4
    Stuart, I think the point about flexibility for future upgrades is key - I mean you could change your AV10SE to an AVR3801 to get DTS ES discrete and then a few months later find that pro-logic II comes out and you have to upgrade again - and then who knows what else is around the corner - maybe Dolby Labs will come out with discrete DD EX (to rival DTS discrete).

    One less pricey (but still fairly expensive)alternative to Lexicon is of course the Tag McLaren AV32R which can be upgraded (via PC or similar) by a suitable TAG dealer - there is also an EX/ES board (and even a digital tuner board) that can be fitted. Whenever something new comes out (DTS discrete, pro logic II etc) you just take it into your dealer and they upgrade the software. So, in theory you should never have to change the processor (just buy more power amps).

    This leads me on to a little story - I've currently got a £650 credit note from Audio Excellence because Rotel (after THREE repair attempts) were unable to cure a DTS drop-out problem on my RSP966 processor.

    Replacing it with a TAG AV32R would have been the best move but at £2300 a tad too pricey for me at the moment. I was all set, therefore, to reluctantly trade in my beloved Rotel RB985 MKII 5 channel power amp and get a lovely Denon AV10SE to replace the Rotel pair.

    However, I had a quick look at the Audio Ex website yesterday and, as luck would have it, one of their branches was doing an ex dem TAG AV32R at £1850. Still expensive but take off the £650 credit note and it becomes just about affordable. So, yes you've guessed it, it's got my name on it and should be with me today or early next week.

    Bit of a result - I get to keep the rather fine Rotel THX power amp and get to own one of the finest processors around to go with it. One thing I'm really looking forward to trying out is the THX processing (I've never heard it before) and as my power amp and my 5 speakers are all THX certified it will be interesting to see what it's like.

    I'll keep you posted.
     
  10. StuartBooth

    StuartBooth
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    That sounds a nigh-on perfect stroke of luck, Matt!

    I believe Audio Excellence are linked to Audio-T, from whom I purchased all my current equipment.

    This discussion in here has now set me off with some interest into delving further into power-amping and dedicated processors. I've seen many favourable comments re. Rotel gear so I'll be paying more attention to reviews in future.

    I think I like the idea of utterly distinct components doing a single well-defined job - processor sans amplication, external power-amplication, etc - as this allows some fantastic mixing and matching. Start adding external power amps to, say, an AVC-A10SE and I just know I'll be a little annoyed at not using its built-in amplification that I've already paid for! [​IMG]

    Still, I believe in starting somewhere and building up. I'm learning so much with all this that I will be better able to judge new add-ons whenever I advance to that stage. So many new ideas too.

    Last night I tried the A10-SE's THX 5.1 mode for the first time. I ought to have done back-to-back comparisons with DD but ran out of time.

    I don't believe my Dynaudio Contour 1.1's or the Dynaudio Audience 40's I have at the rear are THX Certified. That wasn't, and isn't, a consideration for me yet.

    Stuart

    ------------------
    Stuart Booth
    Somewhere in Buckinghamshire, England, UK
     
  11. Stuart M. Robinson

    Stuart M. Robinson
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    Matt,

    "One less pricey (but still fairly expensive)alternative to Lexicon is of course the Tag McLaren AV32R which can be upgraded (via PC or similar) by a suitable TAG dealer - there is also an EX/ES board (and even a digital tuner board) that can be fitted. Whenever something new comes out (DTS discrete, pro logic II etc) you just take it into your dealer and they upgrade the software. So, in theory you should never have to change the processor (just buy more power amps)."

    I didn't mean to single out the Lexicon as the only flexible alternative to constant receiver upgrades, just use it as an example because I'm intimately familiar with the box.

    My points apply equally to the Meridian, TAG and Theta processors, all of which appear prohibitively pricey to begin with but once you've factored in the longevity of the product are actually a viable alternative to a top-end receiver. And of course, the aforementioned will provide superior sonic performance, which can't be bad!

    "Bit of a result - I get to keep the rather fine Rotel THX power amp and get to own one of the finest processors around to go with it."

    A result indeed, you'll really enjoy the TAG. My good friend Buzz Goddard (formerly of Lexicon) is now President of TAG in America, and he raves about the AV32R. Let us know how you find it.


    Stuart M. Robinson
    SMR Group - http://www.smr-group.co.uk/
     
  12. Rob

    Rob
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2000
    Messages:
    1,286
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    51
    Location:
    Norwich
    Ratings:
    +35
    Thought I would put in my tuppence worth. I am about to buy a used Lexicon DC-1, after pondering about all-in recievers . I found some exellent advice and info on the SMR forum, via a link from the Lexicon site. I can't quite go to a DC-2 yet but the DC-1 has had all the upgrages I need , I can truly get high end AV at a reasonable price.
    Of course things are only upgradable up to a point. You can't make a DC-1 an MC-1, but by the time I want 96Khz sampling , and all the luxuries (not bothered at the moment) there will probably be an MC-2 and I'll be able to pick up a used MC-1!
    Seperates is the way to go for me, Of course we are all different but it makes sense.
    Cheers.

    ------------------
    Don't think you are, Know you are.
     
  13. Stuart M. Robinson

    Stuart M. Robinson
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    Rob,

    "I found some exellent advice and info on the SMR forum, via a link from the Lexicon site. I can't quite go to a DC-2 yet but the DC-1 has had all the upgrages I need , I can truly get high end AV at a reasonable price."

    I'm pleased to hear you found the SMR Forums advice helpful – http://www.smr-forums.com/ - many of the regulars there have been through the merry-go-round of upgrades we've been discussing in this thread and have come to the same conclusion as yourself.

    Let us know how you find the DC-1 and don't be afraid to ask probing questions.


    Stuart M. Robinson
    SMR Group – http://www.smr-group.co.uk/
     
  14. swami

    swami
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    Can somebody please explain me something. You are all wondering about the discrete back channel. Now, when i play the Haunting (DTS-ES) i hear sound from the surround back channel that don't play on the surround speakers. Isn't that disrete then?? Also denon claims that the AVC-A10SE is dts-es compatible (display shows DTS(ES) when the haunting is played.
     
  15. Jim Robson

    Jim Robson
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2000
    Messages:
    245
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    21
    Location:
    Originally from the wonderful Granite City, Aberde
    Ratings:
    +1
    I'm no expert but I do know that the Denon AVC-A1SE shows "DTS ES Dscrt 6.1" on the display *only* when it's playing DTS-ES Discrete 6.1 DVD's such as R1 DTS versions of The Haunting, Gladiator, Chicken Run etc. On other DVD's it might show 6.1/7.1 Surround/Stereo or Matrix etc or any of a whole myriad of sound formats!

    The AVC10-SE *may* be DTS-ES capable but it's not DTS-ES 6.1 Discrete capable. Matty N and Reiner explain that properly in the other, similar resurrected thread!

    Regards

    Jim :D

    [ 14-06-2001: Message edited by: Jim Robson ]
     

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