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Thoughts on DVD-A

Discussion in 'Hi-Fi Stereo Systems & Separates' started by paiger, Jan 8, 2003.

  1. paiger

    paiger
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    OK, just got home and ran through my new copy of Hotel California. I don't actually have a DVD-A player yet so had to settle for the DTS layer. Having bought several SACD disks and been very impressed, I was blown away by this DVD. That's especially relevant as I can't actually play the DVD-A on it. THe DTS layer is obviously not as 'hi-fi' as some of my SACD disks but I found it much more enjoyable. I even found myself laughing out loud at things you just can't hear on the CD version. I'm now seriously in the market for a DVD-A player. I can't wait to hear the full res version.

    Some reservations, the front end is annoying as it seems to have a mind of it's own. It's difficult without the TV on to get what you want. You can load the disk and press play twice which takes me into the DTS but if I stop it and press play again I get DD instead. They need to sort this so that every disk plays the DVD-A layer every time it's loaded up unless otherwise specified. Of course, the hybrid CD disks should work fine on a CD player as it will only recognise that part

    Sol I'm impressed. Still love my SACDs but would be happy to convert to DVD-A. For now I can just buy the disks and have the DTS version which is well worth £12.99 anyday and if DVD-A dies, it's still better than CD.

    S
     
  2. Guest

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    paiger.

    I can relate to your fondness of DVD-A.
    I recently heard a Meridian 500 series front end (568.2 > 598) via their proprietry MHR Smart Link.
    It was a classical music demo and it was absolutely fabulous:eek:
    The detail level & sound placement were quite incredible.
    The moment Meridian announce upgrade packages for my 596, i will be champing @ the bit to get the DVD-A upgrade.
    (same old story) it's only a real need for suitable software, as the Meridian effort i heard was spectacular.

    Haven't really heard enough SACD material to pass comment, although Uncle Eric has a few discs which sounded good.

    Adzman
     
  3. Lowrider

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    I also bought my first DVD-audio disc last night, Vivaldi, actually I prefer the DD track to the DTS, also cannot ear the REAL one yet... :(

    Waiting for a digital link upgrade to be available between the FMJ and the TAG AV...
     
  4. sounddog

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    Just a thought here but ...

    Why is everyone going on able how we need digital links for DVD-A / SACD before they're willing to buy a player ... when the same people then promote using the Analogue connections for listening to CDs?

    I'm know that a stereo connection is 2 channel, whereas the multichannel DVD-A / SACD is of course 6 channels ... but it seams to strike against the belief that the simpler the amp the better when we're wanting the DVD-A / SACD decoding to be done in the Amp and not in the player.

    Just my (some what contravercial I'm sure) 2pence worth ... hope to promote some discussion!!


    Victoria
     
  5. Lowrider

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    I use only the digital connection to ear my CDs, I don´t want to lose proper bass management + DPLII...:cool:
     
  6. NicolasB

    NicolasB
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    Even if you don't fancy the DSP modes, bass management is still an issue. And it's likely to be much more of an issue with 5-channel music than it is with 2-channel because hardly anybody has full-range rear speakers. If you have a player that is capable of doing bass management then this is fine, but I don't think very many do. It requires a lot of DSP power.
     
  7. alexs2

    alexs2
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    For what it's worth,a few of the universal players like the Pioneer 656/757 and the Onkyo(based on the first gen.Pioneer universal transport) will provide bass management,but I have to agree with several of you in saying that the dts or even DD tracks can be very enjoyable,although the DD tracks always sound a bit compressed.

    Just a pity that Firewire links are still a little while away.
     
  8. sounddog

    sounddog
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    So basically the problem is that most of the current DVD-A players don't have their own bass management, and most people want to push the bass from the surrond speakers and often the front as well, out to their sub woofer?

    Alexs: I'm not sure ... are you saying that the Pioneer 656/757 and Onkyo do or don't have built in bass management? And if they do ... does this eliminate the problem of no bass management in my amp if I use the 6.1 inputs?

    As an aside (if anyone sees this) ... I don't want to get rid of my Arcam DV88 for DVD and CD playback ... but I am interested in SACD ... has anyone used the low end Sony SACD players (not combined DVD-V/SACD) like the SCDXE670? Are they any good considering I could get one for about £150? This (on Sony's website) say they have bass management ... if so would this push the bass from the rears (and optionally also the fronts) out to the sub?

    Thanks
    Victoria
     
  9. alexs2

    alexs2
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    As far as I can remember,all of the players I mentioned DO have their own bass management,in terms of speaker size settings and sub crossover points,although I'm not sure if they apply this to just SACD or DVD-A as well.

    From my recollections of the cheaper SACD only players,if you're using an Arcam DV88 for CD playback,I think you'll be disappointed with the sound quality of the cheaper players.....remembering it all comes out through their analogue outputs,it sounds lightweight and strangled.

    The Pioneer DV656 is an altogether better prospect at about £350,and it plays everything.....CD playback is a bit limited compared to a £1000 plus player and really limited compared to mine...but the comparison isnt really fair...just I think shows how good the Pioneer is for the money.
     
  10. sounddog

    sounddog
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    Lightweight and stranged on SACD or on CD? I'm not bothered about it for CDs so that would be fine. It's just I'm interested in some of the stuff coming out on SACD soon (Pink Floyd and some of the Jazz stuff) but if it's going to sound awful I won't bother.

    THe £150 ish that the 670 costs is about all I can afford right now (spent about £1200 on stuff over Xmas - RA1060, LCR60 and the DV88).


    Victoria
     
  11. paiger

    paiger
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    I read somewhere that one respected reviewer thought the 670 to be a belter for the money but can't comment myself. My DVPNS700 does have some bass management. You can select each speaker (or pair) as large or small but the Xover is fixed at 120hz. This is a problem for me as my room has a dislike for very low bass so I set my mains to small with the Xover at 70 and just loose the rest as I have no sub. I can't do this with SACD on my player. Have just bought a 656 though so I'll see what thats all about when it turns up. Hopefully it will improve my CD replay a bit too.

    Remember that if you buy a standalone SACD player and then want DVD-A, you have used up your 5.1 inputs. The answer is either a digital link (rare) or a combined player like the 656 etc.
     
  12. alexs2

    alexs2
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    Victoria.....apologies for the confusion....I meant that some of the cheaper players sound lightweight when playing SACD and CD.....I think a lot is down to the quality of the D/A convertors and the jitter levels present in these.

    I dont think they'll sound awful,just that with a good quality CD source as comparison,you will notice the difference in terms of smoothness,depth etc.

    I also sympathasize very much with what you say about costs!....I spent loads before Xmas and have to wait for the taxman to have his slice before I can have another binge :p
     
  13. sounddog

    sounddog
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    Thanks Alexs ...

    Think I'm going to have to see if I've any money at the end of Feb and try and track down a dedicated SACD player ... either that or save for the DVD-A upgrade for the Arcam ... oh decisions, decisions!!!

    And thanks to everyone for my indulgence in the way I've diverted this thread twice in the space of about 3 hours :)


    Victoria
     
  14. infomatique

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    I have the 777ES which is a top end unit and the sound quality from CD is amazing ... I was a little bit disappointed by SACD but this has more to do with the rather limited selection of software.

    According to a number of contacts the low cost SONY SACD units are excellent (for CD as well as SACD) and all have base management.
     
  15. Ian J

    Ian J
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    Sounddog,

    Have you listened to SACD because I would advise you to before buying.

    Multi channel music is encoded for replay with all five speakers equidistant from the listener, which is not the case in most rooms.

    As well as a severe shortage of software, most of it has been remastered so that some instruments come from the front and some from the rear and to my ears it sounds an unholy mess.

    I have a Pioneer 656 so can play anything. I own one DVDA which is Eric Clapton & BB King and is fantastic in stereo but all over the place in multi channel and won't buy any more unless they stop encoding them that way.

    To my mind, the rears should be ambience to broaden the soundstage which is why full range rear speakers is not the issue in practice that it is on paper.
     
  16. Spligsey

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    On the right hardware & with the right software it does.



    Spligsey
     
  17. Ian J

    Ian J
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    It does what :confused:
     
  18. alexs2

    alexs2
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    IanJ has a good point about the use of the rear channels on some DVD-A and SACD releases,in which the engineers seem to be harking back to the bad old days of quad sound(remember that!)in steering the sound all over the place.

    It mostly detracts from the music,and it's a pity that it seems to be finding it's way back.

    Lets just have some decent software/hardware,and digital links available from the player to the processor.....then we can all enjoy the best out of our systems.
     
  19. gringottsdirect

    gringottsdirect
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    Apparently Stanley Kubrick didn't rate the early surround sound mix of Clockwork Orange, releasing plain Stereo, and Woody Allen is known to prefer Mono, not to forget Nick Lowe's " Back To Mono " campaign, Phil Spector too ?

    I remember the original SQ, QS and CD-4 Quadraphonic releases.
    Touted as the future, but who on earth would have four ( ! ) speakers in their lounge ?
    Ahem...
    It died a death, probably because 8-Tracks, large Open-Reels and JVC Quad-Tip styli ( Shibata ? ) coupled with bizarre choice of music didn't grab the masses. Anyone remember BBC Quadraphonic Workshop broadcasting live concerts front channels on R2, rear channels on R3, actually I'm not sure if remembering or imagining this ?
    Anyway, years ago I added a Mordaunt-Short Decoder One, Pro-Logic processor to my 2-Channel system, playing stereo through this was quite enjoyable. Main Vocals seemed always to come through Centre Speaker, with in/out of phase instruments moving around the other speakers.
    In general, I prefer listening to Multi-Channel, although I agree some panning of instruments can be weird or just " wrong ". Nowadays I hardly use my 2-Channel system at all, much rather hear DPL2, DTS and SACD / DVD-A for music.
     
  20. Matt F

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    Beware of the cheaper players boasting bass management - you will often find that it only applies to DD/DTS and, where it does apply to SACD it is done by converting DSD to PCM which destroys the whole reason for having SACD in the first place!

    Of the multi players, I don't know of any that do DVD-A bass management.

    One DVD-A player that appears to do it properly is Denon's DVD3800. Some of the flagship SACD players may well do it properly (i.e. in the DSD domain) but information seems to be thin on the ground.

    What surprised me was the shortcomings in bass management and time alignment of the Marantz DV8300 - this isn't a cheap unit at £1300 ish so you would expect it to be pretty well sorted - not a bit of it - you can't even set the front speakers to "small"!!

    See this link for more information on the Marantz and the DVD-A/SACD bass management problem in general:

    http://www.avforums.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=63462

    Matt.
     

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